We recently talked about how to launch a home-based business and the intricacies that come with freelancing. It’s a tough endeavor to embark on but it is not impossible. One of the key ingredients to success is starting out right when establishing your enterprise.
When it comes to entrepreneurship, I have seen so many individuals, experts in their field who lack the fundamentals skills to run a business. They think that their technical skills are the only asset that they need but it is absolutely not true. There are many other factors to running a business. For instance, the administration of the business itself requires the learning of fundamental business practices such as accounting and bookkeeping. As a business owner, small or large, you may not be familiar with all the ins and outs of accounting, but at a minimum you should understand what’s happening fiscally. For some, as the enterprise grows, and expansion is necessary, knowing how to hire employees or contractor according to the laws in place is also important. You me reach out to a third party such as a labor hiring company but at a cost.
Let’s take a step back. Before getting at a level where you need to hire the services of a third party or hire new employees, the business must of course be somewhat successful. This simply means that the enterprise must experience some growth. Growth does not happen by accident and based on the industry you are in, the factors to growth are different. However, there are simple aspects of growing a business that apply to most fields and mastering them will help you in your business.
Before the public buys your product or service, it must first know that you exist. Here are a few ways to jumpstart your business and market your services.
PICK A NICHE
Large corporations or established businesses have the luxury of offering a variety of services and/or products because of their financial strength. This is most likely not the case for your freelance or small business. It’s tempting to be a creative jack of all trades, however, most customers prefer to do business with someone they view as an expert within a particular field; so, rather than promoting yourself as someone that dabbles, it is more profitable to position yourself as an expert within a particular niche. Focusing on one or two things will also make your marketing easier. As we all know, social media has taken over all marketing strategies and when you are in a specific niche, it makes your digital marketing efforts much easier and more valuable in terms of return on investment.
WORD OF MOUTH RECOMMENDATION
To this day, there is still nothing better than an honest, credible personal recommendation. There are thousands of movies, tv shows and documentaries on Netflix but I still ask my friends what shows and movies they recommend. The same goes to restaurants, brands, hotels, you name it. We may have all the technology and apps that we want, but we still rely on a personal recommendation when making a money (purchase) decision.
Word of mouth marketing is the oldest and most effective form of marketing there is. The social proof that comes from online reviews, testimonials, and social media ‘likes’ works on this principle, but don’t forget people do business with people – and no matter how online focused your creative business may be, word of mouth from real life people interacting with each other is the most effective marketing around. So, as a business owner or freelancer, produce the best product and encourage satisfied customers to spread the word. Incentives are a good way to entice satisfied clients in sharing their experience with their network.
NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK
Again, in the age of social media, it would appear useless to attend networking events in person, as everything is now done online. Indeed, we focus more on developing our Instagram accounts than we do interacting with real life people, but if you want to make an impression (bearing in mind people buy ‘people’ more than the service they provide) you need to get out there and market yourself. Sites like Meetup or Eventbrite are a gold mine. Use them for your profit but wisely. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of just passing out their business cards with a fancy logo or design at networking events and forget to make a lasting impression. Networking is about making connections and building them by being a blessing to others. As you serve and serve and serve, it will certainly come back to you multiplied.
***Need a logo for your start-up or a design for your business cards?
***This article is in partnership with a guest writer, or a brand, or a company and may contain affiliate links. Nonetheless, these are my experiences and my opinion. For questions, contact me directly here.