There are several skills you need to learn to run a successful business as a solopreneur. You have to learn how to manage your finances, keep up with trends, and promote yourself. Self-promotion is a key ingredient in any solo business because you have to find ways to market yourself to your potential clients. Without self-promotion, there are no clients and no business.
The good news is that there are many avenues for self-promotion. Good marketing not only gives you clients, but it expands your opportunities. It promotes the growth of your business, solidifies a good reputation, and in turn makes you more money. So, learning how to sell your business pays off in the long run. Think of it as an investment of time and possible resources.
Here, we’re going to look at some of the ways that you can promote your business in a variety of different ways. We’ll look at tools like social media, networking opportunities, and different techniques you can use to grow your brand. The goal is for you to find the ways that work best for your situation, and be confident enough to try them out yourself.
How to promote your solo professional career?
Expand your professional network
Expanding your professional network is an easy way to promote your business. Who better to talk to about your craft than your peers? You’ll find by expanding your professional network you’ll find more opportunities materializing for you and your business.
Attend industry events and mingle
Whenever you get the chance you should attend industry events related to your field. Not only is this a great opportunity to learn about growing trends in the industry, but it also gives you the chance to mingle with your peers. It’s always good to talk shop and trade stories to see if there are ways to improve your systems of operation. But, being able to make meaningful connections with peers can be just as important in the long run.
Organize marketing partnerships
Some partnerships can be very lucrative, especially those with shared mutual interests and a collective skill set that compliments one another. Working together can expand both of your operations and promote further growth. You should aim to do things like:
- Create mutual goals that benefit all parties
- Be transparent with all information so that way all information goes where it needs
- Co-host events to generate interest
- Create co-branded content
- Build a network on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for any solopreneur. It lets you network with people in your industry from across the globe and helps nurture the development of your professional network. Use the connections you have available on LinkedIn and you’ll see that you’ll find many opportunities that wouldn’t be accessible anywhere else. Be sure to:
- Connect with people that you may know from your field, university, or previous jobs
- Generate content by sharing your insights so you can be a beneficial member of your network
- Ask for advice or recommendations from your network to actually make use of your network
Join forums & communities related to your niche
Joining online forums/communities is a great way to expand your network by connecting with people in your field that share your interest. If you’re a graphic designer, for example, you can post designs on a forum and get feedback from a professional across the country in the snap of a finger. You can talk shop, stay up to date on industry specifics, and seek advice from peers all from the comfort of your home.
There’s always room for improvement, especially when you’re just getting started, and a freelance coach offers one of the best ways to do this. They offer real practical advice on topics like finding clients, marketing yourself, or even navigating the laws needed to set up your business. It’s a great way to learn and improve your business practices.
Improve your social media activities and digital presence
The future is now and it’s online. If you’re going to have a thriving business today, you’re going to have to dip your feet in the digital sea. Using it to your benefit will go a long way in generating interest in your business.
Launch a website or blog
Having a website and an accompanying blog is a great way to expand your digital presence. Many services and freelancers specialize in making websites for you but there are sites like Squarespace that give you the ability to make your own site. Just make sure that your website has an appealing design and is easy to navigate for the people who you want to use it.
A blog is a great way to generate interest in a similar way to talking shop with a peer. You offer advice, demonstrate your expertise on the subject, generate traffic to your website, and market yourself and your business all in one neat package. Make sure you write about what you know and something related to your field and use buzzwords that generate interest like “teach you how to make money”. It’s a great way to generate interest and reach a wide audience.
Build client relationships
When running a business, you should strive to engage with your clients. It gives you practical advantages like feedback about things that you do well, can improve, or what your clients expect from your service. Plus, it’s a great way to keep your clients satisfied and feeling valued, likely leading to more business for you.
Some tips on building a good relationship include:
- Communicate openly and effectively giving your clients consistent ways to reach out to you and vice versa
- Keep your client informed. This goes beyond just giving them updates on a project but includes explaining how and why you’re making these decisions but also how it benefits them
- Keep a warm approach and avoid coming off too robotic or transactional. Talk to them like they’re people
- Ask them what they need. This goes beyond just the transaction you may have now, but future ones as well. You can gain valuable insight from simply listening to what your customers might want.
These are just some tips you can use to make your relationship with clients stronger:
Send cold emails
Sending cold emails is a way to open conversations in the digital world. Think of them as a tool that you use to introduce yourself and your business to potential clients who know little to nothing about your business. The goal is to take strangers and turn them into potential clients.
There are some tricks to sending good cold emails that you can use when getting started. They include:
- Personalizing the content in some way like by adding the target’s name or something along those lines
- Have clever introductions that are more than just cookie-cutter blocks of text. Have something that intrigues their interest, similar to using buzzwords in a blog. Something like “I have a way to improve X…”
- Make sure that your pitch isn’t too “sellsy”. Instead, focus on how your product or services benefit the client, like saving them time or money.
Hopefully, tips help you warm up your cold emails.
Post your work to NFT marketplaces
If you’re only vaguely aware of NFTs don’t worry. Non-fungible Tokens have exploded in both popularity and profitability. According to the article written by Pavel Kireyev and Peter C. Evans on Harvard Business Review, billions of dollars have been exchanged in NFT marketplaces. What this means for you if you create content that's NFT palatable is that this gives you a way to both expand your online brand and make money at the same time.
NFTs treat digital content as limited commodities and use their own specific marketplaces to host auctions. The biggest challenge for you is to find which marketplaces are reputable for you to sell your content. Be sure however to think of this as an opportunity to introduce more of your work so be sure to leverage your Twitter or Instagram accounts to generate more traffic.
Use social media ads
Social media has forever changed how advertising works. Because social media is often the way people engage with content, it gives you unparalleled reach. A popular Twitter campaign or viral TikTok can change everything. So, knowing how to use social media to your advantage is a skill worth learning.
Social media ads are remarkably cheap and adaptable. It can be just a snappy line with a picture of your product and a link to your website. Be sure to tailor your content to the platform you’re using, so be sure to make the ad more visual on something like Instagram. Remember your goal is to generate interest in your business and attract attention so have that in mind when designing your ad. Or, you can hire a professional to do it for you.
Ask for referrals
Asking for referrals is a great way to get good press from your satisfied customers. Just make sure that they are satisfied before you ask. Referrals are great references for other potential clients who might be on the fence about hiring your company. It says "you can trust that I do a great job because this person says I did great work for them".
When asking for customers to give a referral, try to make the message personal and not too transactional. You can write personal emails or use surveys to help do this. But remember, it helps to have a solid relationship/reputation with the customers that you’re asking for a referral. Be sure to use testimonials and positive feedback as you use good advertisements on your webpage.
Guest blogging is a great way to attract people to your little sphere of the web. Think of it as cross-pollinating, by posting work on pages that aren’t your own, you attract potential viewers to your page that may be interested in your services. Also blogging on reputable sites helps build your reputation because you become associated with the prestige and reliability of the site you post on.
Before you just start blogging, you think of a guiding strategy. You should:
- Have a reachable goal that is the guiding principle behind your post. So if it’s to generate web traffic, keep that in mind.
- Choose a site that fits what you’re looking to accomplish. These sites need to be able to present your work in a way you want and accomplish your goal.
- Connect with the site owner or operator to ask if they think it will be a beneficial arrangement.
- Write about something that you think will fit your goal and the site of your writing. So, if you’re trying to generate general interest, maybe avoid using jargon.
These guiding principles will help you decide on what to write and where to write it to get the most buzz for you.
Be visible on marketplaces
Being visual on marketplaces means having a presence wherever people are posting jobs. Several job marketplaces cater to freelancers like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer, and so being “present” on these sites means increasing your availability. If people see you and your work and a good reputation, then they are going to be more willing to engage with you for the projects they need to be done.
Let your work speak for itself
Your services should take center stage whenever you promote yourself. After all, it’s what the people want and what they’re going to spend their money on. Finding ways to highlight the quality of your work is a great way to market your business.
Boost your profile by working on personal projects
Chances are if you are a freelancer, then you have a little personal project on the side. If you don’t, then maybe you should. Share that travel blog or video game design you’ve been working on in secret. They’re a great way to introduce things you’re passionate about, show off your quality, and humanize your work. People love to see works inspired by passion, so using your passion projects to promote yourself makes perfect sense.
Do collaborative work
Reach out to micro-influencers and create projects together
Reaching out to influencers has a similar sort of cross-pollinating effect as guest blogging, but with more benefits. One, you introduce yourself to someone influential in the industry that you both work in. And two, you get to introduce yourself and your product to a whole new audience, using one another’s work to elevate yourself.
It’s like when you get introduced to a new musician from a feature, or when you find a new content creator on YouTube from a collab. You use one another’s community and presence to collectively alleviate both your works. So, if you have the chance to bend someone’s ear about a collaboration, make sure you go for it.
Do complimentary work for NGOs
Most people aren’t in the solopreneur business working for compliments, but it can be something that helps boost your presence. It is a great opportunity for you to network by connecting with NGOs and the people who run them. Chances are they may have a job opportunity for you down the line.
Also, with their permission, you get to use the work you did for them as an advertisement for potential customers. NGOs are connected to other non-profits and also the communities they advocate for, so you’ll be getting lots of exposure. This is especially the case for reputable NGOs. So, do a little good and be paid back with tons of marketing exposure.
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