Spring is a time for new beginnings. Is this the year you have vowed to get all the business you can handle?
It takes work, and it’s also easier than you may think. What it really takes: building awareness of your brand from a place of authenticity. Do that, and you will find the right customers: ones who appreciate your work, and for whom you can do your best work!
Develop Your Authentic Brand
The good news is, you actually have a lot of advantages as a solo professional. Whether you are a coach, a financial advisor, or a wellness pro, your brand is you! That means you can attract the right clients into your life simply by being your best self. The hurdle for many solopreneurs is twofold: you need to feel confident that what you have to share is amazing; then, you need to get comfortable expressing that amazing skill in the right settings. This can mean networking, blogging, vlogging, or writing a newsletter. It can even mean all of the above. We’ll talk more about that later. In order to do all of that self-expression that will get you business, you first need to articulate what your gift is. Do you help people engage in appropriate self-care? Get over obstacles? Become healthier? Whatever you do to help others is your personal value proposition: your statement of the value you bring to clients. Write down several one-sentence statements about your value proposition. Sit with them awhile until you think: “yes! that is what I bring to my clients to make their lives better!” That is your value prop. Put it everywhere: as the headline on your LinkedIn profile, at the top of your website, as the bio on your social media profiles. That will give you and your clients clarity on what you bring.
Get the Basics Organized
What if you don’t have a website? Or a logo? Or cards? Deep down, it means you’re not projecting the confidence that you are here, and you mean business. You do not need to spend much these days to get a credible business presence. Now that you have your value proposition, think about how you are going to share it with prospective clients. The first thing you need is a visual brand: a logo, fonts, and colors that convey that value visually. Think of it as a symbolic representation of your brand. If you don’t have funds for a designer, there are ton of free tools for you:
- Use Canva to design a logo
- Wix, Squarespace, and Google Sites all offer affordable options for building a website
- Get a free newsletter service via MailChimp
- Pick at least one social media channel and commit to it. Pick the one that feels most comfortable for you.
On all of these channels, be incredibly consistent. Use the same value proposition, be consistent in colors and fonts, keep to a simple visual theme that you can maintain. Repetition, clean design, and simplicity instantly make you look more professional.
Create Content to Get Found
In Step 1, you created your value proposition. Now that you have a brand, it’s time to express your value and your values. If you don’t speak up, your clients won’t be able to find you. And that includes clients sourced via word of mouth. I can’t tell you how many happy clients have referred me to other clients–but only after seeing a newsletter, social media post, or workshop from me that reminded them that I am taking on clients. You need to engage people continuously.
Sounds like work? After all, you didn’t get into coaching or holistic health to sit at your desk and blog. It doesn’t have to feel like work, though. Remember how you’re committing to the social media channel(s) you like the most? And how you’re outlined the value you know you bring, via your value proposition? Your work is your core passion. Think about why you’re helping people. What do you wish everyone knew about nutrition, finances, or whatever your passion is? Write about that. Not into writing? Set up your phone on a tripod and record a brief YouTube video sharing a weekly tip. You’re not writing a novel–you are talking about the topic you care most about, your life’s passion, to people who care about it, too. Sounds a lot less like work and more like fun now!
Put Your Content Out There
Ok, so now you have written that amazing blog post or recorded that video. It can now do a ton of work for you in attracting new business. The rule is to use every content piece at least five times. That way, it will reach the maximum audience while staying fresh:
- Post it to your website’s blog
- Send it out in your newsletter (really, a newsletter is the most critical thing; you need to keep in touch with your tribe)
- Post it to all your social media channels
- Create at least one spinoff piece and repeat: if you wrote a blog post, use Canva to make an infographic. If you recorded a video, transcribe it into a blog post
- Add it as a repeat post using your social media scheduler to keep recycling it all year round
If you took two hours to write that post, it will now work for you for several months. Sounds like a deal.
You went into business to help others. It’s time to help yourself grow. The above steps take about 1-2 hours a week to maintain. That’s all! You can market yourself and grow your business in 2019. Get the basics down, and then just express the commitment, wisdom, and values that led you to launch your career in the first place. Do that, and 2019 will be your best year ever.