4 Marketing Secrets Every Solopreneur Must Know

4 Marketing Secrets Every Solopreneur Must Know

You’ve probably heard the statistics: 50% of small businesses don’t make it past 5 years. The percentage of solopreneur businesses is even higher! What happens between that brilliant idea and the heartbreaking realization that your business just can’t keep going? What do successful businesses do that others don’t? Of course, every failed business has its own peculiar set of circumstances, but a great many fail needlessly. You can’t just print up some business cards, go to a few networking events, and expect to be successful. There are secrets that successful business owners know, and they’re about how to market your business. 1.  Figure Out How You’re Different It’s likely that many people offer the same general category of services you do. What’s so special about you? Why would someone choose you over the next person? The most important thing you can do is to define the specific set of skills, knowledge and experience you have that others don’t. This combination makes you unique and will allow you to position yourself as ‘special’ in the marketplace. For example, I have 10+ years experience as a Professional Organizer plus an extensive management background. This allows me to help my clients analyze their personal skills inventory and organize their business strategies in addition to their time, tasks, and physical environment. 2.  Identify The Problems You Solve Once you understand your unique combination of skills, you can understand what problems you’re ideally suited to solve. Once you’re clear about that, the next step is recognizing the types of people who have those problems – your ideal clients. Focusing on your ideal clients sets...
If You Want Something Different, You Need to DO Something Different!

If You Want Something Different, You Need to DO Something Different!

“I want my business to be totally different, but I don’t want to change anything.”  My client Frank  doesn’t say this. What he says is he wants an orderly office where he can find what he’s looking for at a moment’s notice, like when he’s on the phone overseas. He says he’s sick and tired of the current state of affairs:  piles of paper all over the desk – the chairs – the credenza – the floor — everywhere. I can see why he’s sick of it. The piles are easily three feet high and spilling over into one another. How can he see clients in here? He says much of the paper is outdated, so he doesn’t rely solely on it anyway; he goes online when he needs the latest information. But he can’t get rid of the paper.  Frank is a high-powered financial services executive and his business is very information dense, so it makes perfect sense to me that he’d always want up-to-the-minute information. What I don’t understand is why all this paper is everywhere in the first place. So I ask him, why does he print it all out? Because he doesn’t like to read online. Does he read it once it’s printed? Well…no, he’s usually off to a meeting and plans to read it later. But he doesn’t get around to it. And he doesn’t file it either; his files are already stuffed with material that’s even older. He does want to keep the printed-out company backgrounds, though. They provide a more complete picture of potential investments…even though when he needs a specific report he can’t put his hands on it. Yet, when I suggest he...
Do You Hate Networking? 7 Steps to Get Over It

Do You Hate Networking? 7 Steps to Get Over It

If you’re in business for yourself, and especially if your business calls for face-to-face interaction, you’ve undoubtedly heard that one of the most effective ways to find new clients is to “network.” However, networking doesn’t come easily to everyone, and big networking events are hardly ever rewarding experiences. If you’ve been to a few, you know what I mean!  My client Eileen captures it exactly. “I hate going to networking events. They’re jam-packed, and so loud I can’t hear what people are saying. I wander around with a drink in my hand looking for someone to strike up a conversation with. It’s so awkward. I don’t ever recall making a worthwhile connection; instead I get stuck with some obnoxious guy who’s way too pushy or makes me feel like my business isn’t up to his standards. I just don’t go any more.”  You know what? I’ve been to events like that myself. And I don’t go any more either. But that doesn’t mean I don’t network. I’ve gotten more strategic about how I network. And that can make all the difference! If you hate networking, let me make some suggestions: Don’t go to those massive mega-networking events. Chances are they’ll be a waste of your time. Join a small category-exclusive networking group that meets regularly. Repeated interaction allows genuine relationships to develop. Before you join visit the group a couple of times as a guest to make sure there are a few members you are likely to exchange referrals with. Join a professional organization related to your line of work. It’s easier to meet people with whom you have...
How in the World Is Your Ideal Client Going to Find You?

How in the World Is Your Ideal Client Going to Find You?

It’s frustrating. You belong to some great organizations and have a wide network of business associates. You see each other regularly and you’re all friendly with one another. You’ve got your “elevator” speech polished to a luster; people know what you do. They know, like and trust you. But you’re not getting referrals! So what’s missing? Why people who know, like and trust you, don’t refer you! If your ideal client isn’t finding you, why is that? It’s because the people who know both you and your ideal client forget to refer you! You see each other at the same events; you’re friendly enough; they know what you do. They know, like and trust you. So what’s missing? They’re not personally or financially involved in your success. And why should they be? They’re busy with their own agenda. They need to know, like, trust and partner with you. That’s what’s missing. You need to cultivate relationships with them, and engage them so their success is tied directly to yours. One of the easiest and most successful ways to do that is to create partnerships with them. I don’t mean legal partnerships — just informal agreements to work together in ways that will benefit everyone’s business. When you have a trusted partner, either of you can present a seamless solution when you meet a prospective client. And since each of you is out meeting different people, when you work as a team you have effectively doubled your chances of finding business for both of you! For example, if you’re a web designer, have you taken the time to cultivate a strong relationship with a copywriter?...
You Need These Business Success Secrets!

You Need These Business Success Secrets!

Referral Source Secrets from Solopreneur Superstars Telesummit March 11-14, 2013 So, what are you doing to find new clients these days? How much time have you spent in networking groups meeting people who don’t need – or want – what you have to offer? How many speaking engagements have you agreed to, hoping to find a few new clients in the audience – and not finding any? How much money have you spent polishing up your website and paying for search engine optimization without the results you hoped for? Are those tactics generating all the referrals you want? No?… Why not? These activities used to bring you clients, right? Why don’t they work anymore? Are you doing something wrong? Probably not. Here’s what’s happening: Just about everybody’s business has taken a hit over the last few years. Budgets aren’t what they used to be. More people have joined the ranks of the self-employed, because something happened to whatever job they used to have – and now they’re looking for clients too. Maybe the same clients you’re looking for. Everybody’s doing websites and networking groups and public speaking. These activities don’t differentiate you any more. To get clients’ attention, you need to do something new and different! Ready to try something new and different? Listen to this telesummit:  Referral Source Secrets from Solopreneur Superstars! Click here to purchase the recordings! I’m hosting the Referral Source Secrets from Solopreneur Superstars telesummit, and you can listen for FREE! You’ll get great tips and learn some new tricks from these solopreneur superstars. Dawn Mentzer, The Insatiable Solopreneur Viveka von Rosen, LinkedIn to Business Sue Kramer...

Motivation for Solopreneurs

If you feel your motivation slipping, turn back the clock and remind yourself what your previous work life was truly like. When you worked for someone else, you had to do whatever the job called for. Even the things you enjoyed had to be done a certain way…someone else’s way. Not any more. Now that you’re the boss, you can do things any way that suits YOU. You set the goals…you decide how to reach them…and you reap the rewards. If you don’t want to do a specific project, you can decline. If a business relationship isn’t going the way you hoped, you can end it. After all, you’re the boss. When you worked for someone else, you were expected to conform to a pre-existing culture. You were categorized based on your job description and pigeon-holed by someone else’s opinion of your talents and abilities. Now, you can be true to yourself, and be as conservative or outrageous as you want. You can decide the dress code. You can stretch your personality, your creativity and your individuality as far as they’ll go, and find clients or customers who value exactly those qualities. When you worked for someone else, you had to do the whole job, even those parts you didn’t like and weren’t good at. You couldn’t trade tasks with your colleague, just because there were parts of his job you would have liked better and vice versa. Now, that’s no longer the case. Now you can decide which tasks you’ll do, and which ones you’ll farm out to someone else. You can spend more time doing the things...