So you have started a new business (or perhaps you are thinking about it), and you know you have a great product or service. You might be so confident that this idea will work and that many people could benefit from it. Well, it could be true that you are great when it comes to creating goods and services for your customers, but if you are starting a business by yourself, you are going to need more than that.
A solopreneur business model is one where the business owner starts and operates the business alone. Going it alone for a while means having to be a jack of all trades. You are your business’ accounting, marketing, product development, etc. One of the most important factors for a successful startup is your marketing strategy. After all, you must be able to reach your target market to start making sales.
Solopreneur marketing can be overwhelming, especially when you are a solopreneur. Having a few focus areas to start with will set your business up for success. Here are some great areas to focus on in the early stages of your solopreneur business. You do not have to be an expert in all of these categories, but learning some basic and even intermediate skills in these categories will serve your business well while it continues to grow.
1. Use a Dynamic and Attractive Website
Having a website for your business is critical for marketing as a solopreneur. First, you need to pick a platform. There are several popular ones out there, so find out what your needs are for your business website, and choose which one will best serve those.
Then once you pick a platform, do some research on how to use it and customize it to fit those needs. Luckily you don’t need to know too much about the backend of the technology. Most website platforms have user-friendly templates and systems to make things simple for you. A simple Google search will yield tons of great how-to guides and YouTube videos.
Some great subjects to start with are learning about beneficial plug-ins for your website platform, how to set up contact forms, proper formatting, and updating themes and color schemes to fit your brand. Know that your website does not have to be perfect, but you want it to be functional with an easy-to-use design.
2. Put Yourself Out There
Most solopreneurs are the face of their businesses. While most businesses and startups use logos to grab the attention of their potential clients, many solopreneurs rely on their personal brand as a way to attract clients.
Putting yourself out there means making yourself visible. The more visible you are, the more potential clients you will reach. Don’t be afraid to broadcast yourself to the world using various methods.
How to put yourself out there:
- Create Shorts on Social Media– Creating video shorts is a great way to show some of your personality in a short span of time. Your personality will give potential clients an idea of what it will be like to work with you.
- Create videos on Youtube-Publishing YouTube videos allows you to share your expertise with your potential clients
- Utilizing Facebook and Instagram Live-Using Livestreams allows you to interact with your community and potential clients.
- Being a guest on a podcast-Being a guest on a podcast will give you a chance to tell your story as well as to share your knowledge with a new audience.
3. Get Personal
As I mentioned earlier, as a solopreneur, you are the face of your business. Many of your customers will do business with you for the simple fact that you are a real person. This allows you to add personal touches to your marketing.
Adding a personal touch can be as simple as engaging with potential clients on social media or sending handwritten birthday cards to clients. Each interaction will help keep you top of mind of your potential clients and customers. As you are marketing your solopreneur business, it is tempting to try to duplicate what you see bigger businesses doing.
However, an advantage of being a solopreneur is that you can get to know your clients and customers and they can get to know you. Take advantage of your ability to connect with them in a more personal way.
4. Understand Some Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the best way to grow organic traffic to your site. What is organic traffic? Organic traffic is when people find your site on their own, not through any targeted marketing. In other words, someone finding your business through a search engine is organic traffic. The best part about organic traffic? It requires little upkeep and can bring new readers back to old posts year-round.
Learning about SEO can be overwhelming at first, but once you set up your website and learn some SEO best practices, it will get easier. This is a big time investment in the beginning, but worth it when you reap the rewards.
Do some research on what would rank your particular business higher on search engines. Research topics such as on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and local listings. Once this is set up and in place, it requires minimal upkeep, and you will get the hang of how to integrate it into your writing.
5. Use Attention Grabbing Images and Visuals
You do not have to be a Photoshop expert, but having some basic knowledge of how to create eye-catching graphics is a huge asset to your new business. Most people are drawn to visuals, so knowing how to create them is a must for any startup. First, you should do some research on what type of graphics work best for your target demographic.
Then pick a platform for you to create these illustrations. If you want to keep your marketing budget low, there are great free programs out there. Two examples are Canva and Adobe Spark Post. Both are free to use and great for beginners. These programs have plenty of templates and options to create unique and engaging content.
Once you find a program and style you like, create some graphics and share them across a variety of platforms. On your website, social media platforms, email marketing campaigns, etc. Having a consistent graphic design style can also start to create brand awareness that will serve your business for years to come.
6. Learn Persuasive Writing
Another important part of any business is being able to explain and sell your idea in writing. It is easy to overlook how crucial writing is to any business. However, writing is everywhere when it comes to marketing.
From something as simple as composing a tweet to writing persuasive sales emails. This is not to say that you need to become an expert copywriter or journalist, but it is important to know basic grammar and find your style as a writer. Staying consistent in your style builds a connection with your target audience.
Knowing persuasive writing techniques can be extremely beneficial as well. There is a fine line between being able to authentically persuade potential customers and coming off as too pushy or aggressive. Learning about some subtle ways to persuade readers through writing will be an asset to your business.
7. Get Help With Things Outside Your Area of Expertise
Although technology has allowed many entrepreneurs the opportunity to run a business with less help, there are often times when you need the help of an expert. As a solopreneur, you may already be spreading yourself too thin with your responsibilities. You may want to consider getting help with your marketing efforts too.
Getting help with things outside your area of expertise may mean you hire a personal assistant to help you manage emails, a graphic designer to help you create your logo, or lead generation. Hiring a freelancer that can offer some support will help save time.
Keep in mind there are other parts of your business that need your attention. Getting some help with some aspects of your marketing can help you focus on growing your business.
Whether you have just started a business on your own, or are considering it, it is important to familiarize yourself with these marketing subjects to achieve the most success early on. After all, marketing is the best way to reach your target audience and find potential customers.
While finding the time and tools to do the marketing for your business can seem like a daunting task, focusing on these areas will help keep you on track. Once your business grows, you should be able to hire people with the skills you need to get your business exactly where you want it to be. For now, focus on these key points, and you should continue to grow.
This article was first published in July 2017 but has been updated and expanded