Find Self Employment
A great product is worthless
can’t find a customer to buy it. And to find a customer, rather
many customers, you need to have a strong marketing strategy backed
with a solid tactical plan. Here are a few steps to help you move in
the right direction.
self-employed, YOU are your brand. You must do whatever it takes to
build your personal brand and put it out there for your target market
to see. Here are a few ways to do that:
Your resume should show all
your credentials and accomplishments; but in a concise way. Your resume
should not just be a list of bullet points of everything that you did.
It should tell a story about you, highlighting your strength and
accomplishments. If you are not sure about your resume writing
capabilities that invest in a professional resume writing service. It
will cost you a few hundred dollars; but a well-written resume is worth
Be known as an expert in
your field. How do you do that? There are several ways. You can write
articles, books or blogs; speak at industry or community events,
lecture at colleges and universities. Initially, you have to give
information away for free, until people know you as an expert and are
willing to pay you for your knowledge and skills. The key is to know
how much to give away for free.
I have mentioned this
before; and I am saying it now….the best way to find a job, contract or
business is through your personal and professional network. Think about
it. Your friends and colleagues know you the best. So, who else can be
better spokesperson for you then them? Reach out to them; let them know
that you are looking. Join professional and social networks like
LinkedIn and Facebook. Build your connections and stay in touch.
LinkedIn has a feature that allows others to write testimonials for
you. Request your past and present colleagues, managers and team mates
to write testimonials for you. The best way to do that is by writing
testimonials for them first and then asking them for one.
Make sure you have
a professional email address which is separate from your personal email
address. One that has your first and last name, instead of BeerBong@hilarious.com
Print a set of
professional looking business cards. You should be able to get some at
a local print shop such as FedEx Kinko's. Or you can get them online at
a cheaper price at www.vistaprint.com.
Vistaprint offers a set of 250 free business cards for the cost of
shipping charges only. However, they will have Vistaprint advertisement
at the back. My recommendation is to spend the extra $10 to get a clean
back (or if you want you can put your own advertisement their; such as
you need to
know who to sell your services to. Start by preparing profile(s) of
your target customers. Here are some examples:
B2B and B2C businesses
Anywhere in USA and Canada
Mid-size ($100 MM to $1B in revenue)
Declining profit margin.
(for financial planning services))
High net-worth individuals
Washington DC, Metro area
Net worth of minimum $500 K
Senior Business Executives
you focus your energy and efforts on the right type of customers.
Keep in mind that you may have to come back and refine the profiles
as you learn more.
defined your ideal customer profile, build a list of prospective
clients that fit the bill. Your local library is the best place to
start. Many of the public libraries have access to databases such as
Hoovers, Onesource etc., at free of cost or at a nominal charge. You
should also check out the local newspapers and websites to find
information on targeted companies.
next step is
to find connections into these prospective clients. Use one or more
of the following sources:
Speak with folks
outside your immediate network. For example neighbors, parents at your
kid’s school or folks at your church/temple.
Check out your school
alumni database. You may find folks who work for or used to work for
systematic and displined approach to reach out to each of the folks
you have identified in the previous step. But before you call or email
them, think about the approach you should take with each. Here are some
example approaches you may consider.
- With Friends: Reaching out to friends should be
informal. It can be via phone, email or however else you and the friend
are comfortable with. Ask them who else they can introduce you to in
- With Recruiters: Send an email with a copy of your
resume and follow-up with a phone call. Some recruiters like to meet in
person. Embrace that opportunity.
- With People outside your immediate network: These
can be folks you met at the church, someone your friend introduced you
to or someone from your alumni database. Instead of asking them to help
you find work, request them for informational interviews. An
informational interview is where you find out about trends of a
profession, culture of a company etc. People are more willing to share
this information because they don't feel obligated to help you find
work. Also people love to be asked for advice. Use the conversation to
build relationship. A good relationship many times leads to work
Say Thanks. Whether it's a
friend, recruiter or someone else, never forget to send a thank you
note after you have these conversations.
sure you follow-up with the folks you spoke with on a regular basis.
This is key to a sustaining relationship. If you do that sincerely and
diligently then very soon you will find opportunities knocking at your
door. Embrace them on your path to a succesful self employment.