A great product is worthless if you 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.
~ Build a Brand
When you are 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:
Build a strong resume: 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 every penny. I will post sample resumes on the Self Employment Resume section for your reference.
Establish credibility: 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.
Leverage your network: 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 services etc.)