This is a collaborative post by Ellie Jo with tips for the self-employed.
It takes a lot to decide to become a self-employed person who solely relies on their own work for an income. Considering everything that comes with it it can be a daunting task to take on. It can be even more difficult if you’re low on funds. However, starting a business on next to nothing doesn’t mean you can’t get yourself noticed and your brand name out there. It’s just about educating yourself about the most cost-effective way to get yourself heard.
How to Market Yourself When You’re Self Employed
If your not a natural bragger, then talking about your business might be difficult, to begin with, but, you need to pick up with the self-confidence you used to go self-employed to start with. Many of us find it a difficult task to talk about ourselves, and when your livelihood suddenly relies on it, it’s understandable that some self-employed people feel a little bit nerved by the thought.
Self-employment is on the rise in the UK and now more and more people are taking the leap to be able to take advantage of working from wherever they choose. Whether that’s at home or even traveling the globe. Learning how to get your business out there though, is a skill that is essential for success. When becoming self-employed for the first time there is a lot to consider and marketing should be one of your priorities.
Let’s have a look at some of the ways you can do this below.
Utilize Social Media
Any business especially a self-employed one needs to make use of social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. It’s a great budget-friendly way to connect with your customers and get your brand name out there. Social media enables you to keep potential customers up to date with all your latest information about your upcoming products and services. You need to build up a following and make sure you engage regularly with posts that are relevant.
LinkedIn is a fantastic place to start with your social channels, it allows you to create a CV that is virtual. You need to dedicate some time to perfecting your LinkedIn profile. Add your past employment, experience, your employment status, and best skills. Make connections with the right people and join relevant professional groups that will enable you to promote your business.
Using social media is a brilliant way of getting yourself known. However, it can be confusing to manage all the various platforms and extremely time-consuming. Using a social metrics tool will mean that you can keep track of how you are engaging with your customers. If you struggle with the time that it can eat up or are unfamiliar with it then outsourcing your social media marketing might be a better option.
Have An Online Presence
It’s now more important than ever to have a website when you’re a self-employed worker. You really can not afford to not have one. Customers like to be able to see who they are working with before they commit to a purchase and the easiest way for them to do this is to see you online. Make sure you have a well-designed website that is user-friendly. Doing this means that you have less chance of them clicking off your page and straight on to a competitor’s site.
When it comes to marketing, you don’t really want to scrimp and save on your website. Once it is established though there is plenty you can do yourself to drive traffic and draw in your customers.
Write Everything Down
You may know exactly where your business is going in your head, but getting it down on paper is imperative for you to be successful. Not only do people naturally forget important information, but having a hard copy of your business plan allows you to refer back to it when you need to. Always make sure you are referring back to it. You need to include targets and goals that you want to achieve and the time limits you want to achieve them in.
However, there’s no point in setting goals that will be out of reach. You need to make sure you are setting targets that are achievable and realistic. Start with smaller goals, such as hitting a certain number of people of social media accounts or aiming to produce two or three high-quality blog posts each week.
If you achieve these goals, you can then create new ones and build on them, eventually hitting your long-term goals. Don’t try to dwell on things if they don’t go to plan, review what may have gone wrong and make changes for the future. Make sure you note any amendments that you make so you can refer back to all your paperwork so you can create the perfect plan and adapt it when you need to.
Talk To Everyone About You
When it comes to promoting yourself as a self-employed person, it’s about getting the people you want interested in your product or service and talking about it. Once you’ve managed to achieve this, you want to keep them talking about you. Make sure you are regularly engaging with any online followers, answer any questions they ask, reply to comments and complaints.
It can take you years to build a good reputation but only seconds to destroy one. Meaning you need to constantly have this in mind. Many consumers expect and want their Twitter complaints to be dealt with within around an hour or less, and any business that fails to meet this can risk reputational damage. If you know that you’re not going to be able to respond in this time frame, make sure you highlight any policy you have for dealing with complaints clearly.
So, if you know it’s going to take five working days to get back to someone, make sure you put it in your information page or set up an automated response this way your customers will at least know what to expect. When you first start out your will most likely deal with any complaints through email or directly on the phone.
These three areas are proven ways to market yourself as a self-employed person, do you have any other methods that work? Please share them in the comments below.