by Donna Amos | Featured Contributor
Building a business as a solopreneur can be fun, yet overwhelming. The most important job you have is working to stand out among the competition. This requires the right amount of focus so that you are continuously working toward more leads and sales inside your business. Here are tips that will help you build a larger business year over year.
Stick to the plan you’ve laid out for your business. Get ready for being challenged on your journey and understand that a business owner’s path is never a continuous upward climb. You’ll encounter difficulties and challenges on your way to the top. There will be times when it feels as though nothing is working. That’s when you need to be consistent in your effort to identify what works and what doesn’t. Course correct and continue onward from there.
Develop New Skills
Work hard to develop new skills that help build your business. For example, you need to become good at the following skills as a business owner:
- Content creation
You’ll discover that your business profits will increase the more you broaden your skillset.
Attend Networking Events
When things return to somewhat normal then get back out there. Attend local events to meet and network with future customers. Use your Chamber of Commerce to find out about the various events happening in your local area. Many virtual events are available now. Check out Meetups and begin building your network. Practice your what you do dialogue and get it down to 30 seconds: who do you help, what is the problem you help them with and what are the results after working with you.
Would you rather build your business entirely online? Try the hundreds of Twitter chats that occur each day. As your Twitter account grows, start your own chat and get conversations going that eventually end up with bringing new customers on board.
Use Testimonials Effectively
Nothing stands out better to potential customers than seeing what your current customers say about you. Testimonials are social proof in a world where people need to see that others are happy with your product or service. Get creative in the beginning by capturing screenshots of nice comments customers have made on Facebook or Instagram. Ask those people if you can show their headshot and comment as a testimonial to others.
Join Facebook or LinkedIn Groups
Take the time to build a reputation as an expert inside LinkedIn or Facebook groups. Don’t overtly promote and sell in these groups. Instead, offer tips and expertise that show that you’re there to help others. Do the following inside these groups:
- Contribute to the threads
- Answer questions
- Engage with other members
You’ll soon be an expert authority in that community. Opportunities to do business will arise when others in need of your help start reaching out to you personally.
Stay In Contact With Customers
Use snail mail or email to stay in contact with former and existing customers. Nothing stands out more in today’s world than a simple thank you. Thank them for being a customer and ask how you might help going forward. Mention any special offers you have at this time, as well.
Consider a quick video message using a tool such as Loom. Send a thank you note in the mail. Anything you do to personally connect with customers will go a long way in gaining their business again and again.
Create a Facebook Business Page
Create a Facebook page and become active on it. You can get comments, reviews and messages from leads and customers on your page. Use various forms of content to connect with prospects, such as:
Use Facebook Live to periodically get yourself in front of followers. More people will show up for these sessions as your number of followers grows because Facebook notifies them when you start a new Live session. Use your Facebook Live sessions to:
- Provide helpful tips
- Inform leads about sales and promotions
- Use it as a selling webinar
Use Instagram Effectively
Stand out on Instagram by using images effectively. Make sure your profile is completely filled out with a link back to your most important URL. Use a high-quality profile picture and research hashtags that are relevant for your business.
Use stories to engage with your fans. Post excellent images on a daily basis with the correct hashtags so your core target market can find you. Convert your account to a business profile after reaching 10,000 followers so that you can add links to the stories that you post. This will increase the amount of traffic over to your email opt-in landing pages.
Stand Out With YouTube Marketing
People are increasingly consuming video content online. Start a YouTube channel and publish weekly video content to it. This is one of the most effective ways to stand out as a solopreneur if you work at your channel consistently. Your subscriber base will grow steadily if you post great tips and ideas and encourage viewers to subscribe.
YouTube videos will help your website search engine rankings improve as well. The reason is that you can embed your videos on your site’s pages. As your visitors watch these videos, Google notices that they’re on your site for a longer amount of time. This is one of the metrics that helps improve your overall search rankings.
Don’t forget to optimize your videos for quality rankings in the YouTube search engine. Optimize by using:
- An attractive video thumbnail
- Detailed descriptions
- Linking to other relevant resources
Stand Out With Your Website
One of the best ways to gain customers inside your small business is getting good at attracting prospects who are further along the buying cycle. Some people are online searching for general information around your topic and niche. Others have done their research already and are now just about ready to buy.
You want to create content on your website that attracts both types of people. However, the more you can attract the people who are ready to buy, the more effective your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts will become.
Your website will stand out well if you focus on putting out excellent content that informs and educates. Do keyword research and find keywords that have the following words in them:
These terms indicate that your visitor is looking for the best company to buy from. If your content gets found in the search engines for those types of terms, then you will notice an increase in the quality of your site’s visitors from a purchasing standpoint.
Don’t forget to also create “how-to” content to capture visitors just starting down their research path. You’ll have the ability to capture them as leads and nurture them into buying from you later.
Use Email Marketing Intelligently
Your ultimate goal to stand out as a business owner should be to build an email marketing list. An email list allows you to market to your prospects over time until they trust you enough to buy your products or services. Work hard to place strategic ways for people to become email subscribers on your website and social media channels.
Send out weekly or bi-weekly newsletters that provide helpful content for your subscribers. Educate them and help make their lives better. Link them to your new blog articles or social media posts. Send them to your latest YouTube video. Ask yourself how you can best nurture them along so they come to trust you enough to buy from you.
If you take the time to build a large email newsletter list over time, then you will discover that you can often create revenue on demand by sending out the right offer or discount at the appropriate time.
Standing out as a solopreneur isn’t as difficult as you might think it is. Yes, the marketing world is a noisy one with many business owners trying to get their messages out. Your job is to use the above tips in a way that resonates well with your target market. Teach them something valuable first. They will notice that you’re different from your competitors and will buy from you.
Donna Amos is passionate about helping Solopreneurs grow their business using everything digital and publishing. She has 30 years experience in sales and marketing for small business. She believes the best gift you can give another is a word of encouragement.