Can you relate to this? You’ve been dreaming of quitting your job and working on your own business for so long that you can’t remember when and how this whole thrill started. You have zillions of ideas for your online business and can only think of finally becoming a solopreneur. But then, it hits you: You’re going to have to sell. Yep. And it’s not someone else’s products or services – You’re going to be selling YOUR products or services. You’ll have to start promoting yourself! And that’s when the panicking begins. That’s when you start wondering if this whole freelancing hype was such a good idea after all. Who’s gonna buy your products? How can you promote your services without feeling an impostor? You’re just beginning! You have no experience! You have no idea!
Breathe. Relax. It happens to us all 🙂
How can you start promoting yourself?
1. Think about the customer, not about yourself
Don’t forget that your product or service is going to help your customer achieve a result, and it doesn’t have to be a life-changing result. You can also help your customer look better with your handcrafted jewelry, for instance, or have her delivered a meal-box with a recipe and all ingredients required to prepare an awesome meal – Although that can also be life-changing, right? What I’m trying to say is that you’re going to offer them a solution to a need that they already have, so you should focus on what your potential customers will lose if they don’t hear from that solution you crafted specifically for their problem. They’re going to thank you for that 😉
I met a girl at a female entrepreneurs’ brunch I went to a couple of months ago who had this gorgeous ebook on interior design. Anyway, she didn’t want to ask users who visited her website for their emails to send them her free ebook. She didn’t want to sound too salesy – or to let them feel she was deceiving them into giving her their email. Luckily, she changed her mind after we talked it over: Imagine discovering an ebook with THE ideas you were looking for while you’re browsing on your cell phone. What would be easier for you? To get the ebook sent to your inbox for you to read it at home? Or to look for the website on the Internet from your PC? I’d probably forget about the ebook completely by the time I got home!!
2. Build a business you love
It’s going to be way more difficult for you to sell something you’re not so convinced about – than something you truly love! If you know that your product works, that your service can ease someone else’s life and that they’re going to benefit from it, what would stop you from selling your product or service to them, right? Now, if you’ve created some meh-product just to get some money working from home… Well, that won’t last long for 2 main reasons:
♥ The Internet, online marketing and social media are great both for promoting your products… and for letting people reviewing them. And if the feedback isn’t good enough, all your promotion is going to get right back at you!
♥ How long do you think that you’ll stand to work hard at something that you don’t love – all by yourself? Believe me, it’s not worth it 😉 Start something you can’t stop thinking about, talking about. Something which makes you wake up earlier and go to bed later than anyone else at home – but not because it’s too much work, but because you can’t wait to keep working on it!
3. Believe in yourself
If you believe in the service you’re offering, and promote it sincerely, nobody’s going to take it bad. If they don’t need/like your offering, they’re not gonna get it anyway. But that’s all! Everyone has to earn money somehow, right? There are lots of stories out there about people who succeeded after many flops, but the first woman who comes to my mind is J.K. Rowling. I bet you know her story, but let me refresh it to you:
She was an unemployed single mom, who suffered from depression and saw herself as a failure after her divorce. She used to write her very first novel, “Harry Potter,” at coffee-shops, where she would go in once her baby fell asleep after having a walk in her stroller. J.K. Rowling’s manuscript was turned down TWELVE times before she finally found an editor who would publish her book. Don’t you think she felt awful having to go to yet another publishing house after so many rejections? And don’t you think she wouldn’t have succeeded if it weren’t for her strong believing in her book – and herself?
Just consider the service you’re offering. You’re not threatening anyone with a knife to buy from you 🙂 What if Steve Jobs would have hated to promote his products? Or Mark Zuckerberg? Or John Ford? Where would we be now? And yes, I’m comparing you to all three of them – They all had to start somewhere, right?
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