Be a Solo Pro Beacon to Build Your Business

by Barbara Saunders

We live in a very image-centric society. We’re filled with preconceptions about how we should look or dress in order to be taken seriously.

As a Solo Pro, we may try even harder to fit those preconceptions since we’re on our own and don’t have a big ‘corporate’ identity to give us credibility.

Blending in with the crowd is comfortable. Just going along with the crowd means you don’t have to take responsibility for where you end up.

Of course, that’s how a lot of Solo Pros end up working for themselves…

Here are a few Mindset Adjustments for you:

  •     Consumers’ TRUST of big corporations are at an all time LOW. They want to do business with real people not faceless corporations.
  •     You cannot stand out from the crowd if you’re busying trying to blend in with the crowd.
  •     People are different – why wouldn’t you be too?
  •     You are uniquely brilliant – stop hiding your light. Your potential clients are searching in darkness for YOUR light.

Right now, there’s another issue working against you. We’re moving into Autumn which is a natural time for us to dig in and hide out. That can cost our business. I love social media and do a lot of connecting online, but the fact is that 80% of your income-producing connects tend to be off line. So let’s dig into some ways to help you step our and step up.

Tips to Become a Solo Pro Beacon to Build Your Business:

  •     Be brief and believable. The more concisely you can express what you do, the more credible you are. In addition, you MUST be clear about who you are talking to. Do your home work and know who your niche is intimately. Don’t allow yourself to give one of those long, rambling, “everything but the kitchen sink” types of introductions. Keep it simple, don’t use big words or get ‘fluffy’. Concentrate on breathing as you speak. Your confidence in communicating this important message will go a long way towards impressing your listener.
  •     Slow down. Force yourself to speak slowly and to enunciate more clearly than you normally would. Especially, when you give the URL of your website. When we feel stressed, we tend to speak much faster than we usually do. Slowing down will allow your listener to absorb what you’re saying AND give them a chance to ask questions. Tip: When they ask questions, they’re interested…
  •     Start with a goal. Have an intention for every event you attend. Do you want referrals, be interviewed, be noticed by the event host to be asked to speak? Tip: DO NOT come to a networking event with flyers or aggressively promoting something. You’re there you develop relationships. Save the selling for later.
  •     Follow up. The fortune is in the follow up. Develop a system to follow up with specific people you meet at the event. Tip: It DOES NOT always have to be in-person sit down visits. That can suck tons of travel time. Phone calls are gold.

Business Building Beacon Bonuses:

  •     Step up to speaking. You know your topic. By being the speaker, you get to be the center of attention. You can make an offer to the room – or just send them to your website for a freebie (to build your list). It’s been documented that speaking is one of the BEST way for consultants to build their business AND get higher paying clients.
  •     Invitation Only Private Event. Have your own small private event where you invite a select group of people with a juicy topic that you can do a short presentation and maybe a qiuck workshop. Provide yummy treats – make it special and elite.
  •     Elevate yourself. Polish your business card design, website, and think about talking with a personal stylist and give your wardrobe a boost. The little things really do count. You want to appear to be – not only a professional – but a leader in your industry.

Let’s make this fun. I’m going to challenge you and me to become a Solo Pro Beacon this quarter. Share your adventures with us in the comments section below.

Author Info: Barbara Saunders is a publication designer and has run a successful solo pro business for more than a decade. She is the Solo Pro Success Coach and the Director of the International Association of Self-Employed Communication Professionals and the Solo Pro Academy. She also hosts the Solo Pro Radio show everyday at 10am Pacific and 1pm Eastern It’s our mission to build community and help creative solo pros build and run successful businesses by providing support, innovation, tools, and strategies. Our goal is to liberate our members from the feast and famine cycle.

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