Tired of the 9-to-5 lifestyle? You may want to consider transitioning from employee to solopreneur. Just make sure you can manage the demands of being the visionary, brand ambassador, accountant, and technical specialist.
A solopreneur is somebody who develops their own personal brand in order to market their products and services. They’re not creating a company to hire employees; they seek to use their gifts in order to add value.
So if you are an employee who constantly dreams about living the life of a solopreneur, you have to start thinking about yourself as a brand beyond your 9-to-5. That means that you have to start marketing, promoting, and testing your ideas in the marketplace.
If you are digitally insecure, you have to get over those fears as soon as possible. You won’t be able to hide in the safety of your comfort zone if you expect to run a successful business. Your growth and success will be determined by your ability to prove your uniqueness from others in the market, which adds value that can potentially change lives.
If you are ready to turn your dreams of entrepreneurship into a reality, here are three things that you should start doing today.
1. Find Ways to Boost Your Communication Skills
You are the brand for your company. Everything you say can either catapult your business growth or diminish your credibility in the marketplace. You want to make sure you are using the right words to convey your explanation as to why you want to do what you do.
If you have a chance to enhance and test your communication skills at work, don’t let the opportunity pass you by; offer to deliver a presentation, lead a training, or organize a meeting. These are all ways to test how others perceive you and to identify areas of improvement.
If there are limited opportunities to exercise your communication skills at work, join a Toastmaster’s club. There are over 15,000 Toastmaster’s clubs in 135 countries, giving you the chance to practice your extemporaneous and prepared speech communication skills in a safe and supportive learning environment while receiving feedback from an experienced Toastmaster.
2. Identify Your Target Audience
Who do you want to help? This will guide all of the other business decisions that you make. Your social media postings, networking events, and business plan should all be tied to your target audience.
When you’ve determined your target audience, ask yourself these questions:
- What do they need?
- How can I help them?
- What resources are already available?
Use this time to interview your target audience to find out what their greatest challenges are and what resources would help them get back on their feet. Then find out what they would be willing to pay for and how much they would be willing to pay in order to achieve their goals.
3. Be Active on Social Media
If you are not taking advantage of the power of social media, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are all social media networks that allow you to build your professional brand, interact with your target audience, and connect with other industry leaders.
If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile or haven’t used it in the last 30 days, this is the time to start showing LinkedIn some attention. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile accurately reflects your professional strengths and provides bait for others to want to get to know you.
If your job limits your use of social media to promote your personal brand, be strategic; you don’t always have to promote yourself in order to be recognized in the market. Being able to help others will help you in the long-run. Pay attention to what others are doing in your industry and support their work. Share their compelling content, comment on their posts, and send them a message letting them know the impact of their work.
Focus on using social media to build your network. This will pay dividends when you have the flexibility to promote yourself because you now have an audience to share your work with.