Some time ago, I attended a seminar called “Mastering your business for maximum profit and success” by Colin Sprake. He runs seminars and trains business owners on developing strategies to grow their businesses – whether they sell products, provide services or consult. The title of the seminar attracted me (NOTE: Strong headings are important), so I decided to get out of the office for a bit and check it out. Colin offered some great strategies and tips, although I did not sign up for his program.
NOTE: I rarely do, as the short-term costs outweigh the long-term benefits… for me.
I’d like to share some of the tips provided here, as I think that freelancers, solopreneurs, consultants and other small businesses can benefit and grow their businesses by following these strategies without having to invest hundreds or thousands of dollars in the training.
NOTE: I’m not advising for or against Colin Sprake’s program – check it out and see if it’s right for you.
Seven steps to growing your freelance business
Be laser focused
Whatever your business, focus all your efforts on making it succeed. Develop a vivid vision of your target and purpose, and then put all your effort into reaching that target. Be tenacious in achieving your goal.
Determine what you want to be
Don’t be a “me too” business – like everyone else in your market. Be a “me only” business – the only company that does what you do. You can do this by identifying what works and what doesn’t in your market, and learning what’s missing (i.e., what your clients need that others don’t provide). Talk to your clients to understand their needs and challenges, and then create solutions / products / services that address those challenges. Create branding that differentiates you from your competition and helps you to stand out from the crowd. Then support your brand with marketing (e.g., website, tagline, marketing materials) that speaks to how address these challenges.
Identify your audience
Create an avatar – the best client that buys from you frequently, that you love to deal with, that pays regularly and never complains. This is your ideal client, and you must learn everything you can about them – including where they hang out, so that you can reach more of them.
Write powerful headlines
Your headlines (in your emails, website, articles, marketing materials, etc.) should grab the reader’s attention, target their pain and shout “This is for me!”
Advertise your services
Create advertisements with powerful headlines that install urgency and scarcity – so that potential clients act quickly on your offers. Include a lot of white space and a powerful call to action – get the reader to respond to your advertisement. Bridge the gap with credibility – quotes, case studies, testimonials, etc. Repeat your advertisements to the same potential clients 5-7 times, at least once a week.
Maximize your sales
Many freelancers spend most of their time on operations – running the business, paperwork and so on. You must spend most of you time on sales and marketing, which is how you get your clients. Increase the percentage of time you spend on sales and marketing by outsourcing or streamlining the operations work.
Invest in yourself
Invest in training and education, as well as sales and marketing, so that you can grow your skills and your business. These are not costs, as they benefit you and lead to income. Focus on results rather than excuses. Think of ways that you can achieve a goal, rather than thinking that something cannot be done.
Follow these tips and your business will improve, especially if you have not been following any of these strategies. You can also seek out Colin Sprake and find out where he is teaching his next seminar. Let me know what you think, and how it works for you – firstname.lastname@example.org