You know what I’m talking about. You’ve been working hard for months, maybe even years, trying to build up your freelance biz. But there are always roadblocks along the way. And while some of those roadblocks might seem like minor annoyances, others could actually be holding you back.
In my experience, freelancers tend to fall into one of three categories:
1. Those who don’t really understand why they want to work independently.
2. Those who haven’t found a niche market where they can make money doing what they love.
3. Those who aren’t willing to put in the effort required to succeed.
And while each category has its pros and cons, let me tell you something: no matter what category you fall into, you can still become successful at being a freelancer.
So here’s what I learned over the course of building my freelance biz.
Tips for Women Entrepreneurs Starting a Business
If you’re starting a business, there are many things you’ll need to do. You’ll have to research products, learn about taxes, find financing options, hire employees, manage finances, and much more. If you don’t know what to do next, here are six tips to help you start a successful business.
1. Make sure you’ve got a good idea.
You might think you already have a great idea, but you really need to make sure. Ask yourself questions such as “What problem does my product solve?” and “Why did I want to start a business in the first place?”
2. Do some market research.
Don’t just go into business because you feel like you have a great idea. Research potential markets and competitors. Find out what people are looking for and see if your product fits the bill.
3. Get legal advice.
The law is always changing, so make sure you understand the laws regarding your industry. For example, if you plan to sell food, check whether you need a permit. Also, talk to a lawyer about trademarks and copyrights.
Be prepared to let people sample your wares
Sampling is one of those things that seems like a no-brainer — give customers free samples of your product, and they’ll love you forever. But while sampling makes sense in theory, it doesn’t always work out well in practice. You might want to consider giving away some freebies, but how do you know what works best?
The answer lies in understanding the psychology behind why people buy certain items. In fact, research suggests that consumers are most likely to purchase something if they’ve sampled it beforehand. So if you’re looking to sell more stuff, make sure you’re offering samples that match your target audience’s preferences.
For example, if you run a coffee shop, chances are you don’t want to give away free cups of coffee. Instead, offer samples of different types of beverages, such as lattes, cappuccinos, smoothies and juices. If you’re selling baked goods, think about offering samples of cookies, muffins, cakes and pies. And if you’re trying to sell clothing, think about offering samples that match your customer base’s size and style preferences.
Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one type of product. Think about offering samples of everything you sell, including household items, toys, electronics, furniture and even food. This way, you’ll be able to find out exactly what your customers prefer and tailor your offerings accordingly.
If you’d rather skip the hassle of figuring out what your customers like, here are three ways to promote your brand without having to hand over free samples.
1. Offer discounts
One of the easiest ways to get customers interested in your product is to offer them a discount. For instance, if you’re running a holiday sale, you could offer 20% off select products. Or maybe you’re hosting a special event where you’re offering 10% off your entire inventory. Whatever the case, you’ll be able show customers that you value their business and encourage them to come back again next year.
Network with people you know and trust. You never know where it could lead.
A trade show gives businesses the chance to meet face to face with potential partners. This is a great way to learn about what competitors do, how they work, and what products/services they offer.
There are many different ways to network online. Join industry groups, participate in forums, start a blog, comment on blogs, and even join social media communities.
Best practices for getting noticed by the right investors
Angel investor networks are membership based. They often operate out of a fund set up by an investment firm. This allows them to tap into the resources of the larger organization. In exchange for being part of the network, members agree to invest in companies that meet certain criteria. These include having a good team, solid technology and a strong idea.
The term seed funding refers to the process of exchanging equity in a startup for cash. While it might sound like a great way to raise capital, there are many pitfalls to avoid. You want to make sure that you are doing it the right way. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to take advantage of seed funding opportunities.
1. Understand Your Needs
Before you start looking for seed funding, you must know exactly how much money you need and why you need it. If you don’t know what you need, you won’t be able to determine whether you need angel investor networks or seed funding.
2. Know What You Want
You also need to know what you want to do with the money. Do you just need enough to pay off debts and cover payroll? Or do you plan to grow your business and hire employees?
3. Be Realistic About Your Goals
What to do once you’re in the boardroom
The best way to prepare for a pitch meeting is to practice it. So how do you go about preparing for a pitch meeting? You start by raising capital early. But you shouldn’t raise too much too quickly. Instead, look for ways to build relationships with potential investors. And find out what others are doing to grow their companies. These three steps will help you stand apart from the crowd.
How to get in front of your target audience
Influencer marketing is a great tool for reaching people who are likely to buy your product or use your service. But it takes work to find influencers and build relationships with them. There are many ways you can do this, including creating a contest or giveaway, sponsoring events, or partnering with local businesses. You can even pay influencers directly to promote your brand.
Donating products to nonprofit organizations is another great way to get in front of potential customers. This strategy works because consumers trust charities more than brands. In fact, according to the 2017 Trust Barometer Report, 92% of Americans say they trust charities over companies. If you donate some of your best products to nonprofits, you’ll gain credibility while helping others.
Creating an interactive, social distanced experience in your target market might be a good idea. People are now spending more time online than ever before, and digital platforms like Instagram and Facebook allow you to connect with your audience virtually. Try hosting virtual meetups where participants can interact with each other via video chat. Or, consider offering a free trial period to help people test out your product without committing to buying.
Marketing and PR
The word “marketing” conjures up images of ads, billboards, and TV commercials. But it doesn’t always mean those things. In fact, there are many different ways to market your brand. Some of them involve advertising, while others don’t. Here are some examples of how you can use marketing without spending money.
1. Customer Feedback
Customer feedback is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business. If customers aren’t happy, they won’t buy anything again. So why not ask them what they think about your products and services? You could even set up surveys where people can give you feedback online. This way, you’ll know exactly what your customers want and need.
2. Social Media
Social media is another great tool for getting feedback from your customers. People love sharing their opinions about brands and companies on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. So why not ask your fans and followers what they think? They might surprise you with some helpful ideas.
3. Content Creation
If you’re creating content for your blog, YouTube channel, or podcast, you can ask your audience questions and collect their responses. For example, you could ask your readers whether they prefer reading articles written in third person or second person. Or maybe you’d like to find out what people think about your product features.
Entrepreneur Editors’ Picks
1. “How to Be Your Own Boss.”
2. “The Art of Listening.”
3. “Why You Shouldn’t Fear Change.”
4. “5 Ways to Clear Your Mind and Be More Productive.”
5. “Doing What You Love Is Not A Luxury — It’s A Necessity.”