Solopreneurs are a unique breed of people forced to juggle multiple business functions while running their businesses on a day-to-day basis. For many solopreneurs, their greatest skills lie not in marketing, but in creating the products or services that they sell. Additionally, entrepreneurs who run their own sole proprietorships likely don’t have a lot of time to devote to intricate and detailed marketing campaigns that need constant attention.
Network, Network, Network. Promote your name and business through networking. Go to networking groups and events and talk to people about your business and yourself. Attending networking groups can be an efficient way to connect with many people in a short amount of time, often at minimal cost. In one two-hour event, you could reach over a hundred people, depending on the size of your event. Additionally, many groups have special workshop or lecture events. Once people get to know you, you may also have the opportunity to speak about your business at a special event, thereby reaching even more people and having the opportunity to talk in-depth about your business.
Be Visible. Get booth or vendor space at an event, festival or tradeshow to promote your business. Like networking, having a presence as a vendor allows you to reach many people during the course of several hours. It also gives you the chance to talk with people one-on-one about your business as they stop at your booth to make a purchase or learn more about what you have to offer. Having a large banner with your business name or logo on it also helps to increase your visibility and make it more likely that passers-by who don’t stop will remember your business name.
Start a Referral Program. Creating a referral program is an excellent way to get your existing customers to market for you. Offer your regular customers a special discount or a free promotional item or service if they refer a friend, relative or co-worker who becomes a customer. People listen to the advice and recommendations of the people they know, so most people are actually more likely to take the recommendation of a friend than to respond to an advertisement or other marketing tool. Use this to your advantage, and let your biggest fans – your customers – spread the word about how wonderful they find your business. Referral programs truly create a win-win situation for everyone involved. Happy customers get rewards for promoting their favorite business, potential customers get a quality recommendation, and you get new leads without having to do any legwork.
As a solopreneur, you need to maximize your marketing efforts so that you don’t spend all your time marketing, and you can devote your time and resources to what you do best – running your business. Network, market and promote yourself during events where you’re likely to make the biggest impact and reach the most people in a short amount of time. Additionally, recruit your customers to market on your behalf by starting a referral program.
Jeff Owen is an avid blogger and business event planner. He enjoys sharing his insights on various business blogs. Find out more about event planners and how they can help your business.
“Businessmen Shaking Hand” courtesy of nokhoog_buchachon /FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Sonal Chhajed says
Thoughtful Insights .
Miss Lori says
This is excellent advise that I can & will use. Thanks for sharing.
ed zimmer says
The points you make were standard practice for years pre-web. If you do a piece showing how to do this exactly and simply, i’d like to see it.
Dominique B says
Great simple steps to implement!
Rick Noel says
Excellent points Melinda. One additional tactic I have used successfully as a solopreneur is Internet marketing and in particular, social media. These are great for prospecting, networking and generating leads efficiently. This is addition to the tactics your mention to complement, not replace them. Creating content then leveraging the Internet for scalability and reach can help solopreneurs build awareness in their markets while driving sales and ROI. Thanks for sharing.