If there’s one thing I learned about being on my own and earning a decent income from doing something that I am passionate about, it’s this one. It has something to do with small business promotion.
Basically, what promoting a small business entails is a long list of small time offers, some begging, and efforts in trying to get your name out there, off and online. The usual approach would be to get your website up and then tell everyone you know about your brand new venture. And then you would try to get into forums or groups and discuss issues, share information and generally sell your products and services. While this small business promotion method still works, I would like to take the time to remind small business owners about this…
…while you’re trying to connect with others in forums and message boards, being shy about selling isn’t going to earn you a new customer!
Well, I’m not saying you should go the ‘hard sell’ route because hard selling is not the kind of small business promotion method that will earn you respect, much less a new customer. Hard selling will only turn people off and make your potential customers squirm. Bear in mind, the moment you take this route, your competitors is trying to hide their smiles.
The only small business promotion that works for a work at home biz or freelance biz or a one-man-show venture is to ask when the time is right. Of course, we would have to zoom in on ‘the right time’ and let me tell you that when the right time to ask for business comes, you’ll know. The only thing stopping you from asking for business is your shyness or worry about being turned down. There’s nothing wrong with asking for business, get this into your heads. 🙂
I learned this during a small business promotion course I attended online and I’ve learned to say this very confidently (with head held high and nose in the air….well, lower it a little if you can see the ceiling), “Listen, I write freelance for websites, blogs, brochures, advertisements, scripts and all of that. Here’s my card, my website address is up there. Take a look at it and if you think you need my help, give me a call or shoot me an email.”
Whenever I use this approach to promote my own small business, it works because I’m not pushing anything down anyone’s throat and my potential customer has already been given my information; if he/she pursues it, then we go into a sales talk. Otherwise, the small business promotion stops right there.
If, in the unlikely event, he/she feels a little edgy because of the small biz talk, turn the tables around and ask ‘So, what do you do for a living?’ or ‘How’s your kid, Tony, now that he’s in third grade?’