If You’re Going Solo, Get an Audience First
This is a guest post from Josh Ledgard, founder of KickoffLabs. They offer the simplest landing pages and newsletter support for new and small businesses.
I know a lot of people that have recently decided to leave 9-5 jobs to become self-employed. One of the first things they do is hunt for someone to build them a great web site where they can blog, be tweeted about, and announce their services and portfolio. And those things are all great to have, but it shouldn’t be the first thing you do. I know… because I did that first and it was wrong.
The most important thing you can do is start connecting with an audience. An audience that’s composed of advisors, potential customers, and people that generally subscribe to the same world view that you do. It’s your audience that will serve as your source of inspiration, client referrals, and support staff…it’s not easy to be self-employed and you need to surround yourself with people that can point you in the right direction from time to time.
Just remember that you can’t just focus on building this audience online. You need to attend local events, trade-shows, & meet-ups related to your line work work. Anywhere that your customers and fellow competition might be… you should be there too.
Hand out business cards and get people to subscribe to a newsletter you’ll send. Yes, despite what you read, more people are engaged with email newsletters than with Facebook pages. Getting someone to sign up for a newsletter is also the first form of a currency exchange. They are trading you their attention for your ideas. It’s not money yet… but it’s a great start.