Here are the steps to take to start your own business, regardless of whether you’ve lost your job or are looking for a career change.
When going through a bad breakup, some may tell you that “it’s all for the best.” While no one is likely to say it, a layoff can truly be “for the best.” Here’s how to go from being depressed to being overjoyed.
As someone who left executive positions in marketing and media to launch her own company, I quickly realized that being accomplished or skilled is only half the battle when you’re your boss. Whether you see your layoff as a first step toward self-employment or as a chance to catch your breath and re-evaluate your career, the process is the same, and here are some pointers to keep in mind.
NETWORK LIKE A REGULAR PERSON.
You most likely have a network of friends, acquaintances, and second and third-degree connections. Your method of reconnection is crucial. Over 80% of jobs are filled through networking, and Becca Carnahan, a career coach, says finding clients is similar if you are working for yourself. Now is the time to initiate contact with those people genuinely, naturally. Behave as you normally would in a social situation.
Although your interactions should be warm, your process should be cold and analytical. Consider every person you know. I advise classifying your contacts into gatekeepers, collaborators, and potential clients. One person with whom I had only briefly worked was instrumental in helping me land two of my full-time jobs later in my career. You are aware of those connectors.
Speaking of networking, Cinneah El-Amin, founder of the financial planning website Flynanced, advises, “Make sure you are using the algorithm to your advantage.” LinkedIn is a fantastic resource. She advises using “clear, concise keywords,” a brief description of what you do, and conducting a search using potential keywords to see who else pops up. Which of the following best describes you: “founder,” “CEO,” or “consultant”?
Be cordial, mention your mutual contact, and be specific in your email requests. And be short and to the point. Save the detailed bio for your upcoming memoir.
YOU’RE NOT ASKING FOR A FAVOUR; YOU’RE HELPING.
Good clients are happy to pay for your services when you find them. Both parties are content. Likewise, when looking for a job, the best match is one where the hiring manager is overjoyed to have found you if you have special skills.
Frenchie Ferenczi, a growth and marketing strategist, reminds us that selling is the main responsibility of a business owner. Your income is your responsibility. We must overcome our shyness and ego and make an effort.
PERFECT YOUR PITCH.
You should practise your pitch if you keep stumbling when describing what you do when you first meet someone. I follow the ABC principle. The A stands for awards, so be sure to mention any accomplishments you have concisely. B is for business: Briefly and clearly describe who you help and what you do. The letter C stands for confidence, and you must sound or look assured. Avoid taking it as bragging. Remember that you merely introduce yourself and outline how to assist someone with their business. Your achievements are a part of who you are.
Yet again, keep it short! Use an elevator pitch when speaking with clients, during interviews, or when pitching to the media. Once you’ve written out what you want to say, try to cut out 30% (or 80%, depending on how wordy you are) of it. Continue to condense it, speak it aloud, and record it until it is enthusiastic, convincing, and incredibly brief.
HIDING FROM SOCIAL MEDIA IS THE SAME AS HIDING FROM SUCCESS.
If you’re hiding on social media, it’s only to avoid your success. According to Hubspot, video is the most commonly used form of media in content strategy, surpassing blogs and infographics.
You don’t have to lip-synch or do silly dances. Even better, you will have successfully unlocked a new client pipeline once you begin utilising social media.
Videos allow you to show off your personality and expertise. If you’re in the relationship business (real estate agents, lawyers, sales, small-business owners), video content can help you build and cement relationships. After we ran a video series to educate his ideal clients, one of my real estate agent clients sold a multimillion-dollar home.
According to Sprout Social, all social networks’ algorithms reward native video content—uploaded and published directly on that platform rather than pasting a link to send users elsewhere. Don’t worry; you can share the same content across platforms.
When you start creating video content, the algorithms will help you appear higher in organic search results and reach your ideal clients. This works on YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and various other platforms.
According to Buzzsprout, podcasts are another popular way to reach new audiences, with one-third (104 million) of Americans listening to them regularly. It’s a personal and effective marketing tool that can help you position yourself as a thought leader while increasing your credibility and client base.
NOTHING LASTS A LIFETIME.
Realizing it’s not a life sentence as you start this new career phase. Try out new roles and areas during this time. Being a consultant is the ideal way to explore new opportunities if you need to decide whether working for yourself is the right choice for you in the long run. According to Carnahan, it can be a great way to see how you would work together if you’re open to accepting project-based work or a consulting role. Many consulting roles also lead to full- or part-time employment.
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