Bulldozers moving ground and ribbons being cut – the sound of launching a business used to be rather noisy. Today it’s nearly silent. Save for the rapid tapping of your fingers on a keyboard, the process of starting a business in 2015 is largely inaudible – thanks to technology.
Entrepreneurs and freelancers everywhere are starting legitimate businesses with no more than an Internet connection, a voice-over-IP phone system, a PayPal account and some creative advertising. They’re saying “no thanks” to the idea of start-up capital, outside investors and a board of directors. They’re working for themselves from home or in shared office spaces downtown. The Internet has made it possible, yet more than half of the small businesses in the United States don’t have a website. The travesty!
Contrary to the belief of many busy business owners, hanging out a digital shingle in the form of a website is not expensive and does not require hours of complex coding. You can actually start your freelance business and get off the ground while having your afternoon coffee. And marketing your website is easier than ever too.
Accessibility to affordable advertising is one of the reasons the virtual space is the place to be for a business owner today. For just $50, you can advertise on two of the largest, most visited websites today: Facebook and LinkedIn. Many companies like Google offer credits of $100 or more for first-time advertisers. Big businesses are encouraging entrepreneurs like you to grow.
For members of the Freelance Nation, any marketing strategy needs to include three key features to be considered impactful enough for today’s digital world:
Trade shows and chamber of commerce events are great places to make connections. They’re also time-consuming.
Being a member of the Freelance Nation is about efficiency. It is highly inefficient to go to events and hand out business cards. Why? Because your competition is using targeted search platforms to reach customers who are looking for your service already.
Second, our marketing solutions must be flexible. When something works, do more of it. Stay out of long-term contracts. Keep your advertising spending down.
When something is scalable, it can change in scope and size quickly. Since we’re on the Internet, we are not constrained by lack of space.
Finally, our advertising efforts must show us exactly what is working and what is not. If your average customer spends $250 and it costs you $100 to fulfill that product or service, you make $150. That profit margin is acceptable. It’s when your advertising spend starts overshadowing your revenue that you need to start worrying. Tools for online marketing are loaded with track-able analytics that show you where you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
Follow these guidelines when creating and marketing your service through your digital shingle. And enjoy the silence of business efficiency.