Making the jump from employee to independent professional is TERRIFYING. After the buzz of your world changing approach to accounting wears off the first reaction is usually:
“What have I done?!”
Relax. . . grab a chair, let’s work this out.
First things first, chances are you are having a bit of trouble finding clients. Ultimately, you can’t find clients for a couple key reasons. The first is, you may have not done your homework. Fess up – did you write a business plan?
A business plan is and is not important. The document you create at the end is almost irrelevant – the world changes faster than your business plan most of the time so don’t get your heart set that writing the mother of all business plans is enough. The process of writing a business plan is the purpose of writing it! This is the first step of working you out of the funk and into making some modest dough.
What it does (and why it works) is to force you to turn the stuff inside your head into objects in the real world. Writing things down works because – just like Las Vegas – what happens in your head stays in your head. Get the plan down and out on paper and read it. If it looks like a roadmap to success, then put your feet on the path and go – if not, keep writing.
“But I have a plan! Now what?”
Do you have services that you offer with real pricing? Did you hold your finger up and test the wind and say “Hrm…. I want to make $200 per hour.”? If you did, then you didn’t quite finish the job. You need to catalogue what you do.
“You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.” - Albert Einstein
You need to explain what you do in a format that is easy to understand. It can’t be a vague, “I do everything” type of statement. No one cares. Sorry.
Try to write what you do in a way that gets people excited/irritated or solves a problem that you have experienced or seen others struggle with. The reason articles work well is because they are usually formed as an answer to a question of some kind. Like the game show Jeopardy! re-form all of your offerings as the answer to a question (or the question to an answer). If the title of your offering doesn’t answer a specific question that your audience asks – then you are doing it wrong. Keep trying, when it catches, you will know.
Here at RentASmartGuy.com we help entrepreneurs start down the path of packaging capability. Articles are a packaging format for information. They help bring the fluff out of the mind and turn it into paper and ink or pixels and electrons.
Articles are a great way to start back-ending into your own business. What is easy for you to write about? What is difficult? If you find writing itself a chore, try recording a conversation or podcast. Use these articles as marketing material and pass them around to people you know who have experienced problems in the area you write about.
Use these to put service offerings together and make a brochure – even if you never plan on handing it out. Study your own brochure of offerings so you can repeat it cold. This will help when you get shaky in the knees telling a customer it will cost $7000 to build them an e-commerce website or $250 an hour for consulting help. A website can help here – put your pricing there so you have an online source to back you up.
Get your business outside your head and then (here’s the trick) once it is – put it back in. Thoughts, when exposed to air either rot quickly or cure like concrete. Find out which is which.
When they have cured – plug them back into your mind and work from there – you’ll find you now have a solid foundation to work from.
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