The Biggest Hurdle Small Business Owners Face

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In 2009, I bought a domain and built a website. All Quality Websites was going to be the home of our (my husband and my) new WordPress design business. Together we would design and develop websites, install and configure membership scripts, and manage shopping carts for our clients. My husband is the Photoshop guy, and I’m the coder–although that’s changed significantly in the past 6 years.

But even though I convinced him to make that leap, and he was, for the most part, on board with the plan, he kept coming back to one question:

How are you going to market this?

That’s the $64,000 question, isn’t it? No matter what business you’re in, the first thing you need to figure out is how are you going to market it. And I didn’t have a good answer for him.

I had a lot of confidence, and I had a lot of faith, but I sure didn’t have a marketing plan.

Do you?

If you’re like I was, and most other freelancers I meet, you have a dream, and some skills, but no real idea how to turn those skills into a consistent income.

But you do have a lot of options.

Referrals

This is where much of my current work comes from, and yours too, probably. Happy clients send others your way, and soon enough, you’ve built a steady income. Some virtual assistants pay referral fees (affiliate commissions) to help encourage clients to share. Other virtual assistants may send work to you as well, particularly if they’re approached for projects they don’t have the skills or the bandwidth for.

Advertising

Facebook advertising is inexpensive and highly targeted, and can help you build your mailing list fast. (You are building a mailing list, right?) It’s not as effective when driving traffic right to a sales page, though. But make them a great opt-in offer, and follow that up with a series of emails to build that all-important “know, like and trust” factor, and you can turn Facebook traffic into clients.

Personal Outreach

Be helpful. That’s it. Answer questions on social media, offer a thoughtful response to emails, and volunteer your expertise on forums. Your audience will see not only that you are courteous and kind, but that you know what you’re talking about.

Your Website and Blog

Remember that site I mentioned in at the beginning? All Quality Websites has a blog, and on that blog I posted several how-to articles related to our then-favorite membership script, Digital Access Pass. Six years later, those blog posts are still bringing in traffic, and the occasional request for help.

Never underestimate the power of a blog to attract the attention of potential clients. It’s the perfect opportunity for you to show off what you know. It’s not fast money, by any stretch. It’s more like planting a seed you’ll harvest later, but when combined with other methods, it can add a steady stream of new clients to your roster.

I’d love to hear how you’re marketing your business. In the comments below, tell me:

  1. What’s your biggest source of new clients?
  2. What are you actively doing to bring in new projects?

Then come on over and join our Facebook group, where smart entrepreneurs hang out and “talk shop.”

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