One of the biggest challenges a business owner has is when they have to wear too many hats and do too many things. This is especially true when those multiple tasks don't align with their specialized skillset - like what the basis of their business is made of. Many solopreneurs, or one-person businesses, don't have marketing and sales as their main skill, which makes starting and launching a business difficult. There is, however, an easier way to market your one-person business.
Understand Your Target Market
In order to market to the right people in a way that doesn't make you lose a ton of time and money, you need to narrow down your "who." Every business should have a model where they are solving a specific problem with their products and/or services. Your who is the audience that is most likely to find value in what you are offering. Identifying your who is the most important part of your marketing strategy, because you should be able to attract them with your offering in a very repeatable way.
Your "what" is the specific offering, and the single biggest result that it provides. The what in your business should be measurable, tangible, and externally verifiable from your past clients. Having a what that shares your offering and the expectation from your offering allows your target market to build trust in your experience and expertise because they feel that what you are offering can solve their problem. Your what should also address your market's needs or desires. Their needs are problems they need to solve, and their desires are the outcome they would like to have.
When you think about the reason you started your business, you likely think about your past experiences and the knowledge you have built on solving a specific problem that you've dealt with. This is your "why" - the passion and expertise behind your business. Your why should never be financially motivated, but should be focused on solving a specific problem (what) for a specific audience (who) with your knowledge-based solution (why).
Identifying the Right Marketing Channels
Using the right marketing channels to reach your audience can be overwhelming. Many businesses feel like they need to be everywhere in order to reach their market, but this is actually counterproductive. Marketing should be very specific and relevant, so understanding where your target market spends time online is an important first step. Next, you need to figure out whether the platform you intend to use is best for business to consumer engagements, or business to business engagements. If you are hoping to target consumers, you don't want to only promote on business-focused platforms, and vice versa.
Chances are, you use a platform that would benefit your target audience. It is important to be comfortable using the platform to reach your market, so it may be beneficial to start marketing where you are already sharing. Your marketing should feel true to you and show your personality in a way that gains trust with your audience. If you are uncomfortable on a platform, your audience will be able to notice. You won't post as often as needed to gain trust, which means that you'll miss opportunities. Instead, focusing on what you're already using and doing more focused posting about your business is a great start.
Lastly, you need to decide your capacity for managing your marketing channels and strategy. If you are comfortable using one platform, but know that your audience exists elsewhere, you may need to build your skills in the other platform, or find an automation program to help you duplicate your efforts where they will work. You don't have to be everywhere, and testing different platforms can help you to learn where your audience is online. Once you find the right platform, you want to do more of what works.
Delegation, Automation, and Optimization
Delegating your marketing tasks sounds daunting and expensive, but realistically, delegation can save you money. Imagine it takes you six hours to complete a week's worth of marketing posts, but takes an experience marketing profession just two hours. Paying for their services means that you get time back to work on the sales within your business (the part that actually gains profit) and your marketing gets done without causing you stress.
Automating social media posting and email marketing is another way to reduce your stress. Using platforms that allow you to share content across a few platforms, or to schedule your content ahead of time can save you time and hassle. Setting up a landing page with an opt in for your information, which starts an automated email sequence means that you are keeping in touch with people who are interested in your business without having to do everything manually. This also reduces your mental involvement in your marketing process and opens up more time to work in your business, not on it.
Remember, marketing gains trust with your target market. Sales allows you to work with your target market. The biggest goal of marketing is to generate leads so that you can sell your products and services. Great marketing strategies can create those leads, so that you can get to work doing what you love.