Test Yourself – Self Diagnostics & Optimization for the Solopreneur

One thing you have to make time for working for yourself is testing your assumptions and your business thesis quickly while still getting paid. The majority of my marketing channels are digital – my site, blog and social presence.

Diving into a consulting business, my instincts have always gravitated right to the work. With my last consulting business, it was what burned me out. I didn’t work on improving the business or how I landed new business, I just did the work and hoped for more.

This time, I’m determined to not let that happen and to use tests and data to help me make this consulting business my last “job” as I knew it. My life job that I won’t transition out of it until I “age-out”.

I’m working as part of a multi-month marketing group that Seth Godin is running. Collectively, a group of people facing a similar challenge are posting about our businesses, our positioning and offerings, etc. We also share feedback with others about their marketing challenges and the psychology of how we behave and buy. Which isn’t always rational.

Part of this week’s work was to look at what we could be testing for our business. The question is below along with my bullets. I put them out there for you and to hold myself accountable.

What can you test? Your pricing, your copy, your positioning, your website, your words, your colors, your name, your target group, your promises…

  • I can test my publishing frequency at my blog, Quora, LinkedIn and Medium. I’d be testing to see if posting more often with shorter pieces generates more awareness than less often with longer, more in-depth pieces.
  • I can start testing on my website. Test copy and placement for pushing people to contact me vs. schdedule 15 minutes with me.
  • I can start testing my initial engagement offering. I can test the size and pricing for it to see if I can find a sweet spot where first engagements happen quickly.
  • I can start testing ads directed at CMO’s and CEO’s who would hire me.

How can you build an ongoing funnel of people to put your best ideas next to? It can range from Craigslist to public speaking…

  • I need to start pitching speaking events. I need to write a few topics that I’m passionate about and look for conferences that take pitches for presentation. My goal is to speak at 8 to 10 events in 2018. That gives me something to know I’ve achieved or not.
  • I need to start attending one to two well vetted networking events a month to make new connections and test my elevator pitch. I will keep testing my elevator pitch until people are nodding every time.

I didn’t worry about a call to action or driving activity before, again to my detriment. I was even trying to sell books and I wasn’t being direct. No wonder sales dripped in.

What do you think? Will these tests help my business? Are there others I should try?

If I show traction in all of them, do you think I’ll get the payoff I’m hoping for?

I need a stable of smart companies that I can maximize the time they get from me every month for maximum return. I need a solid foundation project with each of them and the next needs will be TBD from that.

photo credit: roujo in school, the second via photopin (license)

Why every Business Should Create Content and How

Here’s my philosophy on content creation. Also how to add value to demonstrate thought leadership in your space – B2B or B2C.

There are two ways you can create “content” to support a business. The first revolves around low-cost ways individuals can produce content for themselves and their company

Be a curator or…

If you’re keeping up on the news in your vertical via newsletters or reading, share them via your LinkedIn posts and Twitter updates. Don’t just post the link. Tell people why you’re sharing it specifically.

Continue reading “Why every Business Should Create Content and How”

When You Don’t Believe in Your Own Product

My Father-in-Law received a new weather station for Christmas. He was excited. It could track wind speed, indoor and outdoor humidity and more.

He liked that it had an app because he could see weather stats at his house from anywhere.

He’d been having issues all day. He would login and the screen would spin and spin. Then an error message would pop up with HTML and server messages. After trying on and off all afternoon, he was beyond frustrated.

Continue reading “When You Don’t Believe in Your Own Product”

Is Social Media Part of Your Leadership Strategy?

Social media has moved well beyond the status update. Businesses everywhere have embraced Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to promote their goods and deepen their engagement with their customers. Even as the channels change and reach has been reduced for brands, businesses continue to push their messages through their social presence.

There’s one group though that feels like it’s still missing out on the opportunity that social networks create – the C-Suite. Sure you’ll see updates and writing from luminary leaders like Bill Gates, Jeff Weiner, Reid Hoffman, Richard Branson and more. These are also the leaders you already see covered through traditional news outlets. They seem to effortlessly assume their leadership role on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter.

What about the other 99% of business leaders in the US that don’t contribute actively to social media regularly? You have to ask wonder why they aren’t participating or if they are, is it just a me-too strategy?

Continue reading “Is Social Media Part of Your Leadership Strategy?”