Being a “solopreneur” means wearing a lot of hats: Here’s a guide to gaining more clients.
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Have you ever thought about how the plot of a soap opera meshes into a seemingly unrelated series of stories and the characters seem to get into complex situations for no rhyme or reason? Nothing seems to make sense if you happen to miss two episodes because a villain crops up literally from thin air.
Such bizarre twists and turns fill up the days of a solopreneur as well, who is hustling to make ends meet in her business by handling client queries at one end while filing taxes at the other. On a given day when a family member needs to be rushed to the hospital, the very same day the laptop, aka the solopreneurs virtual office, crashes. She thought she spent just a few minutes scrolling social media and guess what, it is already mid-day! And not to forget, before the day ends, that presentation for the upcoming webinar has to be completed. Seems like someone’s gonna be awake past midnight.
Phew! With so much on the platter, how can a solopreneur work towards meeting her revenue goals? With so many “urgent to-dos,” when will she get the time to think ahead in her business?
It is but natural that when you are a solopreneur juggling between diverse tasks, you are filled with emotional overwhelm, mental blockers, and fatigue. And to replace these regressive feelings with clarity and sanity, you need to make decisions that can help you work on things that matter the most in business because these are the only things that will bring in more clients.
Master the mindset
A mind is a beautiful tool that can help you create your reality. If you intend to get more clients, you have to acquire a mindset which enables you to visualize your future, affirm the possibility, and empower you to work towards it daily. And here are a few things which should be practiced regularly for mastering the art-
- Mindfulness. Pay attention to the task that is in front of you. With so much at hand, it is only natural for the mind to wander off to pressing matters that need attention. But when you are sitting with a job at hand make sure you are in it a hundred percent.
- Personal growth. Investing in yourself is a way to show your clients that they too can invest in you. Being a solopreneur, you are the face of the company. The client is putting in the money for you. So make sure you increase your self-worth by investing in yourself through educating yourself, working with coaches, or upgrading your skills.
Ritual of planning
They say that “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This entire conundrum of juggling between urgent tasks is because of ineffective or, worse still, lack of planning. A solopreneur has to find time for planning. This can be done with a simple routine of blocking out specific hours for planning in your calendar at the start of every month. This is the time when you don your CEO hat. And here is the system which helps you to plan effectively:
- CEO date. Schedule one hour of your Monday mornings to plan the big tasks you wish to accomplish in the week. To have productive weeks you need to know what you are working on in that span.
- CEO debrief. Allocate two hours at the end of the month to review your monthly performance in the business. Only when you measure and assess your work will you be able to improve or modify it. Remember to pat your back for the good work done. Not many people do this, but this is very important for intrinsic motivation.
- CEO date (part two). Spend a full day working on the bigger picture and strategizing for client attraction and client acquisition. Make this a quarterly habit and set your business and sales goals for the next 90 days.
System for sales
Now that you have the sales goals, revenue targets, and the number of clients you need to serve, have a system that enables you to follow through with the strategy. This is the part where most of the solopreneurs lag. Having a system to tell you when to push out content, send personalized emails, make client calls, follow up with prospects, ensures that you are working towards getting more clients. Here is what you can use for it:
Sales Planner. A planner comes in handy to manage your sales pipeline and schedule your sales activities. With this planner, you reduce the time spent on ‘thinking’ what to do next and get the ball rolling in the direction which will get you results.
- Digital tools. Make use of technology to make your life easier when it comes to sales. A CRM might be a bit complicated for a solopreneur to juggle with but schedulers for social media and client follow-ups, like Creator studio, Hootsuite, and Calendly can be very useful.
Monitor key metrics
Putting efforts in chasing the wrong metrics can result in stress and fatigue because then you are spending effort on numbers that are not converting into revenue. An evident example is a race to grow fan-following in social media. While it might be relevant for building your brand as an influencer, converting them into clients can only happen through your interaction with them. So put your focus more on client acquisition metrics which are as under.
- Opportunities. Track the number of leads who have asked you for information, raised an inquiry, or reverted to your messages. These are the people who have the highest probability of converting into clients. Also, consistently stay in touch with your existing and previous clients. They can always present the opportunity of upselling or reselling.
- Conversion. This metric has to be tracked for each client attraction and client acquisition strategy that is in place. Often solopreneurs get disheartened or disillusioned by the conversion rates of other business owners or industry standards. But your benchmark is being decided by your business only. So follow through with the conversion stats as relevant to your business and how you are making incremental progress on them.
Being a “solopreneur” is mainstream now. Out of the 582 million entrepreneurs worldwide, approximately 62 percent were solopreneurs with zero paid employees. Over the past year, solopreneurs generated roughly $1.28 trillion of revenue for the U.S. economy, according to MBO. With so much promising talent and purpose-driven people choosing to work as a solopreneur, they must focus on building and managing a business that serves their lifestyle and gets them clients who appreciate their work. With mindset, planning, system, and the right metrics they surely can get this done.