Last week I blogged about the first two critical elements that drive success for self-employed professionals. These two are:
- Resistance to narrowing your niche.
- Failure to assess the readiness of people who ask about your services (or product).
This week let's talk about the 3rd and 4th critical elements that drive success if you're self-employed. The first is making sure that you have a fully interactive web presence. Notice that the term I use is “web presence,” not web site. There are several points to make about this:
- While having a web site for your business is hugely important, it is not the only component of a web presence.
- Web presence consists of your site, your e-mails, e-zines, and autoresponders, and your social media content and visibility. It encompasses all written, audio, and video content. Finally, it includes your strategies for making your web presence (including your web site) interactive – that is, asking for and getting your prospects and customers to interact with your presence on the web.
- This might be by commenting on your blog posts or your YouTube videos, listening to your podcasts or audio content, completing surveys, participating in contests, responding to your social media posts, browsing to a particular page on your web site in response to a call to action, or other ways of interacting with your business through the Internet. That you need an overarching strategy for your web presence is a given – otherwise you will spent a lot of time carrying out Internet activities in a buckshot approach and won't get anywhere near the response you otherwise could get from prospects and clients. Without a strategy you also can't measure what is effective and what's not.
The second critical element is a failure to ask the right questions of your prospects – the questions that will draw out from them what types of issues they have, the solutions they need, and the objections they may have toward what you want to propose. By asking carefully thought-out questions, you find out more about who you're talking to. You also have the opportunity to use language and examples that educate them to who you are and what you do without keeping the conversation focused solely on yourself.
It's both an art and a science to come to the table ready and practiced in asking the right questions. It pays to anticipate objections ahead of time, and that's part of asking the right questions, but it's not all. Asking well goes along with listening well. Your ability to bring great questions as well as careful and active listening to your conversations will bring you assured success.
If you're self-employed and find that you need help with these four elements you might consider a full or half Private Coaching Day. It gives enough time to dig in and set up specific plans (scheduled out for the next 90 days) so that you know you have each of these four critical factors in hand.