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.Share This Article
Jeff Madsen says
“Web presence” – that’s where we have dropped the ball. We’ve always used direct mail and snail mail newsletters and had great results from both. Not integrating a full-bodied web strategy is undoubtedly costing me more than I know. The results we’ve gotten from the limited internet exposure we have now have been tantalizing.
Heidi Alexandra Pollard says
Such an important distinction to make Sue that we need to look at as a brand and business how we develop our ‘web presence’ not just a ‘web site’. Thanks for sharing your great knowledge and know how!
Mary Ellen Miller says
Thanks for the great tips Sue. You are so correct about the need for an online strategy and the importance of the art of questioning.
You’re welcome, Mary Ellen. I know you know that questioning thing is VIP!
Linda Pucci says
Love this series, Sue–so very helpful! The idea of having a strategy for web presence was one of the most important things I’ve begun doing over the past year and it makes a HUGE difference. Love the idea of asking questions; after all, we need to be offering what our clients/customers want and need, not just what we want to deliver.
I know that we’ve talked before about web presence, Linda. Glad to hear your actions have shown great results for you.
Tiffany deSilva says
Great advice, Sue. It is so important to get to know your client. After all, if you’re building your business around helping them solve their most pressing problems, it definitely helps to find ways to communicate with them more effectively.
Thanks, Tiffany. Sometimes things that are simple are not that easy, ha!
Sue this is so great. I loved the first 2 elements. Such a great reminder to always ask questions, but asking the effective questions is even more important. For me, it’s been a continuous process of improvement. Thanks for your insight!!
I really think we all continually improve our skills for this.
Kristina Shands says
Thank you for stressing the importance of having a strategy and plan for your web presence. No one else ever talks about the why of being online, and you nailed it. I also love the advice of asking the right questions and listening. So good!!!
Thanks, Kristina. I think this is a new “bug” for me, LOL!
Jeff Brunson says
I love how you blend into one act the asking of carefully thought out questions (finding out ‘who’ the person is) while using language and examples that educate them to ‘who’ I am – “without the conversation focused solely on me.”
Thanks much, Jeff. Practice makes perfect on that one, ha!