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Can an introvert also be an entrepreneur?

Only you can answer this quest for yourself.

Working from your home helps since you only interact with people via social media or the telephone.

As with anything in life there are divergent paths and there is not a single path for everyone.

All paths lead to pros and cons that you must determine for yourself, and if you are willing to accept the responsibility for your choosing your path.

I offer this caveat, never spend more than your budget will allow and never go into debt to fund your freelancing business.

How comfortable and transparent are you working from home?

By transparent, I don’t mean giving out your personal information. I mean is being your authentic self.

Clients don’t purchase from people they don’t know or don’t trust.

Honing your interpersonal skills is a must to build trust through building relationships with visitors to your blog, website, and social media platforms.

It is how and how often you interact with others in your circle of followers and those following you. Are you helpful, do you answer questions, how often you blog, do you offer education, do you offer value. Why should someone interact with you if you don’t interact with them and other in your chosen niche.

Each individual must create their own schedule of interacting on social media and how much they are willing to interact online,

What does it take to become a freelancer?

I have written about this in posts on this blog. One post is The 7 P’s of Freelance Writing. It was written back some time ago.

In that post, I mentioned certain items that apply to general freelancing as well.

These items are:

  1. Performance –
  2. Presentation –
  3. Professionalism –
  4. Polish –
  5. Personal Contact –
  6. Persistence –
  7. Patience –

I could write about what these words mean to me but if you want to be a freelancer, you will have to find out what these words mean to you in your business, because freelancing is a business, and it you fail to treat it like a business your business is destined to fail.

Call Yourself a Freelancer and They Will Beat a Path to Your Door

First, forget about that happening, especially if you’re an introvert.

Second, do not quit your day job until you are making enough to allow you to do so. Each person must make that determination on just how much money they need to live the lifestyle they wish to continue living or compromise living on.

Third, if you are in the United States, think about what the federal, state, and local government might think about you doing business from home if clients come to you.

Fourth, if you work for someone or a company that has a benefits package, are you willing to give that up and start paying your own way by freelancing full-time.

Fifth, consider the fact that as a freelancer you will be competing against other freelancers from around the world and some probably willing to work cheaper than you.

As a newbie freelancer, you have no portfolio, no reputation, and face it; no experience working with clients and understanding their needs.

Start slowly and build your credibility, reputation, brand and what is unique about what you have to offer potential clients so they choose you over another freelancer that has been doing it longer than you.

What is your Plan?

Have you thought about the following?

Do you even have a plan on how to proceed?

Have you written a business Plan?

How are you going to finance your freelancing?

Where are you going to work from?

Are you planning on establishing a separate business bank account?

What are you going to name your business?

Have you thought about a domain name for your website?

Are you going to create a blog?

If you are on social media, are going o create a separate business social media account.

Are you going to have a business phone and business cell phone separate from personal ones?

What about selling via a separate voice mail than your home voice mail?

Does this give you pause for thought?

I trust it does because there are many things to think about when calling yourself a freelancer and being willing to do whatever and however long it takes to become a freelancer making a living.

Many of the household names in online marketing have been at it for years. It is possible to take years to become an overnight success.

Any business that is still around started as a start-up and worked hard to become a success.

Have Questions about Running a Business

If you are in the United States, there are sources of information online at the following:

Federal Trade Commission – https://www.ftc.gov/

Small Business Administration – https://www.sba.gov/

Secretary of State for your state

Tax Board for your state

The county business license

The city council for the city you live in

Entrepreneurs take note:

If you want to be in business as a freelancer you are considered a consultant or contractor you are responsible for all of the regulations for any business doing business in your area.

Take care to cover yourself with insurance and incorporation to protect your personal assets.

I am not an attorney and only suggest you consult one when starting your freelancing to protect yourself from a lawsuit or potential damages from your actions as a small business owner.

As an Entrepreneur

The money you make from freelancing is not yours, it belongs to the business you created and belongs to the business for future growth and success.

All you get is a salary for which you are libel for all taxes, withholding and any other required payments to the Federal, State, and Local governments.

If this is not what you are prepared to deal with on your own or hire a CPA, think hard if you are ready for freelancing.

Freelancing is not for the faint of heart.

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing

I welcome questions and try to answer them to the best of my ability. Use my contact page.

Use my contact page if you have any questions.

What to do when Health Issues Ruin Your Week

Living with a number of diagnosed medical and emotional conditions:

Anxiety, Diabetes Type 2, Gout, Hypercholesterolemia, Meniere’s Disease, Neuropathy, Osteoarthritis, Osteopenia, Pernicious Anemia, and Supraventricular Tachycardia. I have a small pharmacy in my home because of these conditions.

The week of November 15, 2015 was not a good one for me. This is not an excuse for not keeping up with reading and learning about how to increase traffic and marketing my services online. It just takes longer.

On Wednesday November 15, 2015, my wife and I needed to run some errands. While out of the house, many physical manifestations began to arise. Their toll felt for days afterward.

I am grateful to be able to work from home with no supervisor hovering over me, wondering why I’m not busting hump on the latest project. I did have some problems with supervisors at my job with PacBell, a contributing factor to my retiring early. I retired at age 58.

As age crept up on me, so did other medical conditions. Cataract surgery for one. These are the “Golden years”.

 

If you are living with health issues

First, create a sick day plan.

The sick day plan should include working on some aspect of your business. Being under the weather doesn’t mean you give up. It only means you may have to rearrange your schedule.

Second, keeping up with clients.

If a time comes when you are not 100 percent, you need to contact your client and let them know, especially if any illness may adversely affect the timeline you’ve given them for their contracted project.

Looking like an amateur to your client is horrendous to your business and personal reputation by not keeping them up to date on their project.

Third, always keep as healthy as possible.

When working, you must consider making time for yourself. You must eat, exercise, and take mental health breaks to maintain optimal health. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important for you and your business. If you are not 100 percent, your business won’t be either.

Your health is more important than your business if you work from home as a freelancer or consultant.

I can attest to this from personal experience.

Consider creating a wellness program for optimal health that will allow you to run your home based business efficiently and effectively.

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing.

 

Contact me with any questions you may have, or about my services.

Leave a comment. I would like to know your thoughts about this site.

What do I mean by “You are Your Platform”?

Are you online?

Whatever you post, how you interact, are you helpful and engaging, have you built trust with your contacts, do you add value, and this is your platform (You).

Are your interpersonal skills good or do they need work so potential clients want to work with you.

What happens when someone Googles your name, what will they find on sites like Facebook and other social sites. Are you sure that everything you post portrays you in a good light and someone that is a good fit for people searching for what you offer.

You must always guard your reputation because it is all you have to put in front of potential clients. Do not post pictures or rants that portray you as someone extreme with views that might reflect a negative persona. This could hurt your chances to convert visitors to your site.

You as a platform, may be a foreign concept but think of it as applying for an open position. The open position is your client has and you want it. You have to present yourself as the best choice or their open position. The question is does your online and offline person reflect you as the best choice because you are in a competition with others. Why are you the best? Do you bring value?

Does your persona reflect confidence and trustworthiness? If it doesn’t, you could lose out on jobs you might like and feel are in your wheelhouse.

You must always put you best foot forward at all times. One way to do this is to answer questions that others online and offline may have. Be helpful and pay it forward. You’ll be surprised what you get back in return. Be the go to person for your niche.

If you are helpful and offer value to clients, your chances of getting referrals and testimonials increases without have to work at it, happy clients are your best advertising.

Consider being a lifelong learner by keeping up with the changes in your niche and the Federal Trade Commission rules if you are in the United States. 

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance writer, blogger, editor, proofreader, and reviewer learning marketing.

The first step in building your platform is to decide what your want your platform to say about who you are and what you have to offer.

Are you and author?

Do you have a product?

Are you a web designer?

Are you a copywriter?

Are you a publicist?

Are you a freelance writer?

Are you a marketer?

This is by no means a complete list of possibilities for platforms that showcase what you have to offer people who visit your online platform.

Consider how you will tell your story online. Is a website with a blog, a solo blog, and then what about social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and others best for getting your story online and in front of people to start creating relationships.

It’s hard to sell to people without them trusting you. You build trust through relationships and engagement with visitors to your platform.

Just like in life, it takes time to build relationships and trust. It takes patience and perseverance to make it online the right way. There are no shortcuts to building trust, you must prove your trust worthiness.

If you’re like me, long on ideas but short on cash, not wanting to go into debt to create your plat form, there are ways to create your platform using free sites.

You will have to choose which free platform resource(s) is right for you. Yes there is a learning curve since most will be Do-It-Yourself (DIY).

You’re probably thinking free means using the same templet as someone else, which is true, but it is about what you have to say on your platform that counts.

It is your content that will score your position on search engines and drive traffic to your platform if you are willing to put in the work required to get your platform into the online world call the Internet.

Your age or when you started doesn’t make a difference, you just need to start and work at it and learn even if you can afford to pay some one to build your platform for you. You should learn bout your platform even if you aren’t the one who built it. Learn some coding and learn about the host of your platform so you you can modify it if you have to.

Not knowing what’s going on in your platform can cause you problems with search engines.

Your content and frequency of fresh content is what rates with search engines and drives traffic with relevant content to what people are searching for.

How often you update your platform with fresh content is up to you but the more often.

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, Reviewer learning marketing.

“The free-lance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps.”

— Robert Benchley

Although I classify myself as a writer, blogger, editor, proofreader, and reviewer I am also learning branding, marketing, and social selling as integral parts of working as a freelancer.

“Taming the Freelance Market” is the working title of my book about freelancing. The more I write, the more that needs researching and include enough information for would be freelancers, entrepreneurs and small businesses without causing information overload.

Below is a rough draft of chapter one:

“Before I begin, according to WordWeb Pro®, a program I use often:

Freelance used as a Verb:

Work independently and on temporary contracts rather than for a long-term employer

Freelance used as an Adjective:

Working for yourself

Freelance used as a Noun:

A writer or artist who sells services to different employers without a long-term contract with any of them

What does this mean in plain English?

As a freelancer, you must maintain impeccable records of income and expenses (record keeping for taxes), medical and dental insurance, marketing, Web design, anything related to business is up to you. Freelancers receive no befits from employers, because freelancers are considered independent contractors.

Depending on the services rendered by an independent contractor, you may receive remuneration, but no credit for your work, one example is a Ghostwriter.”

I then mention some of the many types of freelance jobs available in chapter one, not just writing jobs.

“Taming the Freelance Market” is about working for yourself as a freelancer, entrepreneur, small business, independent contractor or whatever pigeonhole you choose.

If any readers have a comment or suggestions about subject(s) dealing with being or becoming a freelancer please use my contact page and send me a note, ask a question or (hint) hire me for your blog or website..

I try to help everyone with questions about freelancing, publishing, and writing; if I don’t know an answer I research to find the answer. I learn by researching, answering questions, which are a form of teaching, I am still learning about, branding, marketing, and social media but will help you wherever I can.

I for one believe in paying it forward.

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning Branding, Marketing and Social Media.

The first step is to consider your niche and the content relevant to that niche.

Content is not about your product or services. Content is about educating, engaging, helping, and informing your readers to build relationships, not sell your stuff.

This may sound counterproductive, but content is establishing relationships to build trust. Would you buy something from someone you don’t know or engage in a business deal with someone you don’t know? Then why should your readers?

The art of selling online is building trust through establishing relationships, not trying to sell your product or service to everyone that visits your site. You start by helping them through their pain point first before you try and sell.

I may be in the minority, but I believe in helping visitors to my blog and social sites over trying to sell them my services. I am willing to answer questions or offer suggestions to everyone; do you.

Don’t use jargon or large words in conjunction with complex sentences when plain English will suffice. Readers of your content should get the point you are making with ease by the use of concise writing.

Content marketing involves all content from social sites, blogs, and websites with relevant content to your product or services. Your content is your chance to position yourself as an expert in your niche and build trust with your traffic by engaging with visitors.

Your content must be relevant to what people are searching for by using search engines. Also, remember, nothing happens overnight. It takes some time to build a following and trust. If you expect instant sales, you are going to be disappointed.

Be engaging and helpful first before trying to sell products or services. A chance for you to talk more about your product or services is via newsletters when a visitor signs up for it on your site.

Content marketing might be an email if visitors opt in to receiving emails for special sells or special coupons or email only products or services and have an easy way to opt out of emails.

Send a free item if they opt-in to receiving a newsletter or emails. Many people like getting something free, and are probably willing to share their email address with you to receive it.

Free should mean free, not free if they pay shipping and handling. Something you can send an electronic copy of, and always be courteous with a thank you note when the sign up to your list of people willing to receive your emails or newsletter.

This is how to run your content marketing.

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader and Reviewer learning marketing

Whether a freelancer, entrepreneur or business, you need content marketing for awareness of your presence as an entity offering products or services.

There are forms of content marketing mentioned in a previous post.

As the search bots check for fresh content, if you are keeping up with fresh relevant content to what people are looking for, using content to explain what you have to offer them to help them with either a product or service they need.

Fresh content on a regular basis will help you climb the search engine latter.

If your content is relevant, visitors may consider your product or service. Your content must be relevant, engaging, easy to read, and establishes you as someone that has the right product or service people are looking for.

Your content should put the visitor at ease and work at building relationships with possible buyers of your product or service because customers will buy from someone they trust.

Your content should not always be about selling but showing what you do and how you have what people are looking.

If your content is about products, there should be pictures of the products. Pictures are content. This way, visitors can view your physical products and get a sense of what is looks like.

Again, I must stress that content be relevant to the product or service. Using tricks or “black hat” maneuvers is not a good tactic unless you want to run the risk of being unindexed by search engines or worse.

All content should be honest and authentic, you are the content and the content is you.

What would you do if someone offered a product and when you click to find out you find there are hidden costs or some other condition? You would probably leave and never return. Don’t do the same to your visitors. Always be open and honest.

Somewhere in your content should be a way to contact you for questions or comments.

Testimonials on your site are also content that will show visitors what others that have purchased from you think of the process and the product or service.

Author
Robert Medak
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing

Eight Forms of Content for Online Content Marketing:

Blog Posts

These types of blog posts should speak to the visitor’s pain point. They should answer the question of how you can help them with their pain point. They should contain relevant information, How-To, and educate them.

eBooks

Is there a book or guide you can write that is relevant to your product or service that you can offer to visitors to your sites? Something that can explain about your product or service that will explain what you have to offer.

Let’s say you design websites for example. You might write an eBook explaining some aspect of a website that draws traffic and offer it as a reward for visiting your site.

Email

Do ever offer contests, freebies, or other items to people on your email list? Sending emails or a newsletter to your list is a chance for you to enter the world of your visitors with items only to subscribers. I chance for you to offer posts about the niche you serve, and possibly a ready market to make purchases of your product or service.

How-To Guides

Here is your chance to offer some of your expertise within your niche that shows you are a go to person for help when someone has a problem not in the how-to guide.

It’s almost impossible to cover every possible problem that a person might run in to. This is a way to build trust with a potential customer. Something you said actually works.

Infographics

If you spent any time on the internet, you may have seen these. These are rectangles or some other shape containing graphs or information, which offers information about a specific subject, and posted on websites, social media and other venues.

A bookmark with information about a specific book or a play, a store is an example of an infographic that has been around before the internet. It is only recently the he term infographic widely used.

Podcasts

This is you chase to repurpose your blog posts to create something that people can listen to or their tablets or smart phones. You can offer information about your product or service by talking about the product or service in a way that is educational and not push sales only.

What can you come up with that you can create a video or audio about the product or service that can help educate the listener or viewer? Something they can learn and apply to help them with what they do or need to accomplish. What did they search for to end up at your podcast?

As with all content, it must offer relevant context of their search.

Videos

These videos are not your home movies but could be instructional, informational, and educational. Here is where visitors get to know you and what you offer, a chance to begin building relationships, with whoever visits or stumbles across your videos.

This is your opportunity to present yourself to viewers. You, a real person and not some anonymous name on a screen, it’s better to see the person to build trust than just some name that could be anyone on the internet.

Once again, and opportunity to help viewers with instruction or education and allowing your viewers to meet you, a real person, not just a name, now you are a name and a person they can relate to.

Website

Your website is where you offer your product or service, make contact, offer testimonials and a way for visitors to contact you, ask questions and interact with you.

This is a place for your story. Websites are a place where you can explain about your product or service, a site where you can list your services or product where visitors can read more about them and purchase.

A place where all of your contact information is in front of visitors to connect with you, ask questions or request a quote for a specific project they may need your expertise for in relation to how you charge.

All of the above is content marketing basics.

As you can see, there are many forms of content marketing. The next thing you need is a content marketing strategy.

I plan to cover content marketing strategy later in this series of posts about content marketing.

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing.

There are many goals to content marketing.

  1. Lead Generation
  2. Driving traffic to your website
  3. Branding
  4. Telling your story
  5. Telling people about your product or service
  6. Add value through relevant information
  7. Building a following
  8. Turn followers into clients
  9. Build relationships

This is by no means a complete list, but you get the idea.

Content should inform and educate visitors to your website how you are the one to help them with your product or service.

Many people begin searching on the internet for information about a certain subject or How-to Guides because they have a need to satisfy a curiosity or need to learn something needed for a project or possibly a business need. Perhaps a person is someone for whom writing is as scary as insects are for others, a “pain point”. There are many freelancers that can write content, what do you have to offer that would make them hire you?

Does your content help them with this pain point? Is your content relevant? What separates you from other freelance writers?

Individuals and businesses may have many pain points. There are non-geeks that may need a website built, others may need content for blogs and webpages, some may need reviews, and authors may need editors.

Who is your product or service aimed at? That person is your audience. Why do you want to sell a product or service? Is it to make money or help your client with their needs?

The first order of business should be to build relationships with your ideal audience. Once you have built a relationship of trust you may have a loyal client and be in a position to request a referral to gain more clients.

The best method of advertising is word of mouth. If your content marketing is relevant, informative, and educational your visitors will spread the word about your site. This is true organic traffic.

Organic traffic from many different sources will raise your position on search engines.

Does your content fulfill the needs of your audience and does your site have an easy way for the visitors to ask questions or connect with you?

All sites should have some easy way of interaction with the site owner.

Businesses should listen to their clients and visitors.

This is the main goal of content marketing.

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance writer, blogger, editor, proofreader, and reviewer learning marketing

Many people in business on the internet have heard the term “Content Marketing” but may not completely understand what the term means.

The Content Marketing Institute (The Content Marketing Institute is a place of resources and training for anyone interested in learning about content marketing) says of content marketing,

“Content Marketing – Formal Definition

Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

A content marketing strategy can leverage all story channels (print, online, in-person, mobile, social, etc.), be employed at any and all stages of the buying process, from attention-oriented strategies to retention and loyalty strategies, and include multiple buying groups.

Content marketing is comparable to what media companies do as their core business, except that in place of paid content or sponsorship as a measure of success, brands define success by ultimately selling more products or services.”

This may be a bit too formal for some. My definition of Content Marketing is this:

The creation of value added content (any medium such as a blog, website, social media, networking, etc.) that explains what you as an entrepreneur, freelancer or small business owner have to offer that is of benefit to your customers.

I would also like to add the definition of the term “copy” which I use quite often when writing about blog posts, articles, press releases (PR), etc.

According to the definition found in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary Eleventh Edition “Copy” is:
4 a: matter to be set esp. for printing.

b: something considered printable or newsworthy – used without an article
c: text esp. of an advertisement

Copy is anything suitable for printing. Is a blog post suitable for printing? When you hit the post button, your post is electronically printed. Therefore, anything created that involves text is copy.

Content consists of video, eBooks, whitepapers, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, etc. Content is any media that positions you to drive traffic to your business with an audience looking for what you have to offer.
In subsequent posts, I will be covering more about the marketing aspect of content as it relates to your ideal customer.

Author
Robert Medak
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing

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