I loved reading Kate Toon’s chatty and honest book, “Confessions of a Misfit Entrepreneur: How to succeed in business despite yourself” and related to much of it.
Take the word “entrepreneur” for example. I’m with Kate, who declares that this word, along with “mumpreneur” or “solopreneur” makes her feel a bit ill because as business owners, we don’t identify with this terminology. (I have to confess that I’m also not a fan of “boss lady” and almost didn’t include the image above!)
Kate’s wry advice: “Take any word and place it before ‘preneur’, and you can be one too.” – whether that’s a Dancepreneur, a Cakepreneur or something else entirely, Kate’s definitions are hilarious.
Kate makes some valid points about selling; something that I find incredibly difficult at times. Here are some of my favourite takeaways from the book:
- Selling doesn’t have to be about making big promises or exaggerating. By the time a client buys, they should already generally feel like they know you. And all of that builds trust. If someone trusts you, they’re buying the person, not the thing.
- People want to buy from people. Step out from behind your desk and into the spotlight. Be the face and the voice of your business. Turn up, contribute, help, discuss and explain.
- Real conversations beat sales copy. Have as many conversations as you can – in person, online, in webinars, in Facebook Live sessions, in groups, and wherever else you can manage. Once people get to know you, they’ll likely want to buy your stuff.
- Sell by helping – Kate spends a lot of time in Facebook groups offering advice and answering questions. And most of the time she does it without even mentioning products and services. She waits to be asked. And if people don’t ask, then she doesn’t tell.
- Sell by giving – Kate’s not in the culture of ‘everything for free’ but when launching a new product or service, she often starts by giving it away to a select few. She does it mainly to test out her product and get invaluable feedback on what she needs to change. But in doing so she receives some added benefits – people’s gratitude, involvement and positive (and often public) thanks.
- Don’t be afraid to share your successes – People love to hear about other people’s successes, however small. You don’t want your media sharing to be all “Me, me me” of course. But there’s nothing wrong with celebrating your wins. And one of the most powerful ways of doing this is to use other people’s words.
So… potential client or fellow freelancer… How about we have a real conversation, as per Kate’s advice? Depending on where you’re based and your preferred communication method (phone call, Skype or “in person” meeting), let’s get a date in the diary. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0770 287 4764.