The Solopreneur! Where do I start?
Recently I had a question come over asking “What is the best approach when it comes to a website for launching a solopreneur”?
First of all the definition in itself means “You” a singular individual that is running and starting a business on their own and they are the business.
This ranges from being self employed as a massage therapist, Caterer, Personal Chef, Counselor or Therapist in Phycology, Photographer or Wedding coordinator And the list goes on.
When you are personally the product or service, a solopreneur is the brand and name. Therefore you must brand the business around yourself. You are not a company, you are the company and now you are not just a product or service provider you become the media, the personality and the face of what you do.
So when it comes to building a website or getting into social media, you need to make it all about you. This includes your expertise, background, abilities , awards or achievements, pictures, education and your personality and sometimes even list your clients. A solopreneur is now a personal relationship between you and your potential clients, and therefore they are buying you first and not just your product or service. And your media or website should be centric around you and your background.
As a soloprenuer is all about branding yourself and then your product and your website and social media should be reflection of you and your product or service.
Lets take Catering or a Personal Chef as an example. The consumer looking for this service is wanting someone not only with the skills, qualifications and the variety of food you can cook. They are wanting to know who is going to be in their home and preparing their meals for them on a daily basis or catering to their party.
Thus said the client or consumer is going to want to know about “You” first and then your skills and qualifications. When developing your Website or Starting Social Media be sure to brand it around you first then your product and service. If they do not trust you, they will not trust your service and product. So building a personal rapport with them before they even make an inquiry or booking is very important.
Personally I would recommend hiring a Web Designer that will build you a responsive clean looking site that fits you and your personality that clearly tells your story, who you are, your expertise and include images that captures the attention in less than 10 seconds and sells. I have posted a couple examples of sites that I would say no to within the first 10 seconds and a couple that I would take the time actually getting to know who they are.
Now this site here http://www.nonamegourmet.com/ what do you see when you first look at it? You see a lot of verbiage and immediately selling why or what it is they do and a bold text on the home page that immediately has a call to action that says “ Call for a free Consultation Today” . However dig into it further, which by the way remember you only have less than 10 seconds to grab someones attention from the time they land on your page and tell me if their is anything on the home or landing page that actually catches your eye or makes you want to buy, or call this personal Chef. And the Bad part is he actually may be an excellent caterer or chef.
This site here http://www.chefottoblum.com/ gets right into branding himself. As you can see he is on page one or landing page and his menus are very easy to navigate and his “About me/ Resume” is the first thing he offers to get to know who he is. This is a decent site that brands himself and service, however the quality of his site does not have the attention to detail of the quality of food I bet he actually serves. Why be an excellent chef and prepare meals that look appetizing and are amazing and not include a personal site that has the same appeal?
This site here http://cincitycuisine.com/ Lets not dig to deep other than saying the name “CIN” rhymes with “Sin” and yes Vegas has been known or called Sin City, however name your business after it or similar in sounding I would not recommend. And the Colors, Fonts and Landing page is not working. Before I even see appeal, I noticed the Visa and MasterCard Logo which implies payment. I do not want to know they accept credit cards, I want to know how good the chef is and what his meals and himself may look like.
Here we have a site that is clean and on the landing page is a personal picture and message about Chef Adam, he is branding himself. His site is easy to navigate, clear and to the point of his product/Service and consumers are more inept to look further into what he offers. Decent site and branding http://chefadammyers.com/
Now we have a site that not only brands himself, it tells his story, who he is, shows images of his dishes and has call to actions on his landing page prompting for potential clientele. Now having a call to action on a landing page like this works. Why? Because within 10 seconds I was able to see that I would not have to click around links trying to find out more. He made sure his bio, quality, expertise, awards and the message in an image “Mark Tafoya is a happy man” Yes this works anyone who is going to have a stranger in their home for the first time likes to see the person serving them is happy and loves what he does. And not to mention he has his pricing on the landing page which works because he has sold you on page one giving you all the information you need before you even dig into the other links within the site . I give this one a solid rating. http://remarkablepalate.com/
One last example of another industry in Chiropractic Therapy. This I would also consider a soloprenuer with employees. It does not change the fact that the product or service behind it is the owner and his techniques, experience and more importantly the branding. Dr Tim Goodwin has done an excellent job of not only branding himself, he has clearly laid out on his landing page who he is, personal welcome messages and videos of procedures he performs. Not to mention good call to actions. He has not only captured an audience, Dr Goodwin has engaged his potential clients to learn more about him and he builds a rapport on his landing page and within 10 seconds it had caught my attention to watch his videos. Very well done and a solid rating. http://www.timgoodwinchiropractic.com/
I hope this article helps those starting a new business, especially a Solopreneur.