I’ve shared with you before my story of how I became the CEO of me, going from working a 9 to 5 as a nonprofit director to running my own full-time consulting business. I still get a lot of emails about that post from sisters who are trying to do the same thing – quit their jobs and work for themselves. But what I didn’t talk about in that post was exactly what I had to do to prepare and set myself up for the opportunity to be self-employed.
The short answer: I marketed myself like crazy.
Also known as building your personal brand, I cultivated an online presence with my leadership blog at rosettathurman.com for three years before I had enough clientele to branch out on my own. To be perfectly honest with you, if it weren’t for my blog, I wouldn’t even have a business! So, naturally, given my experience, the first piece of advice I give budding entrepreneurs is to START A BLOG. And not a free blog from WordPress.com or Blogger, but a real, professional, .com blog that showcases your expertise and talents with the world.
If you don’t have a professional blog yet, I highly recommend you download my FREE ebook, The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Blog. Geared toward newbie bloggers, this easy-to-read guide will take you from soup to nuts in terms of your blog concept, software, design, content, promotion and analytics. Longtime bloggers will also benefit from the marketing angle of the ebook which outlines how to build your personal brand online through blogging. After you get the technical stuff out of the way, the best ways to make your blog work for you in your business are to:
- Become the “go-to” person in your niche.
- Write great content that helps your audience.
- Promote the hell out of it.
Easier said than done, right? Believe me, I know! Which is why I created The Blogging School. Join us there if you want to learn more about using a blog to promote your business.
What do you think of these ideas? Have blogs or other social media tools worked for you in launching and sustaining your business? What challenges do you face in building a successful blog?