We at Pomegranate are firm believers in the Entrepreneurship endeavor(s). In fact this is one of the main reasons why we have coined (and trademarked) the phrase 'Seeding Ideas.' With our recent launch of peer to peer pawning network YouPawn we felt it necessary to share an article that highlights some helpful tips for the budding entrepreneur. Today's featured article comes from portfolio.com and was written by Steph Auteri, with the Young Entrepreneur Council. What business endeavors are you currently pursuing? We would love to hear from you (and possibly help you if the fit is right). Tweet about it @seedingideas
Despite all my preparations, when I finally became my own boss, I didn’t know a damn thing about drumming up work. As I had always done before, I scoured the job ads for freelance work, dutifully sent out cover letters and résumés, worked several "permalance" gigs that gave me a feeling of stability and, otherwise, waited for the work to come to me.
Somehow, it worked. Despite myself, and within only six months, I had matched my previous corporate salary.
But being a business owner is nothing like being an employee, and I couldn’t sustain my business on quality content and charm alone. Eventually, I had to start actively marketing myself.
Those new to marketing—and those downright wary of it—can end up floundering in their search for that one, magical, no-fail marketing trick that will lead them to success. Why? That one, magical trick doesn’t exist. Different services and products—and different clients and customers—require different types of marketing. So how can you figure out which tactics will work best for you?
Write up a mission statement:
Your mission statement does not have to be long and involved. Nor does it have to be the height of creative genius. It should, however, list your business goals—monetary and otherwise—and should also specify the things that set you apart from the competition. Why is this necessary? Writing out your mission statement can help you clarify exactly what it is you’re trying to accomplish. As you make future business decisions, you can refer back to it and ask yourself: Does this bring me closer to my business goals?
Specify your target markets:
Your product or service probably won’t appeal to everyone. So list the people you’re trying to help, and be specific. Once you’ve pinned down your target markets, you can start researching the best ways to reach them. Where do they hang out? Which social-networking sites are they on? Which blogs are they reading? Do they participate in any online forums or attend any professional conferences? Knowing all of this will keep you from marketing blind.
List your competition:
And then look to see what they’re doing right, what they’re doing wrong, and what they’re not doing at all. How can you differentiate yourself from the competition? And, in the end, should you even consider them competitors? If you can set yourself apart from them, it will leave room for future collaborations.
Finally, list your marketing tactics: This is the fun part (then again, I get excited by spreadsheets and cookware). Referring back to No. 2—your target markets and where they’re hanging out—come up with some marketing ideas that go beyond direct-mail spam and pricey space advertising. Think about how they might like to be marketed to. Think about what they want and need. And think about how you like to be marketed to too. What makes you decide to shell out the cash?