Who You Know – And Who Knows You: Growing Both to Grow Your Solo-Business

As 2012 approaches, I’ve been thinking a lot about where my freelance writing business started and where it has taken me over these past two years. I’ve also been “connecting the dots” to determine what’s gotten me this far as a solopreneur – and what I should continue to do to keep the momentum going.

Although freelance writing might be different in many ways from your business, there’s one thing I believe holds true universally for solopreneurs in growing our businesses: Who you know AND who knows you matter immensely.

Who You Know

“Build it and they will come” doesn’t work. Having a website that’s at the top of the list in searches isn’t enough. As a solopreneur, nothing is more important than making connections and building relationships when you’re starting your business and as you grow it. You’ve got to meet people – real people – who either need your service or can refer someone who does to you.

Get out there, shake hands and start conversations at Chamber of commerce events, professional networking group meetings and other activities that provide opportunities to mix, mingle and spread the word about what you do – and learn more about those who might be able to use your services. Use social media to strengthen those connections, expand your reach and keep your brand top of mind.

Who Knows You

Here’s where your efforts to meet and greet go viral. The more effort and energy you put into making connections and nurturing relationships, the more your brand will become known to prospects who you never contacted directly. Social media plays a huge role in this because it gives you the capability to show what you know to those not directly connected with you. Use it to extend your brand awareness and demonstrate your expertise by:

  • commenting on updates and comments on others’ business Facebook pages.
  • posting links to interesting articles that will facilitate discussions on Linkedin group pages.
  • providing advice and answers to discussion questions/issues posted on Linkedin group pages.

As you know, many other ingredients go into starting and maintaining a solo-business, but making and building relationships is at the core of the recipe for success. No matter how stellar your service, you need to be out there – physically and virtually – sharing your value proposition and getting others to share it as well.

How has who you know and who knows you helped you advance your solo-business?

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