Today, we’ll focus on freelancing, solopreneurship, and the challenges you may encounter in the early stages. Additionally, we’ll explore how to leverage LinkedIn’s network to acquire your first clients without spending a single dollar.
Let’s jump right in with an introduction to Rebecca. At the age of 18, she pursued a classical baccalaureate before leaving everything behind to attend art school. After a few years of modeling, Maud decided to transition into marketing communication.
Rebecca later attended college for economics 💰 management and completed several internships. However, upon arriving in Hong Kong, she found that her work wasn’t as challenging as her studies. Despite having a master’s degree in entrepreneurship, it’s important to note that you don’t necessarily need one to pursue entrepreneurship.
If you’re feeling motivated to take the leap, you can jump right in. However, if you feel more comfortable gaining a master’s degree first, that’s also an option.
LinkedIn tips: Difficulties when starting an enterprise
What are the primary obstacles you may face? According to Rebecca, the first challenge was separating 💔 from her partner, which directly led to the second obstacle of being alone.
Eventually, Rebecca was able to connect with others in similar situations and build a network. Initially, she focused on establishing relationships with individuals in her industry, which was made easier thanks to her master’s degree. As she spent more time on LinkedIn, Rebecca was able to discover new contacts and forge connections with content creators.
How to use LinkedIn to get your first clients for free
Now, we’re getting to the most exciting part. To find your first potential clients, you must utilize LinkedIn effectively and differentiate yourself from others. Why LinkedIn? Well, LinkedIn is the top professional network for B2B prospecting. And how can you make yourself stand out? Rebecca will explain it all to you right here 💎.
Content creation – The process
To generate content, you must engage with social media platforms, follow other users’ content, interact with them, and begin sharing on these same networks.
The most important thing is to surround yourself with individuals who are in the same stage as you. Initially, you must focus on acquiring your first clients before even having a service or product to offer. The primary objective 🥇 is to get people on the phone.
You may spend countless hours creating landing pages, developing products or offers that you believe are perfect, but once you approach your first clients, you may discover that they’re not interested in them at all. Therefore, it’s essential to seek out your customers first, create posts, generate content (utilizing the inbound marketing technique), and send emails.
The LinkedIn network boasts millions of users, and by optimizing your professional profile and content, you can attract individuals who require solutions that align with your area of expertise.
Once you’ve established initial contact ☎️ with someone, you’ll have the opportunity to comprehend their requirements, expectations, and issues, enabling you to define their persona clearly. As you continue to acquire more customers over time, you’ll refine and fine-tune the various personas more precisely.
Create an audience to generate sales
Indeed, creating an audience is crucial to initiate sales. So, how do you establish your audience 🤔? By identifying a topic that will pique the interest of your target market.
Find your topic
To attract customers to your business, you must establish a strong positioning on a key topic. You need to determine the specific word (or keywords) that you want to be associated with. By doing so, you can become synonymous with that term in the minds of your target audience.
Consider this – When someone mentions SEO or entrepreneurship, which names come to mind? If you can identify specific influencers or experts in your industry, you can aim to become a key player in the media regarding your chosen topic.
If you struggle with “imposter syndrome” and have doubts about your abilities, don’t worry – we have just the cure for that! 😜
Every content creator, regardless of their level of expertise, often questions whether they have the right to speak on a given topic, and whether their audience size is warranted.
The truth is, yes, your life experiences and unique perspective make you valuable, and you always have insights to share 🍰 that others may find valuable. So, go ahead and share your content.
Now, let’s address the first challenge that often arises when embarking on solopreneurship: “How do I acquire my first clients?”
You must take the leap, immerse yourself in the action, and tell yourself, “Okay, I may have imposter syndrome, but I’m going to push forward anyway.” Try various channels and keep an eye out for new opportunities.
LinkedIn tips: How to find your channel?
To ensure success, it’s essential to develop a multi-step strategy. Acquiring an audience is crucial, and according to Maud, there are two ⚒️ incredible tools among the growing list of social networks: LinkedIn and TikTok.
Why these two platforms? Because their algorithms don’t solely rely on the number of followers you have, which means you can potentially reach 1 million views with a smaller following.
However, it’s important to note that audience acquisition is not the same as customer acquisition. Therefore, you should concentrate on consistently posting on just one platform for 3 to 6 months. Once you’ve established a following, you can then direct your audience to a channel that will retain their interest, such as a podcast, webinar, newsletter, or blog.
By getting people engaged in a podcast or newsletter 💌, you can begin to establish relationships and ultimately start selling your products or services.
Through A/B testing on your acquisition posts, you gain a better understanding of what your audience desires. The final step is to play the long game by establishing a presence on channels that are more challenging to stand out on, such as Instagram or even YouTube.
What type of LinkedIn content?
Rebecca recommends posting on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings. However, posting in the evening may also be advantageous, as many people believe that posting in the morning is the best time 😵.
While it’s okay to tag someone in your posts, keep in mind that if they don’t respond or like the post within an hour, it may reduce 📉 the post’s reach by 20%, so it’s best to avoid excessive tagging.
As for hashtags, Rebecca has found no visible difference, so the general consensus is that they don’t provide significant benefits.
How frequently should you post? The more frequently you post, the better the potential results. However, it’s crucial to consider whether your current posting rate is sustainable in the long term.
Consistency is key, so it’s better to have a slightly less frequent posting rate but to stick to it consistently. To succeed as a solopreneur and solomedia personality, you must be present and committed to the business for the long run. If you commit to three years, you must maintain the same pace for three years.
In terms of format, Maud finds that the carousel format is the most successful as it increases the dwell time (the amount of time spent on the post) as well as native videos. Avoid creating articles and instead focus on polls, but make sure they offer value and a solution to a problem. Be careful not to compromise the quality of your content just because it’s popular.
It’s important to create content that resonates with and engages your audience while establishing trust. Avoid sharing posts from other creators; it’s better to repost your ideas and quote the author.
LinkedIn Tips: Reposting on other channels
Rebecca typically doesn’t revisit a topic once she has written about it, as she tends to get bored quickly with ideas. She posts twice a week, which is significantly less than the four times a day that some other creators post. However, Maud’s strategy is different, and she recycles content in some way. For example, she may write a lengthy article and summarize it into a shorter, highly informative post on LinkedIn, which tends to work well within the professional social network.
It’s essential to experiment and discover your own way of doing things to differentiate yourself from others. Your personal brand is where you can stand out by doing things that align with your values and interests, while also keeping an open mind and adapting to what your audience desires.
LinkedIn Tips: Selling your product or service
How can you justify charging US$300 per hour for your services 🤯? As a freelancer or solopreneur, it can be challenging to set such high prices.
However, there are people who are willing to pay those rates, which means your services have value. Therefore, you should focus on targeting clients who are willing to pay your rates and shift your mindset to recognize your own value.
There are clients out there, and you must know how to respond to their demand. The second mindset shift is to showcase your expertise and position yourself as the best in your field. Although there is competition, personal branding can make all the difference.
Inbound Marketing (a marketing strategy) can attract potential customers to you, and the scarcity effect can also work in your favor. By implementing these strategies, you can be selective in choosing your customers.
The benefits of this approach are that potential customers already have an understanding of what you do, which means they may be more likely to accept your terms if they are already familiar with your business.
Choosing your project
To be able to choose clients or projects, Maud believes that prioritizing content creation is essential. But what does this mean, and where do we start?
Since every experience is unique, the steps Maud followed may not necessarily be the same as what we encounter or what she recommends. However, you can begin by creating a podcast, newsletter, or webinar where you interview experts and promote it on TikTok or LinkedIn. This approach can help you leverage the audience of the people you invite.
Regardless of the format you choose, you’ll need to target and discover:
- What people need.
- What motivates them.
- What their actual problems are.
To do this, you will need to spend at least a month seeking answers to these questions. It’s a long-term task, and you’ll need to continuously address their questions.
For example, if your subscribers have questions, don’t hesitate to ask them why they find certain topics interesting, what specifically interests them, and so on. Ask these questions to refine your approach. Spending time asking questions will be beneficial.
You’ll likely receive a lot of information, but over time, it will start to form patterns, and you’ll begin to identify the topics on which your customers are genuinely seeking solutions.
LinkedIn is an excellent channel for prospecting and collecting feedback.
Reaching out to people directly through private messages, whether manually or automatically, can be effective. However, if you are trying to sell something, they may not respond. On the other hand, if you ask for their help, it can work extremely well, and there are great results from this type of campaign. To implement this approach, you can:
- Conduct targeted research 🎯.
- Identify people who have commented on similar posts within your own ecosystem.