No. The point is not the very popular viewpoint, that you have to do something 10.000 times before you can call yourself and expert. Surely, practicing something many times makes you good at it. But the point I want to make here is, that being a generalist is a choice that is gonna hold you hostage inside a business model that is very hard to scale.
Building a personal brand
For designers, consultants and other business owners, it is not breaking news you need to develop a visual presentation of yourself and your company that send strong signals of who you are and what you do. Also, most already know online presence is important and the majority have a website and social media profiles. What is not in place for many of my clients when I first meet them is a clear match between audience and offering. This means communication is inefficient, random or quite often non-existing. If you want to build a strong personal brand, you have to decide what your portfolio should look like to get...
Hardly anyone else discusses this, but I believe one of the main reasons that we are hesitant to promote ourselves (see blogpost Know your value) is because we do not factor in expansion into our businesses.
But this is the issue client-driven small businesses have. They’re too small. They are limited. When we know in our minds that we only need a couple of clients per month in order to be fine financially, we limit our need to promote. There is no incentive to do that much, whether the client is booked in advance or not.
I am sure many readers of this blog will recognise the side effects of this. A constant worry about where to fint the next client, the temptation to take on any client that appears before our eyes, and a crystal clear path laid out for the business: limited growth and limited profits.
We don’t want to do so much marketing that we end up with too many clients. Better just stick to the more random what-comes-along approach.
These limitations create...
I used to be afraid.
My fear of failure kept me on a path that was not right for me for too long.
Then I discovered, I was more afraid of ending up regretting that I did not have the courage.
As human beings, we are meant to pay attention to dangerous events and plan ahead not to get stuck in really bad situations. Keep that skill! Is a good thing.
The more surprising fact is, that this goes for companies too. Business owners and managers would often mention the financial risk if taking the wrong action. However, quite often the biggest failure is not taking action at all, yet this is a common choice.
But let me tell you something. The most common reason for failing is giving up or never getting started. Letting outdated business models survive because of lack of knowledge on how to adapt.
In the area of digital marketing, many companies are transferring old methods to new media. Old wine in new bottles so to speak. However, the clever companies truly understand how...