Lessons from being an entrepreneur – Part II

In my earlier post on this, I had shared what it takes to start the journey if you wish to be an entrepreneur. The beginning is always the toughest part. Once you have nailed your ‘identity’ and zeroed on to who you are and what you bring on the table, things get moving. Of course, tapping your network and being accountable play a pivotal role.

After you have done the basics, it is time to evaluate how you are going to brand and market yourself.

If your entrepreneurial plan involves providing specialised services in the field of communications, then you need to be a good communicator yourself! Developing your own brand and being able to market it effectively will lead to new clients signing up for your services.

Building your brand on social media

Very often you may label ‘being’ on social media as the requirement to build your brand. Nothing can be more wrong than this. There is a difference to ‘being’ on social media and actually ‘using’ social media. Reassess your usage of social media and identify areas for creating new opportunities and improvements. For instance, analyze how much do you comment and the type of posts you gravitate towards. How do you comment? Are you the one who uses perfunctory words like ‘I agree’ or ‘This is nice’, or ‘Absolutely right’? Or are you the one who prefers ‘emojis’ instead of words?

If your answer is yes to the above, then it is time for you to develop a new strategy in branding yourself.

The content

Your own website is a great place to speak of your work and your expertise. What does the content of your website reflect? What is your USP? Are you focused on today? Or does your work show the big picture that will be relevant to your clients a few years from now? When you share a futuristic outlook, it shows your approach and ability of going into the depth of issues and situations. Take a step back and look at the content now! Ensure you have the right user experience framework in place that will enable a seamless navigation across your website.

Your ideal client

This can be a tricky one. It is easy in the beginning to declare that you are open to work for just about anyone. How do you set yourself apart? Understanding your ideal client is a key exercise that you must embark upon early in your journey as an entrepreneur. In the world of PR and communications, ‘knowing your audience’ is the essence to getting the right messaging across. This becomes more prominent when you are branching out on your own. Visualise your client. Go granular. Accordingly, customize your offering.

Do not compromise on your worth

When it comes to putting down a ‘fee’ for your services, do not compromise on your worth. I mention this because many of us fall into this trap of offering ‘pro bono’ services in the beginning. Then the other aspect is, ‘How much should I charge from my network?’ This kind of self-doubt is so self-defeating! Shake yourself up from this danger. You must share a beautiful relationship with money and be clear about your charges and fees. Transparency and integrity built in right from the beginning will take you much far. Make money your best friend!

Upskill yourself

Nothing should be more important to you than your own ‘growth’ and ‘learning.’ Do not hesitate to invest in your own self. You must have a continuous growth plan. If you wish to remain in the game, be top of what you are good at. To attract clients, you must not cut corners when it comes to upskilling yourself.

Be clear on the outcomes

Finally, be clear on what you want the outcome to be. Write it down. Look at it everyday and ask yourself whether whatever you are doing is helping you move ahead in the outcome frame. Put a number to the revenues you wish to achieve. Articulate the number of potential clients you want in your portfolio. When you assign numbers, you can measure your outcomes better.

In the end, be authentic. Clients can easily see through fakes. If you want to win this game, enjoy the whole process and have fun!

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Sarita Bahl
Country Group Head CSR at Bayer - South Asia
Sarita Bahl leads the Corporate Social Responsibility function for Bayer South Asia and is also the Director – Bayer Prayas Association. Prior to this, she successfully oversaw the communications and public affairs function for Bayer South Asia. Over her three decades of professional experience, Sarita has held multiple roles across diverse industries, public sector, trade associations, MNCs and the Not-for-profit sector. An alumnus of Tata Institute of Social Science and the Swedish Institute of Management Program, Sarita specializes in stakeholder engagement, sustainability and communications. She is passionate about animals (is mother to a female cat), books and movies.

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