“Hi, my name is Miriam, I am a certified psychologist and I was recently laid off. Currently, I am at home with no source of income beside the few clients whom I consult with via Skype from time to time, this is far from being a steady income. I have a dream - to start my own clinic and advise people who need my expertise. However, this dream is now out-of-reach, but I could maybe start consulting online. I think I can do it but I am not a digital native and someone who was born with a smartphone in their hands, I have a private Facebook account, but I don't want to use it for my work. I am also very shy when it comes to posting online and I do not have a website yet. I am afraid of the reaction my former colleagues may have, if they see me appearing online, as they are very judgmental...” - Miriam
This is just one of many messages I receive on my LinkedIn when someone wants to start a new business but there are too many unknowns for them to handle.
I agree it’s very difficult to be independent and self-employed and most people need a push to make them think “out-of-the-box” and more along the lines of “how do I make a living but also enjoy the process, and do the things I am passionate about." Luckily, Miriam received "the push" now and is ready for a change. With the current life uncertainties and the lockdowns, her knowledge and expertise will be in huge demand, only if she gets out of her "box" and makes the world aware about her being available to help.
It is common for business owners to not be able to invest large amounts into the creation of a new business and the promotion of it, this is why I felt the need to write few words around this topic.
In general, I am passionate about using technology when it comes to making people's lives and businesses better, easier, and less expensive. I personally don’t like bills, I am allergic to them in fact, especially the ones I have no control over and that arrive in much higher amounts than originally expected. I also felt that for all my businesses in the past, I never truly knew how and where I should promote my business, and it was always more expensive than I had originally planned. Nowadays things are different, back in the days TV and newspaper ads were super expensive, now online advertisement can still be done almost for free.
There is also a second question Miriam has - she is not very confident on camera or exposing herself openly through social media in any way, and this is a key component in building one's personal brand, especially if you are an independent professional - you need to put your face onto everything you do in order to create a brand around yourself, that people would want to trust and invest their attention in.
In Miriam’s case, from what I saw on her LinkedIn profile, Miriam is definitely a very likeable and photogenic senior lady who could have a blast if she starts her own YouTube channel or just uses her own face when advertising her services online. When I started Nanos back in the day, I also felt shy in front of the camera and never posted anything except pictures of my younger brother who plays in a band. My advice to you, Miriam, is to start small - ask a friend to take a few casual pictures of you while at work and create a simple website. You can use our free website builder and there are also many other tools available online. Nanos is likely the better choice for you since it already has an integrated SEO function, increasing your page visibility to everyone who searches for the services you provide on Google and other search engines. Write a few words about yourself, highlight your professional experience, add pictures and a way to connect with you to schedule a first free online consultation. Ideally, you should also record one of your sessions with your clients (on your phone or just a voice recording is enough), pick the best footage, edit it with your phone and upload it to social media and or your personal website.
Of course, you would need consent from your client who might want to remain anonymous, but this is an easy fix. Give your new website a small boost with online advertising, start with just Facebook, again you can use a do-it-yourself platform or request a consultation with one of our Nanos Help Gurus to help you to plan your strategy or start your new business adventure with any amount of investment. In addition to that, start posting short messages or articles about cases you studied or things you worked on at least once a week. This is easy to do and will start to organically grow your network. The more articles you post, the faster you will see growth.
It is easy to start online businesses now and make a very decent living by using these basic tips. I would be happy to hear back from you, Miriam in about 6 months - to find out more about your progress!