Toby Nwazor

To earn a living, you either have to own a business or work as an employee. For me, entrepreneurship is the best option. But running a business is not a bed of roses because about 30 percent of businesses fail in their second year while 50 percent of businesses fail in their fifth year.

You may not have the right skills or education to get a white-collar job either, so being a solopreneur is probably your next best bet to earning a decent living. But guess what? There are almost 60 million freelancers in the U.S. alone. Meaning, you have to put up against a deluge of solopreneurs like yourself and compete for the limited gigs out there.

Sounds like a death sentence?

Running a business is difficult, and I’m sure no one ever told you that it’s even more difficult doing it alone. Being your own boss is the dream that a lot of people aspire to achieve, but not many of them are ready to face the struggles that come along with it.

However, you can be different.

There are many solopreneurs who were able to run and sustain successful businesses. If you’re that solopreneur who wants to succeed in their business at all odds then here are 3 things you can do that will make all the difference.

1. Leverage on your strengths

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and even intimidated by the existence of your competitors. This can quickly make you lose sight of your strengths and focus on your weaknesses.

Every business has a unique selling point – that special thing about your business, product or service that makes it different and attractive to your ideal customers. You have to find yours and double down on it. It’ll be a complete waste of your precious time if you put all your focus on “fixing” your weaknesses when you have all the strengths in your unique arsenal to give.

Let’s say one of your strengths is that you have great people’s skills. Find a way to integrate that strength and make it part of your unique selling point.

You’re great at writing? Leverage on that to write engaging articles or persuasive copy that will attract your potential clients.

Have great charisma on camera? Send your potential clients video pitches instead of typing your pitch out in an email.

The options are endless. Identify your strengths and get creative.

2. It’s all in the marketing

In this article on attorney marketing, Mile Mark Media states, “Sometimes the difference between a large, national, multi-layer firm and a solo attorney is simply marketing power.” So it doesn’t matter if you’re running solo or you have an army of employees who work for you – a business that does no marketing will die. Period.

So, how do you put the word out about your business?

There are so many ways to do this. One of the most common ways is to make use of ads. Ads, especially social media ads, can give you a far larger reach over a short period of time than any other method.

However, not everyone has the budget for ads. If that’s you, then no problem. Another way to go about it is to build an online presence. You can invest your time in creating valuable content your ideal client would like to consume. You can also personally engage with people who asked questions about problems you can solve. Just go to blogs, forums, and groups on social media where your ideal clients hang out.

Showing up regularly on social media and sharing valuable content is also a great and extremely cost-effective way to put your business out there.

3. Make it all about the customer

Let’s face it: We start a business and the next things we’re laser-focused on are our products or services. And as a result, completely ignoring the people for whom the products and services were for. It happens to the best of us. So, you have to steer that ship and focus on your ideal clients. 

Research shows that 67 percent of customers mention bad experience as a reason to stop buying from a brand. How can you create a positive experience for your customers?

One of the best ways to do this is to make your customers your #1 priority. Think about ways you can improve your service delivery. Simply reaching out to your customers and asking them what they would like to see more of or how you can make their experience better could be all you need to get started. Getting your customer’s feedback gives clues as to what exactly your ideal customer wants.

Wrapping it up

The solopreneur journey can be daunting especially when you have to do everything on your own. But that doesn’t mean that you signed your own death warrant. You can survive and thrive as a solopreneur so long as you do certain things differently.

Leveraging on your strengths, adding some elbow grease in your marketing and giving extra care to your target customers can make all the difference you need.

Now, who said you can’t succeed as a solopreneur?