Recently I spoke with Michele Jackson, founder of Lotsa Luck Design about the entrepreneurial spirit running in families; taking the leap into entrepreneurship and how small business owners can market themselves online.
Her story actually starts with her mom. Michele’s single mother worked at a magazine for the retail ice cream industry and knew there were ways to improve it. So she purchased the magazine right before her daughter went to college; which was a risk. This entrepreneurial spirit left an imprint on Michele.
Michele’s own entrepreneurial journey began 8 years ago when she was laid off after having her first child. She worked for agencies doing graphic design and marketing strategy a few days a week and filled in with some of her own clients around the agency work.
I asked Michele how she made that transition and what advice she would offer to entrepreneurs. The first thing she mentioned was…
TAKING THE LEAP: BUILD A SUPPORT NETWORK
Someone told Michele it would take about 6 months for things to “start kicking in”; and they were right. What did she do during those 6 months of lean time (and after for that matter)? She got to work on building a support network. She says “Other people are going through the exact same thing that you are; you can help each other out”.
If you want to build your own support network here’s a few tips:
- Tell as many people as possible 1) what you do, 2) how you do it and 3) why they should work with you – and tell them in as many different ways as you can.
- Remind people that you’re there. How? “Pick up the phone and say hi”. This sounds simple but how many phone calls do YOU make each day to reconnect with key people in your business life?
- Find networking groups within your niche – then make your presence known; tell people specifically what you need, who you need to know AND how you can help them.
While building her support network Michele continued working for agencies and started taking on new clients in the arenas of web site design, marketing collateral design, branding and email & social media marketing. From her successes in these areas she shared…
MARKETING TIPS FOR ENTREPRENEURS
Entrepreneurs, especially new business owners and startups need to be very aware of their brand and what “they’re putting out there” when it comes to online media. Michele says “You wouldn’t go to a networking event in flip flops and ratty jeans, would you? Then don’t do that online either.” If you want to be more effective online and get more clients here’s a few actionable ideas for you:
- For Facebook: Put up a clean logo for your company page (if you have one) and a clean profile pic (that actually looks like you). Pick a photo for your timeline that says something about your brand.
- For email marketing: Our attention spans are getting shorter; make sure that every marketing piece you send out has a clear and concise call to action. What do you want people to do after reading your email? Tell them exactly what to do (visit your site, download a free ebook, call you, etc).
- For everything: Create a marketing calendar. Decide what topics you’re going to talk about each week and month. Think through the next 3 months based on who your target market is and where they are online (Facebook, Twitter, etc) – then talk to them.
HELPING OUT AND MAKING CONNECTIONS?
Want to make a new connection in your professional life and a few introductions? Here’s how you can get to know Michele. Right now she wants to meet:
- Entrepreneurs and small business owners that need help with marketing; maybe they don’t have the time to “do it all” or they need someone to create a strategy and brand for them.
- People who run entrepreneurs groups (both online and offline).
- People who work with entrepreneurs such as: Lawyers, accountants, insurance professionals, business coaches and other trusted advisors. Michele can also help YOU connect with these people!
Michele’s passion for entrepreneurship started with her family and now she’s sharing with her communities; including Big Ooga.
What new marketing practice will you put into place TODAY?
Who will you reach out to and connect with TODAY?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mark J. Carter helps 1) authors & experts build their businesses by discovering their stories and then creating their brand marketing campaigns & 2) creates game-changing experiences for corporations, nonprofits & organizations through events & cause marketing.
Want Carter to help you discover your story? Contact him here and mention “Big Ooga Storytelling”!