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Any entrepreneur will tell you that when you are in the business by yourself, there’s much more involved in marketing your business; you also have to market yourself. After all, when it’s just you, you are your business. That means that you have to ensure that everything you say or do is in line with your business’ goals and plans. It requires a wide degree of skill and effort, but it absolutely can be done. Here are five ways that you can market yourself as a solo entrepreneur.

Be Authentic

More often than not, people can spot fakes. We know when someone isn’t being true to themselves or is lying to us. That’s why this is the most important tip for any solo entrepreneur, be who you are. Remember, people can usually spot a liar from a mile away, and no one wants to do business with a liar. Being yourself can sometimes be scary and challenging. You may have fun quirks that you want to share. Remember, part of what you have to do as a solo entrepreneur is to be different. Being authentic allows you to stand out from the crowd.

Professional Photographs

Simply put, that selfie you took with your phone isn’t going to cut it if you are trying to look like a professional. One of the biggest risks you face as a solo entrepreneur is that people will not take you seriously and think that you are basically just creating a side hustle, not a “real” job. In order to challenge that perception, you have to look as professional as possible. That means getting professional headshots taken. Make sure you take steps to prepare for our headshots to get the most out of your photo session. Shave and style your hair appropriately. It may be a good time to get that haircut you’d been putting off. If possible, have a skilled friend style your hair and put on makeup.

Focus on Building Relationships

When you are on your own, the temptation can be overwhelming to simply broadcast a list of your services and view people as dollar signs. Don’t do that. Focus on building relationships with others—even if those people can’t or won’t pay you for anything. This helps to ensure that you generate goodwill, get your name out there, and ultimately build a positive reputation for yourself and your business.

A First-Rate Website

Astonishingly, 40 percent of small businesses still don’t have websites. This is digital malpractice. You must have a website. Additionally, your website needs to be professionally designed. Digital trends are constantly changing, and that’s why it is very important to hire a professional to handle your website construction. This will ensure that people who visit your website will decide that you are a competent professional. While everyone’s website will vary, some types of content are required. This includes contact information, descriptions of your services, areas that you serve, and more.

Use Social Media to Listen, Not Speak

American businessman Dale Carnegie always stressed the importance of listening, not just speaking. If only he’d been around for our social media age! While social media can be incredibly powerful, it is at its best when you use it to listen to others, not just speak. So, use social media, but don’t use it as a broadcasting medium. It’s a great place to ask people questions and engage them in conversations, rather than just broadcasting your various products and services.

Being a solo entrepreneur is hard, but it’s not impossible. With proper, professional marketing, you can be successful in this line of work. Following the tips above will help make sure that you have a fighting chance to fulfill your business dreams.

Are you an entrepreneur? Read more great tips in this article: The Secret Morning Routine Of Highly Successful Entrepreneurs