Being self-employed is all the rage these days as more and more workers break away from mainstream ways to have a career.

It's trendy. "Working for yourself" is a buzz phrase, as is "Setting your own schedule". What could be better? You can get out of bed whenever you want - or work from bed - sit in your matching pajama set all day long with Law & Order marathons on in the background.

That is the dream, right?

Being a trendy topic, the general population of people in society lump self-employment into that singular image of total freedom and a stress-free lifestyle. Self-employment, however, includes very different things, such as entrepreneurship and freelancing.

So how do these lone wolves differentiate themselves?

Both entrepreneurship and freelancing scenarios can be thought of as entire businesses, consisting of their service, marketing, financial accounting, and legal registration to be legitimate, but the marketing of them can be treated very differently.

The big difference comes down to subjective choice.

Entrepreneurs know that the marketing is everything and often invest a lot of money in a third party marketing service in order to help them establish market fit and identify the most effective marketing channels for their product or they invest a lot of time into their marketing content that they send out to every channel in hopes of catching the right customer's eye.

Freelancers, on the other hand, may seek to maximize all the same channels in the same market, but their outreach may not need to be as robust. In other words, they may be able to function successfully with only one channel or with no structured marketing campaigns at all.

Though there are a million variations of startups and freelance brands, one powerful distinction is that entrepreneurs very often must start from scratch with their marketing because the world has no idea that they exist at all. On the contrary, freelancers choose to offer a specialized skill for which people in the world might specifically search.

This curbs the risk for freelancers because there is more likely some demand for their service already and the demand on their self-promotion may be lower.

As a result, the personal branding of freelancers can be more casual. Kerry Needs, a British freelance copywriter, states:

"I don’t want to become a sales channel on social media for my business. It doesn’t feel right to me — I’d rather just use my platforms to share what I am interested in, and be myself rather than pushing “a brand.” Branding myself feels too confining.

As a freelancer, you are allowed to have a wide range of interests and skills and to use your social media to promote them. I have learned that, by being a little more personal and focusing away from pushing a brand, you may connect with the types of people you want to work with anyway."

The decision to be self-employed comes with a lot of risks no matter how you slice it.

Entrepreneurs can offer a broad impact on the world markets but the owner must be careful of their personal branding.

Freelancers offer a specialized product for a narrow niche, but they have more freedom to show their personal life in their social media and self promotion.

If you chose to venture into self-employment, which path would you take?

Published in Coworking Blog

The world is saturated by advertisements and marketing campaigns.

Social media and the internet have made it very easy for marketers to pay and put their ads right in front of whomever they want around the world. This can be overwhelming on both sides of the business fence.

For entrepreneurs, it has become increasingly difficult to simply show the world that they exist and then, harder still, that they have something to offer of any value. 

With so many marketing campaigns running all of the time, we are so desensitized to advertising that we can make well conditioned, snap judgments toward how the ad is being presented or if the presenter is being too salesy.

Advice for entrepreneurs on how to get noticed is surprisingly simple: reel it back to who you are and be authentic.

What does this mean? Let's break it down.

An article in The Muse presents an interview with Dawn Perry of Real Simple magazine. Perry shared these six suggestions for how to be authentic while also enjoying the process of self-promotion:

  1. Be natural
  2. Love your website / brand
  3. Go off the grid
  4. Show some of your real life (transparency)
  5. Openness to organic inquiries
  6. Remember the details

Numbers 3, 4, and 6 refer to the balance you must strike between the content you create for work and the time you spend away from work, even though a lot of people's ads show snippets of their real lives.

Entrepreneurs must most importantly determine how they want to demonstrate suggestions 1, 2, and 5.

What does natural mean to you?

What does it look like when you are being natural?

What does it feel like for you?

Authenticity is all about the absence of a mask. Those who spend time wearing some kind of facade that things are different or better than they actually are (or, in marketing, that something holds more value than it actually does), the false veneer unravels at some point 100% of the time. It cannot be maintained because too much energy goes into preserving it.

In business, the unraveling of that inauthenticity can have career-ending consequences.

What do you really want people to know and see in your videos?

What kind of honesty do you want to convey?

Another thing about authenticity is that it gives space to be proud of and trust your business. 

Honesty conveys value and shows why your business exists in the first place. If you are not proud of what you do, why are you trying to promote it?

If you are not comfortable with who you are and what you are promoting, you must take a look at yourself first before ever publishing something online. No one wants their time wasted, especially these days.

Just relax and be yourself.

Published in Coworking Blog