Finding self-employment opportunities that are financially viable and suit your interests doesn’t have to be difficult. Neither does marketing your business.
Networking strategically has been a feature of Sigrid de Kaste’s business life, enabling her to get to know other small business owners. She credits listening well to people’s business concerns and problems as the best way to recognise good self-employment opportunities.
Over the years Sigrid has had businesses in photography, diamond jewellery, and office supplies. She has owned and run StickyBeak Marketing for some years. This marketing agency has helped many small business people to achieve their goals.
Now she works with coaches and consultants to write a book from which they can build their reputation, their brand, and their business.
Sigrid loves the freedom that comes from being self-employed…Freedom to build a business the way you want it …Freedom to work as much or as little as you want to, when you want to…And freedom to utilise your skills and knowledge in a way that is true to you.
The importance of networking and listening
Always a keen networker, Sigrid acknowledges that she always listens really well to people at networking events. She tunes in to the problems, fears, and questions they mention. This tells her what is needed in that market, or in a related niche.
For instance, when she was in the jewellery business she heard other small business people expressing what they wanted from the office supply companies they used. When the time was right, she got into an office supply business providing the service that people were asking for. Serving the small business market, she listened as they described their marketing problems. She had been successful with her marketing, and so StickyBeak Marketing was born, meeting the exact needs that people had expressed.
Helping coaches and consultants
Similarly, while running her Marketing Agency business Sigrid listened to her clients and attended networking events where she would meet potential clients. She found that many coaches and consultants had great expertise and knowledge but didn’t appreciate their own uniqueness. As a result, they were not achieving their goals because potential clients didn’t acknowledge their points of difference in a busy marketplace of other coaches and consultants. In addition, she realised that they were feeling overwhelmed by all the platforms and tools for marketing, and wanted to stand out in a different way.
Writing a book is a great marketing tool
Sigrid had already written three books that she successfully used as marketing tools for StickyBeak Marketing. And so coaching clients to write their own book became part of her business. She guides coaches and consultants to recognise the unique way they assist clients. Then they create a clear plan to share their ideas, speaking directly to the clients’ needs and concerns.
Her clients use their book as the core of their marketing. They share snippets of their books online in many different places. This helps them to quickly gain a reputation as thought leaders.
Challenges of self-employment
Sigrid mentioned the two main challenges that she has experienced.
Initially you have to prove your expertise and tell your target market what you can offer them. Successfully achieving that without coming over too strong can be difficult.
Secondly, social media platforms constantly change in their rules, appearance, and reach. New ‘better’ marketing tools emerge on the market regularly. Keeping up with it all is a challenge for small business owners, and for those who are serving their online needs.
Sigrid feels that the business model she is now offering overcomes both of these common problems. As a result, her clients’ expertise is showcased to potential clients, with great results.
Tips if you are considering self-employment opportunities
- Look at what you enjoy doing, reading, researching, watching.
- Talk to people who share your interest. Is there something missing that would solve a problem for other people with the same interest?
- Have a discovery consultation with a small business expert to consider if your business idea is viable, both financially and personally.
- Develop a plan that is practical and that includes the expert support you will need.
“Build a book to build a business”, Sigrid de Kaste’s latest book, co-written with Sandra Spence, is now available for sale at just $2.99 which includes a 5 video course which expands the ideas in the book.