In this inaugural episode I talk about the start of my journey of self development through the lens of being a digital business consultant.
Hello, for anyone who doesn’t know me my name is Dene and I’m a web designer/developer from DG web consultancy.
The spelling of my name is a bit weird, normally you spell my name Dean but my name is actually spelled Dene. So some people have called me Dene and still do even though they know the difference.
I recently lost a major source of income so right now I’m working out exactly what it is I’m going to be doing next.
In the past web design/development has been the majority of my work. Despite offering my own advice to clients on marketing and advertising I didn’t really apply it to my own business, because my work as a consultant usually came from referrals or by meeting and talking with people. So this has led to me coasting with how I promote myself.
The consequence was I wasn’t very good at marketing myself of even active on social media, so telling my clients one thing while doing another myself doesn’t really reflect well on how I conduct my own business.
Now I’m in a situation where I need to be up and running again. While I have little passive income and not much in my pipeline it’s more important for me to follow my own advice.
So now I’m treating myself as my own client to establish a process I can follow and execute on.
How am I going to approach this? There’s two approaches I can take to this: being a farmer or a hunter.
In terms of how I make money a hunter mindset will have me just looking for the next customer to build the website for. Then once it’s built and signed off it’s usually left for the client to deal with who likely does little with it so I’d have to keep finding my next project and rinse and repeat. This is how a lot of web designers/developers work so they’re always chasing business.
The farmer mindset I can approach in at least a couple of ways. One is pre-sales that focuses more on planting seeds of interest, establishing myself as an authority in my field over time and building a following.
Once I have a customer the farmer mindset also will look at longer term ROI. This can be in the form of maintenance to the website, making recommendations for building on the current website (in terms of either providing more function, looking at SEO and marketing opportunities or using it to integrate with external marketing campaigns).
Using a recent project as an example I’ve started the initial build as a smaller project. This makes the project easier to manage for the client and it is also up and running in a much smaller space of time. The client also has more time to think about how it can grow in the future and provide any relevant assets such as sales copy, photography, etc. After the build I can provide copy writing, graphic design and additional functionality, among other things. I can also regularly check in to see how they’re doing and what ideas might come up with them. This is the process of tending to my customers like a farmer.
If you’re aware of Chris Ducker he is all about about building a personal brand. The premise of his book “Rise of the Youpreneur”, is that you build a sustainable business from the foundation of your experience, interests, and personality – your personal brand. People don’t just buy from businesses, they buy from people. When people know, like and trust you then it’s hard to compete on that just based on price. This is how building a personal brand is meant to future proof your business.
As someone selling a service it’s more important that people aren’t just buying into my business but also buying into me as a person. With this in mind establishing myself as an authority is something I intend to do by showing up.
Online, part of my approach to this self branding tactic is this podcast. This can be my cornerstone content which can be a base for producing micro content for social media. Also I can use this to complement a deep dive of a topic online as a blog post. There is also a benefit to writing about a variety of different topics, which is I have more chance of writing something I can point people who would like my help so they come to see me as an expert in my field.
So going forward I’m planning to be more active on social media. I’m going to try a variety of things on the platforms which make most sense to me. That doesn’t mean I should be everywhere, because often it’s the case that focusing on a couple of key platforms provides better results than trying to spread your time and attention everywhere.
I’m planning to use Gary Veynerchucks social media content guide. He released a slide deck on how to make 64 pieces of content in a day. I probably won’t follow it exactly but I think it does work well as a good starting point for me to follow.
Offline IRL as the kids say (or in real life) I’m considering meetups, exhibitions and workshops I can attend. Not to sell exactly but to take an interest in people and see how I can help them. If I do a good job of this and I get on well with people then my expertise sells itself. So even if I help the people I interact with for free, they are still more likely to refer business to me or maybe ask for my help for more involved things in future.
It doesn’t have to be all about a hunter mindset, my approach is to build social credit so I can cash it in at a later point.
My plans in future for this podcast are not really established. How many episodes I release remains to be seen.
I’m thinking about talking to some friends about relevant ideas and generally sharing my journey of my own development here. Whether you find it useful or not I hope you enjoy listening.
That’s it for this episode. Expect to hear from me again soon.
If you would like to hear more you can subscribe or find notes on this episode by going to thegreatshows.com and also find relevant links to things I’ve spoken about, or connect with me on social media or by email.
If you would like to share your thoughts on this episode or suggest something for me to cover on a future episode then I would love to hear from you.
Thank you for listening to me ramble on about my plans. Talk to you again soon.