Article by Wendy McCance
Are you thinking about leaving your job to strike out on your own? My husband left his lucrative job last year and has been interning so that he can go into business for himself as a web designer. We have discussed him joining me so that we can have a more well-rounded business. He will build and maintain websites and I will fill in the content for the websites and manage social media platforms.
The reason I am bringing this up is that as my husband is interning and getting ready to join me in business, I am getting his information in place so that by the time he is ready to work full-time as a web developer, he will already have a strong presence on the web.
If you are contemplating taking a leap and working for yourself, there are things you can do before you leave your current job that will be very beneficial to you. By the time you are working for yourself, having a solid web presence will make a huge difference in how quickly you will be able to pick up clients.
Below is a list of the things I am putting into place for my husband so that once he leaves his internship, he will already be known in the community.
1. LinkedIn profile
Even though the job title and summary will change when my husband leaves his current job, there are other things that can be done that will improve his opportunities once he is on his own.
The LinkedIn profile should be completely filled in and have a professional picture. Reaching out and connecting to the type of people you want to be in touch with is something that should be done as soon as possible. For whatever reason, once you have more than 500 people, you look much more established than if you have 145 (for instance).
Joining the right groups is an important step. Although you might not be in your new job yet, you can still engage in groups in the field you are going into. It’s a great way to show what you have learned and start building a name for yourself.
Twitter is the easiest place to connect with influencers. Focus on the area you live in and really get your name out there. People love to do business with others who are local. The fact that you are close enough to meet in person makes many people much more trusting of hiring someone they don’t know.
Aim to get your name easily recognized in your area by connecting with people and businesses. Share articles that relate to the field you will be going into and add your own thoughts. Get people used to the fact that you are knowledgeable in your field.
Join social media sites like Quora where you can add your knowledge to conversations. You can create a profile too. This is another way to get your name out there as an expert and raise your name in search rankings.
Once you have a website, add your profile to all the directories that make sense. Local directories like Yelp and Manta as well as social media platforms where you would like to share your information is a good idea. The more profiles you have, the more quickly you will be found in search rankings. Just think, how great it would be to begin your first official day in your new career and have your name flooding the first page of search results when your personal name or business name are searched. It gives you a huge edge and makes you look well-established when you are so easy to find.
Here is an excellent link with 55 directories you can add your profile to. http://www.yext.com/blog/2012/09/the-most-important-local-business-directories-for-seo/
Now that you have done these steps, you should have a great head start in accumulating business once you are out on your own.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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