As a solopreneur, this is a story about rebranding, reinventing, and realigning my online persona in the digital marketplace. It’s a journey about moving with the times. After all, remaining relevant and essential in this increasingly complex, diverse and multifaceted world is an important issue for all of us and it takes investments. Investments in our thinking, emotional and physical energies. It’s about identifying digital strategies, finding the right resources and talent to help make strategic choices and positive changes.
The term solopreneur began to be socialized from around 2010, yet in my research, I found a definition dating back to 2005. That being said, today, it’s a well known term and there are increasing numbers of us out there making a living as one person businesses.
Transitioning to Solopreneurship
As a solopreneur, I used to be extra precious about my content, my services, my clients, my brand and hoped everyone who stumbled on my website would immediately love my content as much as I did.
Becoming comfortable as a solopreneur was a transition in identity for me, because when I had my first website, 16 years ago in 1999, I was shy about positioning myself as a solo act. I had come from big consulting background. It didn’t seem professional to talk about myself in the first person singular on my earlier websites. Instead the company was positioned as a consortium of consultants, a group of associates, so I wrote in the in the first person plural – “we” do this and that; “our clients” are xyz. It felt too early to say I worked from home and I was alone. I was nervous to admit, I did it all on my own.
Well, things have changed and with the employment scene as it has been for the last 10 years and with entrepreneurs and solopreneurs, solo practitioners being the norm, it’s no longer a stigma to say:
“I am my own company and it’s great!”
Since 1999, I’ve had 7 websites. It’s the last four websites, since 2006, that have evolved to ever higher performing platforms increasing strategic value with each evolution.
Until 6 years ago, I kept my “professional’ website separate from my newly created WordPress blog. As my blogging site grew, it became increasingly clearer to me that the boundaries between my professional persona and my personal persona were dissolving. I was writing stories that spoke to my passion (in fact my first blog was called pursuingpassions.com) and my passion was my work, because I do work I love and it informs who I am.
Fast track to my most recent evolution, when I got really strategic. Ten months ago I had a BFO – a blinding flash of the obvious. My website was tired looking, it was dated and even though it had been converted to be mobile optimized, it still wasn’t reflecting my own self-perception of being current, and a thought leader in my field.
Embracing Digital Strategies
It was time to reassess and update, and follow my own advice that I give to clients about the need to re-invent yourself and get clarity about your purpose, strengths, and potential legacy.
I’m super excited about the results. For me, rebranding to Positivity Strategist from my former Positive Matrix identity has been very exciting because I was coached to follow an inbound marketing content strategy. It was a significant, and hugely valuable undertaking.
Juergen Berkessel, CEO of Polymash, has become my digital strategist, guiding me to understand how to begin to increase the visibility of my web presence in the world. He coached me in a workshop format to complete value proposition design and persona development activities that have helped me appreciate and segment my clients. This has shaped content and refined language on my website; and with that awareness, I now can write more targeted content that more specifically relates to their needs.
Podcasting as a Content Strategy
Polymash also recommended I start a podcast as a content strategy, and took over the production of it in order to grow my content offering, thereby positioning my leadership in my field and increasing traffic to my website. There are many search engine and traffic generating aspects to this as outlined in How to Start A Podcast As Content Strategy in 2015
Marketing Automation and SEO
I’ve begun to appreciate and follow Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices for producing all of my content, and am making use of marketing automation software that allows me to grow my email list. I can now better understand how anonymous site visitors or email subscribers behave on my site, and I can better respond to their behavior in order to engage and serve them. Ultimately many of these anonymous visitors are opting in specific service and content offers, and relationships are strengthening.
Expanding the Platform
On-line Courses as Content Strategy
Because I'm a writer, speaker, trainer and, therefore produce a lot of content, the next piece of advice my coach offered me to grow my content marketing capability was to create an online training course in my field of expertise. I have just launched my first Udemy course Be an Agent for Positive Change: Positivity Strategies and accompanying that is the creation of a YouTube Channel, showcasing my course, and also Slideshare presentations. The blogging continues and I've just started to produce regular posts on LinkedIn, and the Udemy course will result in dozens future posts.
In less than 10 months, with the guidance of my digital strategies coach, my brand new domain name, Positivity Strategist with a zero Alexa ranking has grown organically to being the #1.5M most popular site world wide and #235,539 in the US, outranking many well-known brands and established websites in my professional field, and an increasing amount of visitors and opt-ins are the result of my SEO optimized content being found on Google and other search engines .
Professional Growth is a Bonus Benefit
Not only has my website gone from non-existent to a viable presence on line, I have learnt and grown enormously in the last 10 months. What I had absolutely no appreciation for in the the past, I now appreciate and practice. I can perform many of these activities with greater ease and therefore I experience joy. My professional development in the areas of speaking, interviewing, writing have improved because I’m using them all the time.
A huge discovery has been to accept that I can use automated tools and software. It’s not so complex; and, it is so rewarding! And for tasks I used to moan and groan about, I’m reaping the rewards. Just one example is researching the right key words to improve the search ranking of every piece of content I write. I hated doing that, as I just wanted to write fun titles for my posts.
It was tough to make the changes, yet I have now successfully habituated them and I am seeing huge benefits. It’s been a great 10 month journey and I am truly grateful.