How to look bigger than you are.

How to look bigger than you are.

The inevitable result of corporate downsizing has been to create many more entrepreneurs, boutiques, consultants and others in the self-employed class.  Liberation from being a cog in the massive machinery also means losing some resources.  Suddenly, you are your own accountant, ad agency, salesman, and janitor.  The good news is that there are many free tools on the internet to help with some of the nuts-and-bolts stuff, like accounting software.  The internet is, in many ways, the Great Equalizer, especially in terms of promoting your business.  A good promotion toolkit isn’t free just because it’s online:  it takes energy, creativity, and strategic focus.  But there are many things you can do that, if done well, can level the playing field between you and the Big Guys. WordPress: This open-source blog platform can be used not only for blogging but as a simple website.  It’s free to use (you can buy extra themes and plug-ins) and isn’t hard to master. Social Media: Facebook and Twitter are just as available to you as they are to Starbucks.  Watch the techniques done by the best, and learn. E-Newsletters: Services like Emma can help you put out a professional newsletter with links to all the other things you are doing.  It’s still a great way to reach people, if you gather addresses the right way, from people you actually know; they are golden. Subscriptions: No matter what business you are in, there is a limitless amount of information on professional blogs; subscribe to the ones that teach you the most.  Set up an RSS feed to gather and organize your subscriptions. Tutorials: If you need help using any sort of software, there are folks online who will teach you to use it for nothing. Content Marketing: You are an expert on something, maybe several somethings.  Blog about it, and build traffic to your blog and/or website.  Be a guest blogger.  (Hint: Sometimes other bloggers run out of ideas or need a fresh viewpoint on their sites.)  Create interest for your business and links to your site. Research: Set up Google Alerts on any subject and the most recent internet posts about it will come straight to your Gmail inbox.  The other Google tools, like Analytics, are invaluable. Community: When you’re doing it all yourself, it’s easy to lose perspective and feel a bit isolated.  Join some online groups in your field; people are generous with their expertise.  LinkedIn has some great professional groups. Mom-and-pop store or pajama-clad home office type, you can run with the best of them. What makes promoting your business easier?  Please share, and...

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