Lots of people think of themselves as entrepreneurs, but few really understand what goes into becoming an entrepreneur. However, if you’re passionate about creating innovative new products, dedicated to launching successful startups, and committed to growing your small businesses into a thriving enterprise, you certainly deserve to be known as an entrepreneur!
Becoming an entrepreneur
First, let’s take a look at what we mean when we say, entrepreneur. Starting your own business doesn’t necessarily make you an entrepreneur. We divide small businesses into two buckets: 1) lifestyle businesses designed to replace the income you would earn as an employee and 2) businesses with a high growth potential designed to grow into an enterprise that provides an income for not only the founder but many others, as well.
Folks interested in becoming an entrepreneur commonly fall into the second bucket; developing innovations and employing innovative business models to turn the economy on its head and create massive wealth. We often think about innovations in terms of new products, such as cryptocurrency and robotics. However, innovative business models offer the same level of economic potential. Take, for instance, the gig economy fueled by workers who contribute their time and assets without becoming employees of an organization, such as Uber and Grubhub where workers set their own hours and earn based on their level of contribution. Or take businesses like Airbnb, where average folks rent their unused space for short-term use by travelers. This business model generates revenue for the average homeowner while offering unique, low-cost accommodations (over 7 million listings) and generating massive profits for the company (around 3.5 billion in 2020). Airbnb alone generates an economic value of 33. 8 billion in the US [source].
The value of becoming an entrepreneur
Deciding to become an entrepreneur is a tough decision, as entrepreneurs face far above-average financial risk and dedicate vast swaths of their time and talent to building their high-growth business. While risky, the financial rewards are also massive, with most of today’s billionaires tracing their wealth to such endeavors.
Entrepreneurial businesses not only create value for their founders, investors, and the stock market (once they become publicly traded organizations), they improve the lives of consumers. Everything from smartphones to social media platforms to online retailers (like Amazon) owes their existence to someone with the vision to see a demand for something the world had never seen before. These visionaries work long hours, investing time and money, to build their vision into a reality that everyone now enjoys. I mean, how many times have those of you old enough to remember the days before smartphones wondered how we survived without these little computers in our pockets. We use them for directions, making purchases on the fly, finding a restaurant or gas station while traveling, keeping track of our appointments, and, sometimes, we even make a phone call with them.
Becoming an entrepreneur offers huge benefits to society as a whole, regardless of your belief that some of these businesses, like Amazon (with over half a million employees, most earning $15/hour) and Facebook (with lack privacy and offering a platform for unsavory users), become exploitive. The high-growth businesses run by entrepreneurs are the economic engine that runs the economy and downward trends in entrepreneurship since 2000 are blamed for a sluggish economy that only grew at half the rate of the time between 1960 and the 1990s.
To help develop your image, take a look at these top tips for marketing yourself and becoming an entrepreneur.
Promote your personal brand
As an entrepreneur, you are your brand, which means promoting your talents is part and parcel of the role. With a sound reputation management process and a strategic approach to branding, you can not only succeed as an entrepreneur but raise your professional profile too.
A personal brand must be rich, including elements of your personality as well as your skills, ideas, and expertise. Don’t fear sharing elements of your personal life, your hobbies, your passions, and your family even if they don’t related to your business at all.
Create a personal website
If you’re an employee or a business owner, you may already have a presence on a corporate website but having your own space online elevates your profile and is mandatory as you transition from an employee to an entrepreneur. Successful entrepreneurs and innovators, like David William Sherrer, typically operate a personal website to showcase their projects, as well as being featured on their corporate website. As well as boosting your online profile, hosting your own site also makes it easy for people to get in touch with you, which could lead to lucrative deals and exciting collaborations.
Write guest posts
Besides furnishing your own website with informative and insightful content on a regular basis, you should build out your profile as an entrepreneur by authoring guest posts for external websites where you can reach different audiences and gain a reputation as an expert. This helps to establish yourself as a thought leader and gives you the opportunity to share your ideas and insights with other people in your industry and your target markets.
In addition to this, publishing guest posts is also a savvy way to secure backlinks for your own website. By doing so, you’ll be able to increase the SEO rankings of your own web pages and increase awareness of your personal brand.
Accept interview requests
As your success grows, you’ll find that you’re more in demand by organizations, bloggers, radio stations, and even TV programs. If you’re approached to take part in Q&A interviews or to share your insights on a topic, seize the chance to connect with your audience and build your brand. Whether they’re in written format or via podcasts or video chats, interviews are a great way for you to showcase your personality, as well as your professional achievements.
After all, being a successful entrepreneur is more of a mindset than a status, so use interview opportunities to share your outlook with others and shape your profile.
Be a problem solver
Entrepreneurs are typically curious, inventive, and, above all, problem solvers. It’s usually the brands, products, and services that solve problems that are most successful, which is probably why entrepreneurs are so successful when it comes to business.
When you share your problem-solving skills with others, you can establish yourself as a genuine entrepreneur. From acting as a consultant for budding startups to offering tips via social media, there are numerous ways you can market your skillset.
Becoming an entrepreneur
Marketing yourself as an entrepreneur is only worthwhile if you’ve got the skills, stamina, risk tolerance, and knowledge to back it up. By honing your entrepreneurial talents and employing these marketing tactics, you can achieve commercial success and enjoy a successful career as an entrepreneur and industry leader.
Need marketing help to support business growth?
We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE with our data-driven, results-oriented marketing strategies. Sign up for our FREE newsletter, get our FREE guide to creating an awesome website, or contact us for more information on hiring us.
Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.