3.2 A good start is the whole job

Many self-employed people have the idea that they are not good at marketing. They support this idea with the story that their website does not attract customers, and that they can not distinguish themselves from the competition: there are already so many of these types of courses, activities and professional colleagues.

The above ‘conviction’ really only means that you have too vague a picture of who you are and what you have to offer. That way you do not show what you are worth. In short: you could be pretty good at marketing, but you have not really started it yet. You think so.

Of course, you have to start somewhere. And with the current technology and market situation it is not that difficult to have a logo, business cards or a website made at an affordable price. But those resources only work when they are loaded – with meaning. And here I tell you how you do that.

What is a good start?

You might know the saying: a good start is half the work. It is beautiful folk wisdom. If you are going to do ‘marketing’, that thought is not right. A good start is the whole job. Why? Otherwise you will go too fast.

As a result, you are insufficiently prepared for a triumphant march in entrepreneurial land. What do you need to be able to make a success of your company?

A good start. What is that?

You are a professional who knows what your strengths are about. If you have the experience that you are not good at selling yourself, then in 99% of the cases it is due to the fact that you do not have a good story yet. That story is the crux for your success.

Without a good story you do not have solid ground under your feet. How does this work? The basis of all marketing is that you know who you are and what that adds to others.

An example: a tailor with a passion for couture wants to make the next step in his entrepreneurship. He has a website that does deliver customers, but too little to build a good life. So he is putting energy into writing weblog articles and developing activities on Twitter and Facebook. He also sends out a monthly newsletter.

Nothing can be said about his craftsmanship as a fashion designer. He is just very good at what he has to offer to customers. His problem is not in the supply, but in the story he tells. That is not complete. And with that, he is unknown on the market that belongs to him. His ideal customers can’t see that he can make their life and work a lot easier. In order to be able to do that, he has to go back to the beginning.

A good start starts by asking yourself four questions

You answer these questions in a conversation. Because there is not one answer to such a question – there may be twenty answers that you could give. After all, your field of excellence is versatile. You can only summarize that wide range of value in one sentence (the pay-off) if you have an overview of all aspects. In the meantime, that overview is precisely the starting point for a good story.

Which four questions should this fashion designer answer? For example these:

1. What does Customization mean for you and as an experience for customers?
2. What is the importance of working with Materials (substances) and color use?
3. Which Tailors’ knowledge distinguishes you from the competition?
4. What role does Co-creation play in the cooperation with your customers?

Translate these questions to your situation. 1. How do you deliver customization and how do customers experience that? 2. With what material do you work and what does that add to the experience of your client? 3. What special knowledge and experience do you have? 4. How do you work together and in what way is the dialogue with your client important for the process? You could include all answers to such questions with your mobile, and then elaborate the recording to a text document. No, you do not have a story yet, but you do have an overview.

Ultimately you will have to make choices within that overview. Because potential customers have only limited ability to record information. With a lecture the rule applies that you highlight one main point and at most two smaller points. You can not convey more to your audience, even if it is very intelligent. Limited information also works better on a website.

Prefer Less than More.

So if you have the idea that you are not good at marketing, you probably never really started taking two steps back, before you take three steps forward.

A good preparation therefore determines whether ‘you can show what you are worth’. Only then will you become wildly attractive to customers.



The Dutch Version.



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