As the first quarter has now finished, it is the time to review the goals in your Leaders in Heels planner to see if you are on track to achieve what you set out to do in 2019. These could be plans to grow your social media presence, refresh your website or learn how to charge your worth. Most people who finish formal education, stop educating themselves. To keep succeeding in business, it is vital to always be on a journey to develop and educate yourself. Self-education offers plenty of options that mean you don’t have to enrol in lengthy university degrees.
Grow your social media presence with self-education
If one of your goals is growing your social media presence, why not complete a short course?
You could do a short online course like Google’s Digital Garage, which offers free online courses on digital marketing and other topics. It includes modules like ‘how your customers can find you online’ and ‘connecting with your customers via mobile’. The great thing about this is there is no time limit to complete the modules, so you can take the course at your own pace and fit it in with your business demands.
If you prefer a more structured, face-to-face environment, the University of Sydney’s Centre for Continuing Education has short courses on digital marketing and other topics open to the public. These courses are typically conducted in one business day, or over a couple of after-work sessions. Plenty of universities offer short courses, including the University of Newcastle and RMIT. A quick Google search will undercover more options at your local university.
Self-educate to charge your worth
When starting a small business, it is easy to set lower rates to secure clients. As you get more experienced, you have the right to charge more for the value you offer to clients. But how do you know if the price you charge is fair?
To gauge what you should be charging for your services, join a business network within your industry. Ask well-known connections ‘what would you pay for X?’. Reach out to people who offer similar services to yourself and ask what they charge. Educating yourself on what is industry-acceptable ensures that you are priced competitively.
Another option is to find a mentor within your industry who can guide you on what to charge for the services you offer. They can also serve as a resource where you can pick their brain about other challenges that prevent you from achieving your business goals.
If you are breaking into the industry and your network is limited, do some desktop research on what the going rates are in your industry and then charge accordingly. If you are a freelancer or in the early days of developing your business, think about:
- How much you want to earn each year. Remember to take into account superannuation, tax and general business expenses within your budget.
- Consider how many days you will be working. Remember to take out weekends, public holidays, sick and annual leave.
- Don’t charge hourly unless you have to. Create tailored packages and take into account how long it will take to finish the project. Include a buffer in case things go wrong.
Digital self-education – Learn how to refresh your website
Refreshing your website doesn’t necessarily mean you need a complete brand overhaul or learn HTML. Though if you want to expand your market or appeal to a more higher paying customer, a brand overhaul can be refreshing. Your website must reflect what your brand currently represents and you need to ensure it appeals to the audience you want to target.
One of the easiest ways to refresh your website is to add thought-leadership content. As they say, content is king! Writing relevant content will help your brand improve your Google ranking, therefore bringing more potential customers to your site.
To drive traffic to your website by using content you can:
- Start a blog and write about topics that are relevant to your products and services. This is a great way to educate yourself on what other businesses offer in your space. It also helps your peers with their journey to self-education!
- Read other blogs before compiling your own. You can then understand what topics have been overdone, and what niche aspects are yet to be explored. This can help you set your point of difference.
- Make sure your content makes sense and is relevant and useful to your website visitors. Self-educating on your point of difference, and areas that are largely unexplored in your industry by reading and research, will assist with your overall sales promotion. But make sure that your content isn’t just a sales pitch to your products and services.
By committing to self-education, your business can achieve many of the goals and resolutions set for 2019. Once you decide to upskill, you have those skills for life and only need to build or update them as necessary.
About Karin Ingram
Karin has been part of corporate design and print solutions company, Kwik Kopy, since 2007. As Marketing Manager, Karin has developed marketing plans for the Kwik Kopy network that have had record participation levels from franchisees. These have helped propel Kwik Kopy towards its best sales growth in a number of years for its services in business card, stationery, signage, brochure and catalogue printing.