4 min read

Solopreneur Starter Kit (Part 1) - The Story of Sarah Freewill

Solopreneur Starter Kit (Part 1) - The Story of Sarah Freewill
Believe it or not, she's actually NOT Taylor Swift. She's a famous YouTube beauty creator. If you don't believe me, see the YouTube at the bottom.

Sarah Freewill is a marketing director at a big insurance company. As an 18-year veteran, she knows the ins and outs of what makes people buy insurance. In other words, she's an expert in selling something people don't really need like 'loss coverage by a tsunami 🌊' (You probably have a better odd getting attacked by a Bengal tiger 🐅 in the middle of New York City). Feeling both 'stuck' going up in the corporate ladder and 'threatened' by those Tiktok-obsessed, incoming MZ-gen marketers, she knows that the days of her prime as a corporate marketer are numbered. Combining it with the inner voice getting louder every day - "Remember your dream when you were in college? Go get it!"- she's determined that she will start a side project on her own. She bought a web domain, wrote down the list of her skills and expertise, and brainstormed the ideas with her spouse and friends. Sarah laid out a plan to transition from a part-time to a full-time solopreneur in six months.

Fast forward to six months later, Sarah is still a marketing director at the same company. Still worried if she'll be one of the (un)lucky ones to get laid off before the next earning call. Still thinking about starting a side project on weekends. Still typing in a bunch of ideas on the spreadsheet. Still talking with her friends about her passions (who now seem a bit tired of listening to her).

If this all sounds familiar to you, I don't blame you. In fact, I admire your spirits. I'm going even further saying that you are well on your way to becoming a solopreneur and only a few steps away from fulfilling your American Dream.

So what is the missing puzzle here?

After talking with ~300 solopreneurs and another few hundred who have been 'thinking about it for 6 months', we've come to the following conclusions:

  • Self-motivation and inspiration are key to starting one's solopreneurship. Without that 'emotional intelligence', all bets are off.
  • Starting a solopreneurship business is more of a science than art. There are manuals and guidelines. You just need to follow and execute them. One of our users is a 13-year old kid(?) who launched her solopreneur business with those manuals. If she can do it, you can do it.
  • Launching a solopreneur business right is much easier (like an order of 10x) and more effective (like an order of 100x) when you work with someone (I mean an expert) helping you 'launch it'.

Let's dive deep. Assume that you have the self-motivation required to get your heart started, now comes the 'manual'. At the high level, launching a solopreneur (or freelancer or creator) business takes the following steps:

  1. Understand what's needed to start a solopreneurship business.
  2. Set quantified goals.
  3. Find someone who's willing to work with you.
  4. Execute, iterate, and execute again

First, understand what's needed to start a solopreneurship business.

Every solopreneurship is unique and it's impossible to have one single step-by-step guideline for everyone. Nevertheless, if you have the following package, you are already better than 50% of solopreneurs out there.

Personal branding with the right substances and styles

When it comes down to personal branding, you can find plenty of information online. You will also find that when you ask 100 people about what personal branding is, you will get 100 different definitions. Most of them are correct. The question is how you can build one. At Ceeya, we help build the personal branding of our users with the following criteria in mind:

  • The simpler it is, the better it is: The best solopreneurs follow what we call internally 'The 1-sentence, 3-point, 10-people rule'. That is, describe your service to the first 10 potential customers you have in mind in one sentence with 3 persuasive points.
  • Present your personal branding in a professional-looking UI: Having the right personal branding is one thing. Presenting them to attract potential buyers is another thing. If the former is the substance, the latter is style. You need both to get it done.
'The 1-sentence, 3-point, 10-people rule'

Testimonials and Portfolio

Unless you're perfectly fine doing business just within your own network, you will eventually need to expand your customer base outside your network. In other words, a complete stranger who comes across your business profile should pay for your service. What makes them pay you their precious, hard-earned money? Two words - legitimacy and authenticity. Simply put, legitimacy is what makes people believe that the contents are worth paying for. Authenticity is what makes people believe that you are the right person to offer them. The two known and proven methods are showing your portfolio (legitimacy) and testimonials (authenticity).

Testimonial example

Sellable, in-demand services to offer

This is the most critical section. It's not just what you sell. It's all about offering unique services where you target a very specific and narrow audience. I wrote an entire blog about it and you can find all about it here.

List of 10 people to reach out to as potential customers

This is a pattern we found internally after working with hundreds of solopreneurs, creators, and freelancers. We call this litmus testing to see if a potential solopreneur is ready to take on solopreneurship. No matter how great your profile and personal branding look, it always takes your hustling at the end to find the first few customers. There's no other way around it. If you can't find even 10 potential customers (or people you can just talk to about the business), sorry but solopreneurship isn't your thing, at least for now.

Thank you for reading this! Next time we will cover the rest of the 'Freelancer and Creator Starter Kit' including:

  • Set quantified goals.
  • Find someone who's willing to work with you.
  • Execute, iterate, and execute again

#freelancer #solopreneur #creator

written by Kisang Pak, co-founder @ Ceeya

Ceeya helps solopreneurs and freelancers make more money. Ceeya closely works with each of its users to launch and grow their business. If you're one of the (prospect) solopreneurs, visit https://home.ceeya.io and leave your email to launch and accelerate your solopreneur business. Or send an email to kpak@ceeya.io directly.

p.s. Here's the original YouTube representing the featured image on top