Starting a new business over 50? Here’s how to get your business seen

Did you know that more and more people over the age of 50 are starting their own businesses? In fact, The BBC on 29th July 2019 has reported that 2,250,000 million people aged over 50 are now registered as self-employed in the UK — half the self-employed workforce. According to Rest Less, a company dedicated to getting over 50’s back into work, the number of self-employed over 60s increased by 64 per cent — from 579,000 in 2009 to 949,000 in 2019.

The number of self-employed 50+-year-olds has risen for a number of reasons according to Work Place Insight. These include people in this age group feeling ignored at work, the need for flexibility due to caring for elderly relatives and being made redundant to be replaced by a younger colleague.

Does this sound like you but don’t know where to start in setting up your own business?

But starting a new business is a daunting and challenging task for anyone!

Picture this, you’ve spent months setting up your business, setting up finances, managing logistics… and then suddenly you realise, in your 9–5 you didn’t have to market your product… That was someone else’s job. And even the most social media savvy 50 year old will struggle with digital marketing if they haven’t had to delve into that world before … anyone would!

So how will anyone ever hear about your product or service? Is all this effort you spent perfecting your course going to be a waste of time? The good news is, digital marketing doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds. We want to make your transition from a 9–5 job to a fully-fledged company owner as easy as possible. The process should be broken down into three main steps.

Build your profile

So, you’ve got your product or services ready. The first thing to do is to build your own social profile. Now, I know what you’re going to say — ‘ why do I need to build my own profile, why can’t my product talk for itself? I want to concentrate on marketing that, not myself’.

Whilst this is true, it’s not how the modern age of marketing works. Your prospective students want to be able to Google their service provider and have confidence that you know what you’re talking about before they part with any cash. This doesn’t mean that you have to become the next superstar influencer (though that will help) but being known online will help your credibility and, in turn, sales.

Start with creating social media around your product, ensure they all have the same handle and the same theme. Ensure your website is professional and easy to digest.

One important aspect of your website “social proof” is case studies and testimonials. Now, here’s an issue, if your company is brand new, how are you going to get testimonials?

Why not give a select few a free trial of your services, with the agreement being that they will provide you with a testimonial?

Another idea is to ask people who have used your services, prior to setting up your own company to provide you with a testimonial concerning your knowledge and expertise. Testimonials don’t have to be just about the course, posting testimonials about yourself is a great way of building yourself as an authority figure for potential students.

Ensure that you do your research. In this day and age, there is a Facebook group related to pretty much everything. Is your product teaching DIY enthusiasts how to put up shelves? Join a DIY Facebook group, see what questions are being asked and write  content or blog posts based on these questions, make yourself known and useful, so that when the time comes, you’ll have a ready-made audience to market your course to.

Research influencers in your niche and reach out to them to promote you and your company. Ensure that it is a multi-beneficial relationship — meaning that they benefit from the collaboration just as much as you do. Appearing on an influencer’s podcast or blog can open the door to thousands of potential leads, all within your target market.

One of the most important aspects of your digital marketing campaign is to ensure that your social media sites are kept up to date with informative and interesting content. Push out content in various forms and see what people respond to. Once you understand what is drawing your audience’s response, you can focus on producing more content in that format.

Build your products

In order to build your authority around a subject, it’s a good idea to create free resources for potential leads to download and learn from. Free e-books, help guides, educational papers, recipe books and blog posts are all great to produce so that when a potential lead Google’s your name, products surrounding your (and their) area of interest will appear. The better the free resource, the more confidence the potential lead will have in your ability and expertise. Not to mention, free downloadable resources are great lead magnets, but more on that later.

Build your ecosystem

So, you’ve begun to build your profile, you have your free downloadable resources to hand … What next? How do you lead people to your website? The answer? Sales funnels!

Remember your free content that can be used as lead magnets we discussed earlier? Now it’s their time to shine! Utilise your lead magnets by creating social media ads (Facebook or LinkedIn, whichever suits your target market the most) for your lead magnet which links to your website when clicked. Create a form using Active Campaign which requires the lead to enter their email address to download the resource, before you know it, you have a ready-made email list who you know are interested in your content!

Create an email sequence detailing your origin story and the benefits of your product or service to this email list, you could even include a one-time special offer to create a sense of urgency to purchase whilst discounted. Before you know it’s the sales will come flooding through your door. Especially if you create a product launch plan.

So, there you have it. If you’re over 50 and getting tired of the way your company is treating you, want more flexibility in your life, or just fancy a new venture,  setting up your own business could be the answer you’re searching for.

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