Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in marketing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Larry Easto, founder of Professional Services Connection, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I help self-employed service providers generate more new business ... as effectively as they service and satisfy clients. Many of these service providers are, in fact, service professionals: they care as much about making an impact on their clients' lives as they do about the income they generate for themselves. Some want to do well by doing good; others consider themselves heart-centered entrepreneurs.
Regardless of how these professionals label themselves, they face the same challenges in marketing their services: conventional marketing practices that were developed to help sell commodities and consumer goods don't work when trying to market personal and professional services.
Authentic marketing is so much better for service professionals. Based upon building and maintaining personal relationships, it helps attract clients the same way we make friends and serve clients, the same way we help friends: naturally and authentically.
Tell us about yourself
Truth be told, I started my own business by default. I never really wanted to run my own business, let alone know-how. I was employed as an associate lawyer in a small law firm. I wasn't happy with either the nature or quality of service that small business clients were receiving. So I went out on my own and started my own law practice so that I could consistently provide the nature and quality of service that my clients deserved.
As much as I love to learn new things, I also love to share lessons learned, especially when the lessons have been learned from experience. It's the thrill of experience helping me learn new things, and the joy of sharing lessons learned that keeps me motivated. For me, same old, same old is not only boring...it's demotivating.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment was probably self-publishing my first book--How To Succeed In Your Home Business. Doubleday purchased the rights to the second edition, which went on to be a best-seller, translated into six languages. It also led to a second best-seller More Business for Your Business, as well as a fully sponsored cross-country speaking tour. And best of all..it confirmed how much I love writing and helping my audience learn.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Thanks in part to the Internet, there are too many experts telling everyone, including business owners, what to do. In most cases, these experts are pitching their own one-size-fits-all solutions.
Their premise seems to be that this solution worked for me, and you do exactly the same thing; it will also work for you. What nonsense! As individuals, we are all unique--everyone has their own unique combination of skills, resources, and experience.
The hardest thing for most business owners is to recognize their unique strengths and build upon these strengths to achieve their own goals on their own terms. It can be very challenging to ignore the compelling pitches of today's snake-oil salespeople, pitching their own solutions to everyone's problems. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt to prove it.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Select a product or service that will allow you to interact with customers or clients, who are the kind of people with whom you really enjoy working and interacting.
- Develop and maintain a personal brand that is based upon what distinguishes you from others who provide comparable goods and services to yours. And as part of your brand messaging, help potentially ideal customers and clients understand how they will benefit from your distinctiveness.
- Never stop learning and improving. To do otherwise is to stagnate, wither and die.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.