So you’ve decided to start a business, you are now officially an entrepreneur.
There are a few things you need to do straight away…
First up: business cards. Raised print, full colour, printed both sides is usually the best. Don’t stress over what to put as your job title. Just “Entrepreneur” will suffice.
You can get them printed for free from some companies as long as you don’t mind them advertising on the reverse.
This isn’t a bad thing – you can tell people they paid you to advertise on your card or say they’re one of your “sponsors”. It’s sort of true. More info on the topic of business cards here.
Getting to Eleventy Gajillion Followers
It’s now commonly accepted that the number of followers you have on Twitter is a good indicator of your worth as a human being.
To get lots of followers your Twitter profile is going to need a makeover. Make sure you use the word “guru” in there somewhere. If you’ve previously thought about starting other businesses you should probably describe yourself as a “serial entrepreneur” instead. Do also try to work in the phrase “thought leader” too for extra kudos.
You only have 140 characters, so perhaps the best thing to do is to create a Wikipedia entry for yourself (remember to write in the third person) and just put a link to that as your bio.
Once your profile is all set up, you need to follow anyone and everyone.
Look The Part
Buy an iPad, take it everywhere with you even if you don’t ever use it.
If you want to go all retro then you should probably also get a FiloFax. Make sure it’s monogrammed.
Get a call answering service set up. That way you can use the phrase “your people should talk to my people”. Of course, when anyone calls you just have your answering service tell them that you’re “busy doing business”. Let them leave a message. However, don’t return the call – if it’s important then they’ll call back (and leave another message).
If you can upgrade to a Virtual Assistant instead of just an answering service then even better because then you’ll have someone to “manage your diary”
As you’re now a successful entrepreneur you should find yourself some speaking opportunities where you can stand in front of an admiring crowd of wannabes.
Remember not to refer to these events as “speaking opportunities” when you talk about them – they are “gigs”.
Drop in references to Bill, Steve and Mark at any given opportunity. If people ask who you’re talking about just look surprised and say, “oh, sorry – I mean Bill Gates/Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg” .
It’s important that people know you’re on first name terms with these heavy hitters.
Get Out There!
There are networking events, conferences and entrepreneur meet-ups on most days/evenings. You should try to go to at least 17 a week.
Be warned that quite often at these events people seem to think their business is going to be of interest to you and they may try to talk about it. Don’t worry, at some point they’ll pause for breath at which point you can then start talking about you and your business.
Make sure they know about your guru status and the fact that you’re a thought leader. If they manage to start talking again then it’s time to hand over your business card and walk away.
Make sure you collect as many business cards as possible from all of those events you go to. It doesn’t matter whether you speak to the person who’s name is on the card – you’re just trying to get as many as possible. Discarded cards found on the floor or on the train are fair game too.
The reason for collecting all of these cards is so that you can connect to these people on LinkedIn as detailed here.
Alternatively, you could not bother with all of the above and just get your head down and crack on with building your business. Not as much fun though.
Inspiration Credit to @VeronicaPullen