Happy Anniversary to me! Today marks 19 years of being self employed. The last few years haven't been as great as the previous years were because I'm now also the sole caregiver for my mother, who has dementia. Still, I'm plugging away and still get a contract or two here and there, so something must be working... I wonder...

Whenever I do an anniversary post or video, I tackle a particular subject that's either to offer tips on how to do particular areas of business or one of the types of service I offer. This time around I'm going to tackle promotion and branding because I see a lot of self employed people who aren't really doing it all that much. They're either doing little or getting on people's nerves; that won't do, will it?

Once I've had my say about these two things, I'm going to share links to previous articles and the 3 videos I've done helping me celebrate my anniversaries. Lucky for you, I didn't create my first anniversary post until the 10th; after that, the skies the limit. Enough of that; let's get started.

I have another blog where I talk about blogging, writing and social media. Something I talk about often is the topic of leaving comments on other blogs. I hate when people leave comments and links to their business using Gmail, Yahoo, or anything other than highlighting their domain name in their email address. If you're not doing that, you're missing the point of why the concept of branding is important.

Any email that comes from my business account, website or blog ends with ttmitchellconsulting.com. It's there on purpose because I want anyone I contact for business purposes to know where they can find more information on my business. I've talked to people who say Gmail is easy; I call it disposable. It's also promoting another company rather than their own.

I'm never sure they're trustworthy because I wonder what they might be hiding. If I get email from someone I don't know and it doesn't have an extension to their website in some way, I don't trust them and rarely respond unless I know them. That's just how I am.

Another thing that makes me a little bit wary is when I get email sent to my business and the email doesn't have a signature file. It might have a person's name, but if there's nothing mentioning the business name or showing a link to that person's website, I'm a bit circumspect of their professionalism. I know that not everyone has a website, but this is 2020 after all; at the very least buy a domain name, set up a redirect and look legitimate.

A signature file in email should have, at the very least, a name, business name and business link. A phone number also helps; it's business after all.

On my other blog, I encourage people to blog if they have a business. I'm not going to do that here because I know a lot of people hate writing. However, what I am going to recommend is that you not only have some kind of website, but you have at least a few articles on it as well as some kind of biography page.

Why? Because that's what you use for promoting yourself and your business. Having a few different pages that contain the above allows you to diversify your promotions even a little bit. Having more articles and pages allows you more flexibility (I have over 1,400 articles on this blog) and gives you the opportunity to get in front of other people without boring them into senselessness because they've seen all you have multiple times.

If you can find another way to be creative, then do it; lots of people put things on LinkedIn that they don't have on their website. However, it makes sense to keep a copy of all of that somewhere in case you want to use it again. These kinds of things help you get in front of your potential market without sending out tons of emails to people you don't know and never getting any responses.

If you don't mind a little bit of writing, having a business blog is a great idea, especially if it's connected to your business website. However, there are other ways to help your promotional activities. Write articles for other blogs or magazines. Give interviews and interview other people, either written, audio or video.

Once you have those things, promote them everywhere you can, especially on social media. I keep a file of articles and videos that I promote often on Twitter. Many of them I've also promoted on LinkedIn and, when it was still around Google Plus. Some of them I promote on Facebook, but since I closed my Facebook business page I'm a bit more perspicacious what I share there since most of the people I'm connected to are personal contacts.

Some of my written material goes into some of the sales letters I send out via regular mail. If I get to connect with someone via email and I know they're interested in a topic I've created content on, I'll send them a link so they can check it out that way instead. This is the marketing piece that's the most difficult because for some of us it's stomach clinching. Unless our previous employment was sales related, it's not an area we're comfortable in. That's why it helps to have material to help you get through to potential clients.

Promotion is the one thing that's relatively easy to do, and it's ongoing. It allows you to be seen, even if your audience is small. It gives you the opportunity to get in front of many people, sometimes big names, sometimes big payers. Without promotion, you're just someone begging someone for their money. With promotion, you're a name; something to think about.

With that said and done, here's the part where I share links to my previous articles and embed's of my videos. Thanks for reading; I hope I've been helpful and continue being helpful as I head towards my 20th anniversary year.

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