Carving out your own value
There is so much going on… too much going on for most entrepreneurs. The same can be said for a large number of freelancers. The nature of remote work sees us deal with a myriad of unrelated external systems, and a wide range of clients. No matter where our strengths lie or what our background is, we eventually run into problems we can’t fix ourselves. We won’t have the resources we need at the moment to do the job right. It might be a marketing issue in a new foreign market, or a communications problem with a team of developers. Most of the advice out there directs remote workers to online communities for help. And while that’s very decent generic advice, if you are serious about your freelance business or startup, I suggest you find a higher quality, more effective community that is tailored to your own specific needs.
There are hundreds of existing online groups that set out to help small business owners, online pioneers, and folks working their side hustles. But these groups are full of inactive members, coaches selling their personal services, and advice so vague that it might as well be one of those 90s motivational posters. The only reason you’re searching these communities is because your business needs help with a specific issue. You, the decision maker, need guidance. And these massive groups don’t care about you even if they have the resources or knowledge you need.
Ideally, you’d find yourself a mentor who would work with you one-on-one. But mentorship is a relationship built over time and not best suited for quick fixes. Also it may be difficult to begin a relationship with a person you are asking to assist you by rushing them into advice on a particular issue. It’s better to have a small community of peers that can assist you in times like these.
But how can you chisel out a valuable few from these massive online groups boasting over 10,000 members?
You’ll need to join these faceless communities first. But your goal from the beginning is the quickly identify who the most valuable members are to you and initiate contact. You should be looking for three things:
You want people who are in a similar situation as you.
You’re looking for people who will understand your situation. It helps if they are in a similar one themselves- just as busy, just as motivated, with the same power to make decisions you have. If they’re in the same industry, that’s a bonus. You only need a few people to fill out your support group so be picky. This is one of those cases where you’re looking for quality over quantity.
You want people who will respond.
Because there will be so few of you in this group, there will be a greater sense of responsibility to respond to each other. None of you will waste the group’s time with trivial matters so each request will be taken more seriously. This makes for a more intimate group as well. You’ll be able to share your vulnerabilities, anxieties and failed strategies with less trepidation. The point is, you want each member to feel that this group is for sharing and answering matters important to your businesses, treating it with respect.
You want people who can actually help.
Much like the advice of always ‘marrying up’ you should try to fill the group with folks who will actually be able to help you. They, in turn, should feel that you can help them as well. The best weddings are when both parties feel they are entering a union better than themselves and that should be what your new business group should feel as well. There will naturally be one or two more successful members. Just try to make sure everyone finds the group valuable or you risk them not fully participating. You can post questions to sort out which members of the larger (10,000+) community have passed certain milestones. This helps qualify people you want to target for invitations to your smaller, niche group.
Now that you have your little support group, you are free to run full speed into your next project. You won’t have to waste time making meaningless posts to a group of thousands. You won’t have to sift through hundreds of responses unrelated to your business looking for advice. You’ll have direct access to a trusted group of souls who are fighting the same fight you are. Over time you’ll find value in the fresh ideas and perspective, emotional stability, and opportunity to vent they provide you.
Let the Remote Work Mentors help you with your tailored communities. Join our free “Ask me Anything” Event on January 12th & 13th.
We will talk about how to get started with Remote Work and an Online Business covering Mindset, Community Building, Marketing & Sales, Tools and Systems and of course Branding.
Join us next week! https://remoteworkmentors.com/ask-me-anything/
See you there!