It’s all about you
If you’re new to the interim market or are considering making the leap there’s a lot to consider and something which should never be underestimated is the fact that as an independent you are wholly responsible for where your next assignment or piece of work comes from, in short, whilst you may be an expert in architecture, business transformation or managing projects you’ll also need to develop some marketing skills to stand out from your competitors.
But where to start?
As you’re now business owner and marketing manager thinking in terms of a product can still present a challenge but here’s the good news, you already have clarity on the product you’re offering: hint – it’s you! So, you know your product well which is a great starting point.
Put yourself in the shoes of your prospective client and ask what problems they might need solving and how your skill set can help with that, consider the problems or challenges you’ve already experienced and solved before and the actions you took to get to the desired result. Consider the types of businesses which may face the problems you’re able to solve, why you’re good at that and importantly why you enjoy it. How does this shape up as a potential product your client will want?
At the start of an interim career it can be tempting to offer your services in a more rounded sense for fear of missing out on work, however, this is where your specialist skills truly come to the fore, whilst it’s true focusing on one specialism will slim down your available market, what it will also do is allow your marketing activity to become instantly more targeted and as a result increase your opportunities in that space.
For most interims, the lure of being your own boss or running your own business is a huge attraction and as most business owners will tell you, marketing in some form will always play a part in that. So, whilst there’s no requirement to become an expert in all marketing practices, spending time defining what you offer to the market is time well spent and will almost certainly impact your career in a positive way.