How I accidentally started a Freelance Business using the principles of Attraction Marketing
Updated: May 20, 2021
Author: Melissa Tierrney (AKA, 'Digital Mel') If someone had told me years ago, that an unexpected layoff would actually be the genesis of a journey to entrepreneurship, I would have died laughing. Because once it happened, it snowballed into a freelance business, then a Digital Marketing Agency, focused on helping businesses find their shortcuts to success in the digital marketplace.
Here’s what happened: Cue: a layoff. In the spirit of making myself a more attractive job candidate, I overhauled my Linkedin profile to include the accomplishments and success stories from my “hey-day” in
digital marketing consulting and showcased case studies and freelance work I had done for various small businesses over the years. I point this out because for many years I felt like putting that stuff on my LinkedIn profile was the equivalent to bragging, among other negative things (thank you, Imposter Syndrome). But it took an unexpected lay-off from a company I didn’t care for anyway, to reach the mental “f*** it, I’m going for it” phase, and that was that!
After a successful update and publish to my network on LinkedIn, and applying for a handful of jobs, I was immediately called in for interviews. (Say whaaaa?!) Funny thing, the common [first] question upon sitting down with these folks was “hey I saw this Marketing stuff on your resume, tell me about that”.
Talk about one helluva bait & switch…
The Flow of Attraction Marketing in business is very simple: #1 - Lead with Value, Connect on the things that are close to your heart, and Close with a Plan for success. Now, normally “Attraction Marketing” is a term used for Online Business Marketing (or Online Marketing of Business, however you want to say it), and this was all done in person. But the principles of Attraction marketing do still apply: The authentic messaging [on my resume] spoke to these people regarding problems that they were willing to buy their way out of, so they asked for more. I provided upfront VALUE by giving them as much knowledge as I could in that short time period for them to use and generate some small, measurable results. [Side note: If we were doing this 100% digitally, that ‘upfront value” would have been delivered via an eloquently written “how to” blog post or cheat sheet of some kind.] Le Sigh. But the focus of what happened, and the focus of Attraction Marketing, is to provide upfront value so as to make a genuine connection. In today’s competitive market it’s important (and effective!) to give people a taste of what it’s like to work with you upfront, so they ask for more, and the sale organically transpires thereafter. Attraction Marketing principle #2: Deliver your gifts in a confident & relatable manner so that you are connecting with your audience (e.g., “marketing”, not “advertising”) and not focused on selling. When my interviewers referenced the marketing experiences on my profile and expressed curiosity in learning more, to answer their questions I explained that in previous “gigs”, my formulas for online marketing led to two start-up concepts being sold to bigger companies around the 2010–12 time frame. Additionally, I had consulted with other small businesses on adding digital channels of revenue into their business by simply “re-positioning” their already existing content so they
can attract new customers and generate repeat business. Again, this was music to their ears because they were looking for the exact same results that I had delivered in these instances. We talked about the problems that they were willing to buy themselves out of — I mentioned the difference between Marketing and Advertising (something that I talk in-depth about in my Profitable Online Positioning course), and identified where the gaps in their marketing were. We talked about my track record, and how much money I had made for other comparable small businesses. Upon confirmation that my “deliverables” were exactly what they were looking for, this led to an organic (albeit unconventional & unintentional) sale on my part, e.g., the Genesis of my Freelance Marketing business. Attraction Marketing is the new standard for small businesses to market their businesses online. During my first paid “consulting” session with my new client, I asked them how they collected information on their website. This inadvertently turned into Module 1 of a condensed Online Course (herein referred to as “Profitable Online Positioning”, or, POP) which explains the fundamentals of online marketing to people who are unfamiliar with it. I showed them how to be appropriately social, and amplify their messaging from a place of authenticity and simplicity (Module 2 of POP course).
Then focus on connecting and serving this potential customer with as much value as possible, either via an email sequence, a blog, something that “keeps the value coming”. (Module 3 and 4 of POP course). The end result of serving someone with valuable information is that a relationship gets built and potential customers think “this person totally gets me and can help me get out of ___ problem”, and when you do ask for the sale, it organically happens (Module 5 of POP course). What was a 4-hour long strategy session that involved a handful of managers and executives, a floor-to-ceiling whiteboard and some amazing bagels, ended up turning into my entire POP course. (Sprinkled with some extra add-ons and best practice recommendations).
This same event duplicated itself a few more times, and in different settings over the course of a few months, and then a year. I had reached the point where “Freelance Mel” was “burnt out Mel”, and couldn’t possibly take on any new clients or projects. Attraction Marketing principle number 3: Always connecting, always evolving The intention of that original consulting session was to outline what needed to be done for these folks, and come up with a 6-month long marketing plan expected to bring in new clients that averaged 10K/month in revenue. Help them connect to their audience, old and new, so they can create a cycle of profit from their Powerful Online Positioning. I formalized that session into the Profitable Online Positioning [POP] Course that is still being used by Entrepreneurs to get started using Attraction Marketing and establish the digital framework for their online success. Just as this company evolved into a digital brand closing new deals every week, “freelance Mel” evolved into “The Digital Mel”. [That’s when business started POPing! Attraction Marketing means everyone wins and has become the new standard for online business marketing. The top takeaways I got out of all of those amazing experiences, are the following, which truly embody the term “Attraction Marketing”:
Be abundantly clear on WHO you serve, and why. (Your story sells. More on that
Focus on CONNECTING with people, and identifying gaps that you can help close.
The Formula for online success does not push for a transaction. The sale will happen organically as a result of your connection and relationship — This is the digital Formula for Online Success that I walk you through in my POP course.
Many folks have their unique ways of doing this. In fact, take a look at this video of me interviewing my friend One-Click Lindsay, about the importance of making connections, and “beating the bushes” to extract as much value as possible.
Many people have asked the same Online Business Marketing questions over the years: “What is this new method of online marketing for small businesses and how do I employ it for my company?” “What do you suggest I do to not get lost in the Digital Movement”? “Business is getting stale and nobody picks up the phone anymore, how do I use the internet to get more customers?”
Fear not, I’ve got you covered. Check out another blog post called “How to use Attraction Marketing to be a profitable industry leader on the web” you may find it very useful.
👉Did you get a copy of my 5 Secret Sales Strategies for online success from the website? There’s even a workbook that you can get that will walk you through putting the strategies into action, so you can see fast results! (By the way, it’s the same stuff I wrote on the back of my resume in that job interview). Always cheering you on,
About the Author: A self-proclaimed Digitalpreneur & business connector, Melissa Tierney’s experiences in start-ups began in 2009 and evolved into several small business consulting “gigs”. Her Digital Formula for Online Success has been employed in several startups over the years, and resulted in the acquisition of 2 small start-ups. Along the way she went on to be a national software sales rep for different companies, then went on to work at larger Tech companies like LinkedIn and Toast. Her bold, larger-than-life personality and lack of fear in the face of a challenge, are complemented by her natural 6’2” stature. Her early training in classical ballet and competitive swimming years in high school & college culminated into an accidental side career teaching water fitness & Zumba at local gyms. Melissa is tri-lingual (German & Spanish) and dreams of living in Europe [again]. She and her husband are both certified scuba divers and can’t wait until their sons are old enough to dive with them.