Beginning your business journey as an entrepreneur, or transitioning from employee to entrepreneur, can be daunting. However, by utilizing proven strategies, you can set yourself up for success. A 2015 Kauffman Index study shows that Entrepreneurship has grown rapidly in the last 20 years. The entrepreneur faces both uncertainty and instability when first starting out. Thus, networking, generating a solid portfolio and earning a professional reputation are paramount considerations.

Here are 6 key strategies we’ve compiled for the entrepreneur.

1. Network

In today’s information age, smart digital marketing is a prime component of success. You need to be active on social media, be it Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or all of the above. Be sure to post relevant, informational links that retain and grow your audience. However, spammy advertisements or irrelevant keyword stuffing will drive away your potential leads. Grow your network through LinkedIn by pairing your network invites with introductory messages, rather than cold emailing.

2. Incentives

If you are new to the entrepreneur’s journey, potential leads need an incentive to visit your website. Build a mailing list to grow your audience and give something back. Email marketing often includes discount offers or special, informational packages reserved exclusively for list members. Recently, email marketing has been shown to be more difficult for certain industries, like retail for example. Thus, it pays to know where you stand before offering incentives through email marketing.

3. Bounce rate

Your bounce rate shows you how quickly people are visiting and leaving your site. This is a crucial data point for new entrepreneurs, as the start of your journey is the most important time for retaining an audience. If you lose them at the door, you are doing something wrong. Consider getting help from an SEO firm or even a page designer if your bounce rate is through the roof.

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4. Establish your brand

All entrepreneurs need to brand themselves in order to stand out from the rest. Branding yourself is the first step in showing what you have to offer, why clients should pick your service, and how you are different. Leading brand experts typically advise new entrepreneurs to establish themselves as an authority, create a lot of solid, relevant, quality content and make it clear that you will solve a problem.

5. Persistence

All of the above takes time. However, these are steps you can start using from the get-go to lay a solid foundation. With hard work and smart strategy, any new entrepreneur can become an authority and work their way up by gaining new leads and closing deals consistently. For every failure, you’ll have a success, so long as you keep networking, building trust and rapport, and analyzing your results.

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6. Tools

It’s no surprise that even the best and most well known entrepreneurs had some help along the way. Often you can find tools and resources to help you become more productive, and focus on growing your business. Tools like affordable marketing automation from Salesfusion and downloadable forms from Intouch Insight are great for any small business.

The journey can be long, but it’s well worth it. Consider the above strategies as a guide on your journey.