I used to hate it when I would try to fill out a job application as a teenager, new to the workforce.
As if it wasn’t stressful enough, there was always an air of confusion and frustration when I would see “X” amount of years of experience required.
How does anyone expect you to get any experience if no one will hire you because you don’t have any experience? Where does this mysterious and magical thing they call experience even come from when you haven’t worked yet?
This is similar to starting a home-based business with no reviews.
On one hand (yours) it’s like, I haven’t worked yet to get reviews.
But on the other hand, the potential client is like, I want to see some reviews before I give this business my money. (Head scratch)
You may be wondering how in the world you can compete with another business when you don’t have any social currency, i.e. Reviews, under your belt to prove your worth.
It’s a natural feeling. You’re venturing out into something new and trying your hand. Heck, you may just be great at what you’re doing!
But how is anyone else supposed to know this?
You can’t just start your business already having experience, right, just like the imaginary experience required on those job applications.
Not to worry, I have 3 things you can do to help boost your social currency when your business is spanking brand new!
1. Do a Free Project in exchange for a Review
If you have a network of other business professionals, this may be easy to do.
If you’re an active member in any Facebook or Linked Groups or something similar, you can put out a post offering to do a free service in exchange for a review.
If someone needs work done in your industry, you’ll definitely get some prospects. You can also choose to reach out to people on your own, even people that you may know who could use your services
This could be a great thing too, because if you do a good job, this free prospect may choose to keep you on at your established rates.
People don’t like to let go of good help when they find it!
That said, use this experience to knock it out of the park!
Once you’ve delivered on the project, ask the client to send you an email of their review, a video review or they can post it directly to your website or social media business page. Whichever method is good for you and easy for them.
If you’re like no, I don’t want to work for free, at all, I hear you. You may just have to humble yourself when you’re first starting out.
But if a freebie is an absolute “no” then at least offer an extremely discounted rate as a trial-run-type offer. You never know how much you have left to learn until you dive in and start working.
And you don’t want to charge established prices for amateur work.
2. Ask for a Character Review
Are you an active member of your religious community, an avid volunteer at your child’s school or even the leader of a recreational organization? If you answered yes to any of these, you have a great place to start!
Anything you’ve devoted your time and dedication to are all opportunities for you to shine and for someone else to notice. And believe me, they do.
You can approach anyone who’s witnessed your abilities and can attest to your honesty, integrity and skill to do a good job and deliver results.
If you came around with a great attitude, ready to serve and pulling your weight, I can bet you won’t have any issues asking someone to write a character review for your new business.
They can tell us how you were always on time, dependable, honest, reliable, a perfectionist, and the list goes on…
Keep in mind that some of these people may ask you what you’d say because they’re unsure of how to word it. Or they’re just plain busy.
If so, they’ll want you to type something up and then just let them make their own changes or give you the green light on it.
Be prepared for that scenario.
This review doesn’t need to be under some special “character review” category. Just plop it right in there with the rest of them.
Any review that speaks to your abilities to do your work well, is just as good as any, no matter where it’s coming from.
3. Create a Portfolio or Work Samples
Here’s where the fun stuff happens!
Whatever business you’re getting into, I’m going to assume you probably like doing it, right?
If so, which you should, this part should be a piece of cake.
While you have time on your hands, practice your craft! This step gives you an opportunity to be prepared with samples, but also to get better with practice.
If you’re a writer, choose a topic and start creating some writing samples. If you’re a video editor, create some videos with the “before” and show the “after” with the edits. If you’re offering social media services, start creating posts!
You get the idea. Whatever service you’re offering, get to practicing. After you have a few samples you can do one of three things (or all):
- Save your Samples to a folder on your computer/device to have on hand when a client requests them
- Create a Portfolio Page on your website and upload your work for all to see
- Start uploading those examples as posts on your social media platforms (business pages)
Now that wasn’t so tough was it?
But one more thing. Once business does start rolling in, remember that people get busy and that reviews are hard to come by, even when you’ve done a great job.
For that reason, I highly recommend requesting a review for your work right after completing a job when the client is riding high on the relief your services have just provided them.
Don’t be afraid to be persistent with follow-up reminders, but keep it professional and within reasonable time frames and you should be fine.
As you can see, even a newbie can get their foot in the door with some extra incentive by way of reviews, even when they haven’t done any paid work!
If you’re open for business, with no paying clients and no reviews, you have some work to do.
You can do any or all of the suggestions mentioned in this post and get yourself some social currency to compete with the other vets online.
Just starting your home business?
I wrote a step-by-step guided workbook to help keep you on track. Buy your copy below👇🏾
Until next time, always wishing you the best in your home-based business journey.