Every generation seems to have its own new words and catch phrases. One of today’s hot ideas is the “gig economy.” The website Investopedia.com describes the gig economy as having temporary, flexible jobs and employers who gravitate to these freelance type workers instead of full-time employees. The gig economy is responsible for many of the benefits of modern life, such as Uber and Airbnb, but it can also tend to place downward pressure on wages, as having more vendors available will typically lower prices (and therefore wages).
Many of today’s careers are simply an amalgamation of one small job after another. A great example of this business environment is the real estate industry. Many people who work in the real estate industry, such as real estate agents, title companies, inspectors and insurance agents, basically live from job to job. They are dependent on the next home sale to drive their businesses. And while this can lead to a high level of anxiety for everyone involved, there are some ways to help tip the scales in your favor, garnering your fair share of the available business.
Typically, the individuals and businesses that are successful in the new gig economy are the ones that spend a good percentage of their capitol on marketing. And today, that marketing may take place in person, digitally or by some combination of both mediums. However, it seems that the businesses that experience the most success are the ones that find a way to transcend the gig economy and move themselves toward a referral-based business.
This shift towards a referral-based business can be a difficult one for most businesses to achieve. It takes a multi-faced approach, and the realization that everything you do (personally and professionally) is an extension of your marketing plan. To achieve this goal, you (obviously) must use the personal and digital markets available to you, utilizing them professionally and effectively. But, you must also realize that every interaction (personal and professional) is an opportunity to not only engender confidence in your brand, but is an opportunity to develop a relationship, realizing that this relationship will ultimately lead to benefits for you and your business. When you can establish yourself as an expert in your field, it increases confidence in you and your abilities, making people more inclined to use or recommend your business in the future.
I will leave you today with quote from Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks: “…advertising can help build brands, but authenticity is what makes them last. If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.”
Demonstrate your value (and your values) to your clients and they will stay loyal to you, providing that referral-based business that will guide you along the road to success.
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