Reputation Revolution
Reputation Revolution Podcast
Design your one-person service-based business with Ellen Donnelly, The Ask

Design your one-person service-based business with Ellen Donnelly, The Ask

You've built a strong profile and reputation in the marketplace. It's time to capitalise on all your hard work. Ready to take action? Dig into our checklist of ideas 💪

G’day, my name is Trevor Young - welcome to the intersection of the Reputation Economy and the Creator Economy. In this newsletter (and podcast), we dissect what’s involved in commercialising - and profiting from - your professional personal brand. You’ve put in the hard yards: now it’s time to capitalise!

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You've built a strong profile and reputation in the marketplace - you're a recognised domain expert and/or bona fide thought leader in your field.

Now, how are you going to capitalise on all your hard work? You don't want to work for anyone else, but nor do you want to run a large business and employ stacks of people.

What's the answer?

Establish and grow your own one-person service-based business!

The brilliant thing today is it's never been easier to start a business.

And here's the kicker: one-person enterprises need not remain tiny revenue-wise, with the owner/operator eking out a small income.

Thanks to technology, support services ecosystems and removal of geographic barriers, many one-person service-based businesses can become wildly profitable despite not having an office and staff.

The key is to design such a business around yourself. Or, as my guest for this episode likes to say:

"I believe that designing a one-person business around yourself is the answer to finding work that lights you up, lets you reach your earning potential and can be done entirely on your own terms."

London-based Ellen Donnelly runs a coaching business called The Ask, which specialises in helping entrepreneurial professionals turn their expertise into a profitable one person business in five months.

Ellen recently published a 5-step guide on this very topic (access your copy here) - it's designed to help you package up what you know into a marketable service that clients will pay you for, again and again.

In this episode, Ellen walks us through (and elaborates on) the five steps of her guide.

Some key talking points covered in this conversation include:

  • Ellen shares her journey from headhunting tech talent in corporate London to running a thriving business coaching practice called 'The Ask.'

  • Unpacking 'Your Unique Contribution: this is the truest expression of the work you were put on this earth to do and is an underrated business- building strategy.

  • Defining Uniqueness: Tips on how to define what sets you apart in terms of abilities, personality traits or life experiences which shapes how you conduct business differently than anyone else even within similar industries.

  • Articulating uniqueness effectively: Challenges faced while articulating our inherent uniqueness into marketable packages due to overlooking obvious aspects about ourselves thinking they're too simple.

  • Personal authenticity and audience resonance: Importance of identifying what resonates with your audience while staying true to yourself is emphasised upon.

  • Overcoming comparison trap and indecision: Strategies shared on overcoming comparison with others and focusing on what suits them best when deciding the type of work they want to do based on their insights.

  • Promotion platforms and niche selection: Discussion around numerous options available for marketing efforts such as podcasting or other platforms and challenges in niche selection.

This is a deep-dive chat about designing a one-person service-based business around yourself. If this sounds like you, I'm confident you'll find the conversation relevant and illuminating!


Ready to take action? Here are some ideas 💪

  1. Understand your customers: Know who your target audience is and what they want. This will help you tailor your services to meet their needs.

  2. Be authentic in your communication: Authenticity builds trust with clients, so be yourself when communicating with them.

  3. Scale time and generate profits: Ensure that the pricing of your products or services reflects the value provided and allows for a sustainable profit margin.

  4. Balance time management: Manage your time effectively to ensure that you can deliver quality service while also having enough personal time.

  5. Monitor financial health: Regularly review the financial status of your business to identify areas for improvement or growth opportunities.

  6. Seek external perspective if needed: If struggling to articulate unique attributes, consider seeking an external perspective such as a mentor or coach who can provide objective feedback and guidance.

  7. Avoid comparisons: Don't compare yourself or business model with others; each individual's journey is unique, focus on finding what works best for you rather than trying to emulate someone else's success story.

  8. Identify niche market: Determine which specific group of people would most benefit from (and pay for) the unique contribution you have to offer - this is key in developing effective marketing strategies tailored specifically towards this demographic segment

  9. Define 'why' behind service offering: Clearly define why are you offering particular service/product – it should resonate deeply within self and potential clients alike

  10. Focus on impact first before goals: Prioritise defining desired impact over setting immediate goals; once clarity about intended influence has been achieved then proceed towards establishing actionable objectives

  11. Set realistic fulfilling goals instead aspirational ones: Rather than chasing vanity metrics, aim at setting achievable targets aligned closely with personal values & passions


👋 I'm Trevor, I’m an experienced content and digital communications strategist, coach and mentor

✅ I help credible business leaders and industry experts elevate their profile, build their reputation and grow their sphere of influence in a way that's strategic, sustainable ... and respectful

#PersonalBranding #ThoughtLeadership #ContentMarketing #ReputationEconomy #PersonalPR



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