Based in Amsterdam, this business mentor helps solopreneurs attract clients by leveraging their LinkedIn content and sales strategies. Get to know Nick Broekema in this month's Small Business Story.
"Creation. Freedom. No Limitations."
I had the pleasure of chatting with Nick Broekema for this month's Small Business Stories, and let me tell you – the timing of our chat couldn't have been better.
Before we talked, I had been having a rough time getting back into the swing of things after a month of taking it easy and working part-time.
I know I'm not the only solopreneur who's taken a step back looking for clarity and only ended up more confused. But hand it to a business mentor to help you feel motivated and focused, and Nick did just that. Why? For me, two reasons:
1. His LinkedIn trajectory (consistency pays off). 2. His approach to his work (focused and direct).
Let's dive in!
Don't be afraid to pivot.
Nick is no stranger to entrepreneurship – his dad owned an agency for 35 years and Nick started his first company during university. After about a decade of offering done-for-you services, Nick decided to help others with the same struggles he'd had and pivot to mentorship. And with that, as with any pivot in business, came risk. Nick said that in the beginning, he struggled a bit to gain traction without a track record as a mentor but with persistence fueled by a strong belief that he could help others, it paid off.
Nick (like many of us) says he was a LinkedIn lurker for nine years before getting serious about posting. He says that one of the best things to keep in mind when learning to leverage LinkedIn is that, in the beginning, quantity is better than quality. It's not what we usually hear, but Nick clarified: "With quantity and practice, the quality will come. It's like training your muscles. No one starts off with big muscles."
Just do normal and you're crazy enough.
Doe maar normal, dan doe je al gek genoeg! Just do normal and you're crazy enough. This used to be a pretty common Dutch saying and one that encourages people to follow the norm. But Nick says when it comes to LinkedIn it's important to be yourself.
Don't get caught up in what other people are doing and stick to yourself with your writing – it's easier to relate to. Understand that you know things that others do not, and understand that that knowledge is something you can share in your posts.
Have a goal for your posting and post consistently. And don't expect too much during the first three months, just have fun with it.
Nick recently shared his own LinkedIn posting trajectory after getting serious about it about 9 months ago:
As he writes, "Persist and surprise yourself and others." Only about 1% of LinkedIn users post, and with 930 million members, being part of that 1% is a sure way to stand out. But it helps to have a clear strategy. And that's where people like Nick come in.
"Trust begins with the content."
Nick approaches working with clients by asking them about their goals and pain points. He helps solopreneurs not only get comfortable with posting on LinkedIn but also helps them learn to post effectively.
As previously mentioned, it's important to have a goal. Additionally, it's important to have a call to action (CTA), something that Nick says a lot of solopreneurs leave out of their posts.
So, Nick also helps his clients get comfortable with sales. "Sales is your business lifeline. But most people think sales is either a dirty word or a scary activity. With the right skills and confidence, sales are fun and more importantly: effective."
Nick says that building trust with your preferred client base begins with your content. Customers see your posts and learn more about who you are and what you offer. And by the time they come to you, that trust in what your offer has already been established.
What's something you wish you'd known ten years ago?
When I asked Nick to tell me what he wishes he'd known ten years ago. Here's what he had to say:
- Share. Your. Stuff. ASAP.
- Aim for sustainable growth
- Hiring isn't always the solution
- Action beats analyzing and studying
- Workations beat both office and vacations
- Document everything > then systemize or delegate
- Invest in relationships and partnerships all the time
- Qualify clients by judging if you'd have dinner with them
A question from Luca, April's Small Business Story:
As is tradition here, Luca Grasso (April's interviewee) left a question for Nick:
"If you were a client needing your services, would you choose yourself? And if yes, why?"
"Yes. I value kindness and backing up words with results."
And here's Nick's question for June's Small Business Story:
"What would be your advice for people who are just starting out creating content and want to attract customers?"
For the answer to Nick's question, stay tuned for June's SBS.
Nick helps digital marketing freelancers and solopreneurs define their ideal customers, create a scalable offer, and sell it to their ideal customers through LinkedIn. Get in touch with Nick:
For more Small Business Stories, stay tuned for next month's interview! See you next time!
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