Starting an online business is hard work. You have about 100 hats you wear and switch between regularly, and even if your business is your passion, there are still parts of it that don’t exactly fall under the “your favorite way to spend time” category. There are so many things to do that it can feel completely overwhelming all the time and you end up just spending hours on Pinterest or Twitter instead of really doing the essential work that needs to get done in your business. I know the feeling, trust me. That’s why I wanted to talk with you about the four things you absolutely NEED to be doing in your online business above everything else.
DEVELOP A VISION FOR YOUR BIZ + BRAND
In the very early stages of your business, or if you are realizing it’s time to buckle down and do things right, you need an overall vision for your business. What I mean by this is that you basically create something like a promise, a challenge, or a statement that explains exactly what you see your business doing in a “big picture” kind of way. Why does that matter? Because that’s going to help you figure out your “it factor” or what differentiates you from everyone else. You don’t want to just be another coach or copywriter or social media maven, you want to make a statement that you are going to be the best, the most influential, the most game-changing whatever-you-are and that clients or customers will see results because you know whatever it is that you know.
I like to think of a brand vision as a promise, personally. When I help clients develop a vision for their brand and their business I often ask them to think about what they can ensure they are going to give to clients or customers with their services or products. What can we promise to deliver that will change their lives in some way?
If you don’t have a vision for your business you’re going to constantly be playing a game of catch up. You won’t have a clear end goal to create a path towards and instead will just be helplessly slinging ideas at the wall hoping something sticks. Don’t wait your time, energy, or money with that.
MAKE REAL CONNECTIONS
This is a tricky area to navigate because it’s easy to spend too much time on social media and use it as a distraction/procrastination tool. I’ve mentioned before that you should stick to a social media schedule to avoid this, BUT, I also think utilizing time on social media to develop real relationships is vital to success.
A lot of my clients, especially in the beginning, came from referrals of peers and friends that I had made through being active on Twitter. Later, I got really active on Periscope, and saw a huge boom in my business due to the connections I made during that time.
Social media’s biggest benefit is the ability to foster relationships with people in your circle. (Tweet That!)
The value of masterminds or just a business bestie is invaluable. This online business world is crazy, emotional, and hard – it feels awesome to have someone in your corner who just gets it.
The easiest way to get started on social media is to get active in a few related Facebook groups and in a Twitter Chat or two. Those are both great places to find like-minded business owners who value building friendships and fostering community. .
START YOUR EMAIL LIST (LIKE, YESTERDAY)
New online business owners are so excited about their actual product or service that they forget to focus on long-term growth right away. This is a marathon, people! As soon as you possibly can, start growing your email list. Include opt-ins in your blog posts, have a free email course or challenge, write an awesome newsletter… whatever you think you can do and maintain to get subscribers coming in – DO IT!
I wrote a post a while back about creating your opt in that might be helpful to you if you feel completely lost about this area. The point is, whatever it is that you do, just make sure you are collecting the contact information for people who are interested in what you do. Those are warm leads for future product or service launches – which means money and growth for your business.
The absolute best part about an email list is that it is yours. Social media comes and goes – one day Periscope is everything and the next day it’s Snapchat and the next it’s a new app… all the time you spent gaining followers ends up being pointless as soon as that app isn’t the cool thing anymore. Email addresses though? Those are like gold. You can directly reach people that have already shown an interest in you. So the sooner you start collecting, the better!
GIVE + CREATE POSITIVE EXPERIENCES
The last thing I really need you to focus on implementing immediately into your business is giving the best possible experiences to your audience, your clients, and your customers. In any sort of marketing or advertising, word of mouth will ALWAYS be the best option.
Giving a great experience ensures people spread the word about you (and grow your business quickly). (Tweet That!)
This is true for all forms of business and I am sure you know of a local store or restaurant that skyrocketed to success because of word of mouth advertisement. You can have that success too. The trick is that you do everything with your brand vision in mind and that you do it well. This is your business, so you must want a stamp of 100%-grade-A-quality on everything before it gets sent, posted, or shared.
I know that it feels stressful and scary sometimes owning or starting a business. The results can be so amazing, rewarding, and fulfilling once you get there and by following and implementing these four strategies I know you can!
I’m Kaitlyn, your design assistant! I work with successful creative entrepreneurs to create cohesive, clean, and compelling visuals for their businesses. You can keep being the #girlboss you are (but with more time to focus on growing your empire)! Let's set up a time to chat!