by Donna Amos | Featured Contributor
Building a business as a solopreneur can be fun, yet overwhelming. The most important job you have is working to stand out among the competition. This requires the right amount of focus so that you are continuously working toward more leads and sales inside your business. Here are tips that will help you build a larger business year over year.
Stick to the plan you’ve laid out for your business. Get ready for being challenged on your journey and understand that a business owner’s path is never a continuous upward climb. You’ll encounter difficulties and challenges on your way to the top. There will be times when it feels as though nothing is working. That’s when you need to be consistent in your effort to identify what works and what doesn’t. Course correct and continue onward from there.
Develop New Skills
Work hard to develop new skills that help build your business. For example, you need to become good at the following skills as a business owner:
- Content creation
You’ll discover that your business profits will increase the more you broaden your skillset.
Attend Networking Events
When things return to somewhat normal then get back out there. Attend local events to meet and network with future customers. Use your Chamber of Commerce to find out about the various events happening in your local area. Many virtual events are available now. Check out Meetups and begin building your network. Practice your what you do dialogue and get it down to 30 seconds: who do you help, what is the problem you help them with and what are the results after working with you.
Would you rather build your business entirely online? Try the hundreds of Twitter chats that occur each day. As your Twitter account grows, start your own chat and get conversations going that eventually end up with bringing new customers on board.
Use Testimonials Effectively
Nothing stands out better to potential customers than seeing what your current customers say about you. Testimonials are social proof in a world where people need to see that others are happy with your product or service. Get creative in the beginning by capturing screenshots of nice comments customers have made on Facebook or Instagram. Ask those people if you can show their headshot and comment as a testimonial to others.
Join Facebook or LinkedIn Groups
Take the time to build a reputation as an expert inside LinkedIn or Facebook groups. Don’t overtly promote and sell in these groups. Instead, offer tips and expertise that show that you’re there to help others. Do the following inside these groups:
- Contribute to the threads
- Answer questions
- Engage with other members
You’ll soon be an expert authority in that community. Opportunities to do business will arise when others in need of your help start reaching out to you personally.
Stay In Contact With Customers
Use snail mail or email to stay in contact with former and existing customers. Nothing stands out more in today’s world than a simple thank you. Thank them for being a customer and ask how you might help going forward. Mention any special offers you have at this time, as well.
Consider a quick video message using a tool such as Loom. Send a thank you note in the mail. Anything you do to personally connect with customers will go a long way in gaining their business again and again.
Create a Facebook Business Page
Create a Facebook page and become active on it. You can get comments, reviews and messages from leads and customers on your page. Use various forms of content to connect with prospects, such as:
Use Facebook Live to periodically get yourself in front of followers. More people will show up for these sessions as your number of followers grows because Facebook notifies them when you start a new Live session. Use your Facebook Live sessions to:
- Provide helpful tips
- Inform leads about sales and promotions
- Use it as a selling webinar
Use Instagram Effectively
Stand out on Instagram by using images effectively. Make sure your profile is completely filled out with a link back to your most important URL. Use a high-quality profile picture and research hashtags that are relevant for your business.
Use stories to engage with your fans. Post excellent images on a daily basis with the correct hashtags so your core target market can find you. Convert your account to a business profile after reaching 10,000 followers so that you can add links to the stories that you post. This will increase the amount of traffic over to your email opt-in landing pages.
Stand Out With YouTube Marketing
People are increasingly consuming video content online. Start a YouTube channel and publish weekly video content to it. This is one of the most effective ways to stand out as a solopreneur if you work at your channel consistently. Your subscriber base will grow steadily if you post great tips and ideas and encourage viewers to subscribe.
YouTube videos will help your website search engine rankings improve as well. The reason is that you can embed your videos on your site’s pages. As your visitors watch these videos, Google notices that they’re on your site for a longer amount of time. This is one of the metrics that helps improve your overall search rankings.
Don’t forget to optimize your videos for quality rankings in the YouTube search engine. Optimize by using:
- An attractive video thumbnail
- Detailed descriptions
- Linking to other relevant resources
Stand Out With Your Website
One of the best ways to gain customers inside your small business is getting good at attracting prospects who are further along the buying cycle. Some people are online searching for general information around your topic and niche. Others have done their research already and are now just about ready to buy.
You want to create content on your website that attracts both types of people. However, the more you can attract the people who are ready to buy, the more effective your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts will become.
Your website will stand out well if you focus on putting out excellent content that informs and educates. Do keyword research and find keywords that have the following words in them:
These terms indicate that your visitor is looking for the best company to buy from. If your content gets found in the search engines for those types of terms, then you will notice an increase in the quality of your site’s visitors from a purchasing standpoint.
Don’t forget to also create “how-to” content to capture visitors just starting down their research path. You’ll have the ability to capture them as leads and nurture them into buying from you later.
Use Email Marketing Intelligently
Your ultimate goal to stand out as a business owner should be to build an email marketing list. An email list allows you to market to your prospects over time until they trust you enough to buy your products or services. Work hard to place strategic ways for people to become email subscribers on your website and social media channels.
Send out weekly or bi-weekly newsletters that provide helpful content for your subscribers. Educate them and help make their lives better. Link them to your new blog articles or social media posts. Send them to your latest YouTube video. Ask yourself how you can best nurture them along so they come to trust you enough to buy from you.
If you take the time to build a large email newsletter list over time, then you will discover that you can often create revenue on demand by sending out the right offer or discount at the appropriate time.
Standing out as a solopreneur isn’t as difficult as you might think it is. Yes, the marketing world is a noisy one with many business owners trying to get their messages out. Your job is to use the above tips in a way that resonates well with your target market. Teach them something valuable first. They will notice that you’re different from your competitors and will buy from you.
Building a product too difficult to use: How signups didn’t translate to active users
Andrew Kamphey has been involved in the creator industry for more than 15 years. During this time, he has started several projects related to creators and influencer marketing.
This is the story about one of those projects that didn't take off: Creator Growth Lab. We want to know what went wrong, what were the lessons learned, and how those learnings improved the way he tackles new ventures.
How did he come up with the idea to build Creator Growth Lab?🔙
He had a side hustle where he would grow people's Instagram accounts. He got his clients anywhere between 2,000 and 5,000 new followers every month. Three years ago, Instagram started announcing policies that he knew would make that method not last. This is a natural thing with growth hacking. First, it works really well. Then something changes and it does not work anymore.
Creator Growth Lab helped Instagram creators to grow by themselves. They could log each day their growth tactics and measure how many followers they gained and their hashtag performance. Every single day you could go to the Lab and see your growth. Then figure out which was the best one. Optimize it and grow more.
How did he build it?⚒️
He had a monthly income from his clients. Every dollar he made, he put into Creator Growth Lab because he wanted to go fast. He quit his job in December 2018. Gave himself a month to mock a prototype. After a month, he realized he couldn't build it fast enough. It was going to take him about a year to figure out how to build it and then three more months to actually build it. He took all the money he had from his agency, and he used it to pay off one designer and one programmer.
He found a designer in Bali. And then he found through a friend, a Vietnamese programmer. His friend became an ad hoc Product Manager and they became a four-person team. It was fast. Within 30 days of working remotely, everything worked exactly how he planned.
What were his key levers to start growing it?📈
Initially, he had a dozen users that were paying him to grow their accounts, who he thought would also use this Lab. They were paying him between $100-$200/month each. It got 50 new user signups in the first month and the next month another 50 user signups.
He used his newsletter to promote Creator Growth Lab to his existing audience and got a dozen signups from that.
He sent direct emails to creators he knew because he had worked in the influencer marketing industry for five years.
What were the biggest challenges he had to overcome?⚔️
Signups weren't a problem. He ended up getting 50 signups per month for four months in a row. The challenge was to get active users. It took a while to get to the aha moment. You needed to use it each day for a week or two weeks before getting the aha moment. That's painful. Users will never get that far.
How did he realize the project was not going in the right direction?📉
Three months after launch, either lucky or unlucky, Instagram cut the number of actions you could do. That killed most growth hacks, but the product still exists. He could keep working on it. But looking back the actual problem was people didn't use it. He made a bunch of videos to explain how to use it. It was very complicated. Users needed to first decide to do growth hacks and then try to optimize them with the app. Not many people know 50 growth hacks.
He had been doing a bunch of automations on his client accounts. All of their actions were literally taken down to zero for 30 days. Within one month, he went from 12 paying clients to none.
He didn't charge them for Creator Growth Lab, it was free to sign up. He would charge later once he figured out who was it for, big mistake.
He did have the idea of Pro Accounts. Initially, it was created for individual users. He talked to a model agency that had thousands of models that were going to pay for using it. Could have been $9,000 a month. Then another person, a growth hacker, wanted to use it to manage 100 accounts. Their clients also left because of the change in Instagram policies.
In the end, how much money did he lose?💰
In total, he paid around $5,000 and never made a penny. The silly thing is that it doesn’t feel like he necessarily lost the money. Because he had been self-funded, never went above his means. Only put money into it he was making through social media.
From all your takeaways he learned from this experience, what advice does he have for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?🗣️
🍂One of the most important things was that he talked to users, but he was not listening to them. He had so much hubris and very little humility because he had been successful at helping people grow for five years.
🍂He went into Creator Growth Lab thinking he knew everything. You don't know anything. Even if you think you know everything you don't.
🍂He spent a lot of time educating creators on why to use the product. Every successful creator will tell you that they grew by making good content. Creators want to create. He had no competitors. No one was trying to do this, that’s a warning sign. It ended up being not needed.
🍂You need to talk with users, not just tell them about your product. It opened his mind. When he gets on the phone with a user he's not teaching them how to use the product. He gets on the phone once or twice a week with his newsletter readers and asks them about what's going on in their life. Just chatting with them.
🍂Your solution might not pan out and doesn't mean your business doesn't work. It doesn't mean you're not successful. It means that solution didn't work out.
🍂Figure out who your tribe is. Find them. If you talk to people for enough time, keep trying different solutions, and keep asking for their problems, you'll figure out a solution. You always have something to learn.
What are your favorite startup resources for makers and entrepreneurs?📚
🍂The Dip by Seth Godin. Winners quit. This book tells you to stop what doesn't work for you. If you work the muscle of quitting you can get to what works faster.
🍂The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick. When talking to users, he realized he didn't have to go to them with a solution. He went to them pretending he didn't know anything about their problem and listened to what they had to say.
If you enjoyed it perhaps like or retweet the thread on Twitter
#1948 How to teach your kids to build their own businesses
Joining me as somebody who I’ve been talking to via email for a while, and I’ve wanted to have on here and I’m so excited that he said yes to an interview.
So many entrepreneurs that I’ve interviewed had little businesses when they were kids. They’re usually so freaking proud of then that they can’t stop telling my producers about it. But so many of the stories ended with the business getting shut down by the school, by a teacher, or by the principal.
Well, today’s guest said, “What if we create a way to encourage kids to sell and create businesses? We’ll teach them how to do it and we give them everything that they need.”
Scott Donnell is the founder of MyFirstSale, which gives kids the life skills and confidence
to sell their products in a safe, friendly online environment.
For a special listener discount, you can go to MyFirstSale.com/Andrew or hapbee.com/Andrew to see more.
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What It Really Takes To Make A Million In Your Business
(You can watch the video below)
So many of us have this goal to make a million in revenue in our businesses… I used to dream so much of reaching this milestone back in 2009.
This is when I created a challenge for myself called “Mission To Make A Million In 365 Days”.
And whilst I did reach the million mark a few years ago, that first challenge I set for myself was a total and utter fail, not because my ideas were bad, but because I was focusing on completely the wrong things.
It took me a few years from 2009 to figure out what it really takes to make a million, and it’s such an important shift that I think holds so many entrepreneurs from ever getting to that milestone.
So in this week’s episode I wanted to share with you my journey to making a million in my business and some key things I learned along the way that I know will be so helpful if this is a goal that’s on your list too.
In this episode I share with you:
- What happened by day 65 of my “Mission To Make A Million In 365 Days” challenge and why I decided I needed to set myself a different challenge after that.
- The discovery I made in 2011 about what it really takes to become a successful entrepreneur and the new challenge I set for myself with this shift in perspective.
- The changes I made that helped me bring to life a business idea I had been mulling over for 3 years (that’s how FEA was born!).
- The things we need to do every single day to become the person we need to be to create success.
- The questions you really need to ask yourself as an entrepreneur and the commitments you need to make so that you can hit your financial goals.
I hope you love this episode and that it helps you to have a few A-HA moments!
I also wanted to let you know that I’m doing my final live workshop before the baby arrives and I’d LOVE to invite you to join me for it!
In this workshop I’ll be sharing:
- The 6 BEST ways to make money online – that everyone can take advantage of!
- We’ll be identifying what stage of the business journey you’re at and what steps to take: are you The Dreamer, The Starter, The Hustler, The Grower, The Scaler or The Visionary?
- How I was able to go from being a dreamer to building a million-dollar business – the core steps that got me here and how you can do it too.
- The fundamental things you need to be doing every day (that most people don’t even think about) to break through and create the success you want.
The post What It Really Takes To Make A Million In Your Business appeared first on Female Entrepreneur Association.
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