You’re probably ready to make some momentum in your online business and stop playing small, but maybe feeling confused as to what activities actually make an impact when it comes to business building.
There’s ALL THE THINGS you should be doing, according to the experts, and with limited amounts of time and money, it seems nearly impossible to make a dent in anything.
If this leads to questioning whether you’re cut out for this, I’ll tell you what you definitely DON’T need to grow your business;
- Huge social media following
- Big email list (or an email list at all)
- Large network
- … or even a website
Here’s what you definitely DO need to achieve growth, no matter which phase of business building you’re in;
- The willingness to fail (a lot of it)
The good news is, every entrepreneur starts somewhere, and these are four activities you can start TODAY that will give you the biggest return on your time, will leave you feeling satisfied as a servant entrepreneur, and will continue to give you more clarity on what you do, who you serve, and how you do it.
1. GROW YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS WITH FACEBOOK GROUPS
I’m sure you’ve already heard the buzz about Facebook Groups, but are you leveraging them correctly? If done well, Facebook Groups can bring you high-quality leads, give you data to leverage in your marketing and messaging, and gives you the visibility you need as the expert.
Start joining groups where your ideal clients are hanging out. If you can’t find one, a simple google search will suffice (i.e. Popular Facebook Groups for Working Moms).
Keep in mind that as you become a part of these Facebook groups, you’re there to also be a member of the community, not a lurker or a spammer.
On that note, here’s what NOT to do in Facebook Groups:
- Spam the group with your products or services
- Send random friend requests to members of the group
- Answering members’ questions with your link to your sales page, website or an offer
Your main objective in these groups is to SERVE, SERVE, SERVE — and serve consistently. As people pop in to ask questions, you’re the one showing up with an answer (without sharing any offers). You’re providing thoughtful feedback and alternate ways to think about concepts, topics, and advice. Additionally, make it a routine to post your own questions (specifically for market research) and share words of encouragement, inspiration, and food for thought. Through these posts, and the monitoring of other people’s posts, you can start gathering data on the challenges that your ideal clients are having, how they are talking about them, and what their desired outcome is. These are the words and the descriptors you will use in your own marketing when developing copy that sells.
Over time, your consistency in showing up, providing value, and serving other members of the group will lead to recognition and you’ll start developing deeper connections and relationships with people outside of the group. Be sure to ask permission to send friend requests and/or send a private message. This will also happen organically as others will start reaching out to you.
2. GROW YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS WITH INDIVIDUAL REACH OUTS
Having conversations and connecting with your ideal clients is one of the most important things you can do because it’s two-fold; it builds excitement, curiosity and awareness about your upcoming offer and/services and gives you the opportunity to get real-time feedback.
Carve out time each week to connect with 10-20 people who are your ideal clients. Let them know that you have an offer or a new service coming available and would appreciate feedback in regards to specific challenges they are having related to your services. It could be as simple as; “Hey Sara, I have an upcoming offer rolling out where I’ll help [insert niche] be/do/have [results]. I have a framework I teach, that I don’t think is being taught anywhere else, and it’s working really well with my private clients! I would love your feedback before I officially launch! What’s your biggest challenge as it pertains to [insert niche/desired result].”
If they give you feedback, make sure to stay connected and ask for permission to keep them posted on the details on your upcoming program. This is a great way to build a waitlist while you’re leading up to your launch.
Additionally, establishing relationships for the purposes beyond just selling is really important. Sometimes serving others will only be one-sided, and that’s completely OK. Heart-led entrepreneurs serve others without expectations.
3. GROW YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS WITH LOCAL NETWORKING
With all the hype of being online business owners, and the potential to reach the masses, we often overlook the grassroots strategies within our own communities. As dry as it may sound, attending local networking events can be very powerful. The face-to-face interaction will almost always trump a message, a sales page, or an email. Just like Facebook groups and reach outs, show up with the intention to provide value and serve others. This will make you stand out significantly from the rest, and give you a leg up from other entrepreneurs. When having networking conversations other people, ask questions, listen with good intentions, and always make it about the person you are talking to (and less about yourself).
Act as the “connector” in your community; consistently get to know others and their online businesses and continue to find ways to connect them to other people, resources or tools (even if it has nothing to do with you).
People will remember your acts of service and eventually, you will grow your name and local presence just by the way of connecting.
4. GROW YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS BY CREATING CONTENT FOR YOUR DREAM CLIENT
If you aren’t already, you should be OBSESSED with creating content for your dream client — and should be doing it daily. Whether it’s a blog, podcast episode, social media posts or emails; it’s mandatory as an online business owner to perfect the messaging in your marketing material that builds the know, like and trust factor with your audience and gets you KNOWN as the expert in your industry. Recognition and awareness about who you are and what you do doesn’t happen on its own; it’s through the content you create, the people that connect with you as a byproduct of that, and consistency of producing and sharing content.
So, there you have it! 4 ways to grow your online business when you’re just starting out. It’s not complicated, but it will require consistency, patience, and the willingness to put yourself out there.