It’s been a while since I wrote in this blog – primarily because I am so in love with video and created my YouTube channel last year.
No excuses for 2020 – I am creating an entire program to help you plan your business and that includes a number of blog posts (almost like case studies) to show you the roadmap.
Now for the answer to the biggest question (and mistake) that most new entrepreneurs have…
What the heck should I be doing if I just started my business?
This question is LOADED because you have so many constraints when you are just starting out:
1. (likely) not a stack of money floating around
2. time is scarce and time management is a nightmare
3. there are so many new shining lights that you just feel paralyzed most days
4. comparison and paralysis are so so REAL at this stage in your business
So here is what I learned from tens of thousands of dollars invested in business courses + going through 3 different business models:
The only thing you need to worry on your first year of business is…
Followed right behind by your EXPENSES – because it does no good if you pay $10 in ads to get $5 in sales right?
I will chat about creative ways to focus on sales in a bit but just notice that I am not saying Marketing (and that includes social media marketing) should be your focus – I am saying sales.
Here is a simple distinction…
SALES: The exchange of money for your services or products
MARKETING: How you promote your services and products
So when you put all your time and effort on learning about instagram, you are actually closing your eyes to hundreds of thousands of ways to make a SALE.
Don’t get me wrong – my 2 first businesses, The Romanticist Studios and Shop Romanticist pretty much survived on instagram organic marketing but it was the right fit for my service (brand styling) and for the shop.
That said, when I launched Roberta West – my Ideal Client (we will talk more about this later) wasn’t on Instagram or Pinterest as much – so I started focusing on Facebook as my primary marketing strategy to SELL.
I also use a lot of RELATIONSHIP MARKETING to grow my network and sell my mentoring/consulting programs.
You see?! when you set yourself to only focus on one marketing strategy (like instagram) you literally avoid making sales any other way.
So in your first year in business (or if you are launching a brand new offer), your first goal is to FIND OUT how you can sell more.
Here is what happened to me earlier this year…when I was thinking about offering a premium Launch Management Service, I contacted some of my branding clients and asked for 15 min of their time. I promised to not sell anything and followed through on that. The feedback was great but tough. I realized that my current clients do not need/want what i was planning to offer 🙂 sadly yes, but you better know it early so you don’t invest a ton of time trying to market something that people don’t want OR they are not the right people to begin with.
My styling clients WERE NOT interested in launch management but I wanted to investigate if other ‘groups’ of entrepreneurs might need it (after all, I needed it for my own business). So I tried reaching out on LinkedIn – no luck. Youtube – nada! and then I started talking to course creators on Amy Porterfield’s DCA Facebook group – and that is when people literally flooded my MSG. That is how you know that you FOUND your ideal customer and that you created something that people want. Bonus, you also know where you need to focus time and money (FACEBOOK! in this case) not instagram.
YOUR YEAR SHOULD LOOK LIKE THIS:
MONTH 1: Get feedback on your offer
Chat with industry leaders, local potential clients, your own network and don’t forget to ask where they buy similar offers from. The task here is to know as much as possible what people think about your idea.
MONTH 2 & 3: Find your ICA and learn how to market to them
Meet people ALL THE TIME. Face to face is better, but a good zoom call will do it just as well. Talk about your idea and post on social with an open mind – not trying to sell but trying to get honest feedback.
MONTH 4-6: Learn and master 1 marketing strategy.
Again, it is not about the marketing tool/strategy but if you can make SALES with it. This is the right time to invest in courses, follow people that are doing well in the tool and also keep asking your ICA how you can help them
MONTH 7-9: DEBRIEF of all your numbers
Hopefully by now you started getting some traction but if not, I want you to do a DEBRIEF of all your numbers, the feedback you got, sales, expenses and everything else.
It is time to decide if should CONTINUE with your strategy or TRY something new.
MONTH 10-12: Growing or Pivoting
You are either growing your newfound super awesome marketing strategy OR you are trying something new. Either way, I want to use this time to get even more focused on SALES – keep the blinders on and grow your current offer.
That is it friend – a quick guide for the most amazing first year and it only took you about 10 min to learn (it will take you a full year to do it – but that is what successful entrepreneurs do, HARD THINGS).
Now go make your 6-figure year!
PS: I used a lot of business words and jargons in this content because: 1st I speak like that IRL and 2nd you are a BOSS now and the cutesy lingo is not gonna cut it. Stick around and give this blog a second go even if it feels ‘hard’ to read – it will get easier and you will thank me later when you are THE BOSS at every conversation you have! Also, If you like this post you might wanna sign up for the email updates – curated letters with tons of resources and they look pretty too…
Sign up for the newsletter!