Client attraction. Business growth. Pretty profits.
Today I turn 32 and I’m travelling back to Victoria (7hrs today after 8hrs yesterday) to see my family plus I’ll be teaching some marketing workshops over the next couple of weeks.
Although I’ll be busy driving most of the day I thought it would be fun to celebrate with you by sharing some of the lessons I’ve learned in my business over the last couple of years.
Seeing as I’m getting a bit long in the tooth, and 32 lessons would’ve made for a giant read, I’ve decided to split them across two posts.
I’d love to know if you agree with them, disagree and/or which is your favourite.
Do the work
My favourite local networking group is Presence and Purpose in Newcastle, Australia (come along if you’re close by or visiting the region).
The businesswomen who attend are beautiful souls and I have gained a number of clients through relationships created at the monthly events.
Recently the host, Katie Ryan, jokingly asked what I was whispering in the women’s ears to have gained so many clients there. Although we were having a laugh my response was also a business lesson everyone should take note of:
Consistent action create success.
What does it look like in this scenario?
- I attend every event so the attendees get to know me.
- I put my ‘name in the box’ for the opportunity to speak about my business without fail.
- My message is consistent.
- Current clients talk to potential clients about the results they are enjoying with my support and this builds momentum.
There’s nothing mysterious or magical. Just keep showing up.
Fortune is in the follow up
Did you know that over 50% of sales occur during follow up?
Not when people first discover you and your work. Not when you first ask for the sale but when you follow up as promised.
There could be a million reasons. The timing is wrong. The client can’t resource supporting elements of the project. The decision maker isn’t available.
Continue to follow up as discussed and when the client is ready to move, guess who will be front of mind:
Don’t spread yourself too thin (part one)
Ok, so you’re good at a lot of things and you love variety. It’s no secret. In fact, you’ve got it written across your forehead. (Seriously. Check in the mirror). This means people will ask you for help (paid and otherwise) across the board.
There’s just one problem…and it’s a thumper. Spread yourself too thin and you’ll make mistakes. You won’t give anything the time it deserves. Life will start to look pretty overwhelming and ugly fast.
You’ve got to learn to say no. And keep saying no. No. No. No.
Does this mean you must say no to everything? No. Does it mean pausing for three seconds to make a conscious decision? Absolutely.
Your business, health and sanity will thank you for it.
Don’t spread yourself too thin (part two)
Niching down, choosing one ideal client and one offering are the key to gaining traction when you first start your business.
You’ll resist it, fight tooth and nail, hell you’d even slap Beyonce if it meant getting out of narrowing your focus but when you (finally) accept and act on this truth, that’s when your business growth will launch forward.
Take it from someone who insisted on learning the hard way.
Going out on a limb, I’m going to say that before starting your business you had a social life, a personal life, a health and wellness routine.
And then zip. Nada. Nothing. Or at the very least it shrunk. Because #hustle.
Life outside business is critical to your overall success. To remain creative and fresh, you need space from your business and a variety of inspiration.
Have you been for a walk, played squash, read a magazine or enjoyed a hobby of your choice today?
You’re not locked in forever
Just when you finally ‘get’ the whole focus thing and shizzle is moving in the right direction, you get permission to change.
Maybe you introduce your existing product or service to an additional ideal audience. Perhaps your create a second offering for the ideal audience you’re already targeting.
You don’t have to make these additions but if you do, go for small iterations, not wholesale changes and you’ll experience rewarding, sustainable business growth.
Provide one service, be rewarded twice
You’ve done the work, provided the service and your client is over the moon happy (because be damned you’ll settle for a satisfied).
You crack open the bank account and smile when you see that sexy cash deposit. Mmmm mmm. Life’s good.
Except life could be even better.
You could put your client to work for you. Yeah, that’s right. They pay you and go to work for you.
By providing you with a testimonial but not just any testimonial, a testimonial that sells. Because effective testimonials double sales page conversions. #justsaying
Action creates clarity
Before launching a product or service you should always survey and interview ideal clients to increase the probability of aligning with their needs.
That’s just good business sense, but it doesn’t clarify whether or not your offer is going to be wildly successful.
The only way to confirm or deny success is to test and get feedback from the market aka take action and launch.
The world won’t end
You’ll make mistakes. You’ll feel embarrassed, stupid, ashamed even. You’ll want to quit. You will quit…for the day. Maybe even a few days or weeks.
And then you’ll be back.
No matter how big the faux pas, how catastrophically, hideously ugly the situation is in your mind, everything will be ok.
Nothing is insurmountable, no matter how it feels in the moment.
Nothing is the end. Just a pivot in your journey.
And one day, the things that felt horrific beyond measure when you were starting out will merely make you toss your head back, giggle and get on with the job.
You’ll have moved to a new level.
Get a business posse
When you’re on cloud nine and everything is right in the world you’ll need to share the excitement. When the ick has hit the fan and you’re not sure how to go on, you’re going to need help getting back on track.
Who you gonna call?
Err, no. Your posse.
These are the people who are going to be by your side through thick and thin, through crazy happy dancing and seriously hideous crying. They’ll call out your excuses but also believe in you even when you can’t.
Haven’t got your posse sorted yet?
Join a local business network or jump into a Facebook group and introduce yourself. Let people know you’re looking to connect with kindred spirits / create a mastermind / find an accountability partner. You can be sure other members will be looking for the same.
Just take the lead.
Not everyone will jump aboard your train
It might be your partner, your parents or closest confidant. The very person you expected to be on board, who instead reminds you of all the reasons you’ve made the W.R.O.N.G choice.
Don’t begrudge them. People have different values, experiences and risk tolerance that will cloud their opinions. Know that they’ve probably reacted so strongly because they care for you that much.
Be selective in what you share of your business journey them. If asked, perhaps mention a recent highlight but don’t try to convert them to your way of thinking.
They will or won’t embrace your journey in their own time. Either is ok.
Buy a jar
Make sure it’s cute and something you’d love having on display. Consider this an investment piece.
From now on, every time you get some positive feedback, reach a milestone, have a moment to remember or feel grateful in your business add a little note or photo to the jar.
You’ll soon have a jar of personalised positivity you can draw from whenever you like.
Start the day with a smile. Put some pep back in your step.
Just remember to always be adding.
It IS about the money
So many women apologise for creating an income and later, wealth through business.
You can earn a great living and still be heart-centred or woo-woo.
Having money doesn’t make you greedy or evil.
In fact, money enables you to help more people, if that’s what you choose to do with it. Yes, it’s your choice.
I’m all about the money in my business and I completely stand behind that decision.
You have to be, otherwise you won’t have a business, just an expensive hobby.
Be proud of the money you earn.
Track the right metrics
Facebook likes, re-pins on Pinterest, YouTube views.
They’re all numbers you can track, but they alone won’t tell you whether your business is on the right path or not.
You can have 100,000 Facebook likes and be struggling to create revenue. You can have 1,000,000 re-pins and still have creditors on your doorstep.
Track what counts.
Track your email subscribers. Track clicks to your sales page versus conversions. Track revenue and expenses.
These are the metrics that matter.
Getting these numbers right is what will put food on the table.
The rest are simply ego boosters.
Your best new customer is the one you’ve already got
Do you know who are the easiest people to sell to?
Your current clients.
The second easiest group of people to sell to:
Your past clients.
My re-enrolment of current clients sits over 60%. That’s something I’m very proud of. Take out the clients who no longer have additional needs I can assist with, the overwhelming majority of my clients choose to work with me again. That’s got to be a good sign.
So why are your current clients so valuable?
You’ve already created know, like and trust in the relationship. They’ve confirmed their willingness to invest because they’ve already made a purchase from you. You know you are a great fit.
Sure, there will be a need to sell to new leads from time to time but PLEASE don’t ignore your greatest assets.
You’ve successfully worked together once. Do it again.
Celebrate your successes
When you go from one task to the next, never stopping to acknowledge your progress and successes you run out of steam quickly.
Consider setting rewards for when you hit pre-determined milestones. Work out those special somethings that’ll make you feel extra awesome.
Whatever you choose take a moment, no matter how brief, to acknowledge how far you’ve come.