Client attraction. Business growth. Pretty profits.
Want to know the easiest way to jumpstart your business journey and avoid common potholes most business owners fall into?
It’s as simple as learning from those people who’ve gone before you.
Last week, I shared the first 16 of 32 business lessons I’ve learned through Better Business Better Life and previously when I managed a business incubator.
Now I’ve got 16 more business lessons for you.
Read through them then pick just one to apply to your business. Once you’ve implemented the first, rinse and repeat.
17. Your email subscriber list trumps social media
Email marketing sounds a little old school. Like all the cool kids have moved on, right?
Well you’re about to see how getting the fundamentals right pays off. Where you get ahead of the cool kids and their decisions come back to bite them on the bum.
Don’t get me wrong…social media is the salted caramel topping. But there’s no point having the topping without the ice cream.
You know the stories of people who decided to drink straight from the topping bottle (only me???). All seemed unbelievably tasty to begin with. Until they got sick and, erm, lost it all that is.
Social media is the same. It will make you feel good, you will have the taste for it.
But, you don’t own your social media following. The social media platform does. You don’t have your likers’, followers’ and tweeters’ contact details.
And what happens when Facebook or Instagram suddenly shut down your account without warning?
The salted caramel is gone.
You have no way of contacting all those potential clients that you’ve worked so hard to connect with.
Now with an email list you have an incredibly powerful asset.
Let’s say all your social media accounts were deleted. Bye bye Pinterest. Bye bye Twitter. Bye bye YouTube.
Then your website was hacked and replaced with less than desirables overnight.
You’d still have your email list. You’d still have a way to contact your potential clients. You’d still have an audience to serve and sell to. You’d still have a profitable business.
Ice cream aka your email list. Ye olde faithful. Mix and match your toppings.
18. Get social where your ideal clients are
Speaking of which…have you heard you need to be everywhere online?
Think Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Periscope, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, LinkedIn, all the industry niche platforms, etc etc.
You really do have to be on all of them.
Nah, just messing with you.
You could be everywhere but who has the time for that? Sure, if you had a team of 63 it might work. Alright, maybe three.
But don’t bother.
Frankly, your best move is to pick TWO social media platforms where your ideal clients are most engaged.
Your goal is to leverage your chosen platforms to drive your community back to your email list. To have them subscribe so you always have a way to contact them.
Focus on consistently delivering great content and calls to action on those platforms. Do the work, do it well, and you’ll have leads and clients coming out your ears.
19. Automate but don’t detonate social media
It’s one thing to release yourself from repetitive tasks but you’ve got to know where to draw the line.
For example, if you automate all posts on Facebook (and social media generally) you’ll soon find your engagement and organic reach drop like lead balloons. Everyone can tell you’re not active and that you’ve removed the social from social media.
On the other hand, if you were to mix up automated posts with Facebook Lives you’ll soon build a strong community of ideal clients wanting more.
Facebook Live is the closest you can get to having a conversation in person when you’re not actually in the same room.
Viewers can not only see you but they are able to connect with you on a whole new level compared with images and text. They get to know your mannerisms, build context around the voice and interact with you in real time.
Speaking of Facebook, you definitely want to jump on this free training Marissa Roberts and I are hosting on September 28th:
- The 2 types of posts Facebook is promoting the most, for FREE, right now
- The 3 reasons most people DON’T currently use these types of posts and how they are missing out as a result
- Exactly what to say to grow your list and make sales on Facebook right now
20. Always seek leverage
Why start from scratch every time if you can reuse, repurpose and recycle?
Not only will you shrink your workload, you’ll get a greater financial return on time and effort invested.
Your business dream come true.
- Find your most popular blog post and use it as the basis for a webinar.
- Record your speaking gig then use snippets for your speaker reel and short video tips on Instagram.
- Save Facebook page updates as future content to position you as an expert in Facebook groups.
Remember, before creating anything new ask yourself if you’ve already created something you could use.
If you do need to create a new resource brainstorm a list of ways you could use it again.
21. Share your clients’ successes
There is nothing more rewarding as a business owner than watching your clients’ grow and succeed in their chosen endeavours.
Help them celebrate every step they take and continue to build momentum.
Sharing their successes (with permission) helps the client build brand awareness as well as increases your authority and expertise in the eyes of potential clients. Yep, you both enjoy the benefits.
22. When you think you’ve sent too many emails, you haven’t
I know you’re avoiding sending more than one a week, a fortnight (whatever your usual cycle is). You’re certain sending just one extra will lead to a mighty ugly meltdown of your subscriber list. Aka mass exodus.
If anything your subscribers will thank you for them.
Sure you’ll have a few unsubscribe. Don’t worry. They weren’t your ideal clients anyway. Bade them farewell and good vibes.
They’ll appreciate the extra value you’re providing. They’ll be grateful for the extra reminder telling them they’ve only got an hour left to enrol in your course (which they meant to do, but totally forgot by the way).
Tara Gentile (online marketing goddess) shared that during her most recent launch she sent a number of extra emails, especially on the final day. The result: doubling her income in the final 24 hours, and no extra unsubscribes.
Send more emails.***
**Emails are so not ick. Emails help you and your subscribers rock your/their goals.
***As soon as you’ve read this epic post sharing 46 tips to get your emails opened and read by your subscribers.
23. Systemise early
It’s never too early to create systems in your business. They will save you time and money leading to a more profitable business.
Think about tasks you need to completed on a consistent basis. What system could you implement so that the task occurs automatically without your involvement?
For example, rather than emailing back and forth to schedule appointments with clients, you could set up a system that processes payment (PayPal) and has a calendar with specific availability (Calendly) – your client books themselves.
Set up a system so you never miss collecting customer feedback or leveraging testimonials.
Set up a system to maximise content promotion.
Set up a system to ensure you stay up-to-date with bookkeeping and know your numbers.
The possibilities with systems are limitless, just make sure you focus on those most relevant to your business.
Systems = success.
24. Embrace the woo
It might come as a bit of surprise that I’d encourage you to embrace the heart-centred woo-woo aka spiritual side of things. Afterall those who know me well are aware I tend to be very black and white, straight up and down, logical baby if also full of ideas.
But here’s the Caylie theory on life/business:
- If it’s not hurting you or against your values, why not try it out. Even if you’re not 100% sure where you stand. You can always change your mind and stop immediately.
- Stay open to ideas and new ways of doing things. That’s how innovations and progress occur.
Now if you’d tried to sell me on embracing the woo-woo side of life five years ago I may not have been so open to the suggestion. Everyone is ready for different ideas at different times.
What I can say is that using positive affirmations has improved my mindset and can help you feel your best whatever the situation too.
Setting intentions and tracking your progress will keep you moving towards dreams.
I’ve experienced the results myself (always very reassuring for us logical types).
Listening to your intuition will guide you in the direction you’re meant to go. It’s ok to let you brain take a backseat while your heart takes the lead.
25. Don’t let the woo be your escape clause
Caveat to the above lesson:
There is a difference between intuition and fear.
Don’t use ‘it doesn’t feel right’ or ‘I’m not in flow’ as an excuse, if really, you are just a little nervous about taking the next step.
It doesn’t matter where you are in your business journey, we all hit hurdles or challenges that stop us in our tracks. Use those positive affirmations and step out from the curb.
Your business will thank you for it and you’ll feel like a queen for having made the move.
26. Ask and you shall receive
If you don’t ask for what you want, you’ll never receive it. That’s makes Susie a sad lady. When you do ask, Susie smiles again.
For example, Buffer is my favourite social media scheduling tool but I was investigating other options because it was missing the content library functionality I wanted.
Rather than simply leave, I tweeted Buffer to ask if it was going to be added and it turns out they are currently developing it. Not only that, they added me as a beta user and I now have what I was seeking.
So what could you ask for?
When you’re having a sales conversation with a potential client investigate their needs, ensure you’re a great fit then ASK for the sale. People won’t buy if you don’t give them the opportunity.
When a client has succeeded using the strategies you taught them, ASK for the testimonial. If you’re not sure how, check out this resource.
If you’re not satisfied with a product or service you’ve purchased, ASK for the issue to be resolved. Don’t automatically blame the supplier. They can’t fix the problem if they don’t know something is wrong.
Take responsibility and make the ask.
27. Be selective when taking on clients
When you’re starting out in business it can be hard to knock back any clients or projects.
We all have responsibilities and bills to pay.
There’s nothing like looming deadlines to make you say yes to pontential income even when you know it’s not the right fit.
Goodness knows I’ve been there too but you know what’s happened every time?
Both parties have procrastinated, the project has taken longer than planned or something unexpected has popped up and the focus has changed.
Do everyone a favour and use that energy to find clients that are the right fit instead.
28. Set your boundaries
This is a lesson I’m definitely still working on because I love to give, give, give so my clients experience the very, very, very best.
There’s just one problem:
Giving until you have nothing left to give means you won’t be any help to anyone including your clients, your family, your friends nor yourself.
You’ve got to keep something for yourself.
Need some ideas for what you could include in your list of boundaries?
29. Always onboard your client
Imagine you’ve been searching for a solution to your problem. You find the perfect option and excitedly hand over the cold, hard cash.
Solution on it’s way.
You excitedly check your inbox for instructions on the next step.
You refresh but the beloved email doesn’t appear.
You tell yourself ‘that’s fine, give it half an hour’ which turns into a day.
Hello, buyer’s remorse. Hello, refund request for the seller.
All this can be avoided if you onboard your client.
The goal is to reinforce to your new client that they’ve made a fantastic decision and should be excited about the next steps. It’s also to set the expectations in regards to process, relationship and boundaries.
Your onboarding process could include:
- An immediate welcome email
- A kick-off call
- A questionnaire
- Pre-work for the client to complete
Whatever form your onboarding process takes you can be assured it will increase the confidence of both you and the client, leading to better working relationships and results.
30. Affiliate income is #thebomb
Want to know the easiest way to generate a new income stream without having to create a product or service yourself?
Become an affiliate.
In fact you can start promoting as an affiliate before you create anything. Like hello? Earn a commission on any purchase made by people who have clicked your affiliate link.
If you are going to be an affiliate however play fair:
- Don’t promote any product or service you haven’t purchased and experienced yourself
- Don’t convince someone to buy when you know that whatever you’re promoting isn’t the right fit
- Always disclose that you are an affiliate
Personally I’m an affiliate for tools and services including LeadPages, Thrive and Siteground. I’m also proud to support programs such as Lucky Bitch Bootcamp by Denise Duffield-Thomas and Authentic Affiliate Academy by Nicole Liloia as they’ve helped me grow my business.
In fact, Nicole has just released her new FREE guide ‘7 Simple Ways To Increase Your Affiliate Income’ that will help you whether or not you’ve got an email subscriber list to promote to. I highly recommend grabbing a copy.
And yes, I have used my affiliate links. #walkthetalk
31. Invest wisely
Oh my lordy.
The money we spend on courses, programs, services and more that we never use, complete or even look at. You know all about this one. Goodness knows I used to be the living definition of course junkie but I got wise.
In fact, these days it’s more likely that you’ll find I’ve temporarily banned my VIP 1:1 coaching clients from investing in further courses while we work together.
It’s not that courses, programs or tools are bad.
Not at all.
You can buy courses from me. I still buy courses too.
The issue is that you can only implement so many strategies at once. Take it from me, you are a superwoman but even superwomen can only be spread so far.
Therefore, unless there is a specific skill you need to develop right now to get you closer to your goals and/or you will receive an immediate return on investment, hold off cash splash.
32. You are not a robot
It won’t matter how much you love your business, you’ll need to take breaks from working. Otherwise your brain will become as useful as a shrivelled, crusty old sultana.
You know you don’t want that.
What can you do?
- Go for a 20min walk
- Sing at the top of your lungs in the shower
- Give your best friend a quick call
Hell, even just folding the washing seems enticing when you need a change up.
If you really can’t afford to step away for a while at least change up your work environment.
- Head to the local library.
- Plonk on the picnic rug at the park.
- Try out that new cafe as I am today (although that might have happened because I wanted an excuse to drive my new car…)
Your business will thank you for it.
Are you ready to take your business to the next level?
Then leave a comment below telling me which lesson was most valuable and how you’ll implement it.