Have you ever asked yourself “Will my business fail?”. Well let me give it to ya straight: FIFTY percent of businesses will fail within their first five years of operation. Doesn’t that send shivers down your spine?! One HALF of all entrepreneurs will fail, but, the good news is, that’s not where the story ends… There are so many things in your power that can help you fight the odds. Want to know how I did it? A lot of people ask me for “my secret”, but the truth is, there’s not just one secret to this business journey, but I do have five of my very top tips to ensure that you and your business will stick out amongst the masses. Below are my strategies that I used to find success in a saturated market, and I’m letting you in! What are you waiting for?! Giddy up, baby!
You all know I am a branding FREAK, but I cannot emphasize how important it is to have a clear, cohesive image that appeals to your clients. Branding is not just a pretty font or graphic (although those are important!), it extends all the way from your website to your email responses to your facebook cover photo. The end goal is that you want a client to see your work and think “That has (your business here) written all over it”. At this point in my career, I have a very clear brand: bright, carefree, pale pink hues, yoga pants, and, heck, even mac ‘n’ cheese has become part of my “brand”. It isn’t enough to have a pretty feed, I truly believe your branding has to make them feel something in order to make them want you. Not just your work, but YOU. That is why it is so important to infuse your voice, your words, your hobbies into your brand. There is so much truth to “Only dead fish go with the flow” in terms of branding. Don’t waste time blending in– stick out, make an impact, and be YOU.
IDEAL CLIENTS: WHO ARE YOURS
Alright, guys, when I ask you who your ideal client is I am not asking for “female, aged 25-35.” I am asking for attributes: carefree, edgy, spirited, ambitious, the list goes on forever. Have you had a favorite client in your career? Write down attributes they had. Are you attracting people like this? Write down words that describe your work. Are you portraying this? This portion of my “five tips” requires you to dig around within your business and look at the statistics. Who are you actually reaching? Is it your ideal client? Are they engaging with you? Are they booking you? Yes or no. My biggest advice is to ONLY think of your ideal client when posting– not your family or friends or industry peers. Post in such a way that allows you to book your ideal client again and again and again. And in order to do that, really analyze what your current reach is and how you can fine tune it to your “dream” client.
Earlier in my career, this was hands down the most difficult part for me to follow through on. I truly had the best intentions to get that inbox to (0), but it was so. hard. The more and more I tried to respond personally the each email, the more full my inbox got. I had to face the facts– my business needed me to systemize and hire help. Now my inbox is managed by my amazing employee Caitlyn and an irreplaceable set of email templates. I used to resist templates because I thought they seemed cold and not personal, but how wrong I was! Infuse your voice into your templates, systemize and schedule them! I cannot tell you the impact it has. Not only does it ensure that your clients hear back promptly, but it gives you yet another opportunity to reach your clients in your voice, brand, and workflow. I cannot recommend utilizing email templates enough (check mine out for FREE). Using this system undoubtedly revolutionized my business by freeing up time, giving my clients constant communication, and allowing me to get out of the inbox and back to the art of it all.
SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
This is something I talk about often, and for good reason! Guys, it is not enough to post a pretty picture– What time of day are you doing it? What is your message? Your hashtags? Your end goal? At the end of the day, having followers alone doesn’t pay the bills. You absolute need to infuse purpose behind your posts. From the nitty gritty details to the big idea, you need to invest and research every component. This is great time to plan out your weeks, automate, invest in the social media where your ideal client hangs out, and the results will come!
SYSTEM AND WORKFLOWS
Going off of the word “automate” that has come up about 48732048 times this blog post, GUYS, you need to have a clear, efficient work flow. Whether it is automation or specific days “dedicated” to certain areas, your work absolutely has to have structure. Plan ahead, outsource, create ground rules for your work. It is good for your productivity, mental state, and allows you the option to expand easily. When you have a clear pattern to your work, your tasks are more vivid, your productivity grows, and your business tags along. You only have 24 hours in a day- make the most of ’em!
Alright gang, that is my big 5 tips for YOU to beat the entrepreneurial odds. I truly believe in these methods with all my heart, and I can’t wait to hear how you embrace them. Keep in mind this isn’t an overnight fix– this will take time and intentional effort, but YOU (and your business) are worth it.