This month in my business club, I am working with the ladies on getting into the right mindset for business. But why is this so important.
Well, it’s as simple as this. You can have the best product or service out there, you can know everything there is to know about how to market it to your ideal client, but if you don’t have the right mindset, you just won’t have the confidence to go out there and go after those paying clients.
You may well dabble a little here and there but you will get sporadic results. You will stumble when asked for a discount and may well end up giving one! You may start to lose motivation when you get rejected by someone and you find out they buy elsewhere.
Getting in the right mindset is critical and the very first thing you need to before anything else when building a business in my opinion. Forget reading up and watching more webinars on how to grow sales through Facebook until you truly believe in yourself and your product and are prepared to stand up and shout it out from the rooftops how fabulous you are.
And once you have that cracked, as fired up and enthused as you may be about creating your own business, it will take hard work, commitment and personal investment on your own part along with self-responsibility for making things happen.
There is no point sitting and dreaming about what you are going to do. You have to get off your backside and do it!
Putting it quite simply …
Action takers win
The following tip is from one of the wonderful ladies in my business group. We were talking about how it’s ok doing all your planning and getting motivated, but at some point you are simply going to have to take action.
Karen Thomas from Red Oak Coaching showed us an example of what she uses in her workshops. She held a tealight in her hand and asked everyone to close their eyes and really focus on blowing out the candle. The reality of course was that when everyone opened their eyes, the candle was still lit.
It was only when someone took action and used their breath that the candle was able to be blown out. It’s all very well having plans and dreams but basically until you get off your arse and take some action, nothing is going to materialise.
Harsh but fair.
And Karen has allowed me to share her video with you to watch.
What are you going to take action on today? Leave a comment below and let me know.
A few years ago I was in a really bad way. Severe illness had decimated my health and career. A disastrous relationship had gutted me emotionally. My life had gone up in flames (literally, my ex set the house on fire). I was living in my mum’s box room, flat broke, in tens of thousands of pounds worth of debt, and utterly devoid of hope.
Starting my own business was a revelation for me. Working on my terms, to my timetable. I could focus on what I love (writing), earn a living, and still have time to work on my health.
Entrepreneurship was a gift from the gods, truly, but it wasn’t half a lot of work…
How I Escaped The Eternal Hamster Wheel…
For the first couple of years I did okay. I paid down my debt. Everything ticked over. But I was nowhere near the income level needed to bust me out of the rut in which I was myred. I craved independence, freedom, an escape from the eternal hamster wheel of marketing (not to mention my mother’s box room). I’d done all the courses, watched all the vlogs, read all the blogs; I’d devoured everything I could find on digital marketing but something wasn’t quite clicking.
It was kind of working.
I had clients, money was coming in, I was steadily raising my profile, it just wasn’t enough…
Enter Angie Taffs: The Woman Who Changed My Business (And Life)…
Hustling my butt off for a couple of years had one tangible benefit: I had a lot of friends and contacts in the entrepreneurial world. One of those was Angie. I was a member of her Facebook group, and had been following her for a while, so when a webinar she was running popped up in my newsfeed, I jumped right on it.
Little did I know…
Angie’s webinar was a revelation. She shared one fairly simple tip for managing clients and it transformed my business. I honestly wouldn’t have believed how powerful it was until it actually happened.
The premise is really simple: give people a free sample of what you can do; leave them craving more.
Not a freebie, or a download, a cheat sheet, or a blog/vlog, an actual sample of your paid products or services.
I baulked at this to begin with. Badly. I’m a copywriter. Offering a free sample of my work meant a lot of work for me. Writing a whole blog post, in fact. But Angie’s explanation made a great deal of sense, and while I was going great guns building my tribe, I was really struggling to convert them.
Educating them on the benefits of hiring a copywriter to produce regular, awesome content was easy enough. Getting them to take that final leap was considerably harder.
Hiring a freelancer is scary.
What if they’re a bad fit? What if they can’t really write? What if they take your money and don’t deliver? What if, what if, what if…
Allaying Their Fears And Showing My Chops…
Much as it made me flinch, I had faith. I began offering a free blog post. No strings, no catch. An actual, bonafide, free version of a service that would usually set you back (at that time) £25.
This did two things: allayed my tribe’s fears and concerns about making that final leap; and allowed me to really show my writing chops. It’s one thing to say you’re a great copywriter, it’s quite another to hand over a shining, polished, perfect example of exactly what you can do for a person’s business, complete with all the bells and whistles (in my case, royalty free images, memes, and a week’s worth of Tweets…yes, still for free!).
The Results Of Angie’s One Super Powerful Trick…
The response was phenomenal.
In marketing, a 2% conversion rate is reasonably good. 5% is good. 10% is epic. Anything above 10% is magical wildfire of supernatural origin.
The free post I instigated using Angie’s method has…wait for it… a 75% conversion rate.
Yes, it’s a lot of work writing them, but it’s so worth it!
Here’s How You (More Than) Double Your Income…
You want serious numbers? I analysed the conversions on my free blog post, here’s what I found…
Three out of four people who sign up for a free post become paying clients.
Of those clients, one in three spend an average of £35 on a one-off service.
One in three spend an average of £300 on either a one off service bundle, or repeat business in lower-ticket items.
One in three spend an average of £3,500 on monthly blog packages (and that’s just how much they had spent in December 2016 – most are still monthly clients, so that figure gets higher every month!).
One in three of these new clients recommend me to a friend, who sign up for their own free post, or simply buy a service outright, to the tune of £500 a piece (again, on average, again, growing each month!).
The financial reward I receive is over £1,000 per free blog post I write (including those that don’t convert) and growing monthly.
The Bottom Line…
Since I started running this offer, my business has thrived. I soon had a gaggle of clients. I put my prices up, expecting to lose a fair few. I didn’t lose any. I kept on hustling, and before the year was out I was debt free, and living in a house of my own. I invested more in the tech needed to action Angie’s epic system, and experienced another big boom in my income.
I had more clients than I could handle.
After rebranding and refocusing entirely on copywriting, I put my prices up again.
The free posts I offer are now worth £55 a piece, and they are still available for free to all new clients. I’ve not done the maths on the offer since the end of 2016, but I can tell you that my monthly income has more than doubled since then. Angie’s offer isn’t the only thing affecting that; I launched a new vlog in January that had a massive impact. But content marketing can only get you so far. It builds you tribe, it grows your list, but you still need that ineffable magic charm that converts your audience into paying clients.
That gives them the final shove.
Of all the coaches I’ve worked with, watched, read and listened to, Angie is the only one who showed me exactly how to do this. For that reason alone, I refer to her as The Woman Who Changed My Business.
But she didn’t just change my business, she also transformed my life.
If you want your business to be the mechanism that enables you to live a happy, fulfilling life of freedom, doing what you love best, this girl can show you how…
Thanks, Angie, you’re an absolute superstar!
Many thanks to Hazel Butler from The Write Copy Girl for this wonderful guest post. Having feedback like this fills me with joy and makes all my work worthwhile.
Why it is important to keep your knowledge up to date
There is one sure fire way to lose credibility with prospects and clients and that is when you fail to keep your knowledge up to date with industry trends and give outdated advice. And if you are posting outdated advice on social media, there is the knock-on effect of so many others seeing what we have written and their loss of interest in listening to anything we have to say in the future.
If you are an employee you need to keep your knowledge up to date along with relevant skills and will be regularly assessed (or at least should be) by your employer. Training is provided when any gaps in knowledge are identified and it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure you continually keep learning and improve your knowledge.
But as a self-employed business person, it is up to you to ensure you keep your knowledge up to date on a continual basis. You need to put a plan in place for your own continuous professional development (CPD) and be aware of the ever-changing industry trends that are bound to happen.
‘Experts’ who give outdated advice
Just recently I have seen a few occasions where ‘experts’ in their field have given outdated advice which has instantly affected their credibility in my opinion, and undoubtedly by others who spotted their mistakes.
The first case was someone who was advising another on a social media forum to use Blab as part of their marketing campaign. What this expert had failed to realise was that Blab no longer exists. This would have caused frustration for the person being advised whilst searching for something no longer available and then a complete lack of trust and respect in the advisor.
Secondly, I saw someone ask an expert for their advice on the use of Snapchat for business. The expert responded that Snapchat was purely for social use but something similar may come to the market for businesses in the future. What the expert failed to realise was that Snapchat is growing daily for business use and their knowledge is very much out of date. Again, a loss of credibility and respect with the person asking the question and anyone else who saw the post and knew the information given was wrong.
Finally, I saw someone advise another to create a number of web pages all with the same content. This is in direct contradiction of Google’s best practice which penalises sites with duplicate content.
Invest the time to keep up to date with industry trends
The most successful business people are those who invest the time to keep up to date with industry trends. Ways to keep your knowledge up to date include:
Networking with others in your industry
Reading current books and articles
Subscribing to online forums and being proactive in asking questions
Investing in relevant training or signing up to a new course
Following experts in your field on social media
Try and get creative and think of new ways to keep your knowledge up to date and to continue to build credibility with your prospects and clients. If you have any creative ways of keeping your knowledge updated, share them in the comments below.
Recently in my Facebook group, I asked the fabulous ladies what piece of advice they would you give to someone starting their business today. There were some great answers so I thought I would share them with you here today.
Be consistent and positive at all times
Failure is natural and part of the process. Learn from it and do things better next time! 🙂
Enjoy it. Be patient, it won’t happen overnight
Be sure that there is a niche in the market for your product or service and be different!
Research, research, research.
Join groups like this one as going it alone never works.
Cultivate the art of patience, have an open mind, learn new things and remain flexible
Make sure you have a solid foundation first before you to try to run & lots of patience
Ensure you absolutely love the product or service you are offering, otherwise it will never reach it’s potential!
Trust your gut, even when ‘experts,’ can’t see what you can see!
Find your tribe – we all need people to support and believe in us. Appreciate them hard!
Be the person that you want to be, act as if you’ve already achieved everything you want
Accept every offer of help that you are given, it’s tough going solo.
Don’t buy crap you don’t need.
Read lots. Set goals.
Get one package done really well before branching out.
Focus on one social media platform.
Surround yourself with brilliant people.
Spend time on your business from the start. Get great systems and take note of everything you do. It’s amazing how fast we forget how we started.
Feel free to add your own piece of advice that you would give to someone starting out in the comments box below.
What to do when you feel like giving up in your business
Recently, I asked a question in a Facebook group. The question was ‘Have you ever felt so very close to giving up in your business, and if yes, what stopped you?’
I had some fabulous answers and so many people commented on how useful it was to read these as they were feeling low and it helped them.
Here are the main answers below. Have a read yourself if you are going through a tough time and take some inspiration. And if you have an answer you would like to add, please leave it in the comments at the bottom of the page.
I was still in business groups and saw there was a need for someone with my background to help others so that became my reason for not stopping.
I remembered my clients and why I started in the first place, gave myself a kick up the bum to keep going
Making sure I surrounded myself with like-minded people… I lost a lot of friends… but made new more aligned friends when I realised my support network would help keep me going
If you love what you do and have a big WHY you are less likely to give up.
When I get close to that feeling, I immediately take a break. Pushing through at this point just brings more of what you don’t want. I always have in mind the Law of attraction and work with it, not against it. By taking a break, I create space for my inspiration and intuition to come back and guide me.
Take myself back to why I started in the first place. And if you have changed, then just adjust your business. There is nothing wrong with that. Nothing is cast in stone. Life is about change and growth. Change the things that cost you energy and add more things that give you pleasure!
Break the negative momentum. Take a break, take a nap, watch a funny movie, recharge and create space.
Remembering that EVERY successful person had stood where I was -ready to give up- and found the strength to take another step!!!
Most people can go through this feeling, if you are having a not so good period, but it passes. Just write down the for’s and against – or take a break, do something exciting
What stopped me from giving up was to remind myself why I started and what is my purpose.
I went out and found all the resources, support and help I needed and just kept on going, moving slowly forwards. I stayed focused on my vision for myself and my life
Knowing I am creating a better life for my family keeps me going, although some days I think I should just go and get a 9-5 job but then it fills me with dread!:)
Knowing that resistance kicks in most when you’re really onto a good thing… Just keep going!!!
I have felt like giving up. I discovered my own strength to carry on when times are hard. Small steps every day have helped me get where I am. I have recently started meditation, and through this practice i start to create a bigger wave of self-belief.
Yep, all the time, and then I realise that a) I don’t want to work for someone else and b) it’s just fear talking
When you really love what you do, love your products, love your customers, love your distributor team etc., when you make an impact on other’s peoples’ lives and it’s all really in your heart… – how could you give up and leave those “people standing in the rain”?
The thought of going back into employment 😳
I think you need to ask yourself why first of all? Is it because you are not enjoying it or is it because it is no longer making money. I believe in remaining positive but if it’ not working then something needs to change.
Yes. What stopped me was the fear of staying the same and hiring the right support to help me figure out why my business wasn’t working.
Hundreds of times, after I screwed my first (successful) business and worked endless hours to make my second business work, but struggled to pay the bills. What kept me going? I just couldn’t give up my dream. That’s all.