Overwhelm is fast becoming the 21 century entrepreneur’s disease.
If you are feeling overwhelmed in your business online right now, take comfort in the fact you are not alone, and there are solutions!
The first solution, as Sonia outlined in her post last week, is to keep calm and carry on. How do you eat an elephant? Break things down, eat that elephant one bite at a time.
But what does that look like in reality?
What is the minimum required to get your business moving in the right direction online?
Let’s find out …
First, why you?
You have a few big questions to answer first. Everything hinges on this, because these questions alone can bring on those overwhelm feelings.
- What do you do?
- Who do you do it for?
- Why would someone choose you over someone else?
You don’t have to get this right first time, but you do have to have some idea that broadly works if you are going to make traction.
It especially works well if you can talk in terms of a beneficial outcome. Rather than say you perform acupuncture, talk about permanently removing back pain.
You know you are on the right track if people say “Oh interesting, how does that work?” or “How do you do that?” rather than “That’s nice, goodbye!”
Set up your home base
Next you need your own website, on your own domain. It does not have to be an award-winning design, but it does need to represent you well. Just like in a job interview, you only get one chance at a first impression, so you need to dress for the role you want.
Set up your site with WordPress on a reliable host, and add a premium theme. If your design at the very least does not put off potential customers and allows your content to shine then you will be well ahead of many websites out there!
Write content that attracts
Talking of content, this is where the real work starts.
You need to identify the needs of your most-wanted audience and speak to those needs in your articles. Your content should tell stories that deliver a message your audience needs to hear. You should solve problems and build trust. Show that you can help the people in your marketing with what they need.
It’s not just about finding search engine keywords to write about but making a connection with your prospects so they want to hear from you more, and trust you enough to want to work with you.
As you attract attention you need to turn your mind to retaining that attention. Keep people coming back and strengthen that connection you have started to build.
While many people would advocate RSS Feeds, or even asking people to follow you on social media, nothing will beat email. Back in the day we thought feeds were going to be the next big thing and sadly, we were so, so wrong! You need a proper email service rather than a free feed delivery feature. If you want more details, you can read more about why I recommended Aweber over Feedburner (even back in 2008).
First you need people to give you permission to contact them in the future, second you want to know that you are on the right track, third you want your audience to have good reason to keep paying attention to you.
Yes, you want to gather email addresses, and email subscribers are much more likely to want to become customers than any other website visitor, but as important are the insights that interacting with these prospects will provide you.
Rather than guess what your market wants from you, interact, test and experiment with your own engaged feedback group.
As you get to know your readers, and as they get to know you, then you can build products and services they actually want to buy.
Your compelling offer
Creating something people actually want to buy is the real trick. So many people have cool creations and then try to get someone to buy, when identifying a need and supplying something that fills that need is usually far easier.
Developing a compelling offer can be as simple as getting to know your market and finding out what they most need help with. What are they very motivated to have solved? What are they reading and willing to invest in?
At this point many people get overwhelmed or stuck in analysis paralysis. I know I did years ago. The good news, though, is you don’t have to spend months in development hell!
As anyone who has heard of Teaching Sells will know, online education is a fantastic way to help your market succeed, and using the “Minimum Viable Product” approach it can also be a rapid way to go from zero to having an offer.
Following that minimum viable product approach, you can confidently go to your market, develop solutions they are eager to buy, and incrementally grow that offering in partnership with your customers. Even better, you can often get paid up-front, which is a terrific confidence booster as well as being financially healthier situation than running up credit cards!
Teaching Sells is coming …
If the Minimum Viable Product approach is one that resonates with you, you may want to check out our flagship course, Teaching Sells.
Teaching Sells is a comprehensive course on building an online business … and it all starts with getting to that Minimum Viable Product.
There’s no better way to test your market, sharpen your ideas, and zero in on creating a product that your audience wants to buy.
Here’s where you can learn more about the course (and sign up for the interest list): What is Teaching Sells?
Look forward to seeing more of you there!
About the Author: Chris Garrett is VP of Educational Content for Copyblogger Media, a professional blogger, and the founder of Authority Blogger, a course that teaches you how to become the most trusted advisor in your market by turning your blog into the go-to resource. He also blogs at chrisg.com.