Working for yourself online is a dream come true for so many entrepreneurs. But, especially now, the powerful lure of a laptop lifestyle has people striking out independently. There are countless resources to help new online entrepreneurs and plenty of advice on building a business. Anyone who wants to learn about online business can find endless advice on all aspects of running an online business. There is a common theme: learning how to earn 6-figures a year or make $10k per month.
If you listen to some experts, the "6-figure business" is the holy grail level of success. But, does 6-figure revenue really equate to success? Other experts suggest that an income of $10k a month means your online business has made it. But the truth is some online entrepreneurs who've reached these milestones work 80-hour weeks, struggle to serve demanding clients, and have lost their motivation. (And really, if you're working 80 hours a week, are you enjoying life?) Are you chasing these same goals and suffering from long days, clients you want to fire, and waning motivation? Do you say to yourself:
"If only my ideal clients could find me …"
"If only I could keep my ideal clients for more than a month or two…"
"If only I could create products so that I don't need to trade hours for dollars…"
The solution: You need a steady stream of prospects. You need your ideal clients who stick around for months. Combine that with products that make money while you sleep, and you are off the entrepreneur hamster wheel.
The solution: simple systems to attract the right clients, keep them happy. You need just three systems for a business you love with clients you want to serve, consistent income and a workweek that allows you to live the life you deserve.
To illustrate, visualize the three systems on a funnel.
The top of the funnel is discovery. This is where prospects find your website, social accounts, and products. Customer referrals are also found at the top of the funnel.
The middle part of your funnel is where your prospects get to know you. Remember the "Rule of 7": a potential customer needs to be exposed to your message or brand promise seven times before they will buy from you. Some people believe it may be higher than that at 8 or 9 times before they buy. The lesson is that most of your potential customers will not buy from you the first time they encounter you. This middle part of your funnel is about prospects building a relationship with your brand.
Finally, at the bottom of your funnel, your prospects become paying clients. Again, sales systems will make this transition seamless.
Do you think this sounds too easy? It's not necessarily easy, but it can be simple.
The simplest explanation is that your online business is a bridge between your product and your customers. The three systems - discovery, relationship, and sales - support the bridge. Your job is to build the supports and complete the bridge.
If you work on only one or two of the sections, your bridge is never finished .. and you never make any money.
"These days, people want to learn before they buy, be educated instead of pitched." – Brian Clark
For example, I devoted many hours to develop a product. During the product creation process, I also posted on social media every day. Now I have a responsive audience and a finished product.
I introduced the product to my social media audience, but I didn't create a process to complete the sale. The result is predictable: I only sold a few products to the people who messaged me directly and were willing to send me money for the product. How many sales did I lose from my audience that didn't see a button to click and kept scrolling? I'll never know.
"Don't Build Links. Build Relationships." – Rand Fishkin
Or I create my product and build a landing page and connect it to a cart program. Then, I launch my product by buying ads. I might sell a few, but most people haven't ever seen my name. Any potential customers interested in my product who look for my website and social presence don't find anything. And most people won't turn over any significant amount of money to a stranger or business they don't know. And now I've spent money on ads without an audience to target, so chances are, I've lost money on this launch.
The steps to building a business can be overwhelming. To make it simple, not easy, but simple, build the bridge. Pick one method for each system and build a bridge that connects you to your customers. When you have built systems that support your business, you will have a consistent, predictable income. In addition, when the systems you created support the bridge to your customer, you will have more time and less stress.
We will take a look at them one at a time in the following posts.