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Well hey there. Welcome back to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield, and I’m so glad you chose to join me here today.
Can I just tell you that I love hearing from you? This week I want to give a shout out to DelsDesign who left me the nicest review on iTunes. Thank you so very much. I see those reviews. They mean the world to me. DelsDesign said:
“I’ve begun searching Amy’s episodes to learn exactly what I need at the moment. She so thoroughly and thoughtfully explains things that she’s become my go-to resource whenever I have a question on what to do next. It gives me peace of mind to get her guidance. I feel secure that I’m spending my time wisely.”
I love to hear that. I just can’t tell you how much those words mean to me. I’m honored to be your go-to resource, DelsDesign, and thank you so very much for being a part of my podcast community.
I thought I would start giving more shout outs to the reviews I read online. If you left me a review I just might be talking about you on my next podcast.
Let me ask you a question. If you are new to online marketing, let’s say in your first year or two of business, have you felt or are you currently feeling completely overwhelmed by all of the things you have to do?
Maybe you’re confused or unsure about what your next step should be while you’re building your online business.
First of all, let me tell you that you’re not alone. I have a lot of people in my community reach out to ask me for help in this area. I know exactly what it’s like to hit that wall of overwhelm or total confusion as to what to do next and then next and then after that. All of the sudden you want to freeze because you just don’t know which way to turn.
I don’t want anyone feeling that way so I’m going to walk you through the five keys areas to focus on when you’re just starting out.
For those of you who are beyond your first year or two of business, stay with me here. These five areas are going to be a really good reminder or reality check in terms of whether you have already focused on these things and locked them in.
Let’s be honest. When you’re just getting started you want to jump to the big sexy projects you’re dying to work on and it’s really easy to skip those foundational pieces because you’re in a hurry to see success.
Even if you’ve been at this for a while slow down just a moment in this podcast episode while you’re listening and just use it as a checklist. I’m hoping you’ll say, “Yep, I’ve done that. Yep, on it. Already taken care of, I’m good to go.”
That’s what I’m hoping you will do if you’ve been at this for a while but use it kind of like a little quiz just to make sure you’ve got it all locked in.
Before I get going, this episode is sponsored by my free masterclass, The Ultimate List-Building Catch-Up Plan, my proven three-stack system for leveraging the most powerful, what’s-working-now list-building strategies without the stress, tech confusion, or crazy overwhelm.
If you’re struggling to get started with building your email list or if you’re not attracting new subscribers to your list every single day this is the free masterclass for you. Just go to https://www.amyporterfield.com/listbuilding to sign up for my free masterclass.
Let’s go ahead and get to those five key areas to focus on when you’re just starting out.
Amy, where should I start? Amy, what should I work on first? Amy, I’m totally overwhelmed, how do I know what to focus on next?
These are the questions I get asked mostly through Instagram DMs, often on Facebook, and always in my private Facebook group from my students. They are the number one type of questions I get asked from people who are just starting to build their business online.
The good news is that the answer is quite simple. The not-so-good news is that it takes work and determination to stay focused and that’s exactly why I’m doing this episode…So that you’ll walk away today with answers with the help you need to stay focused.
Yeah, I do think it does take some dedication and focus but I’m here to make it a whole lot easier for you.
Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned entrepreneur there are five key foundational areas of focus that are crucial across the board if you want to have a successful online business.
I focused on these same areas when building my business. There’s no way I’d have the multi-million dollar business I have today had I not devoted the time and resources it took to really nail down these areas. So let’s dig in.
Focus Area #1 – Understand Your “Why” and “Who”
The very first thing I want you to focus on if you’re not sure where to start or what to do next is to make sure you really understand and you can articulate your “why.”
I know many of you have heard this before. You’ve got to know your “why”. But, the question is, “Have you really nailed it down?” The big question you really need to answer is, “Why are you building this business?”
I love Simon Sinek and I love how he breaks it down in his TEDTalk. I’m going to link to a TEDTalk that Simon did that I think every single online entrepreneur needs to listen to. Just promise me right now, if you’re all alone you can give me a shout out, say, “I’ll do it!”
Can you say it right now, “I’ll do it!” Make a verbal commitment that you’ll listen to this TEDTalk because even if you have your why I still think it’s a good refresher.
In this TEDTalk Simon talks about the “Golden Circle”. Picture three concentric circles with the smallest inside circle (like the bulls-eye area of the dartboard) being your “why”. If you have a pen and paper handy just draw this out.
The first circle is the “why”. The next circle going out from that is your “how” and then the largest circle, which is the outer circle, is your “what”. Think of a dartboard. You have the why, the how, and the what. Can you picture it?
In this TEDTalk Simon tells the difference between how inspired leaders and visionaries approach the circle as compared to others. The difference is that they (the inspired ones) think, act, and communicate from the inside of that circle (the why) and then they move out.
Everyone else is working from the outside. Unfortunately, those working from the outside may never get to that crucial inner circle, the “why”. Think about it. Every company knows “what” (the outside circle). They know what they do.
I sell online courses. This guy over here may sell sports cars. She sells weight-loss coaching. But if you don’t start from the inside (your why you do what you do) you lose the inspiration that guides how you think, how you act, and how you communicate.
This, in turn, can cause you to not only lose your way but lose valuable opportunities with potential customers as well. You and I both know this online space is crowded and busy. That’s why it’s even more important than ever right now to know your “why”.
When you know your “why”, on the toughest days of building your online business you are able to pull from that, and I’m telling you if you haven’t experienced it already, there are some tough days ahead. Every online entrepreneur that’s been at this for a while know that.
I’m going to guess that every single one of you who are listening to my podcast right now have already experienced some of those tough days. If you can pull from why you are doing it, it can get you out of bed in the morning. That’s how powerful it is.
Let me add here that your “why” doesn’t need to be some big, huge, ah-ha-Oprahwould-love-to-hear-about-it moment. This is something that probably not a lot of people talk about but I don’t think you need a big, lofty, really from-the-heart why in terms of “I’m changing lives and I’m transforming mindsets and I’m going to conquer the world.”
All of that is good but when you’re just starting out you don’t need that as your why. Let me give you an example. In the beginning my “why” was simply a need for freedom. I didn’t want to report to a boss.
I was so tired of having somebody that called the shots in my world. I wanted to set my own hours. I wanted to create my own content and I didn’t want to be anywhere I didn’t want to be.
When I was still working at the Robbins organization I traveled probably 15-20 days a month sometimes. That’s how crazy it got. I was tired of that. I didn’t want to be on the road anymore. I wanted to be home and I wanted to call the shots.
I wish I could tell you my “why” from the get go was that I wanted to transform lives for the better. It was not that. It was very selfish. The reason for that is I had gotten into a rut. I had hit a wall. I was burned out.
I couldn’t muster up all of those really good feelings to make it about somebody else. I was selfish at the time. I made it about me. I was taking care of me first. But here’s the great news.
Several years later my “why” has changed, truly has changed. It has gotten bigger. It’s gotten a whole lot better. My “why” now is that I truly do want to help transform lives, serve others, and see their businesses grow.
I specifically attract a lot of women entrepreneurs. Guys, I’m here to support but I am really focused on the women entrepreneurs that are coming out of corporate or coming out of a different experience and they are ready to reclaim their freedom, they want to create an online business, and they are bringing so many skills and knowledge from their other life into this.
They don’t know how to do online business, they’ve never build an email list, creating a course seems foreign to them, but they are coming to the table with so much skill and knowledge from their other experiences that I want to help them take all of that and understand how to apply it to an online business.
I want them to see that they can make their own money, call their own shots, decide on their hours, and support their families in ways they never thought was ever possible.
The reason that is so near and dear to my heart is because that was me. I often tease that I was kind of a bad ass in corporate. I moved up the corporate ladder. I was working directly with Tony Robbins. I was doing really cool things.
But when I got into the online world it was foreign to me. I know what that feels like and I want to serve those women more than anything. You could probably hear it in my voice. That excites me and gets me up in the morning.
Years and years ago I just didn’t want a boss and that got me up in the morning to build this online business. Don’t put pressure on yourself that it has to be big and lofty and beautiful. It does not need to be. It just needs to mean something to you.
Here’s a little homework for you. I’ve created a New Business Focus worksheet to guide you through this and a few of the other areas we’re going to talk about today.
I want you to go to https://www.amyporterfield.com/226 and you can download this New Business Focus worksheet. I just want you to do a little homework to make this actionable because if you just listen and do nothing you just wasted all of your time and I am not in the business of wasting your time.
If you help me out here, take action, you’ve just made something of this episode and this time we’ve had together.
I want you to get very clear on your “why”. That’s obvious, right? I want you to set aside time today or tomorrow in the next 48 hours. Use the worksheet and just pour your heart out. Answer questions like:
- Why did I start this business?
- What is my purpose? Why am I doing this?
- Why is what I’m doing important to myself (and if you want to go there) important to others?
- What kind of impact do I want to make? You can ask yourself that.
If you’re just going to focus on yourself like I did, keep it simple. Remember, when you’re doing this exercise be honest with yourself. Don’t think about what others expect of you and don’t even think that you have to communicate this to anybody.
Back in those early days I didn’t jump on video and say, “Hey guys, I’ve created an online business because I don’t want to work for a boss.”
I don’t really think that was something I talked about much back then. Now I can but I don’t think I would have shared that with everybody. Just do it for you. This is your work. This is your impact. This is your “why”. Like mine, your “why” may change as you grow in your business and that’s okay.
The way your business looks today, and I tell every one of my newbies this, they way your business looks today will look dramatically different in just a few short years. Hear me on this. That’s a good thing. That is wonderful.
You’re going to come into your own. You’ve got to start somewhere. All of these big decisions you make now, all of these “whys”, all of these reasons why you’re doing what you’re doing are not set in stone. You get to pivot. You get to make changes. You get to grow with your business.
That’s why I freaking love building a business online. You get to call the shots.
Where you are today is a very important part of your journey and I want you to be present with it. Through it all don’t waste a minute of the valuable lessons you’ll learn along the way.
A second part of this area of focus is understanding something that goes hand in hand with coming to understand your “why”. It’s understanding who you are here to serve.
Your “why” may be as simple as wanting freedom and want to call the shots. But you do need to, at the same time, decide on who you want to serve. Here’s something that I’m going to take all of the pressure off of this. This will likely change as well. This will develop. This will transform. So, just make a decision now and then you can play around with it and change it up as you go.
I’m telling you this because most people do not like to spend time on figuring out their ideal customer avatar. All of my B-School bonus members out there, you know what an ideal customer avatar is. It’s who you are serving, simply enough.
If you don’t have a clear picture of who you’re serving every decision you make in your business will be diluted and unclear. I’ve done this ICA (Ideal Customer Avatar) exercise. I’ve figured out who my ICA is many, many times.
I have three different products and I actually have a different ICA for my list-building product versus my courses product versus my webinars program. If you’re a complete newbie I’m not going to throw you into my webinars program because there is some work you’re going to do up front. It’s a different ICA than a complete newbie would be.
With that I’ve done a lot of ICA work and I don’t love it. I’m just going to tell you right now it feels permanent even though I know it’s not. It feels like I’m literally making up stories about who I’m serving even though I don’t know them personally. It feels awkward.
You can do awkward things. You can do hard things. I constantly tell my team that when we’re in a rut about something or struggling. I always say, “We can do hard things.” You too, my friend, can do hard things.
With that you’re going to figure out your ICA. If you already know the ICA and have already locked this in you can just forward the audio a little bit.
I wish I had a time stamp to tell you to forward to – maybe in the show notes we will put a time stamp saying, “You can forward through the ICA part that I’m going to talk about really briefly and then move on to the next area of focus.
If you still haven’t locked this in stay with me here for a moment. I want you to do these three things to identify and really get to know who you’re serving.
ICA Identification – #1 – Write a detailed description of who you think you’re serving or who you want to serve. This may be a person you know in real life but it may also be a person you make up but is the ideal person you are here to serve.
I want you to get into the nitty gritty when you write his/her description. What do they look like? How old are they? What books do they read? Where do they hang out online? Who or what inspires them? What is their biggest pain point or frustration in life?
The goal here is to intimately know and pinpoint the single person that you have in your mind’s eye and your heart when you are creating content. You might be saying, “Yeah, but if I just come up with one person what about all of the other people that I want to be serving? I’m going to leave them out?” So, you’re going to have to trust me on this.
When you create solutions and content for that single ICA it actually attracts more people that are just like the ICA you created. You will find them with this one message for this one person. Again, it’s almost like magic (that sounds ridiculous, right?) but just trust me on this one.
I’ve included a section in the New Business Focus worksheet that will help you in defining your ICA so make sure you download that.
ICA Identification – #2 – Get out there and talk to your ICA. Get to know them better. Set up calls. Engage in Facebook groups. Attend meetups. Ask them what they are struggling with. Help them with their questions and serve them without expecting anything in return.
A secret tip is to listen more than you talk. When I was in second grade my dad would drop me off at school every morning. I would get out of the car, he had a big old work truck that was blue. I was embarrassed by it and looking back I always hate that I was so embarrassed by it. My dad was blue collar to the bone. I was so embarrassed of his blue truck so I would try to get out really fast so nobody would see me. I know, terrible. I was little though.
I would get out of the truck really fast and he would say, “Wait, wait, wait. Remember, it’s better to listen than to talk.” He would tell me this every morning when he would drop me off because he knew I was a talker in class.
I think that’s very important when you are trying to understand your ICA as well. It’s better to listen than to talk. The words that come from their mouths or their keyboard into a Facebook group or into a comment section will be your guide to creating content just for them.
ICA Identifier – #3 – Anytime you produce any type of content whether you’re writing a blog, doing a video, or recording a podcast episode literally pretend you’re speaking directly to your ICA. Picture him or her so you can see their face. Think about how you’re going to help them with their struggle.
Picture the relief on their face when they read your next post or listen to your next episode or whatever it might be. Just really make them come to life.
That covers the “why” and the “who” which is very important.
Focus Area #2 – Create a Website With a Clear Message
We are moving on to focus area #2. I want you to create a website with a very clear message. Don’t get stuck on trying to create the most amazing website. It does not have to be fancy.
Heck, I had a pretty basic, not-so-fancy website for a long time. I made my first million on a website that some of my peers were writing to me saying, “Amy, you’ve got to do something about your website. It’s ugly.”
I had already made a million dollars! I promise you, you do not need a lot of bells and whistles to make the website successful. So, here are the three things you do need:
- Your message must be clear on your website. You want people to know immediately what you can do for them when they arrive on your home page (more on this in a minute).
- You have an easy way to opt in to your email list. You have to take advantage of list building from the get go.
- You have a place to create and house your content that you’re going to be creating every single week. To me that’s probably the most important.
Your website serves as where you blog or where you post your show notes for your podcast or where you post your video for your video show.
Backing up a big, if you’re in the beginning stages of building your business you might be wondering how to create that clear message. I think it will be best if I give you a couple of real-life examples from some of the companies out there that do a great job of having a clear message right there front and center on their website. We all like examples, right?
Let’s get to it.
I’m going to read these examples out to you now but I’ll also have the actual screen shots in my show notes at https://www.amyporterfield.com/226. So, head over there to check out the language used and how the messages flow so that they show their ideal customer that they’re in the right place where the solution to their struggle will be given.
The key is to keep it simple here. This first one is from Fluro, a software company for churches. On the home page of their website they say, “Beautiful software for fast-growing churches. Fluro helps your church in ways no other software can. It’s a powerful tool crafted to help you connect with visitors, communicate your message, and empower your team.”
It’s simple and to the point, right? Do you see how they kept their customer in mind? They address their needs. It’s a software that’s beautiful and robust. It will handle the demands of their growing church and helps them connect with their visitors and communicate their message. Nice, simple, and to the point.
Next let’s take a look at an example from Copyblogger, a site I absolutely love, “Build your online authority with powerfully, effective content marketing. Get superior content marketing education so you can build a remarkable online presence.”
Talk about using each and every word to convey a message clearly. I love that.
Here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. If you put something out there like, “Get superior content marketing education,” it’s really easy if you then say “why” and use the words, “So that you can”.
You don’t have to use these words in your messaging but use them when you’re trying to come up with your messaging. Again, “Get superior content marketing education” and then I would add, “so that you can” and they said, “so you can build a remarkable online presence.”
Tell them “why” that thing you’re promising is important. I love that type of messaging. Again, you need to see it in action at https://www.amyporterfield.com/226.
Last, I’m going to read some messaging from my dear friend, Michael Hyatt, on his About page. It’s really important to have a good About page on your site. Listen how Michael speaks to his ICA here. If that’s you and you’ve come to his About page you know right away you’ve come to the right place. That’s what you want to think about when you’re creating messaging.
When the right person comes to your page they know instantly they are right where they need to be. I also want you to pay attention to how Michael shows he understands what is important in his ICA’s life. He knows who his “who” is. That sounds weird but you know what I mean.
Finally, he tells them how he can help them. Here’s goes from Michael Hyatt’s home page:
“If you’re like most of my readers you’re already a high-achieving leader. You’re committed to making big contributions at work and seeing big results. But you’re not just looking for one-dimensional success. You also want to thrive in the other domains of life. Your relationship with family and friends, your health, your spiritual and intellectual growth, your hobbies, your fashions and interests, your legacy, and the lives of the people around you. You’re after long-lasting multi-dimensional success and that really matters. Winning in all of life’s domains improves the lives of everyone around you. Your team enjoys a more joyful, fulfilled leader. Your family rests assured that they’re number one in your life. Plus, you have the energy, creativity, and stamina you need to be your best at work and at home.”
That’s so good, right? Michael goes on from there to show how he can help them achieve their goals. First he says, “I get you.”
When you’re creating your messaging make sure, after you read it, especially on your About page, think if it shows that you really get your ICA. Use Michael as inspiration if you need to.
Again, I’ll include all of these examples in the show notes today at https://www.amyporterfield.com/226. Take a look and see if you can create your own clear message with these examples as your guide.
Remember, when you go to work on defining your clear message use these examples for inspiration. But, it’s also good to go back to Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle and answer the why, how, and what for yourself.
I’ve got a great exercise for you in the New Business Focus worksheet where you’ll also use keywords and phrases from a brain dump session to help guide you in coming up with your message as well as key words and phrases that your ICA gives you as you engage with them online.
I know it might feel like a lot but I’ve made it easier for you if you go grab the handout and work through it via a worksheet.
Focus Area #3 – Choose Your Platform of Choice
Let’s move on to focus area #3. This next one is pretty simple but I see so many of my students struggle here because they spread themselves too thin and it slows them down.
I want you to choose your one platform of choice. Be it a blog, a podcast, or a video show just choose one. This is critical when you’re just getting started.
No, it’s not okay to have a video show, a podcast, and a blog and randomly choose one a week to put out there. I’m saying, “No!” I’m going to put a stake in the ground and say that’s too much for you. It’s too confusing for your audience. Just choose one.
Down the road you may want to expand and that’s cool. But in your first two years of business you’re spreading yourself too thin and you’re actually taking focus off of the other things you should be doing in your business.
Once you choose that one platform I want you to create original, consistent content on a weekly basis so that every single week you are either blogging, podcasting, or making a video depending on what platform you chose.
For those of you who have been in business for a while but thought you would take a listen and check off everything I said to make sure you have your foundation, are you putting out original content every single week?
To me that is a must. It’s an absolute must. Here’s what consistently creating that original content will do for you. It will strengthen the relationship you have with your existing audience. It will also help you find more subscribers so that you can begin to strengthen that relationship as well.
When you create consistent content there are two reasons you are doing it: To actually nurture the relationships you’ve already created and become their go-to source; and, to find more people so that you can eventually nurture those relationships as well.
Trust me when I tell you that in the beginning creating and publishing all of this original content on a consistent basis is a lot of work until you get your systems down. But it’s more important than networking, going to meetups, speaking on stage, even creating a course.
I don’t want you to do any of that until you lock down, “Yes, I am creating content on a weekly basis.” I’m telling you, it’s a game changer. It’s a must.
When you’re known for something people will listen. The way you get known for something is to become prolific. You become that person that’s constantly putting out great, valuable content for free and asking for nothing in return.
Some of my closest friends in this industry did just that. They first gave, gave, gave before they ever asked for anything in return. You can branch out and do all of the other things later in your journey. But not now. Cool?
Focus Area #4 – Engage
Let’s move on to focus area #4, Engage. I want you to engage with your current followers and I want you to look for places online or in person to engage with your ideal customer avatar.
Here’s all you need to do: Be curious, ask questions, be helpful, do what my dear old dad says, “Listen more than you talk.” Comment with advice and encouragement on posts in Facebook and other social platforms and help people without any strings attached.
Here’s something you can do today. If you use Instagram, which I hope you do, especially if you use Instagram Stories…I did a great podcast episode with Tyler McCall about Instagram Stories so if you missed that one go back and check it out because it was so good (https://www.amyporterfield.com/219). It literally might be one of the most popular I’ve done because people talk about it all the time.
Anyway, in an Instagram Story I want you to ask a question such as, “If you could wave a magic wand over XYZ (whatever your ICA is focused on) what would you be able to fix instantly?”
Ask something like that. You are looking for what they are struggling with but you’re kind of having a little fun with waving a magic wand. You might not want to word it like that, word it however you want but when you get answers, even if you only get one or two, you respond back to everybody.
This is something I struggle with. I am getting more and more followers on Instagram and I’m encouraging you to DM me. Then I literally don’t have enough hours in the day to get back to everybody.
If you’ve ever sent me an Instagram DM and I haven’t gotten back to you I want you to know I am really, really doing my best and am going to get back to you. It just takes a little extra time. That’s a quality problem, I know, but I wanted you to hear it in case you thought, “I reached out to Amy and I haven’t heard from her yet.”
I’m going to get back to you. Anyway, get back to everybody if you’re going to ask them a question because I think it’s important they hear from you. Give them a tip or resource or word of encouragement.
It’s so important to reach back out and make sure they hear from you. Not only is that going to create a connection but more importantly you’re going to get so much feedback from your audience. The more you do this the more people will actually engage with you.
Speaking of Tyler McCall and that Instagram Story episode I did Tyler gave so many great tips and advice. I noticed that when he responds back to people in his DMs he uses the person’s first name.
That takes extra work, for sure, because you have to make sure you’ve got their name right and you’re spelling it right. I thought that was such a really cool touch. It’s tiny but it goes a long way so I wanted to throw that in there.
You’re going to ask a question on an Instagram Story. You’re going to answer everybody and give them a little advice as well. Something I remind myself of, especially when I was just starting out, every single person counts and every answer they give you gives you insight into who they are and what they’re struggling with.
This type of engagement does several things. It builds trust. It helps you discover content ideas and it helps you to become a better teacher. Connections mean everything, especially in the world we live in today.
When you’re just getting started go the extra mile. Believe me, it gets a lot tougher when your audience grows so take advantage of it when your audience is still small. Get into that habit of responding to everyone.
Focus Area #5 – Create a Way to Make Money
We’ve made it to four final area of focus, focus area #5. We’re going to talk money. When you’re first starting out you won’t be launching a course right off the bat. Or, you likely won’t have a big membership site that’s raking in a lot of money.
I want you to create a way to make money in your business while you are still figuring things out. This is likely a little bit of different advice than you’ve received from other experts in this area. I feel this one is really true and genuine and it’s doable.
If you’ve been listening to my podcast for some time now you know I worked for Tony Robbins. Duh! I talk about it a lot because it’s a huge part of my journey and my story.
When I left there I needed to make money right away. I didn’t actually save up a bunch of money before I left corporate. I didn’t have an online course. I had nothing to sell.
I created social media and marketing plans for small businesses. I did social media for small businesses as well. I had to find a way to make money. I didn’t love doing that. I’ve talked about this many times.
I literally created a business I didn’t love. But in the first two years it was necessary. I had to pay the bills. As I was creating my content, as I was blogging every single week, building up my audience, starting to build my email list I was also doing social media for small businesses until I got to the point that I was able to let go of all of those clients and just sell my online courses.
I will say this. There is a fine line here. I want you making money right now because you likely need to. But it’s important that you do not lose sight of building your business.
A mistake I made that I want you to learn from is that I began to take on too many social media clients and it was really hard to get out of it in order to move into the next phase of my business, which was creating courses.
If I had taken fewer clients and just made enough money to get by with but then focused on creating my online courses I likely wouldn’t have taken two years to get out of that initial business model that I created and hated.
I came from a scarcity mindset, “I’ve got to make money. What if I lose a client and can’t pay the bills? I’m so scared. I’m fearful of not having enough.”
I lived in that those first two years so I took client after client after client and I was miserable. Take just enough clients or do just enough work that you’re making enough money to get by but then spend that extra time building the business you really want and do the projects that are going to get you to that next phase of business.
Yeah, money’s going to be tight in the first few years. That’s okay. It’s going to pay off once you start really operating the way you want to operate in your business. It doesn’t need to take you two years like it took me.
This goes back to your “why”. When you don’t have enough money to do all of the fun things you want to do in the first one or two years of your business but you know what your “why” is it kind of makes it easier.
In the first few years of growing my online business we lived in a really little condo in Carlsbad. I would look around and think, “Holy cow, I am working my buns off. I don’t really have that much to show for it.”
This little condo felt like it was closing in on me more and more. As my business grew we stayed there longer than we wanted to because we were saving for a house. Sometimes I would get caught in going to a friend’s house and their house was bigger and more beautiful and they were making more money than me.
I knew I was working way more hours than them and I felt bad for myself. It was that victim mentality. Be careful in those first few years to just kind of keep the blinders on. Don’t look at what other people are doing or what their houses look like or their cars look like. You’re doing this because you’ve got a very specific “why”. Things will change.
Hear me. If you’re struggling right now it will change. It just takes some time, dedication, and focus. Don’t give up. You will get there. I can promise you that. Just keep those blinders on. Comparison is what will slow you down.
Bonus Focus Area – Your Sweet Spot
We’re going to wrap up. I know I said I was going to give you just five key areas of focus. But I just thought of another one and it’s too good not to share so let’s call it our bonus area of focus.
While you are doing what you need to get done in your first year or two of business I want you to pay close attention to your sweet spot. This is the bonus area of focus I want to give you, the sweet spot, the place where you are loving the work you’re doing, you love the clients you’re working with, and you love the content you’re creating.
You are growing an audience that loves what you are doing and will pay for it. That’s a lot I just gave you there. The sweet spot is that you are doing what you love and your audience loves what you’re doing and they are willing to pay for it, hopefully again and again and again.
It’s going to take you a good year or two to find that sweet spot so there is a lot of trial and error here. I’m not expecting you to nail it right out of the gate but keep it in the back of your mind.
I’m living in my sweet spot, for sure. I love creating content around list building and course creation and webinars and my students want that from me. They are willing to pay for it so I live right now in the sweet spot.
I did not always live there. It took me a good two to three years to get there. You can get there faster and no one ever told me about the sweet spot so it wasn’t even top of mind.
Here’s why I mention this. A lot of my students are putting out content that people are not paying for because they do not want it. My students love to talk about it. They are super passionate about it. But, their students, not so much.
They are outside of the sweet spot. They are focusing on the wrong things. When you dial in on that sweet spot the trajectory of your business will skyrocket. You’ve got to do some soul searching here.
You might need to do some journaling. You might need to do some meditation for weeks and weeks and weeks to really get clear. You’ve got to listen more than you talk and engage with your audience and get clear on what they want, what they will pay for, and what you enjoy creating and working on.
That’s what I want for you more than anything. I want you to live in the sweet spot.
There you have it. Let’s recap. If you focus on these five key areas, especially during your first year or two of business, you’ll put yourself in a good position to branch out and add more bells and whistles down the road. Of course you will grow your business faster and then scale your business.
- Know who you’re serving and know your why. It will get you out of bed in the morning on the hard days.
- Create a simple, simple, simple website with a clear message.
- Choose one platform (blog, video show, or podcast) and create and publish original content every single week rain or shine.
- Engage with your audience. Really think about this one. Are you reaching out to your audience? Are you talking to them in the DMs? Are you posting in Facebook and commenting and offering advice with no strings attached? Are you listening more than you talk?
- Create a way to make money in your business while you’re figuring things out and building the business of your dreams. You’ve got to make money so how are you going to do that right now?
Remember, how your business looks today will look dramatically different down the road. Don’t think everything is set in stone. Not every decision is as big as you think it is right now.
Our bonus area of focus is to find your sweet spot and live in it. Enjoy it. It changes everything in building your online business. Don’t forget to download the free New Business Focus worksheet where I’ve created an exercise to guide you through these areas so that you can get clear and know where you’re going and what you need to do next. You can download that at https://www.amyporterfield.com/226.
If this episode resonated with you I think you’ll also like another episode I created for those new to the online business. It’s called How to Get Noticed Online When You’re Just Starting Out.
I always hint and this one, it’s not what you think. My advice there is not at all what you think it’s going to be. I’m going to surprise you with it and I’m going to give you a little tough love if you’re up for it. But that episode is one of my favorites and you can check it out at https://www.amyporterfield.com/203.
So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this episode and if you’re just starting out I hope you now know where you need to focus. If you’ve been at it for a while I hope you’ve nailed down every single one of those and you are moving on to creating your courses and doing live launches and turning things into evergreen so you can automate your business.
Thank you so much for being here with me today. And, before I forget, have you subscribed to my podcast yet? I don’t want you to miss anything and if you subscribe to the podcast you’ll be notified each time I have a new episode.
I’ve got some bonus episodes coming out that I’m not necessarily emailing out or sharing with everybody so if you subscribe to my podcast you’ll get a notice when a bonus episode goes live as well.
I’m really excited for some of these extra episodes to share with you so make sure you subscribe. You can hit that subscribe button on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts so you don’t miss a thing.
Thanks again for being here. I cannot wait to see you here again next week. Bye for now.