Seven years ago, fueled by a dream and one too many pods of Nespresso, I found myself huddled over my laptop, desperately asking Google how to grow a business from nothing. I was a mompreneur with kids running wild, a dog that demanded to be let outside every 15 minutes, and a pile of laundry that was eyeing me suspiciously.
My kitchen table was my office, and my business strategy, as ambitious as it was, consisted of hitting send on 500 emails a month. It wasn’t exactly the stuff of glamour and glitz!
Now, you might be thinking, “500 emails? Is she nuts?” And yes, it was grueling, but as someone who’s never shied away from rolling up her sleeves (hello, diaper changes at 3 am), I was all in. I’m a numbers girl. I knew the effort would pay off – and it did.
Fast forward to today, and I’m proud to say that my digital agency is serving Fortune 500 clients and has created a vehicle of income for me that doesn’t always require my active involvement. Turns out, my ‘crazy’ method was actually a recipe for success, not just once, but three times over. Yes, friends, I’ve converted my online business dream into a six-figure reality, not once, not twice, but thrice!
So, are you ready to transform your business dreams into reality? Well, stick around, because we’re about to dive headfirst into my foolproof method. Spoiler alert: It involves less coffee than you might think. Here’s my process, buckle up, and let’s get to it!
Building A Bulletproof Portfolio
When I say ‘portfolio’, I’m not talking about a flimsy folder of half-hearted attempts and ‘good-enough’ samples. No, no. I’m talking about a collection of work that screams “This is what I can do for you!” so loudly it might as well have its own megaphone.
Trading Freebies for Social Proof
Here’s a hot tip: You don’t have to wait for paid jobs to start building that portfolio. Yep, you heard me right. Do free work to create a robust portfolio you can leverage for social proof. Ask for testimonials in exchange for your service.
Aim for 5-10 solid testimonials before you start marketing yourself. I began my journey by asking friends and family if I could revamp their websites for free. In return, they provided me with testimonials and a credit link back to my site (score one for my SEO!).
It’s like hitting two birds with one stone: You’re getting practice, enhancing your portfolio, and snagging those sweet, sweet testimonials. Not to mention, you’re setting yourself up for future success by creating a network of affiliate partners who already trust and endorse your work.
Leaning on the Big Guys: Working with Creative Brokers
Here’s a huge hack to growth no one really talks about. There are creative brokers out there just waiting to match you with potential clients. I worked with talent brokers like Freeman Leonard, who offer contracts on a freelance 1099 basis. It’s like being set up on a business date – except instead of awkward small talk, you get to showcase your skills and expand your business’s online presence.
Here’s the kicker – I landed my first Fortune 500 client this way. So don’t underestimate the power of leveraging larger networks. By aligning yourself with the right partners, you can tap into a client list that would take you years (and more than a couple of cups of coffee) to build on your own.
Building a Converting Website
The online world is your stage, and it’s showtime! You’ve got your robust portfolio, a sense of purpose, and a truckload of ambition. Now, it’s time to create your very own online space that converts those curious clicks into committed customers. But where do we start?
The Art of Messaging: Aligning Your Branding With Your Target Audience
First thing’s first: Your website isn’t about you, it’s about them – your ideal market. It’s the meeting point where your service offerings intersect with their needs. Imagine your website is a mirror that your audience looks into, and they see a solution to their problems reflected back. It’s your job to make that reflection crystal clear.
The first page headline is the marquee of your digital theatre. It should speak directly to your audience in a way that resonates with them. A simple yet effective formula I’ve used is: “I help [target audience] solve [pain point] by offering [service].” This communicates immediately to your potential customers that they’ve come to the right place.
Making Friends with Mobile Devices: Tools for a Mobile-Friendly Site
Now, here’s a fact to knock your socks off: More than half of all online browsing is done on mobile devices! Shocking, right? Everyone knows our phones are serious business tools, playing a significant role in the life of your business online. It’s absolutely crucial your site looks dapper and functions smoothly on all devices, not just computers. This is where having a mobile-friendly (or as I like to say, “mobile-amiable”) site comes in.
Building a mobile-friendly website might sound as complicated as assembling a rocket ship, but fear not, my friend. There are several useful tools out there ready to lend a helping hand. If WordPress is your platform of choice (good taste, by the way!), consider using the WP Engine hosting service. They’re like the stage crew of your digital theatre, making sure the performance goes without a hitch.
When it comes to design, the Elementor and Avada themes are your best buddies. They’re kind of like the dynamic duo of WordPress themes, offering an abundance of mobile-responsive designs that morph to fit any screen size. Both are easy to use, ensuring that your site’s mobile version won’t just be a shrunken afterthought.
But what about SEO, you ask? Enter Yoast, the superhero of SEO. This handy plugin ensures that your website isn’t just mobile-friendly, but also SEO-optimized, from meta tags to keyword density. It’s like your personal digital marketing guru, guiding you step by step to optimize each page of your site.
Lastly, let’s not forget Google’s very own Site Speed Test. It’s like your personal digital fitness coach, keeping your site’s loading time trim and agile, which is a must in the fast-paced online world. It identifies any speed bumps on your site and offers tips for fixing them, ensuring that your website is as speedy as a hare, not as slow as a tortoise.
Next up, we’re going to dive headfirst into the colorful reef of SEO and how to leverage this powerhouse to grow your business. Buckle up, you won’t want to miss it!
Dipping Your Toes into SEO
Now that we have our mobile-friendly site all set and shiny, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and delve into the wonderful world of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. Think of SEO as the online version of word-of-mouth. It’s how your business gets found in the sea of online businesses. It’s what lets you yell “I’m here, and I’ve got what you need!” through the noisy online market square.
One great way to build SEO is by guest blogging on other websites. This is where you get to play the part of the charming guest at the digital dinner party, sharing stories and wisdom with a new group of friends.
Not only does this give you exposure to a larger audience, but those sweet, sweet backlinks help build your site’s credibility in the eyes of search engines. Just remember to keep it relevant to your business online, and always, always, always aim for high-quality content.
Embrace the Power of Content Marketing
Now, what do I mean by create high-quality content? Well, I’m talking about content that resonates with your target audience, content that keeps them coming back for more. It’s like finding a TV show you love; you can’t help but binge-watch it. Your content should be the “Stranger Things” or “The Great British Bake Off” (whichever floats your boat) for your potential customers.
This brings us to content marketing – the art of creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell.
In other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you. It’s like being a helpful neighbor, always there with a cup of sugar or some sound advice when needed.
To succeed in content marketing, you need to have a solid plan. A content calendar is your road map, guiding you when to post what. Imagine it as your content marketing GPS, ensuring that you never miss a turn or hit a roadblock in your journey to grow your business.
Creating a TON of High-Quality Content
But how do you churn out all this engaging, relevant content? Well, that’s where some trusty tools come into play. For brainstorming and organizing your ideas, there’s nothing like Trello. Think of Trello as your personal assistant, helping you sort and schedule your content ideas.
When it comes to writing, Grammarly is your BFF. It’s like your personal English teacher, catching those sneaky spelling mistakes and grammar gaffes that could turn a great post into an awkward one.
Now, before we move forward, let’s talk about SEO optimization for your content. With tools like Surfer SEO, you can ensure your content is as SEO-friendly as possible. It’s like having an SEO guru right there with you as you write, giving you the thumbs up for every SEO-optimized sentence.
And remember, the magic happens when you find the perfect balance between popular and niche. Tools like Ahrefs or SEMRush can help you do keyword research. This will help you discover long-tail keywords that your ideal market is searching for with good search volume, but aren’t so competitive that you’ll be lost in the crowd. It’s like finding the perfect party – not too crowded, but not too empty either.
Canva is the Picasso of the digital world, letting you create stunning visuals with a drag-and-drop interface that even a tech newbie could master. And for those who love data (who doesn’t, right?), Google Analytics is there to tell you what’s working and what’s not.
Now, armed with these tools and tips, you’re all set to take the online world by storm with your high-quality
Kickstarting Your Outbound Sales Strategy: How to Grow Your Business Online
Alright, after you’ve built a strong online presence with a killer website and engaging, high-quality content, it’s time to unleash your business strategy. Time to switch gears from “wait for them to find me” to “let’s knock on their doors!” This is the outbound sales strategy, where we actively reach out to our target audience, the ones we know will love what we offer. Ready to up your small business online game? Let’s roll!
First off, my favorite approach – the “work-backwards” strategy. This is like a smart treasure hunt, where instead of aimlessly meandering with a map, you start right at the treasure chest and trail back. So, how does this help grow your business online? By letting you define your success goals first and then reverse engineering your steps to achieve them.
Say your goal is to acquire a particular number of new paying customers. Once you’ve identified this target, figure out the number of emails you need to send out to reach that figure. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? But hang on! With the right tools in your arsenal, this is more a fun challenge than a daunting task.
Outbound Prospecting: The Hunt for Potential Customers
Enter LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Seamless.AI, and Hunter.io – these are not just tools, they’re your faithful hounds, helping you sniff out potential leads in the vast digital wilderness. Imagine these as your online business’s best allies, pointing you towards the right audience and ensuring your email marketing efforts don’t go astray.
Now that you have a list of potential leads, it’s time to craft those winning emails. My proven sales script, which has a staggering 70% conversion rate, will be your guide. Think of it as your secret ingredient, the cherry on top that turns your emails from good to irresistible!
Every business and target market is unique, so remember to personalize this script to resonate with your audience. The magic formula? Relevance, value, and a clear call to action. You’re not just sending out emails; you’re telling a story that your readers will want to be a part of.
Remember, developing an effective outbound sales strategy for your small business online isn’t a one-off effort. It requires constant learning and refining. But with perseverance and a dash of creativity, you’ll soon see your business grow. The ‘no’s’ you hear are just stepping stones to that one ‘yes’ that will boost your sales.
So, small business owners, buckle up! The journey to grow your business online is full of exciting turns. In the upcoming sections, we’ll dive into the power of social media and how to leverage it to further amplify your business’s online presence. Stay tuned!
Exploring the Social Media Landscape: Growing Your Online Business
Alright, put your digital hiking boots on, we’re about to navigate through the thrilling terrains of online business and social platforms. As a small business owner looking to grow your business online, you’ve probably heard about the wonders that a strong social media presence can do.
But let’s face it, just hearing about it won’t move mountains; you need to get your hands a little dirty, dive in, and create your own business page on these platforms. So, let’s grow your business and make a big splash in the social media world!
Picking Your Social Media Platforms for Your Small Business Online
Don’t feel overwhelmed by the sea of social media platforms out there. Not all of them are going to be relevant to your online business. Start by identifying your ideal market. Who are they? Where do they hang out?
Once you’ve identified your target audience, it’s time to set up your social media accounts on the platforms they frequent. Remember, your online business grow faster when you meet your customers where they already are.
Making Your Business Social Media Account Shine
Now that you’ve decided where to plant your small business’s flag in the social media world, it’s time to make your business page look professional and inviting. Remember the whole mobile-friendly thing we discussed? Yep, it applies here too.
Make sure your pages look fantastic on all kinds of mobile devices. Your pictures should be high-quality and relevant, your captions engaging, and your content should give the viewer a reason to stay. Your leads are on the other side of that screen!
Creating Super Valuable Content
Your social media account isn’t just a billboard; it’s a conversation. That’s why creating high value content that appeals to your target market is crucial. Share insights, provide value, and be consistently present.
From informative blog posts and how-to videos to light-hearted memes and customer testimonials, your content marketing strategy should involve a variety of posts that will engage your ideal audience and build a stronger connection between them and your brand.
If you can get them to laugh, learn or say “huh, I didn’t know that”, you’re on the right track!
Embrace the Power of Social Proof
Another great way to cultivate trust and boost your online business’s presence is by leveraging social proof. Encourage your satisfied customers to leave reviews or testimonials on your social media platforms.
It’s like word-of-mouth, but in the online world. Don’t forget to thank them for their reviews – a little gratitude goes a long way.
Engaging with Your Audience
Finally, remember to engage with your audience. Social media is a two-way street, and nothing will grow your business online more than building genuine relationships with your potential clients. Respond to comments, answer questions, and appreciate the time they’ve taken to engage with your brand.
So, take a deep breath, and jump in. You’re not just a business owner anymore; you’re a content creator, a community builder, and a storyteller. Welcome to the world of social media marketing, where your small business can make a big splash. Now, who’s ready to swim with the big fish?
The Art of Email Marketing: Growing Your Business Online
So, we’ve talked about the wonders of SEO and the power of a solid social media strategy, but now let’s dive into the magical world of email marketing. It’s where the deep, meaningful engagement happens, converting your prospective customers into your loyal, paying customer base.
Building Your Email List: Cultivating Your Online Community
The first step in your email journey is building your list. It’s like gathering your crew before a big adventure. How do you assemble this group? A proven strategy is by creating a lead magnet – a precious gem that you offer to your ideal market for free. This might be an eBook packed with industry insights, a set of useful templates, or even a tantalizing discount for your online store. The goal? Provide something irresistible, relevant, and genuinely valuable to your prospects.
Next up, you need a low-friction form. The idea here is to make it super-duper easy for your audience to part with their email addresses. Think of it as rolling out the red carpet leading to your online world. And let’s be real, nobody enjoys filling out a form as long as a novel. Keeping it short and sweet is the key!
Email Nurture Campaigns: The Digital Charm Offensive
So, you’ve got your potential customer’s email address, now it’s time to wine and dine them with engaging, high-quality content. I like to think of it as nurturing a digital garden. This involves staying in touch with your audience every few days to a couple of weeks, depending on your business strategy. The key is consistency. Remember, your goal is to build a lasting relationship, not a one-hit-wonder.
My secret weapon in this campaign? The ‘give give give ask’ cadence. This means providing value three times (the give) before asking your email friends for anything (like making a purchase or sharing your content). It’s the digital equivalent of being a good neighbor before asking to borrow their lawnmower.
The Best Email Marketing Tools: Your Digital Tool Kit
But fear not, you don’t have to undertake this mission alone. There are a slew of free marketing tools out there ready to be your trusty sidekick. These digital wizards can help manage your email list, craft attractive emails, automate your campaigns, and even track the performance of your email marketing campaigns.
Free Marketing Tools for Email
For managing your email list and crafting delightful email marketing campaigns, Mailchimp wears the crown. It’s intuitive, user-friendly, and has a tier of free marketing tools suitable for small business owners just dipping their toes into the vast ocean of email marketing.
If you’re ready to kick things up a notch and explore the terrain of automation, tools like HubSpot and ConvertKit are your ticket. They offer more robust options for segmenting your audience and automating your email sequences.
Remember, the essence of email marketing isn’t about bombarding your audience with relentless sales pitches. It’s about building a meaningful relationship with them, providing value, and proving that your business is a trustworthy entity in the online world. That’s the essence of how to grow your business online. Now, let’s get out there and start emailing!
Ready, Set, Go: Your Launchpad for Business Growth Online
Okay, after all that SEO content creation, email marketing strategy, and juggling social media accounts like a multitasking mompreneur, it’s time for the next step to grow your business online.
Imagine, you’ve been carefully cultivating a garden, and now we’re about to turbo-charge the growth. We’re moving into leveraging paid media, tapping into the power of influencer marketing, joining lively online communities, and forging strong partnerships.
Your Brand on the Big Screen: Leverage Paid Advertising
First up is paid media. Think of it as those eye-catching billboards that light up the online world, designed to boost your business’s online presence.
It’s like waving a high-visibility flag to clients, saying, “Hey there! Look at us!” And yes, it might require some monetary investment, but it’s an essential step to reach more than half of your target audience.
Platforms like Google Ads, or even PPC advertising (Pay Per Click advertising) can make a real difference. It’s not just about spending money on paid ads, it’s an investment towards gaining more paying customers to boost sales.
Step Into the Spotlight: Harness Influencer Marketing
Next, we’re diving into influencer marketing. This isn’t about bribing a reality TV star to pose with your product. It’s about engaging the key figures within your ideal market who can magnify your message.
It’s a proven strategy to attract more customers and build your social proof, plus it opens up opportunities for creating high-quality content that resonates with your potential customer base.
Join the Club: Embrace Online Communities
Now, onto online communities. These are like cozy gatherings where everyone shares the same interests. And you’re invited! They offer a goldmine of opportunities to extend your reach to other small business owners, grow your online business, and even find affiliate partners.
Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, or relevant subreddits related to your niche are great places to start. These online communities are teeming with potential clients and offer invaluable insights into your target market’s wants and needs.
Team Up: Forge Strong Partnerships
Last, but certainly not least, we have partnerships. This is about joining forces with other small businesses or influencers who share your ideal market but have different service offerings.
Think of it as a mutually beneficial relationship, like Batman and Robin. These alliances help extend your reach in the online business world and contribute to growing your business online.
And Finally…Master Your Mindset: The Real Game-Changer
Let’s take a moment to chat about something crucial in the journey of growing your business online. Above all the strategies and tools, there’s one thing that truly makes a difference – your mindset. It’s the power switch that fuels your journey through the no’s, the challenges, and the setbacks. And let me tell you, the ride isn’t always smooth sailing!
When I started, the no’s outnumbered the yes’s significantly. I mean, if I had a dollar for every no I received, both of my girls’ college tuitions would be fully funded. I kid, but really. I had collected quite an impressive collection of no’s, probably about 200 of them.
But here’s the thing: I made a deal with myself. I decided that it would take at least 400 no’s for me to even consider the idea of giving up. Kind of funny (and slightly intense), right?
And why did I set such a ‘no’ goal? Well, because every no was just a stepping stone to a yes. Every no meant I was one step closer to someone who would believe in my online business as much as I did. I knew that each no was a chance for me to learn, improve, and continue to grow my business online.
And as the number of no’s grew, so did my resolve, my skill set, and my business. Every rejection was a driving force, pushing me to work harder, to send more emails, and to continue expanding my online presence.
The truth is, to succeed in the online business world, you have to be a bit of a rebel. You have to challenge the status quo, stare rejection in the face, and say, “You won’t stop me.” It’s about taking the no’s, the not-yets, and the maybe-laters, and turning them into fuel for your journey.
So as you embark on your own journey to grow your online business, remember this: your mindset matters. Equip yourself with determination, resilience, and a good sense of humor, and you’ll be prepared to face whatever comes your way. After all, failure isn’t the opposite of success; it’s just part of the process.
That’s the secret ingredient to my process: an unshakeable mindset and a dash of humor. With these in your arsenal, you’re all set to conquer the online world. Keep moving forward, embrace the no’s, and remember: the world of online business is your oyster!