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As a new business owner you’re probably making these 7 mistakes. It’s not your fault though, no one told you that you should, or shouldn’t do these things when setting up your business.
They didn’t tell you because they want you to mess up. Too harsh?
Well to be honest, it’s the truth. You see, if you mess up then they can sell you a really expensive way of fixing your mess. I know because I work with businesses who have fallen foul of these dodgy practices every day. I seem to keep saying to people…
It goes on and on; and I get so frustrated. I really wanted to be able to get to people BEFORE they made their mistakes so that they didn’t waste their money and time.
So I had a think about how I could actually achieve this, and this is what I did…
I started working with Start Your Own Business.com and became a partner so that I could find the people who were about to start up their business and get to them before they made the usual mistakes. This was great.
I worked with my local Chamber of Commerce and got referrals from them because they too wanted to help their clients become successful and start making a living from their business as soon as possible. This was even better because now I was reaching even more new businesses.
I still wasn’t very happy though. Why?
Because by now I was working with clients online and helping people out in Facebook groups and I was hearing the exact same mistakes being made by these people too, all around the world.
I knew then that I had to do something more to help people avoid these common mistakes so I wrote this post with the hopes of it being shared far and wide to anyone who is thinking of, or has just started their own business.
I hope it reaches you before you make these mistakes, but if you’ve already made them then I, at least, will give you some simple and cheap ways of fixing them – before the sharks get you 🙂
Mistake number 1. Not Structuring your business properly.
Trying to run before you can walk is a common mistake. Most new business owners start to promote their new business online before it is even a real business. By “real business” I mean that you are making money from it.
They stick up a Facebook page and get their friends and family to like and follow it. They put some posts and photographs out on Instagram. They pay a lot of money for someone to build them a website, or worse still, get a free website from GoDaddy or the like. (By the way, if you want some help to build a website yourself for under $70 (or £70 UK) with step by step picture and video tutorials then get my FREE Ultimate Starter Kit here. I wrote it for bloggers but it’s exactly the same process for any business).
Although you can get your business website up and ready to go, actually promoting your business should, in fact, be the sixth thing that you do when starting out. You will see why as you read through the rest of this post.
Mistake Number 2. Not branding your business.
To be seen and recognized online is really difficult. The internet is such a busy place with so much noise. You have to have a way of standing out against the crowd.
The way to do this is by branding your business. No branding is not just for big companies. Every business needs branding if it is going to be found online.
Here is a collection of my social media profiles when I started out. It’s a bit of a mess as you can see. There are no constant colors, fonts, images or anything else. How would someone who read my article on Facebook know that it was my website – if they ever got that far?
Then I learned the importance of branding and how being able to be spotted online meant that people who wanted to find me, or my services, could now easily see me wherever they were online.
See the difference? Now everything looks the same and I am easy to spot.
When you are starting your new business you need to make the business as easy as possible to find. You also want people to be able to spot you on many different social media platforms as this will give your business more credibility.
Not getting your branding done BEFORE you start promoting yourself everywhere just means that you are getting lost in the crowd and it will be a much harder, and slower process to get customers and make sales this way.
I know, you’re probably thinking that you haven’t got the money in your budget for branding. You should, wherever possible get a professional to help you, but I know that sometimes it’s just not possible with such a tight budget.
So,what if I told you that you could brand your business for free?
Yep. You can use a totally free online program called Canva.com to create professional branding for your business.
By the way, I have written a whole post on other free and easy tools that you can have a look at here – bookmark it for later. 12 Free & Easy Tools for Technophobes.
This brings me on to the next mistake most new business owners make.
Mistake number 3. Having no way to capture leads
As I’ve just explained, getting found online takes a lot of hard work. To be able to stand out and be noticed is what will make the difference between a successful business or a failed one.
But imagine this…
Someone spots you, they saw you on Facebook and now they’ve come across you on Instagram. They start to take notice and want to know a bit more about you.
They have a look at your profile and a quick read of what you say you do for a living – and then they leave because there is nothing to entice them to stay or to find out more about you.
How frustrating and annoying would that be. After all that effort to actually get someone interested in what you have to say and sell and then to lose them because they are distracted by the next notification flashing on their phone.
What you need to do is create a hook. Something that catches their attention. If you are a beautician it might be something like 5 secrets you didn’t know about skin care.
People find it really difficult to not click to find out what the secrets are. Most people want to be included in a secret don’t they?
Great, now you have them interested. but what good is that?
Mistake number 4. Not having a lead magnet
The hook is the first part of the lead capturing process. You have got their attention. They want to know more.
This is the time to ask them for their email address in exchange for those secrets. why?
Because you now know that they are interested in your products or services as a beautician. They have been seduced by your hook and they have taken the time to give their email address so that they can get access to those secrets.
They are a lead. A real lead. A warm lead.
They have told you that they are interested in what you do and sell. They have told you that they want to know more about the secrets of skin care.
You can now follow up with them and start building a relationship.
*Important: As from 25th May 2018 GDPR came into force in Europe which means you need to be aware of, and follow the guidelines and regulations governing give-aways, opt-ins and email marketing. For more information on this matter please see this website.
and this leads on to the next mistake…
Mistake number 5. Not following up with your leads.
There is a saying in the online world, the fortune’s in the follow up. If you are not following up with your leads then you are leaving money on the table.
Knowing that someone is at least interested in what you have for sale should make it much easier to make a sale to them.
But not just yet…
You first need to build a relationship with them. You need to show them that you aren’t just some scammer whose after their money.
You need to show them that you are professional. That you offer a professional service and want to make sure that you serve your customers with integrity and put them first.
You can do this easily, and for free, by setting up an email responder such as Mailchimp or AWeber or Mailerlite – there are many to choose from but I would choose one that is well known and gives you a free account up to a certain amount of subscribers. MailChimp is who I know and trust and I recommend them to my clients too. you can sing up here for free Sign up with MailChimp
You can set up campaigns or email sequences that send out emails automatically once someone has requested your freebie and given their email address. You just need to create a series of emails that introduces you and your business to your leads, and that helps them solve a problem, alleviate a pain point or answer a question, just to show that you are genuine. This can be something really simple such as “A quick tip to treat dry skin” or “the 5 minute facial” might be things you could include in your email sequence.
Once you have built up a relationship and given them value through your tips, freebies or helpful hints then you can put an offer in front of them. You will not usually be able to make sales right out of the gate without first building that relationship. People are very wary when it comes to online sales companies.
and this brings us nicely to the next mistake
Mistake number 6. Not using or promoting your website properly
People will find you or look for you on Facebook to check you out. They will then, if more serious, click through to your website. Your website is your shop window. This is where you put your best merchandise on show for your visitors.
Your website should inform, educate and inspire your visitors. Make sure your pages have enough content on them to answer all the common questions that a visitor might ask.
Make sure that your products or services are labelled clearly and that prices are shown (where applicable). This way when you get an inquiry they are already qualified and ready to buy.
All your social media efforts should be driving traffic to your own website. Why?
Think of social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest as rented real estate. You can only be on them as long as they let you stay. If you do something they don’t like they can suspend or close your account without notice.
Imagine waking up one day and your Facebook page was no longer there. This happens. I know people who it has happened to.
Your website, however, is owned. You own it. You say what goes on it, who gets to see it, how it looks and where you promote it. No one can take it away from you as long as you follow the general rules laid down by Google and other search engines about what is deemed illegal or offensive etc.
So if your social media account gets shut down, or the platform disappears, you still have a business. Please, if you only take away one thing from this post take this away GET YOUR OWN WEBSITE.
If you don’t know where to start or think it’s expensive then I’ve got you covered. You can access my FREE Ultimate Starter Kit here. It was written for bloggers but it’s the same for anyone who wants to start a WordPress website. You can do the whole thing for under $40 (or £40 UK) and it can be done in just a few hours.
It’s no good just getting your wesbite though, you need to tell people that it’s there. You need to tell Google that it is live and get it verified so that it can send its bots to read your pages and posts so that it can rank your site and show it to interested people.
I have seen so many clients over the years who have wondered why they are not getting any business from their website, and when I ask what they are doing to promote it they just stare back blankly at me.
You also need to promote it through SEO (search engine optimisation) which means that you need to think about the key words that you want your site to be ranked for.
In our earlier example we used a beautician so obviously skin care, beautician, beauty products, facial etc would be keywords that would need to be attached to the site.
Unless you spend time promoting your site then no one will find it. You can, of course, pay for promotion, but I’m guessing you want to do it on the cheap at least for now.
I’ll let you into a secret that I found out recently. Pinterest is by far and away the best place to be if you want to drive traffic to your website. Yes honestly. I thought it was just for bored housewives too. But I was so wrong. It’s pretty much the only place now where you can promote your business for free.
If you want to know more about getting amazing results for your business by using Pinterest, then check out this quick and affordable course by a lady called Michelle Schroeder.
She earns over $50,000/month by utilizing the power of Pinterest (yes you did read that right) and she has taught me everything I now know about Pinterest and seriously, I have never looked back. She can teach you too. Find out more here.
and finally, we come to the last mistake that most new business owners make…
Mistake number 7. Not creating a sales funnel
If you want to make sales online then you are pretty much going to have to have a sales funnel.
It sounds fancy, but here’s what it actually is…
It’s a way of taking your customers through a buying process. A way of letting them get used to you with little or no risk to begin with and then offering them more and more expensive items until you reach your top ticket item.
I used to think this was trickery, but that was before I really understood how sales funnels work.
So that is pretty much what a sales funnel is. It’s called a funnel because lots of people will take you up on your freebie, but fewer and fewer people will go all the way through the funnel to buy the most expensive item.
See the illustration below for another example of how to use your funnel.
I know that this might all seem a little daunting, and to be honest with you, it took me a year or 2 to figure all this out and get it to work. Although it’s not difficult, it is tricky.
I also get that you don’t want to wait 2 years before you can get on with making your business a success and I can help you out with that too.
If you want some expert help and tuition on exactly how to do all that is mentioned in this post then have a look at my quick start mentoring package. It’s unbelievable value and will help you to become successful much sooner.
I created it especially for you.
I would love to work with you and show you how to avoid the 7 mistakes you are probably making as a new business owner and hope to meet you soon. Click here to find out more about my quick start mentoring package.
Until next time
p.s. Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog so that you get notified the next time I publish a post. It might be a helpful hint or it could be a cool new tool I’ve found for free (or dirt cheap)