Do you struggle with knowing where to focus your marketing efforts for your business? Have you spent money to try something that fell flat and you aren’t sure why? I’m giving you some tips on where to focus your energy in each stage of your business.
In episode 39 I talked about how building an online business is like raising a puppy… I hope you enjoyed that one! Today I’m diving into where you should focus your marketing efforts in each stage.
As I mentioned last time, often we are doing the right thing, but at the wrong time… and this is especially true with marketing!
So I want to try and simplify things by helping you identify key marketing efforts for each stage. I’ll also hit on a few non-marketing related things I think you should be doing, too, in some cases.
Now of course, this can vary from case to case and I might advise you differently if we were working together closely but today I’m going to share some general guidelines that I have seen work across the board.
Before we jump in… make sure you’re clear on what kind of business model you’re operating as, and what your ideal business and life look like.
Here are a few past episodes to help you be sure you have that clarity:
- Episode 30: What Type of Business Is Right For You
- Episode 8: Creating Your Ideal Business and Life
- Episode 4: You Need An Email List…Or Do You?
“Make sure that you take a step back when you are about to invest in a program or a service… and think about: where is my business at? And is it ready for that?”
Where to Focus Your Marketing Efforts in Each Stage of Business
Stage 1: Getting Started
Bringing your business into the world! This earliest stage of business is so exciting and it can be easy to jump into things right away that maybe your business isn’t quite ready for. But it’s a great time to use that energy to start building.
You need to start bringing in revenue, so you can continue to grow.
- Visibility, Clients and Revenue: You need an offer, and you need to let people know about your business and communicate about what you do. Don’t bog yourself down with paid ads or webinars at this point; keep it simple. The key at this stage is making sure people have a way to interact with you and buy your product or service.
- Get a simple website, even if it’s just a single landing page. Or a business Facebook or LinkedIn page at the very least. You need somewhere to send potential clients who want to get more information and make sure you’re legit.
- You might need to start building an email list, depending on your business model (see episode 4 above).
- Choose one social media platform to use, depending on your business model.
- Create some content..nothing fancy or complicated, just something to get your business out there. It doesn’t have to be blogging, it could be sharing a post on your selected social media platform once or twice a week. Focus on sharing value.
Stage 2: Testing/Growing
In this stage you begin exploring your ideal customer, your offers, and thinking more about where you put your time. You want to begin honing your systems and making sure you have an audience magnet that is working. (For more help, check out Episode 12 on systems, and grab my free guide for 8 ways to make joining your email list irresistible!)
- Getting clear on offers:
- Maybe test out some different offers, remove those that don’t work for you, and emphasize or organize into packages
- Getting specific with marketing:
- Make sure people know what you do and who you help. Be specific, and be sure to adjust as you adjust your offers.
- Clarifying customer journey:
- How will people come into your world and buy from you? Map out the steps from discovering you to buying from you.
- Work on consistency of color, design, and messaging across all of your platforms and modes of communication.
- Systems and processes:
- More work is coming in, so you need to start honing those systems and processes to help you manage it all. It’s vital to have strong systems in order to be ready to grow, and to keep your sanity!
- Look at systems for email management, customer service and experience, and project management.
- Start looking for opportunities to get your business out there even more, like guest appearances on podcasts, becoming more active in groups, or creating your own Facebook group.
Stage 3: Established
In this stage your business is coming into its own, to a spot where you are thriving; offering products/services you love and using your gifts and skills.
- Creating or refining your value ladder:
- Making sure your offers are structured into packages, plans or structures from lower priced to higher priced offers.
- You could start to take some of your 1:1 services and shift them into group offers or courses.
- Establishing uniqueness:
- Work on figuring out your own proprietary process or “unique selling proposition”. This could be something that you have developed from the 1:1 work you’ve done with clients and that makes you different from all the others in your field.
- Sales funnels:
- Refine your customer journey and make sure you have a functioning sales funnel. This is basically a series of interactions that lead to a specific type of product or service. It often starts with your free content and leads to a paid service.
- Up-level visibility:
- Consider your own podcast or youtube channel to boost your credibility and reach, create opportunities for higher level collaboration, and give your SEO a bump.
- Continue with consistent social media presence on at least one channel.
- Be a guest on other podcasts/blogs/youtube channels.
- You might start to run paid ads to grow your list or sell products or services.
- Connect with other biz owners and work together on offers or partnerships. This kind of relationship building is key at this stage of business.
“You want to establish what makes your business unique, what makes you unique.”
Stage 4: Scaling
If you decide it’s right for you and your business, this stage means taking what you have and growing it beyond what you can do on your own. (This concept is a little fuzzy in the online world, so here are a few articles for some further reading.)
Articles about scaling:
- Discover What It Means to Scale a Business – Tony Robbins
- Scaling Your Business: 6 Stages You Need to Know – HubSpot
- Scaling a Business: Best Strategies to Use and Mistakes to Avoid – Cloudways
- Finding ways to serve more people with what you have to offer.
- Becoming well-known in your industry: speaking, summits, all kinds of high level visibility.
- Maintaining solid, functioning sales funnels.
- Consistent social media presence on multiple channels.
- Running paid ads or other paid methods of marketing and visibility.
- Team growth – you need to hire people at this stage for sure!
- Affiliates to grow your courses or programs even more.
Stage 5: Duplication
This stage is a little different in the online space, but it could look like starting a new business, or an off-shoot of your current biz. Or, like I shared in the last episode, it could be that you’re duplicating yourself by certifying people to do what you do – a very specific process, role or method.
- Depending on what kind of duplication you are doing, you’ll need to have a very clear marketing strategy for the program or business you are duplicating.
- If creating a certification, you’ll need marketing funnel that helps people to know what you are offering and why they need it.
- Running paid ads and other kinds of paid methods of sales and visibility.
If going the route of starting something new or an off-shoot business, you will likely start back at stage 1 with your marketing focus.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
I don’t think we can separate our business from our faith. In everything we do, we need to think about how we are running our race, looking to Jesus, bringing people closer to Him? Are there weights or things that might be entangling us in our business?
This is a chance to do a check in your spirit. Where is your focus? Is it ultimately on the idea of honoring him and running his race? Or on the things the world tells us we need, whether it’s fame, or visibility, or those kinds of things. It’s a good opportunity for reflection today!
Shine a Light Segment:
Amber Glus helps female entrepreneurs put their marketing on autopilot. Specifically, she is a Storybrand certified guide who helps you create clear brand messaging, effective content marketing, and copywriting that sells.
Her superpower is helping you take the work you love to do, craft your unique message, and put together a plan that reaches your ideal audience.
Amber is also a podcast host, and I was recently a guest on her show talking about How To Build A Business That Fits Your Lifestyle and Increase Your Confidence.
If you’re in a place in your business where you’re ready to outsource things like your brand story, your website copy and email sequences, be sure to head over and check out Amber at https://www.amberglus.com/.
Amber is a part of my upLIFT Mentormind for Christian women, and she is such a valuable member of our group. I love the value she shares with us and I love being a part of her business journey and growth!
This episode was sponsored by my UpLift Mentormind program, for Christian women in the testing, growing, or established stages of business who are ready to streamline their business, and grow together to reach their goals and thrive. Click here to learn more and be the first to know about new sessions opening up.