Are you a business owner or content creator who wants to expand your audience online? Don’t believe the lie that there is a magical formula or a secret key that will explode your business. What is important, though, is to build a strong foundation.
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In this first episode of our Business Series, I’m sharing with you the 3 essential elements to growing your business or audience online. These elements will help you create a foundation for success and help you stop spending time on things that are less important.
This will not be an episode about growing your brick & mortar business, as that’s not something I have experience with. But, if you want to have an online presence of any kind, take a listen.
My Business Backstory and Why a Foundation Matters:
I’m sharing my business backstory so that you understand where I’m coming from in regards to building a business online. You can hear a more in-depth version on Episode 38, but in this conversation I’m sharing a short synopsis and an update.
In addition, I share why I think it’s important to focus on your business foundation first before jumping into all the “fun” stuff. If you build the foundation first, you will be much more likely to reach your goals and less likely to spend time on things that don’t matter.
Remember that there are no overnight successes–every person who has a successful business or a large audience now put in a lot of time and effort to create and grow that.
“Every single person that you see who has built any kind of following or platform or influence… has done it over a period of several years, and they have put in a lot of time and energy that you didn’t see.”
The 3 Foundational Elements to Growing Your Business Online:
Element #1: A Website
Your website is your main hub – the thing that you own in the online world. It is the main place you want to send people to learn about you and what you do.
Some people want to build a business without a website, and I strongly caution against that. While I don’t think you have to have a website right away, I do think it should be something you create within the first several months of your business.
So what does your website need to have?
You can get some great tips about what your website needs to have from Storybrand.
Here are a few of my tips as well:
- Keep it simple and clear.
- Keep it about THEM (i.e. the person you’re trying to reach).
- Use consistent colors and fonts (i.e. create a basic brand even if you can’t do full branding right now).
“Start simple, get fancy later.” – Amy Porterfield
What you need to get started for a WordPress site:
- A domain name – you can often buy this through your hosting service, or you can buy it independently through a domain service such as NameCheap. Typically costs $10-15/year.
- A hosting service, such as Siteground. Typically costs $5-20/month.
- A WordPress theme. You can get plenty of free versions, or you can use something like Divi from Elegant Themes, which is what I use.
Other options: Squarespace or a free WordPress.com site.
Element #2: An Email List
An email list is another element that you own. Just like your website, you have control over your website, unlike social media.
DO NOT be fooled by big numbers on FB or IG or any other platform… if those numbers are big, but they are not buyers and/or you don’t have a way to communicate with them if that platform goes down or the algorithm changes or your account gets shut down, then those numbers mean nothing.
How do you start building your email list?
- Choose an email service provider. I recommend ConvertKit because of its features and abilities. There are other services such as Mailerlite or MailChimp.
- Create a lead magnet or “freebie” that will appeal to your ideal client or customer or student.
- Send emails to your list on a regular basis.
If you need 1:1 support with this, you may reach out for a consultation where I can help you individually.
Element #3: Content
Let’s define what I mean by content. Content is anything you put out as an idea or thought into the world. So that can be posting a blog post, sharing a podcast episode, or doing a video on YouTube, for example. BUT it also can be anything you post on social media.
As I shared earlier, I’m not a fan of building your business on social media. But I think that sometimes, if posting to your Facebook page is easier than posting a full blog post, then just do it!
Don’t overcomplicate it.
A warning about social media
The biggest trap I see happening with social media is that you’re trying to be all the places. And I want to tell you right now: STOP.
It’s much better to start by focusing on 1-2 social platforms, be consistent, learn what works… then over time, add in another platform if it makes sense.
My best investment
I’ve invested in learning a lot about social media over the years, but the best investment I’ve made is in the Grow Your Audience course from Rachel Miller.
That course is closed right now, but you can grab this free resource from Rachel to help you with knowing what to post on Facebook: 23 Conversation Starters for Facebook Pages and Groups. This will help you with creating content that will get people talking on social, which is the whole point!
Are you following me on my Facebook Page?
Save your content!
One last thing about content: make sure you save your content somewhere. Especially if you decide to post on social for now instead of creating a blog or podcast or video channel… please please please make sure you copy and paste your posts (especially longer ones) into a safe place like Google Docs or Evernote.
What if you don’t know where to start?
Maybe you have an idea or a dream or something you’d like to do online, but you’re really not sure what it is or how to get started.
A big part of doing something like this comes down to what you believe to be true and having confidence in God and who has made you to be. So before you dive into starting, I want you to believe the truth about God and what he says about you.
Grab my free “Renew Your Mind” guide full of scriptures and replacement thoughts for all of those self-doubts and feelings you might have about yourself.
If you are a business owner or content creator and you want to grow your business or audience online, choose ONE of the 3 elements I discussed to begin implementing. Don’t try to do all 3 at once!
If you already have all 3 in place, check to see if there are changes needed based on what I shared.
Episode Sponsor: Morningstar Media Services
At Morningstar, it’s my goal to help Christian business owners like you grow an audience and make an impact without compromising your faith or values.
If you already have a podcast, or if you are thinking about starting one, I want to give you my free Podcast Workflow Checklist. This is the process I use each week to keep my own podcast on track (without missing a single week since we started) AND it’s what I’ve used with my clients as well.
Text the word PODCAST to (917) 905-8801 and you’ll get the workflow checklist sent to you! Or, click here to sign up.
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