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When you’re a new business owner, you have a rush of energy and are excited to take on the world. You’ve got all of these great ideas and a vision of how things are going to work. You create your products, offer your services, do all the things and then something happens. You’re not as enthusiastic anymore. You start to see other people succeed that you deem less qualified, and you see people that started their business after you start succeeding before you. The frown lines start to form on your face, and it definitely feels like the world is unfair.
It’s hard to keep going in your business when it feels like your soul has been stepped on.
But before you decide to go back to the land of employment and deem yourself unworthy of entrepreneurship, here are five tips to give your business a boost.
1. Build your reputation via press releases and articles
This helps businesses get noticed and gives them a public appearance. Do you want to know what feels amazing when you’re a new business owner? Having something actually show up on Google when potential clients try to research you. You can use press releases to help people understand how your brand works and the reason for its existence, and you can use articles to send a more personalized message. I personally have been using articles as a means to boost my brand and have been teaching my clients how to properly pitch journalists and writers for opportunities to teach and share their message.
Related: The Complete, 12-Step Guide to Starting a Business
2. Build your social-media presence
If you want to have a chance at increasing your visibility, the use of social media is inevitable. Your online presence has to be just as strong as your offline presence in most cases. Even if you have a small budget, there are freelance social-media managers on places like Fiverr and Upwork that do not charge a lot to help you build your page. Most of them will interact with your target audience for you, post your content and help you build your following. Use them to get you started and then expand as needed.
3. Work on your SEO
Ah, SEO, the magical word we all see and have a general understanding of, but usually can’t articulate in depth. SEO stands for search-engine optimization. As a business owner, second to an administrative assistant, SEO needs to be your new best friend. SEO is what helps people find you when they Google you. For example, if you’re a life coach like me, I want my content to pop up when you Google “life coach” or my areas of expertise like “mindfulness,” “happiness training,” “performance coaching” or “business coaching.” The same goes for someone who works in PR; if someone googles “PR agency,” “branding” or “marketing,” that person’s content should pop up on the page. You want your name and occupation to be two things that Google pairs together naturally.
4. Find influencers in your niche to market for you
When you’re just starting out, you want to use other people’s audiences as much as you can while you are trying to build your own. Why? Because looking at the same five followers that aren’t buying gets old and discouraging. So, what you can do is find what they call “micro-influencers,” aka everyday people that have a little “pull” and a decent following (over 3,000), and you barter with them. Some will only work with you if you pay them, but others are willing to barter with you.
Related: 7 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting a Business
If you are unfamiliar with the term “barter,” it’s typically used in the context of coming up with an alternative agreement to payment. For example, if an influencer says, “I will promote your course to my audience by making four posts a month for _______” and you do not have that but know that the influencer needs someone to help him or her edit his or her podcast and you’re good at that, then that could be the exchange. That’s bartering. I do it all the time, especially on Instagram. It works. So, think of what skills you have that you can offer people and set your eyes on being able to help each other out, not just trying to push your products on people. Remember, people are constantly in our inboxes. The messages that stand out are those that come from a place of humanity, service and mutual benefit.
5. Try email marketing
Having thousands of followers across your social-media platforms is great. Having thousands of customers and potential customers is great. But do you know what isn’t great? Not having all of those people’s contact information in a central location. If someone bought your course but you didn’t capture that person’s email, what good is that? How are you going to know if clients found success or help them with the next phase of their transformation? Getting as many potential buyers on your email list as possible is crucial. Why? Because you can serve them through email marketing. You can send them motivational blog posts, new offers and “Happy Birthday” or “Happy Anniversary” messages. How are you going to do that for 500 people on Instagram? Are you willing to slide into 500 people’s DMs every time you need to send them motivation or tips to help them succeed, or would you rather send out one mass email? Email marketing helps you keep up with your people.
Entrepreneurship is tedious work, but you can do it. We tend to glorify entrepreneurship and its rewards and skimp over the journey we have to take to receive those rewards. Do you remember your last job and how you did “this” and someone else did “that”? Well, now you are the one that currently runs all of the departments, and it won’t be fun at first, but you can do it. To protect your mental health, don’t look to the left or the right to see what other people are doing unless you know you can look and not be discouraged by what you see.
Don’t get disheartened by the people that started their business six months to a year ago and are millionaires, and don’t think that something is wrong with you because you aren’t a millionaire yet like so many people seem to proclaim to be. You’re right on target. Farmers don’t reap in the same season they sowed the seeds, and this is your sowing season. You’ve got this, and if you’ve been going it alone, then maybe it’s time to get a coach. If you have one, maybe it’s time to try a different one.
Related: How to Conquer Your Fear of Starting a Business