They say the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. And the second-best time is NOW.
In business, it’s the same. People always ask how they can start building a business when in fact, the question they should be asking is “WHEN”?
Often, we wait for things to be perfect or when “everything” is in the right place. But you know what, opportunity waits for no one. And if you don’t go for it now, someone else will do it and you might lose your chance.
So in this episode, I want you to prepare yourself and be ready to go all in. You’re not alone in this journey, my friend. And today, I’m going to share with you the 5 steps you need to take to get started with your business.
And today we’re diving straight into how you can get started building your own creative business.
Are you ready? Let’s go –
Step #1 – Know Your BIG WHY
While money is primarily the first thing we’d think of when starting a business, it’s not the only reason why we want to start and get successful, right? There’s always a deeper reason behind it – a better life, a dream house, to get out of debt, education for the kids, dream vacation, you name it.
Often, we don’t think of these reasons because our initial thought is focused on the financial aspect. “Oh I need to have $10,000 per month.” or “I need more sales this month because I need the money.” And we’re so desperate for cash
And I don’t know if you’ve noticed – but when you’re too focused on the money and it becomes your primary motivation, the more it becomes elusive -it’s hard to make sales, get new clients and it feels like you’re always chasing it.
But when you’re obsessed with your bigger goal – you do everything to make it happen. And somehow, everything aligns so well together as if you’re this magnet of good luck.
That’s because we work differently when we’re motivated by something bigger. That reason sits deeper behind our subconscious which helps us get into the doing.
And I’d like to use something that my friend Kisma once said in Episode 45, the clearer we are on what we want – the faster it comes to us. And even if the world throws us loops, we can handle it better because we’re steady. I’ll link you up on the full episode in case you want to watch it/listen to it.
But ultimately – your bigger goal is what will continue to inspire or motivate you to take action no matter how difficult things get.
Step #2 – Get Clear On What You Do
While I’m not opposed to being a multi-passionate creative, often when we do so many things – it’s not just us who gets confused. Our audience gets even more confused. And when they are – they’d leave. They won’t stick around and try to understand and figure out what you’re really trying to do.
So focus and get clear on what you know and how you can help other people. This way, you can show your expertise and start building your authority in that niche.
But because I’ve been there myself, I’m not gonna lie – this is going to be a tough one and sometimes might take a while. Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean it’s the only thing you want to do.
It’s important that you’re truly aligned with what you want and not just what brings in the revenue. Because it’ll be hard to sell something you don’t want to do. Plus, you want to build a business that you can truly enjoy, not a business that you just built for profit but at the end drains your soul.
Step #3 Know Who You Want To Serve
Do you want to grow your business faster? Then get ready to niche down. With the growing competition in the online space, you’d want to zone in on the people who truly need your expertise. And there’s a good reason for that.
People will pay premium to work with a specialist – not the generalist.
You want to stand out from the competition and not be known as “another creative who’s building a business”
Not only that – if you know who you want to serve, you’ll be able to connect with them better, build a relationship and foster a community of people who knows you and your business. And when you do, selling products to them will be a piece of cake because trust is already there.
Step #4 Identify Your Money Makers
How do you want to monetize your skills or knowledge? There are many ways to do it and when you’re starting you’d probably try almost anything and that’s ok. That’s because you’re still figuring things out.
You don’t know what’s going to bring you the most revenue yet, or whether it’s something you’d want to offer for a long time.
But if you have no idea what to sell or how to start monetizing your work, you might want to go back to Episode #46 where I talked about the 5 Ways to Make Money As An Artist. This episode will help you get more ideas on how you can start bringing in revenue for your business.
There are many ways to make money online so don’t be limited by what you’re seeing from other people. If you have an idea, I highly encourage you to try it so you know if it will benefit your customers and of course, your business.
Step #5 Create Your Marketing Strategy Plan
This is something most people struggle with. So as early as now, you need to start doing it. But first, let’s get to the bottom of what marketing is and the different marketing strategies you can use for your business.
The dictionary definition of marketing is the act of selling and promoting your products and services.
It’s pretty straightforward – you promote your products so you can sell them. The big question is how to promote your products?
There are different ways to do that and here are some I’ve tried in my own business.
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
But basically, in all of these types of marketing, you’ll need one thing – CONTENT!
CONTENT MARKETING – I have my podcast and blog and my YouTube channel which houses my long-form content. These are the places where I can talk a bit deeper about a certain topic. By creating content on these platforms it helps me build my authority and credibility as the go-to person for creative entrepreneurs to learn more about business and marketing.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING – You’ll find me mostly on Instagram and Facebook. I have my Content Management System to create and schedule content for my followers. They’re categorized in different buckets because it helps me address the needs of my audience better.
Having a social media presence has helped my business get in front of my target audience so despite what people might say about Facebook or Instagram or Tiktok, they are still helpful if you use them well.
If you want to know more about how I create content for social media, check out my Content Management System. This is the system that we use inside my programs so we can create better content without getting overwhelmed and overworked.
EMAIL MARKETING – This is my absolute favourite because it’s the one that gives me the highest conversion rate. If you know how to use it to your advantage, you can definitely sell a lot more. Because people in your email list have trusted you with the most important thing – their email address. So that means, they’ll read your message and not just browse through like what people do on social media.
Having an email list has proven to be the most effective way to connect with my customers because, in their inbox, I’m not trying to fight for their attention.
Also, if something happens on social media, your business will continue to run because you’re not at the mercy of the social media platforms. I’ve had so many friends who lost access to their Facebook and Instagram accounts. And I myself have been restricted from using Instagram and Facebook before so I know from personal experience how difficult it is to not have any connection with your customers.
My email list is basically my own database of customers so even if social media is to go away, I’ll still have a place to connect with my community.
If you don’t have an email list yet, it might be time to start thinking about building one.
And if this is something you’d want to add to your marketing strategy, I have an entire episode dedicated to email list building for creatives for you.
Now you have the 5 steps to get started on building your own business. I hope you find these steps helpful.
A few things you need to know…
There’s no such thing as overnight success. If you want it so bad, you need to put in the work before you reap the benefits of having a successful business.
It’s not going to be easy either. If it is, everyone might’ve done it already. You’ll face challenges and you’ll hit roadblocks along the way but that’s why you have your BIG WHY – keep your eye on the prize because it’s going to be worth it.
And finally, don’t stop – every little step you make is progress and it’ll bring you closer to your goals. Keep moving forward. Keep inspiring others and soon, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the people who need you. They will be the best people and they will also be your best customers.
If you’re ready to get started with your online creative business, be sure to check the Online Business Starter Kit.