Working with women for the last ten years designing businesses and coaching them in developing their websites, I’ve watched some take off and thrive and some struggle to get traction.
I’m here to tell you that it’s definitely not a logo that is preventing you from working with clients.
A logo or a website won’t make you legit. And it won’t bring you customers or clients. Only YOU can do that.
I’ve worked with enough new coaches, designers, consultants, and creative entrepreneurs to tell you that what your business looks like today is not what it’s going to look like in three, or even one year.
To commit to something in the beginning is a lot like putting the cart before the horse. You need to work with enough clients to define your niche. You need to give yourself permission and space to evolve and change.
Locking yourself into a logo or website before you even work with clients is not a savvy investment.
Because, let’s be real, it costs money to hire a designer to create a logo and build a website. Doing it before you have even tested if your solution or offer is one that actually works isn’t very smart.
Okay. Let’s dive into the five things you need before you’re ready to build a website or design a logo.
- Your Solution or Offer. You’ve decided to enter the world of online business. Firstly, congratulations! And welcome. It’s awesome to have you join in!
The first thing you need when you’re looking to grow your online business is a sellable offer. Once you decide to take your services or offers and market them online, you need to be able to articulate WHAT you offer, what makes your solution different than others, and why now is the right time to say yes.
If you can’t explain what it is you offer, how can you expect others to pay you money for it?
Back in 2010 I was trained as a professional coactive coach through CTI, the Coaches Training Institute. I can’t tell you how many of the other coaches in my cohorts wanted me to build them a website and help them sell their coaching services. The problem is that they want to sell some vague three-month or six-month program complete with a specific number of sessions for x amount of dollars. Seriously?
You are the expert — you need to tell them how many they will need. You need to be able to articulate the features and benefits of working with you. They need to know you GET their specific problem and can help them solve it.
You won’t know this right out of the gate – and that’s OK! As you work with more and more clients, you’ll get feedback. You’ll be able to look at your clients and see commonalities. You’ll be able to describe who you work the BEST with.
The faster you can clarify your offer and put it into practice, the faster you’ll grow your business.
- Understand Your Audience. You need to know WHO you serve. If I had a dollar for every new coach I’ve met who tells me they can coach anybody, I’d have a very different business than I do! Here are some things to keep in mind:
Make sure the audience is large enough. If the people you are looking for are too few, you will have a hard time sustaining the growth of your business. There may be growth at the beginning, but eventually you will run out of leads.
Make sure you know where your audience is. They need to be easy to find so you can connect with them.
Make sure you ASK your audience what they need. The biggest mistake I see course creators make these days is creating a program based on what THEY think their audience needs instead of asking their audience what they need and providing THAT.
Make sure they can pay for your services! I had a friend who wanted to build websites only for non-profits. While it’s very noble and important to her to honour non-profits, she realized very quickly that she couldn’t replace her full time income if she was doing all work for free.
- An Idea of Your Customer Journey. Let’s say you’re at a networking event and you meet someone who LOVES your business and wants to hire you.
What happens next? How will they schedule their sessions? How will you communicate with them? When will they be billed? What does your payment structure look like? Will you have a kick-off call that’s different in length from other calls? When it’s coming time for the client to complete with you, what other servies do you have taht you can upsell?
You need the answers to all these questions – and probably even more! If clients feel well cared for after saying yes to you, imagine how many referrals will come your way!
- Consistent Social Media Presence. You need to be comfortable sharing content on a regular basis with your audience. Social media is the perfect playground for this.
Your website is an amped up version of social media. They are both marketing tools. In order for your website to be effective (and for you to start showing up on Page One of Google results), you need to regularly post content on there to help your audience decide that you’re the best option for them.
The easiest way to segway into this is to get into the habit of using social media to share helpful tips and tricks early. It’s like an attraction plan. You need an attraction plan to get eyes on what you do.
Then, when you do launch a website, you’ll already have a group of people interested and ready to purchase.
- Willingness to Experiment. Entrepreneurship is crazy rewarding. It’s also very much like a lab. You experiment in a lab. You try something and evaluate how well it does. You change it up and try again, until it works.
What works for one person, doesn’t necessarily work for another. You need to be ready to pivot and not be too hard on yourself when your idea doesn’t take off like you’d hoped. Find a community where you can safely get feedback on your ideas.
Test, launch, evolve, repeat. Trust me, when you identify your own zone of genius and step into it, nothing can stop you. You’ve got this.
I’m so grateful you listened in today!
If you’re a woman over 40 and would like some support in growing your online business, I have a group program you’re going to love. It’s called Her Launch Lab. I’ll share a link to it in the show notes.
Would you consider sharing this episode with your friends? Take a screenshot or photo and post it on Instagram. Make sure to tag me, I’m @activateherawesome. It’ll help me spread the word about my new podcast and reach more amazing women just like you.