10 Myths About Building A Business + What You Can Do Instead

10 Myths About Building A Business + What You Can Do Instead

March is always a time for me to look back, as it marks the occasion when I registered my first design studio in 2013. I wanted write this post because I like reading about what others have learned and what’s worked and even what hasn’t.

Beside, there’s nothing easy about being an entrepreneur, but if I can help you get where you need to be quicker, easier and do it a little more graciously then I know I’ve done my job.

Myth #1: You gotta have a logo – before anything

If you think your logo is what defines your brand I hate to burst that bubble but it’s not. Don’t pour money into someone else doing your logo and colours – because chances are you will change your mind – especially in the first year or two.

What you can do instead get yourself a temporary logo. Quickly whip up a wordmark in Canva if you don’t have Adobe.

Myth #2: Pour all your savings into a website

Similar to Myth #1 that hard earned cash you’ve saving for, avoid using it all on your website. Chances are you’ll be a lot clearer in a year or two as to where you’re heading with your brand.

Instead – get for a fraction of the cost, purchase a WordPress template from somewhere like CreativeMarket or Studiopress. If not WordPress try Squarespace. I haven’t used these guys myself but I’ve seen them in action and they’re impressive.

Myth #3: I can do this on my own

Your time is money. Think of all the time that’s wasted trying to figure it all out yourself.

Instead, that money you wanted to take out as a loan for your website and logo, invest in support like a Virtual Assistant, and particularly one who specialises in WordPress. Look out for a VA who has packages, and try them out for a month.

Myth #4: I need clients before I can create a portfolio

Nope you don’t.

Instead start creating your portfolio now. Make up a Portfolio page and start designing your best. If you haven’t had clients before now – show your talents off and don’t forget to highlight design work in the areas you want to niche in. i.e. Branding, eBook design, etc.

Myth #5: Follow the money

Though I never really did this, I believe that if you’re gonna do the work you might as well do stuff you love.

Instead you may want to spend your energy on positive work – that lights you up and feels like your not working at all, rather than run yourself ragged doing shitty work that doesn’t really doing anything for you.

Myth #6: Help anyone and everyone

Instead, like Myth #5 do shit that lights you up. And yes I have been there and done that with this one. It drove me to exhaustion, though I really love helping people, I wasn’t helping myself. Those long nights with next to no life drove me down the path of discovering how important a Brand truly is.

Myth #7: You should do this!

Don’t let anyone tell you what you should or shouldn’t be doing when it comes to entrepreneurship.

Instead learn to trust your instincts. My advice is do your homework and talk to people. If that idea really lights you up – go with it – do your homework and ask people if it’s something they’d be interested.

Myth #8: Be on all social media platforms

I hope people are not still advising this. When I started they did. It was like every single blog post that you read was sign up to all the social media platforms and tweet and post to your hearts content. Oh and they also said – go where your potential clients are. I say bullshit to that. I never really understood Twitter and never particularly liked how we’re limited to some many words/characters. But yet I still managed to get dream clients. Don’t run yourself ragged and sign up to everyone.

Instead choose one or two social media platforms and figure out which one is doing it for you. Which leads me to saying I’m now hanging out on Pinterest and Instagram… have we connected?

Click on the images below to follow!

Myth #9: People aren’t going to like me

I’m calling BS on this one too. Here’s the truth – no not everyone is going to like and you really don’t want everyone to like you.

Instead what you want to thrive for is being the best version of yourself AND your uniqueness and know exactly who your dream audience and people are. People want transparency – so please don’t try and be anyone else but yourself.

Myth #10: I need to create something really unique

If I said not every idea is original but instead put your spin on it, will that help you move forward? I wish I knew this one earlier on – half the time that stopped me in my tracks was that other people were doing it. Not every idea is original and that’s okay!

Instead put your spin on it – your ideas, thoughts and your vibe.

BONUS: I DECIDED TO ADD ANOTHER ONE TO THE LIST

Myth #11: Build a business

Today it’s not about building a business but rather build a brand.

Customers don’t want to deal with business who are driven by their bottom line; who don’t offer products and services that creates customer loyalty. Usually these kinds of business offer cheap products and services and in a nutshell really don’t care about their customers.
Businesses like Apple and Starbucks have driven this kind of ethic and brand loyalty. They stand for more than just offering products that help people over come a problem. They have customers that drive 10 minutes out of their way just to get that special coffee for the day; they have product launches that has customers queuing at 3am to get their hands on the latest gadget. That’s what building a brand is really about and making it work easier and smarter for you.

Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear if one of these myths resonated with you and tell me why?

 

Confused with think + act like a CEO?

Confused with think + act like a CEO?

How to get your name out there without feeling like a douche!

How to get your name out there without feeling like a douche!

For some of us promoting and getting our brand out there online can often feel excruciating and as painful as going to the dentist – you know you gotta do it but it’s still painful. I know because I’ve been there too.

 

Can I start by saying did doesn’t need to be if you’re thinking of the cheesy and “traditional” way of advertising. But getting your name out there and promoting a brand today doesn’t have to be about advertising and it doesn’t need to be done in a douche kinda way.

 

I guess that’s why we think it’s sleazy and uncomfortable, because we see it on or in advertising and we’re bombarded with the messages  “come and buy” or “we’ve got a sale on – don’t miss out”.  This way of promoting a business or advertising a product may work for retail and it works because they are communicating to the masses and they don’t have one “advert” every now and again.

 

You’ll notice they advertise the one advert with the same message, over a certain period [which can be over months or short as a few weeks] and that’s why we get sick of them because they appear at a certain time, day and week over and over again. But it works. If it didn’t they wouldn’t be doing it.

 

However, what if I shared with you it doesn’t need to be uncomfortable – unless of course your business is a product and you’re in retail.

 

In today’s world we build a brand, not a business. 

And as part of your brand strategies 

we need to know exactly who our dream customers

are and then share our brand stories.

To clarify – advertising is quite different to promotion and promotion is about brand awareness. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with advertising – as you may find during your business journey you want to simply put an ad on the sidebar of a big blog or in a magazine. Nothing wrong with that – it can costly but still nothing wrong with it.

 

But I’ve compiled a list of where or what you can do with your stories and whether you have no budget or a small budget to achieve your brand awareness.

 

BRAND AWARENESS [the self-paced way with no budget]

 

1. Participate in Facebook groups – but be selective + be proactive than reactive in the groups.

 

Provide value in your stories, especially if you work with one on one clients and particularly in the service industry like a designer, virtual assistant and business coach.

This tip was biggie for me when working with or finding new clients. If I happened to be in a group and someone posted who they were looking for such as an ebook designer, this meant throwing your name in there of which felt like a “meat market” for me; like when the bride throws the bouquet and it’s a free for all. Not for me.

Instead try participating in 3 or 4 groups you know that you can add value in each one. And this low number means it doesn’t take up too much of your time.

Give value to those who ask for something that you know you can answer. Could it be you know how to set up something technical that you’ve worked out for yourself. It’s about being of value and making connections.

Also giving value can mean starting conversations in those groups, put a poll up and ask questions. Or post about some questions you think your customers would be asking. The more you be proactive and chime in the more clearer you will get on your potential clients or where you want your brand to head. At first this process may feel like you’re talking to no one, but keep going because it’s worth it.

You can also share stories, share your blog posts if it’s ok with the Facebook group rules. And if it’s not ok then think of and write down 5-10 topics or questions your ideal client would be asking and answer those questions in your stories.

 

2. Guest blogging with someone who is influential in your industry

This option requires some detective work. You will need to find one or two people in your industry or someone who has the same set of target market that you have. 

For example, if you’re business to business then ensure their target market are business to business. There’s probably no point writing an article on “running social media ads to grow a business” to a bunch of people who wish to read about green smoothie recipes.

BRAND AWARENESS – the very quick ‘band-aid’ way on a small budget

Facebook advertising can be hugely beneficial for brand awareness. Do a promotion through advertising on Facebook and select a highly targeted audience. You can either get them to sign up to a webinar you’re holding or give them an exceptional PDF freebie.

Earlier I mentioned advertising on the sidebar of a high volume traffic blog. This one is possibly the most painless out of them all – but you do need to do your homework before dishing out your hard earned cash.

Whatever you decide to do, either promoting with or without a budget, just remember either way you are creating brand awareness in a NON douche way.

After all, we all do it and it has to be done.

With gratitude,

 

 

 

image credit: unsplash.com via pexel.com

Lessons, hurdles + vulnerabilities when you have an online business

Lessons, hurdles + vulnerabilities when you have an online business

Wow! Talk about an adventure for 2015. There’s been bumps and hurdles that have meant that I had to tackle so many things that stretched me beyond my comfort zone. Sound familiar?

I’ve learned so much throughout 2015 that I felt I wanted to share. Perhaps you’re building a brand online as well and trying to figure it all out, let me start by saying you’re not alone.

 

I used to worry about the small stuff and spend countless hours working on Facebook, social media, search engine optimisation – striving to be on the first page of Google and unexpectedly finding myself quite competitive, didn’t even know I had it in me.

But 2015 brought out the best in me as I no longer worry about these for my business.

 

I’m ok with the numbers for my business

I’m ok with the numbers for my business – the size of my email list, the number of likes on my Facebook page. The only thing that matters to me is that I create value. Valuable content, valuable lessons and teach valuable workshops.

I no longer worry about the people who opt-out off my email list – as I now believe it leaves room for those who want it.

 

I’m ok with sitting in front of video

Though it’s very hard to believe even in 2014 I felt icky just in front of a still camera. But now I’m so ok with video because it’s not about me it’s about the message I want to share with my audience and community.

What really matters to me is that I create value, I create a soulful community of other entrepreneurs that want or need support, teachings, and connections that I offer.

The new year ahead I want to offer online and live virtual workshops as I want to share with other entrepreneurs and empower them to amplify their brand from the inside out. I want to show, teach and share with them possibilities of an enriched life and online business through creating, building and designing their own brand.

 

I am comfortable with the brand I’m in as I exhale at the end of 2015

And in 2016, I will continue to feed my insatiable appetite for knowledge and will share and teach others what I’ve learned in business and personal development.

It’s not about hierarchy in business [who’s a guru and who is not] it’s about people standing before me and people standing behind me when it comes to where we’re at in our lives and in business. Some have more experience and some need the experience in order to get us moving forward and accomplishing our dreams.

 

There’s been all sorts of adventures in my business life throughout 2015, so now I want to share some practicalities with you – perhaps to avoid or perhaps for you to dive in further – it’s really up to you.

 

I wrote and developed an online course in June, The Branded eBook Bootcamp. It started out as a one-day Bootcamp and entailed 4 emails throughout the day that course members would receive. It involved instructions and a workbook to create a pdf eBook opt-in offer. Simple – yes – perhaps too simple. But as “they” say start before you’re ready. Now I really understand that!

So I launched it one month later – only to discover no-one signed up! I opened the doors to the sound of crickets. Which by the way reminds me when I first opened the doors to my website a few years ago only to discover crickets – again! “Open the doors and they will come” is something we should all learn because in reality this doesn’t happen. As Jeff Walker calls it “hope marketing”.

 

I then went on another “lessons of an online business” – thanks to Jeff Walker and his free video series, “Profit Launch Formula”. His advice makes sense. Give your audience snippets of what you offer and make it irresistible. Hmmm sounds familiar.

He also recommends video and doing webinars are the surest, quickest way to grow your audience and develop the ‘know, like and trust factor’.

 

This meant I had to dive into unchartered territory and my biggest fear was to sit in front of the camera and do video. Initially, the very thought of that made me want to ‘’pass-out”. But I had to do it to get where I am today. It’s not about me it’s about sharing and making  connections to those who stand behind me who are searching to learn more.

 

With that in mind and with confidence + more certainty of what I want to offer.

I’m ok with the camera – though the camera and I don’t often see eye to eye. After all, if people judge in a not so positive way – it’s more on them and what they are going through in their lives.

I’m ok with social media – as I choose not to do what everyone else is doing. I only focus on the social media outlets that are aligned with my brand.

I’m ok with blog posting – as I have found my voice. With confidence comes a clearer voice and with a clearer voice comes clarity.

 

Wonderful things happen when you stop looking around

I have finally found my passion and purpose – as I am the kink in the chain that allows others to define their brand online.

So as we sit on the cusp of 2015/2016. I’m incredibly grateful for what has happened over the last 12 months, working with clients, creating strong connections around the world. And because of that, it’s just simply made me stronger, surer and much confident going in the new year.

One of the pillars of my brand is to allow design more accessible to people who need it and therefore, I will be offering more focused workshops teaching and sharing with others on designing and amplifying a brand from the inside out.

Here’s to abundance and success for 2016.

With gratitude,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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