Online Business 'Rules' I'm Breaking
When I started my business 6 years ago, I was full of excitement and enthusiasm. I had ALL the creativity and notebooks full of ideas for blog posts and things I was going to create.
I wanted to grow my audience and reach more people so I began to research how to market my business online. And then I began to feel shit.
I wasn't earning as much as them.
I didn't have enough Instagram followers.
I wasn't doing enough.
You see, there has been a growing trend in the world of online business over the last few years. More and more 'experts' have been popping up promising that if you just follow their formula you'll have a raving tribe and a 6 figure business within weeks.
The result is the same cookie-cutter businesses. And I'm tired of seeing highly creative entrepreneurs push aside their uniqueness to follow a pattern they have been sold in a webinar, only to be left feeling like shit when it doesn't work for them.
I'm tired of reading the same 'About Page' over and over again
I'm tired of the Facebook ads promising that if I just do this one thing, I'll be catapulted to success
I'm tired of the same puff programs and courses and coaching packages
I'm tired of the same "I was miserable until I just did this one thing and now I'm super successful" rhetoric
When did we stop thinking for ourselves? When did we stop trusting our own intuition?
I'm not saying that having a mentor isn't a valuable thing because it is, but please stop buying every new shiny thing that comes along in the hope you'll find the magic solution.
I want to see YOU. Read YOUR words, absorb YOUR creations and hear YOUR voice.
And I want you to stop questioning your value. Stop listening to the marketing messages that tell you that you are not enough. That you must do more, be more, desire more. You are unique, smart, intuitive and creative and above all, human AF. So please stop buying into the story that you're not good enough.
The answers are not going to appear in a Facebook ad so start turning inwards, listening to what feels good to you and taking consistent action, daily. That is how a SUSTAINABLE, online business is built.
Here are some of the 'rules' of online business that I'm having fun breaking...
Only 20% of your content should be about your brand, the other 80% should be interesting content from others in your industry.
I follow people on social media because I want to know their opinion. I don't want them to spend most of their time curating or regurgitating other people's content. Sure, go ahead and share that link that you love but I would love to see people spending more time sharing their own stuff - their opinions, thoughts, what's going on for them.
Creating content is key
I love writing blog posts, recording podcasts and creating free offerings. But I'm sick of seeing the same blog posts and content. Content is a great way to provide value to your audience and share your message - but so much of what is being put out there is 'fluff'.
I've actually come to realise that rather than creating content, documenting my journey is far more effective in connecting and growing an audience. It’s true that if you want to be seen or heard on social media, you have to put out valuable content on a regular basis, but people don't want you to preach to them - they want a free pass to what's going on behind the scenes. Your struggles, your challenges, your breakthroughs.
I've learnt that I can either try to present myself as an expert, or I can just be myself. I focus on taking action and let people ride along with me, rather than trying to strategise every single post.
You need to be everywhere
I totally subscribed to this story when I started my business and I burned myself out trying to keep up with all the platforms and latest internet marketing trends.
I love writing emails to my tribe, creating blog posts, recording podcasts, and sharing on Instagram. I don't enjoy Twitter and Facebook groups drive me mad. Webinars I'm still undecided about. And does anyone actually use Google+ ?
The point is, I've stopped doing what doesn't feel good to me and you know what? It means I'm showing up and connecting with my audience more deeply, in the places that really matter.
Sales is sleazy
If you met me in real life you would very quickly realise that I am not a sales person. But the truth is I am a business owner, and I do need to make money. I want to make money - to contribute to our family, take care of our needs and be able to show up fully for my purpose without financial attachment.
Which means, I need to invite people to buy my stuff or work with me.
There has been a big trend over the last 10 years of surreptitiously selling to people. Entice them in with your expertise, then sell them a story of why they can't possibly be successful without your e-course/program/package. You effectively make them question their own self-worth until they hand over their credit card.
Interestingly when I directly invite people to work with me, rather than trying to conceal the invite in a blog post or pretend I'm offering value when I'm really just selling, it works much better for me. When your tribe know and trust you, they want to be presented with opportunities to work with you on a deeper level.