One of the most amazing things about working with women entrepreneurs?
It means I know a whole lot of freakin’ fantastic ones.
As you might’ve seen me mention in last week’s post, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I’d build my business if I had to start from scratch all over again in 2018 – without contacts, assets or a big budget – with all the hard-won knowledge I have now.
Anyway, as I was pondering what funnels I’d build or what kind of website I’d DIY, I realised:
I know some bloody smart women who I bet would have some incredible answers to this.
And sure enough… they did.
So, without further ado, here are the ways these cool women coaches, creatives and solopreneurs would build their businesses from scratch if they had no contacts, no pre-existing business assets, and only $500 to invest in 2018:
“One of the things I love most about building an online business is that you can start one with very little investment! If I had my time again, I’d implement these (practically free) things a whole lot sooner in my business!
I’d make sure I was actively engaging with my dream clients on social media daily. *The keyword there is engaging… not promoting to! Cost = 100% FREE!
I’d pop up a simple website that shared my services, so anyone that found me through social could learn a little more about how I can help them. Cost = $200/year
I’d create a killer opt-in freebie that knocked the socks off anyone that visited my site, which is totally doable for free, or on a very low-budget with design templates and DIY software. Cost = Free or Under $100
I’d submit some article ideas for blogs or reach out to podcasters that I know my audience love, to help get my name in front of my dreamies. Cost = Free!!! (Plus a little confidence in yourself!).
I’d gather up a group of like-minded women in business (aka a ‘mastermind’) and connect with them regularly to brainstorm, debrief, and keep myself accountable to creating my business dreams! Cost = Totally free and totally game-changing!!!
I’d stick a post-it note on my computer that reminds me that everyone starts somewhere!!! Cost = How much is a pack of post-it notes, $2?”
“As someone who has launched three businesses so far, this question is fantastic, because being reminded of the essentials is so vital. And I believe the foundations for beginning a business are always the same.
1) Nail Your Niche
I know, I know! It’s so cliche. But clichés are often true for a reason. You need to get crystal clear on who you serve, why, and how. You’ll be able to magnetize the right clients to you much more easily when you focus on who they actually are.
2) Focus on Feedback
It’s both exciting and daunting to think about all the ideas you want to implement. All the marvellous visions you have and what you’d love to build if only you had all the time and money in the world.
But really, the most important thing for you to find as an entrepreneur is feedback. And fast! Pay exquisite attention to what people ask you for; and what people complain about or find difficult to do. This is where your opportunity to provide a transformational experience for them comes in.
3) Launch & Learn
Take the feedback you’ve been given and run with it. Forget about getting a whiz-bang website or spending thousands on marketing.
Build your minimum viable product, get more feedback, learn how to make your product/service better. Rinse and repeat.”
“I’ll begin with suggestions that are low-cost:
- Create an online space that you own (a website), not just a Facebook or Instagram page – web hosting and basic design layouts cost a minimal amount (loads of low-cost options).
- Have someone take a nice, clean, and well-lit headshot of you (use the same for each of your platforms) (low cost or free).
- Connect a mailing list to your site (low cost or Mailchimp has a great free option.).
- Create as much free highly-valued content as you can, disseminate to your blog, mailing list, and social media.
- Based on this content and the knowledge you share, create an awesome opt-in that’s super helpful (pay a designer or get creative and use Canva).
Here are some that are free (and honestly the ones I think are the most important):
- Make connections (ugh yes, the dreaded networking), but this is less so a ‘biz card swapping’ exercise and more so a ‘find your peeps and soul support gang’. Go to events and cultivate relationships!
- Know who you desire to serve. I started out thinking it was important to appeal to a broad audience and keep everyone’s needs in mind. Not so. I truly know now that when you speak to many you speak to none, and when you speak to one, you speak to many.
- Critical mindset shift necessary: you have to believe and know, hand on heart, that what you offer is of value and achieves transformational change. If you don’t – what you transmit in your copy and videos is not going to call in your people.
- Get testimonials up on your site for social proof, asap. Those words from your happy clients are GOLDEN.
- Package your services right off the bat – don’t trade time for money.”
“If I was starting over again, I’d invest $500 in LeadPages and ConvertKit, as well as a phone with a good camera for videos and photography, plus web hosting and a good design template. This combo helps to make sure you’ve got the branding side down as well as the list building and the ability to do content marketing/blogging.”
“I’d probably do a few different things, as I wouldn’t wanna bet on putting all of my eggs in one basket… SO.
I’d put up a simple AF website on Squarespace, but it’d have soul to it. The design would be fresh and different. I’d include a select amount of previous work, to attract dream clients. I’d create work especially for my portfolio if I had to. I’d also have a fun AF About Me page so people can actually get a feel for who I am and what my vibe is (because I don’t wanna work with people I don’t jive with).
I’d reach out to creative agencies in the city I lived in to see if they needed any freelance designers, just to get work + money + experience.
I’d then reach out to as many people as I could in the industry that I wanted to be working in. I’d send cold-call emails sharing my work + why I’d wanna team up with them. I’d share it on my personal Facebook pages. I’d reach out to friends who might have contacts with people + brands that I want to work with.
I’d jump on a freelance job site like theloop.com.au to create a profile and find work that way.
Basically, I’d just create my website, curate my portfolio to attract the kind of work I wanted, and then just go all-out on promoting myself and finding work in one particular industry. And then hopefully once I started to get work I’d put all of my focus on doing the BEST FUCKING JOB ever, because word of mouth advertising is everything (and it’s what grew my business from the very beginning).”
Now it’s your turn lady!
If you could start your business allll over again, what would you change? What would you do differently?
Share in the comments below — I’d love to get your thoughts on this.
Until next time!
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