Here are the basics you need to build an online business as a creative
VERY VERY IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Do NOT move on to the other parts until you are clear about part 1.
Confusion about the why, what and how is the number 1 reason why heart-centered entrepreneurs don't earn money!
The more fuzzy you are about what you can actually do for people, and why they should care about that, the more difficult it will be to find clients.
People’s attention span online is very short, and if you don't speak to them directly (aka: niche the f$%& in!) you lose them.
Also, there is no point writing web copy or blog posts or publishing on social media without having clarity on your why, your how and your who.
This is THE foundation for your business.
Even if it takes longer than you think you can stand, hang in there until you are totally clear. Once you can describe what you offer so that your clients actually see the benefits, you are home-free!
If you need help with this, go here.
That said, it's time to get started with The Plan:
- Get clear on your Why. What do you believe in so much that you KNOW you have to do it? (If you cant find anything, entrepreneurship is probably not your path…).
- What's your thing? Meaning what did your life prepare you for, what do you love doing, what sets your heart a-flutter and makes your eyes sparkle?
- Which problems (real, concrete, pressing!) does your thing solve?
- Who has those problems? And how happy would they be to have them solved? Hint: if they are willing to exchange their first class seat for your economy one if you help them, you are onto something!
- Find out where they hang out, and how you can reach them.
- Now its time to describe what you do, in a way that even the kid who always throws flyers into your mailbox despite the HUGE 'No ads please!!!!!' sign, gets it. And can think of somebody who needs it! Think simple, clear words here, not industry mumble jumble or spiritual woo woo.
- And lastly, as a nice dessert, think about how you would want to work. No work before 10 in the morning? Or maybe you want to start at 6 am and be done by 10? A four-day weekend? 16 hour work days? This is your business, and you are allowed to design it to your liking!
Once you made it this far, go for a massage! Or buy some really cool shoes! Or spend a whole afternoon in a bookstore!
You did good, girl!
- Develop your offering. What are you actually going to sell?
- Create the bigger picture: What is your signature offer? What leads up to that (free opt-in, low cost item, higher cost item, access to you...). How does it all tie together?
- Decide on a brand (vision, feel, colours, fonts, coherence).
- Do a photoshoot so that you have some great pics of yourself.
- Write your website copy, clearly stating why what you do helps.
- Create a free opt-in.
- Design and put together your website.
- Set up social media accounts that are coherent with your brand (only those that you love and that your favourite clients hang out on).
- Create a publishing schedule and stick with it.
- Start blogging or vlogging or podcasting.
- Set up your systems: Get an email provider (Mail Chimp, Convert Kit).
- Set up a funnel.
- Write autoresponder emails that provide value and calls to action (discovery call, book session, buy course…).
- Decide on when and how often to communicate with your list, and then do so!
- Test it all.
- Set up structures: Which days for what? When do you work best? Weekly check-ins, etc
- Share the idea you had for your offer. Test if there is a market.
- If yes, start creating your offer. Share it with some ideal clients. Ask for feedback. Ask for testimonials.
- If no, go back to the drawing board. Fine tune what you offer, use the right words, ASK potential clients what they would buy.
- Find your rhythm, produce quality content.
- And especially, produce CONSISTENT content!
- Do the same thing you would do if you would already rake in the money. Create beautiful stuff, write the blog posts, pitch yourself for interviews and guest posts, run a webinar, post on your (1 or 2) favourite social media channels, ask clients for referrals, and live the life of a creative online business babe!