1. Start Today
While you’re reading this blog post (or watching YouTube videos) there are customers searching for the web for your specific product or service. If you have an idea that you’d like to launch or an existing business that you’d like to grow by marketing online, start today!
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” ― Chinese Proverb
2. Avoid Distractions
The current pace of change that we are experiencing with the web and technology has never been seen before. There are unbelievable opportunities to make a difference and have an impact in the work you do.
Moving forward this pace of change will keep accelerating. The web has become an incredibly noisy environment. New tools, apps and services are launched every day and there seems to be an endless amount of “experts” wanting to offer you magic bullet solutions to your problem.
Beware of the constant noise and the endless options. You most likely don’t need that new shiny web app or the 30-hour video course that will “Teach you everything you need to know to make 6 figures online”.
Cut out distractions, don’t waste your money on things you don’t need and stay laser focused on what you are creating.
“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” ― Winston S. Churchill
3. Define Your Desired Outcome
To reach your desired goals, it’s important to have a clear definition of what you are trying to achieve. What is your desired outcome? What does it look like? Why are you passionate about this idea or business? Take as much time as you need to clearly define your mission and your outcome. Avoid launching into the ‘doing phase’ if you are not sure what you are hoping to achieve.
“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” ― Lewis Carroll
4. Validate Your Value
So you’ve got something great to offer the market. Create a minimal viable product/service and make sure to test your offer before investing more time and money into expanding what you’ve already created.
The best way to test an offer is by getting direct feedback from existing or potential customers. And the ultimate validation of an offer is by generating sales. If your target audience is willing to pay for your solution, then it’s worth pursuing.
If you realise that your offer is not resonating with your audience, then review, rethink and rebuild.
“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” ― Albert Einstein
5. Create A Strategic Overview & Action Plan
After defining and clarifying your mission and desired outcome, expand those two items into a concise strategic overview and add an action plan.
A strategic overview will help you define and outline the finer details of your greater vision. Think of it as an architectural plan for your online home. This document should include defining the problem you’ll be solving, the value you’ll be adding, the audience you’ll be targeting, the offers that you’ll be making and how this all fits together online. How will you be marketing and delivering your product or service? Create a visualisation of your online marketing funnel.
Your action plan, on the other hand, will help you layout specific desired outcomes (projects) and what tasks (action items) need to be completed to reach those goals.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” ― Abraham Lincoln
6. Avoid Trying To Do It All Yourself
A common trap to fall into is trying to do everything yourself. As an entrepreneur, there is a lot to think about and manage. There are many moving parts to creating, managing and growing a business. Creating an online presence and marketing your business online is only one of the many challenges to overcome.
Consider hiring smart and reliable contractors and consultants to help you plan and create your desired outcome. Professional strategic support will help you scale yourself and your business. It’s ok to ask for help and work with strategic service providers. Trying to do everything yourself will result in overwhelm and burnout. Trust me, I’ve been there.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” — African Proverb.
7. Invest In Systems & Support
The ability to invest depends on your available budget, your cashflow, your desired outcome and your priorities. If you’re creating a hobby blog, then you would not want to invest much. However, if you’re building and expanding your business, then I’d assume it’s a high priority and well worth investing in.
Making use of free and cheap solutions and services is great for when you’re bootstrapping and just getting started, but if you are serious about growing a sustainable business, then it’s crucial to invest in premium systems, services, and experienced support.
Areas worth investing in includes your website hosting, your content management system, your website architecture, any online tools and services you use to run your business – for example invoicing, payments, capturing leads, email marketing, landing pages, webinars, social media, content marketing, and analytics.
It can be extremely overwhelming to know what your business needs when. If needed, seek professional advice and guidance to make sure you don’t waste your money on things you don’t need.
“All the tools, techniques and technology in the world are nothing without the head, heart and hands to use them wisely, kindly and mindfully.” ― Rasheed Ogunlaru
8. Progress Over Perfection
One of the most frustrating hurdles to overcome is dealing with perfectionism – wanting everything to be perfect before we share it with the world. The truth is that behind perfectionism lies something else that needs to be addressed and dealt with. This could be some sort of limiting belief, insecurity or imposter syndrome.
Sometimes emotional work is needed to overcome these challenges. And once you’re ready to put yourself and your business out into the world, start with version 1.0 of your product or service. Create, refine and launch as soon as possible. Then get feedback from potential or existing customers and then work on version 1.1. Don’t try to make version 1.0 perfect, you’ll only end up wasting time and energy.
If you feel ready, you’ve launched too late.
“Perfectionism rarely begets perfection, or satisfaction - only disappointment.” ― Ryan Holiday