It was a surreal moment in my business, a moment I will never forget.
It was back in 2011 and my first business was about to go live and be open to the public.
After months or working out my brand, my colours, who I wanted to work with….I will never forget the sheer terror, nausea, the sweaty palms, my body physical shaking as I pressed the ‘enter’ key on the keyboard on my first Facebook ad.
Facebook ads were not like they are now, there were poky postage stamp images, with 70 characters from memory on the right-hand column of the Facebook feed.
The cost of advertising was high, and I did not have the money to blow it on my first ad, targeting was super limited…but hey, I believed in what I was doing.
My mentor at the time told me working in this niche market was going to be like digging for gold in a huge pile of mud….a confidence booster I can tell you.
In business, unfortunately, the experience is what teaches you what is right for you and what is not.
The trick, of course, is knowing this before it bites you on the butt.
When I opened the doors to my first business Nurse Power, feels of anxiety and fear way outweighed the feelings of excitement.
It took a while to come up with a niche, the market I wanted to work in.
I had absolutely NO idea about business, it couldn’t be that hard right?
Building a business so that it sustains you and your family has been a lot harder than I could have ever imagined.
I had four websites in two years…speaking to techie people, not understanding a word they were saying. Being told to do stuff which made absolutely no sense.
How far has it all come.
And this is where the good and evil come in.
The internet and social media have opened up an opportunity for everyone, which is the good part.
The bad part is not having a clue on what is right for you and your business.
Now, more than ever is a good time to add an income stream to what you’re doing or branch out into something new.
Yes, you can break away from your career.
Yes, you can break away from your profession.
Yes, you can turn your dream into a reality.
You can, if you face the perils of information overload head on.
Have a search on Dr Google and see how much information there is on how to start a business online…another confidence booster….not!
Unless you know what to do or have someone who can teach you…the good can quickly turn into the evil.
There is way too much information available, gazillions of posts from people like me, who have worked out what works and what doesn’t…but you may not have that experience yet.
Turn The Evil Into Good
Be clear about who you are, what you stand for…and I mean crystal clear.
What are your values, what do you believe in?
For me, I believe 100% in honesty, integrity, and people who do the work, despite having complete chaos in their lives.
Be clear on who you want to work with. Your target audience only needs to be an inch wide and a mile deep.
A great way to explain this is using the Nurse Power community as an example.
Think about how many nurses there are in the world…millions and millions.
Have you been in a hospital or visited someone in hospital?
There are nurses who love what they do, and there are those…who, well…do not.
The first group stay in their profession, want to do the best job they can, and use their education to benefit them, not tick a few boxes.
The second group perhaps have lost their enthusiasm, maybe burnt out, and make sure everyone around them, including their patients, know how inconvenient it is to be at work.
Dig a little deeper…
There are nurses who are their twenties, enjoying 000 parties, hanging out with friends, and booking a trip to Thailand, Bali…
Then there are nurses who have been in the game for a while, are married, have kids…and have an inkling of an idea….there is more to life than shift work.
You cant market to a 25 year the way you market to a 45-year-old, different wants, different challenges, different everything.
That is what I mean about being clear, crystal clear.
Be clear there is enough for everyone, you cant work with everyone, and neither should you want to.
There will always be people who think you’re awesome, and then others who think you are a drag.
This is the good part of being in business.
The opposite of this is the evil part.
The second-guessing, the not trying it long enough, or putting your own ideas into a process which works, and you stuff it up…AND blame the process.
In business and life, there will ALWAYS be times when you feel strong, confident, on track, focused, disciplined in what needs to happen in order to feel the success you are working for.
Be strong, say NO, ignore emails, events, and people.
To get to the good and fun stuff in business and life requires one thing.
Every time you get stuck drifting through your Facebook feed, it’s a choice.
Every time you check emails 10 times a day, it’s a choice.
Every time you help that person, when you’re heart says no, but you do it anyway…it’s a choice.
Being strong is not being a robot, or a warrior or doing stuff for other people.
Being strong is standing by YOU, and what you believe to be RIGHT for you.
I have made this mistake many, many times, and still, do…and it costs dearly…the evil again.
STOP LOOKING FOR THE EASY SOLUTION
Dr Google and social media make it so easy to learn about pretty much anything you like.
A couple of months ago, my eldest son wanted to grow Avocado’s.
I googled it, found out a few facts on how to get the seed of an Avocado to grow….and it did.
If you want to know anything, just ask your teen and BOOM…there is the answer.
The thing is, the abyss of knowledge and help on the net and social media is overwhelming.
What is the good stuff?
How do you know it to be true?
Wikipedia is a site which comes up on the first page of pretty much any search…all based on opinion, not validated…although probably written by some really smart people.
The teachers at school tell the kids not to use the site and look for more ‘reputible’ sites.
This is the same for business.
Know Who To Follow
There are some pretty amazing and successful thought leaders, experts and the like out there…how do you know what is right for you?
What I suggest is to choose say, 10 people, you want to follow.
Sign up for their regular emails and free offerings.
Look at what they do, think about how you can use it in your market.
On the evil side of business…or where I feel there is a lack of integrity in the market are the hugely successful companies teaching you how to grow your email list, build super lengthy sales funnel and how to market….I am sure you have signed up to a few of their free resources.
The way a business with over 100,000 people on their database, can do a whole lot of things a small business with just a few thousand on their database can do.
What they do may not work for you.
They have lists with hundreds of thousands of people on it, a sales conversion for an email campaign works on a list that big.
The type where you click on a box, and get out your credit card to join their program, or sign up for their super duper sales funnel training.
If you have 372 on your database…the odds are you won’t make any money doing what they do, are pretty much 100% of failure.
Funnily enough, you may not hear from them via email again until they put out their next sales offering.
For me, this doesn’t fit very well with integrity.
It really should be about a relationship, not a…let me hit you with 20 emails in 3 weeks and not hear from you again for 6 months
UNSUBSCRIBE to anything that is not a fit for who you are and what you stand for.
Build Your Platforms
This is where the organic social media relationship building comes in.
There is so much you can do to be seen as a good person online using social media organically, and topping it up with some paid advertising if you want to.
I have a client who has built her business from scratch with ORGANIC ONLY.. 6 figures, doing what she loves.
Supporting her five children, running an international business her way…without a cent being spent on advertising.
Yes, it takes longer.
Stick with it.
BECAUSE IT WORKS!
With that said, focus on the platforms, as in the social media platforms where your target audience hangs out.
Be real, be you, tell it how you want it.
Above all else, be consistent and build a connection with people who get you and want to hear more about what you have to say.
You will see me do a lot more of this, recently I have been diagnosed with breast cancer and have about 8 months of treatment ahead of me.
I could curl up in a ball, I can cry…which I do…a lot.
But what I choose to do is to focus on all the good stuff being a business owner brings, and to remove the evil, or bad part which makes it so much harder.
Stop looking for the easy solution – it simply does not exist.
Build your platforms…as fast as you can.
If you’re looking for help on how to grow your platforms on social media. Check out a video I made for my client’s…15 things you can do ORGANICALLY to grow your business using social media.