You’ve built strong foundations for your business. You’ve got clarity about your business foundations and your marketing strategies. You’ve found your zone of genius.
Now you need to find a way to attract clients and generate regular revenue.
The key to doing this is consistency. In this blog, I am going to give you insights into how being consistent in your product/service delivery and how you show up for your potential clients can help your business grow.
This blog article is a summary of the related podcast episode.
This is the second part of a three-part series on my 3C™ strategy for building a successful portable business. Click here to listen to the first part in the series
To support this series, I have developed a free e-book with more details on how you can use the 3C™ system to grow your business.
One of the big challenges for many entrepreneurs is turning their business idea into regular revenue. This is one of the reasons that I am so passionate about being consistent in your business. It is one of the biggest ways for you to attract customers and generate income.
As portable business owners, we often work in the online or virtual world, but we can learn and apply important lessons about consistency from ‘brick and mortar’ businesses. So let’s say you have an actual, physical store. You would have regular opening hours, you would show up every day that you were open and you would show customers your products.
I want you to think about your online business in the same way. You have to create a space where people can come and experience your business, maybe try out your product/service and get to know you. Later in this blog, I’m going to cover in more detail how you can show up consistently and why having a content strategy is so important to creating this experience.
But first of all, let’s continue with the lessons we can learn from the real world. You go to a restaurant and have an amazing meal. You recommend it to all your friends. Then you go back and maybe order the same meal again. But it is not so good this time, in fact, it’s really not good at all. Would you keep going back? Would you recommend this to your friends?
This is exactly what happens if the quality of your product or service is not consistent. This can be hard if you are just starting out and learning but you can still aim to improve. And showing up in your business is a big part of how you grow and improve. This is where you need to work on your mindset.
Many of the clients I have worked with have really struggled with putting themselves out there through social media or other online platforms. They tell themselves that no-one will listen, that other people are already doing it better. I understand this and experienced it myself when I started this podcast! I was so uncomfortable but I kept showing up and I kept getting better
Quality doesn’t just magically appear in your business. It comes from showing up regularly, working and as you do, your offer to your customers will improve and become consistent. It won’t happen unless you get out there and show up.
I want you to understand that quality comes from your resistance and resilience to keep showing up for your audience, and your faith that you will keep improving over time.
Before I get into the details of how you can show up consistently for your audience, you need to understand why it is so important to do it. Firstly, if you do not have a place where people can find you, listen to you or read you and reach out to you on a consistent basis, they will forget you. Secondly, your potential customers will not know about the potential value that you can offer them and as a result, you will not be able to generate regular revenue.
The quality of your product or service and the quality of your marketing strategy are absolutely crucial to attracting new clients.
There is a directly correlation between consistency and sales
I want to share an example from my own entrepreneurial journey. A potential client reached out to me because she had signed up to my newsletter and every single week it would appear in her inbox. She said that because of that she knew where to find me when she was ready. She had been studying and getting qualifications but she knew that one day she would be ready to start her business. While she was doing all that, she kept reading the newsletter and followed my online content. She told me she would have forgotten about me if I hadn’t kept showing up in her newsfeed and inbox.
In the newsletter, I was not asking for anything or selling anything. I just wanted to create valuable content on a regular basis. Thinking about your marketing as a way for you to serve your audience can go a long way in helping you get past your resistance to put yourself out there. If you are serious about growing a real business with real revenue, then you have to think about your content and marketing, just like any ‘bricks and mortar’ business owner would think about having set opening times, beautiful displays and windows to draw customers in.
There are many things to consider when you think about your content strategy. I am going to focus on three important things you need to consider to build a consistent business foundation.
- Your marketing strategy
- The value you give and your relationships
- Your online content
1. Your marketing strategy
Let’s continue with the metaphor of a business with an actual store. If you had a store or wanted to open one, the first thing you would think about your location. You want to position your store where there will be good foot traffic. You look at property, you look at what streets have traffic versus prices. Your big focus will be finding where you are going to find the right people for your store.
It’s the same for an online business. That’s why in the first part of this 3C™ series looks at clarity – you need to first have clarity about your target audience. Once you have clarity about that and on your business foundations, you can make decisions about your marketing strategy.
So what is a marketing strategy? Your marketing strategy is basically the answer to these four questions.
- Who is your ideal customer?
- Where do they spend time and consume content and research solutions for the problem that your offer solves?
- How can you convert your potential customers to sales? We will focus on this in the third and final part of this 3C™ system
- How do you keep your clients happy and satisfied – happy clients mean referrals and recommendations, which generate more revenue!
Hopefully you have listened to my episode on clarity and you now have a good understanding of your ideal customer and the niche you want to serve. But where are these ideal customers? To answer this question, you will have to do some market research to understand where your customers consume content. You want to find out what kind of media they consume, which social media platforms they are on, what kind of networking events they go to, what kinds of organization they pay attention to.
One important way to get this information is to ask your potential customers. To learn more about how to do that effectively, check out this episode and don’t forget to download my free 3C™ system e-book with even more detail on how to do this.
Once you know where your ideal client is, there are several options for your marketing strategy. I am going to cover briefly here to give you some ideas and to help you understand what is meant by a marketing strategy.
Marketing strategy is how you get visibility and traffic.
The first thing you need as an online portable business is to get visibility. And once you have visibility, you need to get your customers’ attention and start building a relationship with them. And finally, you take action by making an offer. This is what I call my ‘Avatar’ method. This is the method I created to explain how to build a marketing strategy – you can learn more about that in my free 3C™ system ebook.
There are several different ways to get visibility.
- Speaking engagements
- Conferences and events
- Blogging – either your own blog or guest contributions on other platforms
- Media interviews
- Paid advertising
- Direct marketing
- Search engine optimization
In the free 3C™ system ebook, I have examples of how different businesses choose their strategies, depending on their ideal customers. Here is a quick example: let’s say you have a fashion brand and you discover your ideal customer is on Instagram. So you could decide to focus on Instagram to get your visibility. So you would create consistent content there and you could consider advertising there too.
The big mistake that I see so many entrepreneurs make is to try a little of everything rather than focusing on one clear strategy. As a solo entrepreneur, with very limited time, it is so hard to get any traction and results from scattering your attention over so many approaches. So once you know your ideal customer, pick three to four strategies and stick to them. For example, in my case, speaking engagements are a key marketing strategy. So I know that I need to have a certain number of speaking engagements per month to be sure that I create the traction and visibility that I need. I’m very fortunate because right now I don’t need to approach people, although I still do it sometimes. But when I started, I was proactively searching all the platforms where I could apply to speak. I made it a habit to research and look for new opportunities every week. So what do you need to explore every week to make your marketing strategy work?
2. Your relationships and serving your audience
Once you have chosen your marketing strategy and are sticking to it consistently, you need to focus on building your relationships. It is so easy to focus on advertising and quick wins but to really grow revenue and attract customers, you need to have a mindset that focuses on giving value, helping people, building authentic relationships. You need to commit to making this part of your business because there are no shortcuts to growing your business. If people sense that you are not genuinely there to serve them or to help them, you will struggle to achieve visibility. You need to be able to build trust with people and you do that by serving them. If you want inspiration on how to do this and why it has to be at the heart of your business, check out this interview with Bob Burg, the co-author of the bestselling book, ‘The Go Giver’.
I know that sometimes it is hard to find a balance between serving others and making money, but if you focus on giving value, the money will come. I truly believe this and I’ve seen it in my business and in other entrepreneurs’ journeys. Putting authentic relationships at the heart of your business really needs to be second nature for you.
3. Your content strategy
So you know where your ideal customer is, you are building great relationships with them, let’s go back to the ‘bricks and mortar’ store metaphor from earlier. In a store, you need something to show to give your customer an idea of the experience they will have if they purchase your product or service. You also need something that allows them to get to know you so you can build that relationship and earn their trust. For an online portable business, this is your content. Your content is exactly the same as the displays and items that a physical business would show to attract customers.
If you don’t have content available on a regular and consistent basis, you are taking away opportunities to reach out and attract new customers. You are leaving money on the table when you do this! This is the equivalent of owning a store and not opening or having your products on display in it! Content allows you to show your value and the value of your product/service and the quality of your work. It is how you build relationships that become leads that you can convert into sales. In a portable online business, it is so important to do this regularly so that you can build connections.
Content can take a range of forms. It might be a podcast, a blog or video content. No matter what type of content you choose, you have three choices. You need to show up consistently with your content so once you’ve chosen your type of content, you need to choose your frequency. Having said that, there’s not too much choice here! If you are really serious about your business, you need to show up every single week. If you do that, you will see how much it helps people remember you. If you can’t do it every week, do it every other week. I really think that this is the minimum you can do is once a month but I would recommend once a week or once every other week.
Now I want to address something that I hear from a lot of entrepreneurs. You don’t want to bother people. If I email them every week, I’m harassing them. Please don’t think that way. I already gave you the example of my client who thought my weekly emails were a service.
You need to think about your marketing strategy as a service you provide to your customers to help them.
If you focus on giving real value through your content, you’re not bothering anyone. You need to make that mental shift but also to remember that your audience can always make the choice to not listen, not watch, not read your content. It’s their decision. If they are on your mailing list and don’t want to read anymore, they can unsubscribe. And you don’t want people on your mailing list who aren’t reading your newsletters because they will lower your conversion rate! So get your mindset right and focus on providing valuable content that is a genuine resource for your audience.
Before you start creating content, make sure that you have a clear strategy that you are committed to. If you want to know how to design content in an effective way, I have an episode that gives you details on how to do that, and there are extra exercises in the free 3C™ ebook.
Once you’ve got great, regular, consistent and valuable content, you need to make sure that you have a way to capture contact information from the people who are exposed to it. Growing your mailing list has to be the number one measurable goal in your business. Your sales are directly correlated to the size of your mailing list. In the 3C™ system ebook, I even have a formula that will help you measure your sales based on the size of your mailing list! Basically, when you start your business, the conversion rate is around 3%. So if you know this, you can do the maths. You know how much money you want to make, how many people or sales that represents and so therefore how big your mailing list needs to be.
Here is how this works for Tandem Nomads. If you’ve been following the podcast or this blog for a while, you will know that I try to give you as much value as I can. I try to always have an additional resource for you to download along with the podcast. This also allows me to stay in touch with you and to share more resources with you to help you with your portable business journey.
I also have a weekly newsletter where I share some key insights from the latest episode. To receive the newsletter, you need to sign up to it. If you want to get it every week, you can sign up here on the website or when you download the 3C™ system ebook.
This is the approach that I encourage you to use in your business – consistently. Every single week you should be thinking about how to grow your email list. I use my weekly podcast and social media platforms. But also every time I do a speaking engagement, I make sure to offer the audience something to download immediately so that I can stay in touch with them. I actually use a sign-up sheet where they can add themselves and sign up to my newsletter. And speaking of consent, I urge you to be transparent and clear. Failing to be transparent about this or to get your customers’ consent will not help you grow your business. In Europe, there is GDPR regulation but I follow its rules regardless of where my customers are located. If you would like to know more about GDPR, I have an episode which gives more background on it.
If you download the free 3C™ system ebook, unless you tick that box, I can’t send you my weekly newsletter. That is me applying GDPR to my sign up process. If you do sign up for the weekly newsletter, then you can always reply to it to reach me. This makes me available and I encourage you to also set that up so you can build relationships with your audience.
I hope this blog has helped you to understand how to develop your marketing strategy based on knowing where your ideal customer is; your top three marketing strategies that you will implement consistently and the importance of always giving value through your content. Most of all, I hope you understand the importance of building authentic relationships and putting your customers at the very heart of our business.
Finally, I want to address what can be the biggest barrier to achieving consistency – time. I know that it takes so much time to create consistent content. Start thinking of this as being the same as going to a nine to five job every day and show up for your business in the same way.
Showing up for your business is not negotiable.
You need to develop the habits and routines that will allow you to show up consistently but that starts with your commitment to doing it. To help you develop that commitment and those routines, here are some extra resources:
So now you have learned about consistency, its time to talk about conversion – look out for that episode coming soon to complete this series. If you have questions, consider signing up for my weekly newsletter so you can email me directly. And if you would like to explore how the 3C™ system could work for you in more detail, check out my Portable Business Accelerator program. This is an online course that takes you the 3C™ system from the start to finish in great detail. I also have a Business Growth Accelerator coaching program, which offers more accountability and support to help you grow your revenue. This includes a year of one-to-one coaching with me. You’ll get the details of both programs when you download the free 3C™ system ebook.