I’ve made a lot of mistakes over the years. I started with 81 cents in my account, and today I have not one but two businesses that earn 6-figures per year, plus I am starting my third business right here with Venture Shorts.
I can’t go back in time and fix those mistakes for myself, but I can tell you about them so you can avoid them when growing your business! 🙂
I recorded a quick video all about these mistakes:
In case you don’t have time to watch a video right now, here are my five mistakes:
1) Wanting everything to be perfect before your start promoting your new business
You guys, this is major. Too many would-be entrepreneurs get stuck in “analysis paralysis” – in other worlds, they never actually launch because they are too worried that things aren’t perfect.
Things will never be perfect. Start NOW and make changes as you go. Get the basics set up, and fine-tune it later, as your business grows.
2) Focusing on growing your social media more than your email list
This is by far the biggest mistake I ever made. Social media changes all the time. Just look at MySpace – it is GONE now! And yes, Facebook is still around, but it is completely different than it used to be. If you have a Facebook page, chances are that only a very small percentage of people are seeing every post.
Email marketing is where it is at. When you send someone an email, you are reaching into their lives by putting yourself in their inbox. When I started building an email list, my profits sky-rocketed.
Email marketing is paramount because you have the control. You own the email addresses and you decide how many of your viewers get to see your emails (I’m sure most of the time the answer is, all of them!)
Plus, you can get started, if you’re new to email marketing, free with MailChimp. Who doesn’t love “free”?
3) Not creating a freebie to build your email list
Once I finally started building my list, I figured out pretty quickly that people don’t just give away their email address for vague promises like “tips.” You have to have a really awesome freebie that people will want to download.
For my photography business, for example, I create a digital magazine about planning their dream shoot. Think about what your customers might want to download, and give that away for free in exchange for an email address. Your list will start growing like wildfire.
4) Not keeping your startup lean
When you start a new business those creative juices are flowing and you’re all amped up. It can be really tempting to start buying everything in sight with the shiny new business credit card. There are certain things that are essential to invest in, like education. However, make sure you’re not spending money on a NEW laptop when you could get a used one, or a new desk when you could build one or get a used one. Just some examples of how to keep things lean.
If you’re going to spend money you don’t have, make sure you have a direct plan to make that money back. You don’t need all the bells and whistles to start.
5) Not making a list of content ideas and potential product ideas
Lastly, before you start, you need to make sure that you have content ideas for your blog and potential product ideas that you’re going to be supporting through this content. Your blog is a marketing tool, and if you aren’t selling something, you’re going to find it really hard to make any money online.
Start off by brainstorming a list of content ideas (I originally got this tip from the book Problogger), to make sure that your business idea is viable. You don’t want to run out of content ideas after a few weeks and watch your business fizzle.
Finding it hard to get everything done without making the mistakes listed above (and others)? Check out The Productivity Formula, which is going to help you find more time in each day to start and grow your new business.