I used to believe if I had the plan, bought the business cards, the website, the logo, invested in a coach, and followed the steps- that’s it, I’m set!
Everything would stay the same and build from there but as I changed so did my business. No one shows you or teaches you how to navigate through such transitions. There was a lot I had to go through to get here. I’ve learnt heaps and will learn more as I continue to grow. But most of the lessons have been through taking the action and just doing it, anyway ..
Finally, I feel really good where I’m at, things are flowing and it doesn’t feel as hard. Yes challenging, but in a positive way. And there was a lot I had to go through to get here. I’ve had to restart and build momentum from scratch a few times & most of the lessons have been as a result of just doing it, my own way which I am grateful for because unless you have tried and failed, the lessons won’t sink in even if it is taught.
The following was advice I received last time I was on a call with a potential coach whom I followed for a while and one of many reasons why I still have not invested in a coach.
“If you’re not getting any likes on facebook, that’s a bit sad”
“If you want to get the business, you have to message them directly and get them on the phone right away – don’t wait for them to find out where to book in for your services” …
“You’re not charging enough”
I admire her no BS, straight to the point approach however this is why I don’t agree 100% with what she says:
- A high number of likes DOES NOT equate to a thriving business. Likes will not convert your audience to buy from you. Consistent quality content, providing value up front, making your audience feel significant, giving what they want without expecting and showing up for them on your chosen platforms on a daily basis is what is going to convert. I could pay for likes but is that going to build an engaging and loyal tribe? Ummm NO. Have you ever noticed a fan page of over 100k likes but when you scroll through the feed, there is no engagement on the posts…That’s because there are companies who have a $100k budget to spend on these things to make themselves look like an authority. They may not lack the money but they lack substance and soul and that my friends, you cannot buy.Many of my higher paying clients were following me (without prior engagement) for a while before they reached out to work with me. And guess what, I didn’t even have to try because the trust and credibility was there. They did the stalking, knew what I was about, did their research and when the right time came, there was no need to use “pushy” tactics. It was just as simple as “Okay, so let’s hear about what you do … great, this is what I have to offer” – – “Great, let’s go!”. Zero hesitation. Why? Because a relationship was established. I worked out after the call that infact I had been interacting with this lady in groups. Maybe not through my page but in other ways. So it is really important to think outside your bubble and think of other ways you can establish rapport and relationships. Do not just focus on your fan pages. It’s true facebook is making it a lot harder but the potential within the online space is so much bigger than that.Now, you might be thinking Okay that’s great Tess, but I don’t want to wait 1 month, 3 months, 6 months to get clients. And with the shocking algorithms I have no choice but to pay for sponsored ads etc. Well, there is truth to the algorithms, and yes there may be times when you need to pay for sponsored ads. But there is a strategy with when and how to do this. And before you do, you have to be clear on why you are doing it. But It is simply silly to solely rely on ads to drive your business. There is another way, a more holistic approach but it will take more than a day, a week, or even a month before you start seeing results.Gary Vaynerchuck recently shared in one of his talks, that lack of patience is why most people fail. And this is so true. Most of us buy into the 90K in 90-day concept without doing any work prior and believe if they simply follow the formula they’ll be millionaires within a year. It baffles me why people still believe this myth. Seth Godin in an interview recently said every successful person he knows took at least 7 or 10 years to get to where they were whether it was blogging every day or simply showing up and doing their thing, by the time they put their product out there, it went off because they did the hard yards, took the time to establish their reputation, positioning themselves for real success.This is why it is important to simply get started and build your online presence, start engaging and establishing those relationships from the GET GO! Even if you don’t have a solid business plan in place. Too many people spend way too much time on the sidelines thinking and analysing and not doing so when it comes time to launching they wonder why no one is buying their stuff within day 1.
- I personally hate it when strangers inbox me to tell me about their awesome new promotion or business opportunity. This is a reason I don’t add people as friends on facebook unless there has been some former genuine connection. I may have been following them and liking their posts and contributing on their threads but that is not an invite to spam my inbox with offerings. I genuinely believe when people are ready to work with you, they will come to you. And until that happens, give them the space to discover more about you in their own time. If you have things set up properly, they will figure out where to get the info they need. Let me share you a couple of stories.
Excited and naive to the world of Online Business, 3 years ago I remember a kind lady, mother of a young family messaged me about a business opportunity.
At the time I didn’t know about network marketing or pyramid business models, none of that. So eagerly I got on a call with her. She even sent me an inspirational book. I thought, how thoughtful. Towards the end she managed to get my Credit card details. I hesitated for a few moments before I told her I needed to think about it. She said, I will just keep your credit card details “Just in case“. Later in that week, I had a discovery call with this coach who I thought was the Queen B of coaching. A year later I would discover how she ripped off a friend of mine (I have heard so many stories with many high-end coaches, another reason I don’t invest). She gave me very basic generic advice about marketing. It felt scripted and as if she had no clue about what I actually did. Little did I know at the time that was the way it was and still is, people would buy programs only to be given scripts and and a ‘so called’ proven formula. I’ve watched many unknowing, vulnerable and keen – up and coming entrepreneurs and business owners buying programs only to be in debt and disappointed when they really didn’t have to be but someone made them feel like it was the only way. I have no doubt, in some cases it may work. But I will never forget thinking to myself, she charges crazy dollars for her programs and everyone I know who has bought her program looks just like her. And what this coach offered was a basic template. And I don’t want to be basic. F$%* that.
From that moment on, I knew how I didn’t want to do things but more importantly I never wanted to make people feel the way these two people made me feel. I had to forge my own path and build my own unique brand. And the only way I knew how was to stay true to me and go against the grain.
- The not charging enough advice would have been perfect when I had just started my VA services. That year I was doing VA work full time, it almost burnt me out. No wonder I was busy, I was charging next to nothing and people loved it because I was offering so much value for almost nothing. It didn’t mean they valued me or my time. And that’s the difference. I have always believed what you charge is your business and if you seek advice and want someone’s feedback, specific questions will help you reach that goal. When this coach asked me what my goal was and I said to make $X DOLLARS per month, she simply said “Well, you’re not charging enough”. That’s it. It was just about the money. But I know it is so much more than that, it’s about how you package your offer and your entire business model and what you are comfortable with. So you can’t simply give that advice without understanding the person and their business first. These are lessons, you won’t learn unless you are in the arena experiencing it for yourself, working out what works and what doesn’t. The advice given was not enough. I want to know why not with carefully considered ways on how to make it better. Also, if you’re not comfortable with a certain price point, how the F*&^ will you be able to market what you do and sell it. Also the price you set does not have to be fixed for life. You’re the boss, you get to decide when and how often you want to change the prices (just don’t do it too frequently).Some money coaches will argue “it is mindset” and “limiting beliefs” but when used in the wrong context, it can be just as manipulative as when they tell you “yes, you can afford my million dollar program” listing all the reasons that are preventing you from not investing. What about this popular one, “But if you really wanted it, you will find a way to get the money”.. Arghhh that one always gives me the shivers and in a bad way. It’s none of anyone’s business why you choose not to invest your money in something and no one has a right to bully you into it even if they may seem sweet, kind and spiritually inclined. Doesn’t mean their intentions are genuine.Don’t get me wrong, I would love to work with a coach and I am getting to the point where If I am to work with a business coach, I want to work with someone who shares similar values, and can give me more than generic advice and strategies that challenge my current approach, helping me to expand on what I already know, encouraging me to get the next level. I have my eye on a few.
It’s been like dating and trying to find the “right guy” – the struggle is real!
I’ve been in the online space now for 3 years, in business for 6 and running an online business for 2. Myself and my business(es) have evolved and changed form a lot during this period. And the skills and knowledge I have gained, priceless. Sometimes I wish I had someone to teach me what I know now but It’s hard to find the right mentor or teacher. Even if I had someone to give me a plan or strategy to put me in the right direction without having to invest in a yearly program would of been great.
No matter how much you can be taught, I’ve realised it does take time to discover and figure out what works for you and it is different for each person. It’s a journey that will test your patience and your determination to keep going. There is no ‘one size fits all’ rule as much as we are made to believe. And most of the time it comes down to trial and error and following the path that feels right to you, no one else.
Going against the grain can sometimes feel like you’re not doing things right, but what even is the right way anyway? Only you can decide that for yourself!