You've done it.
You've made the decision that you're SO over the nine-to-five and that 2016 will be THE YEAR you start your new online business!
Which likely means you can't seem to stop brainstorming ideas, like what your logo will look like...
What to name your business...
What products or services you're going to sell...
And how you're destined to become INTERNET FAMOUS.
But do you have an action plan that will help you turn this business idea into a reality?
Most people skip this step, and I'll give you one guess as to what that does...
It creates lacklustre results, overwhelm and a mean case of analysis paralysis.
And that? Is one dangerous concoction.
To avoid that, I've got five simple steps that will help you create a rock-solid plan for your business!
Why Do I Need a Plan for My Online Business?
I know, the thought of creating a business plan sounds "corporate-y" and makes you do a mental eye-roll.
But here's the thing...
Creating a plan for your online business not only gives you a framework to work off of, but it helps zap the overwhelm and gives you a blueprint to follow.
So, let's cut the chit chat and dive in.
Step #1: Create Your Dream Customer
Be honest with me for a sec...
Do you know the person you and your business best serves?
Do you know their name?
Do you know what their family situation looks like?
Do you know what job they have?
Do you know what they desire?
If you're shaking your head no, start listing out:
- Their name
- Their age
- Their gender
- Their location
- Their marital status
- Their job
- What makes them tick
- What keeps them up at night
- What do they stress over that they would never admit to anyone
Go deep and list the details.
Step #2: Model and Mine
This is one of my favourite strategies.
Because most people don't even know you can or should do it!
But it's incredibly helpful to study your competition, see what's working for them and use what resonates as inspiration for your business.
There are even sites like SimilarWeb.com which will help you!
Besides, you don't always have to stick with what you start with.
I'm simply giving you a starting point that you can use as inspiration for your business.
Step #3: Creep Your Customers
Let's keep it real...
If you want your business to be a success and attract your dream customers, you have to know where they hang out online!
If you don't, you are going to struggle.
Which means you'll likely just wing it, set up a Facebook page, assume you're doing everything you "should" be doing and probably start to feel super frustrated.
Instead, look around at the different social networks, run some targeted searches and see if your dream customers are hanging out (and active!) on that platform.
If not, move onto the next.
Look at where other brands in your space are maintaining an active presence and use that as a starting point!
Step #4: Create a Content Plan
When we first started Screw the Nine to Five, we jumped straight in and decided to create weekly videos.
We don't know.
We just thought it would be a good idea.
You know why?
Because people weren't searching YouTube for the kind of videos we were creating.
Instead they were searching for podcasts.
And the minute we realized that and made the switch to the kind of content our audience preferred, everything changed.
I'm talking going from getting a few hundred views per video each week (if we were lucky!) to well over 5,000 downloads each week... minimum.
Moral of the story?
Figure out where your audience is hanging out online, which type of content they like and go all-in on it.
Step #5: Flush Out Your Funnel
Let's cut the BS...
If your business isn't making money, you don't have a business, you have a hobby.
So to solve this, you need to uncover the products or services that are sure to sell.
The easiest way to do this?
Create a simple sales funnel.
But how the heck do you do that?
There are four parts to this process:
- The Read Magnet - this is a killer post you create around a particular topic of interest for your audience
- The Lead Magnet - this is a value-packed freebie (that is relevant to your post) you offer people in exchange for their email address
- The Tripwire - this is a low-cost offer that is designed to change the relationship from subscriber to customer
- The Core Offer - this is your signature offer
I explain it in more detail here, but essentially the point of these sales funnels are to help automate the process of converting a casual reader into a loyal lifelong customer.
To figure out what the heck you can sell, do this:
Start brainstorming read magnet ideas by getting clear on what your audience wants to learn about.
From there, start brainstorming relevant lead magnets that could be tied into your post.
Then starting thinking about what you could create that is relatively low priced, packed full of value and is something they would jump at the chance to get.
Finally, brainstorm a list of products or services that your dream customer would LOVE the chance to get their hands of, regardless of what lead magnet they signed up for.
Once you have that planned out, ask your audience what they are struggling with and use their answers to tighten up your sales funnel!
It sounds so easy once it's laid out like that, doesn't it?
Now it's on you...
What's will your plan look like?
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Follow Jill Stanton on Twitter: www.twitter.com/screwthe9tofive