All resources mentioned in this video can be found on the Periscope page here.
Know exactly what you’re selling. So you need to pick a niche – and I know you’ve heard this before, but here’s how much it matters in your business – listen closely.
It’s really easy to want to be a generalist. I want to be one too! But we can’t, because that’s already being done. What we can do, though, is to become a SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT – and this is the key to taking your business to the next level in 2016.
You will find resources for how to select your niche and create your niche-related content at the Periscope Pages at both OnlineWritingPro.com and GoAskAngie.com.
Okay, tip #2: Expand your line of products or services.
You know what I’m saying? So you’re going to GIVE people more of what they want – more of what they’re already getting from you. This might include stuff like “go-along” products and/or services, add-ons and even just related stuff.
So, for example, in my case, one of my existing niches has always been blogging and building websites.
But when I became certified as a solution focused coach at UCI, I added the coaching element to that side of my business. So now, I can do it FOR them, or I can teach them how to do it themselves and hold their hands as they navigate the steps to becoming the kind of blogger they want to be.
Tip #3: Let’s not forget our current customers!
It’s really easy to stay focused on customer acquisition – as in, finding new customers. It’s a big and important part of any successful business’ marketing cycle. But what about customer retention? What about repeat buyers? Subscribers? MEMBERS?
When you want to grow your business, focus also on how you can further serve your existing clients – what kinds of things do you have the ability to do or provide that your standard customer might be interested in adding on to what you’re already doing for them? And can you do it at a special discount for them – say, one that might eliminate the possibility of them going or staying with another company?
I would bet you might be able to give it a shot.
There are some really great resources on the “Take Your Blog to the Next Level” page at OnlineWritingPro.com – that page is on the list at GoAskAngie.com/Periscope as well.
Tip #4: Build Your Team!
I don’t know about you, but I’m always one who wants to keep things on the cheap – and a lot of times, that makes me a big proponent of DIYing stuff. But in some cases, I need a little help, and that usually means business is GOOD, am I right?
Anyway, like many small businesses, BlissFireMedia does not have the budget for a bunch of full-time employees (YET!), but it sometimes has projects that can be done faster or more effectively with help from a good freelancer or contractor.
So I had to step away from the fear of hiring. Jump into the freelance market and find someone who fits with your energy and your mission and goals – and join forces to create your team.
Another idea – if you have a local high school or college that has an intern or co-op program, you might be able to get some help at a low cost for basic office stuff and even social media management or marketing tips.
There are so many different ways that “building one’s team” can be interpreted here, right? But stick with me, I’ll talk more about other types of teams in upcoming steps.
Tip #5 Build & Grow Your Blog & Website
Your blog and website offer a ton of benefits for you and your business. I’m going to list just a few, but when you check out that resources page I mentioned at OnlineWritingPro.com or GoAskAngie.com/Periscope, you can find more info on this.
First the obvious – it offers you a place to put your products and services on display for the world to see, and ideally, purchase or get more information, at the least.
Second, and this is why you want to blog on a regular schedule, your blog offers even more benefit to you for both the search engines AND your potential clients. For search engines, each time you publish a new post, you put another little tentacle out for the Google algorithm to find.
Third, regular blogging on a particular niche will quickly establish you as an expert ini your field. That’s because, not only would you be exhaustively covering the topic, but you’ll continue to learn about it as you do – and since you become the SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT, you become a valuable source of knowledge for both your readers and your potential new clients .
And Google is always fond of a well-recognized expert in a niche, I promise, and this is especially true when there’s high-quality, regular and original content pumping out of their blogs.
Tip #6: Network & Join Forces with other businesses, groups and individuals. For example, you can join niche-related support groups, various mastermind groups (I totally love my UCI mastermind group!), online networking groups and more. You can also do some local networking
(Don’t let that scare you! I get nervous too, believe me – but check out that resources page for my “Ultimate Guide to In-Person Networking” – it helps! And don’t worry, they won’t make fun of you if your hands shake!!)
You get the idea.
Oh – and on another note, you can, in some cases, sell your services or products at a wholesale rate to larger buyers or for white-labeling.
For example, I have one company client that actually “White Labels” ME! Yes, and it was my idea – it goes back to the team building thing – she hired me to work as her company’s social media and blogging “department” so to speak,. Makes her small business look good and helps keep my small business in the black. It’s a win-win!
Tip #7: Expand to Related Markets. This is a quick tip – whatever products or services you have to offer might easily be tweaked for a related target market. Example? If you developed a coaching program for stay at home moms, you can consider developing a similar one that’s geared at WAHMs and moms who work outside the house. A great example of someone who rocks it like that is FlyLady.com – she’s one of the pioneers of the blog to paycheck deal – and she’s amazing. I’ve actually done a couple of case studies on her.
Tip #8: Use your expert status to gain more marketing and networking opportunities. You can do this all kinds of ways – for example, you can create a email series that teaches your reader how to solve a problem. Make it good, but you’d just give them a bite sized amount of info each day for however many days you decide the series will be.
This could easily be used as an optin offer – well, I won’t go into opt-in offers now but please see the resources page I mentioned for a link to a guide to creating an irresistible opt-in (but wait til the end of my scope here haha).
Other ways to use that expert status to your advantage include:
- speaking gigs
- teaching online classes or courses – get paid to demonstrate and teach your skills via sites like Udemy, LinkedIn’s new baby Lynda.com, or on your own platform.
- in-person classes – do this at your local churches or with community groups, support groups or local business groups. One good way to get in touch with local business owners is through your local chambers of commerce. You can also look into smaller groups, like if you run a landscaping or housekeeping service, maybe you target home owners associations in wealthy subdivisions, or if you own a holistic healing business, maybe you partner with some local health-related support groups and even maybe groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and similar ones.
Tip #9 – If you’re local, go national? If you’re national, go local.
So, for me, I’ve always worked with clients all over the world, which I love. But that meant not that many in-person meetings and not a lot of local connection on the business level. I almost preferred to deal in a virtual only setting. Now I’ve expanded my horizons and realized that my local area also offers plenty of room for me, and I’ve come to truly enjoy those face-to-face meetings with my clients.
On the same note, if you’re currently only local, you can totally look for ways to go national via your online presence – if you sell a physical product, can it be shipped or stocked in retail stores? If you sell a service, can you expand to an online version? Think about this kind of stuff, and think outside the box.
This brings me to my final tip of the night – tip #10. Consider the Possibilities of Franchises and Affiliates
This might not be conducive to LITERALLY every business model, but it can definitely make almost any entrepreneur an extra few bucks.
Think you can’t get people to sell your stuff? Think again – and think about ways you could easily scale your product to grow outside the market it currently lives in.
That’s a whole other scope for a whole other day – but while you’re thinking on that one, make sure you visit the resources page at either GoAskAngie.com/Periscope or OnlineWritingPro,com/Periscope. I’ve left you a little something special at the bottom.
Well, that’s it for me today. I’ll see you all tomorrow for the next in this series!
This is Angie Atkinson, signing off and reminding you that if you can believe it, you can achieve it! Here’s to your success! Have a great night everyone.
Links and Resources Mentioned in the Broadcast
Thank you so much for catching my ‘scope today! Here are the links and resources I mentioned in the broadcast.
- Take Your Blog to the Next Level
- Step-by-Step Tutorials
- How to Keep Your Subscribers Coming Back
- Niche Blogging: Creating Content that Converts
- How to Keep Your Subscribers Coming Back
- Free Social Media Hacking eCourse
- What Google Analytics Can Tell You About Your Blog and Website
- How to Install Google Analytics on Your Blog/Website
- Ultimate Guide to In-Person Networking for Online Writers
- The Ultimate Guide to Using Social Media Networks to Drive Subscribers to Your Blog
- How to Create an Irresistable Opt-in Offer
- Using Your Auto-Responder to Interact with Blog Readers and Clients
- Your Ultimate Guide to Creating a Viral Blog Post
Other Sites I Mentioned:
- AngelaAtkinson.me (My online one-pager)
Outside Sites Mentioned
Special: Viral Blog Post Cheat Sheet
(Right Click to Save to Your Computer, Long-Click to Save on Phone)