How to Increase Sales When You are Just Starting Out In Small Business
How to increase sales in your small business is a question for the ages, isn’t it? As I sit here right now, my blog is turning 1 month old and gets, on average 50 views a day when I do no promotion on social media. WITH social media promotion, you can add another 50 to that number. (Oooooo yeah, baby. I’m runnin’ with the top dawgs now!!)
Normally, a blogger would try to hide these numbers…beef up their content a little make their audience believe they are a huge success. HA! Well, consider my “beefing up” more like a “ground turkey”. :/
So, why am I showing you this? What’s the purpose? Because, for me, these numbers are JUST the beginning of my success story. Look, if it’s one thing I’m NOT new to, it’s blogging and small business. My last blog had, on average, 1,500 views a day on a slow day. Not too shabby!
With my previous expertise, an average of only 50 to 100 views per day, and beginnings of some pretty bad ass SEO… I’ve managed to launch and sell my first course for a profit of $300 in the last week and a half. (Can you IMAGINE how those numbers are going to look when I’m grabbing 1,000 page views in a day?)
So how am I doing it?
Develop a routine
It’s taken me 33 years, but I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that…while I love mornings, I HATE being awake for them. I’ve also come to terms with the fact that I am NOT 21 anymore and should probably wake up before noon. *sigh* Such is life. My routine, right now, consists of waking up at 8:30, eating breakfast, watching the news and stretching and exercising…even a lil’ laundry. I have an alarm set for 11am, which is when I am allowed to start working. NOT A SECOND BEFORE! Usually, I spend a lot of my morning thinking about what I need to accomplish for the day…so by the time that alarm goes off, I’m like a horse chomping at the bit! I’m ready to start on those projects and write those blog posts!!
My alarm goes off again at 5:30, when it’s time to put down the keyboard, make dinner, play some cell phone games and catch up on House of Cards. A simple routine like this helps to create expectations for my work day! It also helps to set expectations for friends and family who want me to come out and play. 🙂
Schedule the next day the night before
On top of my daily alarm schedule, every night I write my to-do list for the next day. For me, it’s a small leather bound book…nothing fancy! I date the next page by hand…and copy anything that I didn’t finish during the current day over into the next. Then, of course, I add anything new that needs to happen.
I keep the notebook next to my bed, since my brain doesn’t really like shutting off in the evenings. Yeah…I’m one of those “Eureka!”, sit straight up in bed at 2am, people.
Niche down what I teach and who I teach it to
This is where the selling REALLY starts. If your blog is all over the place…you aren’t going to make the sales. It’s as simple as that. Now, I know what you are thinking…”but figuring out my niche is the hardest part!!!”
In the beginning, it is!! You’re right!! There are two things to remember when coming up with your target topic AND your target customer. First…it’s going to take a little time. Most of the time, you’ll have to try a few things…knock ’em off the list as a failure, and try the next thing on the list.
Finally, a technical tip. Make sure you are utilizing your blog’s categories! I recommend creating three or four categories that belong in the niche you are aiming for! Make sure you LOVE writing about these topics. Each time you start writing a blog post or page, assess your subject matter…and if it doesn’t within one of those categories perfectly, then you are not writing for your audience. Setting your readers’ expectations is the name of the game!! They have to know WHAT they are getting every time they show up to get it. Every blog post of mine has to do with creating traffic in some way, shape, or form. It’s a topic I am passionate about…and a topic I know INCREDIBLY well.
Make sure you are genuinely excited about EVERYTHING you produce
I said it previously…but let me reiterate! If you aren’t passionate about the topic you are writing on, or if you know (in your heart) that you are writing it for selfish reasons (for example, you write a post on “how to get 1,000 people to your blog everyday” when you are only getting 50-100) then you need to change directions. YOU will sell. Not what you THINK sells will sale.
When you think of a new blog post…your immediate reaction shouldn’t be “oh!! That will get people to click!” Your immediate reaction should be “Oh…THAT is an awesome topic!” You should have the first paragraph mentally written before you even jot the idea down!!! Yes, wanting to increase traffic and make more money are admirable…we are business people, I’d be lying if I told you those weren’t my motives as well!! BUT, my first motive is always great content. ALWAYS. PS…it falls under the same category…but CREATE EPIC SHIT! If you aren’t proud of it and smiling like a crazy when you hit publish…it wasn’t epic.
Create a kick-ass sales funnel
Sales funnels are NOT my forte…but I finally had to bite the bullet and sit down and write one last week. Know what? I’ve made 2 sales since spending 6 hours getting it uploaded and put together. (You can see my sales funnel in action if you download the 21 day SEO Checklist from the pink bar above!!) When I first started sales funnels, I thought “These are so cheesy!! Dear lord, I’m the new cold caller.” Ugh.
But then, I started to realize how MANY times I’ve purchased something from a sales funnel. How many times have I received VALUE from someone else’s sales funnel? A ton!! In fact, my whole business is based on knowledge that was dropped from other blogger’s sales funnels! Whether they’ve given me freebies, $7 downloads or $200 courses! Mad knowledge was dropped people!!
So, I began approaching my sales funnel from THAT perspective. It’s not about selling someone on your product. It’s about SHOWING them that they need it. More tweaking needs to be done…it’s not perfect…but it’s pretty damn awesome. 🙂
Never stop developing new ideas
Most of the time, what I stream all day is either the news…or fairly poorly done biographies of historical figures on History Channel. What?? I’m an addict. 0_o Yesterday, I watched a movie about Walt Disney…and although it was pretty shitty, the story it told was pretty damn amazing. Disney is one of those people that has been SO inherent in my life since I was a child, that he’s become just as “characterized” as the duck and mouse he created. I always imagined that he’d led a charmed life. Off the farm as a kid, straight into a studio…finally into his own studio hanging with the toon characters he loved.
EHHHH…WRONG. That man failed. That man failed HARD. But the one thing he NEVER did, was call it quits. If one idea failed, or became tainted, or was stolen…he fumed like a normal human being (still feels weird to think of Disney as a human being), then moved onto his next big idea. He learned from each failure, and let it move him forward…building on every new idea until he found the right one in the right place.
You know what’s even better? EVERY successful entrepreneur has this story. Every. Last. One. Of. Them. So when my ideas fail, I just remember that I am one stepping stone closer to THE big idea.
“Feelings of disappointment can either drown you, or shape you.” – Walt Before Mickey
Assess your progress with equal one part realism and one part optimism
This is another “entrepreneur” engrained thought process….although the “realism” part is sometimes difficult. It’s important, especially in this day and age of digital competition, to be able to pivot in your ideas. You can’t get SO wrapped up in your love for an idea, that you can see the forest for the trees. You HAVE to assess your product and your audience…and if your product is failing, something needs to change. There is a VERY good chance that you are not the only one in your field. You PROBABLY have some pretty steep competition. So you need to be able to see your idea with a fresh set of eyes…not just the eyes of a creator.
Remember that time when you were a kid, and you drew that picture for your parents? Remember how you thought it was AMAZING?? The best in your class?? The most gorgeous stick person with curly hair standing outside of their house that anyone had every seen???? SUCH DETAIL!!! And I’m sure…you are, by now, on your way to becoming the next Rembrandt. (Sorry if my sarcasm offends.) That is EXACTLY how your brain is focusing in on your current product.
It’s WONDERFUL to be excited about your business! To just…KNOW that it is going to succeed! That’s the cornerstone of a successful entrepreneur!! But you also need to be realistic. Don’t waste time on something that TRULY isn’t going to work.
Stop Being a Chicken Shit!
No seriously!!! You know who you are! You have this awesome product, but for some reason, you don’t want to tell anyone about it. You don’t want to toot your own horn. TOOT, DAMN IT!!!
Everyday, I have TWO things in my routine that will tell a new audience about my course. Every day at 11AM, I get on Facebook and participate in groups that allow me to share my blog posts and my big projects. Of course, “participate” means tweeting and commenting on OTHER people’s post as well, so I usually keep the groups to 4 or 5. Then, on top of that, I’ve worked out a schedule to promote the course throughout the week! The key to this schedule being a success is the interaction between myself and my followers. I don’t just put up a blog, a periscope or a Pin and walk away. I create conversation.
- Mondays it’s blog posts (late on this one…but hey!! It’s out!).
- Tuesday it’s Periscope and Facebook Live.
- Wednesday it’s another blog post.
- Thursdays it’s my newsletter
- Fridays it’s Instagram and Pinterest
Saturdays and Sundays are mine. If I choose to work, I will…but for the most part, I try to keep these days chillax.
Focus on kick ass SEO for each individual post
Anyone who’s been on this blog before, knows my obsession with Search Engine Optimization. It’s never failed me before…and I give you 10 to 1 that it doesn’t fail me now. I spend about 30 minutes on each post (before and after it’s been written) optimizing it to be found in Google. Within about a month, if I keep this up, my traffic will triple based on this alone. SEO, these days, involved more than just keywords. It involves a combination of social media, bounce rate, key phrases, post length, and so much more. It takes time, but you are optimizing your writing so that it will be available to your audience MONTHS from now after you’ve moved on to another topic.
I KNOW SEO is a beast. I know it’s an intimidating topic…and you’ve probably been putting it off for a while now. Most of the folks I’ve spoken with have said they just…didn’t know where to start.
Lemme help you out with that! 🙂 Click in the yellow box to download the “SEO Rookie: 21 Days to An Optimized Website” Checklist! It’s literally EVERY aspect of social media you need, broken down into bite sized bits. From there, you can take each topic, and do some kick ass research on your own OR you can join us in the “SEO Rookie: 21 Days to Double Your WordPress Traffic” COURSE!
Whew!!! 2000 words later and I think carpal tunnel is setting in! 0_o
I know a lot of you guys were looking for some hard fast ways to create sales just starting out…and I think that is what I’ve given you. Remember…this blog is a baby too, and I’ve already produced an income in two weeks that will pay rent if it keeps on growing!
If you have any questions about how I’ve done it, or the course…or…well…ANYTHING! Leave your comments below!! I get back to EVERYONE, so don’t be shy!
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