I've learned the business basics so you can be successful online and attract clients without begging them to work with you. That's a fact.
This is my 7th year in business for myself. I have flushed lots of money down the toilet so you don't have to. You're welcome.
I only learned those strategies because I'm horrible at chasing people down who aren't interested in my business. And I really hate being the David Silver in a crowd, tagging along, hoping someone would invest in my music career. #90210
As I have grown my business I've made a shit ton of mistakes. But I've learned from them and that is the important part. You can't grow a business without making mistakes. However, I do try to guide you so that you can avoid some of the mistakes that I've made.
8 out of 10 businesses fail within 18 months.
One reason why businesses fail is because they have no clue what the customer is really thinking and wanting. Those deep thoughts they rarely share with the world.
When I closed my design business I wanted to help designers. I'd been there and there were no awesome resources to help them do that. But, I did no market research and thought that they all would want a website and graphics only because I knew a website was crucial (but its only one part of the success). But that wasn't what they really wanted. I couldn't push myself to ask what they really wanted.
I attracted other entrepreneurs to my business, but only a few designers. During the time when I did work with designers on their websites, I started to really understand that the same core problems I had experienced in the beginning with my design business, were the same ones they were struggling with.
They need visibility, clients, and cash. So I started to really expand my knowledge on how businesses worked. I still at this time had no solid idea how I got my clients. They just seemed to appear with no rhyme or reason.
When the mobile devices started taking over I realized that designing a website was going to be a lot harder for awhile. I'd have to start expanding my knowledge into code for all sorts of devices and that took my joy away from designing websites. That's when I shifted gears and changed my business again.
I wanted to help interior designers get the visibility they needed with Iron & Magnolia. Where I wanted to leverage my traffic so my clients could get seen. However, I didn't realize at the time while I could get them more eyeballs on their business, I felt that I was doing them a disservice because I wasn't showing them how to "fish" for their own clients.
Which moved me on to my current business. With all the years of knowledge, trial and error and implementing endless strategies I nailed down what works and what doesn't.
That doesn't mean though that during that time people were looking at me cross-eyed at what I was doing with my business. They did. I totally get why. But many of them didn't understand that sometimes it takes a while to blaze your own path to success.
I wanted the six-figure success that everyone was talking about. I didn't want to do the things necessary to get there UNTIL it seemed like I tried everything else that failed first.
The basics of building a successful business are:
Know what your client's pain points are.
Make sure you're different at solving them than everyone else. This doesn't mean using weird terminology to describe what you do, but more that you monetize yourself, which is a part of the experience of hiring you.
Clearly, communicate what your solution is.
Know that you are the boss and you must lead your business. You can't relegate your important business decisions to the opinions of others.
Figure out how you make money to meet your income goals.
The business basics aren't always easy to figure out, but they are crucial. These are the basics that most entrepreneurs don't want to stop and figure out. If you don't figure these out, your business will probably fail.
Please. Don't skip these steps. Take the time to figure out the basics to your business. It's crucial to finding the freedom you've been dreaming of.
Alycia Wicker is an interior design business coach specializing in online marketing strategies.Her clients land more of their own dream clients and make more cash, period. Celebrity gossip whore. Elvis-obsessed.