New entrepreneurs look to established business owners for guidance. What are they doing right? What are they doing wrong? It’s like a child who is all grown up and is following all their parents taught them. Is that really you? Weren’t you the kid with the red solo cup jumping in pools? Aren’t you tired of following the status quo and being a drone?
Sure there are some keys to building a successful business owner. Like showing up. Being responsible. Having integrity. Being honest. Answering the phone. But do you really have to follow all the “rules” they say you have to in order to succeed?
You need six landing pages.
You need a pop up opt in (annoying as hell).
You need to use a bright red subscribe button to get their attention.
Build your email list in 30 days. If not, you’re a failure.
Blog. Tweet. Post. Share. Like. Curate. Connect. Network. Conference. Pin. #socialmediaburnout #businessrebel
Respond to email right away.
Post an Instagram pic on TBT (Throwback Thursday).
Share everything in your life.
20% content, 80% marketing.
The only way to succeed is to sign up for _________ (adlib it. You know you want to.)
I call bull.
Pave your own path, but use the foundation that is already laid. Break all the rules and prove them wrong. Be a business rebel.
1. Stop listening to others
Seriously. Just because Aunt Susan’s neighbor’s daughter opened up a shop on Orange Street and is uber successful and is pulling in six figures within two weeks of business does not mean you can. That doesn’t mean you should quit doing this because you just weren’t cut from the special cloth. Are you even passionate about selling puppy hoodies? You cannot run a food truck exactly how the neighbor’s daughter runs her chic poodle shop. Her target market may not even be in the same realm as your ideal customer. Heck – six figures tho? There may some tidbits of business savvy you can borrow from her. Negotiate a catering gig to compliment her adoption event. Boom! You get her contacts exposed to your deliciousness. While the two of you are talking over fried butter pick her brain. Make mental notes and incorporate them into your six figure plan.
2. Hustle like your life depended upon it
The secret to being a successful entrepreneur is to keep moving forward. Even when you are tired, or hangry (hungry + angry), or just not feeling the inspiration. Keep moving forward. Make contacts. Follow up on those contacts. Reach out. Build relationships. Keep putting out your best work. Learn how other industry leaders hustled and built their business. Speak to them. Let them influence you not give you a blueprint.
3. Choose quality over quantity
We hear all the time how growing your email is vital to your business. The more peeps you can reach the more people are exposed to your brand and the more paying customers you will get. Right? If you have 2 gajilion (yup just made it up) subscribers but only 1% buy your product, why did the other 99% sign up? Were you offering something free? Is it cuz’ you’re cute? If only 1% is purchasing your product, 99% aren’t that into you. I know – jaw dropping. I would rather have 10 loyal quality customers than 5 gazillion that don’t interact with me. Wouldn’t you? Even if I could brag about the numbers at a chamber event.
4. Be an Authority Right Out of the gate
Yes I said it. Have enough confidence that you are the one they have been waiting for. You don’t need 100 subscribers, ten feature articles, and seven years in the biz to be an authority. You had enough guts to become an entrepreneur. Now show them what you are made of, and what service or product that you have that will solve their problem. You know your stuff. Now spread the word why they should buy/hire/follow you. Tell them how awesome you are and share that knowledge like double chocolate cake at a birthday party.
5. Make fun of yourself
And your mistakes. We all have them. We have all fallen flat on our face in front of the cool kids. We like to read this stuff and feel that the people we are spending our spare time and hard earned money on are human, not corporate Stepford Wives. Share your mistakes with your tribe (buzzword alert!). Find humor and laugh at yourself. It is the best medicine. Let them know you are just like them but with the secret solution they have always wanted. Create that emotional connection with them. (BTW this really works for your business name too. Get your snarky friends all in a room and see if they can make fun of your brand name before you go public and embarrass yourself. No one wants Andy’s Special Sundae’s initials on their shirt. Ok read it again if you missed it).
6. Be You
There is no one else like you. Be authentic and true to your brand. Forget about what your competitors are doing and be the entrepreneur that they follow. The one they secretly Facebook stalk to see what the next big event/info/class is going to be. Know that you are worth more than you think. The knowledge/service/product that you bring to the table cannot be duplicated. They can try, but they aren’t you. They can’t replicate perfection.