“What is the number one thing I should be focusing on in the first 6-12 months in my business?”. I get asked this ALL-THE-FRICKEN-TIME! Depending on who you ask… some people will say sales, some will say systems and others strategy.
But, here’s my take on it. Your community and connections ARE EVERYTHING! And, here’s why…
- You can’t sell without a community
- Your systems won’t work without a community to go through them
- Your strategy will only work if you have a warm and ready to buy community
So, if you’re in the first stages of entrepreneurship, this is how you build your online community…
Know who you’re serving
You might think you know your online community. But, “female coach aged 24-35” isn’t going to cut it! You need to know what makes them tick, what their deepest darkest desires are. The real nitty-gritty kinda stuff!
How do you find that out? Simple, ASK! Chatting with people in the DM’s or popping some poll questions on your IG stories are a great way to do some market research. If you can get people on a call, even better! Ask some of the people you’re already connecting with if they would mind taking part in some market research. Make it clear it’s purely for research and that you’re not going to try and sell to them afterwards. You could even compensate them to with a small gift card or offering something like a free 30 min strategy session.
When you know you’re serving. Their wants, needs and struggles. You can start to…
Provide real value to your online community
Why do you need to give value? To build trust. The more you help your community with knowledge, content and resources, the more trust you build and the more you stand out as an authority. All this free ‘value’ you’re giving them will warm them up to you, your brand, your products or services.
But, how do you give value to your community? They want tangible value that helps them accomplish, solve, or benefit from something. The most effective way of doing this is creating “how-to” style content. Anytime you show someone how to do something themselves, you’re establishing trust.
If you want to learn more about giving value to your audience, I wrote a whole post on Creating Content That Converts Your Ideal Clients.
Serve, support and SELL to your online community
Yes, you want to serve. Yes, you want to support. But, you need to sell. Whether you feel confident in doing it or not, you are here to exchange your energy. That mortgage isn’t paying itself at the end of the day.
Now, I know selling yourself isn’t everyone’s favourite thing to do. I get it! But, selling doesn’t need to be sleazy or pushy. One of my favourite ways to do this is through IG stories. It’s super engaging and feels like a casual conversation rather than a sales pitch.
Here’s a simple formula you can follow…
Slide 1: Ask a question. E.g. “Do you struggle with x y x?”
Slide 2: Agitate/ break down the pain points. E.g “Does this sound like you…”
Slide 3: Tease the solution. E.g. “What if I told you there was an easier way?”
Slide 4: Introduce your service.
Slide 5: Explain how you can help. Break down the features into more detail.
Slide 6: Share some feedback. E.g. “Here’s what others who have done my programme have said…”
Slide 7: CTA. E.g. “If you want to know more go to the link in my bio”.
This formula works when talking to the camera, using photos and text overlay, or using some funky graphics you created in Canva.
When you put your online community first, all the other things will just fall into place!
If you’re a new entrepreneur and you’re having trouble figuring out where to even start, I’m here to support you! Let’s jump on a call and see where I can help. Get in touch HERE or connect with me on Instagram.