Because you're reading this I'm picking you're either thinking about starting an online business or you've done and you're finding it's not quite as easy as some people make it look online right?!
Well, I've done it and today I'm going to share with you a few key tips I learnt along the way- plus some truth bombs about what really has to go down in order for you to start making any sort of serious money with this. The truth hurts ladies so beware!
Things I did to make $10,000 in one night launching my online business- that you can do too 😉
1. I started growing my community well before I launched my product.
In June 2016 I launched a free support group for NZ women in business. It wasn't until December of that year that I launched my first product- 6 months later.
This was not an accident- I knew if I wanted to have a successful launch I needed to have someone to launch it to. So I started a Facebook Group, and turned it into a highly engaged and valuable space that offered women a safe place to connect and collaborate with each other. By the time of this launch I had 5,000 highly engaged members.
TIP 1: If you are thinking of launching a business soon my advice to you is this- start building your audience now. Even if you only have an email option page with a simply 'coming soon- sign up for our exciting launch specials' message.
As soon as you have your idea, get out there and start putting yourself and your message across to your customers, and build that list! Then when you open the doors, you'll have people lined up and ready to buy.
2. I attracted the right type of people to my community.
There is no point in having a group of 30,000 people if a they are not the right type of people to buy your product. I knew that I wanted to offer some kind of support to women in business. Possibly a course or membership platform that supports them through the ups and downs of business isolation and growth.
So, even though my group is for 'NZ women in business' I knew that my target demographic was not ALL NZ women in business. Someone making millions of dollars or running a large corporation might not need my help. So got more specific than that. I decided my community would be a grassroots community.
A place where newbies and solopreneurs who need more support felt welcomed and valued. I dedicated the first 6 months of the groups existing to nurturing those people and establishing our community as the place for them to feel supported and encouraged on their journey.
TIP 2: Before you start building your community, think hard about who your target customer is- what their values are, what their pain points are and how you can make their day better. This will help you create content that truly engages them and allows you to quickly build credibility and trust
3. I talked to my customers and asked them what they wanted
While I grew my community I asked my customers a lot of questions and polled them about their biggest business challenges. I learnt a lot about what keeps them awake at night and the difficulties they faced as women in business.
I would also put product ideas forward and get feedback from my audience about what appealed to them. Doing this meant I was validating my idea before I spent any money- a much less risky approach and one I felt much more confident with.
TIP 3: Think you know your customers and what they want? Think again! Try and get in front of some of your customers for some genuine feedback on your product or service idea. It's much, much better to hear in the early stages of your venture that your product is flawed- so you can revise it and move forward quickly- than to plug on with your blinders on hoping that something is going to change.
You must be brave to do this if you already have your product idea! But I urge you to be just that- the best growth decisions can come from the hardest feedback ❤️.
4. I created urgency around my launch
Did you know that your customer is faced with making something ridiculous like 35,000 decisions in a day? How, when you are competing with that, are you ever going to get your product or service in front of them at the right time and then convince them to take action to buy?!
Yes it's hard. But you can help by creating a sense of urgency around your launch.
One of the most popular ways to create urgency is by using what they call an open and shut model- where you only open the doors to access to your programme or course a few times a year. FOMO is a huge activator can be one of the best ways to encourage people to jump on board.
However, you might not want to use this type of model as running a launch every few months can be quite a lot of work and very stressful. So, if you choose an evergreen model, where your product is available all of the time, you need to think of other ways to create urgency.
Some of these could be:
• Sharing with my community the progress of the launch. Update posts letting them know what I'd created that day. Reminders of when the launch was *hopefully(!)* going to kick off. Behind the scenes shots of what I was creating
• Offering an amazing limited time only founding members deal, where founding members got a very special one time only price for supporting an early stage venture
• Running competitions or giveaways for people who signed up during the launch. For my first launch I gave away 5 one to one coaching sessions which were really popular
• Adding limited time only bonuses on to your membership package- purchase this week and also get access to x webinar or training
TIP 4: Before you get started planning your launch, decide on your strategy. Will you go evergreen or open and shut model? How will you create urgency around your launch? What will you offer to generate interest and how will you propel people to take action?
5. I focussed on customer experience
I don't think any woman in business likes the idea of bad feedback! But sometimes, we become SO consumed with the hustle of getting people through the front door, we forget to welcome them inside and get them comfy on the couch.
I've been in business 15 years and what I have learnt is that by far the best form of marketing is WORD OF MOUTH. So I've concentrated hard on underpromising and overdelivering so that when people do give me the honour of becoming one of our VIP Members, they feel they're not just getting what's promised- but a little bit more 'magic' as well.
TIP 5: So forget taking pretty Instagram pics for a second and start taking a good hard look at your customer journey, every single touchpoint your have with you customer and how they are feeling along the way.
Then, think about how you can surprise and delight them even more at every step along the journey. These don't have to be high cost- sometimes just special wording on an auto generated email can make a persons day better. Do remarkable things for your customers, and your customers will do the hard work for you by recommending their friends to your business.
The truth bombs
I'm going to go full disclosure here and confess I did a lot of things wrong with my launch (even though I made $10,000 in one night).
• I didn't work hard enough to convert my Facebook Group members to mailing list sign ups (I had less than 500 people on my email list when I launched)
• I had grand plans to do a free webinar leading to a special price for the launch, but didn't get around to planning the webinar content so that fell off the shelf
• I didn't set up my sales funnel or Facebook Ads. The only places I promoted my launch where in my Facebook Group and to my small email list. I didn't call on any of my existing network to help me promote the launch and get more people signing up
You might be thinking well then she didn't do much work and the launch went well so what's the problem there? Well the problem is threefold- firstly- just imagine what we could have done if I had done that stuff?!
Secondly, yes there was a lot I didn't do, but there was also a lot I did do. I nurtured my community every single day. Gave a lot of free time and advice to build know like and trust. Sometimes, I probably spent time working on the wrong things, instead of some of the things above.
And lastly, even though I made $10,000 in one night, there have been 365 days since I launched the business, and in business every. single. one. of those days counts.
So yes, a $10,000 in a night launch sounds good, but the real trick to business is creating a sales funnel that works hard to bring you in income consistently and allows you to build a sustainable business.
So the next chapter for me is working even harder on customer experience and customer retention, fine tuning my systems, allowing for outsourcing and figuring out how to get money in the door every day.
So sorry ladies, there is NO quick win. *sigh*. You have to put the work in to get the results, and even when you DO put there work in, there is always MORE you could have done to get a better result!
BUT. That is the beauty of this journey called business. It's a steep, ongoing learning curve and wow I'm already 15 years in!
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