1. Get a website. Don't rely on social media or other marketplaces solely. Why? Because. Facebook or Instagram could change their algorithms tomorrow and you could get lost in the pile. Remember 6 years when everyone saw your Facebook business page's posts without you having to shell out cash? Yeah. Me too. Good times. What if the marketplace you rely on goes poo poo or starts charging crazy fees? Can your business handle that? You don't know. So get something that's all yours.
- Buy a domain (I recommend GoDaddy)
- Sign up with a website builder (I ONLY recommend Squarespace)
- Load it up with content (here are the essentials)
- Design it! Show off your branding or hire someone to do it for you.
2. Start blogging. OMG I know. When I started blogging four or five years ago, I was like, "This is a freaking chore!" It was a chore because I didn't have anything really to talk about. I didn't have anything to talk about because I hadn't unearthed my mission yet. I was blogging almost every day about nothing really valuable. I thought I had to blog everyday and I wore myself out, to the point where I quit doing it for a year. Until I finally found my sweet spot.
Ladies, we ALL have something to say. We all have a topic that we could go on for hours and hours about. Especially if we don't get a chance to during the day. I work from home and my kids are here with me. I would love (and do alot) to talk my husbands ear off when he gets home from work about what I do and why I do it. But, let's be honest, he doesn't really want to hear about that all of the time. So, blogging is really just another creative outlet for you. You don't have to be a professional writer or have mad grammar skills. I sure as hell don't. I just write. I get it all out. You guys, this is such an embarrassing thing to admit and it's probably very noticeable, but I rarely even go back and read my posts a second time...Yeah. That's how I roll and that's how I've always done things. I trust my gut with everything that I have. If you don't like what I have to say then there a thousand other blogs to read.
That's the kind of attitude you need to have. You jus take that plunge and get your words out there. Show off what you know. Remember when you first started your business and you were Googling things like, "how to take product photos" or "how to make goats milk soap" or "where should I buy my organic ingredients from." Hello, blog topic ideas! Get in the mind of who you were and what your problems were at that time and do a brain dump. Write everything down. Do you see how helpful you could be?
3. Become the authority. Once you have your website up and you're excited to start blogging, think about how you can become the authority in what you do. I know there are sooo many businesses out there like yours, but don't let that intimidate you or stop you. Do you know what three thousand online businesses who sell non-toxic skincare products don't have? You. This is where people get a little confused and discouraged. We see so many lifestyle blogs out there and we think have to be one of those. You don't. If you choose to, great. But, I think this is what intimidates alot of wannabe bloggers out there. So, get that thought out of the way. Make a list of things that make your business special. This could be:
- materials and supplies you use
- a special technique
- a special situation that serves as your main purpose for doing what you do
- unique ingredients
The list could go on and on. Once you have a list of about 5-10 (maybe even more) things that make you special then ask yourself, would my audience love to know and would they benefit from knowing what kind of ingredients I use in my bath soap? Umm yeah! People love to know the WHAT and the WHY. What's in it? And why do you use it? Make them interested in what you do. Make them want more.
4. Create a Facebook group. And for the love of God, ask them before you just throw them in there. I know some people don't care and some may even like it, but I think it's just good manners to ask before you take someone somewhere. We don't do that in real life do we? No. Why don't those rules apply online? Hell if I know. So anyways, create a Facebook group that makes your followers, readers, and customers feel all comfy, safe, and warm. Name it something cute and exclusive. Make it private. And don't be spammy. Make sure they know you're all ears and be helpful and provide value. Just like if you would invite someone to your home. How do you get people to come to your group you say? Create a post and invite them! Send people private messages (no group messages!) and tell them about it and ask them if they'd like to join. Write a blog post about it. Create an Instagram post talking about. Pinterest. All that good stuff!
5. Start a newsletter. Am I overwhelming you yet? Don't get overwhelmed. A newsletter can be as easy as letting your subscribers know you have a new blog post out. Or compile the links at the end of the month and do a summary of all the blog posts. Get creative. You already have your blog as an outlet so maybe use your email newsletter as something to remind them that this is out there. Sometimes people just forget you have one and they need you to hold their hand and show them where it is again. No biggie. You're happy to do it right?
6. Be consistent. We definitely hear this all of the time. But, it is worth repeating because it is so important. It takes time to grow your business. You have to realize that first. But, if you take the time to show up every day and be consistent, I guarantee you it will pay off. Staying consistent can be quite difficult when you have other priorities like a full time job and a family, but that why you do things like plan ahead. Some things that I do to save my sanity:
- Batch my blog posts-I write a blog post once a week and I make it a goal to write 4 of them a month ahead of schedule.
- I use apps like Later and IFTTT to make posting easier
- Batch my Instagram posts-I plan out a months worth of posts in the matter of a couple of hours so I avoid the panic of "omg! I haven't posted anything today!" Here's a training on how to do that!