Perfection is the biggest business killer out there. In this episode, I’m sharing why you need to do B- work to grow a successful business today.
My husband, David, and I are currently enjoying coaching our first group of students, and there are some business principles and practices that I want to share with you, my podcast audience, because I think they can help you as you build your online business.
I recorded this episode on March 13, 2020. Things have changed drastically since I recorded the last episode. If you’re worried or afraid, please know that we are all right there with you.
These are uncertain times and we must stick together, (6 feet apart) in order to make it through.
I want to hear from you on what you’re doing to grow your business during this time of uncertainty. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and share how you’re handling the new normal of working at home or having your kids home with you full-time.
What Is Emergent Business Growth?
Have you ever noticed how businesses start in your city or town? There seem to be 2 main ways to build a business that I’ve noticed.
First is the “top-down” approach.
This starts with a piece of land being completely leveled and prepared for a building to be built from the ground up. There is a plan for everything that will take place, from the building itself to the businesses that will inhabit it.
Inventory is planned, employees are hired, everything is thought through and the plan is put into place, a step at a time, and in the perfect order that was decided beforehand.
And then there is the “emergent” approach.
Here in Austin where we live, it’s not uncommon to go through a part of the city that’s a bit run down, and one day, see that a new coffee shop is opening in one of the older buildings. A few months later, a record store might open a few doors down, followed by a sushi restaurant.
This is what I refer to as “emergent business growth.”
It’s taking things one step at a time, but in an organic way that allows you to take your next steps based on what’s already working.
I think emergent growth is the perfect way to grow your online business.
It may look messy from the outside, but sometimes the best things happen in the midst of a mess.
A Look at Our Business Growth
I wanted to briefly take a look at the businesses that David and I have created as an example of emergent business growth because what we’ve done is exactly what I’m talking about.
*I go into a lot of detail in the episode about these businesses, so tune in for more details than I’m able to share in this post!
Our first business was Catch My Party, which is a social sharing photo site around parties.
We were looking for ways to grow our traffic to that site, and our MiloTree pop-up was born, which we then began to offer to other bloggers.
But since a plug-in isn’t a very personal business, I started this podcast in order to connect with other bloggers and those who use our product.
Then, my listeners started emailing me about the struggles they faced setting up their blogs, so we developed our BlogStart service, where we will set up your WordPress blog for you.
But we wanted to do more, so we decided to work with small groups of bloggers and pour all of our knowledge and expertise into them through our group coaching program.
Our businesses may not seem to go together at first, but they are each just the next step of the organic business growth we were experiencing at the time.
Yes, You Still Need a Plan to Grow an Online Business
Now, just because I’m talking about things emerging organically, as you see what naturally comes next for your business, does not mean that you don’t need to set goals or have a plan.
I have a list of things that need to happen and goals we want to reach, but each day is different and I don’t always know when I sit down at my desk what I’m going to work on.
I hold my list lightly and work on what’s most important at the time.
When you’re building an online business, your results come through testing. You are running everything through the lens of what your audience wants and what they respond to.
So while you do have a plan, you have to remain flexible and be willing to pivot as your audience responds to what you offer.
Strive for B- Work, Not Perfection!
One of the first things I teach my students is the absolute necessity to be satisfied with B- work.
If you are constantly testing and pivoting with your audience, you simply can’t do everything perfectly. If you are always shooting for an A+, you won’t build your business, you’ll get stuck.
I want you to post things that scare you in their imperfection.
Your job as an entrepreneur is to learn what works and do more of it. As long as you put your authentic self out there, your people will be attracted to you.
*If the thought of putting out B- work makes you uncomfortable, listen in at 12:00 as I discuss the need for discomfort when growing an online business.
The 3 words I want you to remember are:
Put Yourself Front and Center
Next, if you want to build an online business, you have to put yourself at the forefront of that business.
Your audience needs to have a relationship with you.
Plenty of people are putting up sites that I call “content farms.”
You know what I’m talking about: tons of content filled with affiliate links, only there for the money-making opportunities. There is nothing personal or authentic about those sites.
You have the opportunity to do something different. You can reach an audience in a way that draws them in as you share your expertise on a topic that matters to them.
This doesn’t mean your blog should be about you.
No, it should be you, focused on helping other people solve their problems. You be you, providing value to others, and those people will feel a connection to you.
Business Growth Isn’t Linear
I think one of the biggest misconceptions in online business is that growth is linear.
We hear about sales funnels: how your audience starts at the top by getting to know you through your content, then signing up for your email list. Once they sign up, they develop a relationship with you through your emails, and eventually they “know, like, and trust you.”
Soon, they will be willing to make a small purchase from you, followed by even more and possibly larger purchases in the future.
And I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t work like that.
The fact is people are distracted today; they bounce in and out of your funnels all the time. They are being pulled in a thousand different directions every day.
How do you as a business owner address this?
Tell Your Audience What to Do
That’s right, tell them what you want them to do.
Let me give you an example of this from my personal life. When my daughter was tiny and I felt overwhelmed, I would often ask David for help around the house. But the poor guy didn’t know what he should do.
I learned that if I asked him to wash the dishes and take out the trash, he was more than happy to do so. But he needed me to tell him specifically what would be helpful.
Your audience is like that. They need you to tell them directly and specifically what you want them to do.
Don’t expect them to figure it out. They won’t!
Tell them to “Click Here,” “Buy Now”, or “Reply to This Email.”
If you don’t tell them what to do, don’t be surprised when they do nothing.
Every piece of content you create, whether it’s a blog post, an email, or a social media post, should have a call to action.
I hope this has been helpful if you are working on building an online business. Be sure to listen to the episode in its entirety as I simply couldn’t include everything I talked about in this post!
And if you need help, please go to MiloTree and sign up for our next coaching group.
We would love to help you build your blog or online business!
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