5 things you need to do before launching your business

5 things you need to do before launching your business

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Hey, everyone. What's up and welcome back to the freelance Friday podcast. Today. I wanna talk about five things that you need to do before you launch your business. Before you launch your service, your product, your coaching program, whatever that might be.

These are things that are really important to think about before you invest the time, the money, the energy, the effort into putting everything out there. This is gonna be applicable to you. Like I said, whether it's a service, whether it's a digital product, whether. Like a program or something like that. I'm gonna be talking pretty high level here.

So these are the five most crucial steps if we simplify them down. Right. But if you are looking for step by step tutorials, guides, worksheets, all of that, I definitely invite you to check out my program, the online business launch lab, which is once again, open I'll leave a link in the description for you on YouTube in the show. On the podcasting platforms, this course is a step by step one of my students.

She said that it is a, what did she say? Actually, let me play what she said really quick. I think of BLL as a master handbook for a course creator for a service based freelancer, like myself and for a coach. And I feel like. It's one of those courses that you will want to revisit. I love how she put that. Uh, for each of these individual steps broken down, there's like tons of tutorials on everything from how to set up a webinar, to how to create a lead magnet, to how to discover what your purpose is.

So definitely check that out. If you need a little bit more kind of hand holding in this, but today we're gonna talk about the five things. Overall that you should look out for. So the first thing you're gonna wanna do, if you are launching a new business product service, et cetera, is build an audience, right? This one is kind of straightforward.

I mean, you have to have a group of people who you can actually sell to and. It's really important that you are cultivating an audience of people who know you, who like you, who trust you. These are the key elements of getting people primed and ready to purchase. It's really hard to launch a product or service to a cold audience. I wanna say, honestly, in today's day and age, it's. Near impossible.

That's just not the way people buy anymore. The way people like to buy is they like to know who they're purchasing from. They like to be involved in the process. Sometimes even they really are more informed consumers than ever.

You know, you think about how you purchase. I, I just purchase some stuff online and I was like spending, you know, hours just researching doing competitive analysis, reading reviews. I really need to be informed and feel good about my decision. So the way that you do that is by having an audience of people who already knows you and is not going to be completely, uh, you know, just taken off guard by seeing a Facebook ad come through their feed or something like that.

Instead, they're gonna see a Facebook ad come through their feed and say, oh, I've watched a ton of her content before. I know that what she. Offers of what she delivers is good quality stuff. And now this is just serving as a reminder to me that I need to invest in her program or service or whatever.

So there are a lot of different ways to build an audience. I mean, we are living in like content creation. I don't know, like the, the golden age of it, you know, like there is a content type for every single person, personality type audience, age group, demographic, everything out there. So there really is no one way.

And I I'm gonna say, you know, any. As coach any podcast or any influencer, whatever, anybody who tells you that there is one way I would run from them because there isn't just one way, there are a million different ways to build an audience. What has worked for me.

And what I recommend as a general, you know, best practice is to invest in one long form or kind of SEO, rich content type in one short form or more immediate trending content type to start with now. Over time, you can expand those things and you can start to dabble in multiple short form, multiple long form, et cetera. But if you're just starting out to avoid overwhelm, that is what I recommend. What I mean by SEO, rich or long form that would refer to YouTube. That would be a blog that would be maybe a podcast, maybe Pinterest. Those are some of the more SEO, rich content types out there.

These things tend to have. Less immediate payoff. So if you post a YouTube video today, you're probably not gonna get a lead.

You're probably not gonna get a sale from it today, unless you are starting with a huge audience already. Whoever, what those things do is they rank over time. So some of my most popular videos right now at this moment, I shot three years ago. Sometimes my videos will like just.

All of a sudden blow up after a year or two of already being out. So that is really valuable. Same thing. When I had a blog that would happen, I'd all of a sudden, just wake up to like new leads or new comments. And I'm like, where are these people coming from? And it just so happens that whatever I had written about was now trending at the time. So it is really an investment.

I look at it as like real estate, like digital, real estate. So I do recommend investing in something like that. It could help. Down the road and in immediacy as well. Now the short form is more forgetting those quick hits those quick wins and also understanding your audience, which is, uh, number two. We're gonna talk about that in a second.

You know, knowing who they are, knowing what they need, knowing what they like, and, and what's going on in their world. Short form content like TikTok, like Instagram, like Twitter, like, um, you know, Facebook groups. I mean, there's so many different types out there.

These things are really valuable for understanding your audience and just reaching them. immediately, you know, and doing some of that market research. So number two, the second thing you're gonna wanna do before launching is uncover the problem that you want to solve, uncover your target audiences, pain points, understand what they need, understand what they need help with. Right? Like if you're a wellness coach, I mean, there's a lot of different aspects of, well, You could be focusing on helping people be less stressed, who own businesses. You could be focusing on helping people who work sedentary jobs, like get more active in their day.

Like those are two very different problems, even though it might be the same target audience or those audiences might overlap a little bit. So of course, before even. Standing and uncovering the problem. You have to decide on a target audience. You have to understand who you want to help these things. Again, this is where short form content can really help you out if you were, let's just use that wellness coach example.

Again, you can just start posting a couple of things that like. You've learned over the years on Instagram stories or whatever, and see what people start to respond. See what questions people start to ask you as follow ups to that content.

And that will kind of help you decide on a niche, decide on a target audience, and then in turn, decide on a problem that you want to solve. Same thing, you know, for me, when I was starting my social media management agency, I just started posting about things that I was interested in. And I was, I've always been really interested in like tech and, um, new tools and products and things like that.

And so I. Started networking with those people on LinkedIn, on, on Twitter. And over time I realized, okay, there's definitely a need and a demand for content and for social strategies in the startup space, in like a startup tech space. And so that's kind of where I found my niche and I started being able to speak to their problems of needing to get more money from their investors. And one of the things that could really help with that I was finding is having a good. Audience based built up.

So I was able to speak really directly to that problem by getting to know my audience. Now, once you know your audience, you understand the problem that you want to solve and, and you're sure that you can solve it, or you're pretty sure, right? I mean, there's a lot of problems in the world that I wanna solve, but I don't know how, I don't know how to fix world hunger in one click. So I'm not gonna, uh, pretend that a course that I create can do that. So make sure that you. You know, obviously are being honest with yourself and your target audience. Once you decide on that, though, you wanna decide on a format.

This is actually one of the things that I think a lot of people. Uh, mess up on a little bit, and I've done this many times to myself, cause I'm like, oh, I wanna launch a full service X, Y, Z, or I want to, um, launch a course or I want to write a book or I want to, whatever it is. And I have this idea for format before I do these other steps.

And again, wellness coach, right? If I am targeting people who are extremely busy and burnt out business owners, Say who are already working 80 hour weeks, and maybe they have families and relationships and things like that. They probably are not gonna want to sit down and watch a 40 hour course. They probably are gonna be more into like Voxer coaching, you know, walkie talkie style coaching, where they can just hit me up on the go or maybe like a really quick. Ebook or a really quick video series or even an audio series that they can listen to in their car, going to client meetings, things like that. So you have to understand the audience and the problem before you start developing the content or the format that you're gonna deliver this in same thing, you know, for me, when I was.

Building my agency, like the busy startup founder, like they don't want coaching. They don't want consulting. They, they want done for you. They want somebody who can come in, get their hands dirty and do what they need to do because they're already in million meetings all day.

They don't have time to learn about the Instagram algorithm or whatever, right. Or to dance on TikTok. Like they need somebody to do that stuff for them.

But at the same time, listen, you also want to create something or offer something that is going to fulfill you a little. Too, like you don't want to. Only think about the demand. That's a huge part to make sure that you can sell it, but you also wanna do something that's gonna be sustainable for you energy wise and just, you know, fulfillment wise. So do you like to work with clients one on one? Are you a people person? Do you have experience in customer service? Are you willing to learn that, like these are all questions that you should ask yourself? If you're thinking about doing a full service.

Done for you product. Meanwhile, have you always been a good teacher? Have your friends and your family always come to you for advice? Have they always told you, Hey, I really like how you explain things. Were you the person in college or in high school who was helping your friends with their assignments? Like, okay. Maybe digital products or education is more gonna be your route.

And on the other hand, if you are kind of that consultant for your friends, you're always the one, like. Being the mediator when your friends have arguments or you are always the shoulder for people to cry on, okay. Maybe coaching or consulting is more your speed. So definitely think about those things and what you want. And also think about, you know, whether you're looking for passive income, whether you're looking for active income, if you want something that you can just kind of set and forget.

I mean, spoiler alert in what I do. At least that's not really a thing. Even for courses, they are what I call semi passive income, but there is less active income types that you can have up there. Uh, maybe you are a really busy mom or dad or.

You know, whoever, and you really don't have 40 hours, 20 hours, whatever to dedicate to working with clients, then you probably know, okay, I need to do a course or an ebook or something like that. So also think about what you want, but of course marry that with what the demand is for your target audience as well. Okay. Number four is build the best dang thing ever. Build the best product build the best service ever. This part, you cannot skip.

Okay. There is no cheat code for this and it takes time to do this. So keep that in mind, like you want to really do it, right? This means that you are having beta testers. That means, you know, people who are taking your course or reading your book or going through your service as if they were a client. Yeah, probably for free.

And I know that this is a little bit controversial. There are people out there on the internet who say, don't do. anything for forever, but you know what? I really think that that is scarcity mindset in action. I do not think that giving away one or two seats to my course for genuine feedback is going to crush my business. You know, I know that there are so many other people out there who are gonna be willing to pay for it. So that doesn't scare me like that.

Doesn't that's not gonna ruin my. That is valuable. They are doing work for me by giving me their honest feedback. And the key here with beta testers is that they are in your target audience. Don't do a beta test with like your aunt who has this like homemade candle company. If you are trying to target law firms or something like that, like that, that's not gonna really help you in the long run.

And they're gonna have very different concerns though. They may be valid. They're gonna be very different than what this lawyer dude is going to be.

You. Concerned with, so make sure that your beta testers are in your target audience, that they are like a dream client for you. And this is something like I've worked with so many people over the years for free or at a very low cost, because the experience truly was the payment I've worked with online educators, doing stuff. Very popular ones that maybe you even know that really helped me build my business without even like, knowing it necessarily just kind of getting into their heads a little bit has helped me so, so much when building my own business.

So just understand that like experience has value as well. So that's definitely part of it, you know, beta test revise. Learn, listen, talk to your audience. This is super key to, I mean, it's super key in general, but once you build that audience, it's important to.

Maintain a relationship with them. I really think gone are the days where audiences just want to like passively watch people like they're watching TV or something like that. I think today's audience is more involved than ever. They're really looking for community. So however you can give that, start a discord, start, you know, a slack, do a like free mastermind or something like that. Get people onto a call, do focus groups, do polls on Instagram, do whatever you can do to get into their.

Send out surveys, all that kind of stuff is gonna be super, super valuable for you. So you can learn what to put into your service or product. And the last most important thing is to actually set up what I call your business infrastructure, set up the bones of your business. Something that I see happen a lot, and that I've done before as well. Uh, so no shame.

Is, you know, people get really excited about the marketing side of things, about the selling side of things. They get so hyped up, they're like, okay, yes, I am ready to sell this thing. But then like the back end is not, it's not their meaning. They don't have a client management system, for example. So all these leads that they're getting, they can't keep track of who they've contacted, who they haven't, they're doing all these things manually. You're setting up manual Google.

And, you know, Calendarly links are flying all over the place, so everything isn't organized. And then what happens is you, you get all these leads and it actually has a really unprofessional user experience. So people are like, mm, actually, I don't really know if I wanna work with this girl because she sold me really well on her YouTube video or whatever, but. Um, like the experience is not good or I've been waiting for weeks to hear back from somebody.

So a couple of things that I think are really important to have are a client management system, which I use honey book. I will leave a link in the show notes where you can start for a dollar, which is just like, absolutely. Wild to me that they can offer it for that lower price point. So try it out.

See if you like it. I highly recommend it for social media managers for any like service providers, coaches as well. You can do a lot of things in there.

You can set up your contracts, you can set up your invoices, you can set brochures, you can make things go out automatically so that you're not like chasing down leads. You can click on a, a user. See which stage in the process they're in, there's a lot you can do with it.

So a CMS is really important in my opinion, especially if you're doing service based work. If you are a course grader or a coach, even having some type of a community or a, you know, place for your curriculum to live is super important. I use think if I'll link all this stuff down, down in the show notes, actually I use think if. For my course host, I find it to be just like really user friendly. There's some things that I don't love about the community aspect. So for community, I often just use slack or I'll use mighty networks.

That's where the freelance Friday club is hosted. So you can play around with these different tools, if you are looking for more community or coaching or courses. And then the other things that are really important, I think for everybody is having an email system and having a website. Your website doesn't need to be perfect. It does not need to be overly complex either.

I think your website can be. One to three pages, you know, but you need to have a website. I just, somebody just followed me on Instagram, like last night and I loved her Instagram. She was a designer and I just loved her style. I was instantly so drawn to her style and I was like, I want her to design some YouTube thumbnails for me or something, but I went to her website and all I saw was an email.

And I'm gonna be honest with you. I'm not sending an email. I need to see examples of work. I need to see a price range. You don't have to give like detailed prices, but I need to know, am I gonna be paying $500 for a thumbnail or $5,000 or 50? Like, I need to know where I fit in in that there was no form to just one click, send her an inquiry.

So I, you know, like, I don't know if I'm gonna be working with that person and that's a really big bummer. So just making sure you have those things, you have an about section, you have a contact section and you have a list of services with ideally like some price ranges or some type of a price point. So people know.

You know, if they are the customer for you or not, this is gonna really help you. Pre-qualify your leads to one of the things. When I first started, I didn't have that question on my lead form. And I was getting clients who were coming in, who were like, oh yeah, I want like a hundred dollars social media strategy. Or I want, you know, a social media manager who will work for, you know, $500 a month, but I want every platform and.

Post going out every day that just like that I was wasting my time. And lastly, email, I think having a branded email address, meaning like hello, website.com or contact website.com or your name@website.com automatically just like puts you up here on professionalism, you know, on the scale of professionalism, it's like $5 a month to get one of those through Google. So I highly recommend having one of those.

And then the other thing is having an email. System like an email management system I'm talking flow desk, which is my personal favorite. I'll leave a 50% off link in the show notes.

Some free ones are mailer, light MailChimp. Just have a place where people can enter their email address. If they want to hear more from you. I promise you, you are gonna thank me in a year or two years that you. Something set up at the very least, just have it at the footer where like at the bottom of your website, where you can say, Hey, do you want updates about my services or whatever it is that you're doing, pop your email in here. You might not be using it for a while.

I certainly didn't, but I launched my first course to an email list of, I think it was like a hundred to 150 and I made a sale. I think I made two sales actually off of that email list. So these are people who are saying, I want to hear from you. Like I wanna hear from you and it doesn't have to be today.

It doesn't have to be tomorrow, but they are there for you. And I can talk all day about how valuable email is one. People are more used to being sold to on email. I can open my email right now and probably see a bunch of people asking me for money. So it feels more natural than content people expect content to be.

It's really hard to get people to convert from a free viewer on TikTok or YouTube or whatever directly to a paying customer. So having that, um, bridge is basically what email access and then also email doesn't change very much over the years we have seen. Algorithm changes and, you know, new platforms come out and new best practices and all these things for social, but for email, it's really been pretty much the same and it is really a direct line to your customer or potential customer. So make sure to set those things up. Lastly, when we're talking about infrastructure, I wanna also talk about like security for your business.

I'm not a legal expert, I'm not an accounting. For, and therefore I recommend you do talk to some of those people, a consultation with a lawyer is actually not as expensive as you would think. So, just having a general, you know, business attorney, look over your business plan, look over your website, let you know, Hey, you need a privacy policy, or you need to add this disclaimer to this course. Or maybe you shouldn't talk about this in your course or whatever, because it's a sensitive issue can really. Save you a lot of headache and legal fees in the long run.

Same thing for contracts, investing in a contract template from a lawyer, from an attorney key here. A lot of people ask me why I don't sell contract templates for social media managers. And it's because I'm not an attorney. I am legally not allowed to do that. If you see those out there, I mean, I'm not, I'm allegedly, I don't think those. Legit, right.

Unless you were purchasing them from attorneys. So invest in that so that you don't have to worry about chasing down payment from your clients and all of that stuff invest in just like a one off session with an attorney and it will save you a lot of headache in the long run and then same thing for an accountant and or a bookkeeper talk to a financial expert. If you do anticipate in particular, if you anticipate like having a.

Amount of money come in from this launch. You know, if you're probably just gonna start with making, you know, $500 for your first launch or something, you know, maybe that's something that you can kind of just make sure to save some money and deal with with your regular like tax person that you go with. Maybe, I don't know, I'm not an expert but that's what I did when I was younger. And I was just like super side hustling in college.

But if you really anticipate I'm gonna make 20 K from this launch or, you know, whatever, or a big amount, make sure that you talk to someone ahead of time so that you can have a good plan for separating your finances. You know, how much you should save and all that good stuff. Believe me. It's gonna save you a lot of headache. I always shout out my bookkeepers evolved finance. I absolutely love them.

They are. The best. They're honestly, one of the big reasons that I was able to buy a house this year, because I had a good handle on my finances. I knew what was going on.

I felt really empowered. I absolutely love them. So I will link them. I'm gonna have a lot of links in the show notes. You can let them know. I referred you.

If you book a call with them, you. and, um, yeah, I, I love them, but there are a lot out there as well. If they're not a good fit for you, there's a lot of bookkeepers and accountants and financial professionals that you can talk to. Okay.

So those are the five big things I recommend focusing on before your first launch. If you are looking for in depth step by step tutorials, guides, handholding, all that stuff for each of these steps, I definitely recommend you check out the online business launch lab. I'm super excited that. Back in a new format with updated material.

I'm gonna leave a link of the show notes for you. This is like my business. Guide my ultimate guide. If you wanna know how I run my business and everything that is involved in it, all of the super detailed steps, my marketing strategy, uh, my email strategy, my social strategy, uh, mindset stuff like all of that is in there. So definitely recommend checking it out and thank you for tuning in today. I hope you enjoyed the episode.

Say hi to me on social I'm at the Latasha James everywhere, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and I will talk to you next week. Bye.

2022-06-26 22:41

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