Aim Higher: From Entrepreneur to Business Success Story in 3 Steps
Are you sick and tired of being an entrepreneur?
Oh sure, you didn’t have to put on pants today, you own stock in a Columbian-based coffee emporium and your seven cats all have office responsibilities that are integral to the operation of your small business.
I think it’s safe to proclaim, for all the world to hear…
It’s Time to Grow Your Business
Optimizing a specific skill like copywriting, graphic design or web development is a valuable cog in the machine that is today’s online economy. This doesn’t mean you need to inhibit your entrepreneurial spirit or prevent it from growing. A legitimate company won’t detract from your freelance status – far from it.
So, as per usual, I’m being sarcastic. Of course you’re not tired of being an entrepreneur! Although I am tired of misspelling the word!
Expanding on your entrepreneurship by building a company means:
- You call the shots
- You direct the content
- You ultimately you earn more money in less time
Here’s three areas that content managers can take ownership of in order to grow their small business into a full-fledged profitable content-creation machine.
1. Choose a Target Market
Whether it be from scratch or within an established niche market, you need the public to know about your products and services.
Let’s say you’re a freelance web developer. Who would buy your services? Sorry, you can’t say ‘people who need pictures taken’ – be specific. Wedding photography? Portraits? Landscape photography?
It doesn’t matter if you’re an office of one or nine; as the content manager or creator it’s your responsibility to build your identity with a specific audience.
2. What made you an entrepreneur in the first place?
Alright, you’ve established your target market, now it’s time to educate your clients by demonstrating your value.
Give away secrets. Online content isn’t your product, it’s the demonstration of your product.
For example, a gardening blog may offer tips for growing beautiful spring lillies, but the reader isn’t necessarily an expert. If your readers are experts on your content – great! Ask them to chime in! Comments, blog posts, you name it – an intelligent community of blog subscribers will only help the rest of your readers, and you’re bound to learn a few new tricks as well! Everybody wins!
Seek Support & Input
In order to create a blog so helpful it brings people back week after week it’s crucial that you get your message across efficiently. At the risk of shameless promotion, creating a blog that speaks directly to your target audience is an important skill, and one that’s consistently growing and adapting in step with the world of online content marketing.
Blogging is a tough skill, so get help if you need it – your customers want an ironclad guarantee that you know your product inside and out.
3. Plan Your Content Marketing Strategy
If you’ve been reading the good ol’ Function blog for the last few months, you’ll know that I believe heavily in planning your content to fit a targeted strategy that addresses pain points (either yours or the agency you’re working for).
Success probably didn’t come easy to you as an entrepreneur. Did your small design company need to knock down a few doors? Did your fresh new marketing company deal with rejection a couple times? How many times did (insert company name here) chip away at success before you classified your startup or small business as successful?
Bonus Point 4: Visualize Successful Growth
Function is small compared to where I want to take it (it’s still early in the game), but I know exactly what that success will look like. Once you’ve got an idea of what your company will look like, it’s as simple as connecting the dots.
- plan & implement your success
- identify your failures
- avoid past mistakes
- improve on your product and your content
Content plans inevitably change. Adapt, flex, nurture, shift; however you define it, it’s important to understand that you don’t need to know which way to turn at every fork in the road in the journey ahead.
Aim Higher. No, Higher Than That
As an entrepreneur, you may have thought it prudent to seek work through other small businesses. It seemed like a good plan at the time; writing sample essays that were so long that they caused potential employer’s eyes to immediately gloss over; or drafting cold call emails that almost always disappeared into the black hole of e-space.
The shift from entrepreneur to small business to thriving company will be natural.
Did anyone ever hear back from those cold emails and phone calls? I did, but did the work flow ever last?
At the risk of creating a new motivational quotes company, this is the point in Impact Writing for Growing Business where you make the choice to grow your company.
Your business is shifting. You’re growing. Want to grow faster? Then push the issue.
- Spend more time writing (or creating, or blogging).
- Don’t take no for an answer.
- Learn more.
- Be better.
So tell me: what step are you on? Choosing a target market? Demonstrating expertise? Hiring your first intern? How do you define entrepreneur success?