About This Episode
A lot of us dream of quitting our jobs and being our own bosses. Who wouldn’t want to work on our own terms, make a living, and change the world, right? But leaving your 9-to-5 job, and living life by design while making money isn’t easy, and a lot of us are held back from taking the leap by the doubts and fears that creep in.
Amy Porterfield, the guest for this Brilliant Thoughts episode of the Success magazine podcast, knows that journey quite well. She quit her last corporate job 14 years ago to create her now multi-million-dollar business, but it wasn’t always an easy ride.
The things she learned through her journey to success—things she wished she knew when she was starting—Amy wrote about in her book, Two Weeks Notice.
What are some of the key secrets to successfully growing your own business?
The following are excerpts from her book and our conversation.
- Content is Queen
In order to have a successful business, you need to grow your audience. You can’t grow an audience without putting out content that is both original and valuable.
Amy teaches her students in her online course that creating content and putting it out there consistently is a key foundation to your business’s success. It can be in the form of a podcast, video show, blog, vlog, etc.—whatever that may be, the key is providing value and consistency.
Creating content helps you cast a wide net to attract new and bigger audiences, and at the same time, it allows you to keep the audience you already have engaged. Try to post at least once a week, preferably on a specific day and time, so that your audience knows when to expect new content from you and can look forward to it.
It becomes even more effective when you let the people in your email list every time new content is up, and why they absolutely don’t want to miss it. A little reminder goes a long way in nurturing and engaging your audience.
- Build an Engaged Email List
When it comes to marketing, both social media and your CRM or email list play a crucial role. Social media is free, and it will help you reach a wider audience. But social media alone is not enough. “If you only use social media, you are building your business on rented land,” Amy says.
At any moment, the people who own these social media platforms can decide to change the algorithms, and every time that happens, you will have to change the way you are doing business. Because you do not own it, it is outside your control, and as Amy says, “You do not want to put all your eggs in one basket where you don't even control that.”
What you control and own is your email list. That’s why Amy believes that your email list is your most powerful tool for growing your business.
It doesn’t even have to be a big email list, as long as the audience on that list is engaged.
How do you build an engaged email list?
- Build a Lead Magnet
The first step is to create a good lead magnet. It is a piece of valuable content, whether a freebie, giveaway, cheat sheet, checklist, guide, short video, etc., that people might even want but you are giving for free as a service.
You want your lead magnet to be something that is easy to digest and will help you lead your audience across the invisible bridge—by busting objections and answering the question, "What do they need to know, believe, and understand before they're ever ready to buy from you?"
The lead magnet allows you to give value that would make people want to sign up for your email list and, at the same time, convert their mindset so that you can convert your leads.
- Shout It from Every Rooftop
Once you have your lead magnet, go promote it everywhere (i.e., on social media) multiple times a week. “It's not ‘Build it and they will come.’ It's ‘Build it and then shout it from the rooftops over and over again,’” Amy shares.
One of the basics of marketing is that people need to hear or see an offer multiple times before they are ready to take action. So go ahead and shout it over and over from every rooftop or channel available. That way, you can grow your email list.
From there, it is mostly “rinse and repeat”. Create content weekly, get your audience to sign up on your email list using a lead magnet, promote your content on social media and every platform you are on, and send your database an email every time new content is out.
Then, every now and then, you can send emails about promotions and updates for your new stuff.
- Be You
We hear about “authenticity” a lot, and being yourself is essential to creating a successful business that you love and enjoy. A lot of us feel like we have to put on a mask in order to get others to like us and, consequently, like what we sell. However, we can’t please everyone. No matter how good you are as a person, there will always be people out there who have something bad to say about you, whether it is unfounded or not.
But you don’t need the whole pie in order to succeed; you just need a tiny sliver of it to make a living.
So how can we be “authentic”?
Amy’s answer is simple and direct: “Well, first you've got to get really clear about what you stand for—who you are, what you stand for, what you believe in—and you have to be willing to show up as yourself no matter what.”
People crave realness nowadays, and they appreciate clumsiness and being candid. But it isn’t easy to be 100% real all the time. We want to be liked, and to a certain extent, as businesspeople, we need to be likable. In the same way that we don't always like everyone, we don't need to win over everyone's favor.
“I think you should be kind to everybody, but you don't necessarily need to jump into all their content and do all the things that they're offering,” Amy says.
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DISCLAIMER: The people interviewed are well-trained experts and highly skilled in their areas of practice. They take many safety precautions prior to attempting the activities described. The activities or research discussed in these podcasts should not be attempted without qualified supervision and training with professionals.