Business Essentials + Marketing: Blogging, Social Media, Growing Your Audience + Building Revenue Streams

 

Marketing. Sales funnel. Business strategy.

Do any of those terms seem scary or overwhelming? 

When you're new to running a business or blog, you're already worried about a million things: branding, creating content, website copy, engaging visuals/photography, social media and much more. 

Thinking about promoting your content, growing your following, expanding your reach and increasing sales can seem like a VERY daunting task, and may even be confusing or overwhelming for you.

First, it's important to remember that you don't have to be doing everything right off the bat. Just because a seasoned freelancer is selling out of her product an hour after launching it, or that another blogger has webinar audiences of 500+ (or even doing them in the first place), doesn't mean that you have to be doing those things yet (or at all, to be honest).

Wherever you're at in the life of your blog or business, know that you only need two things: 1) goals and 2) an actionable plan. 

I'm of the mindset that progress is better than perfection, so let's focus on learning how to walk before even considering a sprint. The basics, people. It's a beautiful place to start!

So let's talk about goals.

I can't speak for you, but for me, my business and marketing goals are 1) to provide helpful and inspiring content, 2) create an engaged community and 3) create profit for my business with active and passive income streams.

And what's my plan? How am I organizing my business to help me reach those goals? How am I tying all of my strategies together?

With these three actionable steps.

1) I created a blogging schedule with devoted topics and themes, and I'm not straying from that plan. I'm showing up every day to chip away at my goal of delivering useful and relevant content, even though writing isn't my strongest point.

Because of this, three very important things are happening: I'm building the foundation of my marketing plan, something that used to be a huge chore is becoming easier and more inspiring for me every day AND, most importantly, I've got this great collection of content that I'm starting to feel really, really proud of.

2) I'm incorporating my new content onto social media and experimenting with different strategies - but I'm not trying to do it all. I've used and loved Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter for years now, so those are my initial focus. Sometimes a part of me feels bad that I'm not promoting my Snapchat, trying out Periscope or going crazy about newsletter campaigns and webinars. But guess what?

Taking the platforms I'm already on, leveraging my content on those accounts and knowing that in the near future I'll have found some things that really work for me are all helping me build a solid foundation for social media growth. When those three avenues start to feel more automatic and I have more of a brand voice and blog content built up, I'll be able to focus on a newsletter campaign or try my hand at Periscope (or whatever else I feel is the right "next step").

I'm learning to walk before I try to run. In business you should always be growing and expanding, but in this case, I know I need to build engagement and consistency on the platforms I already use instead of overwhelming myself with trying to do it all.

3) I'm building my sales funnel to diversify my revenue streams and help build consistent income - and, again, I'm not trying to do it all at one time! (Check out this article for a super awesome post explaining the ins and outs of sales funnels.)

Let me lay out my revenue stream plan for you first. I'm already making money by selling my design services but I want to create passive income with digital products and a subscription-based service.

My design services are my big ticket items, but having smaller, low-investment options for my audience will help people to get to know me and my business and buy into my passions and why I do what I do.

Which brings us full circle back to blogging! By giving valuable content away for free I'm building trust and a reason for people to come back to my website. Once I get people to trust my brand, I can start asking them to become more involved with other free content (such as webinars and newsletters). The next logical step is to make sales with affordable and super relevant/helpful products (such as an e-course or subscription-based service), and from there I can hook my target audience with my highest priced item: my design services.

I'm having fun along the way. I'm planning and organizing. I'm researching and experimenting. And I'm sharing it here with you because I know that you're just as serious about your business goals as I am.

My hope is that you stay inspired, motivated and confident in what you're doing - and if you ever want to share your questions, successes or fears, I'm always here for you! You can use the comment section below or email me directly to tell me what's on your mind!