Over the years I've noticed that the one thing that stops most creatives from taking their business full-time, being known as an expert in their industry or even simply getting started, often isn’t just the lack of “know-how”. It’s typically the lack of correct information that tends to float around the internet. The "shoulds" and "must-do's" of online professionals who make you feel small if you choose to do business your own way instead of following the current trend. If you’re currently in a place where you’re ready to take your brand to the next level and you’re tired of the miseducation then I’ve dispelled some of the biggest myths of turning your brand into a lucrative business and provided you with one truth that will make a world of difference in how your business grows!
LIE 1: You don’t need a niche
If you want to be seen as an expert in your industry, then you absolutely need to narrow down all of your big ideas. Not only will it make it easier for you to structure your content but it will also help you when it comes to developing your brand message and clearly articulating what you do. This doesn't mean that you only have to create content around one subject but you need to be known for being able to do one thing really well before venturing out to multiple topics.
ACTION STEP: To help narrow down your niche focus on the common factor between what you're good at, what you're interested in and what you're passionate about. I call this quick and easy clarifying exercise "Finding Your Sweet Spot".
LIE 2: Branding can wait till later, launch now
One of the BIGGEST mistakes I made when I first decided to turn The Alisha Nicole into a real business was thinking that I actually didn't need to brand myself. Truthfully I thought that branding was basically just a pretty website and logo (which I didn't have money for back then) so I figured I would wait until I started making money. Little did I know that branding your business goes way deeper than the colors or fonts you use.
Proper branding serves as the foundation of your business and a step that you absolutely cannot skip if you plan on taking your business full-time. Great branding clearly identifies who you are, what you stand for and the purpose that your business serves. Ultimately, it helps you to create your own platform which will help you to stand out in your industry. Which will be especially necessary when you begin to monetize your brand. I teach this process in The 90 Day Blueprint coaching program.
ACTION STEP: To start off, think about your WHY. Why do you do what you do and what message are you trying to send to the people in your audience?
LIE 3: You can’t monetize until you have a large following
This my friend, is a lie. While I truly believe it’s important for you to build trust within your audience before you begin to launch different products or services, I do not believe that you need an extremely large following to be profitable. At the time of writing this post I have less than 8k Twitter followers, a little under 5k instagram followers and a little over 2600 people on my email list. Although the more followers you have the greater the chance may be to convert more customers, the power isn't always in the numbers. Because I have taken the time to cultivate relationships with the people in my audience and built up their trust, I’m still able to successfully launch new products and services.
ACTION STEP: Use the free content you create to begin branding yourself as an expert in your industry and to use it to help your audience with their pain points as much as possible. Even if you currently only have 100 followers. If they can trust your free content they will have no problem trusting a paid product or service.
LIE 4: If you're not making six figures then you're not successful
We currently live in a time where tons of entrepreneurs are open to sharing their income with their audience. While I often see it as motivation to stop watching tv and work a little harder, it can also negatively alter your idea of success. If you're barely making $1000 a month in your business it can be hard to stomach seeing another business owner in the same industry as you making $12k per month.
Success looks different for everyone and doesn't necessarily mean that it’s all dependant on how much money you make. Maybe you’re not 100% in this for the money. Maybe you’re wanting to get this idea off the ground to prove to your parents that you can make a living doing your own thing. Or maybe you’re doing this because it would allow you the freedom to work from any place in the world.
ACTION STEP: Whatever your why may be, get clear on what success looks like to you so that you’re not aiming for the wrong goal.
LIE 5: Digital Products or Services. Choose one.
There is no online business rule that says that you have to choose between offering a service to your audience or a digital product. You can choose to do both, one or the other or neither. It really depends on how you can BEST give your audience their desired end result. I prefer to coach because it allows me to give clients that one-on-one time that I feel like they need but I also offer different digital products that are still super valuable for those who may not be ready to invest in my coaching services. This is the epitome of "do you boo". Do what you're interested in, what is working for you and what YOUR audience will find valuable.
ACTION STEP: You know your audience better than anyone else. What can you offer that will best solve their biggest pain points?
LIE 6: You can find all the answers you need on Google
I will be the first to say how much I love Google, it has helped me a ton with starting and growing my business but my friend, Google can not be your only mentor. The best thing I could have ever done in my business (and something I still do) is invest in the proper education and coaches that would help me take my brand to the next level. It takes money to make money and there is nothing like receiving advice that is tailored to your specific needs. That's why I've created programs like The 90 Day Blueprint because that’s something you won’t get on Google. Plus investing in that help will save you tons of hours stalking Google when you could have been using that time actually working on your business.
ACTION STEP: What investment have you been hesitant to purchase because you think you can just find the answers on Google? Make a plan today on how you can take the leap and invest back into your business.
TRUTH: You absolutely need to be consistent
What stops most creatives from reaching their desired level of success isn’t that they don’t know what they are doing or that their idea isn't good enough to be turned into a business, it’s typically because they fail to be consistent. Building a brand isn’t a one-time task. It’s a consistent effort that you make to ensure that your audience knows who you are, what you do and how you can help them through some of their biggest issues.
Don’t get caught up in thinking that because you did something once that it was good enough. The online world is constantly changing and moving so if you want to be seen as an expert in your industry and not feel like you’re drowning among 1000s of other people who are doing the same thing you’re doing, then you absolutely need to show up (and show up correct) every single day.
Turning your idea into a real business isn’t as hard or complicated as it may seem. With the right direction you’ll have no problem building your brand and launching products or services that your audience can’t live without.