Let’s be honest, this whole building an online business thing, it’s a giant experiment. There are studies and statistics, but with the rate at which the internet changes, the game changes too. And that means what worked yesterday might be a terrible idea today.
Over the past four years I’ve tried lots of different things to get clients, grow my traffic, make money, and gain social media followers. A lot of those things worked really well and some of them were a giant waste of time.
So here are 6 things I did in an attempt to grow my business that totally did not work . . .
Spending time on sponsored posts
Long, long ago, before the freelance business and the ebooks and courses, I did try to make money on my website by reviewing products. It was just a handful of times and I didn’t get paid very much, but it was enough to know it wasn’t something I wanted to spend time on. For some people sponsored posts and reviews are the lifeblood of their business (which is awesome!) but for me, it felt kind of icky. I never received any products I really loved, so I was never terribly excited to write about them. It was all a pretty “meh” experience and when building a business, “meh” is not good enough.
Going it alone
I’m a very introverted person. Being alone recharges my body’s batteries, so one of the best parts of leaving my corporate job was being able to work all by myself all day long. Figuring things out on my own was fine when my business was small, but when things started to pick up I definitely needed someone else doing similar work to chat with. I lucked out meeting Mariah, but I’ve also made connections with a handful of biz-building ladies who I know I can shoot an email to when I need feedback or help making a decision. We all know you’re a badass over there and can do it all yourself, but it’s kind of nice when you don’t have to, right?
Having a sale because I needed money
Somewhere in my second year of business I ended up with some extra bills to pay and not enough clients to keep my bank account in a comfortable place. And so, in an attempt to make money quickly, I ran a sale. I offered just the people on my list a discounted custom site design. It sort of worked – I had a few people sign up and I was able to afford those bills, but it didn’t really provide any benefit in the long run. Really what I should have done was double down on some super focused, crazy actionable content to show my audience why having a killer website was important, and brought in clients at full price instead of a discounted rate. Or I could have run a sale on a smaller product (like an ebook) that didn’t take six weeks to complete.
Write quickie posts just to have something online
Blogging and growing a business online is a total rat race sometimes. Even now, with my business feeling pretty strong, I still see things online that make me want to pivot my whole business, re-design my entire site, and go “damn why didn’t I think of that??” Which means if often feels like I need to be adding content to my website and social media platforms about every 5 minutes. But I learned long ago that publishing content that’s not bursting with value is not worth putting in the time to create.
Launching products without checking with my audience first
I was so excited to create and launch my first book, but you may notice that there are only three books in my shop, not four. This is because it was so packed with tutorials and technical information, many of the people who bought it couldn’t get through the whole thing without some confusion. They didn’t want tons of information on coding, they wanted simple tasks that would create results. (Enter 90 Days to Double Your Blog Traffic) Now when I build a product I take a step back before doing a single second of work and assess what questions people have been asking in my blog comments, on social media, and in webinars. (Enter CPP Live)
Trying to make money fast
The truth is, anything that becomes lucrative and stays lucrative for a while takes a lot of time to create. Yes, you can make a quick buck with ads or affiliate links, but personally, I don’t want one quick buck, I want to put in the time to earn a bajillion bucks. (Or at least enough to live a less stressful, happy life) I want hard-earned bucks, because that is what makes me feel proud and successful. No one sends you an email after a quick buck and says ‘OMG thank you so much, clicking on that ad for shoes in your sidebar totally changed my mindset.” NO, people send emails after they go through your ebook or your course and take the time to learn something that helps them grow. (I got an email just like this yesterday and it was AWESOME) The good stuff – it takes time to create, but it’s 100 times more worth it.
And the way I earn lots of hard-earned (but so worth it) money? By putting time into creating infoproducts for my audience. Which is why I’m sharing my strategy, my secrets, and everything I’ve learned after launching SIX infoproducts of my own. You can read all about my new e-course over here and ENTER TO WIN A FREE PASS HERE >>> (Because one thing that DOES work..freebies ;)