This is a huge question for any entrepreneur especially one who is branching out into the digital online space: where do I invest in my business?
Maybe it's a question you have asked yourself once or twice as well. As part of my journey, I can honestly say it wasn't one I thought too critically on at that time.
We are just being honest, right?
I was sort of in this illusion, if something was put in front of my face then it must be a sign I needed it for my business. The amount of times, the hubster heard the word, "sign" in the first two years of my business is hilarious. But, I didn't know. No one was talking about it. And looking back on my journey, I realize it wasn't a sign from the universe... it was just good marketing by those entrepreneurs.
Bravo, guys. You got me.
But, now I'm onto you. And now, I'm going to spill the tea with everyone else.
Straight out of the gate, I launched myself online with a website. I even invested in not one but TWO brand experts to aid in helping with logo design, colors and asethetics for the website.
Was this wise? No.
Looking back, I would not have invested in a website as a brand-spanking new entrepreneur. *GASP OF HORROR* I know. I know. You are reading this ON my website; however, it's not something I feel everyone needs or needs to invest in FIRST thing.
If I could whisper in my young entrepreneurial heart 8 years earlier, it would be this:
"Get in front of people. Find a way to keep the communications open. Have a way to collect payment."
There will be time LATER to invest in a website, but it's not the MAIN FOCUS... your main focus is serving your audience, building your audience + helping them with your offer.
In regards to branding, I absolutely LOVE my logo which was designed by Lilah Higgins and who also aided with colors + font styles; however, those last two bits evolved over time.
My recommendations to my younger self would be do your research on your branding consultant FIRST... take time, explore what feels right for you + the vision you have for your business, watch what those branding experts are creating + how they are showing up... THEN reach out to get it done. I hired TWO... TWO and even though the first one was great, Lilah's was perfection for me, my vision + my brand.
What this means exactly is, you don't own social media? Your Facebook group, your Instagram account, the Pinterest boards, or your YouTube channel. Those are all companies which YOU use but do not own, so if for some reason they simply went *POOF*... what ways could you communicate with your clients or audience?
One way I invested first in my business which I would still do today just a wee bit differently was with email marketing. Again, instead of jumping ship from one place to another place because the "price" wasn't what I was hoping it would be... I would do my research and choose an email marketing provider then stick with them.
I do believe your business like yourself evolves and you'll most likely jump ship to a different website or email provider or even brand design as you go... but jumping too many ships in the beginning means there's a lot of points of transition. And any time there's a point of transition, there's an opportunity for confusion which leads to inaction.
What I mean by this is if you are planning to launch an offer then all of a sudden you want to switch platforms... well, this could lead to the feeling of overwhelm because there's SO MANY things to do. Will having a new platform or email marketing platform REALLY make that much difference in your business... possibly? But is switching platforms WHILE you are wanting to put your offer out there the BEST TIME to do so, most likely not.
So. My advice is simple.
Do your research and stick with one platform for a wee bit. IF you decide to jump ship to another one CHOOSE the best time for you - not just when there's a deal around the corner. There will always be a deal of some sort. It's best to make sure the TIMING and the offer are both right for YOU... not just one!
With email marketing, I went from MadMimi -- MailChimp -- ConvertKit -- SquareSpace Email -- Kajabi. See all the different ships I jumped!!! Learn from me and all my earlier mistakes.
Currently, I am using Kajabi as my email provider and honestly, I haven't seen a drop in my open rates or click through rates... those numbers *knock on wood* still seem to be above the average rates which make me happy. Plus, it's super simple to use and I absolutely love having my business on as few of platforms as possible.
This is another thing I invested heavily on from the very beginning on my entrepreneurial journey. And hands down, I'd do it again... but a wee bit differently.
Everyone needs a coach or mentor. Period.
Having a coach or a mentor has various looks from a reading their book, following their social media content or dialing into their podcast, a friend/family member, investing in a group program or higher investments such as 1:1 or masterminds.
Your mentor or coach doesn't even have to know YOU exist! Ha! One of my mentors is Sara Blakely, the creator of Spanx. I follow her content on social media, listen to her talks on YouTube and even watched her Masterclass on entrepreneurship. Does she know I exist... um, no. But that doesn't matter, she inspires ME to take daily action in my business.
The hubster says I invest in three things: good food, great coaches and family adventures. And it's true.
When I set a goal for something I tend to invest in mentors or coaches to help me get there whether that's reading books, listening to podcasts or investing a bit more in their services.
The KEY again is to do your research.
When I first started out investing in coaches for my business (not just listening to podcasts or reading books), my research was a wee bit superficial. I skimmed what THEY were showing on their websites, browsed the testimonials, etc. I didn't really KNOW who these folks were when I hired them to help me take my business to the next level.
Rookie mistake but it helped me in the long run.
Because I learned folks do not just want to invest in the "promise" the coaches or mentors are providing them, but they want to invest IN the coach or mentor (as a person).
This helped me be a better detective in a way... researching their core values, listening to how they show up and WHEN they show up, watching their clients and seeing their results besides just reading a testimonial, etc.
Hopefully this helps you a wee bit when deciding to invest a wee bit more with a coach or mastermind, maybe I'll write more about my experience along with questions to ask when hiring a coach! Stay tuned!
This one has a bit of a see-saw response... I lean towards continuing your education, yes; however, do I think you need to invest in every course the social media ads put in front of you, no.
There's also a difference education could be: TedTalks, Masterclass, Webinars, Challenges, books, lectures, getting coffee with a business bestie, etc. But courses is a whole different ball of wax.
And as I'm typing this, I am struggling with my inner dialogue to NOT purchase a course which is currently being offered. A course which could very well help me take my business to the next level! The struggle is real. I'm not perfect... those ads are good!
>> SEE THE VIDEO ABOVE <<
Here's some questions I ask myself before purchasing courses:
The last question usually hits me in a sucker-punch kind of way because FOMO can be real at times. However, I tend to visualize what the course could do for my best as well as my intentions with the investment along with visualizing myself NOT purchasing the course.
There were actually two courses which I was considering in investing in at this time... one has to do with podcasting and the other with community building. Community building is crucial for the vision with our business at this time; however, podcasting is something the team and I had planned to embark on based on our business timeline. The podcast course was a phenomenal deal, yet it did not fit the VISION for the business and the team's vision at this time.
So, we passed.
And once you make a decision whether it's too invest or not... a HUGE relief is let off your shoulders. Then we needed to make a decision on the other opportunity.
I hope those questions which myself and the team ponder help YOU when making a decision whether the course is right for you and your vision. All I ask is when you do invest... soak up the knowledge and take action. Don't just be a collector of courses. Implement.
With that I'll wrap up with the main takeaways, do your research always. Nothing needs to be done NOW... and if you feel pressure to take action, pause + ask yourself "Why is that? What's causing the pressure?". Try to avoid jumping ship too many times as these areas of transitions create opportunity for chaos/confusion which can lead to inaction. And finally, choose a mentor for YOU.
You got this, love.
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Grit + Gumption.