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6 Essential Elements of an Effective Online Busienss Strategy

intentional planning

 When I was starting my online business, saying I was overwhelmed is an understatement. As I scoured the internet, I was looking for someone to tell me what to do next.

You see, I’m a systems girl with a background in project management. Spreadsheets are my happy place, and streamlined processes are my jam.

But in my new online business world, it seemed like there were a kajillion different things I could be spending my time on & because I’m not one to waste time, I found myself in a bit of analysis paralysis in where to devote my energy to. 

After working with a range of entrepreneurs, I’ve found a common theme. Most of the business owners I work with get tripped up with the sheer number of variables they should focus on. And instead of focusing their efforts on the one thing that will move their business forward, they find themselves burnt out and spinning their wheels by trying to do all the things.

The key to building a business sustainably is focusing on the right thing at the right time and doing it in the right way.

After much thought and experimentation, I’ve developed the following roadmap & with critical activities for each stage of your business. Optimizing each piece of your business in this sequential order will help you avoid overwhelm, take intentional action, and drive sustainable growth. 

Before I get into it, I do want to offer a caveat. Building a profitable business that you love takes a lot of time, experimentation, trial, error, and effort. 

Anyone who is telling you otherwise (i.e., 14 days to 7 figs) is probably trying to sell you a load of hot ūüí©. & probably expensive hot ūüí© at that. Don’t buy the expensive hot ūüí©.

My goal with this article is to help you feel empowered and give you a loose framework on where the best use of your energy is at whatever stage you are at your business. 

Alright, so let's dig into it:

Focus. 1 Time Management and Self Organization:  

When we think about creating a lucrative business, time management and organization aren’t the sexiest topics to start with. Still, it's one I’ve seen prevent many businesses from even taking off. You can set a goal and dream all you’d like, but you will be going nowhere fast if you don’t have an implementation plan. 

Time management is a critical business leadership skill, but starting is essential because you will probably be working with a small team and need to make the most of your time. Time is your most valuable asset in your business and, heck, even in your life, so taking some time to plan out how & what you are dedicating your time to is super important. 

While I value designing a business around a flexible lifestyle, it is still important to treat your business like a business and commit to certain time-bound activities each week if you want continuous growth.

 

Some key things to commit to here:

  • How many hours are you committing to working each week & when will you be working them?
  • What non-negotiable business activities need to be completed each week to allow you to achieve your goals?
  • Weekly Check-ins to review business metrics & set top 3 priorities for each week.

Need some help with time management? Watch my time-blocking video here.

 

Focus 2. Have a clear vision  

 The next place to focus on building a sustainable business is by answering fundamental questions about WHY your business exists. 

Again not the sexiest business operation, but it is super important if you want to show up with confidence in presenting your offer. Clarity breeds confidence, so getting super clear on these answers to the above question will allow you to present your business with a clear and confident message.

Take some time now to get crystal-flipping clear on the following questions. I promise you it will make everything else down the road much easier.

  •  Who does your business specifically serve? (think ideal client or niche)
  • How do you serve your client? (i.e., your offer)
  • What benefits does your business provide? (the transformation)
  •  Why do you do your business exist? (you mission)

Focus 3 - Refine Your Signature Offer

To make money in your business, you have to have an offer that solves your ideal client's pain points and aligns with your mission. 

You’ve probably got a solid idea of what this offer is from working through the previous steps, so the next step is to refine it & optimize it by ensuring your offer & sales page are clear. 

A good offer should speak directly to your client's problem, the solution you offer, the process by which you help them solve the problem, and of course, the price or investment they will have to make.

You can download my FREE aligned offer workbook here. It will walk you through the process I use with my 1:1 clients to help them create compelling offers and clear messaging that their potential clients can't help but say yes to.

Focus 4 - Build marketing bridges, AKA Marketing Funnels

I first heard the term “marketing bridge” from business coaches Jason and Caroline Zook, and it was a metaphor that immediately stuck with me. A marketing bridge is similar to a marketing funnel, but I prefer the bridge verbiage because it sounds so much more aligned with me to walk my clients across a bridge rather than shoot them down a funnel. 

A marketing bridge essentially guides your customer from being a stranger on the world wide web to being a happy paying customer. Along the journey across your bridge, your goal is to help your lead qualify themselves by identifying a problem they have, delivering helpful content to establish trust, authority, and credibility, and ultimately offering a paid solution. 

Marketing bridges come in a few different forms, but some of my favs are lead magnets, discovery calls, masterclasses, challenges, and mini-courses. 

 

Focus 5 - Gain visibility through social media.

Visibility is a buzzword these days, and to some, it might sound a bit scary initially. But TRUST, this is such a vital piece of growing your business. If people don’t know about you or your offer they can’t buy from you. There are numerous platforms and ways to gain visibility, such as blogging, YouTube, podcasting, or a weekly newsletter. To avoid burnout in the start-up stages, pick, master, and systemize one content marketing strategy before adding another platform. The key to successful content marketing is consistency, so don’t over-commit. A solid content marketing plan could be as simple as a weekly newsletter, a monthly article & few social posts to promote your content and services. 

 

SIMPLE STEPS TO CREATING CONSISTENT CONTENT

  • Pick a platform
  • Establish a formula
  • Create a content calendar
  • Batch the creation

 

Focus 6. - Create a Website That Works For You.

It may seem a little crazy that I’m waiting for step 6 even to mention your website, but the hard truth is that if you don’t have a solid grasp on the previous 5 steps, your website might as well be rendered useless. Your website exists for one sole purpose: to help you achieve your business goals. If it's not doing that, then what is the point.

Yes, every business is unique, but the majority share these common goals:

  • Make sales
  • Attract leads
  • Establish Trust

An optimized website will be your vehicle for helping you hit those goals. When a new visitor lands on your home page, they should be able to answer these 4 key questions quickly:

  • Are you for me?
  • What do you do?
  • How can you help?
  • What should I do next?

Wrapping up

Kudos to you if you made it this far, this friend. I know that was a lot of information, but I hope you feel empowered to map out your journey. Remember building a sustainable business with ease takes time. Fast growth can all mean big stress, so slow your roll, build with intent, and enjoy the journey.

 

Have any questions? Want to chat it through?

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