How to be a successful entrepreneur and grow your biz for free

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You are going to be a successful entrepreneur

Say it with me now: “I am going to be a successful entrepreneur”.

I see you.

You’re standing there alone in the afterglow of your launch. Excited and proud that you got through that first big step.  You might be thinking about all the next-steps you have to do when you feel some beady eyes boring into the back of your head. Like someone's watching you, and there it is.

Self Doubt.

Hanging by the punch bowl at your launch party.

I want to tell you that if there are a few doubts at this point it's completely natural.  Self-doubt always shows up when we make big changes in our lives. Consider this a good sign.  It means you aren't afraid of change and it's action that creates a successful entrepreneur. Go on over and hug that dude by the punch bowl because he's a harbinger of good things for you. Always.

To any entrepreneur: if you want to do it, do it now. If you don’t, you’re going to regret it. Catherine Cook, co-founder of MyYearbook

Growing your business online starts here

Oh to be liked.

Remember how awful girls could be in high school? Aren't you glad that's over? Now you and your fancy new business need to fit in, but gone are the days of standing by the wall in a sweat filled gymnasium picking at your braces.  Now it's completely on your terms.  Now braces are cool and you can wear that one piece teal sweatsuit if you want too dammit!

You decide who's cool and who you want in your clique.  That's actually part of your job now. Not everyone has to like you and thank God for that one!

Trust you. Love you. Be you. That's enough.

To be a successful entrepreneur you need to understand the know, like and trust principle

Your job now is to help people get to know the real you. Not only do you not have to ‘get’ anyone to like you, you don’t want to be anyone but yourself. Those who like you for who you are will be ‘your people’. Having people is a good thing. Let's get you some people! Otherwise known as your ‘tribe', these folks get you, they like you and will trust you. Once you have all three you will get clients and customers.

Here are ways you build trust and help people get to know you.

Blogging

You certainly don't have to blog to be a successful entrepreneur, but if you like writing and would enjoy it, blogging is a great free marketing tool. If you choose to have a blog, recognize that this will take time, dedication and consistent effort, but it will pay off. Understand what you are taking on if you do this and have fun!  Here are some basic rules notes on how to create a successful blog post.

Guest posting

If you like blogging, consider guest posting as well. This is a great option if you don’t want to commit to a regular blog yourself and still get some of the rewards blogging can offer. Make sure to offer guest posts to businesses that are further ahead in the game than you are. You want to be seen so choose a blog that has an audience that is compatible and complementary.

How do you find blogs you can write for? This is the perfect article.

Post on Medium.com

All you need is a Twitter account and you can use this free blogging platform. If you do blog on your website already, head on over to www.medium.com and post it again there! If you don’t have your own blog, you can still blog on Medium. Make sure to include links back to your website and a call to action! More helpful tips for using Medium.com here.

Comment on blogs

You don’t need your own blog to leave comments on other blogs. If you have some fave blogs whose audience you think would love what you do, comment on their posts! Comment often and be generous.Make sure you provide value, promote yourself in a non-spammy way and leave comments early so they don't get buried. ProBlogger has a fabulous article all about how to leave comments on blogs to grow your business here.

Tip: Use something like Feedly to keep an eye on your fav blogs regularly.

Email signatures

Lots of people forget about this one. Place your business info in the signature of your personal email. Consider how many emails you send in a day or a week! You never know who might be interested in what you do. You can find some good tips here.

Bio’s

Make sure you link back to your website or offer an opt-in link in all your bios such as social media profiles and guest posts. Check out this article on crafting the perfect social media bio. You can even do this for your personal social media accounts. Place a link to your business account or website from there as well.

Affiliate relationships

Find a successful entrepreneur and promote their product or service for a percentage of any sales that come from you and they do the same. When you do this you get a new audience and possible sales from this new audience you otherwise would not get. That's a simple way to do it this kind of marketing. There are many ways to collect affiliate income.  If you haven't heard of him, Pat Flynn is a good person to follow. He has a site called Smart Passive Income.

Read this great article all about affiliate marketing here.

Co-creating

This one is really fun!

Co-creating is also known as JV relationships for Joint Venture. Do you have a friend who also has a business? Would their business interest your audience? Consider working together to offer a package that includes something both of you can do and pitch to both of your audiences. Or, if your audience is still small or non-existent, you could simply offer your services as something you think their audience would appreciate and offer to promote their offer on your social media.

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. Chinese proverb

This could be anything from a cool optin document to a webinar, conference call, contest, anything really. Of course, you want a business who isn’t in direct competition with you. Look for a partner with a complementary business to yours.  An example of this is a health coach working with a yoga instructor or a life coach working with a health coach.

Always build your email list

It goes without saying that all of these things should help you build your email list. Make sure it’s easy for people to join that list once they know, like and trust you.

Success is a multifaceted approach. Being savvy to all the successful free non-sleazy marketing opportunities is part of the successful entrepreneur's toolkit.   Now you have eight ways to grow your business online for free!  Any of these things will help you. Start with what inspires you and go from there. Take action and reach out for help if you need it, celebrate every win -big and small and keep doing it!

Have any tips or comments? Start sharing your voice and being more visible now! Share your tips and leave a comment below.

Bye for now,

Val xo

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