When you start a new service-based business, be it a coach, consultant, service provider, expert, etc., you are overwhelmed with all there is to do to get it off the ground. So you hire a coach who’s already been there to help give you the roadmap you need to success.
While this is a great way to learn certain how-to’s, especially when it comes to digital marketing, automation, funnels, etc., it’s enough to make your head spin. You immediately feel like you must have all they have in place to get to where they are.
I’m here to tell you to slow your roll here. This is a slippery slope into a rabbit hole of perfectionism, which can only lead to other mindset issues and cause your new business to come to a screeching halt, or at least seriously delay serving your clients and making a decent income.
Here are the prime time sucking suspects that newbies tend to spend too much time on while neglecting why they started their business in the first place, which is to get people to pay you for the knowledge they don’t have and to help them succeed.
1.New website. Yes, a web site is your calling card to the world, but you could get so caught up in designing and creating copy that you end up creating a serious set-back in officially launching your business, or any offers or products.
Expert Hack: Buy a domain and set up a landing page where you can give some basic information about you and your company. Make sure to include an opt-in form so you can send your audience more information, offers, promotions, etc.
2. Professional photos. You see those entrepreneurs with all those glossy photos on their web site, Instagram and Facebook pages. Some are candid, some in front of an audience teaching, others totally posed with perfect hair and makeup — even the ones that are supposed to be all natural.
These coaches have professional hair and make-up people and a photographer and videographer to follow them around. But what if you don’t (yet)?
Expert Hack: Now-a-days, smartphones take some pretty damn good photos. I recently held my own private photo shoot using my iPhone camera on Portrait mode, a Bluetooth selfie stick with a tripod, and photo editing apps (Facetune and FotoRus). They turned out pretty well and I saved a ton of money.
3. Trying to figure out the tech. I know trying to figure out funnels, automation, and graphic design can be daunting, especially if you lack any tech skills. By ticking away at trying to figure out DNS and APIs, you’re losing precious time working on your business and serving your audience.
Expert Hack: Hire a tech savvy VA. You can find one that’s fairly affordable on Upwork or Fiverr.
4. Trying to figure out the nuances and algorithms of social media. This is a total PITA if you’re not a millennial or younger. How to set up a Facebook page or ads? What’s the difference between a personal profile and a business page? What do they mean by ‘list segmenting’? How many times do I have to post in various groups daily???
Expert Hack: Either hire a social media savvy VA, OR pick one platform and one strategy for that platform. Don’t try to be all over the place with ads, posts, lives, and thought leadership commentary in groups. Those will all come in time. Pick the one you’re most comfortable with and one that doesn’t take too much time.
5. Perfect videos. This goes hand-in-hand with photos. Don’t spend too much time trying to make them perfect. It’ll only drive you crazy and you’ll lose valuable time that could spent on be creating your first offer or product.
Expert Hack: So what if your first videos aren’t perfectly scripted and you didn’t have a glam squad to get you camera ready? No one cares what your hair or makeup looks like. Your audience really only cares about what you have to say and if they learned anything from you. That’s it.
I take tons of videos while I’m on the hiking trail- no makeup, hair in ball cap, sweaty and dusty, but I get a lot of inspiration on my hikes that I want to share that with my audience. People also want to see the real you and not one that’s overly polished and glammed out.
8. Content Creation. Spending too much time creating content could mean the death of your business: blog posts, Podcasts, social media posts, lead magnets and freebies, videos, email nurtures, sales and marketing copy… While all of these are important to have, you don’t need them all right now. It takes A LOT of time creating content.
Expert Hack: Pick one or two types of content listed above when you’re first starting out and grow from there. If you’re a strong writer, start with blogging and email nurtures. If sales is your strength, then focus on writing copy that sells. And, if you’re not a great writer, then consider hiring a professional copy writer. The time and frustration they will save you is worth their weight in gold, and that’s time you could be spending on building your client base.
9. Taking too many courses. While I am a huge proponent of learning and truly believe that you can’t grow if you don’t learn, don’t get trapped in the constant cycle of taking too many online courses. There are tons out there, and those who sell them tell a very compelling story of how they can help you make more money, grow your business, and experience financial freedom.
Expert Hack: Decide what your business strategy is going to be and pick a course that complements that. Want to create a membership platform? Stu McLaren is your man for that. Want to learn how to build your email list? This is Amy Porterfield’s jam. Want to learn how to build a sales funnel? Take the One Funnel Away Challenge by Russell Brunson and his team at ClickFunnels. I wanted to learn how to do online and live workshops, so I signed up for the Knowledge Broker Blueprint course by Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi.
Pick one course that aligns with your business model and strategy, or one that was created by someone you already follow and trust.
10. Worrying about testimonials and doing too many free consults. I’ve seen new entrepreneurs say they did up to 50 FREE consults just to get testimonials and social credibility. That is A LOT of work. There’s really no need to give that much of your time away to get a few testimonials to prove you’re the bees knees and people need to hire you.
Expert Hack: You likely have some work experience somewhere. It’s likely that it somehow relates to your new business. Even if it doesn’t, no doubt there are people out there who would be willing to do a quick write-up on your level of ethics, professionalism, and expertise. You can even ask friends, family, or former co-workers to write a brief testimonial for you. Ask them to post that on their page, or in your group, business page, or personal page, take a screen shot, and voila! There’s your social cred.
While most of the things I mention above are essential to you business, keep in mind that they are essential eventually. You do not have to do all of this right now to get your business off the ground. It’ll only cause frustration, confusion, and overwhelm, which will lead to negative thoughts and belief patters. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your business. Just take it one step at a time and ask yourself every day: Is this task moving the needle in my business or my life? If it’s not, then don’t do it - at least not right then. Focus on what you can do and what will move the needle. The rest is just the nice-to-have fluff.