3 Unconventional Tips to Starting an Online Business
If I told you that starting to journal about your business, taking yourself more seriously, and getting out of the Instagram bubble would take your business to the next level, would you believe me?
Well, here's the thing...I am telling you. These are my 3 unconventional tips to starting and propelling your online business. Read on, implement the tips, and thank me later ;).
Over the weekend, I was at a Christian business conference called Business Boutique. Man, I am on fire. I got to learn from so many incredible people like Bob Goff, Christy Wright, Dave Ramsey, Jasmine Star, and a bunch of other incredible people. I was overwhelmed by how much knowledge everyone had to share and also how rooted everything was in Christ, which is super refreshing when you're at a business conference.
There were 3,000 women there - starting businesses, already successfully running business and dreamers wanting to start businesses out of their hobbies. Everyone had this one thing in common...they love Jesus. I was just like, oh, my goodness, this is a breath of fresh air. It was just so beautiful.
Reflecting on the conference made me realize that I have managed to build something pretty darn great with the Chasing Freedom business, and I wanted to give you some advice based on what worked for me.
Chasing Freedom is a little over two years old. I get people coming to me telling me about their hobbies or their unhappiness in their career path, the potential they see in something, or they have this huge heart or passion for something, or they feel this strong conviction that God is calling them into something greater. But they're scared and they don't know what steps to take. And they have no idea where to go or what to do. That's why I wanted to share my tips today - so you can take your dreams into launch mode and start taking the steps towards where you're looking to go.
To lead into the first tip, I want to tell you a little story. When I was leaving the conference, I realized I was on the last page of my journal. The thought of 'oh, my goodness, I'm going to have to get a new journal' created way more anxiety in me than you'd expect. Every time I have to get a new journal, these feelings come up. I have one journal for literally everything; for all things in that season of my life. This one has been with me since June 2019. Everything from trying to conceive, traveling for 9 months, moving in with my parents, building a house, my husband starting a new job, prayers to God that I love to come back to, a list of people in my life who I'm praying for, and then, of course, everything business-related. It's like I have this like separation anxiety...I'm going to have to let this journal go and I'm going to have to start fresh. This makes just makes me feel a lot of different ways. Anyone relate!?
For years I heard people talk about journaling and I heard them say how much freedom I brought them and how healing it was and how it helped them to step into who they were created to be, to understand who they are and who God is better. I didn't always have a deep connection with what I was writing. For me, it used to feel like I was ticking off this list of things to do, going through the motions because I was told it was a good thing to do. I either felt robotic or just super awkward. I didn't know what to write. I was worryied someone would pick it up and read it and so my writing was somewhat censored. So now, when I struggle to let my journal go, I realize just how far I've come.
1. Start journaling about your business
So yeah, with all that preamble, I bet you're not surprised that my first tip to really begin propelling your business is to start journaling about it. Get your dreams out on paper and watch your hand physically write out the things that you desire. It can feel a bit selfish to do this and you might think 'who am I to dictate what I want when God has already written my story?' But what I personally realized is that the dream in my heart to go out and help women can only come from God. So the dream that you have to use your gift is God's way of using you to impact this world and even to make his name known through it.
It is so crazy what happens when you allow yourself a space to dream, when you have blank piece of paper to set goals and ask yourself, where you want to be next week or next month, what you want to accomplish in the next quarter, where you want to be 1 year from now, and your grand vision. It might feel a bit counterintuitive that dreaming big can help you make baby steps, but it's about putting your vision 'out there' and then breaking it down. Having a dream doesn't mean you'll get there tomorrow. It means you have somewhere to go and seeing those dreams on paper will allow you to apply the baby, faithful steps that you take day in and day out to get there. The thing about dreaming is, you're never going to get to the end. You're never going brush your hands off as a dreamer and entrepreneur and say you're done.
2. Take yourself more seriously
When people have hobbies or they realize they're gifted and they want to turn it into a business, they're often taking a hobby mindset into a business position. And it's hard to run a successful business if you don't believe you can be a successful business owner or entrepreneur.
I'm all about mindset. When you doubt that you can actually be in this type of role because of fears and if you don't take yourself seriously, no one else will either and if you don't believe in yourself and what you have to offer, no one will want to invest in you or your product/service.
When I was starting out, I acted and spoke like I already had an abundance of clients, like I already had a successful business. Because if I didn't believe in it, how could I expect people to believe in what I'm offering and invest in the service that I was providing? They needed to really believe that I could actually transform their life.
You need to show up as the leader, as the business owner, as the person who manages everything. If you don't take yourself seriously in your role, you won't show up consistently. Plain and simple. And the opposite is true; if you take yourself seriously and play the role of a successful business owner, you WILL show up for your people.
Consistency is the hardest thing when you're getting up and going in a business. It's hard to continue to write the weekly blog and get on Instagram and show your face every single day. I understand. I do it every day, every week of the year. I get it. Consistency is hard. So many problems come from this lack of consistency, though. That's why stepping into your role better, you will help you show up more consistently for the people that you're trying to help. And in return, your business will start to build traction and momentum.
Schedule in time for YOUR business. Try not to say 'yes' to whatever anyone else is asking you to do. Because often these 'yesses' to others scream 'no' to your business. So, schedule it in, just like you would your full-time career or your workouts or whatever else you take seriously in your life.
3. Get out of the Instagram bubble
Honestly, it's such a trap and such an unrealistic expectation to think you're only going to get clients from one area of social media. Go out into the world and talk about your business and create true blue relationships with people!
The real, intimate conversations I have are the fuel to my business growth, my social media growth...everything. To be completely honest, putting myself in spaces where I didn't think I would get business from, has been exactly where it's flourished. So many of my clients are people who found me through podcasts I've been on. And my podcast guests come from meeting other people in real life.
Yes, showing up on Instagram, Facebook, and your Website and is important, but it's not the crux of your business. Really think outside the box. I tell my business clients to think about who they have access to right now...family, friends, people at work, old colleagues, people from college, neighbors, church, etc. And then asking if you're allowing those relationships to help build up your business? People who genuinely love you for who you are, want you to succeed. So, invest in these relationships.
When I started my business, I put out this video on YouTube even though I had decided that I was going to run my business mostly from Instagram. But I realized that so many people who know me, love me and support me were still in the Facebook world. So I created this video. It was around 20-30 minutes of me telling my story and sharing my idea of starting my business. I used the video to help people understand my transition and connect with me. I asked a bunch of people to share my video on Facebook because I knew Facebook shares were so huge to getting a video seen. And I tell you what, that's where so many of my first clients came from! None of my first clients came from Instagram.
More business stuff
I'm really curious if this business advice is something you'd like to know more about - if so, shoot me a message over on Instagram @trainertanner.
Also, if you feel like maybe you need that little bit of extra support, I have one business coaching spot available. I am a mentor for women who are building up businesses - it's really important to me that I get really close and spend lots of time communicating with my clients so I can offer the best support and advice. For this reason, the business coaching spots are very limited. It's a 4-month journey we'll walk together. Once you apply I can give you all the details about what the mentorship actually looks like.
If you've never had a business coach of any sort, let me tell you, it was a game-changer for me! In August 2017, I hired a business coach right away at the beginning of my business journey. It was the scariest thing I ever did because it was literally all of my savings. Every penny down to the dollar of what I had, went to this coach because I was ALL IN. That was me taking myself seriously! It was the wisest decision I have made for my business! And I was able to make that money back really fast because I was taking very clear steps and I was attracting the people who needed what I was offering, which was (and is) so beautiful.
I am so excited to help one more woman step into success with her business and truly create the momentum that she's been looking for in this big dream of hers. Apply here.
P.S. The Freedom Method Mentorship Waitlist is OPEN!
You might've heard me talk about this, but I just can't contain my excitement! I want to help women actually do what they say they'll do so they can reap the benefits and step into MORE FREEDOM. If you struggle with body image, seeing yourself as unworthy, lack consistency in either your physical or spiritual health, or you feel isolated and alone right now in the pursuit to create the healthiest version of you...this mentorship is screaming your name. BUT spots are limited - secure it by getting on the waitlist TODAY! If you're on the waitlist, not only will you secure a spot in the Freedom Method Mentorship program when it does officially open up, you'll also get an extra month of coaching support completely FREE for the month of December!!!