There's this thing that happens.
I am not sure if it is because so many of us are deeply creative by nature, we've got our hearts all up in everything, or we spend time working from home. But, we undercut a lot of our potential and ability because we don't see ourselves as professions, we see ourselves as "just a girl trying to make it work."
But the thing is that I think that is ultimately to our sabotage because instead of taking ourselves seriously, we're playing like kids at a lemonade stand. When I started to take my business seriously is when I really began to find the momentum and growth that I was ultimately craving.
And so I am telling you. Girl, it is time to take yourself seriously.
You're not some amateur waltzing in off the street, but you have experience and passion that makes you gifted and highly skilled. When you treat your business as a hobby, so will everyone else. And that is a disservice to anyone who could be changed by working with you, and the success that could be YOURS if you'd just see it as a serious, legitimate, work.
I've got some things for you when you're ready to start taking your business seriously. Pick one or pick twenty. Start somewhere. You're worth that + the world is ready.
1. Create professional and cohesive branding (or hire someone!) across all your platforms that captures who you are and what you do.
2. Write compelling copy that ties your website together and effectively communicates your vision while establishing connection with your ideal audience.
3. Create a clear vision and mission statement, so that you can filter everything you do though those lenses.
4. Design a professional email signature for your email. I use Wisestamp.
5. Set up your mailing list and actually communicate with your list. Decide how often that will be and decide what type of content you will be sharing through that channel -- what will be the purpose?
6. Have branded and printed materials on hand that you can use if you see someone, if you want to mail someone a card or just drop it somewhere. Think business cards, notecards, etc.
7. Know who your ideal client is like you know your coffee in the morning. Know what they love, what they hate, what they're hungry for and what they so deeply need. Know them, so you can serve them.
8. Create a plan for your community. Determine how you're showing up for people, how you're bringing them together and what kind of moment you're leading them into. Your community, especially a well-loved one, doesn't just show up on your doorstep one day. It is cultivated.
9. Write down what your messaging is. What is the core message that is at work in everything that you're doing? Write down your go-to speaking or interview topics. This also makes pitching snappy.
10. Develop a social media plan. Decide what the platforms are that you're going to show up to consistently. From there, choose how often you're going to post, the types of content you're going to post and practice scheduling it out.
11. Invest in your business. Sometimes the biggest thing you can do is put your money where your mouth is and take yourself seriously. Buy a course, hire a coach, work with someone in a specific area of your business.
12. Get visible. Stop hiding behind that screen, girl and let us see you. This can look different in so many ways -- go to a live event, do a video for your community, schedule a coffee chat, post in a Facebook group, you pick!
13. Start batching your tasks. You're gonna spin your wheels out if you do everything on the cusp, start putting tasks together that can be done in one big lump, so you're free on the other days.
14. Do your accounting. Even if you only make one dollar, write it down. Keep record of your income, expenses and taxes.
15. Design your client experience. Whether you're providing services or products, you can build a phenomenal client experience that makes people feel oh-so-loved. Design it from the start. Know how you onboard people. Know the journey of the customer from the yes to the end.
16. Stop doing the thing you hate and start doing the thing you love. I know it feels like money is everything, but stop doing the things that are leaving you empty just to pay the bills. This is going to work out and it is going to be okay. Step out and TRY.
17. Get a business bank account. By keeping those things separate, you will feel a lot clearer about where the money is coming in from and where it is going.
18. Get dressed in the morning. There is something to be said about putting real clothes on. They just make us feel like we know what we're doing. So wear real clothes more often than you wear pajamas.
19. Tell your family what you do with confidence. I think our family can be the hardest people to tell what we do and be strong and powerful about it. But if you can own it in front of your family and friends, you can own it in front of anyone. PS. When you tell them, don't make it a question, make it a bold statement.
20. Follow those analytics. Find out where your growth is happening, where your traffic is coming from, your bounce rates from your website and then brainstorm solutions to be able to meet needs or monopolize on what is working.
21. Know your customer pathways. Know where your customer is finding you and what their possible journey is looking like from there until they meet the highest point of working with you. What does that journey look like? This helps from people dropping off.
22. Add value everywhere you can. Blog posts, social media, in-person conversations? Give away value for free just because of your heart to love and serve people.
23. Deal with the inner work and make a habit of it. The faster you can get that down, the easier it will be soar regularly. Trust me.
24. Raise your prices. Stop undercharging. It is declaring something about you that you don't want. You're valuable.
No matter where you're at. Whether you've got most of these down or none of them at all, commit to a way you can take your business more seriously.