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Wonder how to build a profitable website?
In this episode, you learn the 5 critical steps you must take before building your online platform.
We are approaching the end of June and next week will be the last episode of the first season of this podcast.
The show will return in September with new guests and action steps for you to grow your business and live a life with purpose and happiness.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the Get On Your Quest show on iTunes to be notified when the future episodes are available.
I would also love to receive your inputs and comments about what you would like to learn in the next season of the show.
And to thank you for being such a supportive audience, I’m running a giveaway this week.
The reward will help you reach your goals. Stay until the end of this episode to know how to enter the drawing and have a chance to win your gift.
But first, let’s get back to today’s episode.
If you don’t know how to get started with your online platform, I will present five steps that will help you create your business foundation.
Even if you have a website or a blog, this episode can help make sure you set the right foundation for your online presence. You will also get clarity on what to focus on to grow your business.
1 – Ideation
First, brainstorm and select your business idea.
This phase also works if you need to pivot your current project.
List the topics you are passionate about.
If you don’t feel you have a specific passion, don’t stress too much about it; start with what interests you.
Or if you are multi-passionate, what would be your preferred activity? It would be an activity you would do even if you go through some down times.
What fascinates you?
What do you like talking about?
What do you like reading about?
What do you see yourself doing for many years, without getting bored or feeling unhappy doing it?
What problem would you love to solve?
Don’t filter your answers. List everything you can think about.
Then select the idea that makes sense in terms of
- Value you could bring
- Skills and resources you have to make things happen
- Revenue model, as you need to make sure your business is sustainable.
Take into account your interests and motivation.
Make sure your business idea is aligned with your why and your values.
2 – Clarify your market
Choose a profitable market, with success stories from other companies or business owners.
You won’t survive if you select a market where people are not willing to pay for any services or products.
Don’t be afraid if you select a market that seems crowded. It’s intimidating, but you can find a different angle to show how you too can add value to your audience.
There are specific niches where people would love to work with you, rather than with the big gurus.
Don’t let excuses stop you from taking action. You will always learn and gain something from your experiments.
If you need help to overcome your excuses, listen to the previous episode, episode 40, to adopt a more positive attitude and create changes in your life.
3 – Get out of the building
Go out there and discuss with potential customers to get their feedback.
Several years ago, I was participating in a startup event in San Francisco and had the chance to listen to a speech from Steve Blank who was a guest speaker there.
Steve Blank teaches entrepreneurship. Here is the link to an article he wrote about getting out of the building to test your hypothesis.
This is a critical phase that many entrepreneurs are afraid to do. Or they think it’s not worth validating their idea with potential clients.
Asking your friends if they would purchase your products or services is not a conclusive test, unless they are ready to open their wallet.
I don’t say that your friends can’t be your clients, but chances are that most of them won’t be your targeted audience.
Trust me; I know how scary it could be to talk to total strangers.
There are ways to get over it such as being held accountable to get things done.
I learned a lot from those years enrolling in local startup programs. Taking on their challenges helped me grow, and somehow, I could do things I might not have done by myself, just because I felt accountable for my results.
You can’t hide behind your computer, betting your idea will work and hoping customers will come.
You need to talk to people and get their feedback.
You will save time wondering for months what you should be doing.
Getting out of the building is about interviewing your ideal clients, validating your idea and getting insights for your product development. You will learn more about your audience, their problems, their needs and desires than staying home imagining what your audience wants.
There are many benefits to interview directly your ideal clients. Some of them might stay in touch with you. I even made new friends that way.
4 – Clarify your message
Create a clear message for your website to let your visitors know how you can help them.
Do you have a mission statement that clarifies who you help, the problem you solve, your solution, and how you transform your clients after they work with you?
If the answer is no, block some time in your agenda to clarify your message.
Here is a format that you can use to explain your mission:
I help … [describe your ideal clients]
Solve … [their problem]
By providing them with … [your solution]
so they can … [their transformation].
Once you have your mission statement, check your sentence with others to make sure your message is clear.
Don’t spend weeks finding the perfect statement. You will improve it over time.
Your statement will give a direction to your business and help you find topics you want to write about to help your audience.
5 – Your first paid offer
The fifth step complements your mission statement and is necessary to create a sustainable business.
Decide what your first paid offer will be.
Is it a service or a product? For example, do you plan to offer coaching services? Or will you sell online courses?
This phase is not about creating your offer or implementing your products. It’s about deciding how you will make your first income.
If you don’t think about it, you could end the year with only having a blog that doesn’t make any money.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s great if you can build an audience that follows your blog, but if your goal is to build a profitable business, a blog is not sufficient.
You can even build an audience that will not purchase your future offers if your blog is not related to your future services or products.
Think and act like a business owner rather than being a blogger.
To summarize the five steps I mentioned, here is what to do before creating your online platform:
- Brainstorm and select your business idea
- Verify that your market is profitable
- Interview your ideal clients to validate your idea
- Clarify your message
- Decide what your first paid offer will be
After you follow those steps, you will have a clearer direction for your business and you will be more intentional when you build your online platform.
You will avoid wasting time and energy on random strategies and tactics you find online that don’t fit your current situation.
Do the work that others avoid and you will be better prepared to bring your message to the world while growing a profitable business.
Your action item for this week is to block some time in your agenda to work on those five steps and prepare your plan to go through the rest of the year with more clarity and better strategies to grow your business.
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
I might not publish new podcast episodes during this summer but I will still be available online.
In addition to my podcast, you can also find me via my business website.
Let me know if you need help to implement your projects.
Enter the drawing and win a Tools4Wisdom planner
I mentioned at the beginning of this episode that I’m organizing a giveaway.
The price is a Tools4Wisdom Planner. It’s the full size planner that goes from July 2017 to June 2018.
I always suggest you block some time in your agenda to work on important tasks. I thought this planner would be the perfect gift for the person who wins the drawing I will do on Monday the 26th of June at noon.
The only thing you need to do is to fill this survey.
Submit your answers by Monday the 26th of June at noon Pacific time.
I will contact the winner by email so make sure that you provide a correct email address.
To double your chance to win the drawing, if you also let me know which episode of this podcast show was your favorite one and why, your submission will then count as two votes.
Follow the link to the survey related to today’s episode to enter the drawing and the winner will be announced next week.
Until next time, keep moving forward and share your message with the world!
- Fill this survey to enter the drawing and win a Tools4Wisdom Planner 2017-2018
- Steve Blank: Teaching Entrepreneurship – By Getting Out of the Building
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- Connect with Thuy on LinkedIn
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