New hobbies, new jobs, and new businesses can be daunting because you don’t know how to take the first step. Let me let you in on a secret… the first step to any new venture is to simply just start. Starting can look a variety of ways: buying materials, doing research, reaching out to fellow entrepreneurs, etc. Once you take the first course of action, the rest all falls into place.
“Starting” doesn’t have to be as intimidating as we often make it out to be. I often hear people say, “I wish I could be an entrepreneur, but I don’t know where to start.” The truth is, starting is simple, and it starts with making the decision to take action.
If you’re a new business owner, you’ve already taken the first few steps it takes to get here. Maybe you’ve even set up shop, created a list of services or products, and are simply not sure where to go from here. In order to become a local influencer, you have to take a few more tiny steps—and the first one is going online. One foot in front of the other—now here’s what to do next.
How to Get Started In Online Business
“Online Business” can mean a few things; social media, building a website, running ads, or creating a Google business profile. Wherever you choose to start, be sure to assess your business’ goals and needs. Frankly, a website and social media channels are the most important elements to marketing and give the market a landing place after seeing your ads.
Remember, if you’re trying to sell digital services, your online platform is that much more important. No one wants to hire a trainer that isn’t as fit as them, the same way no one wants to hire a digital marketer that hasn’t achieved the results they promise for themselves. Think of your online presence as a digital portfolio, and use that to sell your services.
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Connect with businesses in your area.
One of the most significant steps to becoming a local influencer is to connect with local businesses. If you want other businesses to use or seek your services, they have to know they exist. One simple way to do this is to go door-to-door and introduce yourself. Share with other businesses what you do, what you can offer them, and the value of your services.
This may not land you a sale every time, but it will leave a lasting impression. Another way to connect with other business owners is by leaving flyers on their doors. Introducing yourself gives you a leg up by putting a face behind your services, but flyers can also be an effective way to bring awareness to your services.
Offer them something for FREE.
Offering something for free can be a great way to start a partnership. This can be your foot in the door for a referral, or even to do more paid work. If you offer something of value to them upfront and deliver results, as well as exceed expectations, odds are, they’ll reach out to you for more work.
Depending on your services, you could offer to help rewrite the copy on their website, you could teach them how to design social media posts, you could create ads for them, or even offer them free access to past seminars/webinars you’ve done.
Once they see the value that you bring to their business, they’ll reach out to you again, and refer you to others who could use your line of services.
Collect Contact Info
One of the most important steps is to collect contact info. When you introduce yourself to new businesses, ask for their contact info or if they can put you in contact with someone who may be interested. This is the easiest way to build a list of people who may be potential clients or customers.
This can seem daunting or awkward, but most business owners keep a card with their contact information on hand. The more you ask, the more you shall receive.
Offer Services Tailored to Your New Local Friends’ Needs
Upon interacting with local businesses, you may come to find that most people in your area need a new website, SEO, ads, etc. Whatever that need is, if you don’t already offer it, add it to the menu. Find out what the local needs are, and tailor your services to fit your community.
Once you do this, more opportunities will come your way. It’s important to be flexible and adaptable. The most essential skill in business is to be ready to change at every given second. Without it, you’ll be left in the dust. If you realize your services aren’t fitting the bill, adjust accordingly.
Continue Your Free Offering and Offer Your Other Services
Once you’ve offered and completed your free services, offer your paid services again. If they had a pleasant experience working with you, and you exceeded their expectations, odds are, they’ll use your services for something else. This is also a great way to incite word of mouth marketing. Even if they don’t need your services now, they will likely refer you to someone who does.
Continue to push your paid services even after you’ve completed your free offering to ensure you’re top of mind the next time a need arises. It’s important you carry out the free service the same way you would if you were getting paid. Once they see value in your work, they’ll invest in your other offers.
Even though it can be daunting to start a new business venture, all you have to do is start. Business is all about one step after the other. If you’re not sure what the first step to take is, just start by building connections in your community. As you build your connections and expand your reach, the work will follow.
Further Reading: How Local Influencers Keep Clients Happy