7 Tips for Finding Your Unique Business Path [Part 2]
This is the second post in a 2-part series on 7 tips for finding your unique business path. Have you read Part 1: 7 Tips for Finding Your Unique Business Path? In Part 1, I covered the following tips for finding your unique business path: Identify your strengths, tap into your personal and professional experiences, build a personalized digital platform, and build your influencer power list. Go ahead, dive in to Part 2 below!
#4)Experiment with Your Offering and Pricing
There are a lot of folks out there who believe in the concept of “free”…that you should give everything away to your audience. The theory is that as you grow that audience and learn more about what they want, you can then unleash your product or service offering and a certain percentage of them will buy.
The big problem with “free” strategy is that most of us don’t have the luxury of the time it takes to build a substantial enough audience before we need to produce an income. I’ve spoken to a number of digital entrepreneurs who have built very successful online businesses and ignored the concept of “free” from the very beginning. (I’m one of those as well)
The other problem with “free” is you attract what I call the plate-lickers. Those are the people who want to get access to your best advice and then go out and do it on their own. There is no reason why you can’t give some of your best advice out for free and have your products/services offer value above and beyond that!
What you do have to do is provide enough information and value for free in order to generate interest AND you also need to work on growing your network within your niche. But you don’t need a huge audience or thousands of blog posts before you can experience business success within that niche. The more clear you are about who you’re targeting and how you plan to help those individuals, the better your chances for success.
Somewhere out there the right clients for you exist, you just have to find them. These are the people who will value your time and happily pay what you ask for your products and services. With the powerful opportunity to build your digital platform and grow your network, you can substantially accelerate the process of finding and attracting the right clients into your business!
(Keep in mind that each of us places a different value on everything. I may value a particular service a lot more than you do, for example, and be willing to pay more for it. Price is a function of value.)
The ideal customer/client is someone who doesn’t balk at your pricing and is appreciative of the value being delivered.
As an entrepreneur, I have found that pricing is an evolving experiment. Once you start to gain customers and clients, you can gather insights and get feedback on what essentials your program should be providing and where it needs to be priced.
#5)Ask for the opportunity
If you don’t ask for opportunities, how will you ever get to yes? One of my all time favorite quotes is from Wayne Gretzky:
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take
There is nothing more true than this. If you never ask for opportunities in life and in business, you don’t even give yourself a chance to score. You cannot compete.
90% of the time I ask for the opportunity, I get turned down. Most of the time I get zero response! You can’t take this personally. Every “no” means you are getting closer to that “yes”. Simply by asking for the opportunity, you can propel yourself to new levels of visibility and influence.
Before you can ask for an opportunity, you need to be proactively looking for the right ones! Be strategic. Who can help you get to the next level? In this age of blogs and social media, it is easier than ever to reach out and make the “ask”. There are very few barriers to contacting someone who has any kind of an online presence today. It’s pretty amazing who you can reach and whose radar you can show up on.
Here are some examples of the kinds of opportunities you can ask for:
- a guest post submission for one of your articles or even a regular contributor position on a popular blog
- a Retweet, share, or like
- an opportunity to speak at an event
- advice from a thought leader, influencer, or potential mentor
- a strategic partnership or business opportunity
- a chance to start the relationship with a potential client on one piece of the pie (you don’t have to get ALL the business today)
- a suggestion or recommendation
- an interview
My business ideas and models have been constantly evolving from the day I officially took charge of my career and became an entrepreneur almost 4 years ago. However, when I look back at this journey, the evolution has actually continued to align with my personal and professional goals. These goals change over time.
I get bored, sidetracked, and new ideas are constantly popping into my head (you entrepreneurs know what I mean)! If only there was enough time to explore them all. Basically, you have to pick a direction for your business and focus. If it doesn’t end up being what you thought it would be, then pivot (change).
The wonderful thing about being an entrepreneur is that you are your own boss. You can set the rules, you can change the rules, and you can always change your mind. The more you can tap into what drives you and makes you feel enthusiastic, the closer you will get to your ideal personal and professional life. You can define success on your terms.
For me, I really love the feeling I get from helping others identify their value, grow, and succeed in the way that they define success. That’s what motivates me. I love to teach and I love to learn. That will not change. The model in which I deliver my programs and services will. It’s inevitable. It has to. My clients also provide very important insight into what they want and need.
Another part of embracing change is understanding and leveraging new technologies in your business. Adopting the right tools into your business can help you to become smarter, faster, and more competitive. Technology is changing the way we communicate so quickly that it’s mind boggling. Big brands can’t keep up and they can’t adapt fast enough. That opens doors for the independent entrepreneurs to disrupt!
Your ability to create and keep a competitive advantage in business hinges upon your willingness to embrace change. New and better tools are being developed everyday because the cost of doing so has declined so rapidly and significantly. The challenge is sorting through all the tools and finding the right tools that fit within your process. Hint: define your process first, then choose your tools.
Ultimately you have to be willing to embrace and capitalize on change to stay ahead of the curve.
#7)Leave Fear Behind
Fear is a dark room where negatives are developed
Fear is funny. It just creeps in. Mastering your fears is perhaps the most important tip to finding and pursuing your unique business path. The key to mastering fear is to figure out what you’re truly afraid of. Go deep on this and write down your fears to see them and get them out of your head. Then tear up that piece of paper and throw it in the trash!
When you identify the true fears that you have, ask yourself “what’s the worst case scenario if this fear came to fruition?”. Almost every time, you can find a way to imagine that worst case scenario and think through how you would deal with it.
The opposite of fear is confidence. Confidence conquers fear. Believe in yourself. Be confident in who you are and what you can offer others. Don’t compare yourself to others either. That can be extremely dangerous.
If you strive to make decisions from a place of strength rather than a place of fear, you will be well on your way to creating success on your own terms and finding that unique business path that you were meant to travel!
Have you begun to build your unique business path? If not, what are you waiting for? What’s holding you back? If you are building it, how are things going so far? I’d love to hear your story in the comments.
About Stephanie Sammons
I'm Stephanie Sammons. I teach professional services entrepreneurs, consultants and coaches how to build personal digital influence to attract their ideal clients and referrals online. I'm also an author ("Linked to Influence"), speaker, podcaster, and a Texas gal!