1. Know Your Audience
It might seem like trite advice. But if you don't take the time to understand your audience, you could end up:
- Spending years building a business that appeals to very few people or no one at all.
- Wasting time and money that could have been better spent elsewhere.
- Missing out on profitable opportunities that are right in front of your eyes.
Who are you selling to? Why do they need your solution? What makes you unique and different from the other businesses available?
If you can't answer these questions in a direct, specific way, you may not be ready to launch into business just yet.
For instance, think about musicians. If your business is built around selling products or services to musicians, you must realize that they don't have a lot of money, and without a compelling offer, you're not going to get them to take their hard-earned money and spend it with you.
2. Build Trust & Add Value
Many business owners aren't looking at long-term prospects. Instead, they make many shortsighted decisions and mistakes that cost them credibility and profit.
Unless your offer is unique, different, or compelling in some way, it's better to think of business as an exercise in building trust incrementally over time – not in days, months, or even weeks, but in years!
Launch a content marketing program. Publish new, value-adding content on a regular basis for your readers and prospects. Equip them with the knowledge they need so they begin to see you as the authority in your industry.
There are many ways to take a long-term approach besides with content marketing, but whatever it is, it should be an ongoing program that enables communication between you and your prospects, as opposed to a one-time campaign that only serves to drive attention to your business temporarily.
3. Stick To What You're Good At
Many businesses try their hand at line extensions and diversification programs, only to fail or lose their footing in their market. This is because of the 80/20 rule, which states that you'll get 80% of your results from 20% of your effort.
Initially, generating business is often a process of experimentation. You'll try many different approaches to the same problem until you figure out something that works. But once you've found your footing, it's better to focus on what you're good at instead of branching out.