10 ways to build more traction in your online business in 2018
Success is more possible in an online business if both the inner mindset and the outer tactics are operating together. They both fuel momentum.
Fulfillment, on the other hand, is only possible when the inner stuff is in place.
In a webinar with Tara Gentile and Charlie Gilkey, Charlie reminded the audience that if you never get present and recognize what you’ve achieved, you never will. Even when you reach heights that you thought you never could, it won’t be enough.
I wrote my book Soul Strategy because I realized that in order to be successful you have to FEEL successful. That real satisfaction doesn’t come only from achieving goals from the outside – that’s part of it – it comes from the inside too.
With the inner stuff worked out you will experience the results you create – instead of instantly wanting more or dismissing them as not enough.
So you need both – goals (extrinsic results you can get) and mindset (inner tools to build your ability to achieve) in order to get the business (and life) you want.
Why build traction in your online business?
People have a wide range of reasons for starting an online business. Some might be in it for fulfilling their core needs – the money, the recognition – which is a simple, straightforward, and sensible motivation.
In contrast, the people who I advise understand that satisfaction from money and fame is short-lived, while impact is going to fulfill them to the max for a long time.
Whatever the case, your online business cannot succeed unless it can build traction … and fast.
The business environment online is always changing. Here’s what will help your online business build the most traction in this year to bring you both success & fulfillment.
The inner mindset
1) Fierce commitment
There is no such thing as a business that becomes successful without encountering its fair share of bumps in the road. As a result, one of the most important characteristics of a successful businessperson is their willingness to commit, which means persevering even when problems seem insurmountable.
Of course, perseverance is not the same as blind fanaticism, meaning that you need to be careful about distinguishing between bullheadedness – the urge to ram your head into obstacles over and over without considering other possibilities – and the strength of will required to get back on your feet after a painful – but far from fatal – fall.
Everything began to change for me when I became 100% committed to figuring out my value proposition (the core purpose for my business). The moment I committed to finding answers and patterns, without judging the failures, I began to find my path to the right clients, right work and right revenue.
It took less than two years to grow to 6 figures from that moment. Note that it was two years from that point, not from the decision to start my business.
You can say “I’m committed” – and see zero benefits – if that statement doesn’t guide all of your actions. You have to be willing to say no to that social event or trip or program if they distract you from truth-seeking activities.
Finding the truth about your business value is the foundation upon which you can build a successful enterprise. And that takes fierce commitment.
2) Curiosity over judgement
Keeping an open mind by being curious instead of judgemental will help you continue to expand and build your online business. If you judge a result such as a launch or campaign simply as “bad”, you won’t be able to properly decide how to make it better … or take a critical step to do something different altogether.
Learning to approach setbacks with curiosity will help you become both more efficient as well as valuable to the clients you serve.
Asking questions like, “What do people respond well to?”, “How do sales happen most easily for me?” and, “What takes so much effort and doesn’t bring the engagement, customers or revenue I expected?” uses curiosity vs. emotion or judgement to find your ideal business roadmap.
3) Savouring success
As I mentioned at the beginning, it’s important to take a step back and look at your successes consistently to see how far you have come. This provides you with both an overview of all that you’ve done – the progress you’ve made – plus gives you a sense of what has worked.
It also helps you reduce the chance of becoming overwhelmed or discouraged by short-term challenges.
You need a long-term perspective in order to build a business you love.
It’s not a buy and flip kind of mentality. It truly is a lifestyle investment. You chose to step outside the security of a job where the paycheck is regular and someone else is responsible for bringing in revenue to sustain you. The trade-off is that you have to think farther into the future, plan and get past current problems.
Fully realizing & experiencing the extent of your success can help whet and sustain your appetite, encouraging you to continue showing up for the tasks you need to carry out to reach your vision.
4) Value discovery
It is not enough as an online business to provide help or a benefit to just anyone. Instead, you need to know the specific value you can provide to your leads (those who have put their hand up to say they’re interested) that your competitors cannot.
When you discover your unique value you can speak about it more clearly, more often and more effectively.
Standing out with value is much easier than standing out with noise.
It means that you can say less and get heard more. And you can do less and earn higher.
To do this you have to be specific about the best outcomes you get and who the customers are who get them. The most successful businesses set out to deliver their value to a particular audience who they feel more confident will really benefit from their purchase.
It’s a better alternative to watering down the specific value you provide than to try to attract a broader audience. Trying to be all things to all people rarely works or requires too many resources to make that noise.
I help my clients find their deepest value so they can convert prospects more easily to customers. One of the tools I give them right at the start is the Fascination Advantage so they begin to understand what they naturally offer and why people are drawn to them.
Figuring out the unique value that you offer is a key step in running a successful online business.
The outer tactics
You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. The most successful businesses are the ones that are capable of distinguishing themselves from their competitors positively and naturally.
To build more traction in your online business, learn what your voice is and how you want to use it to gain more visibility in the online world.
Putting a personal touch on your online business can bring in more customers who share your same values, thoughts and feelings. This is a critical factor because it is much easier to sell products and services to people who are predisposed to like the seller – that’s you!
You will also sound more authentic when you get more excited about a certain type of customer. Personalizing your language to him or her rather than a very general “them” is how you’ll make a connection.
You don’t have to have a list of 1000’s to make $100,000’s. What you need is to be real, and be yourself. It’s easier to scale naturally than grow based on an act that gets harder and harder to keep up.
6) Authentic brand promise
These days, people are inundated with marketing and sales being directed towards them in a myriad of ways. There is so much information to sort through. Even when the topic is relevant is hard to decide who to trust.
That’s why your brand promise has to come across as authentic and relevant.
I did an initial audit for a client last year. He is a wonderful person with a big mission to reduce conflicts between people as quickly as they start. He has a simple technique that he’s used successfully with countless people – even convicts.
When we met his book was a couple of months away from being published. He had his whole sales funnel set up … with all the bells and whistles.
This included several landing pages, a couple of offers, a flow of where wanted his visitors to end up eventually – a course or pre-buying his brand new book. He had heavily invested in tools and ads.
Technically, he had figured it all out and was tracking visitors behaviours down to each minute detail. That’s when I learned that there is software that records the actions viewer take while on the page. Crazy, right?
Despite all that, his conversion rates were very low. I knew the second I saw all his material what the problem was. He wasn’t speaking to any one kind of person in any one kind of situation. He felt that his technique could help everyone.
And I believed him when I spoke to him that it could. However, it came across like a miracle cure and most people are sceptical about general remedies. They sound too good to be true.
My recommendation was to tailor his messaging and marketing to a focused niche … and broaden his audience much later. It’s easier to grow big from a strong base then attract a mass audience from the start.
7) Empathetic communication
Empathy is one of the most useful skills that you can have. It provides insight on how your potential customers will react to your words. Learning to empathize takes practice. And tapping into the feelings of your best customers will be your biggest asset for growing online because it influences how well you communicate with them.
Successful online business owners provide compelling language and easy to navigate steps on their website that make their potential customers excited to buy.
When you take the time to dive deeply into your clients’ mindset, you can create messaging that reflects their way of thinking.
What you might think of as simple and straightforward, a potential customer might see in a different way and end up confused. The last thing you want to do is have them leave your website or sales page due to confusion.
Listen as much as you talk and you’ll be a beacon of relatable messaging amongst the daily bombardment they’ll receive online.
8) Converting traffic
Generally speaking, having less people buy more is your best business strategy. Why? Because it takes a lot of effort and money to attract people (traffic, prospects, leads) to you in the first place.
Converting every single visitor you get would be nearly impossible but you can increase your conversion rates using personalization, value discovery, a truthful brand promise and empathetic communication.
Nail those and you’ll see your conversions soar. Not only because you’ll smoothly guide your prospects to the next phase of engagement but you’ll screen out those who’ll take up your time without ever really intending to buy from you.
When you have your true value worked out and can communicate it exceptionally, more people will hear and “get” the message turning them into both ongoing clients as well as raving fans.
Higher conversion is all successful business owners ultimate goal.
“Be in service” has been my motto for the last year. It’s helped me deliver the highest value to my clients as possible. I feel great about the results I’ve helped my clients get and the confidence they’ve gained from working together.
I’ve designed my business with what they need in mind.
When I started my business I didn’t quite have that insight. I wanted a lifestyle that supported me mentally and financially. You can say that I had freedom signs in my eyes.
I was not thinking about the market I was serving – the needs of my clients nor the types of problems I wanted to help solve in the world. Truthfully I didn’t start with the motivation to serve first and earn later. I was blind to the truth of business and I suffered for it.
The truth about success is service. Provide a genuine benefit for people putting them at the centre of your purpose and offer.
Design for them and around them and I can honestly say that you’ll, eventually, build the business of your dreams.
10) Continuous delegation
You probably know by now that you can’t do it all.
At some point, a successful online business is going to expand to the point that a single person is no longer capable of overseeing its entire revenue-earning operations.
Before you hit the wall of overwhelm entrust certain duties and responsibilities to people you know that you can count on, enabling yourself to focus on the most important parts of the business.
Plan your growth out with the support you need to get there – now and into the future. Even if you have just a small amount to get of your plate, start now.
Just remember there is a limit to the burden that even the most capable people can shoulder on their own. Without delegation, there cannot be expansion, growth and increased levels of profit. Full stop.
Wrapping it all up
This is a lot of information to take in. Trust me, I wasn’t able to operate with these mindsets and approaches all at once. And that doesn’t matter. What matters is that you can do this and you will get it – just take it one step at a time.
Layer upon layer you will build a firm foundation to grow your online business and reach your goals with more heart than hustle.
Want to talk about where you’re getting tripped up amongst these 10 critical steps? Apply for a complimentary strategy session with me here.
Lisa Princic is a Business Strategist & Membership Expert who helps thought leaders & niche experts build wildly successful memberships. She's dedicated to helping impact-driven entrepreneurs scale their businesses with powerful positioning and profitable programs designed around their zone of genius. A staunch believer in simplicity and intention, Lisa helps her clients accomplish their goals by focusing on what to do AND what to ignore.