Are you ready to start your online business but want to do it right? Or have you started your business but feel like the foundations are shaky? If you want to create sustainable success in your business, the foundations must be solid. In today’s blog, I cover the five things you need to do to build a business the right way.
How to Build a Business: 5 Steps to Start Your Online Business
1.Get clear on which niche you are going to start your online business
It’s critical that before you launch an online brand and build a business, you know exactly who you are serving. It doesn’t matter if you’re starting a business, a podcast, a course, or writing a book; it’s vital to know who you serve. In the last blog, I did a complete deep dive into what a niche is, niche vs micro-niche, pros and cons, and what makes more money. Check it out here: Niche Vs. Micro-Niche? Which Niche Makes More Money Online?
In essence, you’ve got to know:
Who am I talking to?
What am I doing for that person?
How you serve them well (be very clear and specific!)
If you are stuck, confused, or need some help understanding or discovering what your niche should be, you need to check out Clarify Your Calling. It’s a four-week course to get clarity on your niche and build a business plan. You’ll walk away knowing what God has called you to do so you can build a business that is successful and aligned with God’s calling for your life.
2.Create a business plan for direction to start your online business
Once we have clarity on our niche, we can create a business plan. Now it’s time to put the pieces together. A business plan is a collection of tactical things that give you direction for where you want your business to go. Four elements make up this plan. These are:
TSO (tactical specific outcome) – A sentence with ten words or less that is super sticky and punchy to tell your audience this content or brand is for them; that this business is exactly what they have been searching for. Be tactical, not fluffy!
Avatar Clarity – Who is your avatar? (This is one single person!) How old are they? Demographic? Interests? Trials? Excuses? Desires? Wishes? Wants? Worries? You need to know what words your avatar is saying and typing into the search bar.
Pillars – Pillars are content buckets that provide the solution you promise. You want three specific content pillars to serve your avatar well.
You must be extremely clear on each of these elements when you build a business. You want to know that you know the answers, and you want them to be written down in a plan to give direction for the rest of your brand and the remaining three steps.
3.Choose the long-form content outlet you’ll use to build a business
Now you need to create content for your brand. Long-form content is great because it has more longevity than other forms of content. It’s very sticky and extremely more sustainable than social media. You don’t want to build your brand on social media; as you don’t own it. Instead, you want to pick a long-form content outlet. There are only three options for creating long-form content
Video (proper videos on your own platform/YouTube, not reels)
You can repurpose your long-form content onto social media or anywhere else you’d like, but it needs to start as a type of long-form content. If you’re unsure where to start and want to discover how you can use podcasting in your niche and business, check out my free workshop, Podcast for Growth. This workshop explains the how and why behind podcasting to grow your online business. I have clients who didn’t use social media and never even told anyone (including their family) that they had a podcast but have grown their business using podcasting to 65,000+ downloads in 114 episodes.
4.To build a business that looks credible, get professional branding and photography
The next thing I recommend when you start your online business is to get branding and professional photography. Initially, I was guilty of this; I used cell phone photos and Canva in my first brand. That brand got me to six figures, which was great; however, I had every other one of these five things in place, and it didn’t look professional.
I get it. You’re trying to start your online business, and you haven’t made any money yet, so you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars. But, you can get great graphics and branding for a couple of hundred dollars, and it’s about the same for your professional photos. You can also trade services if you can’t afford photography or branding, which is what I did. I didn’t have much money to invest in starting my own business, so I traded services for photography.
Invest in branding for your online business
If you are a Stefanie Gass Student, I have a team of people I recommend for branding, and you can get student pricing and perks too! I also have amazing connections in my Facebook group, where you can connect with others and get feedback on your branding.
Your podcast cover art is the equivalent of the cover of your book! I can tell if you create it yourself, and so can your audience. You want to look professional and start with a professional brand, if at all possible. You can’t come out with one foot in and one foot out the door. You’ve got to come out swinging. Blast that door open and tell the world: “this is what I am doing, and I am doing it well”.
An investment in your business and brand will go far beyond you. It impacts how seriously people take you as a coach, business, or author.
Consider this: do you buy from people who don’t look legit? Investing in your brand is a question of legitimacy.
5. Start your online business now! Begin by putting out long-form content
Start your long-form content now! Before starting the rest of the things for your business, start with your long-form content. Stop waiting and launch. Press publish on your long-form content now. Don’t get lost in all the little to-dos. Just begin with the long-form content outlet and let that be your first step in starting your online business.
It’s really so simple to start! All you need to do to build a business is choose your niche, create a business plan, choose your long-form content outlet, get your branding and photos and then, start. You don’t have to create all the freebies, build a website, have a course/product, or even an email list initially. You just have to do the four things before you press start on building your business. Why? Because when you start your long-form content, you will begin growing your audience. You can cultivate your audience and build trust while doing all the other little things over time.
When I started, I got so lost in all the little things, but none of them actually mattered at the start; all that mattered was me speaking behind my microphone. That is how I grew my audience WHILE I was taking care of the other parts.
Start building your online business
Until you start your long-form content avenue, you don’t truly know what your person actually needs. So, you waste time creating all this stuff which may or may not stick because you’ll probably have to make tweaks after you’ve gotten to know your avatar.
My advice is to start and then move through the rest of building your business as you get more clarity over time.
When you start your own business, it doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. It is as simple as these five steps. Choose your niche, create a business plan, choose your long-form content outlet, get your branding and photos, and start. Once you’ve figured out who you’re talking to and selected your long-form content, the rest can fall into place. While starting can be scary, it also can be so exciting. It’s time to get going and begin to build a business.
Let us know in the comments below where you are up to with your new brand. Or if you already have a brand, let us know which areas are you going to work on.
I pray this blesses you!
P.S. Listen to podcast episode 492 for the full training on 5 Things You MUST Do Before You Start Your Online Business.
The more I get to know my students and the more I participate in masterminds with my peers the more I’m starting to comprehend the overarching problem and prevalence of one, perfectionism, and two, overthinking.
Perfectionism keeps us in a place of constant consumption and learning. Redoing things over and over and thinking that we can’t move forward until they measure up to some elusive standard.
Why do I believe we need a morning routine? I believe you must have a morning routine because it helps you get into the mindset of productivity and purpose.
When we get right with God we: Renew Our Minds
Get Into the Word
Are Able to Live Our Life Guided by the Holy Spirit
The difference in how my day goes when I do my morning routine and when I don’t is night and day.