3 Mistakes People Make When Starting an Online Business

Want to quit your 9-5 job and thinking of starting an online business? or perhaps you want to earn side income while still working at your 9-5? Then, you might want to know how to avoid these 3 common mistakes people make when starting a business.

Do you always wonder:

  • Should I leave my existing job and start a career doing something I love?
  • Would I regret it a year later? 
  • What if my business fails? 

You’re not alone! I was thinking exactly the same things a year and a half ago.


PS: I chose to leave. And I have to tell you: starting my own social media marketing business was the best decision of my life! (That, and getting a baby kitten) So, today I want to share with you some tips on how to get started and build a successful online business as a service provider. 


Starting a business is not the hardest part. You can spend a week creating a free website, register a domain and pay for hosting. Then, create a presence on 2-3 social marketing platforms and you start marketing your services. But growing your business comes with unique challenges, and especially your first year in business in essential to your long term growth and success. In your first year, you’ll face many challenges and make some of these common mistakes – like we all do. But if you know what they are you can avoid them.

3 Mistakes People Make When Starting a Business

Ready? Here are 3 mistakes new service providers make and how to avoid them. 


Mistake 1: Not setting the right expectations


Many people think being a business owner is easy. 6-figures income in 2 weeks? Yeah, who wouldn’t want to leave their 9-5 job for that prospect? Spoiler: it’s not always the reality. Running a business is HARD. In fact, more than 80% of new businesses die within the first 18 months. 


Acknowledge the challenges ahead and ask yourself: “Are you REALLY willing to put in the work?” If your answer is “Yes!” – you are ready to be an entrepreneur.


Mistake 2: Going into debt from the start


Don’t borrow huge amounts of money from the start. I know you’re going to feel pressured to invest in a “business coach” or buy super expensive equipement – but let me tell you you don’t need it! Instead, start slowly with little or no funds and invest staggeringly once you’ve validated that your business can make you  money. You’re quite fortunate to live in a time where you can start an online business only with a laptop.

I have seen many people invest into coaches from the start and few months down the road decided that they don’t want to be in that business anymore. So, I just want you to be careful.


Mistake 3: Overcharging for your services 


This doesn’t mean that you should work for free (although I do recommend doing some work PRO bono and get yourself a few testimonials) – just that you’ll charge a fair price. Later on, when the clients see the value you’re bringing to their business, gain their trust you can think about increasing prices. 


The key to long-term success is customer retention. Keep your clients happy & you’ll be in this business for a long time. 

Conclusion:


There’s no quick way to success. With any business, you have to put in the work if you want to achieve sustainable growth. The first year in business, I would have to say, it’s especially hard. You’ll face many challenges and obstacles and you need to be ready. That’s why, I hope the tips I shared in this post help you in deciding whether or not starting a business is right for you. 


I wish you all the best of luck! And let me know if you have any questions. I’ll be happy to answer them.

The Complete Guide To Writing Instagram Captions (+ FREE Templates)

Want to know how to write super engaging captions for your Instagram posts?

In this post, we’re going to show you a complete guide to writing Instagram captions (+ FREE Templates). So, are you ready to learn how to write engaging Instagram captions? 

— Read my article featured on sharemyinsights.com from the link below:

How to Write Great Instagram Captions

Article: sharemyinsights.com/blog/instagram-captions 

Instagram Captions Tutorial

Caption Writing Tips:

  1. The first 3 lines (25 characters) are the most important. Make them count!
  2. Keep your captions brief as shorter captions get more engagement (60-70 characters)
  3. If you want to tell a story or host a contest, add line breaks so it’s easy to read
  4. Don’t be too formal and let your personality shine through
  5. Stick with a voice & tone that’s in line with your brand
  6. Add hashtags, mentions & location tags to make your post searchable
  7. Always end with a call-to-action
  8. Check your spelling to remove any mistakes before posting

Want to know more about marketing your brand on Instagram? Subscribe to my YouTube channel (above) or connect with me on Instagram https://instagram.com/alleceambur

See ya!

How to Identify Your Instagram Target Audience and Turn Them into Customers

Are you attracting your ideal audience on Instagram? If not, you’re not going to grow your business with strategic marketing. In this article I will show you how to find a profitable niche.

Read my article originally featured on NealSchaffer.com form the link below:

How to Identify Your Instagram Target Audience and Turn Them into Customers

Or learn 6 growth hacking strategies for Instagram from the video tutorial below.

Tips and Tricks to Build a Seamless Instagram Content Strategy

Want to build an Instagram content strategy? In this article you’ll learn all the steps to plan, create and share highly engaging Instagram content.

Source: Tips and Tricks to Build a Seamless Instagram Content Strategy

10 Instagram Marketing Strategies To Make You 6 Figures

Want to monetize your Instagram? Here’s 10 different strategies to help you make more money on Instagram. What are you waiting for?

I wrote this article as a guest author feature on NealSchaffer.com:

Link: 10 Instagram Marketing Strategies To Make You 6 Figures

I hope you like it! Here’s a little preview if you’re looking to monetize your Instagram account (with 1000 followers)

Top 6 Analytics Tools To Track Instagram Performance

Let’s talk about performance optimisation! 

Do you often feel confused that one day your posts get so much engagement and other times barely anyone acknowledges them? 

It might be a change in the algorithm – but it might also be the fact that you’re just posting without a strategy. And that’s a huge mistake – one that could cost you in the long term. You don’t want to be spending money and resources on something that isn’t working. That’s where understanding Instagram analytics comes in. While may not like looking at analytics – and find it a tedious job – but it’s such a necessary step to improve your Instagram performance. 

Luckily for you, if you don’t want to hire a content strategist (aka. me) to help you audit & plan your Instagram strategy, you can learn how to analyze your Instagram performance with a few amazing tools! 

6 Analytics Tools To Track Instagram Performance

In this post I’ve compiled a list of my favourite Instagram analytics tools for businesses. These tools are staples in my Instagram business audit kit because they are simple to use & they allow you to access enough analytical data that will help you optimize your business profile. 

Why do you need to use an Instagram analytics tool?

A good analytical tool will give you insights that help you understand:

  • how are you performing now vs. 30 days ago?
  • how are you performing vs. your competitors?
  • what are some areas you need to improve?
  • what are some things you are doing well and should continue doing?

Here are my top 5 Instagram analytics tools to help you track your performance. 

  1. Phlanx Engagement Calculator – FREE

Phlanx is a straightforward engagement calculator. I like using it for a quick audit of the engagement rate. As long as you have an Instagram business account you can key in your username & Phlanx will generate a very brief report card of your Instagram engagement, including average interactions (likes, comments) per post.

While you won’t get a lot of insights (as with other analytics tools), you can use it to check your engagement rate. A rate above 3% is considered desirable for accounts up to 10k followers. Phlanx is a beginner-friendly platform that is FREE to use by anyone who wants to know their engagement rate. 

2. Instagram Insights – FREE

While there are so many third party apps & websites, you shouldn’t neglect your inbuilt insghts. Instagram’s native “Insights” feature is another FREE analytical tool for your profile. You can easily access & track your post insights, followers growth, geolocation and reach up to 30 days back. This is a good tool to keep your strategy in check and see which posts get you the best engagement & reach. If you can see a pattern (ie. quote posts get more views in 1 month) you can quickly adjust your content strategy. 

Learn how to use Instagram Analytics from the video below

3. ShareMyInsights – FREE

ShareMyInsights is a great Instagram analytics tool that allows business accounts to access FREE insights into their hashtags, posts, and competitors. I like it because it’s very easy to use, and you get a bunch of unique insights that you would otherwise have to pay for (as with Iconosquare). So, if you’re interested to see some unique features such as competitor insights & projected followers growth over time I recommend you check them out. 

4. Iconosquare – Paid

Inconosquare is a comprehensive analytics tool that is tailored for social media agencies and brands with multiple accounts. Overall, its best for pros with some knowledge on how to interpret the data. Besides their PAID monthly insights plans, Iconosquare offers a free downloadable Instagram audit for business profiles. This audit will help you check your profile for completeness (eg. did you include a link in your bio? do you use captions to all posts) but you can’t rely on its data because the audit doesn’t take into consideration your social media goals or industry. 

Tip: Another thing I found with Iconosquare free audit is that they will score your profile low if you don’t have hashtags in your bio – which it’s totally irrelevant for many business accounts as hashtags in bio don’t act like keywords and are a waste of space. 

5. Ninjalytics – FREE

Want to spy on your competitors? Then, this is the right tool to do it. With Ninjalytics you can key in a competitor’s Instagram handle and they’ll generate for you a brief snapshot of your competitors’ strategy & key stats. It’s great to use on mobile and you can take a screenshot and compare it with your profile stats. I like this tool because it gives you more information than Phlanx, but it’s not as comprehensive as Sharemyinsights.

6. SocialBakers – Paid

Socialbakers is by far the most complex and complete Instagram analytics tools I have ever come across. That’s why I consider this a tool for social media experts and not necessarily beginner-friendly. If you’re new to Instagram analytics, you may get overwhelmed and confused with the amount of data shown. Socialbakers allows business accounts to track their account performance in real-time against selected competitors (or industry benchmark). Not to mention that you’ll get access to a load of analytical information regarding your audience, competitors and industry.

Source: http://www.suite.socialbakers.com

The only disadvantage is that you need to wait for 3-4 days to get a status report and it’s a tool that generates best results in the long term (30 days +). So if you need data urgently, you might want to skip this one. 

So, are you ready to start using some Instagram analytics tools? Do you have a favourite analytics tool? I’d love to hear your suggestions!

Would you like me to take a look at your Instagram account and advise you on growth strategies? You can book anInstagram Audit service by sending me an email at axc99@yahoo.com

Bring More Traffic To Your Website With a Blog

Your Blog is a Powerful Marketing Tool

Ever wondered why so many businesses choose to have a blog? While it takes a lot of work building a successful blog, it’s still a great tactic to get visitors to your website. A common misconceotion is that “Blogging is not only for travel lovers”. Yes, you can find plenty of travel blogs and other personal interests blogs on the internet. But a business blog can be a powerful marketing tool, the same as your email marketing or social media marketing. 

What is Business Blogging?

Business blogging is a marketing tactic that uses blogging to attract more visitors to your business. It also helps you get more visibility online and position yourself as a thought leader in your industry. 

But, I’m not sure whether my business needs a blog. Isn’t social media marketing enough?

Here’s where many business owners get it wrong. Social media platforms (like Instagram and Facebook) are great tools for branding because you’re showing your potential customer that you’re a real and genuine person behind that brand facade. But that’s not enough. People encounter problems And they want to learn how to solve these problems. 

A blog is a platform where you educate your audience further sharing valuable tutorials and detailed steps to help them solve a problem. Everyone, including your clients, is trying to learn something, get better at something or get inspired by others – and that is truly the purpose of a business blog.  

A blog is part of Inbound marketing strategy

In inbound marketing, there are three stages of customer acquisition depicted below. As a marketer, your goal is to attract new prospects to your business, engage with them at scale, and delight them individually.

Source: Hubspot blog

Your blog is a key component in the “attraction” stage. In this stage, you want to attract people who are most likely to become a paying customer in the future. Your blog will help you filter the random people from those that are going to be making a purchase in the future. 

Examples of blogs you can write to attract your ideal customers include

  • a guide on how to use your product
  • information about how your solution can solve their challenges
  • customer case studies
  • before and afters
  • customer reviews

“47% of people consume 3-5 pieces of content before opting in for a service or buying a product” – Hubspot 

Here’s how a blog can help you market your business:

  1. It drives traffic to your website. Websites with a blog have 434% more indexed pages on Google. That means more chances for your clients to find you! 
  2. A blog is shareable. Educational information will be shared by readers on social media helping you gain more traffic. So, every time you write a blog, you create content that people can share with their friends on social media. 
  3. Your blog is a content bank. You can always repurpose a blog and break it down into smaller pieces of information. Eg. a typical blog post has 5-10 points which you can share as individual posts on Instagram.
  4. Your blog helps to convert your website traffic into leads. Anyone who reads your blog is a warm audience – a potential customer. People who read your blogs are more likely to opt-in for a service or buy a product you’re selling. 
  5. You position yourself as an authority in your industry – a thought leader. So people who read your blogs will naturally build trust in you and your brand and perceive you as someone who has a lot of knowledge and experience in your industry.
  6. A blog has a long-term shelf life. Unlike your social media posts that stop bringing new traffic after 24 hours of your post, blog posts are a sustainable traffic source. For weeks, months and years to come your blog will bring targeted traffic & leads to your business. My blog post “How to Write Killer Instagram Captions” has generated 1,218 views and 197 new email sign-ups since Aug. 2019. And it will continue to generate new leads for years to come without me spending anything on ads.

Meanwhile, I’d like to hear from you. Do you have a blog for your business? Does your blog help you attract new leads?

Need help creating content or writing blogs that your audience loves?

If you’re looking for a content writer to help you write business blogs, I’d like to help! Check out my Services page or send me an email at: axc99@yahoo.com.

Resources:

https://www.hubspot.com/inbound-marketing

Living “Healthy Like A Boss” with Megan Corey

This month’s featured entrepreneur is Megan Corey – a certified health and wellness coach who is determined to teach busy entrepreneurs how to achieve that perfect balance between living healthy and being a #boss! So, without further ado, I’m glad to share with you my interview with Megan below. She talks about what inspired her to start her coaching business, the struggles she went through and .. of course I had to ask her to share some of her favourite tools for running her online business #fempire.

1. Who has been your inspiration in starting your own business? 

There hasn’t been 1 specific person that inspired me. I came from a family where you worked for someone doing the same thing until you retired. I was taught to get a good job, work hard and save up for retirement. I thought that’s what my life would be. I realized after I had my 2nd child that I wanted more, I wanted to fulfil my passion, I wanted to find my purpose and I wanted to work for myself so I had the flexibility for my family. I have the discipline, determination and desire to always push myself in life and in my work so I knew I had to do something with it. After months and years of reading, researching, listening to podcasts, interviewing business owners and mapping out my strategy, I made the jump to open my business and transition out of the 9-5.

2. What has been the biggest challenge in starting your own business?

The lack of time is #1. While working a 9-5, being a mom to two small boys and trying to start a business on the side, nothing prepares you for what that looks like. I’ve always been an extremely busy person, but very organized. This takes it to a whole new level. The other challenge is just figuring out everything you need to do to start your business, from setting it up, marketing, legal stuff, creating products, providing services, selling, there is so much to do and you really learn along the way. The work is never done because your mind is always buzzing with the next thing you want to do. Then you realize you need to do x before y can happen, but you don’t even know how to do x so you’re back to square one. It’s a humbling experience for sure and so rewarding when you see the pieces start fitting together.

3. What are your favourite tools for running/managing your business online? 

Having a virtual assistant and tech help has been key. Looking for ways to outsource areas you may not be an expert in so you can focus on what you’re good at and what’s important has been a huge help. Tools like Dropbox for sharing and storing documents and videos, Zoom for video conferencing, workshops and group coaching has been great so I can engage with people all around the world from my computer. Having a platform to host my online wellness course that is also an email platform and landing page hub has been extremely beneficial as well.

4. What would you advise other females who are thinking to start their own business?

Start researching what you want to do and have your WHY for starting a business. My why is what keeps me going. I want to help people. I want to transform their lives. I want them to feel and look better than they ever have before in their minds and their bodies. That’s my why. 

I also recommend continuing to learn as you go, be open for constructive feedback, ask questions, find ways to continuously improve, take courses to educate yourself on the areas you are lacking, and just keep going. It’s hard when you fail. It’s hard when things don’t happen as fast as you want them to. It’s hard when you give up your social life for a while or you can’t just veg out on the couch because you are always doing something for your business. But at the same time, you have to find time for your self-care, your mental and physical well-being. That is one thing I never let suffer. Even if it’s 15 minutes of something each day, you need that release to be a better businesswoman. Some of my best ideas come to me when I’m taking a break when I’m running on the treadmill or taking a yoga class. Allow yourself to take the needed breaks so you don’t break!


About Meghan Corey

“My name is Megan Corey. I’m a Certified Health and Wellness Coach to busy professionals, executives and entrepreneurs. I help people change their habits, shift their mindsets and transform their lives through my virtual private and group coaching programs. My program focuses on mindset, nutrition, stress management, fitness to create overall lifestyle changes that are sustainable and realistic so they last. I’m also a mom to two small, very energetic boys, I love to go on adventures, travel, and I love to be active. Just living life to the fullest to be Healthy Like a Boss!”

Get in Touch with Megan:

Websitewww.megancorey.com

Facebook: facebook.com/megancoreyhealthcoach

Instagram: instagram.com/megancoreyhealthcoach

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/megancoreyhealthcoach

Email: megan@megancorey.com


You and your business can be featured next. Apply through the link below:

https://forms.gle/uLZ66CzTysZrMCCj9

How To Start A Remote Online Freelance Writing Business in 2020? [ 7 Step Guide]

Are you thinking of starting a remote freelance writing business? 

  • Have a laptop?
  • Love writing?
  • Love research?
  • Love work remotely?

Then you can start your freelance writing business right away. I started writing blogs in 2017 and by 2019 I went in full-time. So in this article, I am going to share my step-by-step roadmap to starting your own writing business. Ready to start earning money from the comfort of your home?

Copywriting vs. Content writing 

Copywriting is defined as the art of writing “copy” for the purpose of making a sale. So, the job of a copywriter typically extends to writing sales ads, landing pages, website copy, and even social media posts. The thing that differentiates a copywriter from a content writer is the purpose:

  • A copywriter writes a text that directs the reader to make a purchase. Eg. a Facebook ad with the simple call-to-action “Sign up today”.
  • A content writer’s goal is to share information that provides value to the reader (without trying to sell). Eg. A blog post on “5 Products Proven to Clear Acne”.

What does it take to become a writer?

Before I share my tips for starting a copywriting business, I just want to let you know that you don’t need to have a formal background in writing. Anyone can be a copywriter or a content writer from a freelancer, to a CEO. I used to suck at writing essays of any kind up until college. Heck, I was a mathematics champion in school, so I really hated anything to do with literature. 

Instead, what you need to get started as a copywriter is research skills and a passion for writing. Based on that, you can learn some writing techniques and formulas and eventually, you’ll develop your own unique writing style and voice. 

Ready? Let’s go through the 7 steps:

Step 1: You must LOVE studying

Want to be a writer? Then you need to read and study other people’s work to improve your writing style. Sign up for online courses on Udemy, read books and focus on getting better at this skill. I used to practice writing on my personal blog where nobody would see it – until one day my blog post “Why Starbucks Failed In Australia” went viral and started bringing me daily traffic.

Step 2: Be CLEAR about what type of writing you offer

Everyone knows that there are different types of writers out there. So, what do you want to be remembered for by your audience? Do you want to be the “Youtube coffee review girl”, the “Instagram blogger” or “the Facebook ads pro”? The options are unlimited. But make sure you list down the areas of writing you offer so it’s easier for people to find you and approach you for the right things.

Do you offer:

  • Social Media posts
  • Facebook ads copy
  • SEO Blogs
  • Magazine articles
  • Podcasts script
  • Email marketing
  • Website copy
  • Sales page copy

Step 3: Create Packages for your Services

Once you have decided on your services, the next step is to create packages and price them.

To create an irresistible package you need to:

  1. Research what types of packages your competitors are offering
  2. Ask your ideal clients/audience what type of services they need from you and how much they would be willing to spend for it
  3. Based on this research data create an ideal package (middle package). Then create one that offers more, and one that offers less.

Want to know what services I offer? Access my list of Copywriting Services here. 

Step 4: Identify your TARGET audience

The next step is to research and identify your audience. Think of what market segment (niche) do you like writing about. If you are just beginning, then know it might take some time to perfect your targeting, because you’ll need to experiment before settling on a niche.

In the beginning, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about so I created 4 different wordpress.com blogs for my various interests. I wrote about travel tips, cats, make-up tutorials and leadership. Besides serving as an online portfolio, 6 months down the road I realised that I loved writing about business and marketing leaving the other topics aside.

  • What is one thing you can continuously write about for 6 months?
  • Is there a demand? And are people interested to read about it?
  • Who are the people who will enjoy reading your articles?

Step 5: Have an omnichannel PRESENCE

If you are just starting a freelance writing business you need to be everywhere your audience is Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, forums, groups etc. Next, build your online portfolio (in my case this was my DIY WordPress site) and start pitching your services. You can attach this link to job opportunities on different freelance websites like Upwork, Freelancer or LinkedIn.

The key takeaway here is to be visible and easy to find by your audience.

Step 6: Offer FREE Services for a Testimonial

Why FREE? Your first few jobs might be on a free trial basis because let’s face it most businesses want to hire experienced writers. As you start getting a few clients, remember to gather good testimonials from them which you can post on your website on social media pages so new visitors can see them. Testimonials are great because people can relate it to themselves and if you were able to solve a problem for someone in the same situation with them, they are more likely to trust you.

Step 7: Have a Marketing STRATEGY

So, now that you have an established social media presence and a clear offer you might be thinking “so how do I get clients?”. It’s actually not as difficult as you think. Ask yourself this: “Who needs a copywriter?”. Every business on this planet, regardless of size, location or industry NEEDS a copywriter. The opportunities are plenty. 

As a new business, you need to spend some time marketing your businesses. In terms of which strategy you choose to use, that’s up to you and your goals. But if you aren’t familiar with marketing, in general, know that there are two types of marketing:

  1. Push marketing – this involves searching and contacting your ideal clients and pitching your services. Google businesses you would like to work for. Reach out to them and let them know you would like to help them out. Another thing you must do is networking: go to local events, networking events, join seminars and meet up with local business owners. Use these leads to build an email list that you can use to pitch your services.
  2. Pull marketing – build a strong online presence (social media, website, branding, partnerships) so people can come to you instead of you going to them. Focus on sharing valuable content on all your platforms that are targetted at helping your ideal customer save a problem. Think of ways you can add value to people without trying to push sales. Write blogs, share testimonials and client reviews in order to “pull” new clients to your business. 

You will need to use a combination of both.

Getting started as a remote writer is very easy. It’s probably the easiest business one can start in 2020 – all you need is a laptop and passion for writing. 

If you are a beginner writer, looking to learn a proven copywriting technique feel free to download my FREE Copywriting Guide for Writing Effective Social Media Posts

Meanwhile, I’d like to hear from you. Are you an aspiring copywriter? What are your main struggles?