Business

How to Stand Out Online (It's Not As Hard As You Think)

Standing out online doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg (plus your social security number and your first born child). Although, that’s the way a lot of business owners feel. I’ve seen far too many companies spend 5 figures on revamped branding to stand out online.

Sure, there’s something to be said for having a solid brand, but if you’re not in that position, there’s something you can do that will quickly put you ahead.

How to Fill Your Client Pipeline (Without Having to Cold-Pitch Everyone on the Internet)

“HOW DO I GET CLIENTS” is hands-down the most common question for anyone starting a business.

You might have a website, social media profiles set up, an idea of what you want to do… but without clients, you only have a hobby.

7 Ways to Stop Struggling as A Freelancer so You Stop Being A Stressed-Out Mess

When people think of freelancing, they imagine being able to wake up at any hour they want, not have to deal with a demanding boss, and basically living the dream.

However, most freelancers quickly realize this is rarely the case. Well, the sleep part is still true, but it’s rarely as easy as most people think it is.

There's A Reason No One Buys Knock Off Legos

There's A Reason No One Buys Knock Off Legos

When you’re the best, there is no competition.

I was on the phone with a client the other day discussing an idea he has for a new site. It’s a damn good idea, and there’s a huge market for it. However, he is terrified to actually build the site because that means he’d have to *gasp* share his idea with other people in order to get it built.

This thought alone prevents him from starting at all.

Lessons on Fear and Criticism

Last week one of my clients launched her first e-course.

About 72 hours before the first launch, we were on the phone and she asked me, "When did you know you were an expert?"

I had to take a moment to think about it, and I realized that the feeling of "expert" never really comes.

I easily have the 10,000 hours under my belt (also the bad eyesight that comes with staring at paper/computer screens for that long), I have my degree in writing (and the loans to prove it), and I my adult career is as a writer.

All along this path, there was never a moment where I declared myself an expert. No light shined out of the sky giving me super writing powers. No one crowned me an expert.

This is the secret you learn along the path: Even experts realize how far they have to go and how much they can still learn.

You'll never feel ready, that's why you have to start anyway.

Even Napoleon Hill was terrified to write Think and Grow Rich; one of the most popular books of all time. He thought that he wasn't an expert and had no credentials to write that book.

He also mentioned one of the greatest fears we all face besides thinking we aren't experts: Fear of being criticized by those we know.

After being on the internet for over 10+ years now and constantly putting myself out there, it is true that the negative comments can get to you. I haven't figured out a solution to this problem yet, but as soon as I do I will let you know.

Recently I have been getting in my own way and I'm sharing this with you because I want you to know that sometimes even after years of experience, it doesn't always get easier.

Sometimes you still feel like a newbie.
Sometimes you still wonder if you're good enough.
Sometimes you wonder if you should just quit and become a stripper.

You still have to share your gifts anyway. We all have to.

There are so many people who need the knowledge that each one of us has inside of our brain, even if it doesn't feel like it's enough.

You never know who you can help. You never how you might change the world.

Even if you get in your own way as you go, get back on the horse.

The only time you truly fail is when you quit forever.

The Marketing Idea That Changed Everything

Your branding has nothing to do with you.

That's right. I said it.

I wasted so much time trying to "brand myself" and "position myself as an expert" and blah blah blah. Believe me, they're semi-important, but not as much as the marketing revelation my brain finally cracked.

First, a little background story.

Recently, I have been helping a lot of personal trainers build their brand online. (BTW if you're a trainer and you're not on Instagram, what are you doing with your life?)

I have spent months trying to crack the code of what gets a trainer popular online. (Which you could also apply to almost any industry.) Here is what I finally discovered:

Building a brand has nothing to do about the brand owner and everything to do about the customer.

Here is how I wasted my time: Trying to decide my "ideal customer" and "target market". What would they wear? What do they think about? What do they do? What is their personality like?

Fuck all of that. Seriously. Skip it.

"WHAT JACKIE HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT IT'S SUPER IMPORTANT EVERY GURU OUT THERE SAYS SO!!!!"

If it works for you, that's cool. But I would bet that you have followed all these guru's for months, if not years, and it hasn't changed shit about your business.

So, here's how to position it instead:

What does following and supporting my brand give my customer to say about THEMSELVES?

Let me break it down.

So, one huge brand in the fitness world is Flag Nor Fail.

The two owners, Rob and Dana Linn Bailey, are badass as all hell. Alone, they could have built a pretty cool brand. But that is not the secret to getting to the big leagues.

The secret is in what their brand stands for. Flag Nor Fail stands for exactly what it says: You will never fail or surrender, you will work hard, hustle is everything, you will do whatever it takes to succeed, etc.

By following them, sharing their stuff, and buying their clothes, their fans are using their brand to remind the people around them that they also follow those values.

The problem is that too many people try to build a brand around themselves instead of building a brand based on an ideal outside themselves.

People share information from brands that speak to who they are as a person.

When you create content, ask yourself: "What are they telling their social circle about themselves by sharing this?"

This is why your branding has to stand for something big. Freedom. Happiness. Breaking the rules. Hustling. Seeing the world. It doesn't matter what it is, it has to be something.

Think about all the brands you love, something about each one of them SAYS SOMETHING ABOUT YOU. When you support them, you are reminding everyone WHO YOU ARE.

Now that I have helped my clients identify their big goals and values, we focus on building a brand around those goals and values, not around them.

Too many people are on the internet wondering, "Why doesn't anyone care about me?" instead of asking, "What do I care about and how can I create a rally cry to build a mini army to help us all reach our similar goals?"

List your top three values that your brand stands for.
Build your brand around those values.
Create content that speaks to the heart of those values.
BOOM. Raging fans.

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