After spending too many years in Corporate America, Lorraine said goodbye to the bureaucracy, glass ceilings and bad coffee. Today you can find her at Roundpeg, a digital agency in Carmel, Indiana, building smart marketing strategies for businesses who want to use internet marketing tools to grow.
Lorraine is also the host of More Than a Few Words, a weekly, marketing conversation for business owners.
After leaving behind corporate America, podcast guest Lorraine Ball can now be found running her own digital marketing agency, hosting a podcast, and enjoying travelling and photography in her spare time. In this latest podcast episode, Lorraine chats to Robin about the importance of going all in on your business and giving yourself no way back.
Imagine your new business is on an island. To get to that island you need to step off a boat. Too often though, you will hold one foot back, but this will eventually lead you to fall overboard. When you are starting a business, you have to be willing to step completely onto the island and burn any boats, so to speak.
How do you go about doing this? The first thing is to invest in your business. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a large sum, but spending money on your business is a commitment. When it comes to investments, Lorraine recommends investing in a small amount of quality, rather than a large amount of ‘junk’ or cheaper alternatives that won’t move your business forward.
The second step is to let go of the past. When you start your business, you tend to do it with only half of you, and half of you is still attached to your past. The reality is you can’t live in both worlds. This letting go is a gradual process. You might begin with cutting down your current work hours to dedicate more time to your new business. It is important to have a plan or a roadmap and layout the steps to get you to where you want to be. It is not an overnight process.
Lorraine goes on to talk about the beauty of starting your own business in terms of bringing back a sense of creativity, freedom, and innovation.
A lot of business is associated with being serious, everyone sat in offices and wearing suits. When you have an idea or see something in a different and creative light, you tend to keep it to yourself because it is not the typical way to do something. As a business owner though, you can reignite that passion and you don’t have to hold your ideas back. Being vocal about your thoughts or new approaches to do something in business should be something that can happen without fear of being shut down because it is through this creativity and diversity that we learn and grow.
Getting your audience involved in content and creative ideas is also an effective marketing strategy. Ask your community questions, get them to share their favourite photograph or feature of your product or offering, open up the floor to your audience for content ideas. After doing this, then reward your audience publicly. Your audience is then more likely to share user-generated content because it is about them and in a sense serves as an ego boost.
If you’re a coach, consultant, or freelancer, what is the best way to go about encouraging your audience to submit user-generated content?
Asking for reviews and creating case studies are good places to start. Talk to your clients and ask them if you can write up a case study of your work together. Sometimes, this is more complex, for example if you are dealing with confidential information in mental health and wellbeing industries, but you can still share success stories or run polls and surveys without going into the confidential detail.
By using surveys, you can then gather what kinds of issues your audience are facing or what do they wish they could do better. You then have content ideas to turn into blog posts or podcasts which your audience truly care about.
The power of getting reviews and case studies from other people gives your business a third-party description. When you are pitching yourself, this is individual, and every business owner will pitch themselves in different ways. By getting outside reviews, the words and phrases being used are relevant to what potential clients are wanting to know about working with you. Your potential clients are hearing directly from people who were in the same position as them and that is a really powerful source of marketing.
Another bonus of getting positive reviews is you have other people articulating your value.
However, this is something that as a business owner, you can have a hard time doing. You often struggle to celebrate yourself and hype yourself.
The reality is you can show your value and tell people about you and what you are doing. Network with other business owners, grow from each other, keep yourself accountable.
After all, if you are burning those boats and going all in on your business, you need to lift your voice and show the value of what you are doing.
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