If you have ever taken a business course, attended a seminar or participated in a mastermind event aimed at women entrepreneurs, then you have heard it;"Follow your passion and it will all fall into place." I hate to be the rain cloud over everyone's little picnic, but I have to be honest with you. It doesn't quite work like that, but it sure sounds good, doesn't it? Following your passion may make the journey more enjoyable, but if it is a journey to the poorhouse, do you really want to go skipping down that road?
So, what other option is there when building a business as women entrepreneurs? Well, I am glad you asked! It's a lot simpler then you think and it is still going to be fun, fulfilling and profitable! I will even let you in on a secret: you can still incorporate your passions, as long as you promise not to let them lead the way. Ready? Here we go.
There are three solid building blocks that need to be the foundation when you are raising a financial empire that secures your family's future, supports your community and fulfills your passions. First, build an audience, second build value, and finally build trust.
BUILD AN AUDIENCE If you have been sold on the "follow your passion" model, then It might seem odd to start with the "who" before you have even established the "what" but it will make your business so much easier. The most successful businesses focus on the customer, their needs, wants and unique personalities. Building an audience begins with a decision: who will you be targeting? General descriptions of groups of people that aline with your education, life experiences, values and passions, will eventually be narrowed down to a specific target audience.
Once a specific audience has been defined, it's time to start speaking directly to them. A target audience will respond better to you, your brand and what you are offering if you speak their language. It is essential that you understand their struggles, wants, needs, joys and motivations. Getting to know an audience on an intimate level is a process, but taking the time to build this type of authentic relationship will have huge payoffs as your business grows and prospers. Consistently speaking to the core values of your audience will propel you forward as a leader in your field!
BUILD VALUE People are always looking to transform, whether Its finances, relationships, appearance or one of the countless other life issues. No more guessing what will sell, and what won't. You know your audience, and what weighs heavily on their minds, so it is now your job to build a product or service line that answers this need. This is where it gets exciting and your own passions come into play. You are already an expert at something, it's not time to share that expertise with your audience.
Let me share something with you, When I was a new mother, my son refused to sleep. This was a struggle from day one. Between expanding my business, caring for a new baby, trying to win wife of the year, and being actively involved in my community, what I needed more than anything during this time was sleep. After months on end of sleep deprivation I was desperate and reached out to every and anyone that offered help. I found a baby whisperer (sleep coach) who promised rapid results and had rave reviews. I didn't blink an eye at the $900 price tag for a few session because I was DESPERATE! My friends thought I was insane to even consider what they saw as a steep fee, but they weren't suffering from severe sleep deprivation. For me it was valuable and worth the fee! That transformational value was there. That coach knew exactly what new mothers in my situation needed and wanted the most, and she could deliver. Her passion was really making sure that tiny babies were happy and healthy, but she knew ME, her target audience enough to know that as the person holding the checkbook, what I wanted most was a good nights sleep! So out of her passions grew a value based service that spoke directly to her target audience.
You may not be able to lull a screaming, strong willed infant to sleep, but you have something special to offer your audience. If you are able to communicate the value that you can bring to their lives, the need that you can help them meet, problem you can solve, you can then unapologetic charge a premium. Because you are bringing value, transformational value!
BUILD TRUST The Internet makes a great big world shrink down to the size of your computer screen. We are daily connecting with people half a world away, in real time, without leaving our homes and offices. This is a wonderful thing, but it also means that you do not always have the benefit of knowing who the person on the other side really is and that has created a whole new level of uneasiness for consumers. Providing results is just half of the equation when it comes to building trust and eventually brand loyalty. You want to build authentic and lasting relationships with your audience, your customer base. Each of us has a special genius that makes us individually unique. Finding your genius, your voice, and letting it shine through will build the trust of your audience as they get little touches of the real you.
These three foundational building blocks will ensure that your financial empire is strong as it grows and matures. Regardless of the economy, the changing needs of your audience, or even you own changes, these universal building blocks will always be stable. Once you master them, you will have more freedom to grow your business, knowing that you no longer have to spin your wheels in confusion wondering where to start. Your business becomes, profitable, fun and fulfilling.
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