There is a new model of business emerging…
In the traditional model of business it would look something like this: The ambitious entrepreneur has a dream, a vision of their future and they want to make it real. So they make a business plan, get a lease, buy inventory or licenses, do a build out, get all the brochures printed, website done, flyers, etc.
They will then get a banner for the front, schedule their Grand Opening, and start large! Then they wait. And wait, and wait… customers will come in and they feel good… when it is quiet (as a morgue) they clean, keep busy making the place look amazing, and wait some more.
After a few months of this, they will think they should advertise. That will fix the issue. Only it doesn’t and it is very expensive.
In this model, all the risk is on the entrepreneur, and it is considerable.
The New Emergent Model:
Starts with a dream! The entrepreneur’s dreams and passion are the driving force of the new model. A simple website with a blog allows them to share their passion and start to attract people who really enjoy their content. It can be as narrow as Dog Clothes… you might love dressing dogs and your new business is doggie wardrobe! The blog would be about all things doggie related. Yes, clothes, but more important than that are the adventures, the happenings with dogs… after a few months of this, your little list will grow and your people will start commenting on your pictures and other content…
As they get to know you, they send questions and challenges to you – they ask you things they want to know.
The comments your people make are a form of feedback. If you listen closely, they start to give you what they like, what they don’t like, What they LOVE, and what they hate… and all this feedback is invaluable to the your next move.
With educated guess work, you will start to make offers to your dog lovers for dog clothes that you love, and dog clothes that your people have said they liked! From their comments and from watching the analytics on what they share and talk about the most, you start to compile profiles for your most engaged followers and pick items that they are most likely to buy…
Love ‘em up!
When not making offers they appreciate, you send them love — little notes with tips on how to personalize their dog collars, or how to fluff Fido’s mane for great pictures — or visit an event and send them behind the scenes pictures of their favorite breeds! You are starting to really understand your customer and they are leaning in — It’s a beautiful thing.
Why This Works:
Look, the fact that you start with your dream and passion, then figure in it costs almost nothing. Plus, you start at a pace you can actually manage — but the cherry on top is that your fan base already loves you when you start send them your offers. It might take a year, and it would be worth it.
Why it works is because you are building a relationship with them beyond “getting a customer”. You are building your tribe from nothing. You are also building your tribe while you are figuring out your message, building our brand, and designing your offers! By the time you are ready, so are your followers.
Other Crazy Benefits of the New Model:
At the end of the year, if you have had been blogging weekly, you will have 52 installments towards a book, with a built in audience who already appreciates your work!
You can work from anywhere, and start at any time! You can have a job and start slow or go full out and blog every day for a year to go faster — the real benefit is that you have all the power.
As you grow your readership, you can find (or they will find you) sponsors that want to pay you to review products! What?! That’s right! When you have a niche readership that loves what you do other businesses that serve that customer will want access to them. The best way to do that is by cherry-picking the products you test and honestly review them. Your honesty builds more trust and your customers will share!
The real investment is your time, your thoughts and passion, and your heart… you can build at your own pace (as long as you are consistent) and it will work. You are never at risk of losing everything or making a fatal error —
If You Want to Read More on Blogging Your Way to Business read: Is It Too Late to Start a Blog and Why Would I Bother?
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I speak from experience!
I started my first Creative Business when I was a single mom with four tiny children. That was 25 years ago and I started Business 101 for Creative Entrepreneurs to give back. Of course, I am so grateful for all the support I did get while I was getting started. Yet more than anything I wished I had some business support, some mentoring or guidance. I want you to know that I get how hard, confusing, and challenging it can be to be alone and have real questions with no one to ask.
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