You may have found yourself having idea after idea after idea when you think about the creative livelihood you want to build. If you’re a big thinker like me, you have ideas about how to run your business, the people you want to involve, and how that’s going to look in a visual way. You have lists and lists and notes and notebooks and conversations with your confidants on a regular basis.
The only problem is, you want to move forward, and are having a hard time doing this because of ALL THE THINGS you want to do when it comes to your business.
I spend my time listening to creative entrepreneurs’ big ideas, and help them shape and form a plan of action around their goals, making them seem doable. I want to take some time today and share tips that will help you hone in on your own path throughout each stage of your business. Taking some time to distil your thoughts into an action plan will move you forward and get you online in an efficient way.
Here’s how to do it.
Create your unique customer experience
Whether you are a photographer, a blogger, or want to sell your ethereal jewelry, there needs to be some careful thought as to exactly what and how you will offer your expertise. It’s not enough to just put a list of your services up on your website and wait for them to contact you. Create custom tailored and intriguing packages if you are a service provider, test and iterate on your handmade products, or decide on your blog categories/content plan for your new empire.
The difference between an amateur and a professional is the experience you create for your clients. Think about how your specific process will happen with each new client or customer. Write out all the steps from consultation/landing on your website to final delivery of goods. As best you can, describe these on your website to create a clear path to hiring you . Also, consider ways that you can delight them along the way. What extras can you offer that are unlike what they would get from someone else in your industry? What makes your business stand out from the crowd?
*Tip: This step is important to the foundation of your business going forward. I give you an exercise for figuring out how you will sell in my free email course, Your Creative Business, Up & Running.
Decide if you will need help
Have grand ideas for content that will help your people but can’t fathom writing on a regular basis?
Need an online shop but don’t know the first thing about how to build websites?
Know that marketing locally is the way to go for you but haven’t any idea how to get started?
One of the best decisions you can make for your business is to get expert help when you need it so that you can actually move forward. I can’t tell you how many clients I’ve saved with my brand therapy and WordPress skills because they were stuck trying to learn how to design their brand or build a website on their own when that wasn’t a skill they ever intended to pick up. Taking time away from what you are actually good at is not going to benefit anyone, most of all your potential clients.
Hire someone that lives and breaths the skills you are looking for, and your business will benefit that much more because you trust a professional to get it done right instead of wasting time learning how to do it. Reach out to professional service communities, FB groups are a great place to start. There are loads of talented designers, web developers, copywriters, virtual assistants, and marketers waiting to help you out!
Devise an essential plan of action
Pay attention to what is essential to getting you up and running. Do you really need to take a course on how to do something, or should you just follow your gut and learn as you go? Balancing the input and output of your business is one of the biggest lessons you can teach yourself during this time. So many of us can get stuck in the learning part, that we don’t actually DO. Being an entrepreneur, and a good one at that, is recognizing the difference between time wasted and optimizing how you choose to spend your time.
To find out what you should be paying attention to in your creative business, do a brain dump of all the ideas you have for the future of your business. Write them all out on a piece of paper without censoring yourself. Now, go back through and pick out 3-4 tasks that, if completed, would seriously move you forward. As you devise a plan for yourself from here on, these tasks to complete are going to be the main focus of your days until you are done. This way, you aren’t spending countless wasted hours trying “just one more thing” to see if it works or is right for you.
Honing in on your purpose and mission with this exercise will set you up to go further by focusing on less.