Creating systems allows you to automate many aspects of your online business giving you more time to focus on more important things – like marketing, networking and getting clients. Unfortunately, not many solopreneurs or small business owners know where to start with getting their systems set up. And that’s OK, the important thing is to get the ball rolling. Once your systems are in place everything else is easy peasy.
I like to tell people that they should always be seeing their business as if it were a product launch. Because, essentially, it is one. You are always creating buzz around your expertise so you can eventually close the sale, right? But you won’t be able to close the sale effortless if you don’t have systems in place. The first systems you should have in place is your marketing pie, autoresponder, shopping cart. It is crucial that all your systems are established and tested before you launch your services, programs, or products. It will ensure your customers are satisfied, your systems are working seamlessly and your peace of mind.
Where to get started:
- Be sure to have a home base (aka your website) that is compelling, authentic, and attractive to clients. Now, don’t go crazy trying to make it pretty, that’s not what I mean by attractive. What makes your site attractive is to speak directly to your ideal clients need and recognize that you have the answer to their questions. Be sure your home page is not a blog page. You should have a static home page with compelling info about you and your services.
- Next, be sure to have a sign-up box on the top right hand corner of your site where visitors can enter their name and email to receive a fabulous, high content gift such as an mp3 and/or report that highlights your expertise on one topic. Set this up in an autoresponder like Mailchimp (if you are on a budget). Here you get to start building your know-like-trust factor with people who are interested in what you have to offer.
- Ok, now you need a system for getting paid. Depending on what you are selling you can use an invoicing system or a shopping cart. For invoicing, try Freshbooks. You can email you clients professional invoices and get paid online. And for shopping carts (and if you are really low on cash) try eJunkie, it will get the job done. Here you can set-up your products or services packages as an item and create a cart button that you can place on your site to place the item for sale. Best part is, if you are using Mailchimp and Paypal, both Freshbooks and eJunkie integrate seamlessly with them.
- Great, now that you have all this set-up it’s time to get your marketing pie sliced up! Here is where you create a system to network and market your expertise on a consistent schedule. Many people find this to be a bit daunting but it really isn’t just take one piece at a time and build from there. First, determine what activities you would like to engage in like blogging, ezines, social networking, forums, article marketing etc. and with what frequency you will be doing it at. For example, blogging once a week, ezine every two weeks, social networking one hour a day and so on. Figure out what you feel comfortable doing and map it out on a huge wall calendar and place it in a place where you will see it everyday.
Now remember, this is a cycle the will continue to repeat it’s self. Here is how this system will work once you get it ready: you will start to spring up connections with your ideal clients (tip: go to places where other people have already created a groups of you ideal client, but don’t be a competition for the group organizer – this can become a strategic alliance for the future). Then, start engaging with them and show your knowledge by inviting them to your site and asking them to sign up for your free gift – know you can send them your ezine. Once the get to love your stuff you can start promoting your products and services and convert them into raving fans that send you tons of referrals and keep repeating your services. Rinse and repeat.