Focus on activities that bring revenue into your business
When you first start a business, you are likely to get overwhelmed. And, it's easy to get distracted. You may find yourself chasing down the next thing you need to learn, and the next thing, and the next thing.
You get stuck in all learning and no action.
And if you do take action, it's the wrong things. You aren't focused on revenue-generating activities.
So, in this post, I want to help you get clarity on the number one things you should be doing in your online business to get results and make money.
Revenue-generating activity #1: Start your day right.
Write your daily affirmations
This one might seem like a surprise, but bear with me and keep reading.
When you first sit down at your desk to work, do not go straight to email. Do not open your social media sites. Do not open your Internet browser.
Instead, open your notebook and write down your long-term goals. Include all of your desired outcomes, even the ones that are not directly related to your business (but be sure to include thos too!). Write down items such as:
Write down items such as:
- Where you want to live and the type of home
- Who you want to begin relationships with (business or personal)
- Your financial state (money coming in, reduction of debt, savings, etc.)
- The places you want to travel
- The state of your health and fitness
- And so on.
These are affirmations that keep you focused on your big dream, your WHY, and your destination.
They should be written as "I am..." statements. This means that you write them as if they are already happening to you. Create them as your future self.
For example, one of my goals is to become a contributor to a major publication.
So, in my journal, I write "I am a contributor to a major publication."
I also want to remind myself to exercise and eat right, so I write down, "I take exceptional care of my health and fitness. I am healthy and fit. I have lots of energy and I feel great!"
I can hear you asking, "Why are these money-making tasks?"
Here's the reason.
When you start off my day in this way, it will keep you focused on the exact activities that will get me to accomplish your goals. You set up your brain for relentless concentration on the tasks that are meaningful.
By writing your "I am..." statements before you do anything else, you are a lot less likely to get distracted or into overwhelm mode. Instead, you will take on the specific activities that you need to do to become your future desired state.
You may look may be things on your list that don't immediately seem like money-making tasks. But let me assure you they are.
In my example of eating right and exercising, this is important because it helps me in two ways:
1) when I take care of myself, I am incredibly productive and perform at a higher level
2) when I know I have to carve out time to work out, I get more done in less time without screwing around on social media because I know I have to fit it all in
Rewrite your affirmations every day before you do anything else. It won't take long.
These can evolve. For instance, perhaps right now it would be inspiring to you to write "I am consistently earning $7,000 each month from my online business." Down the road, when you've achieved that goal, you can bump it up to the next revenue benchmark you'd like to hit.
As you write the statements down, say them to yourself inside your head.
Then reread each one aloud and take a moment to visualize each affirmation and feel the emotions that each future outcome would bring to you.
Feel free to have silly visualizations if they are easier for you. For instance, if you have an I am statement that is "I am confident selling on the phone and I easily close $20,000 clients," then perhaps you visualize yourself sitting in your chair and talking on the phone while wearing a superhero outfit complete with a cape and your feelings are bravery, confidence, and enthusiasm.
It doesn't matter what you picture inside your head as long as it feels really inspiring to YOU.
And while this may sound "woo-woo," there have many studies by neuroscientists that show that focusing on goals and visualizing them can help performance.
Prioritize your day
The next thing that you can do to get ultra-focused is to write down the three things that you intend to accomplish for the day. Prioritize them as 1, 2, and 3.
Work on #1 until it's completed, then check it off. Then work on #2 until it's completed. Then #3. If you complete them early, focus on activities that are less of a priority but still move you toward your desired outcomes.
So each of these things every day - once you get into this as a daily habit, it won't take you more than 20-30 minutes, but will save you hours of wasted "busy" time.
After starting your day right, the next piece to make sure you do to generate revenue in your business is to take care of your peeps.
Revenue-generating activity #2: Take care of your peeps
You probably have a blog. And, hopefully, you are getting a regular stream of traffic and have built an email list of leads (if not, I got you covered in the next tip).
Perhaps you also have a Facebook group. (I do - come join us!)
These are places where your community - I playfully like to call them your peeps - are hanging out. Your peeps are the folks who have raised their hand to say "Hey, I'm interested in what you have to offer! They are the ones who are reading your blog, downloading your lead magnets, signing up for your list, and joining your group because they believe you have something that you can provide to them. They are also the people who have already purchased something from you.
Once they enter your community, it is your job to nurture the relationship. This means you should be sending them emails regularly, posting regular blog articles, and creating content for your groups.
I have had some people say to me, "But Wendy, I don't know what to write to my newsletter list!"
Well, my friend, you are in luck because I wrote an entire post for you: 25 Types of Emails You Can Send to Your List (For the Entrepreneur Who has No Idea What to Write).
I have also included some great tips on how to quickly write blog posts - you can use this exact same process to create content that you email to your list.
These two resources should give you a good start.
Other ideas that you can use to write content to email your list include:
- Updates on what you are working on and how it's going
- Behind the scenes look at your business
- Answer reader questions
- Provide sneak previews of things that you will be releasing
- A digest of things that you have been reading/watching
- A list of resources that you use in your business
You can also use these ideas to create additional content, which leads me to revenue-generating activity #3.
Revenue-generating activity #3: Create content and build your list
Consistently create content
Get on a consistent schedule of content generation - this is what will bring you a continuous stream of leads. We just talked about nurturing your peeps and that is some of the content you will be creating. But you also need to create a continous stream of content to attract traffic.
Lead generation and lead nurturing work hand in hand.
And they both lead to engaged customers who will buy from you again and again.
Depending on your marketing activities, your content can include writing blog posts, recording podcasts, making videos, creating guest posts, or the many other types of content that today's technology allows us to create.
You certainly don't have to undertake all of these (and I wouldn't recommend it). Instead, choose a couple and be incredibly consistent. My recommendation - if you are just starting out - is to focus initial efforts on creating weekly posts on your blog and writing guest posts to drive traffic back to your site, leveraging other people's audiences. This will quickly build up traffic to your site.
No matter what industry you are in, your content must inspire, motivate, and/or educate your audience. And, it should be focused on solving problems for them.
I've learned through working both in my own company and with many different types of clients that your peeps will evaluate your worthiness based on the strength and quality of your content. The better your content, the more credible you will seem to your audience, and the more likely they are to choose your products and services. Content is also a huge boon in getting organic traffic from search engine optimization (SEO).
When you write your blog posts, focus on creating posts that are 1,500 - 3,000 words. I know, I know, that's a lot of friggin' words. But multiple studies show that blog posts of 1,500 words or more tend to receive more shares. They also tend to have a higher position in Google's search results.
That said, your posts have to also have substance and purpose.
In other words, they have to really be great and help your audience accomplish something. If you'd like to learn a process for writing blog posts more quickly, I have developed a formula to help you create content.
Think about each one of your posts as "pillar content." These are the backbone of your marketing efforts.
These pillar-content posts have a long lifespan and will help to educate your peeps by helping them solve a problem. Also, they will serve to attract potential clients to your website over and over again.
Stuck for ideas?
Try writing a comprehensive guide about something that showcases your expertise and helps to teach your peeps how to do something better. Include examples, stories, numbers, screenshots, infographcs, and anything else that you think would help make the blog post the ultimate resource for your peeps. This could be a How to Do X or Here is my system to do Y or Here are mistakes you are probably making and how to correct them.
No matter what you write about, the content should Wow! your audience so much, that they will bookmark and share it and read it repeatedly.
You can also offer Webinars and Facebook Live to drive traffic to your website and blog. This provides incredible value to them, and it accelerates your know-like-trust factor like crazy!
Building your email list
In addition, make sure that you are using lead magnets and content upgrades to get people on your list so that you can market to them over and over (otherwise, they stop by your blog to read your post, and then CLICK! and they are gone). In fact, statistics show more than 70% of the people who visit your website will never come back.
An email list is one of the biggest assets you can build in your business. Besides being the best way to communicate with your peeps, it's how you make sales of your products and services.
In order to build an email list, you have to have an email service provider.
There are many different options, but I’ll recommend my favorites:
Studies show that (if you nurture them as I mentioned above), on average, each email list subscriber is worth about $2 per month in revenue to you.
This means that if you have 500 subscribers, you can expect to make $1,000 each month. With $5,000 subscribers, you can make $10,000 per month and so on. See why people say, "The money's in the list"?
If you communicate with your people regularly via your list, when you are ready to make an offer about a service or product, your email list already has warm and fuzzy feelings about you. They will be more likely to buy from you, which leads me to my next point...make offers!
Revenue-generating activity#4: Make offers regularly!
This is a funny one. And I say that because making offers is probably one of the top things you should be doing to make money in your business. But, if you are like a lot of people, it may be one of the things that you are actually doing infrequently.
Look, writing blog posts and emailing your list is a lot of hard work and time and effort. And so is the time you are investing in Facebook groups and on social media.
Buuuuut, if you are like a bunch of my clients when we first start working together, you aren't actually making any offers. You aren't telling your leads about your products and services. And, you aren't telling the people who already are your customers about the other things that they can buy from you.
You can probably understand logically that making more offers leads to more sales.
That said, I've been a consultant for a wide range of business owners and leaders - from solopreneurs to CEOs of companies with $30 million in annual revenue, and everywhere in between.
And what I've found is that the size of the company doesn't matter when it comes to the subject of making more offers.
I typically hear the same thing. And that is: "But I don't want to be pushy" and "I don't want to come across as salesy."
Ok, I've got something important to tell you. To have a successful business, you must have the following things:
If you don't have these, you have a hobby not a business. Because without leads, offers, and sales, you don't bring in any money.
And, if you think that all of your content and community building and social media activity is going to hit some tipping point where people start begging to hire you, by and large, I've found that isn't the case.
Stop waiting around for people to ask you is they can hire you.
You've got to start making offers. In fact, you've got to start making a lot of offers.
By not telling people how you can help them, you are actually doing a disservice to your audience. They have come to your blog, joined your Facebook group, signed up for your list, and so on because they want to learn to do something better. And, they are hoping you can help them.
They are willing to pay you (a lot) for your expertise. So, tell them what you can do for them. And charge a premium price. Make them offers!
Look at it this way:
- If you are a couple's therapist who helps keep people from getting a divorce, what is a saved marriage worth? It's priceless.
- If you are fitness trainer who helps people lose weight and feel amazing. Your training program gives them more energy to do the things they love including spending time with their family and friends. And it helps them live longer. What's that worth? It's priceless.
- If you are a financial coach who helps people get out of debt and start an investment program that can help them have money for their kids' college and for their retirement, what's that worth? Yup, again, it's priceless.
What I am saying is that your peeps are just waiting to buy what you have to offer. They are more than willing to pay for the outcome that you can provide for them. But they probably won't ask you what you've got to offer.
It's up to you to tell them what you can provide to solve their problems.
And it doesn't have to be obnoxious. You can mention your services and products on your podcasts, in your emails, on your website, in your Facebook group, and on your webinars without being pushy or salesy. You can link to your offers in your blog posts and on social media posts.
The more you do it, the easier and more fluid it gets. With practice, you'll get really comfortable at making offers. You'll be able to make them a lot and your revenue will climb.
Yes, it will feel awkward as hell at first, but - like anything - the more you do it, the better you will get.
And reframe your mindset: Making offers isn't pushy, it's helpful.
Making offers and then closing sales are the lifeblood of every business.
Which brings me to my last point...becoming great at sales.
Revenue-generating activity #5: Become great at sales
To grow your business, you must become great at sales. Because once you make that offer, you've got to be able to close the deal.
Unfortunately, for most people, this brings up all kinds of fears.
Common fears of sales include:
- fear of rejection
- fear of not doing it right
- fear of not being good enough
- fear of stating your price
- fear of being perceived as pushy
If you have any of these issues coming up, this is where it's essential to return to Activity #1, Starting your day right. And, working on your mindset with your "I am" statements.
Your brain is an amazing organ. It allows you to create visions of the future and what you want to achieve.
So, in your affirmations, make sure you are crystal clear on how you envision your success and how it will change your life. Making "I am" statements about where you will be as your future self is critical to your sales success.
Include an affirmation that is something like, "I am absolutely comfortable offering my products and services at a premium price. I am a fantastic salesperson. My customers happily pay me to help them X."
It's important to write down exactly what your sales success looks like and the financial freedoms you enjoy as a result of your ability to make offers and close sales.
Because when you don't have clarity on what you truly desire, your brain is also really good at creating obstacles and fears and limiting beliefs. We are always trying to worry about the "what-ifs."
Not so long ago in human history, this was good protection for us: "What if there is a bear around the corner?" "What if that snake is poisonous?" "What if I don't have enough food stored for the winter?" These worries kept us alert for dangers and prepared for uncertain circumstances.
And our brain hasn't changed much since then, even though our environment has. So it's normal to feel fear. That said, we can realign our brains through writing down our daily affirmations.
We can get a lot of clarity on what we will be, how we will succeed, what our life will be like, and how we will realize our success. We can also get complete clarity on what it looks like when our clients get amazing outcomes.
And that's when it becomes easy to sell, and all of the fears melt away. Because we understand that 1) sales are absolutely essential to us achieving our future desired state and 2) sales are what will help our potential customer get great results.
Dan Pink wrote the book, To Sell is Human. And in it, he talks about selling as the process of "moving people" to behave or think differently. And he also says that in today's world of selling that we need to be in conversations with people in a collaborative listening-focused manner, as a partner who is a problem solver.
I think this is such an important attitude shift that can help all of us move away from the old-school perception of salespeople as pushy and sleazy. You don't have to be like that.
Rather, in making sales, you are providing an amazing outcome for your leads who are absolutely craving the solution you provide. You are providing your peeps with value.
And, to get them that outcome, you have to be willing to get past your fear and make sales (which are really nothing more than having collaborative conversations with people to move them to behave or think differently).
Alright, my friends, I hope that this post on revenue-generating activities for your business has helped you. I look forward to hearing more about your hurdles and your successes.
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.