Call me crazy, but I *love* starting new businesses.
It’s hard to bring me down, even in that lonely, icky, pre-revenue “is this really gonna work?!” time…
But having started or consulted over a dozen startups in the work-at-home world, I’ve learned a few really important, nay, absolutely critical tricks!
Here are five things you MUST do to build your community and share your Superpower with the online world…
1. Do The RIGHT Market Research…
Talk to wise friends who have startups.
Talk to people in your target market.
Talk to people who are going to give it to you STRAIGHT.
I spent nearly a year developing the idea for Moms Wear Capes. It began as a travel blog. It evolved to a fitness and wellness site. Then it embodied a work-at-home site. Finally, I decided on Superwoman School; an integrative course in dominating your life, love, AND business from home.
If you haven’t already discovered your Superpower, you may want to spent a lot of time interviewing friends to really gauge how your product will be received. Create polls and surveys on Facebook or with PollDaddy for branding, logos, even your overall business idea.
If you’re looking for incredible ideas of what other people are selling in your space, go to Clickbank.com and click under “affiliates”. Now “search products” and use the search bar to find other programs and products that are similar to what you want to do.
This will provide you with access to websites, copy, and sales funnels used by other marketers to market your program or Superpower.
2. Choosing The Right Logo & Brand…
Moms Wear Capes started as “Happy Moms Guide”, then “A Joyful Recovery” (about my postpartum journey in psychology and fitness), and then “Mommiesphere” (a blog aggregate site) and finally “Moms Wear Capes”.
I wanted the site to encompass women’s empowerment and the name had to motivate people the moment they hear it.
I definitely accomplished that!
My logo looked like everything from a comic book character to the Run DMC logo. Take a look for yourself!
Your name and logo is your brand. Your image. It represents what you do and the blessing you’re giving to the world.
So make it great!
I prefer very simple logos that are easy to put on social media posts, packaging, apparel, and even easy to draw or doodle.
To help me design great logos, I love doing a Google search for logos other people have done in my business space.
Then I find some contractors on Fiverr to give me ideas of how the logo could look for just $5-$25 each.
Now that I have some rough ideas, I go to Facebook and create surveys for my friends and family to weigh in on my logo.
Because I have a lot of marketers in my close friends circle, I get incredible feedback.
I once even had the illustrator of one of my favorite books GIVE me a logo based off the surveys she saw me posting on Facebook.
“I can do this better”, she thought. And she did!
Finally, I invest about $300 on 99Designs.com to crowdsource the final version of my logo.
Make sure you get several versions, one with a transparent background, one on a white background, one that’s stacked, one with words, another without, etc. etc.
3. Lock Down A (dot)com Domain…
When starting a new business, before I create ANY content I choose an incredible name and lock down the domain and social media handles immediately.
I often spend hours a day for a week trying to find and secure the perfect domain name.
I always use .com’s and try to keep them as short as possible, or at least with words that are easy to spell.
In a recent business I started with my boyfriend, we spent about two hours searching domains on the first day we even discussed the business.
For our couples massage program, we looked at everything from RomanceReconnection, ThePleasureGuide, ArtofPleasure, and more. We reached out to the owner of one of these domains by finding his email on a snapshot of his website from 2010. He no longer keeps the site active, but the Google Wayback Machine assisted us in finding old website snapshots and a press release confirmed an email address for the owner of the domain.
For a domain we couldn’t find an owner for, we used GoDaddy’s Domain Buy Service to try to communicate with the domain name owner. We set a minimum of $250 and max of $500 for the domain and are still in negotiations. You may think that $500 is a lot for a domain name, but I assure you most of the domains we wanted had a pricetag of $20,000 and above.
Domain names are your storefront – along with your website, they’re the face of your business to the world.
They’re what people enter into search bars when they want to find you and they’re on your logo and any other merchandise or marketing material you use.
They’re arguably the MOST important thing to lock down before you start your at-home business. So take your time and make it awesome!
4. Invest In Professional Content Production…
Most businesses will use video, social media, podcasts, audio training, photography, or even screen printing to share it’s Superpower with the world.
Invest in the equipment that shows people you show up in a prepared, professional, and beautiful way. (Because you do.)
I have a variety of great microphones for shooting my webinars or podcasts.
I have a $1,000 camera I periodically shoot with (but mostly I rely on my iPhone with Snapseed and FaceTune apps for editing). I have a tripod that carries my camera weight at nearly any angle and a gaggle of clothes I have used for wardrobe changes in between video shoots.
I use ScreenFlow to edit my videos and my Email Service Provider is Active Campaign.
I use Membermouse for my support area/ membership site and WordPress for my blog.
All these programs will run you up to $100 per month, but it takes much less time to get my finished products to market.
When you use professional equipment, you’re telling the world that you show up with great content; that you put in the extra effort to create excellence. And guess what?
That makes them more likely to take out their credit cards and invest in your magic!
5. Take LOTS of Pictures…
Are you starting to catch on that image is everything when you’re running a business.
I’m going to tell you a secret: starting a business is a LOT of work.
You are likely going to get so busy in your pre-revenue stage that doing a photo shoot will be the farthest thing from your mind.
Before you sell your first program or gig, you can begin to build your community online through posting advice, training, and photos on social media.
I like to do a photo shoot the WEEK I start a new business so that I can begin marketing in my “pre-launch” stage right away.
The more you pre-launch, or give people something to anticipate that’s coming down the line, the more receptive people will be to buying your program or training.
Over a year before my first sale with Moms Wear Capes, I did professional photo shoots with all my experts and shot over 30 hours of professional content for my program.
I began sending snippets of those videos to my social media followers and growing email list in order to let people get excited (with me) about the incredible program I had coming down the pipeline.
What’s more, seeing my dedication to my business gave many an affiliate confidence in promoting my program; they saw how carefully I showed up with my prelaunch and knew that I’d put the same love and intention into the final product.
What are some great tips you have for starting your own at-home business?
Are you a busy mom who has stared a work-at-home business?