KICKASS WITCH : Putting The "K" In Magick
Do you ever feel like there's a gigantic gap between the way you're living now and the life of your dreams? Do you sometimes wish you could wave a magick wand and all of your problems would just disappear so that you could finally step into the kickass life you know you were meant to lead? I can't promise you that transformation is as easy as waving a magick wand, but I do have quite a few tricks up my sleeve and am more than happy to share them with you here. So, chin up, Gorgeous, stick around and, most importantly... BELIEVE!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

BiZ WiTCH : 10 Kickass Tips For Starting Your Own Biz Online With Little To No Money

Have you ever thought about starting your own business online?

Do you have a bunch of cool ideas for a product or service but don't really know where to begin?

Do you feel like you have a special purpose in life that you'd like to somehow turn into your rent-paying gig?

Awesome! Good for you!

Starting your own biz is one exciting way to create the kickass life of your dreams & today's modern technology makes starting a biz of your own more doable than ever.

BiZ WiTCH is a new series that I'm launching to help budding entrepreneurs, such as yourself, get going on this path...



This is a basic introduction to starting your own biz with little to no money, using just your creativity & the (mostly) FREE resources available online.



10 KiCKASS TiPS FOR STARTiNG YOUR OWN BiZ ONLiNE:


1. Create a biz on purpose.

Running your own business requires persistent self-motivation & discipline, so it's important to get clear on what you think your purpose (or one of your purposes) here on planet Earth is & to align yourself with that. Otherwise, it's doubtful you'll stick with it once the challenges kick in.

Aligning your biz with what you feel is your true calling & who you just naturally are in the world makes it a helluva lot easier to commit yourself for the long haul & to move confidently into the future.

Two good questions to ask yourself when trying to figure out what your purpose might be are...

- How am I already being of service in the world?

- What would I do with my time if money was no object?

Danielle Laporte & Jonathan Mead are great guides for helping to pin down what it is that you really want to do with your life & how that might play out in the creation of your own biz.

iMPORTANT : Beyond being of service, it's imperative that your biz has the potential to actually make money. Otherwise, it's not a biz- it's a hobby.

I will get more into the subject of money in future BiZ WiTCH posts, but, for now, I will leave you to chew on this very telling quote from the founder of The Body Shop, business woman extraordinaire, Anita Roddick...

"Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking. Running that first shop taught me business is not financial science; it’s about trading: buying and selling."


2. Get a blog.

Instead of hiring an expensive designer to create a website for you, you can get yourself a FREE blog at Tumblr, Blogger or Wordpress and use one of their professional-looking templates to design a site of your own.

The trick is to keep it clean & easy on the eyes ie. no black backgrounds or tiny, scrolling fonts!

- Tumblr is great for those who prefer a simple, straight forward presentation without a lot of bells & whistles.

- Blogger is my personal fave, because it's templates are so user-friendly &, as a product of Google, it's got lots of marketing options built right in.
 
- Wordpress is for slightly more advanced users & offers more customization options.

*You do not have to be a blogger to use a blog as your website. You can simply create pages instead of blog posts & update occasionally as needed.


3. Own your own domain name.

Go Daddy allows you to buy your own domain name for as little as $2.99 a year, $9.99 for .coms!

At those prices, there is no excuse for letting someone else scoop up your URL & then hold it over your head when you need it at a later date.

Do people really do that? Yes, they do! And- they can get very rich off sitting on a bunch of $10 domain names & then turning around to sell them for thousands of dollars when people like you come around looking to buy.

Plus, it just looks more professional to send prospective clients to YourWebsite.com rather than YourWebsite@blogspot.com.


4. Capture emails.

Most people will not make a purchase or hire you the first time they visit your website.

That's why it's important to have an Opt In box that's designed to capture emails featured prominently on your website.

This will allow you to build relationships & trust over time.

A great first gesture of good faith is to offer people a FREE GiFT in exchange for their email. Some folks offer instructional videos or guided meditations. I offer a FREE eBook, Hippie Witch : Peace, Love & All That Good Shit.
 
Whether you offer a FREE GiFT or not, its important to tell them that, by giving up their email, they will also be added to your newsletter list & then to, of course, follow up by sending out regular newsletters.

Companies like Mail Chimp & AWeber will help you create html code to embed on your site that will not only allow you to capture emails but will also keep an organized list of those emails so that you can then send your newsletter to the entire list in one fell swoop.

- Mail Chimp has a FREE service that is great for beginners and then paid services that you can graduate to when you're ready for more options.

- AWeber is not FREE, but it offers more options from the get go.

I've noticed a trend in people starting out with Mail Chimp & then moving onto AWeber as business picks up. I may follow suit, as I started with Mail Chimp a year ago but am already starting to outgrow it. Still- it's a great place to get your feet wet &, as I mentioned, it's FREE!!!  


5. Be consistent.

It's important to brand yourself using a recognizable color scheme, the same fonts over & over again, and a logo that resonates with the theme of your biz.

The trick then is to stick with it! You will get sick of it long before anyone else, but don't use that as an excuse to distract yourself from what it is you're in business to do.

The same goes for your messaging. Be consistent with your content. Do not veer dramatically off topic.

Changing the look & feel of your website again & again can water down your biz, make you look unprofessional, and confuse prospective customers.


6. Be original.

Does the world really need another life coach or Etsy Shop selling smudge wands & crystals? Probably not.

Then again... Maybe you've got something so special going on, a style so unique that you bring an entirely new flavor to the scene? In that case, bring it on! 

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”- Oscar Wilde


7. Social Media is your friend.

It can also be your worst enemy.

It all depends on how you conduct yourself. Remember that every word you write & every photo you post on the internet can be traced back to you.

So, even when you think you're just killing time, conduct yourself like the Brand Ambassador that you are & you won't wind up killing your reputation along with it.

I also recommend choosing just a few social networking sites to promote your biz. That way you don't spread yourself too thin & you make it easier for people to find you.

Of course, it's wise to go where the people already are & that would include the usual suspects like Twitter, Facebook &, my personal fave, YouTube.

Pinterest & Linkedin have also picked up a lot of steam in recent years.


8. Learn marketing before you start investing in advertising.

Again, this is a subject worthy of it's own post & something that I will address with more detail in the future...

Until then, seek out & nurture relationships with businesses that are compatible but not in direct competition with yours.

That way, you can get to work guest blogging, creating cross promotions, and teaming up for joint ventures- all excellent, non-sleezy ways to spread the word about your biz!

"Personal relationships are the fertile soil from which all advancement, all success, all achievement in real life grows." -Ben Stein 


9.  Batch your tasks.

In the video above, I stress the importance of batching your emails & comment management, but this concept also applies to creating content; writing blog posts, updating your social media pages, making videos, creating info products, etc.

This tip will help keep you from burning out & free up your time for living a life beyond your biz.

Two companies that are great for batching a bunch of Twitter & Facebook posts in one sitting so that they are doled out one at a time on a set schedule are Hoot Suite & Buffer.

I prefer Buffer, because I like the format, but I only use it for Twitter, and I seem to be in the minority with that preference. Hoot Suite definitely offers more options!


10. Learn as much as you can from the free information available online.

There are so many business gurus on the internet these days & some of them are really top notch. You can tell, because, like in all things, the cream always rises to the top!

The following people have made it to the top of their biz by teaching others how to make it in theirs. I have learned a lot from them all & I invite you to do the same.

Watch their videos & pay close attention to not only what they're saying but how they present themselves.

Go through the archives of their blogs, listen to their podcasts, sign up for their FREE tele-seminars & remember to take notes.

"If there is such a thing as good leadership, it is to give a good example." -Ingvar Kamprad 

Every single one of these people walk their talk & they most certainly are leading by example:  
  
1. Marie Forleo - B School

2. Chris Brogan - Human Business Works

3. Derek Halpern - Social Triggers

4. Elena Verlee - PR In Your Pajamas

5. Brian Clark - Copyblogger

6. Laura Roeder - LKR Social Media

7. Kendall Summerhawk - Money, Marketing & Soul

8. Monica Shaw - Revenue Breakthrough

9. David Siteman Garland - Rise To The Top

10. Corbett Barr - Think Traffic
 
*In case you missed it : Here is a post that I did in honor of KiCKASS WiTCH's one year anniversary. It's about NOT waiting until everything is perfect to begin & getting yourself into action as soon as possible... Failing My Way To Success : How To Start A Not So Perfect Business & Carry On Like A Champ.

"The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer." -Nolan Bushnell


SPRiNG 2014 UPDATE : 

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