My advice was a little counter-intuitive, because I said to just start blogging! Before even having a business name, a business plan, or a clear idea of what they're going to be selling.
But then, that's the way I get clarity for new ideas, by writing on my blogs. Not everyone thinks like I do, or is comfortable publishing incomplete business ideas.
Then I ran across an interesting post from Seth Godin, who also advises a counter-intuitive approach to becoming successful. He says the last thing to pay attention to is the actual execution. The first thing is attitude.
For me, clarifying thoughts and attitudes comes with writing on a blog. In fact, the first things you should publish on your blog have everything to do with your attitude about your expertise, the reasons you're passionate about it, and your attitude towards the customers you want to serve.
It's also a good way to create a community of readers who will give you ideas and information about their needs, what they will buy. But the natural impulse is to start with the product or services you want to sell.
I say first develop your mindset, your attitude, and connect with people, then develop your products and services.
The Secret Sauce
Step 1 Attitude: I call this secret sauce. What is the intersection between your expertise and the informational needs of your audience (your customers)? Those content areas become the core for your content marketing program (and your business).
Your secret sauce should be very relevant to your product and service offerings. After all, you are in this to sell more of something, so be sure that is in the plan.
What is this "intersection between your expertise and the informational needs of your audience?" It cuts to the core of your passion. It's what drives you. It's what will be so powerful it will attract readers to you. It's what makes content marketing work to build business.
How do you develop that attitude, that personality, that expression of your passion? Start by writing cornerstone content for your business, on your blog.
Key Content for "a Little Online Business"
Write at least 3 key content pieces:
B. Your key message that will make a difference in the lives of your readers.
C.The biggest obstacles, errors, or problems your readers face.
That's what I tell Lucy and Tom. They have a lot of expertise in a couple of different areas. Like many people who've worked 40 years in corporations, they have huge brains brimming with knowledge. They need to:
- Decide which specific area of expertise they want to hone and promote
- Identify the key problems for which they have solutions
- Identify and specify their target audience of ideal clients
- Write content, publish keywords everywhere on the Web, get known in a niche
- Package their solutions into irresistible offers, first with free reports, then small fees, then larger
But the last thing is the execution, the packaging and promoting. Most people start with that. The truth is, they have a long way to go first.
Writing about their passion on a blog will help them develop and expand their online personalities, which will attract the community of online readers they'll need to grow their business.
I'll repeat Seth's "hierarchy of success" from his pertinent blog post:
What do you think about this approach to building a money-making business online?