I joined a free challenge to get leads from LinkedIn last week, which is what prompted this post.
And I’ll write more about it and the key takeaways from it in another post.
Days 1,2 & 3 were great.
It was stuff that was really helpful and insightful and stuff that anyone could do.
Then you got to day 4.
And it was basically get 10 examples of social proof and write some recommendations for other people.
In other words, if you’re starting from scratch it’s a no-go.
Obviously the stuff I’m writing here is more for service based businesses but I think product and e-commerce businesses can get some stuff from it too.
So it got me thinking – because virtually every course or challenge you do says to leverage a resource you have – whether it be your network or throwing cash at it – how do you actually start from scratch?
Like absolutely ground zero.
No following. No network. No piles of cash to use.
How do you build a following from scratch?
How do you grow a business from scratch?
Anyway, here’s my theory or ideas – mainly what I’m doing or what I could do.
1 – Do stuff for free
This isn’t a bad option if you’re a service-based business and you don’t mind giving up some time.
(Just remember that people don’t tend to value stuff they get for free anywhere near as much as if they pay for it.)
I’m not exactly doing this but I am coming onto how I’m approaching it with point 2.
2 – Prolific content showcase
Long story short – put out a load of stuff for free and when you have been doing it for a while, people will want to pay for access to you.
So get some authority content out – use a blog, or Youtube or a podcast.
I prefer blogs and podcasts for me.
Use it to show what you’re doing and what you can do.
My 2 fitness businesses are based on this.
Literally the sales page or sales email for both says “you can follow exactly what I do for free through my content and apply it yourself.”
I also say “this is what my break even in costs is, as long as you’re paying at least that, you decide what you pay based on what you think it’d be worth to you,” which has been revolutionary but that’s a topic for another post.
3 – Document your journey
Gary Vee and Russell Brunson – 2 of the marketers I follow pretty religiously talk about documenting your journey so people can see someone who is passionate, enthusiastic and what they’ve learned or are learning.
That’s basically what I’m doing here.
If you look at my posts on Pinterest especially, although pretty much any of my content, it’s a mix of helpful advice, tips, what I’m testing and what I’m learning.
And when you document it, you also show you know how to apply it.
It’s a great way to build authority.
4 – Build a following or network
This is kind of the last part but it is important because if your content isn’t getting out in front of anyone, you’re not going to be able to get buyers or customers.
So start sharing and engaging on all platforms – Instagram, Youtube, Reddit, FB groups, LinkedIn, forums in your industry or niche.
Non-spammy, non-sales stuff so you build rapport and people want to come to you.
On Instagram, it might be following people and engaging with their content.
On Reddit it might just be popping up with helpful answers and advice.
None of this part is quick or easy. But it does get results.
If you struggle or get overwhelmed with this (like I do) and wish you could just post stuff and people would pop up, well:
- It is possible, but you’re chancing it and relying on luck which is no way to build a business.
- It does get easier the more you do it.
- Focus on helping just 1 person each time you try to do it.
I still find this bit really hard but I am trying… and I am documenting.
If of course you have the money then you can do some of the above but then just focus mainly on ads and that will get you a long way along your journey.
Starting from scratch is the hardest part because you have no traction or momentum.
The more you dig deep in this phase, the more you can get some momentum under your belt.