How to ACTUALLY grow your business into 2022 – The truth. And nope. You’re not going to like this
Alright I’m pretty sure you’re not going to like this: This is 5 original and very truthful ways to grow your business in 2022. And they’re all hard. Read anyway?
1. To scale your business in 2022, create a DRAMATIC PLAN for extending your audience.
Posting daily on social media to tick a box simply won’t cut it anymore…
When you say “I want to grow my business this year” what you’re really saying is: “I want to reach, influence and help more people…in exchange for a cash injection, ahem”. Tell me I’m wrong?!
If that’s the case you need four things:
(1) The courage to hone in on who you’re best placed to help – because no it’s not ‘everyone’;
[Someone once told me they weren’t selling because their clients couldn’t afford them. I replied (with a cheeky smile): “Well they ain’t your clients then are they! You either need to find a way to bring that price down or you need to pick a new client base.”]
(2) The ability to hold space for a lot more people’s transformations, hundreds, thousands even (that’s big, read it again);
(3) An offer unlike anything they’ve ever seen before – show me your hybrid, show me your innovation, show me your true insight into the market no-one else is sharing; and,
(4) A way to dramatically increase your reach and impact online and otherwise. I mean, a way to go really big!
Of course everyone is OBSESSED with online growth and it makes sense. It exponential. It’s remote. It’s ‘passive’, or something like that.
But you have to remember that people still buy from people and brands they know, like and trust…and get value from. And now they have a lot more people and brands to choose from. Quite frankly, it’s overwhelming. I mean which fitness coach am I to choose?
That being the case, your challenge isn’t just: How do I reach more people online? But how do I reach more people and form a deep and meaningful connection with them so they remember me, learn from me and trust me enough to invest? (Whilst keeping a fairly level emotional state and avoiding total and utter self destruction. Ahem.)
Well, how do we form connections with other people? Friends, for example?
We turn up often. We listen. We help. We have a laugh. We buy great gifts (Taurus anyone?!). We keep in touch. We comment on what’s happening in life and the world. We’re there when they need us. And when they don’t. Oh – and we’re interesting, engaging: We actually show up and participate in the friendship. Phones away people, phones away!
Why wouldn’t this be the same for our clients and our growing audiences?
The trick really is to find a way to…turn up often, listen, have a laugh, give generously, stay in touch, comment on what’s happening, be there in good times and bad, participate in the relationship.
It’s obviously hard to do this for hundreds of people and then thousands and so THIS IS WHERE online marketing, scalable funnels and email lists come in. Just remember that emails are read by one person at a time. When you know this, you can start to think about that DRAMATIC plan to extend your reach and hold space for more and more people. You want to keep that intimacy, just on a much larger scale.
You can do this by sharing your latest insights (and I mean actual juicy insights!) in your mailing list, your YouTube videos, your content, using real life anecdotes and examples from your life and business. Show them two split tests you did and how they turned out. Tell them the five times you got it wrong and why time
‘six’ 34 turned out to be the winner. Show them the things that make you you so it’s more personal, more meaningful, more real. Really care about people’s outcomes and participate in their transformations by creating the private group, offering the live events or writing up the workbook…Isn’t that what they’re paying for, with their attention or their money – for you to care enough to help them get the transformation?
This is as opposed to flogging stuff just to hit the revenue goal, or regurgitating what people have heard so many times just to post something on your feed.
Honestly, any time you use a phrase that has been said 100 times it’s not good enough because it just won’t
cut through the noise, stand out, get attention, get them to march to the checkout when they’ve already abandoned so many other people’s products at that last hurdle. People actually WANT to discount your information. When they pick up five books in Waterstones they WANT to put four back and take one to the counter (okay, two!). Which one do they keep? The one they feel they’ve read before? The one full of clichés and ideas they’re bored of? Or the one that is most enticing, most original, most likely to impact their lives?
It’s what you post and the energy you post it with. You know when you share something KILLER vs. when you share something for the sake of it. Be the first person, not the second and if that content just isn’t there, you’ve got work to do (see point 3 below). And that’s okay!
The other thing is that a lot of people are operating such small, tight audiences, posting the bare minimum to tick a box. And then wondering why they’re not growing. They think it’s not fair but ‘social‘ media is hugely fair. ‘Social’ means that the most inspiring, entertaining, consistent poster who unites people under common causes, who influences ideas, fashions and priorities wins. That’s the crux of it. So be inspiring. Be entertaining. Be consistent. Be influential. Lead with a cause worth participating in. Struggling there? Check out point 4 below.
If you’re a client of mine, I want to hear that you’re reading, researching, living, composing, testing, calibrating, pushing your limits and sharing true, original insights based on that journey in your space. I want to know you’re going after your goals and stretching, pushing and challenging yourself to the next level. Because you’re asking to be a leader and this is what leadership demands.
[Oh wow Lisa Bean, harsh!] I know right. I said you might not like this. But maybe you’re loving it too, because it makes sense?!
The truth is, we can’t just post graphics anymore. We have to really tap into the culture (Hello Reels), the transformations people crave and truly stand out as a leader in our space. If you want to grow your business into 2022, it’s time to start practicing a dramatic uplevelling in the value you share, the way you phrase your ideas to
stand out leave an indelible mark in your space. Practice showing up in original ways to keep people’s attention – original venues, locations people haven’t seen, spaces that inspire, insights others are keeping secret. Be the leader you’re promising to be 😉
Here are some DRAMATIC ideas you can consider:
Run events and bring those people together in person. Use MeetUp, EventBrite, local papers and local networking to meet, inform and invite new people. Bringing people together in interesting cities and venues, with interesting agendas and topics for the day, is entertaining, inspiring, memorable, SOCIAL. People want more of that. Be the one that gives it to them.
Challenge yourself to do something groundbreaking or totally game changing in your space and commit to getting coverage in no less than 10 press outlets your audience might come across. Write original content, do something worth talking about, take part in what’s happening in the world and make a difference.
Write a book! I ain’t kidding! Go deep, deeper than anyone on content, and write a whole book sharing your ideas, your stories, your insights.
Get out and network. This could be in person – you could join three new networking groups or challenge yourself to attend twenty new events before the year end – or you could do this online. This means getting into new memberships, appearing on new podcasts, generally meeting new people and adding value to their clients and followers.
Go all in on Reels and post one a day until they blow up! I’ve seen it happen. It’s not about one or two Reels. It’s about a commitment to helping Instagram generate the content it wants to generate. And that’s Reels! They will reward you for it.
Book a very cool AirB&B or venue and film a whole new YouTube series in cool spots. Go out into the business community and do VoxPops (did I say that right?!) on things that are changing. Host a podcast show on a tricky topic and reach out to lots of cool, inspiring people to contribute.
Decide what you want to be known for and push yourself to the next level. Our clients can only ever grow with us as much as we’re willing to grow ourselves.
Pick something dramatic, commit to your next level and start taking action.
2. Stop trying to build an online business, but build a business that can scale online
Okay okay hear me out! One of the reasons people are slow to launch online or hesitant to scale up with funnels and ads is that the world of online businesses has left a funny taste in their mouths.
They’ve paid for things that have been rubbish. They’ve worked with coaches who didn’t help. They’ve seen too many ads and now they feel a bit cringe about the whole thing. (I have a degree in English and I am sorry for these sentences…”they feel a bit cringe”. Yup, I’ve assessed it and it’s staying.)
So here’s the insight. Stop thinking about building a cringey online business. Instead think about the people you can help. Show up. Be generous. HELP people move forward. Build a business in the truest sense of the word: Exchange VALUE for MONEY and help people. Help people. Help people. If you have to use webinars because your clients are all over the country, so be it. If you happen to coach via Zoom because your clients work during the days, no problem! If a course is a great idea because you simply can’t repeat the same content over and over in a viable way, that’s a perfect solution!
Stop thinking of it an online business you want to scale up, and start thinking of it as a hardcore, grounded business that gets results…and just happens to leverage online tools to bring it to and help more people.
The other thing that helps me is keeping a real physical element to my business. Now that things have opened back up, I’ve been planning events, I’ve been attending networking mornings, I’ve been meeting my team in person. I mean fancy that! Out from behind the screen and into reality. It’s truly a breath of fresh air and it feels so real. Why? Because people. (Oh there goes that English degree again, doh!). Yup, because: People. Interacting with and engaging with people in real life feels bloody fantastic!
So how can you reframe what you do to be more about the service, the outcome and the value for PEOPLE and less about the medium of delivery?
3. Put some real ‘study’ into your work
I am always impressed when I listen to Brené Brown. I mean she really is the boss isn’t she? Brené Brown has her own business and makes her own money. But she’s so deeply founded in research and study that her work has depth, integrity, impact. You just can’t deny the thousands upon thousands of data points Brené has collected. And when she forms it into theories, ideas and conclusions and then writes it up IN HER BOOKS; well they just hold weight don’t they. And I buy ’em!
So many people online are sharing their ideas, their theories and their approaches. So long as it’s grounded in experience and results that’s all good! But what happens when you meet someone who has the result (I’m listening) and the data (go on) and they’ve put it together in a paper, or a book or a study and demonstrated where their conclusions have come from with eyebrow raising studies (oh stop it, I can’t handle it!).
What I’m saying is that if you really want to stand out online and have something truly meaningful to shout above the copy and pastes, would you consider deepening your knowledge in your field with a Masters or further study? Would you consider running your own study to collect real data from which you can draw deeper conclusions? Would you consider doing research and spending your time putting your conclusions into a paper or a book to share more widely with others? I mean can you imagine?
Even if you didn’t go as far as investing in your profession with further study, might you spend some real time exploring and articulating your true conclusions and forming them into some kind of paper or book, maybe interviewing clients or doing a mini survey or study for wider input? It just has weight. Impact. Power.
4. Oh my goodness: Live your life and learn an unrelated skill
Okay these could be two different things but for me they’re linked. I have been known, in my time, to become OBSESSED with my business. Morning, noon, night, in the shower, eating dinner, watching tele. It’s just sooo hard to turn it off isn’t it?
But I’ve learnt over time that perspective, space, shhhhh (technical term) is one of the greatest growth hacks we have at our disposal.
How often do fresh ideas come after a truly fun weekend away, where we made toast on an open fire, ice skated (is that the past tense, I’m not sure? I so want it to be ‘ice skat’) with old friends, made a clay cup we’ll never drink from? Come on, it’s more fun than you’ll admit, pottery! How much more energy do we have after a workout or run or footie match with mates? How creative do we feel having had a really gut heaving laugh with friends where we start squealing and can’t get the sentence out?
One of the ways I get this break is by learning new skills or taking on new hobbies in totally unrelated industries. I mean have you seen my obsession with lifting weights recently? And I hate to say it but the analogies and metaphors are genius. I mean, I’ve just filmed a whole video called “What I learnt about business by lifting weights”. It might be a while coming. But it’s coming.
What old hobbies have you left behind? What stuff truly switches you off? What do you enjoy outside your business you can throw yourself into with gusto. Get the space. Live your life. Breathe. Not only will it leave you feeling refreshed, inspired, energised but there is another very human benefit too.
Have you ever noticed what does well on social media? It’s not the how to tips is it. Even though we do like ’em. It’s the lifestyle. The outfit they’re wearing. The campsite they visited. The coffee cup they use in their morning ritual. We like stuff that is human, personal, real, inspiring. And that’s real life. So live a real life and you’ll have more to post and more people taking a peek at what you’re up to!
Finally, I want to make one more abrupt and rather short point…
5. Stop scrolling and start sharing
Stop scrolling and consuming and gobbling up everyone else’s content and comparing yourself to what they can produce and start being the leader your clients need you to be! So you might not be at someone else’s level. But you’ll never get there by consuming alone. You gotta write, snap, film, orchestrate, create, catalyse. Be the fire starter in your field. Get out there and do stuff then get your ass back to your desk and practice putting it into a format you can share for other people to love. Then go back to point 1 and read this again.
Over and out.
Lisa [being a bit direct] Bean
Brand new for September. If you’re already in business and you’d like to step up and stand out, now is the perfect time to do the work ready for a cracking 2022. Join me Sunday 6th September 6:30pm BST for a two hour live Masterclass and I will show you exactly how to do this work! If you’re considering the Expansion Edge programme, this is the perfect way to see if it’s a good fit.
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