Elizabeth was looking for a way to earn money that also allowed her to spend time with her children. Bookkeeper Business Launch seemed like a good fit so she signed up in August of 2017. She didn’t originally do much with the program until she was...
Elizabeth was looking for a way to earn money that also allowed her to spend time with her children. Bookkeeper Business Launch seemed like a good fit so she signed up in August of 2017. She didn’t originally do much with the program until she was talking to someone who essentially told her that they would hire her if she finished the program. She officially had her first client by June 2018 and has since built a business of seven clients total.
[4:30] Elizabeth’s vision for the business is where she doesn’t have to be involved in the day-to-day operations of the business.
[5:35] Money is not her primary motivation at the moment. She has enough clients now that she is focused more on being successful. Success is the ability to reach your goals by doing things your way.
[6:45] A typical day for Elizabeth depends on what day of the month they are in and what’s due. She uses a CRM to manage her schedule and figure out what she needs to tackle first. Her day usually ends at 3pm, at which point she’s on family time.
[8:05] Working from home can be lonely but there is nothing like being your own boss if you’re self-motivated. The support she has online has been important as well.
[9:30] Elizabeth isn’t very good at marketing or putting herself out there on social media. If she had realized how powerful it can be she would have pushed herself to do that much sooner. Sometimes the traits that make you a good bookkeeping professional can prevent you from getting out there and meeting people.
[12:30] You have to feel the fear and do it anyway. Much of being a business owner is about marketing, if you can’t get past that barrier then maybe you shouldn’t be in business.
[13:15] Finding quality leads within her chosen niche has been Elizabeth’s primary challenge with her business. Breaking into a niche and establishing yourself as an authority has been a challenge as well.
[15:15] There are three elements to marketing: your market, your message, and your media. The first step for Elizabeth is to narrow her niche down to one group and focus on them. Trying to be an expert in more than one niche can be exponentially harder and actually cause confusion in your market.
[17:20] Niching down won’t limit you. Building trust and authority won’t happen overnight, it’s a long term strategy. Elizabeth needs to start thinking about her brand, which is essentially her identity in the market.
[20:30] It’s not just about working with interior designers, it’s about identifying her ideal customer and reverse engineering what it is that she really likes about her current clients. Start listing their attributes and the common traits that make you smile. Once you know your ideal client, they become your avatar and you can use that to talk to your market.
[23:40] Declaring yourself to be focused specifically on one niche can be very compelling.
[24:30] There are a couple ways to generate instant authority. The first way is to be everywhere your niche is. For interior designers, that means Instagram, Houzz, and Pinterest, and putting content online that gets in front of them and spreads your message.
[28:50] Identify your voice so that someone consuming your content will know that it came from you. Then create a framework for your niche that allows you to put their problems in a new focus. It becomes a way to create your own terminology and your own approach to solving your niche’s problems.
[31:30] What are the absolutes you believe for that industry? Absolutes you maintain as a brand immediately become authoritative.
[33:20] There are a number of ways to create content that generates authority. A podcast is one that allows you to create additional content. The idea is you should pick a media that fits your strengths.
[36:30] When you can ask someone in your niche a question and know what they’re going to say, that’s a sign that you really understand your clients and how to solve their problems, which will make you an authentic authority.
[37:45] Set aside a little bit of time on your next call with a client you enjoy working with and try to understand how to serve them better. Talk to them about their vision and goals, and who they are as people. That’s a great way to understand the deep motivations of your market. When you can anticipate someone’s needs you can really blow them away.
[39:50] Be a bulldog, reach out to your niche’s professional organizations and be persistent until they answer your questions. Make them tell you no instead of ignoring you.
[42:30] Another good tip is to look at your niche’s websites and make sure your site reflects a similar aesthetic.
[43:20] Email outreach and research on LinkedIn can be very powerful for finding new clients.
[44:15] Elizabeth has to narrow down her targeting and work on her absolutes. The next step is to devise a plan to establish her authority and figure out what medium makes the most sense for her.
[45:50] Once Elizabeth changed her mindset from thinking of herself as a stay-at-home mom to being a bookkeeping professional she landed two clients. Introduce yourself as a professional first.
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