Updated: Feb 19
We will see a significant shift in the upcoming year that will quickly become the new norm. Over the past several years, I’ve begun to see the entire business dynamic changing, particularly between companies and their clientele. People simply don't want to be sold to anymore. Instead, they want to be able to trust and verify the companies and service providers they work with (namely: you!). In addition, they are tired of being marketed to and want to build relationships with the PEOPLE they do business with.
The next decade isn't going to be about traditional advertising; it's going to be about relationships. As a result, I believe that it’s vitally important that small businesses and entrepreneurs focus on building trust and delivering value to their customers. This means providing valuable content and services, staying up-to-date with industry trends, and consistently engaging with their audience in an authentic and information-valuable way.
It doesn't matter whether you're a life coach, an author, a service provider, or a small business retailer following their dream of selling positive mental health graphic tees - this is your opportunity to get ahead of the latest business trends and reach for your goals in 2023.
Start by Going Inward
Before you make any changes or strategies for the upcoming year, it’s important that you allow yourself to go inward and follow your gut/voice/glitter (if you know, you know). You know more than you think you do. Going inward and honoring the voice within will help you establish trust in yourself, resulting in you being in alignment with your higher self. Why is that important? You must always be aligned with your greater purpose to succeed in your business; alignment comes from within.
And listen, as a small business owner, I know it can be challenging to maintain self-care and personal growth (both things that help you be productive when going inward) while trying to grow your business. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of working late nights, attending meetings, and pitching ideas. However, self-care is vital for entrepreneurs to stay energized, focused, and motivated. Taking time to relax and reflect can help you succeed in your business while nurturing your well-being.
One of the most critical aspects is trusting yourself. When faced with a decision or challenge, take time to go inward by listening to your inner voice or intuition. This will help you stay focused on what’s best for your business instead of getting lost in the noise around you. In addition, this practice allows you to tap into your inner wisdom, which can guide you toward success more often than not.
It’s also important to ensure that every step aligns with your higher purpose. It’s easy for entrepreneurs to get distracted from their goals when challenges arise but staying aligned will help ensure that decisions are based on what’s best for the business rather than being influenced by external forces. Being aware of the little things like taking daily breaks, meditating, journaling, or talking with an accountability partner can be helpful ways to stay grounded and connected with purposeful action in life and work.
Finally, it is crucial that entrepreneurs prioritize self-care as part of their overall plan for success, as it helps keep them balanced and energized during times when things get tough. This could include taking breaks throughout the day, keeping a regular sleep schedule, exercising regularly, or learning to manage stress through breathing exercises or mindfulness practices such as yoga or meditation. Additionally, setting boundaries between work and home life can be beneficial since establishing these healthy limits will allow space for both career development and personal growth without feeling overwhelmed or burnt out from doing too much at once.
By prioritizing yourself - even during your busy season - you can remain connected to your higher self, allowing you to make important decisions without wasting sleep or energy stressing over them. It may seem counterintuitive to prioritize self-care during these times, but the payoff will be far more valuable than you could ever imagine - to you and your target audience.
Get Comfortable Telling Your Story
Your story is GOLD, so you must get comfortable sharing it. Learn how to write in a way that helps others grow and expand from your experiences. Everyone loves a good story. Sharing your story gives your audience permission into your world and allows them to be part of your experience, which helps to further establish trust.
Sharing your experiences - what works for you, for example - can provide valuable insight to others. Your story doesn’t have to be long or complicated – just honest, inspiring, and helpful. It’s about connecting with others who have had a similar experience so they know they are not alone.
In addition to providing details about yourself, try adding facts and unique insights from experts in the field. Cite any research that may be related to help readers better understand why the situation mattered and how it impacted you or others involved. Take time to reflect on what you learned from the experience and consider how it changed your perspective or approach going forward. Finally, outline any actionable steps readers can take if they find themselves in similar situations, making sure they feel empowered after reading your story.
Sharing stories allows others insight into our lives and provides us with valuable opportunities for growth and development. With practice, anyone can become comfortable telling their own story and creating lasting connections with their audience - online or offline.
Additionally, from a self-care standpoint, writing about your business journey also allows you to reflect on where you’ve been and where you’re heading next. Taking time out each day to document what's happening in your life can give you perspective and help you keep track of both successes and failures. This helps build a strong foundation so that when challenges arise, they don't take up too much of your energy.
Teach - Share Your Wisdom
Share your wisdom by teaching. People don't want to know what to do; they are hungry to learn how. So why not teach them? Create actionable content that teaches your audience how to do what you do. Then, those who want to take it to the next level and be serious will hire you to teach them more in-depth.
So what does this look like for you?
As a small business owner or entrepreneur, sharing the knowledge and experience you have gained along the way with others is essential. Doing so can help others get ahead and increase your credibility and visibility as an expert in your field. By creating content that provides actionable advice on achieving success in your area of expertise, you can build an engaged following who values your insights and is willing to invest in learning more about what you know.
Teaching what you know can empower yourself and those who learn from you. Not only will passing on the wisdom and knowledge from your own experiences give people access to information that would otherwise take them a long time to accumulate, but it will also make them feel more confident in their abilities. Being able to pass on something that has served you well throughout the years gives a sense of accomplishment and helps promote feelings of self-worth. Knowing that someone else is achieving success because of something you shared with them can be highly gratifying.
In addition, sharing your knowledge conveys a strong message: You are confident enough in your own capabilities that you are willing to share them without hesitation or worry that they may be taken away. This type of confidence helps attract potential clients, partners, and investors who can benefit from your advice—so don't be afraid to show off what makes you successful!
When creating content for teaching purposes, it's important to remember the importance of providing detailed instructions on how to get results. Provide step-by-step guides with clear instructions and supporting visuals if necessary so that people understand precisely what needs to be done from start to finish. Make sure each point is explained thoroughly so readers understand why certain things need to be done at specific times throughout the process; this will ensure everyone gets the most out of their learning experience.
Furthermore, always back up any claims or opinions with solid evidence—anecdotal stories work great too! People want proof before investing their time into learning something new; by providing data such as statistics or facts alongside personal experiences, readers gain trust in your teaching methods and will likely continue learning from future materials you create.
Build a Network of People that will Share You with their Community
Word of mouth is the #1 marketing success story to this day. And you can use social media as your "Word of Mouth" marketing. First, build a network of humans that will return the love you give by sharing you with their communities. Then, encourage them to share with you by also sharing and supporting them. Why? Because love and respect go both ways.
Building a solid network of people who support and share your work is essential to success in any field. Research has shown that networking is one of the most powerful tools for increasing career opportunities, acquiring knowledge, and building relationships with mentors and peers. Networking can also provide a platform to showcase your skills and talents to influential people, build an audience for your work, receive feedback on ideas and projects, and open up opportunities for collaboration.
The key to successful networking lies in establishing meaningful connections with people who have the same goals and interests as you do. Therefore, it's important to be genuine when reaching out to potential contacts by taking the time to understand their motivations, offering advice or assistance where appropriate, and having honest conversations about what you can bring to each other’s lives. In addition, being part of a supportive community gives you access to resources such as mentors, job postings, industry events, conferences, workshops, and seminars; these are all invaluable tools for honing your skillset while making important contacts within the industry.
When it comes time to share your work with others, don't be afraid to ask for help from members of your network. People passionate about their work will not hesitate to recommend you if they think you're doing great work. Furthermore, this kind of recognition from peers can help establish credibility within the industry. To ensure that everyone remembers who shared them in the first place, encourage mutual sharing between yourself and those who already have a large following.
By supporting each other through word-of-mouth marketing tactics such as mentioning each other on social media or blogs or giving reviews or feedback on their products or services, even more people will get exposed to both of you at once. It's not just about getting publicity - it's also about developing relationships with people who might become lasting business partners or associates. If those connections are strong and mutually beneficial, everyone wins!
Finally, don't forget that cultivating a network takes time and effort but is worth it in the end. Don't be discouraged if things don't happen immediately after coming up with an initial strategy or idea - simply keep reaching out until something starts working out! Understanding how each person fits into the big picture will make all the difference when it comes time for networking activities such as attending events or joining group discussions online; take advantage of every opportunity available so that you can make meaningful connections with like-minded individuals who can provide value for both parties involved. Anything is possible with enough dedication and hard work, so get out there and start building those bridges!
Pick One Social Media Platform, then Show Up and Be Consistent
Social media is a fantastic tool to execute all of the above. Find one that aligns with you and your business, and then use it to build a relationship with your ideal audience.
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. It can help to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, and build relationships with your target audience. However, with so many social media platforms available today, it can be challenging for businesses to decide which one to focus on. The best way to use social media for business growth is to pick one platform and stay focused.
When it comes to building a successful presence on social media, consistency is key. This means that you should be consistently active on the platform - posting content regularly and engaging with others in the community. Make sure you post content that resonates with your target audience and adds value in some way - providing helpful advice or showcasing interesting visuals. Doing this will help attract more followers and keep them engaged in your posts.
Another critical factor is being consistent with the type of content you post and the frequency of posts. Stick with a plan or schedule that works for your business, such as posting once or twice daily at specific times. This will help ensure that you deliver quality content regularly without overwhelming your followers' feeds.
Finally, focus on creating solid relationships with your customers through two-way communication - listen and respond promptly when people share feedback about your products or services. Engage in conversations and build relationships through meaningful interactions rather than just pushing sales messages - this will make them more likely to recommend you to their network of friends/family members who may also benefit from using your products/services in the future!
Conclusion: The Business Industry is Evolving - This is Your Opportunity to Stand Out as a Reliable and Trustworthy Provider/Professional
The key to success in business is staying ahead of the curve, which means understanding how the industry is changing, including how your customers, clients, or audience prefers to be communicated with. The time of hard sales pitches and "marketing ploys" is over. Instead, it's time to be genuine, showing your true self to an audience eager to connect with you on a deeper level.
And, because of your willingness to be yourself and to treat your audience as a community rather than dollar signs, your efforts will pay off. You'll find yourself with a business that you love, your clients love, and that will survive any storm or curveball that life throws your way. So let’s recap how you go about achieving that.
First, it’s important to understand your audience and their preferences when it comes to communication (Pick One Social Media Platform, then Show Up and Be Consistent). Gone are the days of hard sales pitches and gimmicky marketing ploys; today’s customers crave genuine connections with providers or professionals who have the same values. Being genuine sends a strong signal that you care about them more than just as another transaction, which will foster trust between yourself and your customers (Build a Network of People that will Share You with their Community).
Second, anticipate your customer’s needs before they arise. This means going beyond just fulfilling orders to truly understanding what your customers need from you for them to have a positive experience with your business. For example, if you own an online store selling pet-related items, look into ways to go above and beyond for pet owners – such as providing helpful advice on how best to take care of their pets or offering discounts for repeat customers (Teach - Share Your Wisdom).
Lastly, staying true to yourself should be at the core of everything you do in business (Go Inward). Everyone has unique experiences and talents that will bring value to potential customers; don’t be afraid to put those out there! You may even find that being transparent about who you are helps form deeper relationships with clients or customers, increasing loyalty towards your brand over time (Get Comfortable Telling Your Story).
When viewed together, these strategies create a powerful combination for success in any industry: by understanding your audience's wants and needs, meeting those demands with innovative solutions, and staying true to yourself through every step of the process—you can stand out as a reliable and trustworthy provider/professional among many competitors in today’s ever-evolving market landscape.