Most businesses seem incredibly diverse. You can be running a huge empire or be a freelancer; you can be serving other businesses, consumers or clients. You can be selling products, intellectual property, consulting, coaching, designing, marketing and the list goes on.
However, what I’ve learned about business is that it’s all about people. It’s about learning about people, connecting on a deep level with them and providing solutions to the problems they face. So if you’re in a business or thinking of starting one, here are the three steps of business development that you need to consider.
Step One: What are you giving people?
This is all about the matching of your skills and abilities with what people want or need and sending the right people the right message; this includes:
Branding: What your company is about, what it stands for and communicating your vision and mission. This should be a combination of sitting down and talking to people to find out what they want and who you are. This is where you find your niche and find your voice.
Many people believe that branding is only for large companies, but in this crowded market, what differentiates you, is what can make or break your company.
Creation: What content are you creating that shows what your brand is about? Blog posts, infographics, pictures, video, presentations. There’s a lot of content all over the place. Make sure that you’re giving people original content and not regurgitated ideas from your favourite blogs.
Curation: Provide a filter for relevant content created by other authorities in your niche
A great company that does this is ILFS. Most of the news that they provide is not content that they’ve generated, but they sift through thousands of science posts and repost only the juiciest, most interesting information.
Step Two: How are you connecting to people?
Communication: The information above was more about “what” you were communication, but this is more about what channels you’re using to connect with people. Most savvy marketers say that you need to own your content so you should keep redirecting your social media sites back to your main website or blog. Do you have a blog schedule? Is your website connected to your Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest profiles so it will instantly communicate your post?
Here’s an example:
Monday: Instructional Post/Content and How-Tos
Tuesday: Thoughts, feelings, ideas Post/Content
Wednesday: Your offering, what you are creating, selling post
Thursday: Review, Interview or Guest Post
Friday: Quirky, fun or inspirational post/content
Connection: Are you reaching out to people by phone, email, in-person? This is the best way to get new customers or clients. It’s also the fastest way for people to like, know and trust you. The depth of the connection is the most important part.
This is the one piece of my business that I’m missing. Although I have lots of supportive friends and family, I need to connect more to people who need my products and services.
Engagement: What are you doing to keep the initial connection going? What do you do to keep your connections delighted and engaged? I sent some of my followers an unexpected freebie for Labour Day. This helps your fans and clients feel valued and keeps them engaged with you.
Step Three: What are you offering people?
There are so many entrepreneurs that start with this “cool” product or service that they’ve spent so much time, money and effort developing only to find that no one wants it. I’ve done that with my Bliss Refresh Telesummit although it led me to better things. It was a product or service that cost me close to $1000 and gave me a return of $50. So please don’t make the same mistake I did. Ask this question:
Does it help them achieve their goals? Make sure and find out what your client or customers real goals are. It might just be that they want to be entertained (Movies) or that they really want to save money (Groupon) or that they want to connect with other people (MeetUp, Facebook). The point is, make sure you are clear on their real wants, needs and goals.
Lakshmi Gosyne is an author, illustrator, web designer and teacher. She worked as a preschool and primary school teacher for 16 years and a Graphic Designer for 4 years before writing two yoga story books: Jungle Walk: A Yoga Story for Kids and Waiting for Dad: A Yoga Story for Kids. You can find out more at www.lakshmigosyne.com