4 ways entrepreneurs are getting back to business


By Joe Cardillo

March 18th, 2021


4 ways entrepreneurs are getting back to business


By Joe Cardillo

March 18th, 2021

We dig in to get advice from experts in the Ureeka Community on how to increase customers and build your brand.

We dig in to get advice from experts in the Ureeka Community on how to increase customers and build your brand.

Owning a business is hard work in the best of times.

But owning a business during a pandemic? It does not get any tougher, especially for entrepreneurs who rely on retail locations and/or in-person sales.

Add to that existing costs/barriers of accessing capital and credit as a Black, Latinx or Indigenous business owner and it makes for a steep hill to climb.

Yet, it’s not all gloom and doom. For example if you have an e-commerce shop it’s worth saying out loud that online spending is up, with year-over-year spending up by at least 44.5% according to Census Bureau data.

And it’s not just online stores that are benefiting from the shift online, lots of services businesses are also seeing increased traffic and leads via online channels as consumers spend more time researching new things to do with their time.

We sat down to share advice from experts in the Ureeka Community on what’s working as well as some ways that entrepreneurs can get back to business.

1) Take another look at levers for growth

If you’ve checked into any magazine, podcast, or TV show that talks about entrepreneurship, you probably hear people talk about having massive success with channels like Facebook/Instagram Ads or Amazon.

While those examples are real, the truth is that it’s easy to hit hard on one channel, see success and leave it on repeat.

In reality, you should have at least 4-5 “levers” you can pull to increase customers and revenue online and that includes ones you own, not just paid or borrowed social media platforms.

This is especially important if you’ve got some sales but want to go from solopreneur to adding vendors/contractors or even part-time or full time employees to help you make the jump and get your bigger vision into play.

Examples of levers for growth include:

Organic traffic from search engines

Trending keywords and topics can help you create content that answers search questions based on someone’s specific intent.

Look for the sweet spot of keywords that get good traffic (~500 to 3,000 search/month) but aren’t too competitive. Another tip to increase your site traffic is to use a tool like SEMRush or Moz.com to see keywords you already rank for but are on page 2 to 4. If you already rank, chances are that search engines see you as an authoritative source, so you can look at who’s on page 1, re-write your content a bit, and see if you can get closer to the top.

And, if you capture featured snippets and on-page answers it’s also an opportunity to create trust with your brand.

Email automation

If you’ve already got traffic going on your site and a way to capture emails, start connecting with your audience! Start with a few key email series via a tool like Pathfinder (for Shopify) or Mailchimp…

  • Three or four email welcome series sharing your brand’s “why” and an exclusive offer to make subscribers feel special
  • An abandoned cart email, reminding customers to complete their order (we all get distracted sometimes!)
  • If this, then that (Someone buys product X and Y? Make sure you have any automation in place that offers them Z!)
Blog, learning, or resources section on your website

If you listen to and know your customers, you’re probably hearing what their needs and questions are, so provide some help in the form of content. Then, keep it updated and regularly DM and email customers and (potential) partners who might find it interesting.

Mundo Academy, a member of the Ureeka Community, does exactly that, in the process generating leads from people who are looking for scholarships that may also need tutoring and test prep.

Content distribution aka the art of the remix

When you’re creating content like the above, that’s great! But don’t just stop there, once you’ve created content make sure to distribute it.

Send it to people who might be interested, share it with a blogger or writer who covers your industry e.g. beauty, entertainment, software, find Facebook groups, Slack channels, or Quora questions to reply to.

Pro tip: the team at Foundation Marketing has a great template with 100+ distribution points you can download and, no surprise, remix to create your own checklist!

Creating content for and with micro-influencers

Working with big names might be tempting, but it’s also time consuming and expensive because it requires a team to manage it. But, you can start small with 10-15 people who are passionate about your brand and have a few hundred to a few thousand followers who are engaged, commenting, creating conversation, sharing stories etc.

Host a conversation, ask if they’d like to collaborate, offer to trade and share some products or service, and maybe even put a few dollars behind creating content that feels useful and authentic, and that helps them connect to and build their own audience.

Even if you’re not ready to hit the big time with influencers this can help you test out what makes sense and feels natural for your brand so that you’re better prepared when the time is right.

2) Use paid social media to explore new audience segments

One of the smartest uses of paid social media? Spending a few bucks with images of a potential new audience and smart targeting.

For example, if you’re a beauty brand getting ready for a new product launch you’ve probably already done your homework and talked to your existing customers.

But, you can also think about how to use $50-150 to test out what new audiences might be interested in the product, too.

To try this experiment, grab a few product stills, a few lifestyle photos of your audience, and then test some ads targeting a few metro areas (cities) combined with the media (radio, TV, online) that your potential audience pays attention to.

Exploring social media audiences in this way is a smart tactic because nearly everyone is on social media so you don’t necessarily need to get a bunch of sales first to find out if a new audience might be worth connecting with consistently on organic and paid social.

3) Focus on creative that merges visuals and story

Storytelling is powerful. This is nothing new of course, but as screen time increases so does the importance of telling a great story with messages AND visuals.

The good news is that you don’t need a $10K or $25K video to get the attention of your audiences.

Start by sharing your brand’s story. Write it out. Edit it down. Record it a bunch of times. Test it on social media, see what resonates with people.

Ask for customer feedback by saying “I’m trying to share more of the ‘why’ and I’d like your honest opinion as my community and my customers.”

Getting a meaningful story that connects people to who you are, what you do, why you do it, that matters because it builds trust. Once you’re putting 500 or 1,000 people/day on your website, converting visitors to customers, that’s when the investment in higher quality creative can really go to work for you.

That creative storytelling if you practice can help you connect with and build a community that cares about what you do, even if you aren’t the cheapest option for a given product or service. When you aren’t Amazon or Walmart, that story can be a huge differentiator.

4) Set aside time to delegate early and often

Instead of waiting until the risk is higher, start practicing delegation as soon as you can.

As Ranay Orton, founder of the fast growing beauty brand Glow By Daye, pointed out in a recent conversation, at some point every entrepreneur has to decide if they want to run a business or own one.

If your goal is to be in that latter category, practicing delegation early and often is critical. Even if you’re just hiring someone 5 hrs/week to swap out for higher quality images in your online shop, well, that’s time you can spend elsewhere getting your vision in place.

Long story short, know what you’re good at and not good at. And, avoid the trap of trying to do All The Things because it saves money. In a lot of cases it may be cheaper in the short run but ends up costing more long term.

Ready to put these tips into practice? Visit the Ureeka Community now to find specialists, mentors, and coaches and connect with entrepreneurs building their business.

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