Written by: Sharon Lee, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise
Are you the kind of person who sits in the webinar, seminar, or workshop just sort of sitting quietly not asking questions?
Maybe you’re just thinking that you just want the information and DIY it yourself? You’re thinking that you just want to take the information, leave and go about your day.
That was me and I had a certain amount of success doing it this way to a point BUT, I did struggle. Let me tell you, the struggle caused issues of low self-esteem and I even sometimes felt like just giving up on my business entirely.
Ultimately, I figured out that there was a secret that I learned along the way which I want to share with you today. I’m including actual steps to help you get out of the struggle and into a more successful and sustainable business.
Early on in my business, I was the person who was shy and sat in the back, received the information, grabbed my purse, and went home to apply it.
Sometimes when I would buy an online course, I didn’t see the need to join the online groups. I’d just go about putting the pieces together. Although I struggled at times with my confidence and self-doubt, there was a part of me that believed I could do it on my own.
I did this in other areas of my life too. I did this with my fitness competitions in my 5K, 10K, marathons, biathlons, and bodybuilding competitions too. I thought that I could just reverse-engineer everything and reach success.
I did pretty well if I’m being honest, but that was only because I am incredibly determined. The truth is, there were plenty of times where I hit a wall and just wanted to pick some expert’s brain to get the answers, for free of course. Sometimes especially early on in my business, I felt discouraged, drained, and like I was hitting my head against the wall every single day.
I remember wishing that if I could just pick someone’s brain, I’d figure the rest out. I was just sure about that.
There was one time that I had an “aha” moment. I asked a gal in a Facebook group many years ago a few questions and it was met with this response…
“Here’s a link to buy my product.”
I thought, “gee, thanks, lady. You’re a big help!”
My mind began swirling and processing all that I knew about marketing and growing my business then I remembered conversations with other business owners that businesses were made overnight simply by connecting with a social media influencer.
I wasn’t shy to try it so I reached out but most of the time, they just blew me off. It was extremely frustrating, and I had to constantly work on my mindset because I just felt defeated. Sometimes, building my business and my brand just seemed hopeless.
It just seemed like no one cared to help me. I know, I know, I was dealing with a bad attitude.
As I continued to cry myself to sleep, one day a lesson that I had learned and forgotten many years ago came to mind…
Relationships, BUILD RELATIONSHIPS! “Doh!”
Up to that point, the introverted and shy version of me had pretty much built a GREAT relationship, with no one but MYSELF. I did a pretty good job too, so I patted myself on my back but realized that I needed to grow. I mean, the epiphany that I had made me realize that I needed to grow as a person to grow my brand and be seen.
If you want to grow a business these days, you’ll need to be visible online. It is the digital age after all.
What I had to come to terms with is who I was be-ing at the time was someone who couldn’t just reach out to any so-called influencer and ask for an introduction to their list. The truth is, I DID have lots of friends, but I wasn’t CONNECTED.
It’s no surprise that I was having these kinds of results, I was making everything about ME and MY business.
This one secret was something I had heard over and over many, many years ago but hadn’t applied it to my business. When I thought about it, I realized that most people in my personal life were introduced to ME, not the other way around. In my personal life, I would spend time listening to my friends and family and genuinely caring about THEM and what THEY are going through.
When I applied this to my business, a whole new world opened up for me.
This may be SOLID business-grow advice but more than that, it seemed more like a mindset switch too because I’m more of an introvert. Oh sure, I have no problems chatting it up with people I get introduced to but the previous version of me wasn’t the type to walk up to people and strike up a conversation.
Now, let’s talk about how to help you and your business. I’d like to share a few ideas for you if you want to grow your brand.
The first thing to take note of is realizing that building relationship isn’t a small business tip. This particular business tip can absolutely transform your business, so I'd say that this is massive! It’s literally the foundation to building a successful business and I wish I had realized this from the very beginning.
Now here are the exact steps that I would do if I were wanting to grow my business and my brand.
1. Start with the low-hanging fruit. These are the people you might call your peers. I don’t want you to discount these people in your immediate circle of influence. Understand, they may not have 10,000 followers or subscribers but it doesn’t mean there isn’t an opportunity for a valuable partnership. Here’s another mindset switch. Your valuable connections won’t always be the so-called “big fish” out there.
2. Next, start creating a list of what I call, “shoulder niches” of your business. These are types of businesses that might be used by your own ideal clients right before your service or right after.
Caution – Don’t add entrepreneurs on this list from completely different niches altogether. Ex: You’re a relationship coach wanting to be seen on your friend’s list who is a marketing coach. This might be a great human to know but the audiences don’t jive.
Good Examples of relationship-building matches:
i) You’re a fitness coach = seek out a nutrition coach
ii) You’re a musician = seek out wedding venues
iii) You’re a financial planner = seek out insurance agents
3. Aim to create a list of at least 20 entrepreneurs or business owners that would be a match to partner with.
4. Maintain a mindset to GENEROSITY.
What you’ll want to think about here is reaching out to each person on your list (hopefully you have a minimum of 20) and just genuinely compliment them from a place in your heart that might be helpful. (*If you can’t be genuine, don’t reach out).
It could be a blog post you found somewhere that you thought would be helpful.
Maybe you have a contractor or team member recommendation.
You could tell them in a private message that you loved their recent copywriting or a photo or maybe that you just love their mission or how they're really rockin’ the online space.
Constantly remind yourself that:
Building relationships helps get your message out and you’ll be able to help more people
You’ll be playing the long game and it’ll pay off and be seen in your bank account.
Your impact on your brand-building will happen much faster than if you did it on your own.
Trust me on this one!
I’ve been there with the mindset that all I wanted to do was to push my way in and ask for favors. You might think your service or product is so amazing that people should be banging your door down.
Building your brand and playing the long game isn’t about selling and pushing your way around until you one day create success.
This isn’t the way the world works and running a successful business is no different!
One thing I see working with clients is, they don’t have a long-game plan. They think, “I’ve got a great idea and I want to start my own business.”
Stop the hurrying and all the stressful rushing in building your business. The faster that you win in your business, the faster your perfect dream clients do too.
Take my advice and start being uber present in your strategies because this is exactly where you’ll find the power to make serious changes in your business. It DOES take a mindset shift about helping and serving and how you can mutually help people instead of being in the “getting” mindset.
Give this a good try and watch your brand start to grow.
Cheers to relationships!
Sharon Lee, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Sharon Lee is a top international business coach, and high-performing life coach for entrepreneurs. Having spent many years in poverty and even homelessness, Sharon has uncovered powerful secrets to guide people out of a mediocre state of mind to help transform them into a high-performing mental state to create more success. Sharon has created systems and introduced strategies to underperforming entrepreneurs to unleash their potential. She founded Fearless Pursuits to help entrepreneurs upgrade their minds so they can unlock a life on fire. Her clients benefit from her many programs such as "The Daily Shift", "Sales and Confidence Mastery" as well as her top-rated podcast, "Fearless Pursuits Podcast: Breakthrough To Success". Her mission is to help entrepreneurs create more potential and success through their mind and high-performing strategies.