I first met Jonathan through the Monthly1k Course created by Noah at AppSumo which teaches you how to become an entrepreneur through various methods. We have a private Facebook group which lets us network together and help each other out. Jonathan recently posted how he was making $4k-$5k a month with his recently validated idea. Because you guys wanted more case studies and guest posts, I asked Jonathan to write about the first steps every wannabe entrepreneur should take. If you are stuck, have no ideas and are ready to entire the fighting ring of entrepreneurship, this is for you.
Where do I start? Probably one of the most common questions people ask when trying to get into entrepreneurship. I had the same question when I was starting out. The answer surprisingly was quite simple.
Just start. I know right! So easy. Literally just start. Do something. Blog, tweet, facebook post, get your message out there and just do.
Ok fine, I’ll break it down a little more.
When I started out, the truth is, I didn’t really have any type of focus. I just knew that I designed websites and I could develop them, and any type of client was a good client, because it made me money.
I treated myself as a freelancer and made freelancer mistakes. One of the most important things that I did do was blog.
Blogging is so important to the development of who you are and what you do. I’m sure you can find a million articles out there of why you should blog and how often and everything in between, but there’s a deeper significance in blogging.
On a personal level, it actually helps you organize your thoughts, processes, and method of thinking. By blogging, you can start to see who you are actually talking to. You begin to develop your audience by seeing whose reading your thoughts.
That’s what I did anyway. When I first started, I was using a free theme for WordPress called Buffer. I have no clue if it’s even available now, but any time I did development on it, I would write about it. I would have posts titled “How to add sharing to the buffer theme”. I didn’t know this at the time, but I actually started to target a specific niche audience.
Think about it. If you were using the buffer theme, and you wanted to know how to add sharing to it, you would most likely do a google search, and bam, I would be there.
Take this years later, and now I’m writing about new niche markets, specifically targeting the type of audience that I know wants to read what I’m posting.
Key Lesson: Learn who your target audience is, and start speaking their lingo.
I was never really big on Facebook but I did like twitter. Up until about a year ago, I never really utilized my social network accounts. Big Mistake! If someone ever tells you that Twitter, or Facebook, or any social network doesn’t matter, slap them. Don’t really slap them, but you get my point.
Leveraging these social networks is one of the most important thing you can do (besides blogging) to gain prospects. When I started blogging about my niche market, I didn’t really have any followers. In fact, I barely posted anything at all.
Then I decided one day to just put myself out there. Who else is talking about what I’m talking about? What hash tags can I use to find other people in my field. Within a few months I went from about 60 followers to over 400.
Big woop right? Let’s get this out of the way. Having a bunch of followers doesn’t mean shit. Having followers that are actually engaged with you, that’s the key. How do you do it? @someperson Hey, love your stuff, that post you had about blah was great.
The key of social networking is NETWORKING. Don’t just open an account and start posting things. Engage with people, let them know your interested. Show them things that you do, maybe they’ll be interested as well. To this day, most of my referrals and a WHOLE lot of my traffic comes directly from Twitter!
Google+ and Facebook are also growing. With Google+ you can join a community of people with like interests. FaceBook you can join groups. Get your name out there, let people know you exist. Make sure they know what you do.
Key Lesson: Being shy in person is acceptable, but being shy behind a computer where no one can see you, there’s no excuse. Get yourself out there, chat with people, gain some exposure. Social Networks are key.
Do Good Work
This is an easy one. A lot of times, in the mix of marketing, networking, and everything else under the son, we easily get caught up. Do good work means don’t drop the ball and pay attention to the people that are already paying you. Even though you’re doing everything you need to do for your business, don’t forget about your current customers. They already got to know you so they have the trust. Take care of them. This will lead to referrals.
Referrals are key! Getting a referral is like hitting the jackpot. Someone who already personally validated you, is now pushing that validation on someone else!
Key Lesson: Take care of your customers and the rewards will follow.
Last but definitely not least, make sure to stay engaged with your audience and ask them questions. Find out what they like, what they want to hear about, etc.
The easiest way to do this is to just ask. You can send out an email. Ask questions after every post. Do a poll. Gathering information about the people visiting your site is a great way to find out who they are. Once you find out who they are, they you can appeal to what they need.
About The Author:
Jonathan Perez is the founder of SureFireWebServices.com where he focusses on supporting projects for the Genesis Framework and the Types and Views plugins as well as coaching, teaching, and auditing sites. His latest project, GettingTo30k.com is his journey, step by step to making $30k.