I arrived at the gym the other day really needing my morning workout. Imagine how thrilled I was to find that I only had one shoe. This happens occasionally when you have little ones that like to rifle through your gym bag looking for their mislaid toys.
As always, it’s great to have friends. I was quickly into a borrowed pair of shoes, and because I have small feet I was feeling grateful that they were only one size bigger than my shoes.
As class progressed, I noticed that my foot was frequently brushing the edge of my aerobic step as I was moving over and around it.
I’ve been told that the difference in one shoe size is only 1/3 of an inch. I was a little surprised that my feet were so precisely trained to know exactly where to step on and off my bench. Less than an inch was making a noticeable difference.
But then it occurred to me that much of life is measured in inches.
One of my favorites from Jim Rohn is his formula for success, which is “a few simple disciplines practiced every day.” Likewise, failure results from “a few errors in judgment repeated every day.”
Running a successful online business doesn’t happen overnight, as the result of one defining moment. It’s a matter of moving an inch every day. Small consistent steps.
There are probably a thousand steps to a profitable online business, but that’s okay. They’re all a matter of inches. They’re all things you can do.
Today I want to add 10 inches to your online business. Each is easy. But they are all things that I see a lot of people miss.
1. Determine exactly what market you serve best
“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” ~ Bill Cosby
Spend a hour narrowing your focus. Determine who your audience is, and who they aren’t. It will be easier for you to serve your audience once you focus on exactly who it is. And, you will be better at it.
2. Get involved in content sharing with a good group of people
There are many online groups where members share each others’ content. This can range anywhere from an agreement to re-tweet each other on Twitter, to an agreement to comment on and share each others’ blog posts.
One of the most organized websites for bloggers is Triberr, where you can band together with like-minded bloggers to share each others’ posts.
A content-sharing group benefits your online business by reaching way more people than you could do alone. It also provides you with quick quality content that you can share with your audience, saving you time from searching around the web for good stuff to share.
3. Become active in a forum related to your market
If there is money to made in your market, then there’s more than one online forum dedicated to discussions relevant to your market.
Join a forum, post regularly with helpful information, and as a part of your signature on your forum posts, drive people back to your website. You’ll develop great relationships that will likely lead to new clients.
4. Don’t wait for social media to happen to you
Hanging out on social media sites with people who have thousands of fans and connections can be intimidating.
These people have lots of fans and followers because they are social. They like to interact with people. Reach out to them.
And reach out to people who have a small following too.
Don’t wait for people to come to you. Don’t wait to get better, or more experienced. Start making connections. You will discover a “snowball” effect, where suddenly your connections are multiplying rather than adding up.
5. Set up social media management tools
At a minimum, set up Hootsuite. Over time you can test and try different tools. But don’t use the overwhelming number of options out there, or the amount of time it takes to learn them, as an excuse not to use them.
You can’t run a profitable online business without tools to manage your social media postings.
6. Hire Yourself
Most online business owners are used to working for someone else. Running your own business requires a level of discipline that you probably don’t have initially.
So become your own boss, literally. Ask yourself at the end of each day, “Would I have been pleased with my work today if I were the boss?”
If not, tell yourself what has to be done differently tomorrow. You might be surprised by how effective this is.
7. Scrap your “to do” list
Your “to do” list is never going to be done, and you know it. It will always continue to get longer rather than shorter.
So put it away. Trade it in for a “must do” list. Every day, write down the things that must get done that day. Not that should, or might, or that you wish for . . .
Write down only what’s not optional today. And don’t end the day until you do it.
8. Read books
All kinds of books – business, biographies, personal development. This is important beyond words. It will make you smarter, give you great ideas for your online business, and give you great content to share with your market.
Read every day.
9. Model successful people
“Success leaves clues,” is another great lesson by Jim Rohn. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. You should be constantly watching how the top 3-4 people in your market are doing things. Read their content, know their website, follow them on social media.
Don’t copy them, but model what they are doing. It’s working. Bruce Lee summed it up nicely:
“Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is specifically your own.”
10. Get your blog posts on StumbleUpon
I don’t know why most people ignore StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon is a social bookmarking site that in the last 2 years has doubled its users to 20 million. It’s a great source for driving traffic to your website.
The great thing about StumbleUpon is that your posts hang around for people to see much longer than they do on other social media sites.
Statistics vary, but Facebook and Twitter move so fast that after 2-4 hours your post is old news that no one sees. In contrast, when your blog post is “stumbled,” users see it and “stumble” it for over 15 hours on average.
It takes about 5 minutes to set up an account and get going, but the impact for your online business can be huge.
Inch your online business into profit
None of these tips appear life-changing, and individually they aren’t. But if you will implement them all, and consistently take other inch-by-inch actions like these, your online business will be turning the profits you’re looking for sooner than you think.
I look forward to hearing your success stories!
JENNIFER HERNDON is a work at home mom with three fabulous kids, ages 3, 5 and 7. She has been enjoying the time freedom and financial benefits of working at home for over 14 years. Jennifer’s passion is empowering others to personal and business success through a positive mindset and consistent action.