When you’re first starting out in business, getting to the $10k/month level can seem near impossible. We’re working and hustling so hard just to keep our business above water — making that kind of profit feels like a distant dream, not an actual goal. But here’s the thing: achieving $10K months is not as hard as you think. Really. It’s hard, sure, but it’s absolutely possible! It requires strategy, grit, and a STRONG selling mindset to impact the world with your unique brilliance.

I’ve had the honor to serve over 100 women within the last 8 months, and I’ve seen this happen first hand. More importantly, I’ve seen the specific mistakes women are making that are getting in the way of this goal — rookie business mistakes that keep you from scaling to the level your hard work deserves. Don’t get caught in this trap; avoid these mistakes and improve your impact, money, and freedom TODAY!

Mistake #1: You Think that a Website/Logo/Photoshoot should be your FIRST priority.

Branding can be fun, and certainly works our creative (sometimes vain) muscles, but that’s not your first priority. Discovering the problem that you can solve for your client, and understanding the competitors in the market, is the most essential first step for a business foundation. Don’t focus on anything else until you’ve got this figured out. 

Branding is a very important aspect to a business, but it is NOT the first step!

Take the time to test your brilliance with a few clients — ensure you’re aligned with their mission and direction, and learn about how you make their lives better. When you’re SUPER clear on that, then it’s time to build your brand and get all your ducks in a row to shine as a high-end expert. This will save you money and time; branding is a very important aspect to a business, but it is NOT the first step!

Mistake #2: You’re Not Establishing a Deep Connection with your Soul Client.

Don’t assume you know your clients; instead, consistently create market research strategies in your business model. Make sure you truly, deeply know your clients — know them like you know significant other or child.

  • What do he/she lay awake thinking about at night?
  • Why is the problem you’re solving so urgent to them?
  • What will happen if they don’t get this problem solved?
  • What are the key words that trigger your soul client?

Mistake #3: You think you can “DIY” EVERYTHING in your Business.

There are many hats involved in running a successful Empire, and new entrepreneurs often try to do it all. Problem is — you can’t do it all! If you try, you’re lowering your own value, because you’re taking away from time focused on your most powerful skill set. When you’re focused on your own zone of genius, you can do less information downloading and MORE implementation — and that’s a key step towards monetizing your brilliance. Outsource as much as possible. If finances are constrained, seek interns who can earn student credit while learning from your business practices!

Mistake #4: You Fail to Follow-up.

You leave so much money on the table when you fail to follow up. Following up doesn’t just close sales, it enhances client satisfaction and creates powerful opportunities for referrals. Create a system to check in with your clients while in the middle of a project, and then again at the end. Ask them for feedback; ask them to post reviews. Be bold with your follow up! The more people raving about your brand, the more sustainable your empire will be.

Mistake #5: You Overlook Your Small Tribe of Followers

When you’re first starting out, you may not have a huge list of followers — and then it’s easy to neglect them, to let those relationships fall through the cracks. But your first followers are the GREATEST ASSETS to your movement and mission. It’s your job to address these 5, 10, or 100 people as if you were speaking to ten of thousands! Ask questions to get a better understanding on HOW to attract MORE of those same types of people; they are your true soul client! 

Your first followers are the GREATEST ASSETS to your movement and mission.

It takes time to build a primed and ready-to-buy audience, and you’ve got to build those relationships. It’s easy to feel frustrated when things don’t happen right away, but always remember: it takes 6 months to build a Rolls-Royce, and 13 hours to build a Toyota.

Mistake #6: You Think Posting an Offer One Time is Sufficient. 

We never want to come across as salesly or spammy in social media, but sometimes this fear keeps us from communicating clearly to our followers. In the social media world, you’ve got to repeat yourself consistently; your prospective clients typically need to see your offer 3-5 times before they hit that button — even if it’s a free offer! If you just bashfully post once in the morning, you’re doing your followers (and yourself) a disservice. Be adamant about your message, as if you had a cure to a deadly disease — because, for your soul client, that’s what your solution feels like: the perfect cure.

Mistake #7: You Assume Networking is a Waste of Time.

RELATIONSHIP MARKETING IS KEY! A person only invests in your services when they know, like, and trust you. I recommend you randomly connect with 3-5 NEW people each week via Social media or live events. Make these connections real; actually look to make friends and build relationships, not just cold-pitch strangers. You can build an authentic relationship by asking questions to learn more about their needs; people love talking about themselves! And you never know where the conversation might lead — or the connections it may bring.

Mistake #8: You Drop Your Prices to Attract More Clients.

When your services are not selling the way you’d hoped, before you drop your price, examine your motives. Never drop prices out of desperation; guaranteed you’ll regret that! Instead, do your research and understand both your industry price range, AND your clients’ disposable income levels. Pricing doesn’t matter when people see something they need and value. The price you set on your programs or services communicates the confidence you have in your skills! This reflects the belief that you CAN solve your clients’ problem, and ensures you don’t end up giving away your incredibly valuable work.

Mistake #9: You Randomly Post in Multiple Facebook Groups.

A lot of people use the ‘group posting’ method to gain visibility, but consumers are starting to see through it. Posting randomly in other organizer’s Facebook groups has become a huge turn-off to viewers. 

Don’t force information to a place where viewers didn’t sign up to see that.

Instead, create your own platform to become an Authoritative Figure in your Industry! Become a Content Creator via Blogging, Video, Podcast, or Social Media; host a Masterclass/Webinar/Event; share your clients’ positive results! Just don’t force information to a place where viewers didn’t sign up to see that.

Mistake #10: You Have not Mastered the Art & Science of Selling.

In my experience, women especially have a problem with this step. We’re taught not to ‘step on people’s toes,’ and most of us feel sleazy, gimmicky, or overly assertive when attempting to sell products/programs/services. But selling isn’t sleazy, and you shouldn’t hold back — not when you have a solution your ideal client NEEDS! If you’re not selling, you’re preventing them from discovering something that could make their lives infinitely better: You. Your soul client will have no problem hearing a sales pitch — because they desperately want what you’re offering! You must embrace the fact that you are selling, and know it’s apart of daily life. Selling is the livelihood of your business. Awesome Salespeople are not born, they’re made — it’s a skill set that can be learned by anyone with enough practice. If you don’t learn how to master the art of Selling, then your business is at serious risk.

Reaching that illustrious income level of $10k per month might seem distant, but it’s closer than you’ve ever realized. You absolutely have the power to get your business to that level — you have the tools and solutions that your soul client needs; you’ve just got to make that connection. Avoid these common mistakes, and trust me — you’re well on your way.

Erica Stepteau is an author, speaker, and growth & sales strategist who empowers ambitious entrepreneurs to master the art & science of selling so that they catapult their IMPACT, MONEY, and FREEDOM. She is the CEO/Founder Tenacious Queen Academy, LL, on a mission to empower 1 million entrepreneurs to charge what they’re worth. Join her Facebook Community or her Queen Inner Circle — learn more at www.ericastepteau.com.

This article originally appeared in our Fall 2019 digital magazine — download the full issue here!

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