Starting a business is no easy feat, it requires courage, determination, and strategic planning. You learn a lot on your way to turn your idea into a tangible reality, but it’s really helpful when someone who’s already been there can give you a head’s up of what awaits along the way. So here are 5 things I would tell myself if I could go back to when I first started my business.
1. Ride the highs and swim through the lows.
Digitally Fueled is not my first small business. Actually, I started my first biz when I was 19 and needed to pay my university fees. I started freelancing as a translator, content writer, and tutor and was planning to turn it into a writing studio when I was done with my studies. However, life had other plans and after I got my master’s degree I moved to Dubai and then had to start all over again – from having a 9-5 to owning my own businesses.
By the time we were starting Digitally Fueled Marketing, I already knew how to ride the tides and what to expect from running a business, but I was still so SCARED. Nothing in the world can prepare you for this and you have to power through. If there is one common thing that you will read regarding entrepreneurial spirit, it’s that you have to be resilient and persistent. There will be days when everything will go your way and you’ll be dazzled with your success, and then there will be days when you need to be real with yourself, take a step back, reassess, and go at it again and again.
2. Don’t let your niche cripple you.
When we first started out, niching down and having a VERY narrowly defined set of products and services was all the fad. So this is what we did: we were a women-owned agency that provided ONLY social media management services, ONLY for other women-owned businesses.
Sounds good, right?
Our market proved us WRONG (and luckily it didn’t take us long to realise that).
👉🏻We are in the UAE, and despite the recent surge in women’s entrepreneurship, the majority of businesses are still owned by men.
👉🏻90% of the clients that reached out to us wanted a whole package, a one-stop-shop for their digital marketing needs, which means web design & SEO, social media management, and ads (Meta & Google). This is an important characteristic of our market – clients DO NOT WANT to be stressed and spread thin juggling multiple service providers.
As soon as we got out of our self-imposed niche and built our team and our offers around our clients’ needs, they came flocking – in the first two months, Digitally Fueled PAID OFF the investment and turned a PROFIT.
So don’t listen to trends and recipes for success, listen to your market and your clients, build your business around their needs and see the difference it will make.
3. Don’t be afraid to be YOU.
Regardless of your niche, the market nowadays is very saturated with products and service providers. The only way to stand out is to STAND OUT by being yourself and showing the world why you are different, what’s YOUR way to get the results, and why people should trust YOU. People are looking for more than just a service or product, they are looking for a feeling – of safety, comfort, success, you name it – anybody can provide a service, but HOW YOU do it and how you make your clients FEEL is what makes the difference.
Our clients feel safe with Digitally Fueled Marketing. We are straightforward and open. We will tell you things someone else wouldn’t because they are afraid you won’t want to hear them – but those are the things that you actually NEED to hear the most. There is no fluff, no false promises, what you see is what you get. And it took us time to realise that this is the exact feeling that needs to shine through our content. This is the way we are, and this is what our clients appreciate.
4. Your messaging can make a great difference.
Impactful messaging plays a pivotal role in capturing attention, resonating with your audience, AND driving SALES. It is the art of crafting compelling messages that connect with individuals on an emotional level and inspire action.
Your audience needs to understand WHY they should choose you. This goes beyond features or benefits; it taps into the desires, pain points, and aspirations of your target clients. The better you know them, the clearer and more on-point your messaging will be.
5. Selling isn’t sleazy.
New business owners tend to be shy and self-conscious about selling and ‘sounding salesy’. You need to shift the perspective of selling and start seeing it as OPENING doors and paths for people to approach you, to join your offer, to communicate with you.
You need to sell in some form every single day. People see your posts for a brief moment, and then they go on and see hundreds of other posts. Give them a nudge to remember you and to engage with you. By understanding the motivation, the WHY and HOW people choose to buy, you can create sales messages that evoke emotions, establish trust, and differentiate you from the competition. Check out our post on selling effectively for more sales tips.
Embarking on the entrepreneurial path takes guts, adaptability, and a lot of planning. From defining your target audience to identifying your unique value proposition, every step in the process requires thoughtful decision-making. If you feel that you need a helping hand on this journey, someone to point you in the right direction and give you guidelines to ensure that your business rests on strong foundations – contact us and join our 1:1 Business Kickstarter coaching program where we will guide you through ALL the initial stages of building your business!