Today I am talking about 3 startup mistakes to avoid like the black plague. These 3 “startup mistakes to avoid” cost me money and time. Lots of it.
Time is invaluable when you are first launching. Being able to stay laser focused on your goals is the quickest way to ramp up.
I want to help you not make these costly mistakes… so that you can ramp up quickly and reap in success. Let’s jump into these 3 valuable lessons!
Startup Mistakes To Avoid No. 1
Quickly launching my website was crucial. In my mind I needed a website to validate that I had a “real business” and I needed to have this done as quickly as possible. I made a crucial mistakes when I launched the site.
My site was NOT SEO friendly!
I researched approximately 3 different companies that offered website design. Quickly hired a company. Created a board on Pinterest with my creative ideas. Pulled together other websites that I liked their “look.” Scrambled to write content for the website. Didn’t put a lot of research into it. Did not give myself enough time to fully execute the website.
The website launched, aesthetically it looked great. 6-8 months into business I realized that there were some major issues.
SEO- I had no idea what SEO was nor how it could benefit my brand.
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. To simply put it… “optimizing your website to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to it through organic search engine results.” Search engine pages are yahoo, google, bing, etc.
Let me break this down even more. “Quality” is attracting your target customers to your page. These are the individuals that have the highest likelihood of purchasing from you.
“Quantity” is having LOTS of your target customers finding your website. The more traffic allows you to rank higher on a search engine query.
“Organic Searches” is when a customers finds you for FREE. This means you spend $0 in marketing money for that lead or customer.
So, having lots of potential customers finding you for free is what you want! Who wouldn’t want that???
What does an SEO friendly website consist of? I’ll break down just a FEW components.
Website content needs to be keyword specific. Keywords that your customer would be searching for to find your services/products.
Website content should be targeting potential customers within your market niche.
Writing blogs is a great way to continuously help with SEO. You will need to make your blogs SEO friendly.
All images on your website need to have keywords in the name. An Example: start-up-mistakes-to-avoid.jpg
Make sure all links on your websites are working
For WordPress websites, add the Yoast SEO plugin
Set up your SEO console. This allows you to view analytics and demographics that come to your site.
Make sure you have a sitemap.
Here are a few SEO tactics for blogging.
Keywords- if you are a small business using long tailed keywords (3-6 words.) An example I don’t use “brand strategy” as keywords. There are too many large companies that use those keywords and it would be difficult to outrank them.
Using your keywords once every 250 words
Use Keywords in your blog title (H1)
Putting subheadings or H2 titles through your blog with your keywords
Your Images should have your keywords in the ALT tags
I am currently going through old blogs and making them SEO friendly! So you can now see how this has cost me both time and money!
This is my advice to you on startup mistakes to avoid! More research. Contacted 10 or more website development companies for proposals. I would hire a company that focuses on:
- Brand strategy and long term goals (since SEO can take upwards of 3-6 months to see changes!)
- Explain to you SEO and the benefits of it (If they helped you with keywords that would be fantastic!)
- Discuss and layout your target customer base. Prompting you to research demographics, interest and other brands that they are purchasing. This will help you in write your website content that directly speaks to them!
***If you are a graphic designer or any type of website developer. I have unlocked an edge for your brand. Having this level of expertise will set yourself apart from the competition! Not to mention you can charge more.***
Keep in mind your brand strategy isn’t just the aesthetics. As exciting it is to design your logo and pick the colors of your website. Brand strategy encompasses every single customer touchpoint of your brand. (content on your website, customer experience, navigation of your website, marketing, advertising)
When I launched my website it was about me and what I had to offer. It did not showcase how I could help my future customer and make their life better. (I have redesigned and launched my website since the initial one.)
StartUp Mistake To Avoid No. 2
The second startup mistake to avoid… This one you’re either in the know or not!
When I launched my website my Brand Strategy was to work with small to midsize companies. After launching my business, I found that small businesses didn’t have a strong Brand Strategy. They were spending a lot of cash on marketing. With little to no return because they didn’t know their target customer. Or their market niche. Or how to connect/speak to their customers. This was a costly mistake.
I saw a need in the market and decided to change the direction of my Brand.
To help entrepreneurs define their Brand Strategy. Re-focusing to create courses that walk business owners through launching their own Brand and how to develop marketing strategies for long term success.
You know your biggest asset to have when selling digital products? An email list… Guess who didn’t have one? Yep! Me!
I didn’t have a a list of individuals that I had earned their trust, added value to their lives. People that I communicated with and were like friends.
I didn’t have an email software hooked up to my website for the first 6 months! If you are laughing right now… so am I! What a rookie mistake right??
Why would I need an email list when I am going out finding clients?
Let me tell you, Email list is the most valuable aspect in your business. Digital business or not!
Have you ever noticed that every single company wants your email address? If you go onto saks.com, jcrew.com, target.com or walmart.com they are offering you an incentive for your email address. 15% off your first purchase. Why?
Because they are able to market to you for virtually FREE. You have signed up with them, they are able to track your sales. Send you emails based around your preferences to get you to buy MORE. That 15% off is a drop in the bucket compared to long term sales through email marketing to you!
Let’s discuss a few reasons why having an email list is beneficial for you:
Your email list are people that want to connect with you! You grow it and you are able to directly connect with your potential customers. You can add value, receive feedback and sell your services or products to them.
Social Media is pay to play. The algorithm for Facebook is constantly changing. Only approximately 1-3% of your fans/followers see your post. It forces you to create ads or boost post for your “fans/followers” to see your post!
You could potentially be kicked out of your Social Media Account. Someone could take over your account, I have seen this on Instagram! Have a TOS violation on your Social Media account and be kicked off. An example of this is advertising your business on your personal page. You would lose all of your “potential customers” and fans/followers.
People do business with people they like. Creating trust, value and a rapport with your email subscribers will create long term success.
The conversion rate for an email drip campaign for a product launch is higher than putting it out on Social Media.
The list goes on of why an email list is so important. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in. Pick an email software and start collecting email addresses today!
**I have a list of email software companies, their pricing and what makes each one unique. It will be offered as a resource with my April 2nd course launch! (More to come on that!)**
Startup Mistakes To Avoid No. 3
This last startup mistake to avoid will impact anyone that is working one on one with clients. I started taking on clients when I launched, but didn’t have any set systems in place. Didn’t have an on-boarding questionnaire. No detailed workflow procedures. Did not set boundaries for communication or expectations.
I was all over the place. My clients were seeing progress and marketing returns. However, I was flustered and disorganized.
Having set systems in place is crucial for long term success. Putting together a survey of questions that are commonly asked. Will save you so much time! I wouldn’t have had to go back and forth with random questions here or there. That stalled the progress of my projects. Having all of their brand information, short term and long term goals… would have saved time and money!
I finally got it together and figured this out! I launched an on-boarding kit! Laying out their goals and created a roadmap of how we would achieve them. Set deadlines on every task. Designed a worksheet to show progress and analytics that they received monthly.
By using large chunks of time on specific days to work on projects. I became efficient and was able to grow my business!
To avoid this startup mistake… If you are working with clients, my advice is to sit down and make an on-boarding kit. Lay out how you communicate and when, project deadlines, have all brand info in one place. This is going to save you Time & Money.
If your clients are randomly calling you throughout the day you are losing time and money.
Last week I discussed “time wasters” that cost you money! Plus all my productivity hacks to get stuff done faster! Click Here For Article Calls are those tiny time wasters costing you money!
These were major lessons for me! These 3 little startup mistakes to avoid, cost me dearly! I am writing this in hopes to help one person not fall into the same pitfalls!
If you are a startup and feeling flustered or overwhelmed… we were all there you’re not alone! April 2nd my Entrepreneur Mastermind course is launching! The program is designed to walk you through starting a business or your first product launch. The course includes weekly Q&A calls with industry experts (Fortune 10o VP’s to uber successful entrepreneurs,) resources to guide you in decision making for system, a step by step course walking you through a no fail launch. Plus extra bonus’s for my email swipes and sales funnels to make sure you have a no fail launch!
I’ll be releasing additional information as we get closer to the launch date. If you are interested in learning more, sign up here for our emails here! Be the first to find know all the details! Limited Spots!