“Good things come to those who hustle.” – Anais Nin
One thing I’ve learned since I first started my side hustle back in 2008 is that money doesn’t just fall into your lap! Every month, it can feel like an uphill battle to bring in new contracts, make new sales and book new clients. Unfortunately, many business owners do the bare minimum to market their products and services and end up reaping minimal results. But the truth is, you can’t treat your business like a hobby if you want it to support you and your family in any meaningful way.
To start making more money in your business, you have to get serious and be willing to put yourself out there on a consistent basis. You have to constantly be marketing yourself and what you have to offer (yep, even if you hate marketing). There’s no way around this unless you want to be broke forever. If you want your business to be successful, you’re gonna have to HUSTLE.
Here are a few ideas to help you generate more income this month. Once you commit to taking inspired action, it’s just a matter of time before you start seeing results come flowing to you!
1. Write Down Your Income Goal for the Month
When you write your goals down, it makes them real. Take a moment to sit down and ask yourself: how much money do you want to earn this month? Be specific and state an actual dollar value that you want to earn by the end of the month. Then, write that number down on an index card or post-it note and tape it to your desk, computer or even your bathroom mirror. This is your primary goal in your business this month. Not getting more Facebook likes or blog comments. Not “networking” and collecting more business cards. Hustle tip: Make sure you look at your income goal every morning. Start each day thinking about the tasks you need to complete in order to reach it. Everything else is a distraction.
2. Focus Only on Income-Generating Activities
If it’s nearing the end of the month and you still haven’t hit your INCOME GOAL yet, remember that you still have time left to make progress! Don’t give up just because you only have a few days or weeks left in the month. For the rest of the month (yes, that includes the weekends), focus ONLY on the activities that have the potential to bring in the most money in the shortest amount of time. Stay off Twitter and get to work! When you don’t have much income coming in, you have to make marketing your main priority. Hustle tip: Block off a few hours in your calendar every day for promotional activities. And NO, you don’t get to watch your favorite TV show or take the weekend off. If you don’t have any clients or customers, you haven’t earned it yet!
3. Make Potential Clients and Customers an Offer They Can’t Refuse
Instead of trying to market all the products and services you offer at once, focus on promoting just ONE thing to the people who are most likely to purchase them. Offer a limited-time sale or discount on your most popular product or services and promote it everywhere you can. You can offer a flat discount of 25% off for all purchases made by the end of the month or you can do something more creative. For example, if you’re selling products like t-shirts or jewelry or books/ebooks, you can have a “buy one, get one free” sale. If you’re selling services like coaching or image consulting or yoga classes, you can do a bundle offer where if the customer purchases a package of three or more sessions, they get special pricing. Hustle tip: To promote your sale on a shoestring marketing budget, notify potential clients and customers via your email newsletter, website, blog and social media accounts. Build even more excitement by creating a fun video on Youtube!
4. Post an Ad on Craigslist
This strategy has worked really well for my clients who have hourly, service-based businesses like virtual assistance and personal training. Go to Craigslist.org, click on your city and scroll down to “services.” You can advertise your service on the site for free! (Therapeutic services cost $10 per ad to post.) Place an ad under your specific business category describing what you offer and how people can contact you if they want to learn more. Be sure to set up an account with Craigslist so that you can to edit, update and repost your ad throughout the month so that it stays at the top of the page. Hustle tip: Put keywords at the bottom of your ad to ensure it will get found. For example “Event Planner, Personal Trainer, Virtual Assistant, Social Media Manager,” etc.
5. Follow Up with Past Clients and Customers
Don’t spend so much time chasing new clients and customers that you forget about the ones you already have. It sounds counter-intuitive, but your best prospects are actually people who have bought something from you before! In my own business, I keep a list of amazing women I call “super customers” who have purchased almost every single book, program, service and event I’ve ever offered. Because they’ve gotten so much value from me in the past, I make it a point to reach out to them personally when I have a new offering that I think they would be interested in. Hustle tip: Schedule time in your calendar each week to check in with past clients and customers to see if they would like to work with you or buy from again.
If you don’t have that many paying clients or customers yet, make the time to try at least one of these strategies this week. When you don’t have enough business coming in, your JOB is marketing until you do! If you find yourself feeling discouraged at the lack of progress and profit in your business right now, simply turn that energy into action. Stay focused on your income goal this month and you will have a much better chance of actually making it happen.
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Leave a comment: Which one of these strategies can you try this week to start making more money in your business? What’s the first step you will take today?