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If I were to start over in business today, there would be so many things I would do differently. Luckily for you, you can learn from my mistakes and not go through the years of trial and error that I did. I remember what it felt like to be a fresh little entrepreneur baby and have no idea what the heck I was doing. I was just randomly making decisions, posting with no intentions, I had no plan, I just would go for any kind of stretch I could find.
It took so many mistakes, and so many failures to figure out what worked, and what didn’t. And I wish I could go back and tell young Sarah what she should do to avoid the years of testing. So take it from me, if you do these things, and you are consistent, I can promise it will launch you years ahead of everyone else in a matter of months, or even days honestly! Let’s get to work!
Show My Face On Social Media
If only I had known how much showing my own face on social media would actually do for my business, I would have been a lot more successful a lot earlier on.
Maybe you can relate, but I used to believe that putting my face on my business page was narcissistic, and that it would make people think I was full of myself. What I didn’t realize is that when I show my face, and talk about myself it actually makes me stand out from others in the same industry.
When you share about your life and your stories, you allow for people to relate to you. They can find connections and it builds a trust with who you are as a person.
- Showing up separates you from others in your industry. YOU are what makes your business different!
- People can relate to you, and your hobbies! You don’t need to share every tiny detail of your life, just pick 5-6 overall topics you discuss regularly.
- Posting pics of yourself is great when you have no other content to post from photoshoots or any new products.
Tips for getting comfortable in front of the camera
- Talk to your phone like you are talking to your BFF
- Post and ignore it. Don’t go back and watch it over again because you will criticize yourself
- Stop thinking “when I have X amount of followers I will do it right now my followers are just friends and family”
- Stop caring what other people think about you.
Nail Down My Niche & Ideal Client
- I would stop trying to serve everyone and do everything
- Set boundaries for my time, and what I was willing to take on + how much
- Only create content geared towards my ideal client and niche market
Niching down will not limit your business, it will actually increase it. I know that feels backwards but you have to show that you are an expert and specialize in something, not that you are average at a lot of things
Think of Apple – they really only sell maybe 6 products overall. They don’t sell all kinds of stuff but they are so clear on their branding and who their ideal clients are. Branding is what makes you buy a $2000 computer from apple vs. a $400 computer from somewhere else.
They might do the same things but apple has build a beautiful brand.
Same as Tiffany’s , there is a paper clip that retails for $1500 on their website… don’t believe me? Click Here
Invest in my business & more education
- I wish I would have invested in mentoring and online courses from the beginning. But in my defense they were not available like they are now, not a lot of people did then when I first started out in this business
- I took college courses which did teach me some stuff but I wish I could have had more direct education from someone who was literally doing exactly what I wanted to do.
If you don’t invest in you, why should someone else?
If you would pay a few thousand dollars a semester to go to college, why wouldn’t you pay to learn from someone who is in your EXACT industry?
Not focus 100% of my attention on Instagram alone
- There has been a few different occasions where I woke up and instagram was shut down. This app will not live on forever, even though we feel like it will
- Something new will come along I can promise you that
- You need to be getting your people in other places, ideally an email list
FLODESK I WILL PREACH THIS UNTIL I DIE. This is not a drill.
If you want to start sending your followers emails where you can relay the same info, show the same content but do not have to fight an algorithm…. Start an email list and do it using Flodesk because it’s super freaking easy.
I also would have used Pinterest a long time ago too.
Pinterest is huge way to drive traffic to your website, blog posts, youtube videos, your instagram, tik tok, etc
- I don’t think you need to be on every single platform, that would get overwhelming, but I do think you need to have a way to reach your people if Instagram takes a poop
- I would take more time to build relationships with other people in the industry or at-least other business owners
- It helps you get over imposter syndrome and it will help you stop feeling jealous if you have close friends who support you in the same way you support them
- Its not always easy to find but its possible
- Maybe try a virtual friendship with someone who doesn’t live near you, because then you wont feel like competitors but you can have weekly chats and bounce ideas off each other
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I'm Sarah Elrod
I'm a Cowgirl turned serial entrepreneur.
I'm a horse trainer, western wedding photographer, business coach and ranch wife.
I help women in the western industry grow thriving businesses from rural America.
When I am not strategizing new marketing tactics, you will find me riding my horses, cuddling my cattle dog, or kissing my hot husband.
There is also a good chance I am buying way too many outfits from western boutiques.
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