Digital Entrepreneur, Part 2: Grow Your Business From Small to Large
As any entrepreneur can tell you, every digital business has to start somewhere – usually with a great idea. That great idea then turns into action, a website, and eventually an enterprise. But how do you grow your business into a digital success? How do you ensure that your digital business grows from small-scale to large-scale? I talked to several successful entrepreneurs to find out.
Establish a Community
According to Jessi Fearon, a highly successful digital entrepreneur at The Budget Mama, the key to growing your business is “establishing a loyal community.”
“Word-of-mouth marketing is the most powerful marketing there is [to grow your business], even in the digital age,” she said. After you bring in early followers, their recommendations and satisfaction with your products or services will help your business to grow further.
Put Your Clients First
Matt Becker, who runs his own digital financial planning firm, has this advice for a budding entrepreneur:
“Keep a relentless focus on your clients and customers. Talk to them directly. Find out who they are, what they worry about, and what they want. Build your business around serving them well, and reach out to them in ways they feel comfortable with. The more you focus on your customers, the more likely you are to create things they actually want, which will make it much easier to grow.”
Kevin L. Matthews II, creator of BuildingBread, also places a strong focus on clients and customers. “If you want to grow your online business from small-scale to large-scale, you have to ask before you create,” he said. “You want your clients and customers to feel like you’re reading their minds when they come to you for your product. You can do it if you ask them what they want and why they want it. From there, create exactly that! Most people try to create something and convince people why they should buy it. Doing it that way can stunt your growth.”
‘When I started asking my clients what they wanted and why, my business grew tenfold.’
Network, Network, Network!
Liz Theresa, an online business expert and web designer, says that her fellow entrepreneurs helped her to grow. “The absolute most impactful thing for me when I was starting out had to be relationship building,” she said. “By relationship building, I mean connecting with other professionals who can help move you forward in your life and business. And in return, you help them, too – they can even become your friends!”
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, who makes over $100,000 every month through her blog, Making Sense of Cents, echoes Liz’s sentiment. “One area that many people don’t spend enough time in or don’t realize the value of is networking,” she said. “Networking has allowed me to go from small- to large-scale as I learn the best tips from the greatest people. Too many business owners see other business owners as competition, when in reality you should look to network with others as much as you can.”
Take Advantage of Social Media
Carrie Smith Nicholson said it was actually social media that helped her brand, Careful Cents, to truly grow. “The main thing that really helped my freelance biz grow from a small idea to a larger business was Twitter,” she said. “I ‘stalked’ other influencers, potential clients, and other bloggers by monitoring their tweets through a private Twitter list. Twitter makes it easy to connect with someone in real-time.”
John Rampton, a serial entrepreneur and co-creator of Due, also used social media to help his digital business grow. “I made sure to get my blog out to as many people as I could through social media channels, partnerships with other bloggers, and syndication,” he said.
Outsource the Minutia
The last and – perhaps most important – tip when it comes to finding a way to grow your business comes from Rosemarie Groner, the successful founder of the blog Busy Budgeter. “I grew from $18 a month to over $20,000 a month with my blogging business,” she said. “The secret to quick growth and scaling up was to invest heavily in outsourcing.”
Rosemarie outsourced many tasks, including writing e-mails, tech support, recipe photography, and blog post scheduling. She said that she does every task that she loves in her business and outsources everything else.
As you can see, there are many ways to grow your business digitally from small-scale to large-scale. The most important skills are persistence and dedication to your brand, but using these tips can also accelerate the growth process.
To read Part One, click here.