It’s exactly one year since Jan launched the Langpreneur podcast, so to celebrate we’re sharing the top seven business-building lessons we’ve learned so far on the Langpreneur journey.
#1. If you don’t have traction, make a change and then take massive action on it.
Every business needs traction, or momentum, to move forward and make a profit. So, if your business is stagnating, you need to make some changes. But how can you decide which innovation is the spark that your brand needs?
Consider your skills –
What are you doing now in your business, and what can you add?
See what others are doing and put your spin on it.
What assets do you already have?
Do you already have a platform? Try another one. If your YouTube channel is stagnating; would a podcast engage your audience more? Find a publishing style and schedule that works for you.
If you have traffic but no product, start selling something. Don’t wait for the perfect course or product; advertise it as a beta version, ask for feedback and use that to improve and get testimonials.
Where do your passions lie?
Motivation and enthusiasm are vital parts of the change because they’ll keep you going. It’s hard to put in the work when you’re not 100% behind the concept. Try something you haven’t done before – maybe the solution isn’t in your current project or business model?
Build your relationships.
Spend time with other people who have already managed in their niche what you want to achieve in yours. How do they talk? Think? Act? Be confident in yourself and your instincts and realise that you can achieve that success too.
“Networking and connecting to people who have already achieved is the most important thing. Once you have the relationship you start seeing that you can do it too. You see the way they think, the way they talk. Just by having the conversations, that’s the key to success.”
#2. You never know what’s going to work in your business.
Of course, you need a plan to give you direction, but your first idea might not be the one that sparks success in the end. That’s why you need to keep trying things until you find a loyal audience and the offering that resonates with them.
There are so many possibilities to choose from. Events, masterminds, courses and coaching – each has potential, but you will probably need to test a few before you find your ideal match.
“The aim of your plan is to have a direction; you have to try different offers, in order to find that one thing that’s eventually going to be the core of your business.”
So, talk to your audience as well as others in your niche.
How are they thinking?
What are their skills?
Where do they need help?
And, how do your skills add value to their businesses?
These are the questions that will help you decide where your skills, passions, assets and actions can help others and become a profitable business for you too.
#3. Laser focus on what works.
Once you find that one thing that works, what the business is you need to focus on those and ignore all the other things that didn’t quite hit the mark.
Reverse engineer your plan. Where do you want to end up – work backwards to decide how you’ll get there. Do the math: e.g.
You aim to make $3000 per month and, in your business, every 100 leads generates five sales. If your course costs $200, then you’ll need 300 new people each month to consistently reach your target.
Base your plan to achieve those 300 new leads on what is working and identify the tasks that matter.
“Only spend time and money on the things that work. Once you have money coming in then you can reinvest some of it in the fancy stuff.”
#4. Don’t find a niche, create one.
In your perfect niche, the audience will be small at first, but it will also be extremely engaged. Your people will be happy to buy if you solve their problems and build strong relationships.
The key is to look at the general area — e.g. teaching French — then consider your specific skill set. Combine the two and voila! There is a niche unique to you.
#5. The power of “just in time” learning.
It’s incredibly tempting to try and learn everything you might need before you even start a business. We call it “just in case learning.”
You read books on mindset and accountability; take courses on accounting and watch innumerable YouTube reviews of the latest software.
What you need is “just in time learning.” These are the things you should know to move your business forward.
What’s the goal?
What’s my strategy to achieve it?
What tasks are essential?
Which skills will I need?
“Learn things one step at a time and only focus on the next challenge.”
#6. Building an online business is not easy.
It takes a combination of skill, hard work, time, relationships, research, position, luck, and most of all, action to build an online business and you certainly won’t make money overnight.
“Work for free but not for nothing.”
Many people are surprised at how much work you do for free, especially at the beginning of the journey. You’ll put in many, many hours without seeing any monetary returns but there are other gains.
That toil will garner relationships with your peers and customers. You’ll get insights into your customers’ thoughts and problems that show precisely how to help them. And they’ll give you invaluable testimonials which will attract new members and customers into your circle.
#7. Only focus on your superpower and outsource the rest.
“One thing you must do is identify your superpower.”
Is it relationship building? Course creation? Content? What is unique to you and can’t be done by anyone else? Aim to build the business so that eventually you can hire people and delegate the tasks that don’t relate to your superpower.
Other people can do those tasks better, cheaper and faster than you can. Consider your income streams. Are some distracting you from your superpower? Eventually, even they may have to go if you genuinely want one business to succeed.
In a nutshell
So, there you have it. Seven lessons that we learned in our first year building the Langpreneur business and brand.
But, while all these are important, the essential lesson is to cultivate relationships, not only with your customers and peers but with those who can serve as guides.
Take heart, be confident, work hard; Make changes, take massive action and gain traction. It will take time, but in the end, you’ll have a sustainable business that you love.
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’7 Mistakes that will Kill your Language Business and How to Avoid Them’