Jenna Kutcher, podcast host and author of “How Are You, Really?” shares her advice for successfully growing a small business online.
As someone who started out with a $300 camera from Craigslist and now has a large brand and name, what advice do you have for those who are looking to become an entrepreneur but have doubts and are scared to pursue entrepreneurship?
The simplest but hardest part is that whole “getting started” thing. But this is the first step to pursuing what could very well be your new passion — without strings attached! I love to try new things while also protecting my creativity by experimenting, which helps me figure out if I’m going to love the work I’m doing or not. The major perk of trying something new means you get to remove stressors like deadlines or a paycheck, even if it’s just during the “let’s see if I like this” phase. You can truly start from a place of serving and curiosity because you’re not under a ton of pressure to make it succeed or even mitigate a failure. It’s just an experiment, which I believe is the heartbeat of entrepreneurship.
How can small business owners utilize their network to grow their business?
Start sharing your dream, your goals, or your offer with those in your network. Pretend like you’re your own publicist. Every time you share about the work you’re doing, you’re gently reminding those in your network who you are and what you do. With each reminder, you reinforce who you are, so that their mental contact card for you is updated. That way, when there’s an opportunity for connection, they think of you as the best recommendation they could offer up. The key here is to do the very same for the people in your network. Remember that “network” really just means “a bunch of humans looking to support each other” and you’ll get far more out of it!
What is some advice you have for small business owners who are struggling to come back from the effects of the pandemic?
Get creative in how you can share your product, service, or offer with the world, even if it means going back to the drawing board. Don’t hesitate to share exactly how others can support your business. Entrepreneurs struggle with asking for help by nature of our building so much from scratch, but when you can learn to express the ways that people can help your dream stay alive, you’re inviting your community to support the work that you do. Most people want to support the companies they love, but they have so much content and media thrown their way every day that they aren’t going to have time or energy to figure out how to help you on their own. So, don’t hold back!
What are some tips for small business owners who are looking to grow and expand their business?
Challenge yourself to let others in on the process so they feel connected to you and your work. Even just sharing a 60-second clip of your day will help connect you with others online, make you more relatable, and get your work in front of an audience.
How can small business owners separate themselves from other small businesses and stand out?
There are likely other people who sell or create something similar to you, but there’s one thing that makes you unbeatably unique: you. There will always be truth in that cliche, so turn that truth into action. In order to build a true brand and not just a business, you need to show your personality. Share your experiences; tell some of your stories. How did you start your business? What drives you today? Don’t shy away from being yourself! Invite people to fall in love with who you are and, in turn, fall in love with what you do.