So you’ve opened a business, sales are steady, and you want to take it to the next level. Where do you start? This can be one of the most difficult hurdles in your journey as an entrepreneur. We get it - we’ve been through it ourselves, having cut our teeth owning an online clothing and gear store. Luckily for you, we’ve also discovered a way to find clarity and foster growth while at this stage.
Here’s an important line to remember: people will only buy from you if they know, like, and trust you. So how do you get there? You need to first establish what we call the three pillars of growth: Affinity, Authority, and Awareness. You can have the best funnel in the world, but it’ll fail without these pillars in place.
Merriam-Webster dictionary describes affinity as: “…a feeling of closeness and understanding that someone has for another person because of their similar qualities, ideas, or interests…A liking for or an attraction to something.” Now that we’re clear on what affinity means, how do we build it?
Start to understand, and I mean REALLY understand, your ideal customer. Who are they? What do they struggle with? What do they love? Find common ground and different ways to connect with them. Share your story with them and aim to start conversations on social media platforms.
Freely and happily share your knowledge and expertise. No, that is not giving away the farm. It’s proving your worth. Sharing your knowledge isn’t the same as working for free. It also doesn’t mean your ideal customer is going to do your job themselves because you educated them a little (if they do want to do it themselves then they’re not your ideal customer). What it does do is show that you know what you’re talking about, and you’re happy to share it without expectation of anything in return. That displays confidence and authority.
Here are a few simple ways to establish authority:
- Write blog posts about topics in your industry that will help your ideal customer and provide value to them.
- Share insights and tips through emails, your website, or social media.
- Use social proof or testimonials in your emails or on social media.
- Contribute to groups or Question and Answer forums when appropriate, but don’t do it in a “salesy” way. Just be real.
The third pillar is Awareness. This one can best be explained with the concept of omnipresence. An offer or ad placed in one area is much less effective than the same offer or ad placed across multiple channels. When your customers see you in multiple places, you’ll occupy a more important place in their head, and you’ll always come to mind when they’re dealing with the problem that you solve for them.
Well there you have it. Once you establish these three pillars – your ideal customers will come to know, like, and trust you – and business growth will follow. We hope this article helps you on your way! Do you feel like you already have any of these pillars established, or are you starting from scratch?