Hate the Hustle? Don’t make this mistake…
There’s something that I talk about a lot with my mentoring clients and I’ve been meaning to write about it for some time – and so what better time to write and warn you about this than when I’ve slipped into making the very mistake myself?
What I’m about to talk about is the eternal challenge of balancing this “Triad” of business essentials:
– Immediate Income
– Building for a Hustle-Free Future
– Delivering on Promises
For example a client will come on a mentoring call and say something like:
“Catherine I’ve got a workshop in three weeks, how can I get more people booked on at short notice?”, or. “I really need some new clients quickly – what should I do next?”
Now, if she’s only recently started working with me I will usually give her some practical advice about how to attract more of her ideal clients at short notice.
But if she’s been working with me for any length of time I like to wag my finger (metaphorically speaking) and ask:
“What have you been doing to grow your list and nurture your community in the past 6 months?”
If the answer is a sheepish “not much” that is usually exactly the reason she is struggling to fill that workshop or attract those clients today….
… because the activities that lead directly to a more enjoyable and “hustle free” future are usually the ones that get neglected.
Need Income Right Now?
The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to attract clients to your 121 services, workshops or webinars at short notice. The problem is that most of my clients don’t seem to enjoy doing these things. Continually operating on a short-term, quick-fix basis feels stressful, and feels a lot like “hustling” for clients.
Get out of Hustle and into Flow
You’ve probably heard this many times before: The best way to grow out of reactive, hustling for immediate income, is to grow an audience or community of people who love what you do, see what you have to share as valuable and will periodically step up in response to one of your offers and say “yes please!” to buying from you.
And it’s not just about growing an email list (because that isn’t a magic bullet either) but remembering that every single name on that list is a human being with a problem you can help solve, and adding value to their lives with genuinely useful information and support.
This is how you keep people in what I call your “Orbits to Yes” until they are ready to buy from you. I’ve had people follow me closely (I’d almost call it stalking except it’s the kind of stalking I encourage!) for several years before finally stepping forward to talk about working together or joining one of my programmes.
It is so much easier and more effective (not to mention enjoyable!) to sell “internally” to a group of people who already like you and trust you and value what you have to say, than it is to sell “externally” when it feels like broadcasting out into the ether with no idea if anyone is even taking any notice.
So it’s Easy…. right?
It’s easy! All you need to do is spend 50% of your time doing short-term marketing activity to bring on new clients quickly, and 50% doing long-term activity with the aim of developing a sustainable business where you no longer have to hustle every month just to break even. Instead you have an entire community of people ready to respond to you the offers you put out.
The more raving fans in your “Orbits” the less hustle and stress.
Or maybe not so easy…..
Because then come the Clients: Throw some paying clients into the mix and suddenly you have promises to deliver, sessions to run, admin to do, invoices to raise and process, and courses or events to organise.
And this is when you hit what I call the “hard yards”. That period of time in a business where you are winning clients regularly – enough to keep you quite busy – yet you still haven’t built the platform for a sustainable business without the “hustle and stress” approach. If you regularly question whether you should just pack it all in you are probably in the “hard yards” phase right now.
And with so much to take care of – your clients, your family, your own wellbeing – something has to give. It probably won’t be delivering to your clients if you are in business to be of service rather than to make a fast buck. And it won’t be the hustle for new clients if you need to pay the bills each month. So the work that goes towards a hustle-free future is usually the thing that has to give.
And not just you – it’s me too. Being consistent at nurturing my community has always been the most difficult thing to do consistently. And right now is no different.
Why Because I’ve currently got 324 members in my membership, 85 people in my 8 week Get More Clients Saying Yes! course, and 8 ladies in a small private Mastermind. OK, so clearly I don’t need to “hustle for income” right now.
But the big question is, what happens when those programmes come to an end and it’s time to launch them again?
Well in my case, I’ve been doing this for a while, so luckily I’ve got a plan for that – but the “rinse and repeatable” plan that is what keeps my business thriving is to a large part dependent on my having an audience of engaged people who love my work and think “yeah, she really makes a lot of sense” every time they receive an email or video from me. This means doing the activity to attract new people to find out more about me in the first place. And creating and sharing valuable free information (like this1). If I didn’t do this it would be a very different story. One with tumbleweeds in the first paragraph.
It’s not just you
So if you find this balance a challenge, do not despair. Know you are not alone and getting that balance right is all a rite of passage on the way to a successful business.
In the meantime here are some things you can do to help make it easier to balance it all:
- Don’t try and follow too many strategies for growing your audience at once. Stick with just 1-2 that give you great results rather than spread yourself too thin.
- Choose activity that is most in flow for you when it comes to your audience growth and nurturing – because if it feels hard that will become yet another reason you won’t prioritise it.
- Get consistent – do whatever you need to do to make your audience growth and nurture a non-negotiable part of your business – block out the time and don’t let anything get in the way – this is your hustle-free future that’s at stake.
- Batch your content – block out 1-2 days per month to create all of your marketing and nurture content for the month ahead.
- It’s also a great idea to hire a VA who helps organise your marketing calendar and sets up and schedules your content for you – having a deadline you have to meet for them is a great way to keep you accountable
The good news is that once you’ve put in the time and effort into growing your audience, learned how to serve them and have got into a regular routine for doing so (which takes time to get into, but in the end is much easier and more fun than the monthly hustle), it will only be a matter of time before you can wave goodbye to the “stress and hustle” approach to sales and marketing forever!
I hope you’ve found this useful. Maybe it’s helped explain why are finding things a bit harder than you thought you would? Do let me know in the comments below, I always love to hear from you.
How to Create a Business you can Fall in Love with
If you’d like to learn more about my approach to growing a business you can fall in love – and stay in love with, you can sign up to receive my e-book where I share my secrets to creating a truly successful and sustainable business – without burning out or falling out of love with it along the way. Sign up for the Create a Business you Love e-Guide here.
With Love & Gratitude,