We’re not gonna lie — online business over the last year or two has required the navigation of some choppy waters, and it looks like the headwinds for ALL businesses (both online and offline, course-based and otherwise) are here to stay for a season or two.
And, when things in the online business landscape are more challenging (think IOS changes, increasing ad costs and increased competition for attention online amid declining attention spans, interest rate rises, inflation and accompanying economic shifts), there are always two ways to go.
One — wave the white flag, blame your results on market conditions, and give away your power to the “conditions that are”.
And two — realise that there will ALWAYS be something, adapt and evolve and become a better, stronger and more resilient business owner in the process.
Really, they are your options.
And for the ones that choose B, there will be a real opportunity over the next couple of years to double down, build an incredibly strong business and lead whilst others retreat.
I choose to believe that there are some truly exciting times upon us right now, and to see the true OPPORTUNITY that these times will give business owners READY to make moves.
So, with all of that said, what sorts of things can we do as business owners to stay strong, both in mind and bottom line, in the face of the shift in online business and economic conditions?
That’s what I’m tackling in today’s podcast episode.
Listen On: Apple Podcasts | Spotify
Here’s seven things tips to consider implementing as we all navigate more challenging business conditions:
1. Don’t blame your results on tighter wallets — As a course creator, it can be easy to view our sales results through a lense that allows us to release “responsibility” for them, if things haven’t gone to plan.
One thing that I have seen recently is a tendency to “blame” lower launch results on the changing economy, when in fact that releases from you all power and may not be the case at all.
In any situation, there is a fact, and then the meaning that we give to that fact. Assigning “blame” for a fact (e.g. a launch result that is lower than you wanted) to something we PERCEIVE is out of our control is dangerous and disempowering.
The fact may instead be that you didn’t adequately address the current pain points of your market, or that you didn’t generate the volume of leads you needed.. or one of a myriad of other things.
Assign the RESPONSIBILITY back to yourself always, external conditions will always be shifting but how we react to it will always be within our control.
2. Update your messaging — Truthbomb: What worked a year ago with your offers may not work today.
Why? Because offers solve problems, and the challenges that your perfect fit person might have HAD a year ago are likely different today.
So, exercise number one is to ensure that your business is staying relevant. If you are experiencing a decline in business when you compare to your figures a year ago, it’s likely because the market has shifted and you haven’t shifted with it.
When’s the last time you changed the wrapping paper on your offer — if you have rolled the same thing out for multiple launches, it might be time to change the messaging.
One thing that we are currently doing is intensive market research calls with our audience and clients, to find out, in their own words, the challenges they are facing NOW.
You will see updated messaging over the coming months that will be the fruits of our labour. It’s important not to rest on your laurels, especially in industries and markets that are rapidly shifting.
The businesses that will stand out over the coming months and honestly years will be the ones that stay relevant and open to shifting their messaging to suit the shifting needs of their customer.
Ask yourself this — Are you still solving a problem that is an urgent priority? Are you listening to new objections and pivoting? If you don’t know — find out. If you’re not — change your messaging!
3/ Elevate your niche — At a time where people are looking more closely at their investments, it’s more important than ever to make sure you are targeting the RIGHT profitable market.
A few things to look at — are you solving a SPECIFIC problem for one person? Are you solving a problem for an inherently price-sensitive market when instead you could be elevating your messaging to solve a higher level problem for a less price-sensitive market?
It’s common to feel you need to serve the absolute beginner, but offen the profitability comes from solving more specific higher level problems.
Often, when the market changes, it can be tempting to think that you need to lower your pricing, or to start to offer “smaller, more affordable” offers when in fact, it may actually be that you need to elevate your pricing and messaging to reach a less price-sensitive market.
In all market conditions, there will be a subset of the population that aren’t as affected — and likely, they will be the individuals with higher discretionary spend. How can you introduce a HIGHER ticket offer or shift your core offer to speak to that market?
4/ Offer optimisation — If you haven’t updated your offer (whether that’s a course or program, or something else) lately, it’s likely because you have been spread too thin (with too many offers), or again, you have been resting on your laurels.
It’s more important than ever at the moment to really lean in and find out from your students and clients what THEY need.
How can you serve them better? How can you ensure they are raving about you? How can you go over and above for them?
Treating your existing clients better than ever is more IMPORTANT than ever at the moment, a time when every dollar counts.
5/ Have fun — Do you already have one core offer in your business that is validated? Great, then you have permission to have fun and experiment.
For us, it recently meant doing a lazy launch of our signature podcasting course.
We listened to the market, and it was telling us that they were CRYING OUT to stand out and sell out, and we knew that our podcast course was the way to do it.
Was it in the plan to launch? NO! Has it been wildly successful because we were open to experimenting and helping people in a different way to the way we usually do? YES.
I give you permission to do the same.
6/ Focus on increasing your CLV — Getting more leads in the door at a time when costs to acquire a new customer are rising may not be the smartest thing to prioritise right now.
Instead, think about how you can serve your EXISTING customers better? Is there an ascension offer you can lead them into? Are there aligned offers you could offer at the point of sale to increase the order value from the sales you are making? How can you improve the customer experience so that you retain your current students and clients for longer?
The mindset to adopt is how you can make at LEAST as much from renewals, retention and increasing order value as you do from new lead generation.
7/ Be the leader in your space — When times are uncertain, people look to those that are leading the thought and providing a path to follow.
Be that person. People are looking for certainty and security, they are looking for someone to step up and show them what do to — show up for them, consistently and boldly.
If you’re a business owner, you have signed up for a life that involves both ups and downs in market conditions, and the truth is that navigating them is one of the most important arts to master.
Step up to the challenge, find opportunity where others are looking to blame external conditions, and be the leader in your space that people are wanting right now.
Pivot, adjust your sails and trust that you have every inside of you to thrive in all conditions.
Your students and clients need you now more than ever.