With every new year comes new challenges. So, now it’s a perfect time to reflect on your business and decide what needs to change to make your business better and more efficient. Even the smallest things can make a huge difference, and today we have nine small things you can do to improve your business in the new year.
1. Create an introductory offer to your brand
One of the most effective ways to improve your business in the new year is to create a smaller, more affordable product that will serve as an introduction to your brand. Sometimes, people are not ready to commit to a full course when they first stumble upon your business. But they might be very willing to purchase a smaller offer to see whether they can gain the value they’re looking for from your business.
Podcasting expert Pat Flynn is a great example of how you can successfully implement this strategy in your business. He has his signature offer, Amp’d Up Podcasting, an online course on podcasting priced at $999. This price tag is an investment, especially if someone is unfamiliar with Flynn’s brand.
So, Flynn offers multiple smaller products at lower price points that target specific pain points his audience has and that all relate to his passive income building business. The prices for his smaller products range from $99-$499, so he’s able to reach more people and turn them into fans of his brand with his smaller offers.
Here are examples of good introductory offers:
- Single-topic courses
- Digital templates
- Mini courses
Once you have set up one or two smaller products, on top of making your business accessible to more people, you’ll also be able to increase your sales with order bumps. Each of the smaller offers can be used as an order bump when someone’s purchasing your online course to increase their order value.
2. Revise your email marketing efforts
Your email list is where the money lies because the return on every $1 spent on email marketing is a whopping $42. And, your email list is also where people the most interested in your brand are. So, there’s always room for improvement in your email marketing strategy.
If you don’t have a solid email marketing strategy, develop one for the new business year. Learn how to write good sales emails, craft catchy headlines that get your emails opened, and implement the best strategies to promote your email list to get more leads organically.
3. Set up automation for your email list
If you already have an email marketing campaign up and running, you must automate as much of your email marketing efforts as possible. Doing so will allow you to manage your campaigns stress-free as you’ll know that you have systems in place that help things run smoothly.
In particular, you want to set up an automation for your onboarding sequence of welcoming emails. Ensure you have an effective, welcoming sequence set up that greets all new people who join your list and direct them to correct subscriber groups. The chances are that you have multiple lead magnets to attract new people to your list. So, writing welcoming emails every time someone new joins your list can be extremely time-consuming.
You want to create individual welcoming sequences for each lead magnet you have. Your onboarding sequence doesn’t have to be long. Two to three emails are enough—unless you have an email course as your lead magnet. Introduce your brand, deliver the lead magnet you promised, and tell people what to expect from you.
Having your welcoming emails automated will vastly improve your business, and you’ll save a lot of time you can now spend working on other parts of your business.
4. Set up a community group
A very easy place to start when you’re looking to improve your business is creating a community. An online community is crucial for online entrepreneurs. And it’s one of the selling points for many online course creators.
There are two ways you can approach creating a community:
A community for current students
Creating a group for your current students to connect with others and you is a great way to increase the value of your offer without much investment. In addition, you will be able to build a personal relationship with your students, which in turn will allow you to create superfans of your brand long-term.
Also, if your students find friends via your community, they will be more willing to recommend you whenever they mention how they met their new friends.
Once you have a community set up, you can create pricing tiers for your online course, adding an option for people to pay more and get access to your community and other students. This is a great way to increase the order value and grow your revenue.
A community for prospective students
Another option for your business would be to create a group for all prospective students who are not yet enrolled. Anyone interested in your business can join and connect with you and other like-minded people.
This type of community will require less time and personal involvement and should serve as your way to build deeper trust with your audience before they’re ready to make a sale.
5. Purge your social media
You can improve your business in five minutes or less with a social media audit. The chances are that you are on more than one social media platform. If you’re a solo entrepreneur, it can be hard to manage everything independently. The good news is — you don’t have to be on every single social media platform. It’s enough to be on one or two and show up consistently.
So, take the time to go over your social media accounts and evaluate how effective they have been in the past. Once you do that, cut out all social media platforms that consume a lot of time and don’t bring in the most results. It’s always good to choose a platform you’re most familiar with and most comfortable on, as it will make it easier to use.
Navigating as many social platforms as there are nowadays can be a job in itself. Make sure you stay savvy with our ultimate guide to social media.
6. Connect with other creators
The new year is a perfect time to connect with other online course creators. Working for yourself can feel isolating and lonely, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Finding online course creators to connect with can lead to new relationships and business opportunities, and it is good to know you’re not alone.
Here are some of the best ways to connect with fellow creators:
- Connect with people over social media: Follow creators you’re interested in on social media and interact with them, showing genuine interest.
- Attend online workshops and other events: Find online events that interest you and that have other online entrepreneurs attending and join in.
- Attend conferences and events IRL: If it’s safe and you’re able to, research conferences and local events where other online course creators gather and connect with new people face to face.
- Join an online community: There are plenty of online business communities where you can join and meet like-minded creators from all over the world.
Expanding your circle and going out of your comfort zone will surely improve your business and how you run it. So, take advantage of the resources you have at hand and connect with other entrepreneurs.
7. Get on podcasts
Audio content is huge, and the popularity of podcasts will only grow in the future. So, take advantage of it and try guest podcasting. It’s a great way to meet new audiences and introduce them to your business. And what’s great about guest podcasting is that it’s free, so you’ll only need to invest your time in finding the right opportunities.
8. Update your website
Having a smoothly running, fast, and responsive website that’s easy to navigate is important to all online businesses. So, if you’re looking for ways to improve your business, it’s worth giving your website special attention. Platforms like Squarespace or Wix make it very easy to create a modern website that people will find enjoyable to visit.
If it’s been a long time since you updated the visual look of your website, you might want to get a new, more up-to-date template. Update the fonts, branding colors, and other details that make your brand stand out in a crowd. Small changes like that can make all the difference.
Also, if you host your website on Wordress.org, go over your plugins and make sure that all of them are working and needed to run your website. Unused plugins take up space and can slow your website down, so remove them.
If you have a sales landing page for your online course, this is the time to re-evaluate it and update it where necessary. For example, maybe you’ve got new reviews and student praises? Make sure to include them as your social proof. Or maybe you’ve changed the curriculum and updated the course material? Make sure your sales page has all the up-to-date information.
And don’t forget you can always use your Teachable homepage as a website if you don’t have a separate site.
9. Automate and simplify your business
Teachable makes it easy to process payments and manage taxes with their built-in systems, making running an online course business much easier. Go over all the other aspects of your business and see where you can automate and simplify your systems.
For example: If you’re hiring freelancers to help you with video editing or other aspects of your business and have to constantly send out invoices, consider using accounting software like QuickBooks or FreshBooks to help you manage all of your finances in one place.
Or, let’s say you work with an assistant and manage workload and projects together. Improve your business in the next year by utilizing tools like Asana and Trello that allow you to manage multiple stages of multiple projects with your team without having to go back and forth via email.
No matter what your goals are for the new year, taking some time to make small changes at the start can set you up for yearlong success.
Haven’t discovered your community strategy yet? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Our free guide to online community will help you get started on the right foot.