Hello and welcome back to this article series on creating your best business, knowing how to build your team and attracting what you want in business and in life. In the first article, Create Your Best Business, Sammy told us about how she knew she wasn’t in the best business to support the lifestyle she wanted.
And as Sammy always does, she shared her personal story with the intention of saving us from the trouble, and the pain, that can happen when we’re not clear on what we want.
Now, she’s going to take you through an exercise to determine if the people you’re surrounded with are the people who are best for you. This will prove to be foundational as you build your team.
Do you prefer to watch and listen rather than read? Then feel free to watch the full Brand Builders TV episode, How to Build Your Brand without Burning Out, Part 2, below. Otherwise, carry on for article number two in this series.
First, let’s learn a bit more about Sammy.
More About Sammy Blindell
She’s a ripple maker, she’s a One Drop, she’s founder of the Brand Builders Club, she’s a best-selling author, serial entrepreneur and so much more!
She’s Sammy Blindell, and she’s working with mission-driven business owners and brand builders to collaborate, strategise and achieve their business and life goals.
The following visualisation is just one example of how Sammy is working with entrepreneurs to build business that support their lives—not the other way around.
So again, it’s time to learn it, model it and get shit done. Let’s go!
Build Your Team with a Visualisation
Feel the energy that you created in the first series. Picture your dream 10/10 life. Imagine where you are and whom you’re with. See the setting and feel the atmosphere around you. Feel the warmth or the cold on your face. Envision the weather outside.
You’ve got your perfect business. Everything is in flow. You’ve got all the money you want, security and certainty. Money’s coming in every month. You don’t have to worry about anything. You’re living your 10/10 life and you’ve got your 10/10 business. And that business is supporting you to have even more of the life you want, to be able to spend time doing the things you love with the people you love, whenever you want to do them. You never again have to save up in order to do the things you want. The money is there and you’re ready to just go to that next level.
You’ve been working your entire life for this moment. You feel so proud. Every cell in your body is full of vitality and energy. Everything is in flow and going well.
Really feel into where you are, what you’re doing, who you’re with and what you can see around you.
Remember this perfect day.
Everything is abundant.
Everything is going well.
You’ve got the perfect power team around you. You’re surrounded by the most incredible people who love you and champion you.
They want you to do well, and you are the same with them.
You’re part of a global family, supporting you in going where you want to go, at the level you want to reach. Your customers love what you’re doing. They can’t get enough of you. It’s like they’re throwing money at you, trying to get you to do something else for them because everything you’ve done is so effective.
You’re really in that flow, really in that space.
Hold that vision in your mind’s eye. Capture it.
How does it feel being in that energy? Write down a description of what you saw, or say it out loud. What did you see, feel and hear?
Build Your Team, to Grow Your Business
When you think about your perfect business, what do you see? Sammy took us through that fabulous visualisation to help you get clear, but there’s another piece of wisdom to leave you with.
First, define your ideal life. What do you want to do? What do you want to own? With whom do you want to spend your time? And how much money will you need to do it all?
Everything else comes after you define the life you want to live.
Now, what kind of business do you need to make that happen and how will you build your team to accomplish it?
Let’s keep this going with the final instalment in this article series, Attract What You Want in Business. In it, you will learn how you can BE who you want to attract, for your dream team, dream life and dream business.
The answers to these questions will guide you toward the life and business of your dreams. And you know what else? The Brand Builders Club will help you to answer these questions, ask more important ones and support you every step of the way. You can join on a monthly basis, with no obligation, so what are you waiting for? Check it out!
Welcome back to this three-part article series about building your best business, your team…and now, how to attract what you want in business and in life. If you need to catch up, check out part one (Create Your Best Business) and part two (Wisdom to Build Your Team).
Now get ready for Sammy Blindell to tell us how she recommends you attract what you want, so you can have everything you want.
If you’d prefer to watch the video of the Brand Builders TV episode from which these articles have been taken, How to Build your Brand without Burning Out Part 2, feel free to do so below.
But we before we get on with it, let’s spend a moment with Sammy.
This is Sammy Blindell
Once again, it’s time to learn it, model it and get shit done. Let’s go!
How to Attract What You Want in Every Area of Life
Here’s the next step: Get a piece of paper or take notes in your phone.
From top to bottom, write the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Now think about the five people, groups, communities or customers whom you spend the most time with.
Think about the last seven days. Whom have you spoken to the most?
It could be your children, your parents, customers, a forum or community.
Now get back into the energy where you visualised your 10/10 life and business. And one at a time, write a score of 1 through 10 next to each of those people or groups. Be totally honest about how well they support your 10/10 visualisation. 1 is the lowest, 10 is the highest score.
How do you feel looking at those numbers?
I do this about every six months, to reevaluate whether or not I’m where I need to be.
We can be overwhelmed by some of the people we’re doing things for, and it can be very one-way. You can be so busy helping them to achieve their dream that your dream gets forgotten along the way. It’s not reciprocal. We can get to a point where we’re completely saturated, trying to balance so many things. We keep loading it on.
This can really hold us back, keeping us in the splits position. You’ve got one foot in your loyalty and values toward the people around you. And the other foot is saying, “I’m still loyal. I’m still that person. But something’s gotta give.”
If you’re going to achieve this and be a great example for your customers of what this fabulous life (business, team, health, etc.) looks like, you’ll have to let go of some of the things that are holding you back. And yes, some of those things might be people.
Here’s what I found when I went through this painful process. It can take me ages to make a decision, but once I’ve made that decision, bam, it’s done and so it is. It’s non-negotiable and I can’t go back on it. I’m totally committed.
Does that happen with you?
When I looked at my list, I saw my very first customer on that list, next to #1. This person was my first customer, in my first business, in 2002. And I had rated him a 10. All day, I thought of him and who I could refer him to. We were just referral machines for each other.
#2 was my mum. And she was rated a 2. I looked at that number and burst into tears. I really wanted her to be a 10. When I looked at that number, I thought, Sam, you’ve not been fair. You’ve given her a 2, but how could she possibly help you to achieve this vision when you’ve never told her what it is? I didn’t even know, so how could I have communicated that to her?
So I committed that I would take a trip to France (I lived in the UK at the time) and tell my mum what my dreams were—and about this vision that I’d seen and what I actually wanted.
And she became a 100 out of 10. She makes the one drop jewelry, she’s part of the business, she’s my greatest ambassador and one my best friends on the planet. She went from a 2 to a 10 just by me being clear about what I wanted, so I could let her know what I wanted.
Number 3 on my list was my ex-husband. He was a narcissist, but I didn’t know what that was. All I knew was that I had become a very different person to the one I’d been ten years earlier, when we’d gotten together. It was heartbreaking, but he got a 1. I wasn’t happy in the relationship. My needs weren’t being met. I didn’t feel fulfilled. I wasn’t happy, and it was leaking into everything else. Me not being happy was making everything else unhappy.
You’ll find that if you go to a business coach, you might think they're going to sort out the business, but all they really do is sort you out. Then you sort the business out. That’s totally what was happening.
I’d gone through the guilt and the shame of failing. It was just a marriage. It was supposed to be easy. How could it be that I’d failed at this? For about two years, I went through all those emotions.
He wasn’t helping me to have the life or the business I wanted. He was constantly trying to pull me out of the business, and always letting me down. He was vicious, vindictive, aggressive…and it was all leaking into my business.
I was throwing myself into the business to avoid my marriage. The business was growing, but the marriage got worse. And actually, he did me a big favour. About a week after I’d made the decision to leave, he gave me an ultimatum. He said it had to be him or the business. I chose the business.
He still regrets that to this day.
You don’t have to go to the extremes that I did, but I was in a deeply traumatic place where I had a foot in each life. It was too painful. I couldn’t manage it anymore. For me, that was something that had to go, and it went.
The final two people on my list were two friends, who when I really thought about it, were really low numbers. It was shocking—a horrible thing to go through—to realise that the people who surrounded me got such low ratings.
But now my life is amazing. I have a wonderful husband whom I wouldn’t have if I had kept holding on tight for fear of failure in that first marriage. My life is 100 out of 10. I had to let go of all that stuff.
Those two friends were so self-absorbed. I was constantly helping them, and they just weren’t right for me.
Showing up, to Attract What You Want
I had to get really clear about who was going to be my 10/10 people. How would they show up? Who would they be? What kind of values would they have? How would I show up for them, and how would that affect other relationships because my love tank was full?
There’s a book you might want to read, if you haven’t already. It’s called The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman. That book helped me to get super-clear about my own love language, as well as the love languages of those around me. It helped me enormously in business as well, so I could better understand how other people needed me to show up for them.
That got me thinking: if I’m going to have the best people show up for me, then I’ve got to be the best demonstration of who that is. It was really about me getting clear about who I needed to be so more of that would show up.
And that meant I had to figure out what One Drop really stood for. It was about that time, back in 2002, that I realised I had been looking externally, outside myself, for role models. I was looking for people to inspire me. But I couldn’t find it.
It was then that I discovered if I wanted to be surrounded by 10/10s, across the board, I needed to get really clear about me. Who was I? Who am I as the One Drop? Who do I want to be? What would a great role model look like and how would that role model show up? How would that person act around other people? If they were a real One Drop, how often would they show up? And what would they show up doing? Who would they be if they were in their best energy and their best intention, 100 percent of the time?
I got focussed on what that should look like and then I set out to be that person. Because I knew that if I could be the best demonstration of what I wanted to attract, I would attract One Drops from everywhere. My reticular activator would be looking for more One Drops, just like that.
And when I started to be the One Drop, I started to attract the One Drop. I attracted the most amazing mentors and friends. I couldn’t even list my five now. There are too many.
Attract What You Want: Be a One Drop
Everyone reading this right now is a One Drop for me. You’re being a One Drop for yourself and for each other.
I’m sending some One Drops out today, in fact. If you haven’t gotten your One Drop, to be part of this One Drop movement and be a OneDropPreneur, you can go to onedropmovement.com.
To get into that One Drop energy, really look at your list (the list of the people you spend the most time with). Ask yourself if there are people, groups or communities on that list that you’d like to make a 10. Look at the difference between those numbers. If it’s a low number, how can you make it a high number? And do you want to make it a high number? Or is there a part of you that realises it’s time to bring new energy into your life?
Maybe you need new role models. Maybe there’s someone else who’s already in your life. Perhaps there’s another Brand Builders Club member whom you haven’t gotten to know yet. Maybe they don’t even know about your business, so they’re currently a 0/10.
What if you picked three Brand Builders Club members whom you could be the One Drop for, so they could then be the One Drop for you? And got really intentional to move forward?
I’m just so excited for you, getting into that 10/10 business life and letting go so you can grow.
You Can Attract What You Want, Just Like Sammy
Have we got you thinking about what you want to attract into your life and business? And how you can manifest that in the way you show up?
You can’t stop there! You’re on a roll. Right now, subscribe to the Brand Builders TV YouTube channel to check out the loads of other fabulous Brand Builders who are sharing their wisdom with you, to better your life and your business. Then, Like and Follow the Brand Builders TV Facebook page to make sure you never miss a new episode or a conversation about past episodes.
In this articles series, Sammy is going to continue taking you through how to build your best business without burning out. In the first series, she guided us through a visualisation meditation to get you focussed on your dream 10/10 life and business. Now she’s going to take you back through, to that scene, before guiding you into another activity. There, you will look into who and what is supporting (or not supporting) your quest for your best business.
Only once you’re super clear about what you want can you let go to be able to grow.
You may wish to watch the entire Brand Builders TV episode, How to Build Your Brand without Burning Out, Part 2, below. Or, just keep reading for article one in this series.
Meet Sammy Blindell
Sammy Blindell, The Ripple Maker, is founder of the Brand Builders Club, The Ripple Makers Academy and the One Drop Movement. She is supporting entrepreneurs who own mission-driven businesses to grow and create an empowered world.
Sammy focusses on collaboration rather than competition, on strategies that work and on achievement in months rather than a lifetime…and she shares it all with those in her circle.
Now let’s hear from Sammy, in her own words, about how to lay the foundation for your best business and life. So find a quiet space and join in with this next guided activity.
It’s time to learn it, model and get shit done. Let’s go!
Creating Your Best Business
Welcome! Today, I’m bringing you guided visualisations and meditations to take you to the place where you’ve got it all. Where everything is abundant. You’ve got the life you want, the love you want and the business you want.
Ultimately, the business is there to give you all of that. It’s not there to keep you so busy that you don’t have time to enjoy that stuff. I’m talking from experience. When I built the business that I sold back in 2013, I had everything that money could buy. I also had everything money couldn’t buy, like happiness, a husband and a family.
But that business was taking me away from those things.
Is This Really Your Best Business?
Previously, we got really intentional about what your best business would look like (Refer to How to Build a Brand from Scratch, How to Start a Business and Start a New Business). Now we’re going to the next part of this activity, which is letting go so you’re able to grow.
I’m sure you been in situations in the past when you dove in, tried to make things work, gave it 100 percent (probably more)…and it still wasn’t working. It wasn’t in the flow. Has that happened to you?
That has definitely happened for me. The most memorable time for me was when I came to the end of selling that business—a branding, design and marketing agency. I had spent seven years building it, and had built four other businesses while running it. I had become incredibly burnt out (even though I didn’t realise it at the time).
I just kept taking more things on. They say, “If you want something done, ask a busy person.” That was definitely me. I just kept loading things on, but I didn’t realise how much stress and pressure it was putting on my body. I was so caught up in the day-to-day getting shit done that I forgot about what was important. I lost total sight of what my purpose was.
I kept working harder and harder to achieve what I wanted to achieve, and I wasn’t getting anywhere. The business was growing. We were making more money. But I didn’t feel happier. I thought more money would make me happier. I thought my dream home would make me happier. I thought my dream car would make me happier.
But none of it made me happy. What made me happy was being in complete flow. Over the course of the next two years, when my partner and I made the decision to sell the business, we went through a traumatic process. For nearly two years, our accountant introduced us to people who were interested in buying it, but I didn’t like any of them.
They didn’t share any of my values. I’m very much that person who breaks the rules when it comes to friendships and business. I feel that my business is a critical part of my life, and I will not do business with someone I wouldn’t invite to my boat for a coffee, dinner or a sunset cruise. I want to spend my time with people I enjoy being with, and that includes my business.
One Foot In, One Foot Out
After two years of trauma trying to sell that business, my business partner’s body caved in…and so did mine.
I was recently speaking to someone about this. She expressed that she felt really torn between where she is and where she wants to be. I could feel that too!
It was like I had one foot in one life, trying to keep that going—trying to make money for today, pay the bills, sort the team out, grow the business. And my other foot was in the future. It was wanting to move forward. I wanted to follow that foot, but realised I still had responsibilities elsewhere.
A Mastermind and a Revelation
I was part of a mastermind at that point (I’m always part of a mastermind that’s supporting me to grow). That’s what our Thinkubator does. So I’m sitting in this mastermind, surrounded by other amazing business owners who are also turning over millions of pounds. I noticed that every single one of them brought the same problem to the table they’d been bringing for the last six months. They were attending masterminds, but never did anything about their problems. They were just saying the same things each time—not actually growing.
I was growing, so every time it was my turn to speak, they rolled their eyes as if to say, “Here we go again.” They were getting fed up with me growing, and I was getting fed up with them not inspiring me because they weren’t growing. I realised that I had to let go of that. I took myself through a meditation and had a very strong visual. It made me see what was holding me back. And more importantly, who was holding me back.
This mediation happened at a networking event. I was an assistant director for BNI (Business Network International) while building my design agency. I was growing chapters and communities up in the North of England. We had training every month, and they took us into a meditation. It really helped me to see the forest for the tress. I was able to focus on what I needed to let go of.
With me having one foot in the life I had and one foot in the life I wanted to have, I was constantly stretched. It was like doing the splits for nearly two years. It’s almost like holding a bottle of water. No big deal, until you have to hold it for two years. It becomes an incredible weight.
This was not by best business.
Are You Being Drawn Toward Your Best Business?
Are you feeling the pull to go in a different direction? Are things not as in-flow for you as you’d like them to be? Maybe the people around you aren’t the ones you need to help drive you forward. Maybe your clients, or the people you’re in contact with the most, aren't supporting you the way you need to be supported. If they’re not, let’s evaluate why not. Maybe you haven’t communicated with them about the direction you want to go.
Let’s get clear on that in the next instalment, Wisdom to Build Your Team.
Your Best Business is About More than Business
I hope that Sammy’s words have helped you to better understand the weight you may be experiencing. Are you feeling the splits? Or have you been holding that proverbial water bottle for too long?
Please click on that link above to go to part two in this series. There, Sammy will take you through a visualisation to help you move toward your best business.
Have you heard about the Brand Builders Club Thinkubator? In just one three-hour session, you can learn how to take your business to the next level, stop working so many hours and reduce overwhelm. Register for a Thinkubator today!
Hello and welcome to the third and final instalment of my series on how to build a brand from scratch. In this article, we will be discussing steps two through six of the Movement Maker System, which will leave you confident to start a new business that is both marketable and profitable.
Please, if you haven’t already read parts one and two, check them out at How to Build a Brand from Scratch and How to Start a Business with Sammy Blindell. They will lay the foundation for the exciting steps I’m presenting here.
This strategy will help you get your brand out there, build a massive amount of trust and an enormous amount of credibility…as well as help you turn what you know into skills for solving real-life problems. You will be giving people what they actually want.
It’s more than creating something just because you want to create it. That’s fine if you want to produce something and don’t care if you get paid for it. But if you want to build a business and make money, then you need to start solving problems that actually exist.
Everything here has been taken from my full Brand Builders TV episode, How to Build a Brand from Scratch. You may watch the entire video here, or keep reading for the conclusion to this series.
It’s time to learn it, model it and get shit done! Let’s go!
This is Sammy Blindell
A brand creation and visibility expert, Sammy Blindell is the author of multiple best-selling books, the Chief Visionary Officer for the Brand Builders Club and founder of the One Drop Movement. She is also How to Build a Brand’s CEO.
No business is too new or too established, too small or too large, for Sammy to work with its owner and show them how to enhance awareness, credibility, trustworthiness, reputation, marketability, profitability and branding. Her mission is to inform entrepreneurs of her strategies so they can get it right the first time, instead of making the mistakes she did. This decreases business owners’ investments of time, money and effort…with better results.
Let's move forward with Sammy, as she tells us in her own words how to start a new business.
Start a New Business: The Final Steps
Hello! It’s Sammy, and I’m back with steps two through six of the Movement Maker System, so you can start a new business that sells something people actually want, need and will buy.
Step Two: Craft Your Offer
Let people know that as a result of their feedback, you’re creating something. Tell them, “I’m looking for twenty (e.g.) people to test it with me. Who’s up for that?”
Talk to those twenty people and tell them, “This is how much it’s going to cost me to create the program. Would you be willing to invest in supporting its creation? You’ll be getting it at a fraction of the price that everyone else will pay once it goes to market.”
Then you’ll get early adopters—people who are investing in you and paying you to create the program. They’re going to get more of your time than anyone else because you’re building the program around them.
You know they have a problem that millions of others also have. Whilst it will feel like you’re personalising and tailoring it to them, as you’re doing that, you’ll also be creating it for the million people who will come after them.
This is the time to craft your offer. You’ve done your research, you know what they want, and you can start reaching out and asking if this is roughly what they were thinking of.
It's better to create it live, in a setting where you’ve got love and people around you who will help you produce something people actually want…better than making all your mistakes publicly. A lot of our Brand Builders test and launch things in the Brand Builders Club before they take it market.
Step Three: Pre-Release
You’ve done your research, you know exactly what people want, you’ve created the offer and you just want to release it.
Not long ago, we released the 7-Step Brand Kickstarter online program, which is a brand-building system. It’s something I do personally with my Brand Builders Club members, but lots of small business owners were really struggling with their messaging (How do I create a pitch? How do I talk about my business consistently? How can I get other people talking about my business consistently?).
And so, I created that for the public as well and put that out within my Brand Builders Club LITE Membership group and said, “This is a fraction of the price to do it here.” And they all went and bought the 7-Step Brand Kickstarter. They’ve all been going through it, which is great. I’ve pre-released it. I can get feedback and get it tested before the “real” program is launched.
Step Four: Launch
Now you have confidence that your creation is going to work. It’s going to do a good thing.
Step Five: Optimise and Re-Launch
In my case, I had pre-launched my program into the Brand Builders LITE Group. They tested it and gave me feedback. I could then optimise it and make any changes.
People went to the landing page and found little grammar errors. Any little thing like that is enough to put a stranger off, so test it with friends first because they’re already in love with the stuff you’re doing and want to support you.
If you do it that way, it will be much easier for you and you’ll get it right. But then you’ll want to optimise it before the big launch. This is something for you to think about in your process.
Everything I share with you is stuff I’ve actually experienced. I never read a textbook and then tell you to go and do it. These are things I’ve done over a thousand times. I’ve learnt a lot the hard way, so you don’t need to.
When you re-launch it, you will have had a whole lot of people testing it, who have been part of the journey and who have grown up with the product.
A lot of business owners make the mistake of only starting to announce the product once the thing has been created. They don’t talk about it early on. When you’re thinking of creating something, start sharing it now, then you’ve got people who will buy from you as soon as you launch it, and you won’t have to turn strangers into friends from scratch.
Step Six: Illuminate
Put it out everywhere, let everybody know about it, ask people who have been through it and people who trust you to help you in driving out the message. Don’t be afraid to ask, because if you don’t ask, there’s a 100% chance that you won’t get what you want.
Get support. Let the whole world know about it. Let space know about what you’ve created. Put all of your energy into getting it out there.
Step Seven: Automate
As soon as you get to the end of the process, you won’t want to be doing this again and again. That’s not a good use of your time. Some of it you will need to be doing because it’s reliant upon your being there—but there are certain things that can be automated, like emails, messages and some of the social media…so it can be going out even when you’re not there.
With the Brand Accelerator program, I was creating email content in a Word document, copying and pasting it into emails and addressing the emails to every single person. It was only eighteen people for a period of six months, so it wasn’t too stressful, but you can imagine how that would feel for a larger number of people, or for a longer period of time.
Then my PA was sending those emails out. Every time a Brand Accelerator would send an answer back, the next step was emailed out with this copy-and-paste method. But we had money from paying customers to invest in someone automating these things for us. And so we automated with InfusionSoft, which is a large program. You can use Mail Chimp to get started, which is free to use for up to a certain number of contacts. Active Campaign is somewhere between Mail Chimp and InfusionSoft, and comes at a minimal cost.
When you’re first starting out, you don’t need a massive email system, but if you know you’re going to get 1K or 2K people onto that list, it’s easier to go for the bigger program straight away. Otherwise, it can be difficult to export names. You might have them tagged and segmented, and modelling that into a new system can be quite manual and time-consuming.
Why Start a New Business without the Brand Builders Club?
We hope you’ve enjoyed this series with me, Sammy Blindell, all about how to build a brand from scratch. Please share it with a friend who may be wondering how to start a business or how to improve an existing business.
And before you go, be sure to check out the Brand Builders Club. If you’re in a job and want to create something on the side or you’re already busy with your business, or starting a new business, there are 30 mentors waiting for you in the Brand Builders Club. The LITE membership is only £37.99 per month, and you may cancel at any time.
I did things on my own for three years too long. It was ridiculous, and I wasn’t getting anywhere. I was doing nice things, but wasn’t making money, wasn’t fulfilled, and was just busy doing things I thought I had to do.
But you are unique. Your business is totally different than everyone else’s on the planet. You don’t have the same business, desires, vision. You are unique in what you want to do and how you want to do it. There’s no one-size-fits-all business model. That’s why at Brand Builders Club, we meet every week. If you can’t get to a session, you’ve got the group to be able to ask questions and throw grenades in there. I can have more influence and support you in your journey if we’re actually working together.
So please, head over to Brand Builders Club LITE and take a look around. There’s a whole world of support waiting there for you.
In the first article in this series, How to Build a Brand from Scratch, I talked to you about what’s really important when you decide to build your brand. And now, it’s time to get to the heart of the matter and show you how to start a business on a budget, with nothing more than a passion and a vision.
The first step will be shared here, and the next six in Start a New Business with Sammy Blindell. Why only one here? Because it’s so crucial to everything that comes after it. It will set you up to build a brand that will be visible, credible and that will have an impact.
All of the content here has been extracted from How to Build a Brand from Scratch, an episode recorded for Brand Builders TV, and has been created for the purpose of showing you how I took a business from £0 to £18K per month in just twelve short weeks.
You can watch the full episode right here, or you can keep reading.
Now let’s learn it, model it and get shit done!
Who is Sammy Blindell?
Sammy Blindell is a branding and visibility expert who has written several best-selling books. She is also the CEO of How to Build a Brand, Chief Visionary Officer at the Brand Builders Club and founder of the One Drop Movement.
Sammy works with all sizes and types of businesses (and entrepreneurs who are thinking of opening businesses) to increase their credibility, relevance, visibility and profitability. She made a number of mistakes when she built her first businesses, and now she’s on a mission to make sure that none of us make those same mistakes. She’s saving her 46,000 followers from wasting time, money and effort and helping them to get it right the first time.
In her own words, as extracted from her Brand Builders TV episode about How to Build a Brand from Scratch, she’s telling us how to get started.
How to Start a Business: the First Step
Hello! Sammy here. I’m going to take you through a seven-step Movement Maker system. I shared this on a webinar about two years ago, and I don’t think I’ve shared it with anyone since then.
This is a process that works 100% of the time, whether you’re launching a business, a product, a book…for anyone who’s just getting started in business, starting over again, a young business owner or someone who’s new to business.
Step One: Research and Listening
I know this sounds like a really boring step, but you can make this so much fun. When I was getting ready to launch How to Build a Brand, I reached out to some friends and said, “I’m going to launch this online resource. It’s a brand-building resource for business owners and I really want to get it out there in a big way. I know you run events, and I’d love to talk at your events. I know you run webinars, and I’d love to deliver a webinar with you to support your audience with how to build a brand, which is the name of my company. Do you have any slots available?”
I got some speaking gigs and there was one speaking opportunity that came up for a two-hour presentation for a friend of mine, Simon Coulson. He has an online marketing group and he said, “Come and talk to the group.”
I immediately went onto some Facebook groups (you could also use LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest or any platform where you already have a following) with an essence of fun and enjoyment. People could tell I was doing it because I really wanted to help; not because I was trying to get something out of them or sell them something. That wasn’t the energy I went into it with.
So I got focussed on going into some groups that weren’t my groups (I didn’t have my own Facebook group at that time) and said, “I’ve got to create a two-hour presentation for a friend of mine all about how to build a brand. What are some questions you have about how to build a brand that I can answer for you and these people? Because you are the same audience that will be in that room.”
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was brilliant. I had one group where I got 19 responses. Every one of them came in with really good questions. In another group, I got 21 responses, and about the same from the third group. Some were duplicate questions, which was great because that told me they were the ones I needed to answer first.
This is a great YouTube strategy because you’re getting actual research from actual people who actually exist and who actually want to know the answers to specific questions.
So you go and get those questions, compile them in a list including who asked the question so you know who to go back to, and friend request people who jumped in on the conversation.
Back then, we didn’t have live streaming, so I bought a 12” foam grip tripod from Amazon (the smaller plastic ones slip and are too lightweight). It bends and wraps around things; you can take it anywhere.
And that’s how I started How to Build a Brand: with a free Facebook account, an iPhone 4S and a £12 tripod. I got to work making videos to answer those questions. For instance, “Lisa, thank you so much for your question on building a personal brand at the same time you’re building a corporate brand. If you, like Lisa, have that question, over the next three to four minutes, I’m going to answer it for you. If you have any additional questions as I go through this, please pop them in the comments below and I’ll be sure to make you a video as well. Let’s get started…”
Then I delivered that. Every day, I put up another video. I posted it on my own personal profile because I had friend requested new people who had joined the conversation. I posted it and tagged them in and sent them a little message saying I’ve just posted a video for them. I asked them to share the video with anybody else who would find it valuable. The people responded, “Of course I’ll share it. You created a video just for me?”
I spent maybe an hour a day creating a video and responding. At the same time, I was going back to the threads of questions, thanking one or two people for responding and letting them know I’d created a video and where they could find it.
I was continually signposting back to that content. And because of that, I wasn’t having to create a load of content—just one piece a day and then driving people to it. It also did something else, because every time a comment is made on a post, it will go straight to the top of people’s news feeds. So every time I went back and commented, it shot the post back to the top. Using this commenting strategy, your brand is the one that will most often be seen at the top of the page.
That was my strategy for Research and Listening. I was creating content people were asking for. That gave me permission to create the content, to contact them about that content…and they became really amazing brand ambassadors.
By week ten of launching How to Build a Brand from scratch, I still only had a Facebook account, a phone, a tripod, a blog and a URL for my website (I went with .org, bought .com and .uk and directed them there, because Google always ranks educational content first). Google makes its money with advertising, so it wants to direct people to the best resources, and educational ones are just that. So the more relevant you are, the more educational your content is, and the more content you provide on that…the faster you’re going to increase your ranking online.
On day one, my website was number 437,000,000 in Google search rankings, and most of us know that people rarely look past page one. Just with this strategy of learning, providing content and value, and turning that into blog posts (using Rev.com and Otter for transcribing), I got to number three on Google’s first page.
So I was creating the video and sharing it on Facebook, also sharing it on YouTube, transcribing it and turning it into a blog post for the website, and streaming the YouTube video into the blog post. So I’ve got YouTube (which is owned by Google) and I’ve got my blog (which Google loves because it’s educational content) streaming into my website, which took me to the first page of Google for “how to build a brand” in just twelve weeks (ahead of Sir Richard Branson).
We also launched my first book, The Seven Reasons Why Customers Don’t Choose You, and that book answered the top seven questions I had gotten in those comment threads. That book was launched in week eleven, but in week ten, I had enough information and enough followers that people were already asking me for things. So I created the Brand Accelerator program by week twelve, and eighteen people bought it because they’d been seeing me every day.
They saw me show up, they knew I was loyal, reliable, consistent…and they knew I was the one who could help them to build their brand. Those eighteen people invested £1K per month to work with me on this intense program for six months. So I had six months of income, with £18K per month coming in.
It makes sense that if you’re going to create something, Research and Listening should be your first step. You’ll never create something people don’t want if you do the Research and Listening first.
That’s How to Start a Business
So that’s the first step. For the next six steps, jump over to Start a New Business with Sammy Blindell. There you will learn about Crafting Your Offer, Launching, Optimising, Illuminating, Automating and more. Those steps will take less time each, but they’re just as crucial to learning how to start a business, especially if you don’t have the budget to invest in lots of expensive marketing, websites, funnels and that type of thing.
Let’s continue on together! Because I want to see this business that’s blooming inside of you out there in the world!
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