I hope you’re enjoying our start-the-year-strong business planning series. If you missed the first few posts, you can find them here:
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Can you think back on a time of real growth, be it in business, in your personal life, or anywhere else? More than likely, you had to step out of your comfort zone for that growth to happen. Perhaps way out of your comfort zone.
Yes, we can make progress by doing what we’ve always done. But it will be slow and more importantly, by staying within your comfort zone, you’re limiting your potential for growth. It’s when we step out of that zone, try something new, take a bit of a risk, and allow for personal and professional growth, that we start to see big changes for the better.
Let’s say your goal is to expand your reach and get out in front of a larger audience. What you’ve done so far, and what feels comfortable, is writing a blog post a week and then sharing it on social media. Yes, some readers will find you. Yes, if you double or triple your efforts, publishing more posts per week and sharing more often across all your social media accounts, you will see some growth and engagement. But you’re staying in your comfort zone.
What if instead, you used the time you would have spent writing another blog post or two per week and promoting it on social media, you took the time to write a guest blog post for someone else’s blog with a bigger reach. What if you sat down and recorded a fun and informational video that you can then share on YouTube, imbed in a blog post, and of course share via your favorite social media outlets. What if you used the time to set up and test a Facebook ad that continually sends new leads into your funnel. What if you jumped on a Facebook Live or Instagram Live? Or reached out to a podcast host about being interviewed on her show? If those things are new to you, that may seem like a pretty scary proposition. But getting uncomfortable and doing it anyway can have some huge rewards.
Writing and submitting the guest blog post can give you a lot of added exposure by allowing you to get in front of an established audience. It also gives you the chance to start a relationship with a follow blogger that could lead to all sorts of other opportunities and collaborations.
Recording a series of videos gives you the opportunity to reach a completely different subset of your target audience. There are plenty of people who prefer video content to written posts and articles. There are people who spend hours each day watching YouTube videos who would never stumble across you and your blog otherwise.
Spending money on paid ads can sound like a risk, but once you crack it and find something that converts well for you, you will get a steady stream of new leads in front of you without any added work.
A great thing about comfort zones is that they expand, as long as you keep pushing at their boundaries. So you won’t stay uncomfortable for very long. After recording those first few videos, submitting a couple of blog posts, and spending those first few dollars on ads, you start to get comfortable with the processes. Before you know it, they become second nature and yet another tool in your virtual tool belt. Once that happens, you know it’s time to explore some other marketing strategies and ideas.
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