Are you feeling overwhelmed by all of the options to grow your business? I hear it a lot. The technology. The implementation. The Programs. The Marketing. The Support. If making a big impact is on your to-do list then it is time to consider building an online business ecosystem. An online business ecosystem is the systems, processes, marketing and funnels you create to make your business come alive online.
When I work with clients to build their ecosystem we typically focus on one product or offering for a year and then layer on additional products and programs. The reason we spend an entire year focusing on one signature offering is that it allows us to streamline the sales process, simplify and streamline the marketing process and scale the program. Oftentimes, people go through one launch of a product and hit the reset button on the creation process. This is a big mistake and I will talk more about this later on in the blog.
The three phases of an online business ecosystem are:
Phase 1 – Foundation
Phase 2 – Marketing
Phase 3 -Scaling
Over the next several weeks I will dive more in depth around each of the phases. The focus here is for the Foundation. Now you might be reading this thinking, “Jamie I already have the foundation in place. I have my offer and I know my ideal client.” Ok. You might. More often than not I see a failure to dig deep in this phase and really do the work and it is extremely detrimental down the road as you move into phases 2 and 3. Glossing over this work and not putting in the research during this phase can really impact you in the long run. Every client I work with we reevaluate what they have and dig a bit deeper.
What’s the focus during Phase 1 – Foundation?
During Phase 1 we focus on identifying with great specificity our ideal client, mapping out the client journey, creating our offer stack and identifying any ancillary products that may need to be created, developing a nurture sequence, launch style such as a webinar, masterclass, live launch, evergreen, application, sales page, sales emails and then of course all of the delivery stuff that needs to be in place when you sell something in automated fashion. This will often require development of the class, learning platform and other deliverables you will be creating during the program.
While this certainly sounds like a lot and it is, most clients can get through all of this in three to six months if they have NOTHING done when they come to the table. Almost every client that has some pieces in place can usually breeze through this phase in 1 to 3 months.
It may be tempting to skip this phase and move straight to marketing, don’t. You will have major regrets about it later on. Phase 1 lays the foundation for your online business ecosystem.
You might also be thinking well what if I want to change something about my ideal client or my program down the road? What if I want to change the pricing? What if I insert whatever concern it is that you might have. The foundation is meant to be massaged, tweaked and honed over time. You can and will circle back to this over and over again. After every launch, every 30 days, with every new layer you add on you will analyze this phase and determine what needs to be adjusted based on data while staying in alignment with your goals. It is supposed to be changed…not abandoned.
Let’s talk about this abandonment I see when it comes to this foundational stuff and let me just tell you I see it ALL THE TIME. Entrepreneurs will go through all of the trouble to create a course or program and all of these other pieces that make up the foundation. They will launch, perhaps prematurely, and then things don’t go as planned. They may not finish the launch completely. Or perhaps their community wasn’t quite large enough. Or perhaps they didn’t nurture their people enough. Instead of going back and tweaking, looking at the data, figuring out where their messaging is off. They throw it all away and start over.
I’m going to let you in on a secret, very few people get it right during their first launch. So as you move into the beginning of phase 2 it is important to keep this in mind because it is easier to stay in this phase 1 foundational building. It’s scary to put yourself out there. BUT if you want to build a business that makes a massive difference, if you want to have a successful, whatever that means to you, business you have to move through all three phases. Which means you have to leave the safety of the creation phase. I bring this up for two reasons, 1) so you will have an awareness of it 2) so you don’t fail to launch
What comes up during Phase 1 – Foundation
While we are on the topic of getting stuck, some other common hiccups that arise during this phase are decision overwhelm, analysis paralysis, and imposter syndrome. Now each of these show up a bit differently but they happen. Be aware of when you are feeling overwhelmed by all the decisions you have to make. Don’t let technology overwhelm you (sure, it’s easier said than done) but get support for the things you know are keeping you stuck.
Moving through this phase successfully will require you to face some fears you might have around who am I to do this? Or what do I bring to the table? Here’s the thing, I encourage you to embrace those fears and move forward anyway. Yes, it can be scary but what is even scarier (to me at least) is not living up to my potential. Lean in towards the fear.
Lastly, I encourage you to embrace progress during this phase. Systems will not be perfect. Emails will need edits. Messaging will need tweaking. Sales page will need honing. Move forward anyway. Get a solid but not perfect foundation in place and move forward anyway.
What questions do you have for me about Phase 1 – Foundation of Building an Online Business Ecosystem?
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