5 Phases of Entrepreneurship Series: Phase 3, The Amplified EntrepreneurAug 17, 2022
I'm diving back into my series on the phases of entrepreneurship. And today is all about phase three.
If you have not read the previous blogs, make sure you go back and check them out. Because one of the things I like to tell people is that if you don't know where you are, how are you supposed to get where you want to go? It's like a map, right? If you wanted to go to New York, and you have no idea where you're at, how are you supposed to navigate yourself to New York, it's impossible, right? I mean, you might know it's north, or south or east or west of you, and you could start driving. But unless you have a starting point, your journey will be all over the place.
In phase one, I gave an overview of those phases, then dug a bit deeper into level number one, which is the budding entrepreneur, which is a phase that a lot of new entrepreneurs will find themselves in.
Phase number two, which is the emerging entrepreneur, this is when you're being seen, and you're building out what your business is going to look like, people are seeing you. But there's nothing more really is happening, right?
The Amplified Entrepreneur
Let's dive into phase three, which is amplify, and what being an amplified entrepreneur is all about.
What does it mean to amplify? Have you ever seen a guitar amp? You know, the big box that kind of sits on the floor when a guitarist is playing. Maybe you've never noticed this before. But for the guitarist, this is imperative when they're on the stage, especially in larger groups, because this is how they hear the sound coming out of their guitar. They plug it into their guitar and it amplifies the sound coming from their guitar. And it's defined as an electronic device or system that strengthens the weak electric signal from a pickup on a guitar.
I know that sounds a little bit you know, heavy on the definition, right? But your business is just like a guitar. And in this space, you have to plug in to the amp so that you can maximise your growth and you take that weakened kind of signal and start to make it bigger.
This phase is one of the longest phase phases in your entrepreneurial journey. And to be honest, this phase is where many stay at, or even decide to go in a different direction because they get bored with their business.
Consistent growth is really the biggest problem here in this phase.
And if you don't have consistent growth month, after month after month, there is a problem. Now hear me out, I'm not saying you aren't bringing in sales. Generally, in the amplify phase, you are doing about 300,000 to $650,000 a year, because the amplified entrepreneur has more attraction. Now, you're getting eyes on you, and you have clients that are on repeat, and refer you, which is great. You're doing what you know, and you're becoming an expert in what you do.
And this is the time where you get sucked into working in your business instead of on your business.
And this is the time where you need to look at growing your team and growing yourself as a leader of that team. So it's imperative that you learn more about being the leader you need to be in order to take and empower your team to grow with you.
Stepping up as a leader and developing your team
This is the time for you to start:
- developing structure and processes around your team, so developing job descriptions and employee handbooks as your team grows, and you definitely start using a hiring process.
- thinking about the key people that you need in place as you grow so that you can keep up with the changes that are occurring.
- Creating SOPS (Standard Operating Procedures) for the day to day admin/ repetitive tasks that you can train others to do.
- Looking at your systems and evaluating whether they work for you still and where changes might be needed.
A big part of this phase is really looking at what has been working and what you need to shift, even in terms of your products and services so that you can continue to stand out in the sea of many. Do you remember, when Netflix came on the scene, I mean, they blew Blockbuster video out of the water. Netflix started as a DVD in your mailbox to rent movies. And then they evolved into a streaming service. And that took several years for that evolvement to take place. And they were fresh thinkers and innovators in this market. However, now look at them. They're surrounded by other streaming services like Hulu, Apple TV, HBO Max, I mean, the list goes on, right. And they've had to take it up a notch. Now they're even a production company, right putting out their own movies. So they're still striving to stay ahead in the sea of light businesses.
This is the same for the AMPLIFY phase, you're consistently looking at ways to set yourself apart in your niche. And one of the best ways to do that is through your messaging.
The Head Nod Effect
And as I mentioned earlier, you're most likely getting eyes on you, you see traction in your content. And you're most likely seeing what my mentor says is the head nod effect, which means that people are nodding their heads in agreement with what you have to say. And this means that you are communicating with people, and they like what you have to say. But the transition from engaging content to sales can still be a struggle, since you look like so many others out there in your marketplace.
So you might be creating really engaging content, and products and services by what you offer. And you might be growing your followers and engagement. But sales may not be reflecting those numbers. And it really comes from a lack of demand creation.
You haven't figured out the art of the subconscious demand creation. And you haven't figured out to create content that gets people to say, I want to work with that person.
You have done a good job at communicating things differently to people so that it will set you apart from your competition. You're probably posting content that people seem to like and stay around for but the sales don't reflect that increase in engagement. You may be getting comments, likes views and some DMs, right and you might be getting some emails from followers about your content. Like it's really great or your work is so beautiful. I love what you do.
And I'm not saying that you don't have consistent sales, but your Impact of Engagement versus sales in the door is imbalanced. For instance, if you are typically doing 30k a month in sales and I came along and gave you 10k to invest on ads and said that I wanted you to bring in 65k of sales with those ads, it wouldn't work.
Why? Because there's not a system around the sales, you're not clear on what is actually getting people to buy. The messaging. In effect, the communication for your funnel is still off. People might actually be buying based on your content and not on your sales mechanism. And that happens, sometimes you just get an email or DM from someone they're like, I really liked your work, can I work with you? How do I do it?
If you're finding yourself getting these kinds of messages time to time then a lot of your sales may be driven from that right instead of a sales mechanism. A sales mechanism once it's dialled in should be able to bring you the clients right in, by using the ad which reaches and is able to convert cold traffic to your business and make sales every day.
But often in phase three, you're still working to keep the doors open and survive another day. Every time you think one area of your business is running like a well oiled machine, and you start to work on another area, the first one breaks down again.
In fact being handed 10k for ads might start to highlight to you how disconnected you've gotten from your ideal audience and that may mean you ultimately need to look at a rebrand to revisit who your ideal client is at this stage of your business. And when you do that, you can start to look at how you can better communicate with this client with a more aligned message so that it creates engagement and activity.
You've got to learn how to consciously sell what you offer, and how to create a desire inside of someone that goes, like I need this, and I need it. Now.
As an amplified entrepreneur, you've done a good job at getting eyes on you and differentiating yourself but less on how do I create demand for what I do. This is normal and part of the process because the way I look at it is if you can't get eyes on you and keep them there, there's no way you're able to create demand. So there's no way you should be able to be focusing on demand creation before you get the eyes on you.
Demand creation comes from situational messaging, and meeting their core needs. So as you start to examine these different parts of your business, and hone in on what needs to change, your focus should now be to start shifting your perspective and asking yourself how do I create demand for what I do.
Some questions to ask yourself when thinking about this are:
- What sets you apart from the competition?
- How can I create demand for what I do?
- What is my customer really looking for?
- What are the problems that come to mind for them?
- And how can I meet their needs and approach it differently? So I stand out.
So let's recap. At this phase, the amplify phase, you're an expert at what you do, you're growing so that means your team is too and you'll need to reevaluate how you work with them. Your business is developing at a different level. So it will affect your sales procedures, your branding, your product and your offerings. And especially your messaging in the sales process will need to align with the messaging that you bring to your audience.
And most of all, your marketing will have to take new things to a new level, if you're going to stand out from your competitors, which means that you will be needing to look closer at how your client buys into the decisions they are making subconsciously. So you can dial in your communication and meet their needs. You want to create that internal demand and desire for what you bring to the table and do for your clients.
Now, you may still believe that I don't really know what it is, you may still believe then have this belief that amazing content is enough to generate sales. And even though you aren't thinking about failure, you're making content and you see amazing content as something that gets comments in views and shares. Yes, amazing content should get shares. And it should be also creating demand for DMS emails, and how do I work with you engagement. This is the point where I work with most of my clients as they are honing in on how they can be different and set themselves apart from their competition.
And how fast you grow in this phase really just depends on how dedicated you are to working the business to set yourself apart. But again, this is about focus thinking on your overall business and then zeroing in on the areas that you can maximise the shifts you can make quickly, and then concentrating on the areas that you can scale with change.
And most often, this comes from looking at your marketing message and attracting the clients that are right for you. Knowing when to raise your prices to meet the demand you've created and bringing the team along with you.
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