Hey dear friend,
Today I want to talk to you about a topic that new business hopefuls just cry, sweat and cringe over.
Launching your business or blog.
When we hear the word “launch” we automatically conjure up grand events with fireworks, spaceships launching into space or other big to-do’s that are very professional and well orchestrated. We also start thinking about those AMAZING bloggers or businesses we follow and how they have wonderfully rich content, beautiful professional photos, and perfectly edited sentences. The path to getting where “they are” just seems so long, strenuous, and expensive that most of us just stop dead in our tracks… OR get in a state of perpetual “I’m not ready yet!” Let me tell you I was so there! Both in this blog and in my first business.
However, when you think about launching – I want you to instead think about all of those wonderful and imperfect “launches” throughout your life up until now. How were they? For mine, they were grand but did not look editorial. Things like meeting your spouse, finding out about your unplanned pregnancy, those *rough* unedited pictures of your beautiful hobby or craft creations. In all of these scenarios things grew organically and slowly, and most importantly really resonated with you and the people you shared them with. They DID NOT have to look or “be” perfect. Because let’s face it even for experienced bloggers & business owners – nothing even then, really is! As a result this has become my preferred modus of operation when it comes to launching anything. Whether its starting a business, a new endeavor like homeschooling, or hobby-ing (sharing vegan smoothies on instagram!).
I’m a retired perfectionist so when I first started thinking about launching my event business back in 2008 while I was both unemployed on bed rest, and 5 months pregnant – I realized I had zero funds to start a posh & pro freelance gig website, with legit branding (any moderately priced graphic designer or agency charges close to 3K ). So knowing that I felt my dreams were pretty much fried even before they started! I also had no event portfolio or knowledge of what good photography should look like, and little time since I would be due any day now. Looking at the traditional ways to launch from what I learned in my college businesses classes just did not seem realistical or possible for they way I was being “divinely” launched into business (sorry I dont have time to do a 40 pg business plan and market analysis bar graph Business 101). And so, my mantra since then has become “Make do with what you have,” or in other words – use what you have and know right now to pursue anything. Spiritually and practicially speaking this is one of the biggest truths I’ve discovered in my life so far, and trust me dear friend God will give you everything you need for every given moment. But first you have to TRUST!Make do with what you have, when launching before you're ready. Click To Tweet
This is one of the most fearful experiences for any new launchers, after both being one and throughout my networking – and it took me a long time to get past it. It also *REAL TALK* occasionally does creep back in during those trying times during any business. Tossing control and fear out of the window is also one of the biggest and most deeply rooted mindsets to break!
So, now that you’ve gotten clear on the mindset & re-programming most of us have to do .. I want to share with you how I used some of these step to summon the courage to launch in spite of what I knew *then* and also now. Here are 5 ways to Launch before You’re Ready.
1. Do the next logical and easy step in getting your blog or business started.
For me this always means buying a doman name even if I haven’t decided what platform I’m going to be using yet. Back in 2008, I went with Blue Host since this what was hot in my niche, this time around I went with Google Domains since I originally planned to go with Blogger and they allow you to buy it once you set up the blog. Even if you have to switch domains later on – on average it’s a fraction of the cost of loosing your name if someone else scoops it up. So I’d do this first.
2. Do the soul work, and get clear on what your mission is with what you are about to launch.
Like I mentioned I don’t think its required to start a blog or biz with a full blown business plan (if it makes you feel better then by all means follow your gut above all things!), I do think it’s so important to note in one short sentence *why* you are doing this. One of my favorite books is Start With Why, by Simon Senek, so having this front and center is HUGE.
Then post it in your home, have it written into your wallet, and then memorize it so that you can remind yourself constantly when deciding on a) what to write, b) what things to pursue, and c) why you’re doing this during the very hard “I want to quit” days. Lastly it will flow genuinely and easily when sharing it with other people in the real world.
This in essence is the start of your future elevator pitch (the non sales-y and genuine kind of course).
3. Next register all of your social media handles, and start a conversation going even before you brand or launch your site.
Similar to #2 you want to reserve your digital addresses. I love the website Name Checker to find out in one place concise space which social media channels your future name is available on. Dont get overwhelmed by the kinds of social media sites are on there though, you want to focus on the channels you are already interacting on or may want to explore because they’re gaining in popularity or relevant to your audience.
This is one of the lowest cost ways to start your branding – making sure all of your living spaces have the same name consistently throughout. While you’re there start sharing content that’s relevant to your mission statement and sharing it with friends, family and using the hashtags for your niche especially on instagram. I would avoid picking a name that’s similar or adding any “_” etc if your name is not available. Frequently people will never remember or type it in right! I would instead go with another social media handle name that is available, and can be easily just typed in the search bar.
Now that you’re on social media… start sharing and make sure you give credit for any images that are not yours, and if possible linking back to the original post. This is a great way to start making online friends that naturally align with your own future brand in aesthetic, style, and services! Starting a conversation around the things you’re passionate about does not have to be perfect to be meaningful and beautiful <3.
*Caveat: if you have not figured out a name for your blog or business brand yet, go with your personal name or a phrase you use often in the meantime. You can always change this up later. The most important thing is to start!
4. Now that you’ve started a flow, the next thing to do is look for people and community groups in your niche. Then, join them.
Why should you join online community groups and follow/comment/ask questions from people in your niche before you look official? This is the best way to gather information and experiences from people who have actually done it! Most people intuitively start reading blog posts and books all about launching and starting a blog or business, but going to hubs where *active* entrepeneurs interact is so important because they’ve done the same “information sifting” you are doing but can help you with those special “gems” of resources that really helped propel them forward. Their information is also much more current than most of the business books on the shelves since they are in real time!
You can find these communities on Facebook as private groups or for instance on Pinterest as shared Pinterest group boards.
5. The last thing you want to keep in mind is, as much as having a great logo or content-stream lined up is great to help the ease of launching and staying consistent, the most important living breathing aspect of your blog is YOU. You’re constantly learning, changing, and are beautifully imperfect. The greatest branding aspect is who you are and stand for in real life. Online this will be your photo, the care and warmth in the messages you send or put out and the passions you share with the world. While great photography certainly helps; genuine and honest dialogue trumps all of it.
I hope this post has inspired you to launch by seeing how easy and natural it can be. . I hope you’ll launch before you’re ready like I did and enjoy the journey in seeing your passion grow! The world needs the special message & contribution you have to share – so dont hold out on us!
*If you liked this post please follow me on social media to keep up with my blogging journey posts and glimpses into our family’s homeschool learning.*
If this post inspired you please let me know about it by commenting below. Have you launched before you’re ready? Please share your tips with us.