Expert Advice From Jan Gordon

Is Your Business Built For Growth?

By Jan Gordon
Jun 6 2017 read

Let’s start with this disclaimer: Never try to recreate somebody else’s idea. When I see articles telling people that they can have the same success as “I did”, if they follow these simple steps, it drives me crazy. So many factors need to be established before embarking on such a plan, there is simply no way to recreate anything exactly. And if it were to work? Well, congratulations! You’re now the second person to be doing something. Do you think you’ll be as successful as the person whose idea it was first?

Having established that you shouldn’t be trying to re-create the success of others, let’s instead look at how you can build your own company, based on your own interests and audience.

How did Curatti become what it is today?

I had ideas around how I wanted Curatti to grow. But it’s a multi-authored blog. The authors change. The things they want to write about changes. And that’s good. Because everything else changes too!

Don’t marry yourself to your original concept. In a fast-moving digital environment, the expectations of both readers and clients change. As well as keeping your finger on the pulse, you need to listen to what your audience is telling you – within reason. 

For us, that meant that the little startup blog that thought it would cater to beginners, and help them get started on the road to Content Marketing, became a resource for a more experienced audience. They were the ones who came, so it is they who we must cater to.

This strategy works fine for people who start a new business while already doing something else. You’re led either by your own quest for knowledge or by what keeps you up at night. Maybe you just want out of the rat race and are following a passion? If any of these apply to you, be very open to all of the signals you are receiving.

Can’t decide on your company’s direction?

Yes, you can…. to a point. You see, there’s a little conundrum.

It is absolutely true that the barrier to entry into Digital Marketing is far higher than it was a few years ago. You either need to build an audience and following organically, over a long period of time, or you have to pay more than ever to reach lots of eyeballs. We all know this.

But if you have already established an audience before starting your business, you can’t then expect to reach a different target audience to the community you have built. At least you can’t without a whole lot of extra work.

So when you start building your relationships on Social Media, be sure early, to focus not necessarily on the people you have previously admired - especially if their audience is not yours - this is key! A thought leader who you admire may notice you. It’s a great compliment to you when they do. And you feel like you’ve arrived on the scene. Yes. Nurture that relationship! But is that person’s audience segment also yours? Don’t be seduced from your path by your great new connection… Unless you want to be.

Start as you hope to continue. Or be adaptable.

If you have a very clear idea of the product or service you want to sell, have done your competitive analysis and seen an opening for your niche, gear your entire content strategy towards gaining the trust of your target customer base.

Remember, your audience is human also, so this doesn’t mean every article is confined to a very narrow focus. Establish that you understand more than your area of focus.

On the other hand, if you are simply dipping your toe in the water or blogging to your own pain points, by all means, allow yourself to be swayed, within reason. What you never want to do is find yourself out of your comfort zone. Why start a business then hate the direction you take it in? 9-5 Corporate jobs are for that…. And you left one (or are planning to leave one), supposedly to follow your passion!

Before I started Curatti, there were periods when every day felt like it was my birthday. I’d excitedly tell my husband that some major influencer retweeted me or followed me. My choices of articles to curate attracted their attention. I had unwittingly chosen my ultimate audience very early. And I was very happy the way things worked out.

Be adaptable anyway!

Ultimately, we all have to be adaptable. Whether your audience dictates a change of direction for you, or your strategy brings in exactly who you set out to attract, everything changes around you. Yesterday’s business strategies and technologies no longer cut it. Even those who set new trends must adapt to changing customer demands and new platforms.

What is new tomorrow, could either disappear or become an essential factor for every marketer before you know it. It’s an exciting ride, that’s for sure!

Jan Gordon is a Top 20 Global Influencer of 2017, Author, Digital Marketing Strategist, and CEO of Curatti. Curatti is an online community of thought leaders & entrepreneurs, who provide small to medium sized business with the information they need to execute successful digital and social media strategies - saving them the time and money that should be spent growing their business.

To access more helpful content from Jan and her team of experts, check out Curatti online or follow Jan on Twitter @janlgordon.

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