How To Build A Twin Cities Business Or Brand Quickly From 0 Followers
In the episode:
Ideas for growing
Do Giveaways (with boundaries)
In Person Networking Events
Reaching out to the media
Be realistic with results (SEO, mindset)
Jenna Redfield is the leader of the Twin Cities Collective, the largest resource in the Twin Cities for bloggers, small business, entrepreneurs & creatives.
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Hey, whats up guys, it's Jenna here from Twin Cities collective podcast I'm back to with another solo episode. I haven't done one of these I think probably in about a month. And I really was feeling like I needed to because there's been so many things happening and I feel like I need to update you guys on stuff. Just wanted to update you want a few things happening. First, we have a Pinterest workshop at the end of the month. I am so excited about this. Our friend Laura, who was on the podcast a few weeks ago, she gave us so much great information on Pinterest, we are taking that in person we are going to be having the event a modern well, which is a co working space in Minneapolis. It's actually not too far from here in Sudamericana. But basically, we're going to be having her teach us Pinterest, you can do a q&a. So if you have questions about how your Pinterest works, that's going to be awesome. We also have both of our courses available. Now we have our podcasting course and our Instagram courses. And we are launching our shirts, which I think I mentioned on last week's podcast. But our shirts are gonna be coming out at the end of the month either just ordered some samples to see make sure the quality is good. So that should be coming in the next week. And then we'll do a photoshoot. And then they'll be able to be available for pre sale. So those are just some updates from me. Also, we had our breakfast last week. And that was so much fun. We basically just met it for breakfast. And the way to get to be part of that breakfast is join our email list. So we have an email that goes out every week. And we'll be doing that the first Friday of the month. So yeah, so I hope that you guys are getting involved in some of the stuff we're doing, we're doing a lot of stuff. And if you didn't know, I went full time last month. And so I kind of want to update you guys on how my journey has been over the past few weeks, obviously, we've been doing the podcasts and stuff. So you've kind of seen me, but it's I'll say it's been different. You know, I've done this before, where I've kind of, you know, stopped working somewhere and done it on my own. And, you know, there's days where I just like, I'm just overwhelmed.
Where I feel like I'm not sure if this is the right thing or whatever. But I think honestly, things are going in the right direction. And I know this is where I need to be. But one thing that I wanted to mention, if you are leaving a job, or if you are launching a business, I have to tell you, it does not happen overnight. This is not something that you will, you'll quit your job and the next day you'll be a millionaire. You know, it definitely takes time because you have to build up a reputation for yourself and for your business. And what I've learned is that even though a lot of people know who I am, a lot of people don't know what I do, or they don't know what my skills are, because I don't really talk about them. I mean, I talk about Twin Cities collective a lot. And so a lot of people know about it and have joined the group. But there's so many things that I do that a lot of people don't realize. So I was talking to someone yesterday, and we were talking about how to kind of put your own self in your brand. I don't really talk about me, and and the skills I have in twins is collective, even though that's like twins, this collective is me, it is my brand and it is my business. So that's something that I'm I'm trying to start doing more is actually talking about myself in my own brand. So that's something that I think a lot of people struggle with, if they have their own brand. And it's not their name. And they but they're the whole business, maybe they're the only person that works there. And they kind of want to make it seem like it's a bigger audience or there's more people working there, they tend to say we are they tend to say the team. And I think it just makes them feel like there's more people behind it, and it's more legit. But honestly, I think just saying I makes it seem like oh, wow, this is one person or I can reach out because I know that there's a person behind this. And I'm not just going to get a assistant or something. So I think it just depends on how you want to be seen. But today, I really want to talk about how to launch or promote your services when you don't have a network or following here in the state of Minnesota. So a lot of people do this, they they have an idea for a business and they but they don't know anyone they don't know anyone in that space. They may be only have family and friends on Facebook, they haven't built up a social media following. So how do they even you know, sell How do they even make it? Well, the first thing that I actually would recommend, and I know this is a hard one for people. But if you just want to get seen right away, if this is something that has to happen overnight, I recommend paying for ads. I was talking to someone yesterday and she was like I pay for ads all the time like it never stops. Because I don't have time to write content, I don't have time to write a blog, I don't have time for that free content I have to pay to play. And so that's something that I recommend if you are launching a business and you have no following pay for ads, and or take an ads course or hire someone want to pay for ads. Because if you have a product or service that's been developed in your head, and you have it ready to go, you have it all listed you have, if it's a product, you've made the actual product and you have a website and you're ready to go. But you're trying to promote it. Honestly, I know it's kind of old fashioned. Because of social media, it sounds like Oh man, I have to pay to do something. But honestly, if you want to get anything right away, and if it's urgent, you should pay for ads. And now there's a lot of options with you know, Instagram ads, you can promote events that are happening, we're probably going to promote our Pinterest event because not everyone you know is on our email list. But people might be interested in coming to that. So just paying to play is honestly one of the easiest and fastest way to promote your business. Now, you're not going to want to do that forever, because that's going to get very expensive. So one of the first
things most people do when they're launching a new service, and I recommend this is doing it for free for a few people. So not only does that help, awesome people that may need it, or may not be able to afford what you're doing. But also it helps you figure out a process, it helps you understand, okay, where are the, you know, the highs and the lows of this, I will give an example our logo designer, Laura, she has just started her business. And so she's been offering a few people some free work because she's trying to get her name out there. Hey, Laura, I love you. And you're great. But you know, she, she knows that she doesn't have that big of a following yet. And so she wants to really impact the community and get her name out there. So she, you know, she reached out and said, Hey, if you ever need any, you know, work, I know, you'd promote me. So I mean, I am willing to promote people that are offering me free things. And you know, it's kind of an exchange for that. But honestly, you don't want to do it forever. At some point, you have to start charging, otherwise, people are going to take advantage of you. And honestly, you have to set up a limit. So for me, when I'm launching, I'm launching my Instagram consulting, I did three free consulting sessions. That way, I can see what I like about it, what I don't like, I can also get feedback and get some testimonials from my website. And then also, it just helps me know what what it looks like, well, how many? How long did it take? what's included? What did I not include in that? I think that having guinea pigs and having beta testers is so important whenever you're launching a new service or product, because you might think that it is some way or you think it's going to go a certain way. But then when you actually do it, it's very different. And you have to change how your process works. I've learned this a lot over the last few years when I first started my first ever business, which was it was called JCR productions, and it was a wedding videography business. I honestly First of all, I had no idea what the heck I was doing, I didn't even use was like an online CRM to you know, handle all of my payments or anything. I literally went and met with people and had a printed out contract that I like made in Microsoft Word, you know, and it was just so I didn't even know what a logo was. And but what I learned was I charged really cheap At first, I think I charged like 150 $200 for my first wedding, which for video is extremely low. But I think over time, obviously I upped the price, but I was still getting very underpaid by the time I ended that business. And it was because I thought I wasn't there yet. But after a few times of working with someone and you feel like you're somewhat confident you need to up that price, because what I've learned is that people think of you higher if you have a higher pricing, because obviously if if you if you are pricing at $2,000 versus 300, people are going to think that you're more valuable in that way. There's obviously people around here that you know, don't value certain things. But the ones that are going to be the right people need to value your work. Another way that a lot of people can help you can help promote your business. And this helps me and it helps others is going to networking events. I know a lot of people who start their business and the first thing they started doing was trying to tell people about it in person, especially if they're targeting a local Minnesota audience. I have found personally that more people are more interested in Twin Cities collective once they've met me in person, which is why I'm extremely, extremely trying to get out there and actually going to events, I like to go to events where I can meet a lot of people. But I also like to go to events where it's not as chaotic, and there's maybe only like 1015 people because that way, I feel like I have more quality time with them. But obviously at the bigger events, you have more options to meet more people. Another thing that I recommend doing is and this is something I'm working on right now is a content strategy. So you have your product, you have your service. But now how do people know like that you're even good at it? Or how do you how do people even see the fact that you're doing this now besides maybe your friends and family on Facebook, coming out with social media posts, having a social media account on every platform for your service, and actually putting content, whether it's a blog post on Instagram, posting a podcast or videos, having content out there that actually, you know, helps people and give them information will really put you in people's minds when it comes to that specific product. Having that niche is so important. When people come people come to me probably at least three or four times a week saying, Hey, Jenna, do you know someone that does this? Now, if you're specifically in that field, and I've met you, and I know you, I will probably refer you. But if you're kind of more of a general lyst, it's harder to actually talk about you because I'm like, well, they do this and they do this and they do this, I don't know if they'd be the right fit. So having that specific specific niche is, and it's a niche that somebody needs is so important for that. Obviously, I've talked about Instagram a lot in here, and we've done our workshops. But building an Instagram account these days is so important for branding yourself. Obviously, you want to build an Instagram account to the point where you can actually get people to go off and go to your website. But you definitely need to be consistent with that, and post on there on a regular basis. And also not just post to post but actually talk about what you're doing. I've mentioned this before and my course but talking about the captions, what is the caption say? What is the image showing? What is the things that you're doing in Instagram, that will actually get people to take action and find out more about your services? I think that for me, I've kind of switched my personal Instagram to talking more about Instagram, because that's what I'm doing is consulting. And it's taken people a second to be like, Oh, wait, does she do Instagram now like, or I thought she was doing YouTube, I thought she was doing product photography, because that's what I used to do. And I still do it. But I'm adding this new service on. But that's also so important to kind of when I'm changing what I'm doing for my business is actually talking about it because otherwise people would have no idea.
The next thing that you can do is reaching out to the media. I've never actually done this before. And I would like to have some people from the media on the podcast, because I would love to know about how to reach out the best way. But whether it's the newspaper, the TV, or whether it's the magazines, in your niche, or whether it's local people, getting those connections, reaching on LinkedIn, going and asking your friends if they know of any connections in the media. I honestly feel like people discount TV and media these days. But honestly, that gives you a lot of credentials and a lot of credibility because you are actually featured as a business in a printed word or on a screen that people can do. I can I can tell you so many stories of people who are featured on the news that their business just exploded after that. It's similar to Shark Tank, if you guys watch the show Shark Tank, a lot of those people are doing pretty well. But not a lot of people have heard of them by being a feature on that, especially because there's a lot of reruns as well. their businesses completely explode overnight, because so many people are finding out about what they do. And it might be something that they need I bought and things I've seen on Shark Tank that I was like, I kind of didn't even know I need this. But once they told it to me, I totally needed it. So I don't think people should discount the media these days, I still think that there's a lot of value. And I think that it's something that a lot of people aren't doing. Another thing you can do is obviously sponsorships. So if you have a new business, and you're trying to get your name out there, you know sponsor an event or sponsor a podcast. Hint hint. We also have sponsorships here Twin Cities collective we reach out. And we have so many followers in the Twin Cities that you can definitely get your name across and get some people knowing about you. So if you want to go to our website, we actually have some sponsorship for the podcast, as well as for some of our events coming up. And I'm going to try to make it easier for people to be able to talk about their businesses, we are launching something soon about, I don't know if I can mention it. But basically it's going to be we're going to be featuring one business a month. And that's going to be a new sponsorship I'm really excited about. Another thing that you can do is don't expect results right away. I know this is like the hardest part about being an entrepreneur is your one month in your business. And you're like I'm not seeing any reason or I can't see anything. A few things. First of all, search engine results take over a year to actually get to be good. So if you've been in business for a year, your your website will be at a much better place than it was a year ago, because Google actually doesn't take into account a lot of these new websites that are popping up because they're like, Oh, well, it's just a new website. Who knows if it'll last, they don't want to put it on their search results, until it's been proven to be a quality website that has been up for more than a year. So I just went to a workshop where they talked about this, and I'm going to have the guy on who talked about it very soon. But we basically learned all about how things take time, businesses take time to grow. They always talk about the first five years of a small business. And if it makes it five years, that's really rare, because a lot of businesses fail. And the first year is definitely by far the hardest, just like anything marriage college. Being an adult, the first year is definitely the hardest. And I think that a lot of people are so disappointed because they aren't getting the results that they want right away. And I think just being patient and saying, you know what this is going to work, I know it's going to work. And I'm going to do whatever I can to make it work. So that's something that I recommend just thinking out loud. I do a lot of reading about things like affirmations, I've mentioned this on the podcast before, you know, just just being confident in yourself and making it happen. Because it's all about the way you think if you're super negative all the time, and you don't believe in yourself, it's not going to happen for you. But if you have total belief that it's going to happen, it will.
So I kind of mentioned a bunch of different things. I've kind of talked about these before, but I really think that all of these compounded together will make you successful, you just have to put yourself out there, you have to talk about yourself. And I know that Minnesotans are really, really bad at this, like more than maybe any other state, we are just taught to be very passive, aggressive and humble. And just not talk about the things that we do. Because Another thing is a lot of people don't want their friends and family finding out that they have a business, which I think is the craziest thing in the world. But you know, some, some people are not supportive. And some people just think it's a joke, people don't think it's going to work. And maybe they don't want that in their life. And I understand that. But maybe you need to talk to those people, because they are probably ruining your chances of success if they're in your ear constantly saying it's not going to happen. So I think that there's so many things that we can do as a culture, I wrote a blog post a few weeks ago about Minnesota culture. And it really resonated with people like I got a lot of comments on it. And a lot of people were bringing it up. And a lot of there's just a lot of chatter about it, which I knew was going to happen, because I kept seeing it everywhere. And that's why I decided to write a post about it. But basically, it was how Minnesota culture can hurt your business. And a lot of it had to do with how traditional or state is and how entrepreneurs are not seen in a positive way. Because it's just so new, the internet is only what almost maybe 30 years old. But that's so new. In a and maybe online business is only 20 years old, Google's only 20 years old. It hasn't been around that long. And so many people are doing it these days. But it's just so countercultural for what most of the people around here have known. And those who are on the cutting edge are the ones who are going to succeed and do it faster than everyone else. I was just talking to a friend the other day who said it was the first time he'd ever listened to a podcast. And I think that people are finally starting to realize the power of things. But it just takes a long time. The quickness the Minnesota nice. You know, it's hard for people moving here to kind of understand our culture. I totally agree with this. And I think that being someone who's lived here my whole life, it's harder to see. Until people pointed out that's just like anything in life, you don't realize it until people actually say, Oh, well, this is an issue. And you go, Oh, yeah, like I never even realized it. So just changing kind of the mindset that you have about entrepreneurship in Minnesota, is something that we can all do together as part of Twin Cities collective. That's why I started this group. That's why I'm so passionate about Twin Cities collective, is we have the power to change the culture of the state. Sure, I'm not focusing on the rest of the country, because this is just what I can handle right now is Minnesota. And that's even a lot to handle. But we have a lot of issues when it comes to how we act around others. And I think by actually realizing it, and pointing it out and talking about it, that this is something that we all need to come together and actually discuss. So that's really what I wanted to talk about today is just talking about those who are just starting out and wanting to do something with their business and don't really know what to do. These are just some ideas I had, and just things that I've seen other people do. A few other ideas are just collaborating with people, reaching out and doing networking meetings with people you meet on LinkedIn. starting a business is way harder than finding a job, in my opinion. Because it's almost like you're going on a job interview every single day. Once you get a job, it's you have a job and you don't have to worry about finding it. But when you're a business owner, you're always finding new clients, you're always finding people that are going to eventually pay you. And so it's kind of like being unemployed all the time, which you kind of are you are not technically employed by anyone. But yet you don't have to be. So that's kind of the difference there. So let me know if you guys want me to talk about anything specifically I mentioned today on the podcast in the future. Next week, we'll be back with another interview. But I just wanted to kind of talk about this because I've seen it a lot more lately. And it's just something I wanted to mention. So thanks guys so much for listening to this week's episode, and I'll talk to you soon. Thanks for listening to the Twin Cities collective podcast with Jenna Redfield. Make sure to click subscribe if you haven't already. And make sure to leave us a review on iTunes. Thanks again for Ian at Studio Americana for producing this episode, as well as Melanie Lee for designing the podcast art and thanks to Nicole I had less for the use of the song in the intros outros. Thanks so much again, and I'll see you next time.