Episode 6. How to Be a More Confident Entrepreneur

Doesn’t it seem like everyone is starting an online business? It feels like a lot of people I know want to become an online coach, create a digital course, sell a passive income product, or start a service-based business. Because of this, it can be easy to feel like “Omg, the market is too saturated.” or “There’s no room for me.”. Yes, that could very well be true.

But at the same time, we need to remember that this also means that the standard for success is becoming higher and higher. In other words, the expectations for quality services and quality content are also increasingly higher. This is not a bad thing at all! 

I’m pretty confident that you’re someone who cares a lot about the quality of your work and you want to give your best in anything that you do. And I totally get it if you may feel like it’s difficult to be confident in your business when you see so many of your peers in the online space doing the same thing as you.

In This Episode:

How I built my confidence from knowing how to differentiate myself through my content and brand

I would be lying if I said that running an online business is a walk in the park. Don’t get me wrong, you can have a very simple yet successful business and have simple strategies that get you the results you want. 

However, I will say that the online coaching industry is arguably quite competitive simply because of the volume of coaches who are in this space. There’s no denying that. 

The good thing is that YOU have full control over how you differentiate yourself through: 

1) your brand positioning and messaging 

2) the quality of your work. 

If you can double down on these two things, not only will you feel and become more competent in your business, but you’ll also feel more confident in what you do. 

Let’s dive deeper into how you can hone in on your brand positioning and the quality of your work in order to grow your confidence as an entrepreneur.

Here’s my own experience with building my own confidence from knowing how to differentiate myself through my content and brand. 

During my early stages of my business, it was a lot more difficult to understand exactly what was unique about the work I do in my business. What are my unique opinions on issues in my niche? What are my unique methodologies and processes for helping clients get results? What is unique about the content I put out? 

If you look closely, there’s a theme between these questions – These are all related to the external parts of my business. 

But, when you’re new in business, maybe you’ve only worked with a few clients or less, or maybe you’ve only been doing this for a few months, it’s really hard to know what are the concrete things in your business, methods, processes, content, etc that makes you unique. As a result, this can affect your confidence. 

One thing I did in the early stages of my business was rather than looking externally, I turned within. 

I started thinking about things like: What are the defining experiences throughout my journey, up until this point, that have shaped me into who I am today? What are my favorite personality traits or characteristics? What are my strengths? What are things that people always ask me questions on? What are my opinions on issues at the present moment, even if they’re not directly related to my business or niche? 

By asking myself these questions, I was able to get a solid understanding of myself as a person, rather than jumping ahead to trying to understand myself as an entrepreneur. 

Now you might be wondering: Okay Cheryl, that’s great that you were able to get to know yourself better, but how is this going to help me feel more confidence about my business?

The answer is pretty simple – This allowed me to take my focus off trying to figure out something that wasn’t the right thing for me at that time.

Avoid the mistake of perfecting your brand and start working with real people instead

If you find yourself spending a lot of time trying to figure out your niche statement or “I help” statement, tweaking your Instagram bio, taking branding courses, playing around on Canva, or maybe even redoing your website copy over and over.. 

Let’s just say your time might be better spent working with real people because having that actual experience is going to make this branding process so much easier.

If you’re just starting out in your business, it’s easy to default to wanting to perfect your online presence. I get it – Your social media and content is supposed to do a lot of the heavy lifting for your brand and business. 

After all, the goal of content is to create a compelling and coherent brand message that convinces people why they should work with you.

A mistake new entrepreneurs tend to make

Many of you think that the way to feel more confident about your business is by having a perfect Instagram bio and feed or website. 

Many of you rely on your visual branding and content as a way to gain confidence in your ability to make offers and sell your programs. It’s easy to fall into this trap of thinking you need to look at the part before you can play the part. 

But there’s an inherent flaw in this thinking – Does having a nice Instagram feed and branded photos and a put together website really make you more confident in your ability to sell your offer and help people achieve results? 

What’s the correlation between your online presence and ability to sign on clients or help clients? Personally, I’d argue that this correlation is very, very weak.

How to get clear on your brand messaging and positioning

Here’s what I propose instead: 

1) Your mental space shouldn’t be consumed with figuring out your brand messaging and how to communicate your value.

But rather, it may be better to start actually giving value and serving your audience so you can use this experience as data to base your brand messaging and positioning off of. 

Even if you have a gorgeous and compelling brand, you need substance and proof to stand behind this brand. 

Your Instagram, content, website – all of that mean nothing for growing a business if you aren’t able to have the confidence to tell people that you can help them and how. 

2) Start looking internally to kick start your branding process.

Your content and branding will 100% evolve over time. But for now, pick something and get to work with actual clients. 

Ultimately, you’ll need to be able to articulate your clients’ problems, how you can help solve that problem, and what makes you different and how your approach is the right solution for them. 

Your content and brand communicates this and it can either attract the right people or repel the wrong people. 

In order for you to have the clarity or confidence about how to brand yourself or position your offer, you need to have a good understanding about the actual practice or service that you’re offering. 

When you’re able to do this, you’ll know your brand game is strong. 

Rather than sitting at your laptop, thinking of how to craft the perfect website copy or Instagram bio and wasting time feeling frustrated because you don’t feel confident enough about what makes you different or unique in business, you need to just get out there and build the experience in order to make informed judgements on what your brand positioning and messaging should be.

To get things off the ground, simply look within and think of what you already know about yourself, your experiences, and your journey. And craft your brand based on this right now. 

Your branding will strengthen and evolve with time, experience, and confidence. 

Stop worrying about how to do this or that. Just pick a strategy and decide on a plan of action, and commit to that. 

Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to get as much information as possible, even if it’s information about your brand. You’re not taking action when you’re consuming or when you’re simply strategizing inside your mind.

Don’t focus on what you don’t know, just implement and refine on what you do currently know.

There’s no single “how to”, even when it comes to something personal like your brand. Keep innovating and figuring out what works best for you. 

This is why you need to get out there and get experience before you know what to tweak and implement next. 

Creating a compelling and effective brand message

Eventually, your focus will start shifting towards effectively communicating what you do to your audience. 

A good indicator of whether your messaging and positioning is compelling and effective is whether your audience is able to know exactly what you do almost instantly when they look at your content, social media profiles and website. 

When you think of brands like Starbucks, Adidas, Apple, or McDonalds, you can likely think of the main products they sell. To translate this into your own brand and business, this means ideally, your content is able to communicate those who don’t know anything about you or have any prior relationship with you instantly about what you do, who you help, and how you can help. 

This requires you to be very clear and certain of what it is that you do, the results you help clients achieve, and what are your unique methods, frameworks, opinions, and ideas related to what you do. If you’re not clear on this yet, start working with people so you can get more clarity.  

How to create damn good content

Even though your content is what builds your brand, try to avoid spending time tweaking your online profile or creating content simply because you feel like you aren’t ready to sell your offer and work with people yet. 

Reason 1: You gain new content ideas when you actually work with clients and gain experience and perspective. 

Reason 2: If you want your content to sell and convert followers into paying clients, your content needs to be damn good. But it can only be damn good when you have processes, perspectives, thoughts, opinions, systems, and overall familiarity and expertise with your topic. 

Think about it: would you rather be…

1) An entrepreneur who spends 12 hours creating Instagram content and blog posts… 

2) An entrepreneur who spends 12 hours having conversations with your audience, making offers, and working with people and continuously refining your offer based on feedback from clients.. and you get great testimonials and social proof while you’re at it?

Remember: Pretty content and websites do not equal sales and business growth. 

Your message, testimonials, client results, and thought leadership matters more.

If you want to become more confident as an entrepreneur, you need to go out and do the work to acquire that confidence. 

Confidence doesn’t happen overnight. You can’t become confident simply by creating content, getting likes, or only doing mindset work. 

You need to put in the time, energy, and effort to build up both your competence and confidence simultaneously.

What to do instead of modeling your business after other successful coaches or entrepreneurs

Another related mistake I see new entrepreneurs fall into is modeling their business after others who they think are successful and ahead of them.

I usually see this in the form of putting out offers that sound like a carbon copy of someone else’s offer, especially in terms of the features, logistics, and even marketing. 

Now, let’s cut right to it – Do NOT do something in your business just because other people are doing it, because it looks easy, or because successful people you admire are doing it. 

On the surface, those may seem like legitimate reasons for implementing a particular strategy in your business. But you also need to take a look at whether it’s a strategy that is: 

1) aligned with your own goals 

2) compatible with your schedule, lifestyle, and personality and 

3) something that will bolster your brand positioning or make you seem like a generic person doing the same thing everyone else is doing. 

The same goes with the offer you’re selling. Just because you’re not yet confident in your business doesn’t mean you should do something others are doing because they seem confident and successful doing so. 

That’s not how you gain confidence, competence, or even credibility as an entrepreneur. 

Start creating your own unique offer

Instead, I would much rather you create demand for a unique offer that you truly think is an amazing offer, deliver this amazing offer to your clients and get them incredible results. 

Then continue growing the demand for your unique offer by leveraging the results and client success stories or testimonials you’ve gotten because you had a seriously amazing time helping clients with something you really care about.

Here’s a common example: We often see successful entrepreneurs talking about passive income and talk about how you shouldn’t trade time for money. Many will also talk about how you can make money while you sleep. Messages like these may lead you to want to do a course or e-book when you’re starting out in business. 

Perhaps a passive income product really isn’t the right fit for you at this very moment. Perhaps working with clients one-on-one and practicing your skills first is precisely what you need to be doing right now. 

This is because working with one-on-one clients lets you test out the strategies and information you want to include in a course. 

It lets you clarify who your ideal clients are for your business and offers. It also lets you refine your course ideas and make sure you have a systematized process that course students can work through and get actual results from. 

Because if you are just starting out and maybe you lack experience in working with people and knowing whether you can truly help them achieve transformation, putting out a passive product immediately may end up backfiring on you because you haven’t put in the time to develop your confidence and competence to support a course. 

This is especially important because courses don’t allow you to customize the program for each individual student. You’ll need to have a well thought-out system that can replicate similar results for students who are very likely going to come from diverse backgrounds, diverse experiences, knowledge, and have different styles when it comes to going through a passive product like a course.

If you don’t have a solid system that gets repeatable results for students, you’ll probably be getting a lot of refund requests. 

Whatever you do, love your reasons for doing so

I encourage a lot of my clients to work one-on-one with clients first so they can validate their business ideas and see what actually works best for themselves as a business owner or service provider. 

Many of them plan to launch a group program or digital course eventually, so starting out with one-on-one clients made the most sense to them, for their specific goals, target audience, and so on. 

Perhaps, for some of you, launching a course right away makes sense because you have the skills and experience to back it up. Perhaps you already developed a framework that’s scalable or have a proven process that gets results, and you’re already very confident about who you help, how you help, and the results you get for clients. 

That’s why for some of you, launching a passive income product at this point in your journey makes perfect sense and that is amazing! 

Be intentional about your reasons for doing certain things in your business. 

By doing what works best for you and your business and liking your reasons for doing so, you’re much more likely to build a business that’s in alignment and one that you feel damn good about. 

When you genuinely care about what you do in your business, it’s so much easier for your energy to shine through when you’re showing up online to talk about your offer and to sell your offer. 

Because energy is what attracts clients to you, it’s important to have a business and offer that you’re 110% able to stand behind and feel excited about. 

And that’s not it. When you have an offer you are so excited about and you love working with your clients, the quality of your services is naturally going to be pretty damn good. 

Your clients can sense when you as their coach or service provider really cares about them as a client and about the services you’re delivering to them.

This naturally increases the chances of clients achieving better results and improving the client experience, which means better testimonials for you and a growing sense of confidence in what you do for your your business. 

Why building up your experience builds your confidence

Let’s think about it: Let’s say you’re a coach. The way you become a better coach is by actually coaching. You become a better coach by actually working with clients and coaching them to achieve their desired outcomes. 

When you see that you’re able to help clients get results, it’s only natural that your own confidence in your abilities as a coach will increase. 

Yes, this could very well mean you need to work for free when you don’t have any testimonials or social proof to back up your work. 

The great thing about this is that when you work for free, you get to sort out the possible kinks in your strategy and offer and be able to pinpoint the areas you are truly proficient in and the areas you can improve on. 

This experience and insight about yourself is invaluable, especially before you put out your final paid offer. Which, by the way, is also a work in progress. Just because you launch a paid offer doesn’t mean you don’t continue to refine it over time. 

When your free clients are able to undergo a transformation or achieve specific inner or outer results through your free work together, this is MASSIVE. 

Because not only are you practicing your skills as a coach or service provided, you’ll also feel confident in being able to deliver the same transformation and results for paying clients. 

And remember: Even free offers require selling. Just because you have a free offer doesn’t mean people will actually take you up on it. You still need to make an offer to help people, even for free.  

This means that when people agree to work with you for free, this means you did a compelling job in terms of marketing and selling your free offer. 

Small wins like this are vital for building your confidence and momentum in your business. When you see wins like this, you know you’re making strides towards bigger goals like signing on your first paying clients. 

Experience is KEY to becoming a better and more confident entrepreneur

By getting real experience with clients, you can start creating change and transformation for others. If you’d like to sign on your first paying client or you want to sign on clients consistently, The Side Hustle Club Hybrid 1:1 + Community Program could be the right program to help you do this, all on top of a full-time job, as a side hustler.

As a final reminder: You become a better and more confident entrepreneur when you see the impact you’re making on others and the results you’re getting for yourself. 

Your brand messaging and quality of your services are both critical to strengthening your confidence as a business owner. One way to really build up this confidence is by developing mastery of your skills (so that you can get better results for yourself and for clients). 

Definitely put in the hours to master these skills. You can and will have an effective and compelling brand that differentiates you and you can and will have an offer that makes a massive income and impact. 

All you need to do right now is to get the experience so you can refine and improve on both of these areas over time. 

Listen to the Episode

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