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Five Things I Learned My Third Year of Business (Part 1)

On May 5 2021 I registered my business and committed to building … something. I had no idea at the time what it would turn into. One thing I discovered early on: the experience would allow me to grow in ways I never thought possible. Now, every year from May 1 to May 5, I share the top 5 things I learned about myself and my business in the past year.

 

Lesson #1: If the Client Journey Seems Easy, You're Not Paying Attention

 

For the first two years of McEwen Media, clients came to me regularly and easily. Referrals and recommendations were swift. I had many clients sign up for my services that first meeting. It was starting to feel like scaling and growth would happen naturally.

 

So of course I set out to attract clients on purpose.

 

I built sales funnels. I created freebies. I started holding workshops, Masterclasses, in-person events. I network on a weekly basis, sometimes even in person.

 

I feel like I am constantly promoting my services and sharing what I do with others.

 

I've 10X'd my efforts, so I should have 10X the clients, right? Not quite.


This was a major source of frustration for most of the year. I kept thinking “I’m doing all the things the blogs/podcasts/workshops/etc tell me to do. Why am I not drowning in new business?”

 

It’s not that I’m doing anything wrong, or following the wrong strategy. The simple truth is every business has its own unique gestation period and client journey.

 

When new business came to me almost exclusively through referrals, I wasn’t aware of the client journey. It’s entirely possible the clients who came through referrals also took many months to decide to work with me. The only difference is, I’m introducing myself to these clients at the beginning of their journey.

 

The only difference is my awareness.

 

I’m in the business of helping brands stand out from the noise. We are surrounded by stimuli and addicted to distraction. It takes a strong, clear, and constant message to get people to notice you.

 

My business is no exception.

 

I’m still doing all the things to promote myself and my business, reminding people what I do and how I work. I do this knowing there are new clients on the horizon summoning the courage to decide: I’m now ready to be a star in my field.

 

What I’ve let go of is the expectation of when they make this decision. One current client met me in August 2022. I think I connected to wish her a Happy New Year the following January. In August 2023 she decided to work with me. Her journey consisted of following me on LinkedIn for a year before she decided the time was right.

 

Another client kept contacting me on a regular basis to let me know she was still interested, but had to take care of things on her end. Her client journey was four months.

 

And I know there’s a client out there who will decide in the first meeting to work with me. Others still may take years.

 

Their journey is their responsibility. It is my duty to be available when they’re ready. That is the approach I have to the client journey. And it allows me to promote my work every day, in every way, and still feel like I’m serving the general public.

 

If you try to control the client journey, you risk pushing them away. No one wants a stage-five clinger. And it’s hard to invest in someone if they have an air of desperation.

 

I have the exact number of clients I need and there’s room for more. This is a much better way to approach selling yourself, don’t you think?

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