The Thrive Virtual 8-Step Success Method effectively breaks out the stages you can follow when starting or growing your online business. We use this method anytime we’re launching something new, whether it’s a business, or a new product or service.
This method is the signature method of Sacha Sterling, founder of Thrive Virtual, and is the culmination of well over a decade of her experience as an entrepreneur. She has learned the hard way, experimented, researched, invested, educated herself, and finally distilled the method down after perfecting it.
One of the greatest gifts of being a business coach is being a simplifier. Which is why we’ve really focused on helping women in business, and specifically mothers, because who needs things simplified in life more than that group? We enjoy taking complex ideas for a very new industry and environment and simplifying them so that our clients can see results, live according to their values, and feel good as much as possible in the process.
The 8-Step Success Method: The Foundation of Business Coaching
These eight steps provide the solid foundation of Sacha’s business coaching:
1. Be Clear About Your Vision
2. Know What Problem You Are Solving, and Who You Are Solving It For
3. Branding and Positioning
4. Make Money in Your Business
5. Decide on Your Communication Plan
6. Building Your Community
7. Sales Enrollment
8. Systems for Scalability
Tackling Roadblocks Along the Way
Within the eight steps there are areas including values, and incubating your vision, which can take a long time. Sometimes we want to rush forward but we’re not actually clear on our vision. Often, if someone is not making progress, it’s usually because of two things:
- Unclear and non-compelling vision. The person is not emotionally amped up by what they’re doing. This manifests as self-doubt or self-worth issues, which is the culprit that keeps people from having clear vision.
- Not enough time. The person feels they don’t have enough time to drop into that deep, emotional place with their vision. And that’s very legitimate. Busy women are often working full-time jobs alongside of growing their businesses.
Those two pieces keep us from being on fire and reaching our declarations. We certainly get it intellectually, but the roadblocks of unclear vision and time constraints get in the way.
We emphasize vision because if you’re not moving as fast as you want to, go right back to the beginning of the eight steps and really get honest about your vision.
Applying the Success Method to Your Business
Let’s walk through each step and how you can apply them to your own business.
1. Be Clear About Your Vision. If you’re reading this you’re here for a business purpose. Keep in mind that your business is separate from you as a person, but your vision, your mission, and your purpose influence your business decisions.
In step one, you want to know where you’re going. It’s key to get clear on what you’re doing, who you’re helping, and what problem you’re solving. Your vision should light you up. No one wants to buy from people who aren’t excited about what they’re doing. And most certainly, no one wants to buy from people, or even opt into their email list, if they are exuding self-doubt, or seem unclear on their offering. Vision comes first.
2. Know What Problem You Are Solving, and Who You Are Solving It For: This is where we get super niche and we gain that ideal client clarity. We recommend developing value words that represent your business. Choose three to six words that will become the filter of all decisions for your business. You need to know what values your offer is standing on and make sure they’re complimentary to the values that drive your ideal client’s buying decisions. If you don’t know the values of your ideal client, that’s OK, you’ll figure it out as you talk to people, or by surveying your audience. Over time, you’ll start to see a lot of patterns in the words people say. Identifying value words for your business allows you to reverse engineer your solution into someone else’s problem.
Note: Steps one and two in this process are very important, and they must be solid for everything else to work properly.
3. Branding and Positioning: Identify your branding which will stretch across your logo, colors, fonts, website, photo and graphic style, your social media, and more. In addition, there’s your brand values which are different than the product values. There’s subtlety here, but it’s really important. The product/benefit values, and the front facing brand persona values are different.
4. Make Money in Your Business: This is the monetization plan that you need to commit to trying out for one to two years at least. Vision-led entrepreneurs do whatever it takes to stay in the game until it happens. If you’re feeling uninspired, resentful, or lacking energy for your business it’s a sign you need to get connected to the vision again. You may even need to change and clarify your vision if it’s not compelling to you.
We all know business and marketing is experimental. We can have plans in place, and the best support and resources, and yet it’s not a guarantee that we will achieve our goal in the time we want to. It comes down to resourcefulness, experimentation, and innovation, in service of the vision.
5. Decide on Your Communication Plan: This will detail the regular content you are churning out. Decide where the bulk of your content will come from and how you will repurpose it in other places. For instance, if you will be focusing on videos, the content from those videos could be turned into blog posts, checklists, handouts, infographics, podcasts, and more. With each piece of content you create, think about how you will leverage it next.
Decide on the channels of your communication. Which social media channels work best for your brand? Which email and CRM platform makes sense? It’s best to choose platforms that can be connected and integrated to save you time and produce helpful reporting.
You’ll also want to pin down the timing of your communications. How often will you be posting on your blog? How often will you be sending out emails? Planning the timing of this is critical as you can easily put together an email if you recently completed a blog post, podcast, video, etc., that you can feature in the email.
6. Building Your Community: This is a numbers game, and it’s about building your email list. You’ll want to approach step six, specifically in service to step four, which is the monetization plan. Train your brain so that you’re tracking your email list while keeping in mind the goal stated in your monetization plan. The number of people on your email list will determine your number of potential buyers. The number of potential buyers ties into your sales goal. Read more about this in our post: How to Turn a Small Email List Into Big Profits.
7. Sales Enrollment: How do we sell like a queen? Sales is a traditionally very male-dominated industry. This is an opportunity for women to be authentic and lean on our feminine nature. We can’t be afraid to ask for the sale. Because if we’re not making money in our business, it’s a hobby.
Identify your sales strategy. Do you need a salesperson? What are your sales and conversion tools? Are you using a membership-based model? If so, you may want a video strategy that includes a video series that sells into the membership. Develop your web pages with gated content such as guides, webinars, workbooks, etc. so that you receive leads via the forms. Your long-term vision might also include partners and affiliates.
8. Systems for Scalability: This is where we talk about prioritization, using calendars, time management, outsourcing, and having support systems in place.
Anytime we connect with a new vision that’s compelling to us and emotionally charged, we tend to get overwhelmed. We start to wonder how on earth everything is going to get done, and how we will pay for it. It’s normal to feel this way. Anytime we envision something that we don’t have currently, we’re eliciting something called cognitive dissonance. It’s impossible for both our conscious mind and our subconscious to believe two simultaneous truths at the same time. Symptoms of cognitive dissonance include feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, exhausted, angry, irritable, and impatient. Why is this? Well, you’re committing to a vision that doesn’t currently exist. Cognitive dissonance could be the psychological truth that keeps many people from starting a business.
A lot of the work of entrepreneurship is managing our state of mind. You can learn to do this in step eight. How do we hack our system to not take the bait on getting overwhelmed? We set priorities, use a calendar for time management, and we outsource the tasks that will free us up. Revisit these areas constantly. When you find yourself falling into some of those feelings mentioned earlier, look to what’s not working in step eight.
Try out the 8-Step Success Method for your online business and don’t forget: vision comes first, and the rest builds from there!