Shifting my audience – WHY?!

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Here’s my update for day 41 of my new online business!

I admit it – I’ve been avoiding building my home page 🫣

Here, I finally tackle and solve the reason for my avoidance.

This is why I shifted my business’s entire audience, what I think about positioning myself as a travel influencer, and why you need to feel very, VERY, comfortable with your business messaging.

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Resources mentioned

My affiliate disclosure and privacy policy pages – boring but very, very necessary!

My new home page, which is still nearly exactly the same as it was after that five-minute frenzy. And I still feel good about it 💪

And just a few reasons why I can’t peddle the ‘If I can travel, anyone can!’ narrative.

What Traveling with Nine People of Colour Taught me about White Travel Privilege – from passport difficulties and microaggressions right through to overt racism and feelings of not-belonging.

Travelling While White – a dissection of travel influencer behaviour and their unconscious (and often abused) privilege.

Transcript

Hey there! I’m Kelly Kotanidis, and welcome to Online Business from Scratch, where I’m taking you behind the scenes as I build my new online business from scratch to a full-time income while making sure it is a great fit for my traveling, homeschooling life. I’ll be walking you through everything I do and why so that you can follow along and build your own flexible online business quickly and efficiently.

Now, this is my update for day 41 of my new online business, eight days on from my last update, and it feels like it’s been the week of catching up on the boring but essential stuff. I just looked at the list of stuff I kept putting off and transferring from one week’s to-do list to another. We all have that list, right? I decided to smash it all out at once. It has been a bit tedious, but it needed to be done, and it’s also a relief that it was done. I have to admit, I got a little bit of satisfaction from going through all of those tick boxes and knowing that it was finished. I feel like everything is set up properly now, and all of those nagging little tasks that I knew I really had to do and probably should have done earlier are finally finished.

Those tasks included registering my business name, setting up a new Stripe account, updating my existing PayPal business account to reflect my new business name and details, and setting up Heartbeat with its new domain and colors. I also added a privacy policy and affiliate disclosure to my site—the very necessary legal bits and pieces to have—and, lastly, I finally made a proper homepage for the site instead of just having a landing page.

Now, the homepage was a bit of an eye-opener and made me really think about my messaging. I think I’ve been putting the homepage off because I felt uncomfortable with the messaging I would be expected to put up if my main audience is world schoolers. I didn’t really feel great writing aspirational travel copy, like the kind of thing that says give your family freedom, pictures of happy families at bucket list destinations, and telling people they can travel the world with their online business and have all these amazing experiences with their family. But I didn’t want it to be all about travel. It seemed quite privileged and made me feel a bit weird.

I’m definitely not knocking travel bloggers here, but for me, I’m never going to be someone who can do the influencer thing. Now, I know the intention with it is to make people feel inspired and energised and like the full-time travel life is completely achievable, but I find that most of the time, that kind of aspirational influencer stuff to me comes off as somewhat depressing and fake-sounding. No matter how I thought to word it and present it, I felt uncomfortable with what I was thinking about putting up there.

Trust me, you really don’t want to feel uncomfortable about your business or brand or messaging because it is something that you need to do all of the time. You’re always writing and talking about that core message of what people can do if they work with you, and I just can’t do the aspirational travel one.

I mean, I’m working class through and through. I had a pretty rough upbringing, and I’m proud of that. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved on that base, but it means that I’m not comfortable with selling people an ideal lifestyle that, let’s face it, is very privileged. It is mostly only available to people from industrialized and capitalist countries. It’s predominantly white, and it’s not particularly environmentally or culturally friendly. Even though I really enjoy travel, I can acknowledge that there are a lot of problems with it. It’s also something that I can only really do because I have a lot of inherent privilege.

I also don’t feel like our travels are particularly aspirational either because we slow travel, and really, we’re quite boring. I tend to take quite odd photos of random bits of graffiti and other things rather than the whole family shots at bucket list destinations. I mean, who else goes to Paris and decides to visit a city farm in the suburbs and then leaves without seeing the Eiffel Tower? We did this in 2018, and we were perfectly happy with our Paris trip. So that sort of aspirational travel messaging just felt kind of weird and not really what I’m about.

If you’re interested in reading more about issues of country, race, travel, and privilege—because I’m not exactly the most educated or articulate about it—I’ve linked two articles that dissect the problems with travel influencers and white privilege in travel. They’ll be in the blog post linked in the show notes, and they’re very worthwhile reads.

After I thought about all of that, I discarded any sort of aspirational travel content ideas past the purely practical and matter-of-fact “here is what we have done” type of thing. The other idea that’s been lurking around in my head just popped out, and it’s more about helping parents who can’t work to create income. That does include travellers, but it also includes homeschoolers and other people who have stuff like chronic illnesses or neurodiversity. I feel it’s a much more comfortable angle for me. I’ve always been more of a champion of the underdog. I enjoy helping people who genuinely need it to get ahead, so this messaging feels really good. I actually felt so comfortable with it that I wrote the copy for the entire homepage in about five minutes flat. I even still liked it the next day and am still feeling good about it. Obviously, that’s an angle that I feel comfortable talking from because with the travel lifestyle angle, I just kind of wanted to hide.

I’m glad that’s sorted, even though I have now pivoted my audience from what I originally intended. I did intend to have much more of a focus on travellers and world schoolers, so it will be interesting to see how that shift affects what I do going forward.

My business name is the other thing: Business in Your Backpack. I’m not sure if that’s entirely suitable now, but a few trusted friends have reassured me that yes, it is fine. I shouldn’t burn it all down straight away, so I will just see how I feel about that later on.

I think it’s a really good example of how your business will change as you go along. The idea you have at first may not be exactly right. You’ll need to try it on, talk to people, see how it feels, and be open to the idea of changing. Fearless Homeschool was originally called Our Homeschooling Days, and I published Day in the Life posts from homeschoolers. That was going to be my entire site, but around six months in, I realized I would need to expand that a little bit more. That’s when I shifted to Fearless Homeschool and started testing my course, and that’s when it all came together and started to really work as a business. Even then, a year or so later, I had been talking to homeschoolers all over the world and realized that actually, Australians needed specific advice. Again, once I shifted from that general homeschool audience to Australians in particular, that’s when it really took off. The summits really took off, and it all started to really work.

But I didn’t come up with that idea from day one. I needed the initial experience to know which direction was the right one to take, and I couldn’t have gotten that information and experience if I was still sitting around agonizing about how to get it perfect from day one. So, if you do have a good enough idea, I’d really encourage you to start—to just get out there and do something with it. Also, be open to the idea of it evolving and growing into the best possible version of your business. If I can change my approach, and I can change the entire monetization idea and shift my audience, then yeah, you can make changes as you go along. It’s your business. You can do what’s best for it, and you don’t have to ask permission, run it through the HR department, or justify it to anyone but yourself. If you think it’s best, you can just go and do it pretty quickly and pretty easily.

So, hopefully, that alleviates any stress you’re feeling about getting your business idea right from day one and helps you to feel more confident about just jumping in, learning, and experimenting and tweaking it as you go. Online business really is that flexible. You really can make big changes without a whole lot of cost or bother. It’s one of the features that I like the most and one I think we can all take full advantage of.

That’s my latest update done. If you’re enjoying the podcast, I have a small favor to ask. Can you please give it a five-star review in Apple Podcasts or Spotify, or both if you’re feeling extra generous and haven’t done so already? The podcast is growing slowly but steadily, and ratings and reviews help to give it that little boost in visibility and that bit of social proof that yes, people do actually listen to this podcast and like it, and so it’s worth a try.

Thank you very much if you take a few moments to hit those five stars. I really appreciate it. Thanks for listening, and I will be back next week with the latest update. I’ll see you then.

Thanks for listening!

Got any questions? Feel free to to drop them in the comments below.

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More good stuff…

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