26 Oct

3 Things To Decide Before You Create a Website

cover of 3 things decide build a website

After hours of working on my website, paying a lot of money to maintain it, and then paying someone to regularly assist me with it, I have discovered a gap. The “you need to get a website” advice given to me in a coaching program 3 years ago was not the best suggestion as a way to begin building my online business.

And yet so many people do it. In today’s world, with sites like GoDaddy promoting the Danica Patrick type personas, even with vital information embedded in the video (like the importance of branding, the importance of planning, teamwork and diversifying your brand), it still leaves the impression anyone can just whip up a website and have a successful business.

And that is so wrong!

The missing information is in the planning stage, before you put the site up.

And in the budgeting, which should come first!

How I wish someone had told me that.

And the light bulb turns on here.

Decisions to make before the site is created:

What’s your budget like? In this post I talk about creating a business plan.

How are your finances set up?
This post has some good starting information.

What do your business need?
This post has some key questions to ask.

What is the purpose of the website?

What they don’t tell you as a new online business owner is that websites are created for different reasons. Each site serves a specific purpose for each business. Your business will grow depending upon how you create the site itself, what information you put up on the site and how you choose to utilize it as a business tool to grow your business. Some have shopping carts, some are lead generation tools, some work to solely build affiliate links. Others promote a brand.

Will it simply be a way for customers to find you? Do you want to build a customer base? Is it a means to keep customers up to date on your products and services?

Need to build a mailing list? Or build an online presence? Or run advertising campaigns and actively market online? Use it as a lead generation tool? Or as a way to increase sales?

Tip: Do a business plan before you invest money into the site to keep your budget on track and balanced! To learn more about creating a business plan, check out my previous post.

3 Questions to Answer:

1. How Technical are you?

How technical are you? DIY or outsource the back-end projects and maintenance?

 

2. What is your Budget for this?

how much you want to spend on your website? To set it up? On a monthly basis?

Many sites have an annual fee and/or monthly fees for additional things.

How much do you want to do DIY style or outsource?

For resources related to finance and starting a business, look at my previous post.

3. What are you going to Outsource and what are you going to do yourself?

Things business owners outsource related to a website:

Maintenance
Blogging
Invoicing
Social Media management: running regular Instagram posts, Pinterest pin campaigns, FB ads etc.

Answer these questions and then add them into your business plan to start off the right way! A good business plan is also a guide post.

 

Recommended Resources:

Five Skills Every Web Content Manager Needs

5 Must-Have Skills for Running an Online Business

Why Do I Need a Website? Here are 21 Reasons

Essential Business Skills

10 Financial Tools Your Small Business Can’t Live Without

Benefits of Outsourcing

 

28 Sep

7 Reasons Why Networking is Important

 

group of people at a table backlit with a large window in backgroup

 

Undervalued and not really emphasized too much in training programs, networking is the most highly recommended actions by experts for starting an online business and for creating sales.

Here are 7 ways Networking can help you grow your business:

 

  1. Networking is a way to build your online business, get your name out there and develop new business relationships. In person, people get to see who you are and hear your story.
  1. It’s also a great way to practice your “elevator speech”. That’s a 10 second introduction about who you are and what you are offering. The more you do it, the better you’ll get! What’s unique about in-person networking vs. something online is that in-person networking give prospective customers the opportunity to ask you questions directly. In turn, you get a first-hand opportunity to overcome their objections. Face-to-face is something special, they get to see you, how you respond, gauge your passion and interest, see how motivated and interested you are and get excited with you.
  1. It can help you personally and professionally, by connecting with other businesses in your geographical area. There are numerous stories out there about how successful business owners have connected with others in their neighborhoods and communities which has led to their success. Not only can building relationships create a feeling of camaraderie but it’s also a way for you to gain other’s trust. When you are perceived as an industry expert, they will be more likely to refer to you for that particular product or service.
  1. It’s a good way to have a list of referrals ready for clients if needed. Some call it the “top 100 list”. That’s a list of experts and business referrals you can create to have at the ready if a client should ever need a referral. Not only can you offer support to your client by doing this but you also get the chance to bring someone else potential business. It’s a good feeling to know you are offering a warm handoff by passing your client onto someone you know and trust.
  1. It gets you away from the solo and sometimes isolating life of sitting at your desk. This can be especially true for introverts . . . It’s good to do, often and regularly. You can get outside, get a cup of coffee or a meal, listen to a speaker, give out some business cards, chat a little and know you have helped move your business forward.
  1. Connecting with others helps with the innovation aspect of your business. Innovation is what keeps many online businesses alive – it’s the ability to stay current and fresh with trends about what customers are really looking for and actually buying. Sometimes it’s questions or feedback from someone within the industry, sometimes the information comes from someone in a totally different industry. It may be customer you run into that offers valuable feedback which generates an idea. Being in a networking situation opens the possibilities up.
  1. It keeps your routine fresh by continually engaging you in business development. Meeting new people, having a new conversation with a person may not only lead to a potential sale, but helps you get better at your business. Talking about it, writing about it, and explaining it can help you gain clarity about what it is you are offering and why. As you get clear about it, so will your customers.

Resources

The Importance of Networking: 6 Reasons Why You Should be Networking

6 strategies to improve your business networking skills

10 Important Benefits of Networking

Three Reasons Why Networking is Important, Especially for Small Business Owners

The 30 Second Elevator Speech

Elevator Pitch Examples and Writing Tips

 

Home Alone: Fighting Isolation in a Home-Based Business

Networking for Innovation

 

5 Ways to Build Your Business Network

 

28 Aug

8 Must Reads for Starting a Coaching Business

picture of flowers, book, and a cup of tea

As a Life Coach, I can safely say I have read a lot of books- to not only learn about the necessary skills required for life coaching, but also to learn how to set up an online business. I have found that there are so many more skills needed to craft your art as a coach besides getting certified and setting up a website! Honestly there have been very few reads that I found helpful and would recommend. The ones I love, I’ve listed here to help you on your journey of entrepreneurship as a coach or consultant.

Enjoy!

 

  • 2. SuperCoach: 10 Secrets to Transform Anyone’s Life
    by Michael Neillsupercoach

    I recently signed up for Michael Neill’s online newsletter because I find his material so positive and inspirational. This next book is one I will actually buy as a gift for other coaches because it offers such a great perspective from an experienced master in the industry.

 

 

 

 

 

  • 6. Beyond Goals: Effective Strategies for Coaching and Mentoring
    by Susan David, Ph.D, David Clutterbuck, and David Megginson

    cover beyond goals
    I also discovered Susan David on Youtube, much to my surprise. I was looking for subject matter on emotions and up popped her TED talk about emotional agility and resilience.Millions of global views later, she is becoming one of the leading voices in Emotional Intelligence as a psychologist, author, speaker and researcher.  I am so pleased to see her voice, wisdom and research being heard.  Way to go Susan!Watch the TED talk, The gift and power of emotional courage, on YouTube.

 

And there’s the list! And I’m sure there are so many more books to add to this list. If you have some you’d like to share, feel free to add them in the comment section below.

09 Aug

12 Must-Reads for Starting an Online Business

12 great must-reads for starting online business

I can safely say I have read a lot of books since I started my online business. Most were not that useful, but there have been a few that stood out.  And they are not just good, they are great.

I’ll go ahead and plug Kindle too for all the readers like me, that read in bulk! Being able to download quantities of books with a simple click of a button, and at a reasonable price is just amazing!

1. Building a Website for Dummies
By David A. Crowder

cover for building a website for dummies

I love this first book because the “Dummies” books are so straightforward. Don’t be embarrassed to buy one! They are easy to read and full of foundational information, needed to start a business. Every time I read one, I think “oh of course, I need to remember that”. Like YouTube.com videos, they seem to have a “Dummies” book for everything now!

Here’s what I found out about author David Crowder in short bio on Barnes & Noble:

“David A. Crowder has authored or coauthored more than 20 books on subjects ranging from computers to historical mysteries, including popular bestsellers such as Building a Web Site For Dummies and CliffsNotes Getting on the Internet”.

                                                                        ~Barnes&Noble.com

2. Internet Marketing Made Easy
By Brian T. Edmondson/Internet Income Coach

cover of Brian Edmonton's book Internet Marketing Made Easy

Brian T Edmondson is one of my favorite authors and consultants. He is also one of my influencers. I’ve bought his trainings, listened to his interviews and have been personally coached by him. Not only is he a really nice guy, he offers great advice and support. His smarts and expertise really shine through. His books are always on my lists! In addition to offering books and coaching, he also offers programs that are clear, effective and strategic for marketing online businesses. For more information about Brian Edmondson check out his website InternetIncomeCoach.com.

 

 

3. Content Marketing Secrets: How to Create, Promote, and Optimize Your Content for Growth and Revenue
By Marc Guberti

cover of Content Marketing Secrets book by Guberti

I love books like this one that have a title that reflect exactly what the content is inside. Marc is another one of my favorites and one of my influencers. If you don’t know who he is, Marc is young and wrote 19 books in a very short time period and became very successful. Just the volume of work he turns out is amazing. I find his journey and work inspirational. His books are a big part of my collection and super easy to read. You can sometimes find him online in those summits they offer for online businesses. He’s also fun to follow on social media! You can find out more information about Marc Guberti by visiting his About Me page on his website.

 

 

4. The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage
By Daymond John

cover for power of broke by daymond john

My third favorite influencer in this list is Daymond John. I learned about him on the show “Shark Tank”. Then I found one of the Marie Forleo interviews he did on YouTube.

And started following him on Twitter. Now I read his books and seek out interviews where he is featured. A very wise man and super smart businessman!

 

 

 

5. Small Business Financial Management Kit for Dummies
By Tage C. Tracy

cover of small business management for dummies

I know another “Dummies” book is coming but can you blame me? These books are not only great, they are so needed when you are just getting started. And they are clearly written, often by experts that can really lay out important things. If you want to make sure you are covering all of your bases for building the foundation for your business, this is another good one. I can’t tell you how many people start online businesses and have never created a budget or a business plan. This is a great place to start!

This guy is super interesting because his expertise is way outside of my wheel house! And to prove my theory that “Dummies” books are actually written by experts:

“Tracy has operated a financial consulting service firm during the past twenty (20) years focused on providing executive level accounting, financial, & strategic business planning management support on a project or interim basis”.

~Amazon.com bio

 

6. How to Sell Anything to Anybody
By Joe Girard

cover of how to sell anything to anybody
I can’t offer a collection of readings without listing at least one classic favorite. Anyone in sales knows who Joe Girard is. You can also find YouTube.com videos and his other materials on Amazon.com. He offers the basic mindset needed for selling along with the psychology behind it. If you don’t know him, he made the Guinness Book of World Records for selling 13, 001 cars at a Chevy Dealership! For more info about Joe Girard check out his Biography page on his website.

 

 

7. Schedule Your Dream: 8 Steps to Maximizing Your Time and Mobilizing Your Vision
By Liane R. Grant

Cover of Schedule your Dreams
This next one is a fun discovery I found surfing books on Amazon.com. I think time and project management are under appreciated in the world of entrepreneurship. Books like this can help with identifying needs and help you prioritize.

From Amazon’s description Liane “has a knack for finding the most efficient way to accomplish a task with excellence. Her experience in fulfilling multiple roles has helped her hone her planning and productivity skills into a highly efficient personal time management system. Liane has always loved words, which led her to a B.A. and M.A. in Translation later in life, and she is now doing doctoral research in translation. Liane is an OTTIAQ-certified translator, founder and overseer of The King’s Translators, Secretary of the UPCI French Literature Cooperative, and Curriculum Administrator for Purpose Institute.”

 

8. The Productive Person: A how-to guide filled with productivity hacks & daily schedules for entrepreneurs, students or anyone struggling with work-life boundaries
By Chandler Bolt & James Roper

Cover of the Productive Person
You might recognize Chandler’s name from a series of YouTube commercials he has put out (he’s the good-looking guy standing on the balcony of a cool skyscraper in San Francisco). His words and advice are effective and strategic. He and his partner offer great advice and important tools for new business owners.

 

 

 

9. To-Do List Formula: A Stress-Free Guide to Creating To-Do Lists That Work!
By Damon Zahariades

to-do-list-formula-cover
Much to my surprise, this book has become one of my favorites. Maybe it’s because I am such a fan of “to-do” lists so it’s nice to see someone utilizing that concept from a project management perspective. Maybe someone will write a book on how successful Post-Its make people . . . To learn more about Damon Zahariades other books and how to improve your productivity, explore his Art of Productivity website.

 

 

10. Emotional Intelligence 2.0
By Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves

cover of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 book

Since I became certified as a Social and Emotional Intelligence Coach I’ve fallen in love with this subject (go to www.ISEI.com for more information about certification programs). This is a foundational “must-have” if you want to learn about this topic. Anyone can use the tools and skills sets outlined here. Here’s a great YouTube video of a TEDxUCIrvine talk with coauthor Dr Travis Bradberry about The Power of Emotional Intelligence where he shows you how to use this skill.

 

 

11. The $100 Startup
By Chris Guillebeau

Cover of the $100 start up
Chris Guillebeau was another surprising find for me. He is a non-fiction author, blogger and speaker and has traveled all over the world. I’ve read a couple of his books and his writing style is so free and relaxed I found myself reading his books more than once. It almost felt like I was on vacation! Great information for entrepreneurs and those new to starting a business.

 

 

 

12. The E Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About it
By Michael E. Gerber

Cover of E Myth book

I fell in love with Michael Gerber’s work 15 years ago when I was working for a company that was trying to go from a small size to a mid-size organization but was actually going bankrupt. The book totally helped me understand what was happening. The model he uses to describe business growth is so easy to understand and helps make sense of the growth strategies that are needed for any business.

If you have a book or two that you would like to recommend, feel free to write in the comment section below or shoot me an email.Thanks for reading!

18 Jul

Do You Need a Digital Marketing Agency to Help Your Online Coaching Businesses?

I recently had an opportunity to interview Matt Adams, the founder of Online Growth Guru, a digital marketing agency that helps businesses set-up, manage and grow their online presence for profitable results.  

Karen(K): What is a digital marketing group?

Matt(M): This is a group which offers services and expertise to other businesses to help with elements of website development, social media management and SEO, which means making sure your website shows up when potential customers type your services in to Google or other search engines.

These services are often used by businesses to grow their brand through platforms reliant upon the internet. Often by investing in a long-term strategy on the web allows businesses to create an inbound sales process that works on autopilot. But it does take time and hard work to get to that point.

K: Why is it important to invest in this aspect of the business? 

M: Investing in digital marketing and making slow but steady progress towards online growth is super important.

When done correctly, and with the right strategies, your website can become a lead generation machine. That means your business development efforts can be reduced as more leads come via a website.

However, it does take time and if you don’t want to learn it yourself, you will almost definitely need to invest. I spent hours learning during my first business, which got me to where I am today.

K: How much should they invest in a 3rd party company like yours to help them?

M: When using a 3rd party marketing company, charges can vary. They may be offered in the form of hourly rates. They may also be offered in the form of task-based improvements.

It’s difficult to say how much you should spend as it really depends on your goals. The important thing to say is that some business owners, who want immediate success, use Pay Per Click, which means they pay every time someone visits their site. However, this is a short-term fix for a long-term problem.

Therefore, focus should be put on mixing up marketing techniques, that include content writing, email collecting and promotion of the website to 3rd parties. Technical & strategic SEO is also key from the very beginning

To make this decision, define your goals, speak to various experts to see what they think and then work towards a plan that allows you to gain returns asap, while working towards the long-term objectives of the business.

In general, look at it as ongoing monthly cost/investment as opposed to a costly project-based task.

K: How does a new coach or consultant start this process of using a company like yours?

M: To begin using a digital marketing agency, it’s important to be prepared for a long-term journey rather than immediate success.

Many consultants say they can get you to the top of Google quickly, that’s generally because there are lots of sneaky ways to manipulate the algorithm of search engines.

What’s important is that your digital marketer talks about the opportunities in terms of quick wins as well as long term goals.

For example, you might be able to write pages that target long-term searches e.g. ‘How to hire a coach’ and be on the front page quite quickly – a great quick win.

But a long-term goal could be to reach the front page of the search term ‘business coach’ – which is a real competitive keyword. But with the right strategies in place, it’s achievable.

Another important asset of a digital marketer is that they talk in your language. Many technical experts try there hardest to talk in technical language that the average business person doesn’t understand.

However, when digital strategies are explained with a business person in mind, they can make absolute sense.

Many of our clients trust me because I explain things in a way which make sense to them. The technical stuff is then just left to me.

K: How do they know companies like yours are real and can help them?

M: A company like Online Growth Guru can help coaches to understand the importance of digital marketing and the business aspects to SEO.

You should get a feeling that the company you hire is trying to understand your industry, target markets and products or services. That way you know they’re genuine.

They should help you line up the business strategy with the digital strategy so that you don’t invest thousands of pounds before receiving any return on investment usually in the form of traffic or leads – which is often the mistake made by business owners. Thinking they need the perfect $10,000 website before making one sale – it’s the biggest misconception in the industry.

“I say: Build something simple, generate traffic, then improve in small bites every day. And this is what your marketer should be telling you, too.”

~Matt Adams, the founder of Online Growth Guru

If you really want to know whether they are real, take time to listen to what they say and attempt to understand the logic behind what they are doing. And don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially in the early days.

K: Thanks Matt for your time and expertise. In conclusion, if you’re looking for a way to grow your business and build a solid marketing platform, a good digital marketing agency can not only save you valuable time and energy but provide you in a clear direction in the digital world of online business.

Find out More:

You can learn more about Online Growth Guru and their services on their website here.

Or email Matt directly at: matt@ogguru.com.

 

26 Jun

Coaching Corner: Who is the Expert?

BLOGG
What is an Expert?

“a person who has special skill or knowledge in some particular field; specialist; authority”.                                                             www. Dictionary.com

Is there a place for expertness in coaching?

The industry standard in coaching is that the client is the expert. Simple enough. But in consulting the expert is (obviously) the consultant because they are offering specific expertise that is needed. And what if someone is using a blended coaching style? What does “expertness” look like in that case?

The real question to ask is, what role do you think expertness plays in your work as a coach? Do you lean towards answering questions for clients? Letting the client find their own answer? Are you quiet or noisy? Are you defining things for them? Prompting the outcome of the conversation? Creating space for the client to explore? Strategizing for them? Impatient and talking right over them?

New coaches often come into the coaching arena with years of expertise and skill sets. For many it’s not their first career. It often is a career shift that can be an easy transition from what they were doing before. It’s also new. It’s a new career. A new role. The role of coaching often blends naturally with a person’s people skills, ability to listen, offer of support etc. The industry naturally attracts consultants, human resource professionals, and others in the helping professions, like counselors. And there can be a confidence building period.

Often as new coaches, we want to be perceived as confident and competent (otherwise why would clients come to see us right?) As coaches, we each naturally bring our own needs and agendas. The need might be a desire to help others, a need to perform, and, perform well in the role of coach.  It might be a need for connection, or to offer something unique to another’s experience. A coach might lack confidence and in some way be seeking confirmation they made the right career choice, or confirmation that they are doing it “right”. It might be a subtle urgency to bring in income, which is. struggle for many new coaches. Whatever the needs or desires are, they can present in a variety of ways, often appearing in the form of advice giving and expertness.

And it’s not always conscious.

When coaches bring their own agendas into the coaching experience, without any awareness around what they are saying or why, there is a shift in the relationship. Often, advice-giving and expertness are quick fixes as a pat answer to the goal the client is hoping to achieve. The coach might feel really good about coming up with strategies and solutions to help a client, but ultimately, they are only partial answers for the client and they are probably offering more help to themselves.

In reality, it’s often much harder to steer clear of advice giving and having the answers. There’s a quietness and confidence that the coach can bring into the relationship, creating an enjoyable experience for the client. It requires an awareness and stillness that can be hard for some to muster. It’s a skill set that has to be made conscious, then developed and practiced. And it is definitely a learning curve for many of us.

So why is the client the expert?

As human beings, we are born with innate wisdom and the ability to problem solve. We naturally seek, discover, question and learn. Some of our abilities include gaining insight and literally putting “two-and-two” together in a short amount of time. In truth, all of us have the capability of being an “expert”. And when we don’t have that information, we have an innate ability to seek it out – by reading a book, taking a class or finding a teacher, consultant or expert to teach to us what we need to know.

Coaching offers a very unique dynamic, similar to some counseling approaches, that allow the client to find their own wisdom and understanding. In the realm of coaching, this is the “pure coaching” style. Only answers are offered and questions are used to help the client discover the answers to their questions. When a coach develops a philosophical and/or theoretical approach it becomes a mindset which plays out within the relationship. It shifts the coach’s approach.

The client’s narrative, their experience and their process are automatically brought into the coaching relationship when the client seeks out and connects with a coach. They bring an invitation to the coach. “Listen to my story”. The invitation might sound like a need to tell a story, or a desire to find an expert who has the answers but more often, they are really seeking someone to hold the space form them, in a safe way while they sort things out and come up with the answers that will best suit them. The story line might sound interesting and easy to follow and solve, but the work is often within the client. It’s easy to follow the client’s story and get wrapped up in it, but true coaching is really about the process. The client’s process. The process is about what is happening in the client and includes the dynamic between coach and client.

It may be a laser session, or a coaching relationship that lasts for years. Coaches have a unique opportunity to create a space for clients to explore and learn about themselves and their own experiences. The client has the opportunity to gain their own insight and understanding with the help of someone who is offering them their undivided attention and support – and not their expertise or judgement on the client’s subject matter. They have a chance to bounce ideas off of someone else and process (out loud in relationship) what is happening for them in a very real, in the moment, kind of way, with someone who will hold and truly honor their inner experience, whatever that might be.

Creating this type of space for the client is where the catalyst for change within us dwells. When we are free to explore and be our true authentic self, not only is it validating and empowering but it allows for creativity and ideas to foster and grow. And that’s where the client’s expertness grows. Clients are the experts in their worlds, as they should be.

My father used to say, “trust the process”. One of the best things a coach can do is trust the process in a coaching relationship.

Are you being the expert without knowing it?

One of the beauties of coaching is that as coaches we can coach each other. There is value and experience to be gained from being coached by colleagues or even a supervising coach. We need the feedback to improve our experience, gain understanding and better our skill set. We also need to know when we are experting and plowing through our client’s experience.

When a coach offers a safe space for client’s, with openness, non-judgment and non-expertness, they are offering a client the richest opportunity to grow in. And there aren’t that many relationships like that out there in the world.

The real question is, what kind of coach do you want to be?

How do you, as a coach, avoid becoming an “expert”?

  1. Get clear on why you are coaching and what you are hoping to get out of it.
  2. Clear your mind, let go of expectations and work on being fully present, in the moment with the client. Release expectations.
  3. Clearly outline to the client what your role is, and more importantly, what you approach is. This helps educate the client about the coaching process itself and also helps them set a realistic expectation about the what they can expect from you as a coach.

And then trust the process. Coaching can be an incredibly satisfying and rewarding experience for coaches and clients.

Resources:

What is Life Coaching from TonyRobbins.com.

How does Life Coaching Work? The Coaching Process from the LifeCoachHub.com.

What is Life Coaching? from LifeCoaching.com.

Lessons from a Life Coach from ExperienceLife.com.

 

09 Mar

8 Tools and Tips for Project Completion

overhead photo of desk with open graphics textbook, notebook with pencils, a laptop computer and a cellphone

Are you struggling to get a project or task completed? Sometimes it’s an internal reason, like a feeling of overwhelm or burnout. In today’s world, many of us go full throttle all day long and forget to eat or stop to think if we are actually doing something we enjoy or see if we got enough sleep the night before. Factors like these can definitely impact cognitive and physical performance along with perception. They also impact motivation, or lack of, which keeps us from moving forward.

The other common internal struggle is around that inner dialogue we carry on in our heads.  Yes, all those things we are thinking. Some good, some bad, some helpful, some, not so much.

The good news? Research shows that that dialogue going in your head can actually be good for the brain. It helps organize and complete executive functions, such as decision making and the ability to focus. And research shows that not just any self-talk works, it needs to be positive self-talk.

Yep, that’s the talk that makes you feel good and calm. And then you feel more confident and motivated, which leads to action. So simple, right. Well . . .

Regardless of the reasons why the project isn’t getting done, here are some tips and tools that might help you along the way.

  1. Improve the self-talk. Is your self-talk more negative or positive and empowering? What can you say to yourself to motivate yourself?  Click here to learn about the Happiness Advantage.

    “Research among athletes and students has shown that positive self-talk results in improved performance by a number of measures”.

    AttitudeMag.com

  1. Try a time management tool:
    18 Time Management Tools That Will Skyrocket Your Productivity from HubStaff.com. Or a technique like Time Chunking.
  1. Allow yourself time to think. Take time to plan and organize. To learn more about the Pomodoro Technique, click here.
  1. Collaborate with others.

    “Collaboration is a working practice whereby individuals work together to a common purpose to achieve business benefit”.
    AIIM.org

    Connect with people that you trust and that can contribute to the brainstorming process itself as ideas feed off of each other. Look for those that can add value to a particular niche and are creative.

    Trending now: #sharedworkspace

    The use of shared workspaces is and up and coming office model for the independent solo-preneur. Shared workspaces offer a creative, safe and unique environment where like-minded individuals can meet. With an organic flow of dialogue, it’s much easier to collaborate and support fellow business owners.

  1. Break the project down into smaller projects. Complete one task at a time. And delegate when possible. Here’s a great task management program called Monday.
  1. Or take a break from the project. Do something to get your mind off of it and revisit when you have a fresh perspective. Did you know that only 1 in 3 people actually take a lunch break? (and it wasn’t me today!)

    5 Reasons You Need to Take a Break
    from Quickbooks.Intuit.com.
  1. Check your flexibility index. Flexibility directly influences productivity. Not only in behavior but flexibility in mindset.

    “Harvard economist Claudia Goldin found that careers in which work is substitutable tend to have more flexibility and gender equity”.
    HBR.org

  1. Reward yourself when the task is completed. This guy bought himself a Dodge Viper when he hit his business goals!

 

Have your own ideas or suggestions? Share them in the comment section below! 


References

Why Science Says You Should Talk to Yourself from GetResponse.com

5 Tips for More Productive Self Talk from ChristineHertz.com.

Unleash Your Hidden Productivity: Give Yourself ‘Think Time’ by Chris Winfield on Inc.com. 

7 Steps to Triple your Concentration (And Save your Time) from MindfulnessForSuccess.com.

The Science Behind the Growing Importance of Collaboration from Insight.Kellog.Northwestern.edu. 

Why Collaboration is Crucial to Success from FastCompany.com.

How to Break Down a Massive Project Into Sub Projects from SmallBusiness.Chron.com.

5 Science-Backed Ways Taking a Break Boosts Our Productivity by Kate Bartolotta on HuffingtonPost.com.

The Importance of Breaks At Work from LifeHack.org.

Increase Workplace Flexibility and Boost Performance from the Harvard Business Review on HBR.org.

155 Ways to Reward Yourself for Completing a Goal or Task from DevelopGoodHabits.com.

 

09 Feb

Entrepreneurship for Life Coaches, Part 8

desk with a phone, notebook, computer mouse and with laptop computer showing a product page,

This post is one of a series I am offering to coaches that are new to entrepreneurship and are setting up an online business for the first time.

Next step: 10 Ways to Build Your Online Coaching Business

There are a lot of small steps in a variety of areas needed to create a successful online business. Here are just a few additional industry ideas and recommendations.

Please note: You’ll find that part of starting an online business includes time for research and learning, so at the bottom of this article is a list of resources, I highly recommend reading. They are listed in order of the subjects mentioned in this post. Some of them are in “list” format so they are chock full of valuable tips, links, and information. Each of my posts has a list at the end so feel free to go back and look at each reference list when you are searching for information on that subject. It may save you valuable time and energy!

  1. Practice your “elevator speech”. Get really good at pitching your service in 10 seconds.
    • Be sure to have a business card ready too!
  2.  Create multiple products and services to offer to clients.
    • This offers clients multiple buying opportunities
  3.  Try writing an e-book!
  4. Create a membership site: offer something to clients that give them your expertise in a format where they will stay for a period of time.
    • This could include offering a free e-report, or a choice of a series of posts from your site, a consultation with you etc.
  5.  Try a Co-Marketing Partnership. Visit Hubspot’s blog for this post which has info on Com-Marketing.
  6.  Try an affiliate program – a mutual form of advertising. This offers you an additional source of income when you refer someone to someone else’s product or service and gives you visibility.
  7.  Try joining a forum or coaching directory.
    • o They both offer access to interesting people along with a way to learn or add to skills
    • o This can also be a way to network indirectly.

    Contrary to coaching industry suggestions, I recommend doing most of your networking where you’ll find clients, not where other coaches are – like tradeshows for your client base, industry networking events, etc.

  8.  Be a guest on someone’s blog or podcast.
  9. Interview other “thought leaders” for your blog or podcast.
  10.  Yes, the next suggestion is to try creating a Podcast!
  11.  Take advantage of all the e-Learning that is available online. Learn how to market and how to sell. People like Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy offer sales programs that can teach you how to generate leads and close a sale.

Tip: practice positive self-talk daily!

Your affirmation checklist:

I am coming up with new business strategies every day.

I am creative and innovative!

I have products and services that clients need.

_____________________________________________________________

Note: This is the last post for this series. If you have questions or are looking for additional resources, please leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read these posts!

_____________________________________________________________

Below are some resources I have used to create my business.

Resources

Books:

Coaching and Consulting Made Easy: How to Start, Build and Grow A Profit-Pulling Coaching Business By Turning Your Knowledge Into Money (Marketing Made Easy)
by Brian T. Edmondson

Audible Books by Brian Tracy

Videos:

Message Map: How to Pitch Anything in 15 Seconds/Forbes

Marie Forleo & Tony Robbins: What it takes to have an extraordinary life

Brian Tracy

Products and Services:

Chandler Bolt: Self-Publishing School

Ziglar Sales Program

Sales Training Programs by Brian Tracy

Articles & Blog Posts:

The 30 Second Elevator Speech

33 Ways to Get More Clients

How to Drive Sales With Multi-Product Pins

Top 7 Reasons Why You Should Write an E-book for Your Business

Why I Write and Sell E-books (And Why You Should, Too)

What is a Membership Site?

6 Quick Tips to Mastering High Ticket Affiliate Programs

How to Find a Life Coach You Love

Coaching Federation Coaching directory

How to Start Your Own Podcast

An Experienced Freelancer’s Guide to Finding Clients

Tradeshows by Industry

What to Sell in 2018: How to Find a Product Niche and Start Selling Online

2017 Income Report: How We Grew Our Online Store And Highlights For The Year

31 Jan

6 Tips to Help You Start Blogging!

computer desk with laptop, flowers, lamp, phone, binder and glasses

Learning how to blog can be a daunting task for some. I’ll tell you a secret – you already have it in you. And it’s not that hard (I think we make things harder than they seem sometimes). There all sort of people out there writing content about all sorts of things. And you can become one of them!

What is a blog?

Blog is a format for presenting online content in chronological order. Sometimes individuals or businesses will put up a simple webpage that is solely dedicated to posting articles. That webpage then becomes the “blog” and the articles themselves become “posts” on the blog. Others will have a full-service website and then offer a page dedicated to written articles, which again is a “blog” page with written “posts”. In any event, once the blog is created, content can be added as frequently as you like.

There is a wide variety of topics to choose from. Sometimes blog posts are personal stories. Sometimes they are technical works, full of industry related information. Sometimes they come in article form, sometimes they are simply lists (like this one), or just a beautiful narrative of thought.

The good news: You can write about whatever you want!

Experts recommend picking topics that you already know something about. For example, it might be a hobby or interest or something related to professional training and skills you have.

Here are 8 Tips to Help You Get Started Blogging

    1. Start writing – every day. Yes, every day! It’s an important habit to create.
      a) Block off uninterrupted time for your project.
      b) Find a quiet space.
      c) Take breaks regularly.
      d) Devote yourself to a good computer! It will become your best friend. Utilize tools to help you, like notepads or post-its, a recording device or speech recognition software, a calendar etc.
      e) Set up a schedule for your writing time and stick to it.
      f) Manage other aspects of your writing project outside of your scheduled writing time.
      g) Check your document for grammar, spelling etc. And don’t forget to save it!
    2. Know your audience
      a) Who is your ideal reader? What are they interested in? Check industry journals or websites to see current trends.
      b) Find a niche that is profitable. For more information visit Jon Allo’s website.
      > Jon is currently running a series on his blog and newsletter for new bloggers.
      c) Find out what social media platforms your ideal audience frequents so you can target them there.
      d) Add a comment section to your blog so you can interact with your readers.
    3. Decide what topic you’re going to write about.
      a) Find out what topics your readers are interested in.
      b) Conduct research on the topic.
      c) Cite sources when appropriate.
      d) Write down all your ideas about future topics to write about. You might need it down the road.
      e) Create a publishing calendar to keep you on track.
    4. Pick topics that interest you or are related to the industry you are in.
      a) Pace yourself when deciding how much content to put out there. Blogging can be a long-term venture for many so think of it like it’s a marathon. In other words, pace yourself.
      b) Decide if this is something you want to do for fun, or as a more serious venture, like a full-time writing business.
    5. Create a simple web page using HTML or a CMS like WordPress.
      a) To get started check out the websites of hosted services like SquareSpace.com and WordPress.com. Or if you want to Do It Yourself, check out WordPress.org for creating a self-hosted blog.
      > For more information check out this resource link from ProBlogger.com.
      b) Post consistently and regularly.
      c) Add a comment section to interact with readers.
      d) Post your blog on other sites like Ideapod.com or Postwaves.com.
    6. Connect with other bloggers.
      a) Try joining a blogging forum. Check out this article from SmartPassiveIncome.com for examples.
      b) Create a profile portfolio on a contracting site like Upwork.com.
      c) Learn how to research and write blogs quickly.
      d) To learn more about how to write efficiently and effectively, I recommend a book on Amazon.com by Marc Guberti titled Content Marketing Secrets: How to Create, Promote and Optimize Your Content for Growth and Revenue.
      e) Darren at Problogger.com (yes, he’s one of my favorite bloggers :^) and his team are now offering a course to help get you started blogging. (Please note: there is a deadline for this course, but they are going to offer more in the future.)

    Once you get this part down, you’re ready for the next stage –

    “How To Start a Blog in 6 Steps: Learn how to create a blog in about 20 minutes following these steps:

    1. Pick a blog name. Choose something descriptive.
    2. Get your blog online. Register your blog and get hosting.
    3. Customize your blog. Choose a free template and tweak it.
    4. Write & publish your first post. The fun part!
    5. Promote your blog. Get more people to read your blog.
    6. Make money blogging. Choose from several options to monetize your blog.”                                          –TheBlogStarter.com

    Happy Writing!


    References

    Books:

    Blogging for Dummies (For Dummies(Computer/Tech), 6th Edition

    Blogging for Fun and Profit: How to Have More Fun Writing a Blog and Make Money at the Same Time

    Why Authors Fail: 17 Mistakes Self-Publishing Authors Make That Sabotage their Success

    Blog Posts

    How to Write Every Day (and why you should)

    A Simple Guide on How To Start Blogging for Beginners

    How to Know Exactly What Content to Deliver to Convert More Prospects

    Blogger Outreach: Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

    What’s the Difference Between Content Marketing and Copywriting?

    10 Awesome Ways to Make Incredibly Shareable Content

    10 Best Freelance Websites to Find Skilled Contractors

    5 Ways to Make Money as a Freelance Writer Before You Even Have Clients

    From Corporate Desk Jobs To Full-Time Bloggers – 2 Tech Bloggers Tell Their Story


    Podcasts:

    Derek Doepker on Launching Books, Leveraging Influencer and Overcoming Your Doubts

    Examples of Website Listings that Pay for Articles

    Write and Get Paid

    14 Websites That Pay Writers $100+

    Get Paid to Write: 101 Sites That Pay You $50-$3000 per Blog Post

    22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them

26 Jan

Entrepreneurship for Life Coaches, Part 7

desk with phone, computer, notebooks and reference books

This post is one of a series I am offering to coaches that are new to entrepreneurship and are setting up an online business for the first time.

5 Starting Tools for an Online Business

  • Create a website
  • Create business cards, stationary
  • Decide what advertising materials you need
  • Create a digital marketing strategy
  • Start Networking

First step: Create a Website

There is a lot of information on the internet about this topic. I would decide first if you really need a website. See my post “7 Reasons Why You Need a Website” (insert link here)

Creating your own website is something that can be time and energy intensive so it’s good to decide if you want to take that on or outsource it. You have the option to have someone else create and manage it for you if you can afford that in your budget.

Next step: Create Business Cards and Stationary

There’s a story floating around out there about a famous business owner who wrote personal notes to everyone he met. And yes, over the course of decades it became thousands of notes he wrote. Having an easy way for people to reach you is a good idea, and business cards are cheap and easy to make. Also having some type of notepad with your logo and business name, along with note cards and stationary will bring a look of professionalism to your business. Order a return mail stamp with your business name and address for finesse!

3rd Step: Decide What Advertising Materials are Needed for Immediate Use

Companies like Vistaprint.com and Staples.com offer reasonable prices with templates and print options. Canva.com is also very popular right now and offers a variety of services. It’s easy to hand out business cards, post cards or flyers at business networking events. For industry fairs, you may need a poster board, marketing materials and promotional items to entice potential customers to your table.

Tip: If you get a chance to attend an industry event – fair, convention, speaker series, see if you can be a sponsor and host a table at the event to advertise your services. Create a package of services, create flyers and put them on your table. People like things that are free, so gifts are good. You don’t have to spend a ton of money. They also like to know what you do and what their buying options are. Get the pitch down you are going to use. PayPal has options where customers can purchase from you right on the spot with a swipe of a credit card so plan to have sales and get the equipment to take payments. Also start a mailing list. It’s a way to draw people into you sales funnel. I use raffles and people love to sign-up for those!

Next Step: Create Your Own Digital Marketing Strategy

Digital what?

“At a high level, digital marketing refers to advertising delivered through digital channels such as search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps.”
http://www.jeffbullas.com/day-life-digital-marketer

How will you advertise your product and services? Online advertising? Regular mail? Cold calling? Networking? Word of mouth?

There are lots of ways online to advertise your business: SEO, social media platforms, ads on websites or e-zines, guest blogging for others, interviews, videos, and affiliate marketing, just to name a few.

Any digital campaigns you create will be based on your target market, how big a campaign you want to create and how long you want to run it for. Budget should be a factor because advertising can become costly. Industry experts say it’s much more effective to offer speaking engagements and attend networking to actually capture the client that will make a purchase.

Tip: Regarding Social Media platforms: experts recommend picking a few strategies and trying them out. In other words, don’t try to learn it all or cover all media platforms. And they recommend to not throw a bunch of money at it to start. This is an area than can easily become a money pit. It’s better to pick a 1-2 platforms to start, advertise and connect there with people. This is part of the process that takes time – time to learn and time to implement. See how your competition maneuvers on social media. As your business grows you can always add platforms and automation later.

Last step: Start Networking!

Get out and meet people, join forums, networking groups, join speaker series, anything that will put you in front of potential clients. Networking also gives you a chance to create a mailing list, necessary to building long term client prospects. It is also a way to keep people informed about what you are doing on a regularly basis.

Tip: Go where your customers are, not where other coaches hang out.

Your affirmation checklist:

I have products and services that clients need and want.

I have a great marketing strategy!

Lots of clients are coming my way!


Recommendation: If you find, after reading this, that you are stuck or just frustrated with your idea, or don’t’ know how to get started, you might want to think about hiring a Life Coach. I know, it’s yet another thing that costs money, but I’ll share something with you – surprisingly I have found it to be the one thing that has been invaluable in building the foundation and success of my business. My personal coaching is what has made my business successful. As a coach, I have worked with many coaches to either them turn their idea into a viable business or help them launch their business. I can offer you a working relationship where you gain insight, accountability and a can develop your own strategies to build your business. Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself, even for a short time. You are your business!



Resources

Books:

Building a Website for Dummies by David A. Crowder.

Digital Business and E-Commerce Management, 6th Ed. Strategy Implementation & Practice by Dave Chaffey.

Million Dollar Coach: The 9 Strategies That Drive a 7-figure Coaching Business by Taki Moore

Content Marketing Secrets: How to Create, Promote, and Optimize Your Content for Growth and Revenue by Marc Guberti

Blog Posts:

26 Tips for getting started with social media marketing

15 step guidelines to create your perfect digital marketing strategy

How to create a social media marketing content plan in 7 steps:

Choose a website builder: 17 top tools

Copyright 2019 Etain Services.