The internet contains a wealth of information that billions of searches are done every day from something as simple as recipe for baking apple pie to the mind boggling question why the zebra has stripes. These searches can become a lode mine for any business owner looking for a steady flow of potential customers.
An easy, cost-effective method for gaining people who need, want, and are willing to pay for services is the blog. But, first you must have a good strategy in place.
Keyword Knowledge Keywords are search terms ideal clients use to find answers to their questions. Knowledge of keywords can guide you in creating blog posts that:
Attract the right visitors to your site
Promote you as the expert in your niche
Facilitate ideal clients finding you and knowing you and the services you offer
Although using keywords in your blog posts is helpful, it is more important that your content is written to capture your audience. Your blog posts should engage, inform, and even entertain your readers. But, most of all it must be easy to comprehend to the average layman.
Consistency Marketing content – and blogging, by extension – is very much a numbers game. The principle is with more content produced comes greater results. So, it is imperative to set and adhere to a content production schedule.
Focused Long-Term Goals The goal is long-term sustainability over fast business growth. Blog posts today still work for you in the future and may continue to bring in more traffic and potential clients.
Good SEO Practices Application Great bloggers use varied techniques to attract more readers aside from keywords. They may apply strategies that:
Link to authority sites from within the blog
Link internally to other, related content on the site itself
Break up long text passages using graphics and sub-headlines
Write compelling meta descriptions carefully
Create content that other sites will link to
Creating new blog posts gives you an opportunity to promote yourself. Share content on social media and encourage your readers to do the same. Share your blog posts on your Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and anywhere else potential ideal clients can read them.
Eclectic Content Blog posts don’t necessarily have to be word articles. Make your posts more interesting by incorporating videos, infographics, and audio. You may also create short opinion pieces and use curated content.
Fun & Style Blog posts attract more traffic when readers “see” your personality through your writing. Have funwith producing your content and your readers will enjoy it as well. The more fun you have creating your blog posts will reflect on your content and make you consistent.
Networking is critical to the success of any venture. The more critical question is do you do it with a clear-cut and solid strategy or do you just “wing it”?
Truth be told, a lot are smack dab in the winging it category. Don’t fret, you can make quick and easy adjustments that will set even your high priority networking tasks on autopilot.
The first thing you do is outsource the research. Hire a VA who can link you up with potential JV partners, affiliates, set you up with guest interviews, and provide all other marketing options.
Armed with a list of requirements, your VA can spend an hour or two on Google and give you a compilation of people you can reach out to. Just imagine what 100 – or even 10 – new JV partners can contribute to your business growth!
The second thing is to automate your initial connection. Prepare a script or email template that you can send to potential partners. Your VA can easily send this email or call on your behalf. Having the script on standby will accomplish two things:
1) facilitate a faster response time since you don’t need to think about what to say, and 2) tweak the script whenever the need arises to get you better results. Just as you split test your emails, you can test your outreach process as well.
The next thing is to automate your follow-up. This may sound like a repetition of the previous step, but it is more efficient to prepare an email or phone script for a speedier response. You or your VA or an email autoresponder series can follow-up on prospective partners through a series of preset emails.
Then, the final thing is to automate your scheduling. Use a service like TimeTrade or vcita to set up your calendar with preferred times for interviews, webinars, and such. Provide JV partners the links to book time with you and the schedules will automatically appear on your calendar. This cuts down on the back and forth discussions on potential meeting times and with a single click, your partner can choose the time that works for both of you.
However, always be diligent in using your calendar. If not, you run the risk of conflicting appointments.
Yes, it takes a bit of work to set up these systems. But, once your system is in place, it will be so much easier to attract and work with JV partners, guest experts, and others. Not only that, you will have more time to concentrate on creating new programs and services. With the time you save, you may even hang out with the kids a bit more. You deserve some time off.
We have been told for years that when we set goals, we must be SMART. Goals need to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
This is easy to remember and also looks good on paper, but for those who want to achieve greater things, this is not enough.
Ask yourself would you settle for “attainable” and “realistic” goals or would you want to enjoy frequent international travel, a 3-day-work week, and enough money to fund mission trips? Nowadays, those safe, smart goals won’t get you anywhere.
In fact, they may even hold you back from achieving your full growth potential.
When you set an “attainable” goal of earning 10% more than last year, you might just limit yourself to working 10% more, spending 10% more on ads or product creation, thus you might only reach 10% more potential clients. So, the likelihood is you earn 10% more. Yes, you actually achieved something based on the goal you set.
The question arises whether you were inspired to work harder or did it set a subconscious limit on your potential to earn that you didn’t break through.
Savvy entrepreneurs have learned that achieving incredible success requires setting lofty goals that may seem unreachable or unattainable.
They decide to get 50% or even 100% more than their previous year’s earnings, not just a mere 10%. They challenge themselves. They discover new and better ways to accomplish things that make tasks easier, although they are ready to work even harder if required.
However, do not think that you can set crazy goals and expect the world to simply give them to you. Sometimes putting aside smart goals actually becomes a smart move. It is when you decide to give up attainable and choose “holy cow, how will I ever do THAT?” goals that you break down established self-imposed barriers and play among the stars.
Mompreneurs, you may not increase your income immediately, but it is a guarantee that you do better than 10%. Push your boundaries. Set outrageous goals, You may fail, but you’ll still be much better than where those smart goals would have taken you.
Was there ever a time when you thought of hiring savvy email marketers and content creators to keep in touch with prospective clients and encourage them to buy your products or services?
Putting in place simple, easy systems can replace an expensive sales team with automated tools that keep your products and services in front of potential clients. This will not only bring in more income, but it will also be hands-free. All you really need to do is have a little forethought.
The first tool you must have is an autoresponder system. The autoresponder is a series of pre-programmed emails that go out on a schedule you already planned out. They are written in such a way that you engage your audience and pull readers further into your funnel.
An autoresponder series typically consists of at least seven emails which are used as a lead generating tool. You create an opt-in on your website with (for example) “seven tips to be productive despite the summer heat” or “inspiring motivations for the busy mompreneur.” Upon filling out the form, your reader is automatically added to your autoresponder list, and now you have her attention with every email.
The most important detail though is to create specific calls to action in your series. It is not enough that you provide your reader with tips, you have to give her the opportunity to buy your products and services.
If you do this right, the autoresponder can keep cash flowing in, even when your business is down.
The quickest way to get your autoresponder set up and running is to use a tried and tested email provider like AWeber. Setting it up is a breeze and extremely low cost. And, you’ll find a lot of VAs experienced with it who can help you out if you get stuck.
To start, go over your most popular blog posts and products. You may repurpose old posts to provide valuable content to subscribers, with a natural upsell to matching products or services.
Another tip is to think of all those frequently asked questions, conversations that keep on popping up again and again, and the ideas discussed by your social connections and even competitors. These nuggets can be the building blocks of your autoresponder series that will compel your readers to read. Surely, when clients read, they will eventually buy.
Moving through your series will require you to make more valuable subsequent offers, you may even throw in an occasional discount offer.
In fact, using more sophisticated systems like Infusionsoft or AWeber with the AW Pro Tools add-on can move people between autoresponders easily based on their actions and responses.
Simply put, they will see exactly only the offers they want and need. This makes selling via email super productive and completely automated.
Overly successful momtrepreneurs and small business owners have a lot of things in common. But, it is not experience, nor extraordinary skills, not even a powerful drive.
These things contribute to business growth, but they are not prerequisites to success. No one is born with experiences or skills and plenty of successful people lack drive.
The determining factor is actually your “why”.
Why are you working as a consultant? Why do you work on your computer every week? Why do you stay up late but get up early just to work on growing your business?
This “why” is what propels you towards success. But, it is not the same for everyone. Each one of us has a different why. This is something deeply compelling and utterly personal.
A good example is someone who survives domestic abuse and spends 60 to 70 hours every week mentoring other victims of abuse and counseling couples on ways to break the cycle. A strong desire to prevent other women from suffering her fate is her why.
Another why could arise from your desire to spend more time with your kids and still support you family because you don’t want to send your kids to daycare.
And still, another compelling why comes out of a young, fresh graduate entrepreneur’s dream of earning a good income so she can travel the world while she is still young enough to enjoy it after watching her parents work for 40 years and retire yet find themselves barely subsisting on their pensions.
Ask yourself today, what is your “why”? It could be the freedom to travel, the opportunity to spend more time with your family, the ability to take weeks off at a time to care for an ailing family member, or even earn enough money for charity or a cause dear to your heart.
No matter what it is, this “why” will be the driving force behind each and every action you take. Every time you decide on a course of action, always ask yourself if it is aligned with your “why”. Every time you set goals, ask yourself if those goals are going to take you closer to your why. When you are faced with branching out on a new business venture, make sure it is aligned with your why, and you’ll see that success is so much easier and achievable.
A website is an asset for anyone who is in business. Your website is where prospective clients find and get to know you. Your website visitors will use it to learn more about you. It is the avenue for selling your products and services, gathering leads, branding yourself in your chosen niche, and basically showing off what you do the best. It is also the spot to host your webinars, offer group coaching programs, publish your podcasts, create your blogs, and even set up appointments for customers.
Isn’t that quite a feat to accomplish multiple tasks with just one website? And choosing an all in one content management system like WordPress can make it easy to do all those jobs more.
Simple and Quick Website Set Up
Using WordPress can help you create and go live on the internet in the time it takes to finish your morning tea. And it will take only about 5 minutes to create your website with “one-click installs” for WordPress offered by hosting companies. All that you need to complete the process after that is choosing a theme and adding content.WordPress is easy and simple to use even for non-technically inclined people. And you can quickly find answers to all your questions from “how do I install WordPress” to “how can I create a membership site” with just a Google search because it has a huge community of helpful users.
Your Site, Your Style
It is easy to find a look that is the right fit for your brand and business because of the availability of thousands of free and premium themes. Customizing your website is a breeze with many themes offering easy, drag-and-drop editing of layouts, colors, and more. But, if you really want something designed just for you, there are thousands of capable developers who can build a design to your exact specifications.
Plugins Add Greater Flexibility
WordPress earned popularity early on by making this technical chore easy for new bloggers. Even though it was originally designed as a blogging platform, it is no longer known today as just a blogging tool. Instead, site owners use WordPress as the basis for:
And many more
Combining themes and plugins – small software add-ons that install directly into your WordPress site – provide endless possibilities, so no matter what you require from a website, chances are good that WordPress can handle it. Its simply the number one website builder that does it all.
Despite its popularity, WordPress has been besieged by myths and some have even questioned its uses and viability in certain situations.
As a business coach trying to find a website solution, you may have heard a lot of conflicting stories about WordPress. Some common misconceptions follow and what you really need to know.
Myth: WordPress is a Security Risk
Those who love static HTML sites highlight this myth as to why they choose to stick with difficult-to-manage sites. Even though WordPress may be less secure than HTML (that’s just the nature of php-driven websites) the security risk is actually not as serious as they would want you to believe.
Fact: Reducing Risk Through Good Security Practices
Deciding not to drive a car because you increase your chances of being in an accident by driving one is poor reasoning. You just need to take steps to reduce the risks. WordPress is no different. Putting security measures in place reduces your risks of being hacked. Some measures you can take include:
Use strong passwords and change them often
Never use “admin” as your user name
Create user accounts for your staff with limited permissions. Don’t make them administrators if there is really no need.
Choose a secure hosting environment
Keep updated sites, plugins, and themes Myth: WordPress is Difficult to Learn
Drag-and-drop website builders like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly have encouraged this myth to prevent people from even considering WordPress.
Fact: Every Website Builder has a Learning Curve
Newbies may think WordPress is overwhelming at first. But, the thing is that any software as versatile and flexible as WordPress always has a learning curve. All other website builders have their own quirks and difficulties. The notable thing is that the WordPress community is extremely huge and incredibly helpful. All you need to do is spend a few minutes on YouTube or Google to get answers to any question you may have about using WordPress.
Myth: WordPress is Only for Blogging
Yes, the original intention was for WordPress to be a blog platform, but the passage of time has wrought changes on this site that has made it an ideal choice for any and all website needs.
Fact: Plugins and Themes Make WordPress Work for Nearly Every Application
WordPress is designed to handle whatever is necessary. It can build an e-commerce site, business directory, membership site, sales page, or even a “brochure” style website. The availability of thousands of plugins and specialty themes extends basic blogging functionality to encompass nearly any and every use you can think of.
Today, WordPress has become the most commonly used content management system. For this reason alone, you should be reassured that those myths are just that…myths. But, you don’t need to take my word for it. Try it out for yourself and let the facts speak the truth!
Have you ever thought about saving an hour a day? That adds up to 5 hours a week…more than half a day you can be off! Imagine getting off work at 11am on Fridays and knowing everything was completed to your satisfaction.
I have outlined four solutions that you can set up right now, and close up shop early on Fridays Let’s start with proper project management. Stop managing your team with email and Skype messages. Messages are forgotten (or worse never received), things get lost, and tasks are left unfinished. That doesn’t include the precious time you waste sifting through a seemingly endless list of emails just to find a necessary piece of information.
Start by signing up with Asana today and put all your projects there instead. You’ll only have this one spot to check for uncompleted tasks and tell right at a glance what requires immediate attention.
Second, get organized with proper documentation. Are you consistently reinventing the wheel when you record podcasts or upload video blogs? Take 5 minutes and document the steps, so the next time you do it you can quickly work through the process. Or a much better option – hand it off to a VA. There will be fewer mistakes, and the work gets done faster.
Third, create a business organization chart. This is critical especially if you have several people on your team. Taking the time to create an organization chart eliminates the need for everyone to come to you with their questions – or worse, getting wrong answers from asking the wrong persons. Include this in your operations manual and brief your team about it and what it’s for. So, instead of your Skype chat blowing up with questions all day long, you will have more time for the more pressing tasks.
Lastly, block out time on your calendar. Check your calendar and make appointments with yourself. Delineate schedules for checking emails, working on client projects, and stick to your schedule. Having self-imposed deadlines not only forces you to accomplish tasks but keeps you focused and eliminates wasting time on Facebook or other social media sites.
Initially, setting up these systems can be done in an afternoon. However, the time you save by using them consistently is phenomenal. Saving an hour a day is merely the beginning. All it takes is for you to take action. As with everything in this world, by putting in the work first, you earn the rewards and reap the benefits. In the end, you’ll wonder how you ever managed your business without using these four effective solutions.
It may be difficult watching many promising entrepreneurs and coaches not succeeding like they should. They have dreamed of establishing a solid and sustainable business for so long, and yet that’s all they ever do – dream.
You know who I’m talking about. These people attend conferences, sign up for free webinars, buy paid training, and even work with a coach or two. But, sadly weeks, months, years pass and they never progress towards achieving their dreams.
You might think they are lazy, but the reality is they’re not. It’s something even worse. They get stuck on the dreaming part and never translated it into a workable plan.
Begin With the Long-Term
You may have been asked in a job interview about where you want to be five years in the future. This may have seemed odd. But, this is a very integral consideration for a business owner.
It will be impossible to make a map of your destination when you don’t even know where you’re headed in the first place. Knowing your destination makes it easy for you to monitor your progress at any given time to ensure that you are still on the right track.
With an idea of your ultimate destination, it will be easy to plan how to get there and create interim goals that guide you in the right direction.
Think about this: you may set a goal that in five years you want to travel for 8 weeks every year. So, for you to achieve this, you will need things in place that will make this happen:
Enough income to cover travel costs
Passive income to sustain your business while you’re not working
A reliable staff who manages the business while you’re away
Armed with this list, you can now work backward from your five-year goal and create milestones. If you need to earn $150,000 a year to fund your travel goals, but right now you’re earning $60,000, then logical milestones may be set like:
Year 1: $70,000
Year 2: $85,000
Year 3: $105,000
Year 4: $125,000
Year 5: $150,000
These milestones will make it easier for you to figure out exactly what you need to do to achieve them and set daily, weekly, and monthly goals accordingly.
Create Manageable Goals
Telling someone that you need to increase your earnings from $60,000 to $150,000 in five years may seem overwhelming. Just looking at a $90,000 increase will make most people dismiss it as impossible.
However, breaking it down into manageable, smaller steps, minimizes its impact making it less daunting.For the first year, you are projecting an increase of just $10,000. If you look at it on a monthly basis, it’s only less than $1000. See, that doesn’t look so difficult.It becomes even less when you break it down to just $250 per week. Think of it this way: selling one more group coaching package, or five more of a $50 training program puts you at the top.All you have to do is send one more email to your list, invest an additional $20 per month in Facebook ads, or reach out to one more JV partner. It is so much easier to reach smaller, manageable goals than focusing on that five-year plan.Consider your dream. Think about how to deconstruct it into achievable milestones, manageable goals, and finally, daily and weekly tasks. When you do this, then you can be sure that you can achieve anything both in business and in life.