As a business owner, it is important to figure out what steps go into each process, service or product you sell. When we start our business we are excited to serve our customers/clients. We sometimes max ourselves out and take on too much or can’t do everything. We forget to take vacations, spend time with family and friends, take care of US. We are working too hard and too much! Write down each step or task you do for each service or product, look at them and see which ones you can put on autopilot.
Things Each Entrepreneur should have on Autopilot:
- Social Media Posts
- Blog Posts
- Chatbox on Facebook Messenger
- Meeting Reminders
- Networking Connections
- Sales Pipeline/funnel
- Event Registration Process
Interested in learning more? Take a look at the following videos:
Has anyone called you a control freak? I get that all the time! I feel as a business owner it is super important to create a schedule and stick to it, allows yourself some grace to adjust things, and we all know life happens and things come up. I always say stick to your schedule at least 85% of the time. So, yes I do feel like I am a control freak because I like my schedule! From home life to business.
My mom and niece were just in town for a week and I was able to get most of my work done before they came so I could enjoy time with them, but I still had a schedule each day of the things I HAD to get done, like write my blog, do a video, client work etc. I gave myself the grace to have fun and I got my work done before, as soon as you fall off the scheduling wagon it is so hard to get back on track. Think of your schedule like a diet, how many times do you start a diet and do great for a week or two and then something comes up and we fall off, it then takes us weeks, sometimes months to get back on track. By creating a schedule for yourself and sticking to it, it allows your business to run so much smoother. You know what needs to get done each day when you have time to check emails, work on projects, play with your kids, run errands, videos, all those things as an entrepreneur we have to do each day. You are creating a plan for success!
Here are 5 reasons having a schedule are important:
1. Your S.M.A.R.T Goals become real
Remember back in January we spoke all about S.M.A.R.T goals and what we wanted to accomplish for 2018? If one of your goals was to increase your clientele by 20 clients, or increase your video subscribers to 1000 then on your schedule you should mark out time to network, make calls, send a newsletter to past clients or potential clients, make videos and ask people to subscribe. By putting something on our schedule that we want to accomplish helps us succeed with our goals.
2. Stop spinning your wheels
Do you ever feel like you have this imaginary list in your head of things you need to get done and then 5 minutes later you forget and you are walking around for an hour saying “What was I suppose to be doing?” I know I can’t be the only one this happens too. Within your schedule create a ‘To-Do’ list this can be a daily ‘To-Do’ or weekly, whichever feels better to you. This then allows us that space to write down those things we need/want to get done and we stop spinning the wheels in our head and forgetting.
3. Life happens – be prepared
We all know as business owners life happens, a child is sick, an unexpected event pops up, maybe you are not feeling well. Anything can happen, by being properly organized it is easier to adjust your schedule. When you are able to pre-plan and pre-work to get things done earlier you are allowing again that grace period of these unforeseen life events that come up.
4. Everyone is on the Same Page
When you are able to create a well-crafted schedule for personal life and business life everyone can be on the same page. Each person knows what they need to do and when. You know what needs to be done to accomplish your goals and maybe what your team needs to do or even family. You are creating the foundation for your business and on that schedule or plan, you are also setting guidelines for others. I know having a schedule or plan doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but when you are a business owner and entrepreneur a lot of fun, shiny, new things that I like to call SQURRIELS show up and DISTRACT YOU!
What I am getting at is having your schedule and plan set you know what you need to do and when and so does everyone else. End-goal . . . less stress for you!
5. Keeping Track
Again I know I can’t be the only one who can’t remember what I did last year or even last week at some points! When you have a schedule, whether it be a day planner or Google calendar or even a Google sheet like I use, we write down all of our meetings, activities, and To-Dos. This allows us to track what we were able to get done each day, week, month and year. This makes it easier for you to keep track of your goals. Going back to point 1, if we wanted to get 1000 new subscribers to our YouTube channel and I looked back at our 2018 schedule or plan I could see I did 5 videos per week and that increased our subscribers past 1000! Or whatever your goal may be.
It is important to add your benchmarks to your schedule for your annual goals as well, to make sure you are sticking to them and are on track. Schedule them out, let’s say June we want to have over 125 videos on our YouTube channel and 500 subscribers. When that event pops up on my Google Calendar I would know YES! I am on track and have surpassed that goal, or I need to work harder to make sure I meet the goal before the end of the year.
Tools to help you with your scheduling
What is it like as an entrepreneur? How have you found ways to keep your life organized?
Behind the scenes
I know I feel like each and every day I am running around like crazy. Taking my daughter to school, client work, networking, videos, errands, letting the dog out, house chores, you name it! I have been an entrepreneur for 10 years now, WOW time flies! It can be hard to balance work and life, some nights you are working late, some mornings you are up early, trying to fit everything in in one day! To be honest with you I have really been an entrepreneur at heart since I was 5 years old. I would travel back to Michigan each Summer and started helping my grandma and grandpa in their H&R Block office in Oscoda, MI. I helped make coffee, answer phones, once I learned how to read they had me filing paperwork, getting forms, speaking with the customers and from that moment I knew I wanted to own my very own business. The joy of having my own clients, my own desk, my own business name it was so exciting to me! Once I set out on my own in 2007 I have been like the energizer bunny who just keeps going and going! I really don’t know how to STOP! I love working, I love having a busy schedule and learning new things. I feel that to be a successful entrepreneur you need to keep yourself busy with the right things, set your goals, be organized and set boundaries.
Who’s with me as a female entrepreneur we wear many different hats during the day. I can be on a conference call while changing laundry or letting the dog out. We have to organize the family schedules, work schedules, and fun schedules. People have NO clue what goes on behind the scenes of your day to day life!
I have always been organized in life, ask my mom! I love things neat, clean and organized. I have realized over this past year, life is NOT always like that. We have been going through a remodel of our house and it has been a bit challenging. We have contractors in and out all day, trying to organize their schedules is like trying to find a taxi in New York!
I try really hard to remain ORGANIZED, but sometimes I feel like I am just overwhelmed. I am shifting my schedules and my day around to find time to write blogs, make videos, and take calls. It’s easy for calls because they CAN’T see my office or lack of space for an office. When I do my videos I NEED a nice clean background, that can be hard to find right now. So, what I guess I am trying to get at it, it’s ok to be disorganized once in awhile. It has shown me the importance of setting that foundation early on in my career of being able to adapt to different situations and know what I need to get my work done each day. You just have to be a little creative some days.
A few tools I found to keep my family and business organized:
Google Calendar – Everything I do is on my calendar! I can invite my husband to family functions or my business partner Caitlin to team calls. I can color code each of my calendars, from networking, personal, writing, videos, etc. It keeps me on my toes. I love when things are color coordinated, so this is perfect!
Google Drive and Google Pictures – these allow me to share documents with my family and business life. I can have different folders for personal and business. I have my daily task sheet on Google Sheets for everything I need to get done each day, our client information, social media posts and more. I am able to share documents or folders with the people I want. The thing I like the most is I can access the items from any device I own! It makes my life SO much easier.
It is important to find these systems to put in place to help you stay on track. As an entrepreneur we can get lost in creating our own schedules so staying organized and setting boundaries is key!
Putting systems in place and being able to delegate
One thing we have earned over the past 10 years is we can’t do EVERYTHING! In order for our company to grow we needed to find people to help with daily tasks, maybe twitter followers, Facebook Likes, Content writing, etc. We wrote down one day things we LOVE to do for our clients and things we know we need to do, but not in love with it. We then reached out to the local colleges and found interns to help! We have been able to put systems in place for each client on what needs to be done and when. how much time it should take and when the project should be complete. We were then able to implement these systems with our interns and now contractors. By putting these systems in place it allows us to be able to create a schedule for what we want to get done and the flexibility for our team to work when they can.
Don’t get me wrong this did NOT happen overnight, it took us awhile to find the right people and what the right tasks were for them, we have had about 7 people work for us and some didn’t work out, some went their own ways but still keep in touch and for our interns they all ended up getting awesome jobs, thanks to us!
It’s like that motto, “You have to spend money to make money” well in a way it is true. If you try to manage everything in your business you will limit yourself. Start making lists of the things you love to do in your business and the things that you don’t love. Maybe like your books, calls, networking, social media, etc. Then start looking for other businesses that offer those services. Ask friends or even post to Upwork.
It is scary taking the first step to delegating something, trust me coming from a control freak, nothing is the way you do it! HAHA Once you find the right person or company it takes a BIG weight off your shoulders that is one less thing you have to worry about and you know it is getting done.
Are you tired of going through hundreds of websites each week to find content to share or write about? These two free tools will help you get your industry new at your fingertips!
The content you need to accelerate your research, marketing, and sales.Feedly allows you to become a smart reader with less noise!
Monitor the web for interesting new content. How often. As-it-happens. At most once a day. At most once a week. Sources. Automatic. News. Blogs. Web. Video. Books. Discussions. And much more!
With Search Engine Optimization becoming more and more difficult as competition continues to emerge, your business can set itself apart by Podcasting and Video Marketing.
4 Reasons Why Your Business Needs to be Podcasting
Podcasts are a powerful marketing tool. Over the years, it has garnered immense popularity, with more and more businesses discovering how it can benefit their company. If you still haven’t incorporated podcasting into your marketing campaign, then you’re losing out on a lot of business opportunities.
Here are 4 reasons why your business needs to be podcasting.
As mentioned above, podcasting is a powerful marketing tool. It can help you reach new audience, drive traffic to your site, and even build a community. By broadcasting podcasts regularly, it will help develop your company’s brand to make it a household name.
A lot of people are put off by the seemingly confusing technical aspects of recording a podcast. Producing a podcast is not as complicated as what most people think. You do not need a lot of money either to start a podcast.
To start, all you need is a microphone, a headset, a recording device, and editing software. A good wifi connection is also important for uploading the files.
Easy to consume
Humans have a very short attention span. In fact, an average person has an average attention span of 8 seconds. If you want to get your message across, then you need to make it easier for your audience to consume and understand what you’re trying to say. Podcasts can help you do that.
A 1,500-word article may provide your audience the information they need. However, not everyone will have the patience to read through the entire article. With podcasts, you can convey the message in a more interactive way. Plus, people can listen to podcasts during their commute or while doing other things at work or at home.
Build better relationship with your audience
Podcasts provides a more personal way of getting information. Instead of just reading content on your blog or email, they get to hear your voice through podcasts. This makes your brand more personable. Overtime, people will be more familiar of your voice and presentation style.
Building a relationship with your audience helps in building trust. Once you gain their trust, it would be easier for you to turn them into paying customers. After all, people are more likely to buy something from someone they trust.
4 Reasons Why Your Business Should Use Video Marketing
The use of video in content marketing is on the rise. A lot of businesses are centering their marketing strategies on videos to present content in a more personal, compelling way.
Here are 4 reasons why your business should use video marketing.
Capture the attention of people
Among the different types of content, video content seem to be the most effective in capturing people’s attention. With the sheer amount of new content being published on a daily basis, it can be difficult to cut through the noise. For some people, reading a long blog post can be boring. In an age of short attention span, video makes it easier for time-constrained viewers to consume and digest complex content in a shorter amount of time. If you want to capture the attention of your target audience, try creating more videos.
According to a study that was conducted by Moz, videos get a lot more engagement as compared to other types of content such plain text posts or photos. In the said study, they revealed that posts with videos receive nearly 300% more inbound links.
There are numerous types of videos that you can use for your business. You can create demonstrations, animated explainer videos or how-to videos. You may also compile photos and videos from people who use your products and use it to promote your products. No matter what video you choose, make sure that the videos you create are congruent with your overall style and ethos of your brand.
Contrary to what most people think, Google doesn’t just use text-based content to assess the relevancy of your web page to a specific keyword. It also takes into account other types of content you use, including photos, videos, and a combination of text and photos.
For best results, we suggest that you include a transcript of your video. Not only will it be beneficial for your audience; it can also help search engines to understand the relevancy of the video. Also, don’t forget to include the keywords in your video’s meta tags.
Video is mobile-friendly
Most people do almost everything on their smartphone. They use it to communicate with their family, friends, and colleagues, research information, schedule meetings, and even order a pizza. Almost half of the adult population say they can’t live without their smartphones.
In today’s digital world, videos can easily be accessed with a click of a button. By incorporating videos to your marketing strategy, you get to communicate your desired message and encourage your desired action.
How to use MailChimp’s New landing page feature to build campaigns.
I don’t know about you, but my mind has been consumed with planning for 2018! Specifically, I have been asking myself “how I can grow my business in the new year?” The biggest question I have been asking myself is “What are the activities that I need to be involved in to grow the business and how can I tell if those activities will work and are working?” Almost like kismet, I stumbled over the SMART acronym while surfing social media. While it is not a new idea, it is definitely a timely one!
If you are not familiar with the SMART acronym, here is how it breaks down as it applies to business and goal setting:
S – Specific (make your goal is clear and not ambiguous)
M – Measurable (how will you measure your results to ensure you have reached your goal?)
A – Attainable (make sure the goal is something realistic, something you can achieve)
R – Relevant (does the goal make sense for your business and your business plan?)
T – Time-Bound (how long will it take you to achieve your goal or what deadline did you assign to this goal?)
This acronym is a favorite as it reminds me to be laser focused when planning my goals for 2018. Each goal I set for 2018 will need to be SMART. Each letter of the acronym will be filled out in order for it to be considered a serious goal for 2018. To do that, I created a 2018 SMART planner that I am excited to share with you! You can download the planner and complete SMART for each goal you plan to achieve in 2018.
To get your SMART planner, click HERE.
Working your Instagram strategy can be timely and overwhelming for most business owners. This download covers our tested process to easily write Instagram Posts and Share them to Instagram.
Our team uses this strategy to manage hundreds of Instagram posts per month and it will truly transform your ability create a successful Instagram Community.
Apps We Use:
The Normal Process for Instagram Management:
The typically process followed for businesses managing Instagram goes like this:
- Take photo on phone or email image from computer to yourself to save to phone
- Open Instagram and find image that was saved to photo roll
- Adjust filters
- Add description
- Think of potential Hashtags you could use, have spelling autocorrect turn hashtags into 2+ words, give up after 2-3 hashtags have been added
- Forget to add a location
- Click post and start randomly following people
- 30 minutes later realize you are still on Instagram and running late for a meeting
The purpose of establishing a process for managing social media is to ensure that you can actually spend your energy on the core aspects of your business.
What you Should be Doing for Instagram Management
Rather than trying to type and create Instagram posts on your phone, we recommend pre-writing and creating posts utilizing apps and tools to make the process easier and more streamlined.
It all starts on Trello.
Canva is a great tool for business owners to use, to create those eye-grabbing images for social media. It is an easy to use platform, that allows you to be super creative and make amazing images without being a graphic designer and having to pay a fortune for images. Canva is great for creating your branded images, marketing materials, presentations, menus and so much more! Sometimes you will see an image as you scroll through social media and say WOW that is an awesome image! You may think to yourself “how did they do that?” Now you know! Create images that STOP THE SCROLL as we say! Enjoy!
Marketing Tips to your Inbox
- Tiktok for Business: 5 Content Ideas to Gain Followers and Boost Engagement
- Which Social Media Channels Fit Your Target Audience [PLUS Tips for Writing the Perfect Instagram Caption]
- 5 Ways to Boost Sales Without Increasing Your Marketing Budget
- 6 Cost-Effective Ways to Market Your Local Business Online
- 5 Clever Ways to Repurpose Your Video Content