November 2017 - Small business consultant

Monthly Archives: November 2017

Outsourcing and goals

Do you have a Procrastination Pixie? What about a Nearly Done Nymph? Or a Get To It Gnome? In my Facebook Group we’ve been discussing outsourcing and I thought I chat a little more about it over here on the blog.

So what is outsourcing? It can be anything from getting a book-keeper or VA or social media manager to run a business function for you, through to getting someone to do some one off task.

Most business owners think that outsourcing is an all or nothing affair and that it’s going to be costly. Outsourcing is only expensive if you don’t use the time you gain to generate income – then it costs you money!

I’m a late comer to outsourcing, even when I worked a 9-5 desk job I didn’t outsource, not even a cleaner. The change came when I realised I would get 80-90% of the work done and I wouldn’t do the last bit to get it out there.

I sat and thought on it for a while. I couldn’t work out what it was. I wasn’t afraid of putting myself out there. I did know that I had a thing where if I was learning a new ‘thing’ that once I realised I knew enough, I would leave it. That was my issue, I was a ‘near enough is good enough’ but that issue included the execution. So I outsourced the execution of things. The big block was my website.

I’ve been building & maintaining websites since 2000. It’s something I know how to do but don’t always enjoy it, I’d rather be coaching in all honesty. So when I realised that making some small changes to my site was taking hours when it should be taking minutes, thanks Procrastination Pixie, I outsourced.

When I decided that I needed to develop a waitlist page for my Organic Facebook Course and that the Nearly Done Nymph would likely halt me pressing publish on the page, I outsourced the whole damn page.

What I discovered was that while I can build my own website, I don’t always love it and I drag my heels on it. It’s a necessary evil for my business but my Pixies & Nymphs often hold me back from achieving my goal. That had to stop! I need my site to help run my business. The outsourcing didn’t stop there, there was the Grand-Daddy of all outsources!

The biggest outsource I’ve committed to is accountability. I’ve hired a business coach and I have to report in every 2 weeks against my goals for the fortnight. And believe me I get called on my BS if I don’t. So outsourcing this has kept my Get To It Gnome at bay. Boy have I stepped up too! In fact, from the month I decided to start with my coach, my income sky rocketed, I exceeded my financial goal for the 16/17 financial year and I’m set to exceed my goal for the 17/18 financial year. This happened because I outsourced my accountability and I’m being held to a higher standard.

Here’s the other reason why I’m writing about outsourcing now. I’ve been talking about goal setting for 2018 in my group and I have been chatting about not just setting the goal itself but ensuring that you work out the steps you need to do to get there. There’s one thing saying your goal is to have a 7-figure business, but it’s another thing to know what steps you have to take to get those 7-figures. It’s taking a pie-in-the-sky goal and turning it into a realistic and achievable milestone.

So how does outsourcing fit in achieving your goals?

Outsourcing tasks does a number of things.

For me it gives me space to do the things I prefer to do but doesn’t stop me from achieving what I want to achieve.
It doubles my time because the time from the task I outsource is then given back to me to work on other things, thanks Procrastination Pixie.
It makes me work harder on achieving the goal because I have to generate the money to pay for the tasks I outsource.

I openly admit that the control freak in me had trust issues to outsource. Perhaps it was the Pixie, the Nymph, and the Gnome hoping for one last ditch attempt to derail me. Little did they realise that I’m dogged in achieving my goals and I worked out how to get the better of them.

If you’d like to learn how I set my goals, I’ve reopened access to my goal setting work. It’s now available for immediate download and is a workbook and 30 minute training video. You can access it now over HERE.

Hints for responding to a Facebook Group Post

I’m in a number of Facebook Groups & I’m in there solely to bring in new business. (Look, I’m a Facebook & Business coach, where else would I hang out??) Yes they work, I’ve generated thousands in income over the past years of active use.

Over this time I’ve seen good responses to Recommendation Requests and I’ve seen some doozies and I’ve even been on the receiving end of them. It has become clear that some people are still unsure as to how to make the most use of these posts, so I’m here to help.  Here are some hints if you’re going to follow suit and use Facebook Groups to increase your customers.

Read the post CAREFULLY

The number of times I have seen people comment when they’re asked to email or message. Asked for clarification on things that were mentioned in the post. Or that when told that they do NOT want a particular thing, still try and recommend it.

There really is no excuse for not reading the post. I find it annoying and downright rude, with one exception… If you are going to recommend something I’ve mentioned NOT to recommend, you better have a compelling reason.

Not reading the post wastes your time as much as it wastes the poster’s time. What’s worse is that not only does the poster think you don’t follow simple instructions, there’s a fair chance other people reading the post will think the same. It’s not a good look!

Don’t dump and run

Do not drop a link and then leave. Not even on those posts where you leave a link to your page etc and like other people’s.

Other than some pleasantries, let us know why we should like your page, what we would get out of it, what you’re passionate about, or if you have a special offer. Personalise the link.

Here’s the benefit of that, you educate us on your brand & better still, you stand out from all the other businesses that have ‘dumped and ran’.



Ask to take it offline

Do not assume that you can message the person. Ask if you can send them a message with some additional information. There are a number of benefits to this:
– it removes competitors coming in and intervening in the conversation
– you can develop a better rapport
– it respects the original poster, especially if you’re chatting with someone who has a similar issue
– it creates intrigue and you’re likely to have other people asking you to message them.

Tips for responding in Facebook Groups

Develop a set of standard responses. There is a good chance that you will come across the same issue more than once. Use it as a template & refine the responses based on the comments in the tread.

Use a calendar. Have a calendar listing of the business/promotional days for groups and post on those days. When you have a history of being seen as being helpful, more people will pay attention to everything you say.

Be helpful without expectation. Don’t expect financial reward from helping in groups. Know that people will watch you and they will search you out and hire you, even if you have never helped them directly. (There are always group stalkers)


Facebook Groups are incredible resources and should be treated as such.  You will get out more than what you put in, if done the right way.

3 tips before running a Facebook Ad

I’ve seen a number of posts in Facebook Groups by business owners needing help with their Facebook Ads.

There is a lot of information out there about which buttons to click and how to run the ad, but they miss the things businesses need to have set straight before they even open up the Ads platform.

What is the aim of your ad?

It seems strange to even have to write this, but a number of business owners run ads – because they want more business.

Ok so what does more business look like? Is it more bookings right now, is it more likes, is it getting people on your list to market to in the future?

Having a clear intention for the ad will help you decide what type of ad to run, where to run it to, what language to use, and what image to use.

Have this set and you’re off to a good start.

Who is the ad for?

Who is the target for the ad? What will they get out of the ad? What do they need to do? What problem do you solve for them?

Too often, businesses get caught up in running the ad to grow their business that they overlook that they need to attract a person to fulfil the aim of the ad (like, enter a competition, attend an event, buy a product).

The things you need to consider are:
– what is their gender
– how old are they
– what kind of things do they do
– what problem are you solving
– how will they feel after it’s solved.

You need to answer each of these things and address them in the image and text of the ad. There’s  not much point putting up a photo of a Mum & child if you’re trying to reach a single 20-year old male. The audience needs to be able to identify with the person or scene of the picture and with the problem and feelings the solution gives. While the physical targeting of the ad helps, it’s the image and/or the text which will stop them scrolling and have them clicking.

Speaking of clicking, the more you make them do and the further you remove them from Facebook, the more people you will use. This is why the vast majority of my client ads are to Facebook Messenger. We are comfortable with Messenger and it keeps us within the Facebook App. If you redirect someone to a website, then you need to make sure that your website continues to build on the points above and makes it clear, right up front, what they have to do.

When you decide what they have to do. TELL THEM. While it might be glaringly obvious to you, we are busy and generally distracted as we scroll through Facebook, so making it clear that they need to ‘click here to download’, ‘message us to book’ means that you’re more likely to get someone doing them what you tell them to do, rather than them wondering what the point of the whole thing is. Yes you have to spell it out like they’re 5. (but don’t be condescending).

So you know why you’re running the ad & who it’s for, why they want it and how to get it… now what?

The secret to targeting a Facebook Ad.

I have heard and read so many people wasting so much money on split testing age & gender on an ad when they don’t need to.

You know you’re target audience? No? Here’s a tip then on who is likely to want your product… head over to this tab on your Facebook Page.

Your Facebook Page insights tells you the people who are attracted to your page. Providing you haven’t bought likes and your page isn’t just full of sympathy likes from friends and family, it will tell you who is likely to want your stuff.

So this picture is taken from my page and if I’m running an ad, I target women aged 30-50. Most of my fans are female and most sit in this age range. Your business is no different and has these statistics. So use them. So you know, I’ve run ads to men & women in that age range & it’s still women who respond. Oddly enough, I have a number of male business owners that I work with. I just don’t attract them as clients through my ads.

Now, you can go deeper into targeting your ads, but this one tip saves you a lot of time in testing your ad. Use it as a starting point and start with fewer test groups, if you still want to split test, but you’ll be ahead from the get go.

Theirs is a lot to understanding the person you’re targeting with Facebook Ads. The great thing is that once you learn it, you can apply it to your page too. For more information, head over and download my ebook of tips to running a Facebook Page.

Time poor Facebook Page!

The vast majority of Facebook Page owners say that the number one reason they don’t post on their page is: they don’t have time. Let’s face it, that’s not a massive surprise as we a generally time poor. The thing is, at the same time I’m being told that you’re time poor, you’re also telling me that you know that your customers are on Facebook & that your products/services sell there. What to do?

More time for Facebook?

I would love to say that I can magically add hours to your day. Thing is, even if I could would you really use them for putting content on your Facebook Page?

I’ve spoken previously about the mindset shift I made about time & how I have benefited from it. I’ve also mentioned in a number of places that I have recently started using a weekly planner and again reaped the rewards.

So while I haven’t actually added hours to my day, I’m making better use of my time.

Oh and I forgot to say that one of the benefits of these two things has been actually working fewer hours. Yes, I’m one of those people who have increased their client base while working fewer hours. It’s ok, I’m not living the laptop lifestyle of a multi-millionaire and I won’t sell you my $19 book on how to do it. (Hats off to you if you are/do, keep it up!)

But back to getting more time for Facebook…

There are two parts to this problem:

Not having time to post on Facebook when you want to
Not having the time to think about what to post on Facebook

These are two separate issues and generally we think that time is the root cause.

It’s not! The thing is that you know that it works when you do it, you just need to find a different way. A better way!

Not having time to post on Facebook when you want to.

Ok, so I admit that I used to do a lot of my social media scheduling late at night after the family went to bed. It wasn’t good & I was exhausted. In fact, I was wiped by the time I got to the weekend. So burning the candle at both ends is not an option.

You now know about my mindset work and the weekly planner, so you can give that a go. It’s funny once we become more accountable of and for our time, the more we respect it and are more mindful we are with its use. It’s the same way as when we are watching our pennies.

What else is there?

I actually encourage people to make a date in their diary for scheduling social media. It has to be non-negotiable. Promoting what you do is part of what you do. You are the best source of information out there about your product or service & that makes you best placed to promote it. It has to become a habit, just like brushing your teeth and over time it will become second nature.

Mine is a whole day of working on my business rather than in it. (Except invoicing, that’s daily) You don’t have to dedicate a whole day, most businesses will get it done in an hour or two. (With these tips)

Use the Facebook Scheduling Tools available

If you are always doing your social media on the hop, you will always feel as though you are caught on the hop. Scheduling social media during these set times has a number of benefits:

  • You know that you will be putting something out there
  • You will be regularly showing up
  • You will be able to develop a social media campaign or strategy for growth

Ad-hoc posting is the enemy of organised Facebook strategy. It’s hard to be strategic when you have to have something delivered “right now or else”.

The best way to schedule posts on Facebook is using their scheduler. They like to keep stuff in house and do give you preference in the Facebook Algorithm for it. (Sad but true, sometimes you just have to play their games).

You can choose to use one of the many social media scheduling tools on the market. The advantage these have over the Facebook Scheduler is: ability to post the same thing to multiple profiles from one spot, RSS feeds, automated rescheduling of posts…

It’s going to be a personal choice which way you go. Some of the scheduling tools are free & others aren’t. Regardless, the Facebook scheduler gives the best results as you can leverage any shared content from within Facebook, thanks Algorithm, or a third-party scheduler has some additional benefits for your content that you might prefer.

Not having time to think about the content to post to Facebook

Each quarter I have an aim/goal for the coming months. I ensure that the work that I do aligns with these goals.

For example, I ran a Facebook Live Challenge and in the lead up to that, I wrote and promoted content around video & live streaming as well as Facebook. A consistent message helps reinforce your message and assists in establishing your position as a leader on the topic.

Speaking of Facebook, I save A LOT of articles. There are a number of pages that I like which are relevant to my audience, so if I see a post I think my audience will like it then I save them.

Watch this video on how I repurpose them.

When I get stuck, I use my scheduling tool (Buffer) and the RSS feed I’ve set up with relevant websites. I will periodically go through that and schedule relevant content from there.  The issue with this is unless you have an RSS for your site, you will be promoting other sites.  Not a bad thing to mix it up but worth considering.

Some scheduling software integrate with content finding software. For example, Buffer can import posts (automatically) from Quuu and Upflow where I’ve told them a list of suitable topics and they find them and post them for me through my Buffer schedule.

I admit, I syndicate a lot of my posts. What do I mean? I will post on Instagram and it will go from there to Facebook, everything I post on Facebook goes to Twitter. I do this through Zaps in Zapier. It’s cloud-based software that you tell to repost from one profile to another. Another similar service is IFTTT. Using these services means that I get ‘many birds with one stone’. That saves me A LOT of time.

The other tool I use is Missinglettr. This is what is called splintering software. What it does is take little snippets of my blog posts, turns them into quotes & images, & shares these over a 12 month period. Each blog post is split into 9 posts, I get to review all of the posts, make any changes, and then approve them for publication over the next 12 months. It is very set and forget and I love that.

So how do you get time to post on Facebook?

Be accountable for your time. Treat it like the precious resource it is. It is finite remember!

Make the most of your time. If I have a few minutes, I will scroll through my Facebook Feed and save posts to share later, or I will share posts as I see them. I also have my scheduler app on my phone, so I can schedule posts while I do school pick up, waiting at sport, or any random 5 spare minutes.

Schedule your time. Make the use of schedulers, Facebook or otherwise. These tools will save you time as you can schedule a bulk load of posts in one sitting. (Chunking like work is a known time saver) That means that you no longer have that constant harping feeling of WHAT DO I POST TODAY???

Be consistent. Be consistent in centring your content around a goal. Be consistent with your posting to maximise the Facebook Algorithm. Be consistent in dedicating some regular time to finding and scheduling your content.

Write engaging content customers want to respond to

“Kara! How do I get more likes comments or shares on my Facebook?” This is one of the most commonly asked questions I receive. Essentially, how do I increase Facebook engagement? Most people ask about Facebook engagement because that’s where they hang out. On occasion I’m asked about Instagram engagement and that’s generally the same answer. (And it’s not, I don’t know)

My usual response to wanting increased engagement is the following:

People want to be educated, entertained, or inspired. Do that and ask for the engagement.

Sadly, most businesses are still in the ‘buy my shit’, ‘we are so great’, ‘share and win’ mentality. Now, I maintain that part of that is not knowing any different and part of it is old school marketing in new school technology. The thing is that some business owners are looking for more information on how to improve and they are following, reading, and studying – which is great – but it generally leads to more of the same.

So what have I done differently about engaging social media content?

Anyone who knows me well will know I’ve looked at some research. That’s my thing. I want to know the why behind things. And of course, it’s some psychological research because – PEOPLE.

I will keep coming back to that point again and again.

Social media is a tool to PEOPLE use to connect.

Sadly, I feel businesses are lost in the technology and have lost sight of the people actually using the technology.

So let’s start with the people and how they see brand content

The information in this article is taken from research by Ashley & Tuten (2015) and their analysis of previous research and study of the top 100 branded companies according to Interbrand’s Best Global Brand survey.

The research looked at why consumers use social media. By and large, we use social media to build ‘social capital’, feel better, and communicate to meet our need to be sociable.  The team go on to say that our need to communicate falls into 3 categories: around a topic, around a relationship, and around ourselves. Studies have shown that on Facebook, consumers use Facebook to ‘consciously portray images about themselves’.

The other thing that they discovered was that when a ‘consumer’s knowledge about a brand increases (through social media) so does the emotional attachment to the brand’ and this is regardless to the type of content a brand posts on social media.

However, they mention that engagement is dependent on the consumer’s needs, motives & goals. Their engagement is important as consumers are not on social media just to absorb information, they’re also there to be educated, entertained, or inspired. Unfortunately, brands suffer if the consumer believes that the relationship is one-sided or if it does something that does not match how the consumer sees them and the brand’s identity.

What makes good engaging content?

Consumers can engage with content which falls into one of five categories: values, resources, time/geography, impact, and their goal for engagement (what they want out of a brand). Most of the time, content delivered by brands is ‘form’ or what the service or product is.

Researchers found that consumer values driven content works best for emotionally driven purchases  and for consumers who do not, currently, have a strong relationship with the brand. This content could also be considered as image-driven, where brands meet the desired image of their consumers. This matches where I say that customers use social media to be inspired and relies on a deep understanding of customer values.

This emotional content was also found to be more likely to give an emotional reaction. In Facebook, that would mean that this content would be more likely to receive a Reaction (like, laugh, heart etc) rather than a comment or a share.

On the other end, researchers have found that ‘cognitive engagement’ and ‘functional’ posts, the responses which take a bit more thinking, are related to logical or problem-focused situations and will have a greater impact on consumers who have a closer and more interactive relationship with a brand.

It was interesting to read that consumers were more tolerant of advertising that appeared in games online than they were to ads which appeared on social media. For businesses using the Facebook Ads platform, my suggestion is to include ‘Audience Network’ when setting the placement for the ad.

When looking at the research around Facebook, researchers found that there were only 3 post types which truly drove engagement: image, exclusivity, and incentive. Based on the information above, it means that businesses need to have more posts that align with the values and image the consumer wants to portray on Facebook, that they value exclusivity and they want to receive some incentive to engage on Facebook. The researchers point out that this matches the overall culture of Facebook with our sanitised profiles, desire to have something someone else doesn’t/be the first, and ‘share to win’. A word of warning, remember that it needs balance and that consumers are put off if they feel the relationship is one sided; for example you will lose them if all you post is ‘share to win’, not to mention that you’ll attract people who want freebies.

As stated earlier, researchers found that the functional posts are the most common on social media. They found that these were also the least effective and had no impact on a brand’s social media performance. The most effective posts for engagement were ‘entertainment’ style content.

What does it mean for businesses wanting engaging content?

What this research boils down to is:

Of the three reasons I’ve identified for consumer social media use, entertainment and then inspiration are the most effective post types to drive engagement. Informative posts receive the least engagement.

When developing the inspirational (image driven) posts, businesses need to address and align themselves with their consumer’s values to ensure engagement.

I would add a third point, specific to Facebook, when looking to increase your engagement on Facebook businesses need to consider and leverage the Facebook Algorithm as this is what drives what content  a consumer actually sees in their Newsfeed and then use the above-mentioned content tips to write the engaging content.

Click on the image below to download my checklist for engaged Facebook Posts.