Blog - Page 16 of 20 - Small business consultant, Kara Lambert is insightful and expert.

Overwhelmed by Facebook advice

It’s not surprising that business owners feel overwhelmed or lost in a sea of Facebook or website advice. There are so many people out there telling you what to do. I admit that I’ve been sucked into it too. I remember getting on a call about how to be a social media manager only to be told that all I need to do is subscribe to Social Media Examiner and then I could happily charge whatever I liked to the poor unsuspecting business owners. What the?!

While I advocate connecting to your clients from the heart as the best way to approach your customers, there are some technical skills in actually getting your message out there. This is where the tech blogs come in handy, but I want you to realise something about the vast majority of them.

They are written for the US market. I know the internet is global, but when you are an Australian business, selling to Australian customers – some of their hints just don’t work. Here’s why.

Volume
Yes, there are a few Australian businesses with tens to hundreds of thousands of followers, but in the main, most of us creative businesses (yes, I own one) are lucky to have a couple of thousand. These advice blogs generally base their information on the performance of the large businesses with tens to hundreds of thousands of followers. In Australia, we just don’t have the population to build these numbers. It is easier, and more impressive, to show statistics where the numbers are in the thousands – but you need to ask what the actual percentage of their total fans these numbers represent.

Trends
In the US, most blogs will advocate that creatives use Pinterest for sales. Unless you have a huge US fan base and can sell to the US, then you are wasting your time. There are only 600 000 Australians on Pinterest, compared to 14 million on Facebook. I used to spend hours each day on Pinterest (and not because I got sucked in) trying to post new content. When I realised that the majority of my fans could never be my customers (due to insurance) I radically reduced the time I spent feeding that beast. What did that do? Well it removed a lot of anxiety over having to find content, but it meant that I had more time to focus on my business and where Aussies hang out – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

Age
Most of the pages that they profile are for a younger demographic than the one you would have on your creative business page. They tend to profile Coke, Subway, Starbucks and the like. Do you think your ideal client is likely to like this page? Most of my clients have a core following in the 35-45 year bracket, most people in this age group have moved on from these businesses.

So where am I headed. You shouldn’t be hard on yourself if you try what the big guys suggest and it doesn’t always work. They are playing a different game, in a different league, and with different players. You just can’t expect the rules to apply to your heart-centred creative business. Yours is created on connection, service, and a whole different culture.

So what do you need to do instead? Connect to your client – show them you understand them, you have solutions to their problems. Speak from your heart – show them your passion. Be consistent – flip flops belong on your feet, not on your social media or website. Trust yourself – know that you are not alone.

If you would like any help with this, you can either book a free 30 minute consultation to discuss your needs, an hour of one-on-one coaching, or we can work together to develop an overarching strategy to grow and retain more customers.

Believe trust connect build

Who’d a thunk it, I have belief and trust issues. Me, the psych graduate! Me, the one who teaches you to set goals, know your ideal client. Me!

Oh my god! Boy did I get pushed on this in a group coaching session I had last weekend.

I didn’t trust that I could run my own business my way. I had bought into the BS and hype as to how I should run my business. I thought I had to make cold phone calls and lead pages. Here’s the thing, I don’t like them and I now trust myself not to do them. That’s it, I DON’T HAVE TO! God that realisation feels good. Oooh, the other thing, I don’t like it when other businesses hide their prices. Guess what? Again, not me and I’m not going to do it. Just because someone else does it, it doesn’t make it right for me; especially if it doesn’t sit well with me.

Here’s the other trust shift I had.

Niche. I LOVE working with businesses who create. They could be creating health, art, memories. Whatever it is they create, I love the energy which goes into these things and I love the stories behind them. So, I will now trust and honour that. My ideal client associates themselves with being creative.

So this trust has created a sense of belief; belief that I truly am where I am meant to be and headed in the right direction. I know that sounds woowoo, guess what – that’s me too.

But belief is amazingly important. It’s important to believe in yourself, your business, and your path. Guess what, when you own those beliefs then you have somewhere where you and your customers align.

What do you believe? What is true? Have you told your customers that? Have you let them in to your life a little? You know that it doesn’t matter what you do or sell, with every purchase your customers buy a piece of you. You are given this opportunity to connect with them, not just as a transaction level, but a deeper level. They are buying a little piece of you and you need to trust that is part of the transaction. Guess what, when you connect to your client and align your and their beliefs magic happens. You speak their language, you touch their soul, you bring them on your journey. That’s a powerful place to be.

A case study on how businesses benefit from knowing their ideal client.

Do you know who your ideal client is? Do you know why you should know them? Do you think it’s something else you need to do? Let me show you how your business can benefit from defining your ideal client.

I first became aware of having a definition of an ideal client in the second year of my other business. I had just launched my website and within one week, I had my largest order come through. It was a new customer, they hadn’t ordered through Facebook or seen me at the markets and they ordered hundreds of dollars of hair accessories (yup, that’s my other business). Over time I have chatted with this customer and come to realise that when I focus on her and fixing her needs, I make more sales (not necessarily to her, but other women like her). I found it! I had found my ideal client! I started thinking more about other customers who had made sales easy. Be warned, affluent people aren’t necessarily your ideal client – so don’t just say that you want a rich ‘sugar daddy’ client.

It was eye opening!

I then used this information to build a profile and to use it when talking to customers online and at the markets. I could tell who was ‘just looking’ and who was going to buy from me. I could also then talk to their needs, show them the benefits, and use these to drive sales. It makes things so easy when you know when you are targeting. It also means that you can focus your energy AND you can make bigger sales to fewer clients.

So when I do a website audit, I ask, ‘who is your ideal customer’. Could you answer that question if I were to audit your website? I am yet to find a customer who can. Why? Most people say that they just want to sell to anyone. Well that’s fine, but then who are you writing for when you are writing your website or Facebook or newsletter or any communication you have with your customers?

You’re writing for your customers.

So who are they? How do you know that you aren’t wasting your time? Or, what are you missing out on because you haven’t defined and aren’t targeting your ideal client?

Here’s another example.
A client comes to me for a website audit. They want to increase the number of corporate clients coming through their site. I help them by auditing their site, suggesting keywords to include throughout the site, and then they asked me to make the changes. Guess what?! They are now getting new corporate clients saying they found them via the website. Better still, their ideal client (one they have admired for years) recently placed an order with them. Imagine their excitement when it came through. How did it happen? We added a focus to their site for their ideal client. It would normally take them days of normal trade to make the same money as they did from that one corporate customer.

So, have you defined your ideal client?
Is your website targeting your ideal client?
Is your Facebook page meeting their needs?
Or do you need help?

Contact Write to Right now for a free 30 minute call on how you can improve your online presence.
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Bust business beliefs

Alright, it gets to the point where a girl has to bust some business beliefs floating around the interwebs. This week, there are a couple of BS posts I want to bust. The first is about blogging and the second about Facebook posts.

There are an optimal number of words for a blog post

I call utter BS on this one and I have some good reasons.

No two blogs are the same. ‘Well, derr Kara that’s obvious!’ Just hang tight.

Consider your favourite subject and how much you would read on that, now consider stuff that you kinda find interesting, like celebrity gossip… So there’s a reason why tabloid posts are short, there’s not much substance to them. However, if it’s a topic which holds your passion you will read and read and read.

So I call BS to the ultimate 300, 400, 600 word blog and say – it depends.

What I will say is, make sure your blog posts have plenty of white space; so short paragraphs or quotes, or left justifying your text. These things create white space, areas where the eye can rest.

Make sure you hook the reader in the first two paragraphs. We scroll down a website, so you will need to engage a reader early to get them to continue to scroll.

Make use of the ‘page down’ key when writing your blog. For each press there should be something on the screen which is visually different; be it a picture, quote, a title, or a video. Each of these creates visual interest and encourages scrolling.

There are an optimal number of posts for a Facebook page

Ever seen that? You should make sure you are posting at least ‘X’ times a day. What a crock! Sure the more often you post the more likely you are to ‘catch’ your audience, but if you look at your Insights you will be able to see when they are on and target those times. Let’s face it, with all the hats business owners wear; we need to work smarter, not harder!

Not all Facebook fans are created equal. What works for a page followed by tweens and teens, won’t necessarily work for a group of middle-aged women, nor will it work for a group of male retirees. Their internet behaviours differ.

Not to mention that people get annoyed if they see you ‘clogging up’ their newsfeed.

Over the years I have been managing Facebook pages, there is something I have come to understand about the number of posts a page needs. The more people you have following your Facebook page, the more posts you need. (Tweet this) The magic number of how many will depend on your business, the demographic of your fans, and their Facebook behaviours. You can find your specific details in the Insights on your page.

If you would like to know more about how to run a blog on your website, or how to optimise your Facebook page, then contact Write to Right. We have a number of workshops and workbooks on the subject, we can work one-on-one to develop your skills and strategy, or we can manage it all for you. We believe in empowering your business

Three words to your elevator pitch

The Rule of Three – I love it. I learnt it in art. I apply it to visual layouts. Did you know that you can use the rule of three in business? (Especially in your elevator pitch)

The rule of three for business is something I learnt in a “Think on your feet “ course many years ago. The course was designed to help managers and business owners to succinctly sell their team, project, or business in any forum. It was primarily marketed as a formula for elevator pitches.

This blog won’t go through the course, but I will teach you my keys to getting to your three words. See, that’s what this is all about, getting you to a point where you can succinctly sell your business from just three words.

How will you use them?

Primarily, you can use these three words as the prompt for your elevator pitch. Use them to start a conversation, elaborate on them. They are there as a quick take-away for the listener. From the three words, you start a conversation into the who, what, why of your business. It opens up a way to pitch. It gives you the mental prompts to lead the discussion.

They can be used as tag-lines or by-lines, in social media descriptions, or at the start of the ‘About’ section of your website. In these places, they also lure your reader in to ask more questions, look deeper, investigate further.

Why do you need one?

Ever gone to a party, networking event, or been asked “So what do you do?” Having a three word elevator pitch is a quick way to answer the question. It’s easy to remember, and you will soon find out if the person was asking to be polite, or if they were genuinely interested.

It gives the listener the feeling that you are confident about your business, because you can quickly answer. Depending on the listener, they might also appreciate the brevity of your answer. Don’t forget that you can elaborate, but it should be driven by the other person’s questioning not your need to explain. (If you need to explain, then you need to revise your words)

How do I develop one?

At the very start, you need to work from your business goals and the definition of your ideal client. Your business goals, explain the ‘why’ behind what you do and the definition of your ideal client is your ‘who’.

Your three words should contain three of the following five elements:
Who – who is your client base
What – What are the key elements of your product or service (eg. Dentistry, accounting, furniture, accessories, jewellery, photography, coaching etc.)
Where – If you only service a particular geographical location, where is it; or if your service is aimed at one aspect of themselves or their business
Why – Do you have a point of difference; and
How – How will they feel when you help them or they by the product

So, to explain, Write to Right’s tag line is “Empowering businesses online”, my other business is “Stylishly simple hair accessories” (I know four words technically, but I only make hair accessories).

So, what’s your tagline or elevator pitch? Leave it in a comment below and link it to your website or social media profile.

Struggling to work it out? Have you defined your business goals & ideal client? The Write to Right workbooks are designed to step you through these. Need one-on-one help, then contact me to discuss how I can help.

Beliefs, Benefits, and Behaviours

So you want more clients, more sales, help more people, reach more businesses …
That’s the behaviour you are after. It’s what you need to get people to do for you. You need to convince them how. You need to know the psychology of selling.

Very early on in my psychology degree, we learnt that beliefs underpin behaviours. Want someone to come on board (rather than just comply) then you need to speak to their underlying belief structure. But hang on, can’t I just have people comply and give me money? Nope. The handing over of money is one of the most emotionally and logic driven acts we can do. Tweet this And there are no prizes for guessing just what underpins our emotions and logic – beliefs.

So what underpins my customer’s beliefs?
There are a few things which underpin beliefs. Those who have studied Maslow will know Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This is where people’s beliefs and actions step through an ever evolving hierarchy from the most basic physical needs (food, shelter) to the top of self-fulfilment.
There are other drivers. These beliefs are determined by outside influences such as: education, religion, family, and personal experiences.

So?

Well, if you understand the ‘why’ that drives your customers, then you are one step closer to the win. Don’t we all like to feel understood? Don’t you like to know that a business ‘gets you’? Isn’t it easier to buy something when it feels ‘just right’ or ‘meant to be’?

That’s great, but how do I determine their beliefs?
Ok, this is when you are going to have to focus on just one person. Let’s face it, try as we might we just can’t be all things to all people. Focus on the person you love to service or sell to, the one that makes your work easy, the one who gets you and your business. (See, the one who gets your belief structure) Focus on them and head on over, read this blog for more insights and you can also download this handy guide which will step you through the whole client definition process.

Step Two: Benefits

Please, do not confuse this with what the thing does – that’s its features. Remember, that your customer is driven by their beliefs (and needs are beliefs as they think they need it) and features are a thing not a ‘why’. So what are you doing by speaking to your customer with the benefits of your product or service?

You are matching your ‘why’ to their ‘why’.

Go back and read that last sentence again.

You need to align your why and their why, because when they match up, then you have your customer on board. When you have your customer on board, then you are 90% of the way there.

So how do I determine my ‘why’?

Just quickly, it’s a two part thing. You need to list the features of the item you are trying to sell, then you need to ask yourself, ‘So what!’ I know it sounds harsh, but it gets to the core. When you ask the question you are digging into the why that feature is important, what change it will make, what need it will fix.

Want to learn more? Read this blog post, which digs deeper into the how to. Want to step through the program? Register now for the workbook.

So show me the money, or the behaviour

Ok, so I have defined my customer beliefs, I know what my benefits are, what next? Keep at it. In the current environment it takes around 10 interactions with a client before they commit to purchase. Now I don’t mean that it is them seeing your name 10 times in their Facebook Newsfeed, or spamming them with 10 newsletters. You need to speak to them at their core. You need to align your beliefs and theirs. When you do that, you have touched them where it counts.

So keep at it. I know it can be disheartening, tiring, and frustrating. I promise, you get it right and you will get those customers. What I will say is don’t rest on your laurels, tweak it, play with it, review and revise it. Seriously, remember how I said about Maslow? Your customer will mature and you need to keep stepping up with them. Don’t forget that this needs to be done with any new product or service you developed, or new client base you are targeting.

If you are still uncertain, I am happy to work with you one on one to determine how to align your business and your clients. If you are ready to take that step closer to your clients, you can book your place now. Alternatively, if you are uncertain just how it will benefit, contact me for a free half hour session to discuss your needs and how we can empower your business.

Facebook Presence- Profile, or Page, or Group? (Oh my!)

Confused about what kind of Facebook presence your business needs? Wondering which is best for you? Want to make sure you’re doing it the right way? Or are you thinking that there’s got to be a better way?

With over 13 million Australians active on Facebook, it’s no wonder that businesses are moving to the platform. Regardless of if they intend to sell through it, use it as an adjunct to their existing marketing strategy, or as their sole online presence there are many great reasons to be there. The thing is – it’s confusing. Business owners are hard pressed for time as it is running their business, let alone adding a social media presence. The smart ones know they need to be there and it needs to be done the right way to meet their clients’ needs.

There are three main ways you can get information out to people on Facebook. You can have a Profile, you can have a Page, and/or you can have a Group. All of them allow you to post photos, videos or text posts. All allow some degree of messaging. All require work to maintain. All have cover photos. All can be used to educate, entertain, and maintain a front-of-mind presence with your client.

Facebook Profile
Let’s get one thing absolutely clear – Profiles are for people, not businesses. Businesses are prohibited from having profiles on Facebook. People are prohibited from having more than one profile. I know people do it, but when Facebook find out they will shut it down. When they shut the profile down, you WILL lose all of the friends you had. Why does that matter? Well you lose all of your client contacts.

Ok, so say you’re not much of a rule person and decide to set up a business profile, what are the benefits and bugbears?

Benefits of a business profile
– You choose who you are going to interact with. You can friend request all of your clients who have a Facebook account. It’s certainly a quick way to gain traction.
– You have control over who sees the photos you post on your profile.
– You can interact in Groups as your business, giving you increased traction and increased anonymity.
– You can send a message to a group of friends.

Bugbears of a business profile
– When reported to Facebook, it will be deleted.
– You can not promote or run sponsored posts or other ads. This means you can’t reach people outside your circle of friends.
– You are dependent on the people accepting your friend request.
– People are always interacting with you as a business, this means that if you are using it in networking groups you don’t get known as an individual.
– You feel like you are ALWAYS ‘on’ or working.

Facebook Page
So a Facebook Page is a place, kind of like a website, where you upload (post) photos and details of your business. People who come to your page can see a variety of things about your business, including: opening hours, website details, photos, location, overview, and reviews. Of late, it is the last thing that many shoppers rely on, Reviews. You can have a star rating system, or rely on people leaving feedback on your page. Shoppers will visit your page and use these endorsements to help decide if they will use your business.

Benefits of a Facebook Page
– You can change many details about your page.
– You can advertise to promote your page, event, product, or website.
– You can add Applications (Apps) to your page.
– You can interact with fans and other business pages as your business page.
– You have access to analytical and statistical tools to assist you to target your audience and manage you Page.

Bugbears of a Facebook Page
– You can’t restrict who sees your photos.
– It takes effort to keep them active.
– Inactive Facebook Pages are off-putting to prospective customers.
– You can’t send a bulk message to your likers.

Facebook Groups
These areas can be as open or closed as you like. You can use them to promote or sell items or events. You control who is accepted into the group. It works like your own business fandom and is perfect for growing a ‘tribe’.

Benefits of a Facebook Group
– You set the level of privacy on the Group, this determines how much non-members can see of or in the Group.
– You can send messages within the Group membership.
– You can sell items in the Group.
– You can set behaviour codes for the Group.
– You decide you to admit to the Group.
– Members want to be there.
– Membership can be used as a bonus or selling point to a product.

Bugbears of a Facebook Group
– You can’t run paid ads to promote a Group from a Group (this is only available to Pages).
– It takes effort to keep them active.
– Privacy levels can be difficult to negotiate between allowing people to find the Group and allowing non-members to see what is being discussed.
– You rely on Members turning on Notifications for your Group or regularly checking in to see your posts.

Personally, I do not endorse a business profile and I maintain 2 Facebook Pages and 2 Groups for my businesses (and Pages for my clients). I use my Pages to educate, entertain, build relationships, and market. I use my Groups as exclusive resources, educate, network, and to promote. I also use one Group to sell. I find Groups particularly useful when you want to engage a niche clientele or wish to provide a private area to interact. At the core should be the decision on what your client needs and what you are prepared to provide.

Write to Right is here to help provide you with the training or coaching to assist you in moving your business online. Training can be done self-paced, in a group setting, or as individual sessions. If you decide that your time is better focussed on your business, then we provide Social Media Management. This frees up your time, but ensures that you have a Facebook presence meeting your client’s and your business needs.

Recycling is good for business

Do you recycle? Do you reuse? I promise you, I’m not talking about sorting your rubbish at home. I’m talking about recycling content you use on your blog or social media platforms.

There is nothing wrong with revisiting a subject and of course there are a number of ways to go about this.

Recycling

The easiest place to recycle content is on Facebook. I have discussed this in my Facebook Reach workshop and was well received. By looking at your Facebook Insights you can share or repost content which originally received high engagement, high reach, or another metric. Reposting content gives you the ability to:
– test which posts work best at particular times
– quickly add content to your page
– re-engage your audience, and
– boost Insights.
I have to say, there is nothing wrong with that. It does come with a word of warning: don’t repost something for about three weeks. I admit that this might seem like a long time, but not only does this give the regularly posting page the opportunity to have the original further down the page.

I have recycled blog posts in Newsletter mail-outs while I am away. Rather than burning out trying to create a bank of blogs, I have reused a previous series (read more below) as Newsletter articles. Not only is it a great reminder for clients, who may not go back through my archives, but it allows me to target new audiences and quickly get content to them.

Reuse

I admit that I love this one for my blog. I particularly like it for the “Top x number of ways to …” posts. I have taken the points in these posts and then expanded upon one as its own post. I will often think of a list of handy hints, but not have a lot of content to go behind each dot-point. With time, they develop into their own posts.

I have reused posts, or more accurately renewed them, when new information or products come to hand. Once again, I have the benefit of sharing with new clients, reminding existing clients, and benefiting from building internal links.

Don’t forget to reuse content from one platform to another, something which started as a Facebook post can grow into a blog post. Post the same content in different formats, try photos as videos. Of course there is always reusing content on a different platform altogether (consider posting the same article on another social media platform).

While I would like to say that this post is a ‘reuse’, it is in a way. I have taken one dot-point of a post lying dormant, waiting to be published, and used it to develop a full blog post. I find it helpful in times where I feel unprepared for my weekly post, time and life have gotten away from me, or I am plain old stuck for what to write.

So over to you! Do you recycle and reuse? Do you have a favourite time or occasion to use these skills? If they are new, what is the first thing on your recycling list?

Social media use in Australia & which platform to use.

For businesses moving online or looking to expand online, the big question is which social media platform to use. With so many options available, Write to Right has examined the statistics on social media use based on age. This allows you to target your ideal client by their social media platform use. Why is this important? It means that you can focus your time and energy on the best platform for your business and receive a bigger return for your investment.

In Australia, in 2012-13, 83% of the population aged over 15 used the Internet, 97% of these people had internet access at home. As at June 2014, there were 12.4 million internet subscribers  and 20.6 million mobile phone handset subscribers. (It is interesting to note that at the time of writing this article the Australian population was 23.7 million) On average those mobile phone subscribers downloaded 0.6Gb of data each month.

Moving forward and more specifically, businesses can use these figures to help focus their online presence.

When looking at Social Media usage, Australians participate (in the more common sites) as follows:

  1. Facebook – 13,800,000 users (steady)
    2. YouTube – 13,500,000 UAVs
    3. WordPress.com – 6,100,000
    4. Tumblr – 4,700,000
    5. Instagram – 4,000,000 Monthly Active Australian Users (Facebook/ Instagram data)
    6. LinkedIn – 3,300,000
    7. Blogspot – 2,850,000
    8. Twitter – 2,791,300 Active Australian Users (see calculation)
    9. TripAdvisor – 2,000,000
    10. Tinder – 1,500,000 Australian users (my estimation)
    11. Yelp – 1,500,000
    12. Snapchat – 1,070,000 Active Australian Users (see calculation).
    13. Flickr – 700,000
    14. Pinterest – 350,000
    15. Reddit – 160,000
    16. MySpace – 1200000
    17. Google Plus – approx 60,000 monthly active Australian users (my estimation *revised*)
    18. StumbleUpon – 50,000
    19. Foursquare/Swarm – 25,000
    20. Digg – 18,000
    21. Delicious – 16,000
    Statistics compiled by SocialMediaNews.com.au for February 2015.
    Stats courtesy: Vivid Social Research DivisionFigures correct as of 28/02/15.

These results are useful when businesses are starting out on social media, trying to decide where to focus their attention, or looking to expand their presence. There are extra considerations other than uptake. For example, your business may not be suited to the visually dense Instagram, but quite comfortable in the B2B environment of LinkedIn (or vice versa).

At this stage I can not find Australian age based usage rates for the different social media, however there is recent data out of the US, which can be used as an indication of what is likely to occur in Australia.

http://www.statista.com/statistics/274829/age-distribution-of-active-social-media-users-worldwide-by-platform/

http://www.statista.com/statistics/274829/age-distribution-of-active-social-media-users-worldwide-by-platform/

What I encourage business owners to do is to look at their definition of their ideal client and match that to the chart above. The next step is to look at the take up rates in Australia.

For example, my ideal client is aged 30-44, I am already on Facebook, Twitter, & Google+; looking at the above chart I should also be on Pinterest. However, the uptake on Pinterest in Australia is actually less than 10% of Instagram or Tumblr. So, my next step is to build my Instagram following, where I am likely to reach up to 30% of users; followed by having a look at Tumblr.

Another interesting consideration is the amount of time each group spends on each of the platforms. Looking at the time spent, I should be on Pinterest. As I said previously, there just isn’t the uptake in Australia to warrant me being there. It shows that the majority of my efforts should be on my Facebook campaign. Of interest is that my ideal client group spends slightly more time on Instagram than Tumblr and a lot less time on Twitter. Once again, I will focus my efforts where they like to hang out, taking into consideration just how many Australians use that social media platform. (Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter)

Time spent on social media

If your client base resides outside of Australia (particularly the US), then I would recommend either beginning with a focus on Australia to hone your skills on a smaller market, or to target your efforts per the US statistics quoted herein.

All too confusing? Write to Right offer consultancy on how to define your ideal client and target them so as you can leverage your online business. The package includes valuable worksheets (which can be used when engaging any other marketing professional) and up to three hours of one on one consultation. Would you rather spend your time generating actual income in your business than on social media? Let Write to Right manage your social media presence. Book now as places are limited.

Competing with the competition

Stop it; stop competing with your competition, stop looking over your shoulder, stop playing second fiddle to someone else’s dreamTweet this That’s what you are doing when you constantly compare your business to your competitor’s; you are devaluing your business.

I admit I used to do it. I used to watch, stalk, track, and follow. I used to compare, observe, and compete. I used to worry! I used to worry that they were earning more, that they had more customers, that they were selling more, and that they were taking what could have been mine. Yes, there were times where customers and ideas were taken from my business and used by others, and boy did that drive me crazy!

The thing is that the obsession was driving me crazy. It was taking a lot of my time and energy away from my business and family and handing it to them. I was empowering them. While I made certain that I didn’t like anything on their Facebook page, just me giving them the ‘time of day’ was enough. That time I could have spent improving, developing, or just enjoying life in general.

And if wasting your time on something that isn’t getting you closer to your goals isn’t motivation enough, here is my clincher. They aren’t my business. Huh? Read it again. They aren’t my business. Let me explain.

If you are watching your competition and worrying about their moves, do you know what goes on behind the scenes? You might think you do, but do you really know? I quickly found out that my competition was operating without business insurance, without declaring their earnings, and were working day and night to keep up with demand for their under-priced goods. I was trying to compete with a business who didn’t have the same business expenses, was taking risks I wasn’t prepared to take, dodging tax, and working twice as much as I was. Why would I want to compete with someone who wasn’t even playing in the same ballpark?

Here’s the other thing I realised, they were aiming at a totally different customer. While they were happy selling unlicensed merchandise and cheap, imported items, I was selling bespoke, classic pieces. Her customer was never going to want what I sold and I was wondering why she had them? It’s illogical why I even worried in the first place.

Still not convinced? Consider what happens when you are walking around your house, constantly looking backwards over one shoulder. I don’t know about you, but I quickly trip up or hit a wall. It’s no different in business. If you are constantly watching what is happening behind you, you’re not focused on where you are going and you will ‘trip’ up.

So how do you stop? Unlike their business page from Facebook, unsubscribe from their Newsletter, unfollow them on Instagram. Cut those ties! If you are concerned, ask a trusted friend or your partner to keep an eye on them for you. Otherwise, cut them out of your life!

Go back and look at your goals, revisit your ideal client, and refocus your energies on how you are going to make it all happen. Set some timeframes, set out steps you need to take/achieve to get there. Move yourself forward. Don’t waste any more energy looking over your shoulder to someone playing a different game, with different rules to your own. Tweet this

Would you like to learn how to make more of your business online? Would you like to know how you can reach more of the 13.8 million Australians with active Facebook accounts. Then fill out this form so we can discuss how to get your business moving and you empowered online.

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