DIY Archives - Kara Lambert

Category Archives for "DIY"

Testing Interact Quiz Builder

Developing a quiz for my business is something I’ve put on the backburner for a long time. While I enjoy taking quizzes, the idea of building one for my business seemed all too hard and not a priority among all the other promotional or marketing activities I really need to do. I have even had a go at the quiz builder on my website, but it definitely fell into the too hard basket when I realized there really weren’t any templated “here’s one we did earlier” quizzes.

That’s where Interact has come to the fore.

I was invited by Interact to test their quiz builder and that I did. I have to be honest, as a busy solopreneur I need something that works off the bat and does a lot of things intuitively, Interact is good at this from the start.

I do enjoy filling out personality quizzes and I knew that a well designed quiz was a great way to get people into my funnel so that I could build a relationship with them.

I knew I wanted to run a quiz for my business coaching clients that was about how well they knew their clients as it’s one of the pillars I coach on. So I chose one of their “out of the box” templates.

Imagine my surprise when I could even choose the quiz category I needed for my client base! I did browse through coaching first as that’s my business type. So don’t be fooled by the categories you get to choose from, just focus on what your clients are interested in. In my case it’s social media and brand identity.

Having a strong template designed quiz meant that I knew that all of the logic behind the scenes worked and that it had a tried and tested lead generation design too. All very important to the success of quizzes to your funnel strategy.

I have to be honest, it’s been years since I’ve written a questionnaire. In fact, I think the last time I did it was when I was doing my psychology degree. So I class myself as a beginner when it comes to online quiz building, but experienced in logic and online design. Rather that trying to learn how to put it all together, I wanted my first test of the Interact platform to be of the platform (not my skills as a quiz builder). So I took the easy way out, and it was, and I went with a templated quiz all the way.

I was mindful that I didn’t want my templated quiz to look like everyone else’s so I was glad that I was able to customize the quiz in a number of ways.

Images

I purposefully went through and added an image to each page of the quiz, including the cover page. I was happy to see the range of the free stock images I could access to personalize my quiz.

Questions

I was able to change the wording of some of the questions to better suit my audience and I was able to easily add additional answers to my questions.

Word of advice if you’re adding answers in to a templated quiz.

DON’T FORGET THE BACK END.

Interact make it easy to add how your new answer correlates with the personality type it matches. It’s as simple as point and click!

Results

After toying with the idea of sending each personality group to a different resource. Which would have been easy enough as there are spaces for each to be sent to a separate page, I ended up doing a redirect on all three to my free Facebook Group.

Why to my Facebook Group?

Well in the integrations I already send them to an email list, more on that, and so I wanted something simple, familiar and where they can get to know me and what I teach on a deeper and more personalized level. Let’s face it, anyone can send you to a free resource/download, it’s a place where you’re personally welcomed that puts a smile on your dial.

Integration Mapping

I run my lists through Mailchimp and it was nice to see it among the numerous options. Take a look!

From here I added tags to my list and then used these to segment the responses in Mailchimp. Why did I do that?

Well it means that I can send a personalized email sequence to the different personality types. I can customize my offers for the different personalities. I can even shift people through the tags as they move through my value ladder as clients.

I did briefly play with sending specific answers to a specific Mailchimp List or tag. Now this is marketing gold! Imagine being able to niche down on your audience and automate based on their answers to a quiz. Now that takes personalization to a whole other level!

Promotion

Now I chose not to add my quiz to my website as it’s about to go through a major overhaul. The other thing is that most of my audience don’t hang out on my website, sad but true story. So instead I decided to share the love of my new Interact Personality Quiz on my social media channels.

A much nicer place and it’s a place where people are used to answering quizzes. Let’s see a show of hands who has fallen down the rabbit hole of answering a string of Facebook Quizzes or Instagram Quizzes? So that’s where I promoted my new quiz.

I have to admit, I was a little puzzled to see the G+ logo still there. Yes, I did test it. No, it didn’t work.

For those, like me, who are playing on Pinterest – I added it there too. Here’s how.

When I shared to Twitter through the Interact portal, I had the option to Buffer my post. (I love Buffer) So what I did was selected my Pinterest profile, chose the board I wanted to add it to, the image etc and the rest was history. It was really easy. The good thing is that it was scheduled rather than going out at the time I was sharing from Interact – which to be honest wasn’t the optimal time for my audience. (Just because I was playing with a quiz on social media in the middle of the afternoon, doesn’t mean that my ideal client was there waiting to join in the fun!)

I did share to Facebook, the integration was a little clunky but it worked.

Final Thoughts

The platform is a simple way to stop procrastinating and actually add quizzes as part of your lead generation strategy. I liked the way that I could take a template, add some images, change the text and really personalize the experience.

The categories took a little thought, only so far that I needed to think of it from a client point of view (check out the coaching quizzes to get an idea of how I realized this).

The integrations were over and above what I was expecting and a pleasant surprise. They seem to have thought of everything! I liked that I could put a Call to Action or a Redirect on my quiz – it was my choice. I loved that I could add certain question answers to specific list – marketing gold.

I would love to try the various website integrations, especially the bar.

Speaking of bars, keep your eye on the save bar up the top and make sure you save after every step.

I would like to see a Buffer integration as I came across the  Pinterest work around through sharing to Twitter. Oh and a native Pinterest sharing option would be great too.

Even if you’re not in the EU/UK, I liked the GDPR compliance. Here in Australia, I don’t expect it will be that long until we follow suit.

Overall… My advice to other business coaches is if you want something different from your standard downloadable opt in, then these quizzes are a great option for getting leads into your funnel.

Want to learn more about creating your own Quiz Opt in? Read this article: https://www.tryinteract.com/blog/how-to-create-a-quiz-opt-in-on-your-website/

If you’re interested in setting up your own Interact quiz, I have an affiliate link for you to use : https://interact.grsm.io/KaraLambert (Interact pay me a small %)

social media content calendar

So you would think after running social media for over 7 years now I would have a social media content calendars and I would have that thing down pat. Nope. Not me. In fact, I used to believe that that made me unstrategic in my content. That couldn’t be further from the truth either. I am in fact quite strategic. Perhaps it’s that I’m not much of a planner and more a seat of my pants kind of gal, a la Pretty Woman. Nope, I am a certified Type A personality. I am very organised (don’t confuse that with neat though) So why don’t I use a content calendar?

It’s quite simple. I’ve never found one I liked, not even some I could mash together and call my own. I’ve often heard people talk about content calendars and to be honest I had a little fomo because I didn’t have one. Then it struck me why.

Social media content calendars are way to plan out your content. Some have some method and pattern to the types of content you post. This could be vlog, image, shared content. Or it could be quote, testimonial, blog, sales pitch.  It’s telling you the type of content to post not the topic.

Some people develop content topic lists. I’ve looked at these lists, hey I even developed one of my own for blogging a few years ago, but I find they fall sort. Here’s why.

Content calendar topic lists fall short in my mind because it’s one person’s opinion on what topics suit my business and my audience. Sorry, but that’s not going to work for me. I know I’m not the only business and social media coach in the world but I’m pretty unique in the way I think about things. I bet you have your own competitors but you also have your own unique position and proposition in the industry too. So why would a generic list work when you’re individual? (to an extent)

The lists of topics are often written from the business perspective. This means that the topics are there to serve you as the business owner and the business as a whole. Last I checked businesses were there to serve their audience, not be self-serving (sadly too many still are).

If there are topics that are written from the audience perspective, how many of them address the individual and specific motivators of your audience? Do they consider what motivates your audience to choose your business over another? Does it consider the key objections and what drives these objections? Wouldn’t you want your content to answer these questions for you? They are in fact your silent salesman.

The other issue I have with social media content calendars is that they generally don’t tell you how to formulate the post nor do they tell you the best time of that particular day to post it. So I wonder what the benefit is in having these lists of topic that may not meet the needs of your target audience, a schedule of the types of posts to publish, but no idea of what time of day to publish them, and how to write them up?

So what do I recommend?

Well now you’re aware, you can make a more educated choice.
Put your client first. Meet their needs first.
Look at the psychology of an engaging post.
Look at the statistics of when your people are on social media and post then.
Yes, I do have one that I sell, but it’s part of my Organic Facebook Course (because winning content is so much more than the topic).
And if you’ve done all of these, then it’s time we talked about your social media content and how you connect with your audience.

When is the best time to post on social media

WARNING: This is not your average post on this topic. “Kara, when’s the best time to post on social media?” Oh for a dollar for every time I’m asked that question. (Perhaps I should set up a paypal.me) I get it, you want to make sure your message is in front of your clients at the right time. Your time is precious and you want to make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck. You spend enough time online and you want to spend more time on/with xyz. So when IS the best time to post on social media, Kara?!

You should know me by now! There is no simple and standard answer to this. In fact, you should know that I hate that kind of stuff. It’s not me! There is no one size fits all when it comes to attracting a customer. Otherwise, we’d all be successful and we’d be saturated and to be honest we’d be looking for a different/better way.

So, how do you work out the best time to post on social media for YOUR client and YOUR business. Note: I put your client FIRST!

There are three things you need to consider when working this out. And don’t freak out, I will share some shortcuts.

WHY

Why are your clients on social media? This is key to what you will post and when.

I often say that people use social media to be educated, entertained, or inspired. This is a why. It is the basis of the types of content you need to post.

People also use social media to fill their boredom. So this could be while the ads are on. It could be during soccer or dance practice. (Mums & Dads, you are entitled to be bored and mindlessly take time out for you and scroll through social media)

People check their social media to find out what they have missed since they were last online, be that overnight, since lunchtime etc.

People use social media to escape just for a bit and to connect to a world outside their own.

Thing is, they have a finite amount of time to do these and depending on how relaxed they are and the amount of time they have, determines how long they spend and how invested they are in what they see.

HOW

How do people use social media? Outside of what it gives them there is the consideration of what they are looking on.

Mobile devices are the most common way for people to access social media. The only exception to this is the over-60s. Australia has one of the highest rates of mobile phone ownership, we are some of the earliest adopters of technology, and as an island nation we can feel isolated. It’s no wonder that most of us check our social media on our phones!

So why does this matter? You then need to consider how big something is to download so it doesn’t chew up all our data.  You also need to consider what it would look like on a mobile vs a computer.

Loading up videos? Do you add captioning for hearing impaired or for those who watch videos in be while their partner sleeps. You might laugh, but you’d be surprised just how many do this and don’t want to use headphones.

WHEN

If you are talking to a 25-35 year old, then they will be checking their social media many times through the day. They will check when they get up, they will check at lunch, they will check at night.
Mothers of small children will check at nap times and when they are up feeding through the night.
Parents of school-aged kids will check while they are waiting to pick their kids up from school, during sport/after school activities.
Most of us will check during the ads of our favourite TV show each night.
Some people check the first thing of a morning before they get out of bed.

OVERALL

So when do you should you post on social media?

Different times match with how much attention you will receive. The more time someone has to invest on social media, the more they will spend, the longer you can hold them, and the more likely they are to do what you need them to do.

You need to consider who it is you are wanting to influence. An office worker on their lunch break generally has less time at 1pm than a parent who has just put Little Jenny down for their afternoon nap. Someone on their 7am train ride to work has more time than someone just opening their eyes and scrolling through for a catch up. The one time most of us come together is the 8-9pm ad break check, with the exception of it being a finale of our favourite show!

So, you are going to have to understand how your client uses social media and post accordingly. You can find that in your user insights, which are available on your social media account. Look at the largest demographic for you, look at when they are online, and consider these with what I’ve written above.

Try, test, analyse, and try again. Over time you will learn how and when your followers best receive your message. And if you’re looking for further direction for your platforms, I offer this as part of my consultation services.

How to maintain your social influence after going viral

Congratulations! You’ve got your social media channel hooting along. You’re gaining followers, you’re getting great feedback, you’re interacting, and you’re closing sales. Now keep it up! You’ve got to keep paddling to stay on the wave. You’ve got to maintain your social influence.

Businesses will hit gold and get a spike of social influence. The thing is, unless you maintain it, you will head back into social obscurity. Perhaps your business received a fantastic shout out, or one of your posts/tweets went viral. Sadly, you can’t rest on your laurels and coast. In fact, this is when you have to paddle hard.

Social media has a lifespan on its content. Some it’s instant, others it is 24 hours, some never expires. Regardless of how long it lasts, it won’t be long before the next best thing is breathing down your neck, wrestling you for the top perch.

Riding the top of the wave comes with perks:
– increased visability
– growth of brand recognition
– increased sales, and
– increased expert status.
Rightly so though! This is where you benefit from your great content. On some platforms, your influence will continue for a week or so.

In this time you need to be putting out some great offers, showing your benefits, and growing further. It’s not a time to coast. You need to be developing relationships, showing behind the scenes, driving people to your offers and opt-ins.

More importantly, you need to be watching, listening, & analysing. Take this time to test your market & ask questions about their needs/wants/plans/likes. Watch their responses. Look at how they react to new offers or content. If you thought something was going to work and you heard crickets, then try a different time, a different day, or a different benefit. You need to use this time of high visibility to test, grow, & learn.

Once you start seeing trends, this is your time to find more content that your followers will enjoy. This is your opportunity to keep that wave going. This is where you can keep riding high, learning, honing, developing, growing. This time is where you make your gold and you keep looking for more. You can’t rest, this is when you need to grow the most.

To find out more on how I grow Facebook pages without advertising, subscribe to my newsletter. If you are ready to take the next step, then download my Facebook Reach workbook or book in for a live workshop. If you can’t wait or you need to be able to grow across a number of social media platforms, then your best decision is to move to my one-on-one coaching and business development package.

How to achieve your goals and get the life of your dreams. JFDI

Talking with hubby other day and he told me that he had taken on my philosophy of JFDI. He realised that really no harm could come of anything he was about to do, so why not JFDI. He also said that it was my new way of thinking. The thing is that it’s not ‘mine’ nor is it new to me.

Not sure what JFDI is? Well you could Google it, but just think of the Nike Swoosh and their ‘Just Do It’ slogan – except adding your favourite suitable ‘f’ word in there. I admit, I use ‘fuck’, others I have seen use ‘focus’; the intention and outcomes are the same.

I have one disclaimer, my JFDI does not mean that you make irrational or irresponsible decisions or take like actions Tweet this. In fact, it is exactly the opposite. JFDI means that I will look at my options & risks, make a decision, then JFDI. Now for me, this process can take milliseconds; when for others it can take months.

So why is it that I can take these leaps, make these changes and others don’t? Perhaps it’s the fact that I live by the mottos that ‘I never regret anything I do’ and that ‘A life lived in fear is a life half lived’. Perhaps that spurs my action? Perhaps it’s the resilience I have? I honestly believe that many of us don’t JFDI as we overthink the outcomes. JFDI is about taking intent-filled action and realising that come what may, the result will come what may & honestly ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’

So, when I left my six-figured corporate income to be self-employed, many people thought I was crazy but even more people said ‘I wish I was that brave’. I wasn’t brave, I JFDI knowing that the worst that would happen would be having to get another job. Was I worried that I would have to go job hunting? Not really. I did actually do it. There were weeks where I scoured boards, had email services send me jobs, and I even listed myself for re-employment with the Pubic Service. All the while I was practicing JFDI on a daily basis in my businesses.

So, you had to bite that bullet daily, Kara? Ok, so there were days, where doing anything was too much. Those days, I did nothing. Personally, the thing I need help to JFDI is self-care. I suck at self-care; so much so that last month, I lost my voice, had to pull out of a business booking and rest. That was tough. I had to JFDI admitting that I was sick, that I couldn’t meet my obligations, that I was as important as anyone or anything, and that I really needed to take care of myself.

JFDI comes down to this: want to get stuff done, achieve goals, live the dream, you need to get out of your own way.Tweet this Get out of your head. You need to ask for what you want in life. Set your goals, work out how many customers that means, how many products you need to sell & then ask for the sale. You need to follow up on sales. What’s the worst they could say; ‘No’? Don’t forget that a ‘No’ doesn’t always mean ‘not ever’, it can mean ‘not now’. It might mean, ‘not that product or service’. Keep plugging away, keep sharing your message.

Perhaps you find JFDI difficult; then perhaps you need to stop making excuses and start taking action. I find nowadays, people are adept at excuses, at finding problems, at blaming, at deflecting. Maybe it’s nothing new, and maybe it’s that as a parent I want my children to become adults who find solutions not problems. I think that’s it! People who JFDI are solutions focused, they know the problem and they act to get to the solution. They will push past it. I read recently that a key behaviour of successful entrepreneurs is the fact that they will JFDI. They have the ability to go and try.

Speaking of pushing past! If you have heard of upper limit problems or beliefs, then you really need to become skilled at JFDI. You see, Gay Hendricks states that the best way to bust through these upper limit problems (or even self-limiting beliefs) is to JFDI. I admit that this is bloody hard! When you are feeling stuck or paralysed and unable to make the next step in your business, to move to the next level, to take a new step in your life – you need to JFDI. Remember, I’ve done it – I made the big leap. I jumped from a six-figure salary to self-employment. Now, I can promise that I am yet to replace that salary – let’s face it, it’s early days. But had I not, JFDI and left, I would not have the happy family, the balance, or the freedom to achieve my lifestyle. Now taking yourself out for a coffee, to the shops, to the movies, or the freedom to be present at school events may not be everyone’s cup of tea. (I’m serious!) Some of you need structure, direction, management, and boundaries; if you need that structure and security, then JFDI and get your life going. If however, you know you are destined for bigger things, then JFDI and set to those goals. What’s the worst that could happen? Seriously?

The beauty of JFDI is there is no right or wrong way of doing it.Tweet this There is only ‘doing it’. Better still JFDI doesn’t have to mean all or nothing; remember there’s only ‘doing’. So if you want to run your own business, but you need to pay the bills then you don’t always have to get a loan and ditch your job; you can do it part-time. As your business ramps up, wind back the ‘day job’. The thing is, that without considered action, nothing is likely to happen; so JFDI.

 

2

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

Creating content for Facebook

Quick ways to create Facebook ContentCreating content for Facebook, or even your blog, needn’t be difficult. Once you know where you want to take your business and what your customers want from you, then the secret is to find where they cross and the content which sits there.

So, in the past I have spoken about goal setting and defining your ideal client, I will also let you know that the workbooks from these popular workshops are now available to download, so this post is about getting the content.

The first thing when looking for content is to hang out on the pages where your clients hang out. Now, I don’t mean that you should stalk them, but I certainly believe that you should understand where they are coming from, what drives them, their likes, and their passions. The best way is to out and out ask them. The good thing is that when you do this on Facebook that it will actually increase your interaction and increase your Reach. So you won’t just be learning more about your customers, but you will also be increasing the number of people who see the post and your page; that means more potential customers.

When you have a list of pages, head on over to them. Here’s the secret, you don’t have to ‘Like’ them. Shock horror! Nope, in fact, with my other business I don’t even ‘Like’ my competitors’ pages. If you choose to like them, after you do, head back to that ‘Like’ button and check out your options.

Steps to creating easy Facebook content

Get Notifications

Up the top of your Facebook Newsfeed there is your profile picture (and Name), the word ‘Home’, 2 people together, 2 speech boxes, and a picture of the globe. In that globe are your Notifications. This is a collection point for where people mention your name or tag you in pictures, and this is also where you will receive updates from the pages where you choose to receive ‘Notifications’. When you choose to receive notifications, you will also see a box pop up in the bottom left of your screen, letting you know that the page has made a change, added a photo, or written a new post etc.

I use Notifications to ensure that I get to see what my favourite pages are up to and as an alternative Newsfeed of my choosing, not the choice of the Facebook Algorithm.

Following

You will want to make sure that this is checked, otherwise the Page’s posts will not appear (at all) in your Newsfeed. This is a default for Facebook, however, there have been times after upgrades that this has become unchecked. So if your favourite pages have fallen off of your Facebook radar, then I would highly recommend checking this.

Interest Lists

This option is my ALL TIME FAVOURITE!!!! The beauty of this one is that you can add pages to your Interest lists without liking them. (Super handy for competitors pages) You can add pages to multiple lists. You can create lists for various reasons. So, I have lists for Competitors, Suppliers, Mastermind participant pages, Inspiration, and my all-time favourite is for Content to Share. That’s right, I have a list of pages, that when I am utterly stuck for things to share, I go to that list. It’s a gold mine of information, inspiration, blog posts, helpful hints, delicious recipes, questions, and the compulsory funny videos.

While the majority of my lists are private, I do have some public lists. These public lists are for my Mastermind participant pages, where we can readily see what is happening on our pages, like comment, and/or share from there. By having these lists, I help my fellow business owners by promoting their businesses, boosting their Reach, and sharing great content which my clients will enjoy.

Now What?

Well you can share the content, you can write a response to the content, write an argument to the content, review the content, find similar content. The options are endless. The idea is that when you need some inspiration, that you use these hints to get you ‘unstuck’.

These hints are fundamental to how I run and grow my businesses on Facebook. If you are interested in learning more about Facebook and how my pages have a consistent Reach of between 60-90%, without advertising, then sign up for the Newsletter to hear when training will launch. If you cannot attend the training, but would like to receive the workbook, then you can pre-order it now and receive it straight to your Inbox before the general public.

How to write for online

The key to social media is being social

Have you been following the expanded series on ‘how to write for online so you don’t look like an utter Noob‘? So here is your business checklist so far:
– you have a plan for the coming 6-12 months
– you know who your ideal customer is
– you have detailed your business mission & vision
– you have worked out what terms you will use (your style guide); so
– NOW WHAT?

Guess what, now you are ready to write for your customers. What? You’ve been doing it for a while? Good for you, now step back and consider this:
– Do you know where your ideal customer hangs out online?
– Do you know how they use the various social media platforms?

Unless you are lucky enough to fall into your definition of your ideal client, do NOT assume that they use social media the same way you do and do NOT assume that they want to either.

Websites

Let’s start with your website, Etsy page, Made It page etc. While I’m not going to tell you how to set these up, because they all differ, what I will say is this: whose need is it meeting? Don’t laugh, because the vast majority of websites I edit or visit are written for the owner’s benefit, or worse they are written in industry terms making them written for your competitors!

Consider the product categories, descriptions, and tags. Are they words you use to describe your products or services, or are they words that your customer would use? Go back to your definition of your ideal customer, their needs and where they crossed with your mission and vision. Now, are there words there that you can use in your description etc.? Why is that important? If you can:
– make it easy for your customers to find
– show them that you understand where they are coming from, then
– you will boost your sales.

Let’s face it we like to feel that we are understood, that our needs are important and are being met, and that we matter.

Do you blog? If you don’t and have the ability to add it to your site then I highly recommend it. Why? There are many reasons, but my favourite is to educate. But I reiterate, you need to blog for your customer (if you are running it on your website); that does not mean that all of the posts have to be about your products, in fact blogging about their other pain points can help to build a relationship (very important in building buyer confidence). Read more about the importance of blogging in my previous post (make sure you come back here though).

Before you read on, consider this:

Not all social media is created equal.
&
Social Media is there to be social.

Tweet this

Now read them again, consider where your ideal customer is on the chart above and then read the following points about the major social media sites.

Now I generally say not to post the same thing across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The thing is, most of us don’t have a lot of time and it is convenient for us as business owners. But, are we our customer? No! I’m not saying don’t do it at all, but as a customer I beg you, DON’T DO IT ALL THE TIME. Seriously, if you find it difficult then use the scheduling function available in Facebook or on your social media scheduler. By all means schedule the same post over different days at different times to ensure you have grabbed your customer where they are hanging out. Otherwise, give us some credit that we will see that you have posted the same thing in 2-3 locations, where we follow you because we love you, and we will wonder just how much you value us as individuals. Don’t believe me, consider how you feel when you hear mainstream radio play the latest hit over and over and over again, get sick of it & want to hear something different?

Time spent on social media

Facebook

Read More

Work smarter

work smarter with Write to Right

Working on over working in. Work smarter, not harder. Have you heard either of these in business? They are not cliché and are actually related.

When you choose to work on your business, you are dedicating your time to working smarter. (Tweet this) Working smarter doesn’t mean lowering prices, increasing profits, or churning out more widgets. It’s not about doing more with less, either.

Working on, similarly isn’t about working out how to increase sales, profits or decreasing costs. These things are all about working in your business.

So what’s my point?
As an owner of two businesses, I have had to establish some clear systems to allow me to meet my obligations. With a family to go with these business obligations, I like some flexibility. This is where I have started to work smarter. This doesn’t mean that, at times, I have to work hard.

What have I done?
In the past year I have implemented a number of changes in how I run my businesses, which allow me to grow my income, reduce the time I spend working in my business, and increase the time I can spend with my family. (And I haven’t increased prices or decreased costs)

Last year, I implemented six-monthly reviews of my business goals and broader activity. I track my income and expenses as they occur (but this is working in), however, I also monitor them against the broader goals I set. This review allows me to see where I am meeting (or exceeding my aims) and also where I need to change.

In my business, ‘working on’ has two arms: education and systems.

As a business owner, I find it difficult to put work aside and spend time on myself. However, it is exactly when I spend time developing my knowledge that I receive the greatest benefit in my business. (Tweet this) When I read, I am either developing myself or I am developing my business knowledge. In the past 12 months I have read and learnt from: Get Rich Lucky Bitch (Denise Duffield-Thomas), The Big Leap (Gay Hendricks), Thrive (Arianna Huffington), and Tribes (Seth Godin). I also read a number of blogs, including, Make it Look Easy, Leonie Dawson, and Marie Forleo (plus those whose books I have read).

Grow your business with Write to Right

I have learnt more about goal setting, planning, self-assurance, self-care, and self-love. All of these have helped me grow as a person and as a business owner, but not one of them has directly resulted in an increase in cash flow. They have all been about working ‘on’ me and my business and it is how I have implemented the learning which has resulted in financial growth.

The thing I love most about this growth is that I can then apply it to my business. If I feel more self-confident then I am more likely to make the system changes my business needs.

When I change the systems in my business, I gain time that I can then spend on myself, my business, or my family. There are large system changes and small system changes. Here are a few that I have made and profited from over the past year.

Reverse engineering my time
As I said earlier, running two businesses is taxing. The biggest system change I have made is to reverse engineer my week. I used to be reactionary or first in first out before I started Write to Right (my second business). As a result of starting Write to Right I had to make drastic changes to how I handled my time. I work backwards from when work is due, include other obligations, free time, and some contingency time (because let’s face it we get sick). Now, this does not mean I take all of this time to do the work; in fact, I am more likely to finish the work earlier. What reverse engineering allows is for me to feel less pressured when things go wrong and for me to value my time for myself and my family.

Accounting systems
A recent review of my accounts and time input into the business lead me to change my accounting systems. This has meant a simpler way for customers to pay invoices and a more automated accounting process on my end. So not am I not working harder, I am no longer busy working in my business collecting debts.

Websites
I recently needed to update my website, but realised that I needed to change the entire platform on which it was built. So I outsourced it! There is a misconception in small business that:
– we must do everything we are capable of (and I certainly was)
– outsourcing is expensive, and
– outsourcing is a luxury.

They’re all wrong. While I knew how to change the platforms, I also knew that by outsourcing it, it would be faster and allow me more time for other activities.

So, how will you work on your business in 2015? What will you do to work smarter? 2015 is my year of growth, so I will continue to learn. Growth isn’t always inwards, so I will be growing and sharing what I know with all of you. The first is a series of facilitated courses with practical tasks that will give you knowledge you can implement (straight away). After this I will be working towards my ebooks/workbooks and videos; these will push my boundaries, help me to grow, and allow me to meet my goal of helping you to grow your business.

10 Define your business core values

Core values - Write to Right

My last blog post was all about getting to know your ideal client. When you understand the ‘who’ it gives you something to aim for, but with what are you aiming?

Do you know why you are spending your time in it? What drives you and your business? What are your goals or ambitions? What is your purpose? (Deep, I know!)

These questions set the foundations of how others see your business. Here are some simple prompts to help you:

Who– who are you, are you a multi-national, family company, or sole trader? Who are your customers? Are they families, singles, seniors, small business, multi-nationals?
What– What is it that you do? What do you sell?
Why- Why do customers use your business? What is the benefit to them?
Where– Where can they find you? Are you a bricks & mortar, online, franchise?

I would like businesses to dig a little deeper. Big business does it, government departments do it; why don’t small businesses? Small business has the advantage of size and that they often are their culture and that their culture is a large part of who the business is. But what is culture? What underpins it culture is values. It is the values which we hold, individually and collectively, that help define who we are and how we portray ourselves to others. With the integration of social media into business, the injection of our personality through our values is key to developing lasting and valuable relationships with our clients. Tweet this

What are your core values?

Professionally, personally, collectively as a business – what are your core values? What are the fundamental underlying traits, behaviours, and values that you hold? I have included ‘personally’ as so many business owners instil parts of their own personality into their business.

Why should your business define its core values:

  • Point of difference with your competitors
  • Alignment of staff
  • Communicate what is important
  • Influence behaviour
  • Inspire action
  • Contribute to success
  • Shape your culture

I have written on how the culture & values impact on staff behaviours in my Masters of Management, should you wish to read further on the topic please email me directly.

Customers ask how to define their core values. There are a number of ways. Personally, I looked at the one thing I would love to do even if I never got paid to do it; then I looked at what it was about that thing which drove me. For me, it comes down to quality (read my latest post on this) and giving business owners the skills to get the most out of their business and to get themselves to the next level.

At its essence you are looking for what you and your business stand for, what ultimately drives what you do and what it is you actually do.Tweet this

Here is a video, which I have found, that will help you on the journey to finding your core values.

I’ve also found the following video on how large corporations use their core values. I particularly like the point made by Tony Hsieh that their company used the values to ‘hire and fire’. From my research, I know that (certainly in the public service) the alignment of core business and employee values is a key driver in customer satisfaction.Tweet this I believe that the private sector is no different. This is, in part, reiterated by the second statement by Jim Collins in the following video. (I also find the clip from Steve Jobs quite inspiring.)

Now over to you, comment below with your core values (business or personal). Don’t be shy and don’t worry if you only have one. Now think about how you will use this value and transmit this value to your customers.

 

>