Heart-centred business Archives - Page 3 of 6 - Kara Lambert

Category Archives for "Heart-centred business"

Organic Facebook: Fact or Fiction?

I really get tired of having to argue the point against the common belief that organic Facebook doesn’t exist and it’s all too hard, but I suppose while people keep messing up there is still a need. You can get good results without Facebook ads. The role of Facebook ads (including boosted posts) is to push your Facebook Page out to an audience, guess what, organic Facebook does the exact same thing. Let me show you.

Here are three lots of insights, none of these Facebook Pages have run ads in the past four weeks, one hasn’t run an ad in over a year. One has 571 fans, another 1617, and the third has 9 614 fans.

Just so you know, these organic Facebook results aren’t freakish once offs and they were all from the same day.

I manage all three pages. One page has about 50% bought fans. Two of the pages run entirely on posts scheduled outside of the native Facebook scheduler. One page runs a mixture of native and external scheduling.

One of them is on the Business Manager platform, one is my page, one I have been managing since October 2016, and one I have managed for four weeks.

I understand why Facebook Page owners get frustrated with Facebook. They spend hours and hours trying to get results and get nothing. They spend hundreds or thousands on Facebook Ads only to feel that they have to continue running them so that their regular posts get seen.

In fact, the two clients here were skeptical to start with. One, also a business coaching client, was so time poor they just handed over their Facebook knowing that I couldn’t do any worse. The other page had just finished up with another social media manager and didn’t think they could get any better. Talk about a hard audience!

But see, that’s the key, the audience. One of the things Facebook Page owners say to me is that they are overwhelmed by the information and advice out there. They don’t feel that they understand the technology and so they don’t think they will be any good. Well, they’re going to prove themselves right if they keep thinking like that.

What Facebook Page owners don’t realise is that the Facebook Algorithm is all about behaviours; how many of our friends liked it, how likely we are likely to like it, how often we interact with a Facebook Page; it’s about what we do and not the technology we use to do it. So why are they so worried about not understanding the technology? Shouldn’t they be more concerned about not understanding their client?!

That’s it though. The message Facebook Page owners are receiving is that organic Facebook is all about the technology, but it’s not. Behind that technology is a number of consultant Psychologists and Neuroscientists working out how your customer is reacting, how you’re reacting, and what that means about what you choose to like, share, or comment on. It’s about people.

Now the problem with most of the organic Facebook advice out there is that they believe what they read and they make it about the technology. Why? Because that’s popular, that gets clicks, and it’s easier to understand and explain how something works rather than why something works. Understanding people is a complex task, that’s why Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and Neuroscientists study for so long.

So it’s no wonder you’re not getting anywhere with your organic Facebook, you’ve been fed the wrong end of the stick. But when you stop to think about it, it all makes sense:

You’re trying to get a person to like, comment, share, message, buy. So why are you not concentrating on the person first?

If this sounds all too familiar, then I have developed this ebook on how I achieved these results. Use it to help put your clients front and centre and watch your organic Facebook, your Facebook Page, and business, grow. Join my Facebook Group where I provide more insights into the world of client behaviour, social media, & growing your business. Keep watch on my Facebook Page for the next round of my Organic Facebook Course. And finally, book a consult with me where I can zero right in on and address your specific issues.

And if you were wondering, the pages happen to be in order (left > right) in increasing Fan numbers and mine is the one on the left.

The four pillars of social media success

The most common reason business owners come to me is because they know their social media should be working, but it isn’t and they need help. Over the years I have realised that there are some business fundamentals which apply to social media. To be honest, that really isn’t that surprising as marketing on social media is really an extension of any marketing program and in the end, it’s still a person you’re trying to influence – regardless of platform.

I think that’s key and it tends to be forgotten in the hoopla we are presented with having a business social media presence. Too much emphasis is placed on the technology and tools and not enough is placed on the people. The people are actually the most important part of this whole online effort. You want people to part with their time, effort, or money and not a piece of technology. I feel that business owners, trying to navigate this minefield alone, are distracted by the technology circus and I am determined to break through that.

I want to take you back to some fundamental business principles so that you can use these as the basis of how you work online. I have to admit, when I start feeling like I am losing my way, the numbers aren’t going where they should, I bring myself back to a few key points and things turn around. They always do.

So what are the four pillars you need for social media success?

Right person, right place, right time, right thing

These four pillars may look familiar. That’s because they are tried and tested business principles. They are not new school, they are not grounded in technology, they are focused clearly on your customer. That’s where you need to be. The problem I see with concentrating on the technology is that you are navel gazing, you are focusing on your business and not on the person you need most to grow your business.  So let’s get started.

Right person

You might think I have got this wrong, but remember it’s a person you are trying to influence and so they need to be the first thing you consider. But what is it that you need to know?

The most important piece of information you need to know is:
are they the decision maker in the purchasing decision

You need to know if, at the end of the day, they are the one who approves the purchase. Once you know this you can then look at the remaining pillars.

Right place

No point being in the local paper if it just lays on the driveway. Same as there is no point being on one social media platform when your clients are elsewhere. But how do you know where they are? The simplest question is to ask them when they are purchasing from you. Ask which social media platforms they use. The next thing is research.

I recently reviewed the Sensis Report into Australian Social Media Use.  Let’s just say that so long as you’re on Facebook, you’re fine. Here are the top 3 platforms by age:

 

Right time

So while most of my enquiries come about Facebook Pages, there is one consistent error businesses are making, time. You see, most business owners post on Facebook when they have a few minutes at work. It’s convenient for them, they’re online so why not post! Wrong! Most of your clients are at work and then most of them will only have access to social media on their phone.

So when is the right time to post? Like being in the right place, you will know from the statistics (insights) and interaction you get on your social media. Still not sure, then have a look at these statistics.

So, when are you posting on social media? Are you posting in the evening or first thing in the morning? If you’re not, then I strongly suggest you do this for a week or two.

Right offer

Now I am not advocating the ‘buy my shit’ approach to marketing. Ramming stuff down a consumer’s throat just isn’t the way.

Now you’ve got your business in front of them now is not the time to go backwards and make it all about you. You still need to make it all about them. This is where you need to understand their psychology, this is where your client avatar comes in, this is where (to be honest) it gets hard because you need to make it all about what they want/need/feel/believe.

How do you find that out? Ask them (see a trend?), look at their reviews/feedback, and do some profiling. This step should take you some time and it is likely to shift as your business grows and you experience a range of clients and you learn who you prefer. That’s good if it does. Now I don’t expect you to go alone on this step and I am happy to review and advise what you have.

From here?

Congratulations, you now have a solid plan on who, where, when, & what you are marketing to on your social media. Keep asking questions, of them, your business, download my latest Facebook Plan on growing your Facebook Page, and of course you can join me in some one on one work or we can brainstorm in my Facebook Group with a group of switched on business owners who are reaping the benefit of an engaged and profitable social media presence.

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Killing off your confidence gremlins

Can I be honest? I get struck by the confidence gremlins. They come and shake me every so often. They whisper the meanest things in my ears. They laugh at me when I feel like I’m starting to get somewhere. They really enjoy pulling me down a peg or two. Now while they are quieter than when I first started my business, it seems they still attack when my defences are down, when there’s a lot going on in my life, when I’ve been sent something from left field – that’s when they creep back in.

These confidence gremlins take on so many forms:
- the imposter gremlin (they’ll see you for the fake you really are)
- the cricket gremlin ( no one wants what you have to offer)
- the comparison gremlin (you’ll never stack up to this other person)
- the undeserving gremlin (you really don’t deserve success)

And these little monsters relish in attacking when you least expect it, heck, I think they lay in wait for

when you’re at the top of your game and then they attack to bring you down to earth.

What’s prompted me to write this is a number of things. It’s coming through a period where I was rattled. It is also looking back on conversations I have had with friends and clients and realising that something just isn’t getting through.

I by no means believe I am the first or am I alone in addressing these gremlins, nor do I think this list is comprehensive. What has become clear is an issue I was unable to see, it often sits at the centre of this.

I believe that we spend far too much energy putting the emphasis in the wrong place.

Emphasis on competitors

While speaking with a new coaching client, she mentioned that she was feeling incredibly inadequate because she was looking at others in her industry, seeing how they were succeeding, and wondering why she wasn’t. I told her that I too had been there (and I sometimes slip back) and the only way to stop feeling like this is to stop looking. Stop looking at the Social Media, unfollow them or unfriend them, just don’t put yourself in that position. Why? Because the vast majority of us only put the best achievements out for the world to see, we don’t publicise our struggles, and that gives you an incredibly biased perception of their achievements. (I also learnt that a lot of the success out there is funded by debt and I don’t value success at any cost)

Emphasis on valuing the wrong people

In a recent coaching session, my coach reminded me of some work by Brené Brown. Now Brené is one of my favourite speakers and my favourite speech of hers is the one from 99U – The Man in the Arena. Now Brené did not write that famous speech, but she uses it to demonstrate how we hold ourselves back due to fear (these gremlins).

There is one sentence in this Brené Brown speech which jumped out at me in my discussion with my coach. In the speech she says:

If you're not in the arena, also getting your arse kicked, I'm not interested in your feedback.

Too often we, me included, give our energy to people who don’t deserve it, not because they are ungrateful or treat us poorly, but because they’re not on the same playing field. Remember, we show people what we want them to see, and that can include family.

So my coach told me of a Brené Brown exercise, where you take a small square of paper, no more than 5 cm², and you write the names of four or five people whose opinions really matter to you. Now some will say that they don’t care what others think of you, that’s not what this is, this is whose opinion you really value. Now I want you to stop and consider the next thing, are they also in the arena? If they’re not also in the arena, are they someone whose opinion should really matter?

Now I was told to keep the list in my purse for when my gremlins came knocking, I actually keep it under my laptop as my gremlins attack when I am online. So I suggest you write your list and keep it where you are often visited by your gremlins. When the gremlins come knocking, look at that piece of paper, is the person delivering the gremlin on the list? There’s a good chance they’re not and so you can discard the gremlin (and maybe even the person).

In the end, I want you to be mindful of where you expend your energy as every misspent piece is a piece you can not use yourself to do what you want to achieve.

Is your point of difference actually much of a selling point?

The other day I was following a tradesman’s van in traffic and across the back was “Call now for a free quote”. Now, just the day before I had a tradesman out for a quote and it was free and I wondered how often we use these words as points of difference or selling points and really there’s no point to them at all. Why? Because the customers just expect it as your cost of gaining business.

So it made me think and I asked my friends on Facebook, is offering a free quote an enticement anymore and if not, what is? Here’s what they said…

Most people expected a quote to be free, one said they had been charged for a quote, and another said that they are asked if the quotes are free. So there is still some need for businesses to say that the quotes are free, but it’s not enough to get someone in.

So what entices people to ask for a quote?

By and large, the response was that they wanted something more. They either wanted to receive a special price, an extra service, to learn something new. Essentially, they wanted an inducement to get you out to quote for their money.

Let’s face it, in the end it comes down to how badly do you want their money & what are you going to do differently to get it.

But then I wondered, is this just limited to the ‘free quote’ scenario? Are there other points of difference or selling points that aren’t really different?

I had a mini-coaching session the other day and the person said that they offered a ‘quality service’. That was their selling point, quality. I had to stop them there and tell them that as a customer, I expect them to offer a quality service. If I’m paying for a job, I expect it to be done correctly and to be of appropriate quality.

So ‘quality service’ is off the list! What other selling points are used that really aren’t points of difference?

  • Polite
  • Friendly
  • Honest
  • Reliable
  • Superior
  • Trustworthy

These are all basic (and commonly used) levels of service we expect as clients. So what are the options businesses have to stand out from the crowd and to be chosen from the pack?

It has to be said, but it depends. It depends on your industry and what is normal and what is expected.

Businesses wanting to beat their competitors need to know three things:

  • What is standard service in their industry
  • What their ideal client expects from their industry
  • What their ideal client expects but doesn’t receive from their industry

You may think that I am asking you to gaze into a crystal ball or pluck things out of the air. You can find out the answer to the first point either in explicit industry standards or just check out the websites/social media/advertising of your competitors, you’ll soon see the same words cropping up. You should already have the answer to the last two in your clients’ feedback/reviews/testimonials. If you don’t have any, then check out what is written about your competitors, you’ll see what customers did/n’t like there. Still stuck, ask your customers; put up a post on social media, send them an email, ask the next 10 you speak to or see, ask your friends (just as I did).

If you need a little extra to get you started, I’ve developed this cheatsheet to help you organise your answers .

So now what to do with these new points of difference or selling points?

Quite simply, you use them. You add the one the clients desire most to the ‘free quote’ line. You use it in your social media and other marketing. You add it to your email signature block. You start saying it when you speak to clients. It may feel odd at first, but everything does. I promise that after 21 days (how long it takes to change a habit), it will be normal. Put it on post-it notes so you remember. Make it a screensaver on your phone. Have it as a calendar notification to remind you. Prompt yourself to remember to use it.

Why should you change your point of difference or selling point?

Other than the fact that it should be different, this comes down to aligning your business aims and values to those of your ideal client. When your client feels heard or understood, they start to feel welcome and develop trust in your business (then like & know). You will be talking to their critical needs and its them you need to impress first so that you can show them that you are better than your competitors in meeting their needs.

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Why Marketing where your Clients Hang Out Matters

Ok so further to my discussion on aligning to values is this one on meeting clients where they are. This is all about marketing and the psychology and human behaviour of the tool you use in your marketing.  You see, I asked in my business group about emails and they solidly said that they don’t read weekly emails. There isn’t enough time. They build up to the point where they delete them all and unsubscribe. Totally my fear as an owner of a list and my behaviour as the owner of multiple email addresses.

Let’s face it, I should be all over this as it’s about influencing human behaviour through marketing. You see, getting someone to do something they don’t enjoy is compliance and not a good place from which to make them take the next step of connecting/purchasing/booking (essentially moving up your sales chain). It’s a big jump from complying to committing. I know you can do it through smaller acts, even things offers such as free + shipping, but it’s still an act of commitment.

So why do we do it?

Like a lot of marketing tools, we’ve been told we should. It’s the best thing. It’s the latest thing. It’s made me $X and it will for you. What a load of crock. My Dad would say ‘if your friends jumped off a cliff, would you?’ Well would you?

Our success is not predicated by the success of others. Their business, personality, & clients are different. You can’t expect the same result.

A lot of the time we do it because of FOMO. But what if they’re right? What if I don’t send that email and I miss out on a sale? What if I don’t do that post on my profile and I miss out? What if… Check your stats and look at how many sales you get via the different marketing methods you use, that’s a pretty good indicator of where you need to be. But it’s only a start.

Why does it matter?

You can’t force someone to do something they don’t want to do. More so, you will struggle to get them to do anything after you’ve forced them to do something.

We have different styles of learning and communicating. And yes that means we have to ensure that we cater, in some way, to truly interact and leverage our relationships with our online marketing.

We have a preferred method. This includes a place too. Some of us like email, some like Twitter, some like Facebook, some like Instagram. It depends on our learning style and lifestyle.

Here’s an example:
- I like to learn through reading and watching and examples
- I spend my private social media time (ie non-working) on my phone
- I like Facebook and Pinterest for social media

Because I spend my time on my phone for my own pleasure, I don’t like reading email. It’s difficult to read on a phone, not impossible but difficult. If I see your email come in, I might read the subject line and if you’re lucky I will go back and read it on my laptop. Thing is, laptop time = work time and your email is competing for time I could be billing clients.

So for me, I will ingest crucial information best through Facebook or Pinterest. If you have a video which is less than 5, and preferably 2, minutes long then you’ve got me. My time is precious, billable, and in demand by my competing priorities. If I’m your ideal client, then you need to match it.

What’s the answer?

Look at your stats on where your fans hang out, where you get the best interaction, where they enjoy being with you. It’s no point being somewhere where they aren’t. It’s like having a billboard in a country town when the freeway bypasses the town altogether.

Ask them! If you’re noticing a downturn in a particular area then directly ask using a different platform. That means don’t ask the about Facebook on Facebook. Go to your best one and ask there.

Look at the stats with the results of the ask and consider the following:
- am I doing the best I can to meet them?
- is there an issue with the platform I can overcome?
- can I still use the platform in another way? (I’m moving to monthly)
- am I able and better off outsourcing it to someone who is good at this platform?

Test! Change! Test Again! Yes it’s time consuming but it’s rare to stumble over the magic formula straight up. Ask for feedback on how you’re going. This online marketing needs to be of use to the person you are trying to influence.

I think that’s the key, too often we use marketing to please ourselves rather than to please our audience. This is why we get caught up in online marketing ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’. It’s why when they fail we lose heart, self-doubt, and give up. Thing is, it’s not you it’s them and if you don’t keep them happy they’ll leave. You need to meet them where they live.

Aligning values

Values, you know that little gremlin who sits on your shoulder, gnawing away at your conscience and telling you that it’s not right. It could be that you value trust, truth, family, honesty. Any of these things. But when they get out of whack with your behaviours, watch out! And business values are no different.

When I am coaching or teaching businesses on improving their online relationships I start with values. They are at the core of our behaviours. It’s very hard for us to behave outside of them. But I have and I am stopping.

You see, I was always led to believe that I should send a weekly newsletter. It’s one of those things we should do, meant to do, to be a proper and serious online business. Thing is, one of my core values is ‘not to make anyone’s life harder than it has to be’. Of late, I have been going through and deleting and unsubscribing to emails. I know I’m not alone in this either. In fact, I am wondering about the efficacy of email lists for regular emails.

So back to values… If I do something that doesn’t sit well with my values I feel uneasy, psychologists call it dissonance, it chews away at my thoughts. A constant niggle. So what about your clients?

If you try to make them do something that doesn’t align with their values

If you have kids or work with kids, you will know what it’s like to try and get a toddler to do anything it doesn’t want to do. Think tidy toys, have a bath, eat vegetables. They dig their heels in and generally go kicking and screaming to the bitter end.

That’s what psychologist call compliance.

That’s not what you aim for with a client. You do not want to drag them kicking and screaming into a business relationship with you. It’s not going to be built on the right foundation, it’s not likely to be lasting, and they are definitely unlikely to recommend you.

If your values don’t align but you’re not asking the client to do anything

Well a few things can happen here.

They will just ignore you and what you are saying and go on their merry way. Case closed, conversation ended, crickets. Hmm crickets, sound like the response you get to your social media posts?

You will get questions and this can go either way. In this scenario, a client is trying to learn more about your values and the more questions they ask, the more they want to see if you are aligned. So you can either convince them of your stand point and have them change their values (not likely and takes time), you will get compliance (as described above), or they will walk away (potentially with a bad feeling or ‘taste in their mouth’). I don’t know about you but to me that sounds like a lose/lose/lose rather than a win/win/win scenario.

When your values align with your clients

Ok, so the angels don’t descend and start singing, but something magical does happen. You see, and I talk about it in the video, I used this precise tool to motivate staff to move mountains. They were disenchanted and we had a 2 year backlog when I started and before I aligned their values. Fast forward just 3 months and the backlog was gone, my staff were happy, and they were asking for work. Just because I was able to demonstrate how their values aligned with those of the workplace.

So imagine what could happen if you showed a client how their values aligned with your own or those of your business? It works for a number of different reasons:
- the client feels understood
- the client feels a sense of kinship or belonging
- the client trusts you and your business
- the client likes you and your business.

Yes it’s incredibly touchy feely, but that’s what relationships are, good strong, longstanding relationships are like this. We feel understood, like we belong, and we trust.

So back to the email…

I don’t enjoy email for the sake of email or information. And let’s face it, that’s what my weekly emails were. I don’t want to make your life harder than what it already is, that’s one of my core values. I know it’s just an email, but I know people have anxiety over unopened emails (not me though) and I don’t want to contribute to this.

So I will no longer send my blog by email. I already publish it on my Facebook page, Instagram, & Twitter. You can find it there. I will though add it to my free business group, so you will have it personally delivered and where you can read it at your leisure of a weekend and you will be invited to share your own blog post or one you found interesting.

So when I do email you, it will be important. Most likely to let you know that I am about to do something big, different, or new. I do have some of these things in the pipeline. So you will want to be on the list, but don’t worry we can chat elsewhere. x

Guide to getting work done when you’re addicted to Facebook

The Sensis report of 2016 found that 55% of Aussies are accessing social media more than 5x a day. In particular, 95% of respondents said they used Facebook. Additionally, Facebook use averages 12 hours per week. They found that these numbers have increased over the years. It’s no wonder we feel like we are addicted to Facebook! We spend half a normal day or 1.5 business days each week on it!

So, how do I get everything done when I am addicted to Facebook?

It’s not practical to delete your account. Though the thought has run through my head on more than one occasion, I just can’t do it. Not only is it impractical business wise to turn my back on the platform that’s built part of my business, I also need the interaction & connectivity it brings. I love seeing what my friends and family are up to.

Unlike most addictions, being addicted to Facebook does not have to be an all or nothing affair – especially when your business has a Facebook page.

So what to do?

Delete

Ok, I know I said that it was impractical, but I want to offer you a range of solutions that may work for you before I tell you what I do.

If you are looking for some more drastic alternatives:

  • Unpublish your page and account for a while and just get on with things the old way, there were businesses before social media
  • If it’s the social side that sees you addicted to Facebook, then set up a new account with no friends and make it admin on your page and delete the first account.
  • If it’s checking your mobile, then only have the Facebook Pages app on your phone so that you can maintain your page.
  • Block Facebook on your laptop. Most businesses have it blocked, why not yours.
  • If Groups are an issue, only access them through the Groups app.

Not looking for a drastic alternative because, like me, you enjoy the social side of Facebook but you no longer want to feel addicted to it:

  • Set blocks of time in the day where you check it and then don’t look at it again.
  • Only have access to Facebook on one device.
  • Use a time lock app which blocks access between certain hours or for a block of time and then gives short periods of time to view Facebook
  • Be diligent when using Facebook to ‘check for something’. Don’t be distracted by what someone is doing/saying or that cute cat video.

So how do I manage my access to Facebook?

It’s hard, when you manage a number of Facebook pages for yourself and your clients; have your own Facebook Group & admin others; there is always that temptation to ‘just check’. So how do I get so much done in a little amount of time?

Groups

I rarely use them outside of my own and 3 other groups I am part of. In the main, I rely on Facebook Notifications to keep me up to date with what is happening. I have groups I am part of that I even turn off notifications and check them when I do happen to have some spare time.

Pages

I schedule all of my and my clients’ content. In fact, I schedule the majority of it on a Sunday night. I fight that night time is a good time to do this as I don’t find it takes too much concentration. My clients’ content is scheduled using the Facebook schedule option when writing a post. I cross-promote my and my clients’ content from Instagram to Facebook using Zapier and scheduling through Grum. I find Zapier & Grum to be the most reliable tools to schedule content to Instagram and then have it shared to Facebook.

Messenger

Most of my communication is done through Messenger. Oddly enough, mostly on my phone too (unless I have one of those long messages to write). I actually don’t like Messenger on the desktop and use it so that I can touch type, but I find that it blocks my view of the page (which frustrates me). So my key here is two things: push notifications of messages to my phone & my smart watch. I actually bought my smart watch for 2 reasons; firstly to have access to text when my phone isn’t at hand and secondly for Messages. Having messages delivered to my watch means that I can glance and decide quickly if it needs a response and removes additional distraction. While I understand that a smartwatch might not be to everyone’s liking, the notifications on my phone of a new message is enough to have me feeling connected without always being on Facebook.

Don’t have Facebook open

I know this one is a bit of a no-brainer, but not having it open in a browser and knowing that it’s open has had massive benefit to my productivity. I do not have the temptation to go and check Facebook just because it’s there. Yes my phone is on my desk, right next to me, but I am rarely drawn to check it.

So how to get stuff done when you’re addicted to Facebook?

Firstly, remove the distraction – which is what it is. Research states that it can take us between 10 seconds and 23 minutes to get back on a task. While this is the case, it’s more frightening to note that repeated interruptions increases the stress hormone, cortisol, and impacts on our beliefs in our ability and even increases depressive emotions.

In the main, I encourage you to be mindful as to how and why you use Facebook while you are working. Consider chunking like tasks together and using Facebook as a reward when they are completed. Turn on notifications and turn off sounds. Sounds are enough of a distraction to take your mind off of the task at hand, requiring you to refocus and reconnect with the work you were doing. In the end, your friends will wait, the world will not stop because you did not get to a notification. There was a world before Facebook & there will be one after. (No the irony is not lost on me)

Facebook is a tool for you to use, not to be a slave to. It just needs reminding who’s boss.

When being in business has you questioning your awesomeness

Well hello sucky stuckedness (surely it’s a word)! Oh the life of an entrepreneur (ugh, I need a better term than that or business owner) where you ride the rollercoaster of awesomeness. You know, you’re waiting in line, brewing the idea, you get to the front of the line, strap yourself in, launch yourself forward with a jolt, and off you go bumping and jolting up the hill. There are twists and turns along the way and quite honestly you even feel like you’ve done a big loop, then all of a sudden you go over the edge and plummet downwards. Sometimes you’re left rocking at the bottom, sometimes you bounce back, sometimes you breeze through it, and then there are those times when you have no idea when to go next as you’ve come to a complete stop or dead end and you’re just sitting there, waiting, in silence.

Clunk

That was me this past month I have been stuck swinging between ‘I rock’ and ‘I suck’. In the main I muddled through sticking one foot in front of the other knowing that if I just kept on keeping on that I would get through the other side. And it worked, sort of. I did get out the other side but I still felt stuck.

Sound familiar?

I kept on plodding, all the while searching for solutions, desperately seeking my awesomeness. Full moon, I do suck; Equinox, I’m just getting used to changes in my personal life; planets in retrograde, I just need to be gentle on myself. Yes, I do believe in woo woo and I think that’s also something I’m coming to terms with but it doesn’t have much to do with how I feel about my lack of awesomeness. It didn't explain this deep seated ache that I wasn't good enough.

You see, people shook me.

I took on a client and while they were great, they weren’t aligned with me. I know. I know. Even I’m learning. They said all the right things, kept telling me that they believed in me. But at the centre, they didn’t believe in themselves enough. And that was my problem, it stirred the feeling of inadequacy that I fight so hard to keep in check.

Failure is familiar

You see, I don’t fear failure, it’s familiar. It’s success and my awesomeness that shocks me. I work hard pushing and striving and achieving and when a client applauds me, I hide. I become bashful. I shy away. I retreat into my comfortable place of suckedness.

But it doesn’t help

So I started searching for solutions. I have such big plans for the future. I mean, I’m headed to Cairns to meet with clients 6 months ahead of schedule. I’m off to the US for a conference, as planned. And my business is paying for every cent of it. No credit card debt or sponsorship or working for others, I am doing it off of my own back. I forgot that these were goals I'd set and achieved but somehow seemed totally inconsequential given how stuck I feel? Then I remembered...

I do rock and I can do this!

So what did I find? I found an interview between Gary Vaynerchuk and Tony Robbins where they both attributed a modicum of their success to the habit of gratitude. Now, I do this with my children, but not with myself. I practice it weekly in my group, but not daily with myself. I want to achieve more but I sit swinging between lack and lustre mindsets. I know that our minds create what we believe (Read More) and so I shall be starting a daily habit of gratitude. I always said that I wasn’t a journal-er. I need to change my mindset. By daily reinforcement of my gratitude and achievements, I WILL retrain my brain to see all the good I do – each and every day.

And I know it works

I kept looking. Sorry Gary & Tony, but you just weren't enough to get me out of this rut. I even threw myself into work. So much so that I was a whole day ahead of myself. This day, Tuesday 28th March 2017. I rarely write and publish my weekly blog post on a Tuesday. I generally have too much work to do. Something got into me and most of it was done into he wee hours of Sunday morning. So today I was left looking for ways to change my mindset to an abundance one (carrying on from my gratitude video, thanks gents). And I came across a string of TED talks. Now I love TED talks, but none stuck. I watched 5 minutes into a number of them & then I found it... 5 minutes to finding you life's purpose. Cheesy I know but, I sat through the 10 minutes and I got it...

I will be true

I am going to stay true to my intention and my values. I will not let a lack mentality have me serving a client who does not 100% back me and my beliefs. I deserve more than that and there are more than enough clients out there who align with my vision of leveraging psychology in business.

I’ve got this

I am also trusting my intuition. Those little prickles that race up my neck and down my arms that tells me I’m on track (yes, I have had them writing this). That’s when I know that I am in the zone, I’m aligned, I’m working in my genius – I’ve got this. I will grow and develop this. I will use periods of quiet to tap into it and I will follow this.

I will not settle

I’m grateful

I’m abundant

I will succeed

People need what I have to offer and deserve me at my best.

And as are you and deserve the same. xx

When trolls, haters, and keyboard warriors attack

It’s funny, I’ve actually never written about trolls and keyboard warriors. It’s not because I’ve never experienced them either! I had my first troll encounter within my first 6 months of business. It shook me to my core. Not to mention keyboard warriors and people who round their posse to have a swipe at your public page. It’s sickening and I have seen many a grown woman and man brought to tears by their cruelty. So why do trolls and keyboard warriors effect us so?

Question our ability

This is the one I get shaken on the most. I like to keep people happy. I like to over deliver. So when a troll rears up, they have me instantly wondering if I was actually wrong with what I wrote.

This was my first instance of trolling. I had written an article and a grammar fiend jumped in on it. I was so embarrassed and changed the image 3 times before I realised that they were just being dicks. From there on I questioned every sentence I wrote and checked (I was providing proof-reading services at the time). They had won, they had shaken my confidence and had me questioning my ability.

They take our power. Our mojo. They swipe the rug out from underneath our feet. We think we have it together and then ‘Whoosh! Gone!’, we’re flat on our butts with a bruised ego and confidence.

Question our self-worth

In the main, we like to be liked. So when someone attacks us in this way it makes us question who we are and why we deserve it. Perhaps we feel that we deserve it. Perhaps it takes us back to the school yard bully. Perhaps they dog our Achilles heel.

Trolls and keyboard warriors make us question ourselves. Our self-worth is where most of us feel most vulnerable. You see, putting yourself up online is an act of vulnerability. We say ‘here we are, this is what I do, and I hope you love it as much as I do’. Trolls cut straight through this and tell us ‘no’. That reinforces why we were afraid to put ourselves out there in the first place.

Question if they’re not the only ones who think this way

So we now believe our stuff is useless, we’re useless and surely with all the people there are out there on the internet, this one person couldn’t be the only one who thinks we’re crap! Right?

Look, sometimes they even prove to us that they’re not the only ones who think we’re awful by having their friends comment on our work, back their position up, continue to tear us down. Then the battle lines are drawn or sometimes your fans, for fear of being abused, back off and the balance of power tips and the troll wins.

This is where we start to spiral. They put into question the core of what we do and how we see ourselves and surely they’re not alone. I mean we have so many fans and clients, there’s bound to be a good proportion who equally hate us.

So now the troll has broken us, now what?

I’m not going to talk about what to say, how to address them, because honestly I can’t advise you. This is your business and your troll and they have their own particular pattern of warts that they wear. What I can do is the following, as a gesture of hand holding, friendship, and support…

They are in the minority

I can count on one hand how many trolls I have had in my 6 years in business. I might be fortunate and some might say it’s because I don’t have a high enough presence. The thing is, even looking at friends who run large pages – trolls are in the minority. There are many more people who love you and need your work than there are trolls.

It’s actually about them

My trolls are threatened by me. I know that. They talk to my friends who they believe are allies and it gets back to me. They are insecure. So the stronger I get, the weaker they feel, the more they troll, and the stronger I get realising that I am making my mark.

This is probably my most powerful tool against them. I realise that the more they attack, the more I am winning – not them. Every attack is like a big thumbs up to me to keep going, to build a stronger business, and to stay the course – because they hate it!

Fantastic!!!!!

So we actually have the upper hand and like we were told at school or tell our kids, don’t let the bullies beat us. Keep going! You get up on your patch of dirt and you carry on. Why? Because you’re a winner, you’re beating them. You actually have them on the back foot. They’re trying to put knives in your back because it’s the only place they can reach – because they’re behind you.

So you don’t forget, share this to Facebook, pin it on Pinterest, stick it around, share it with a friend, print the images so you can be reminded that it is you who has the upper hand – not the troll. And when things seem dark, email me or message me and I will remind you. x

4

How to persevere when you start a business

It’s hard when you start a business, I know because I’m still there. You feel like you are constantly pushing, battling, grinding, hustling. You feel like no one is listening and everyone wants you to prove your worth before they are willing to part with their money for what you have to offer. Granted, there are seemingly overnight success stories and there are the actual ones. But you need to persevere.

In this blog post I will explain why you need to keep going, where your focus needs to be in the early days, & some ways to get through it.

There’s this thing called the Roger’s Adoption Curve. While it’s generally used for the adoption of technology, I believe it can be applied to any business.

Chances are your clients are in the first 2 categories of Innovators & Early Adopters. This means that they will be people who enjoy new and novel things. The problem most of us encounter is that the people who we generally market to and get the most resistance from are in the last two categories. Don’t waste your time!

I have seen this chart drawn with what is called ‘Moore’s Chasm’, it is a gap between the Early Adopters and Early Majority. It’s a no man’s land where you have exhausted the Adopters and are yet to have enough traction to sway the Early Majority.

So how do we get to the majority in the middle?

People go through 5 steps to adopt an innovation (Rogers, E. (1995) Diffusion of Innovations https://web.stanford.edu/class/symbsys205/Diffusion%20of%20Innovations.htm): Knowledge, Persuasion, Decision, Implementation, Confirmation.

Knowledge is awareness you exist and how you/your product works, Persuasion is when they form their attitudes towards it, Decision is their choice to purchase (or not), Implementation is putting you/product to use, and Confirmation is evaluation of their results.

In the beginning your innovators and early adopters will move quickly through these stages. It is these people you need to work hard at gathering data about Decisions & Confirmation. Why or why not someone purchases and how it makes them feel are powerful data to assist the majority on moving through. You need to persevere. 

So, how do we get you there?

KEEP GOING

The biggest hurdle is the knock your confidence takes in the early days. It’s hard getting up each morning and dealing with knock back emails and zero sales.

Remember why you started, remember that fire in your belly, remember what your goals are, remember your values.

Now start telling your story! You need to persevere.

GET OUT THERE

Remember that the first hurdles are knowledge, persuasion, and decision. This is where you need to get out there and tell them who you are and why you’re needed.

Some hints though: quality, reliability & service are all minimum expectations these days. They will not sell your stuff. It’s just not enough!

Market your wares. Talk to new people. Go to new areas. Let people know that you are trying to spread the word.

Try different social media platforms, live stream, do something crazy! You need to persevere.

RESEARCH

Talk to your clients and talk to those yet to buy from you.

Find out why they love you. Find out what they are looking for before they buy from you. Find out what frustrates them about your industry.

At the end of the day you are asking them to part with their money and so you have to meet their needs – not yours.

The data you gather here will help you to persuade and make a decision to purchase. You need to persevere.

ASK

You need to ask for testimonials.

The loudest and squeakiest wheels are those of the late majority. They want facts and figures on how you can help them. Chances are that they won’t believe your word for it either.

The best way to combat this is with a wide range of data from a number of sources. Get reviews and testimonials from people. Have them on ALL of your marketing material because you do not know where a potential client is on this curve.

Do not leave this valuable information languishing on a web page or review tab on facebook. Push it out to people. Educate them. Show them how popular you are and how they’re missing out! You need to persevere.

Starting out a business is a courageous effort and I applaud you, but with this knowledge in hand – you’ve got this!