How To Move Past Shiny Object Syndrome and Start Getting Results

 

My pulse started racing.

I couldn’t believe how much what I was reading so perfectly captured how the last few months of running my business had felt.

Frustrating. Slow. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I must be doing something wrong, and I couldn’t even bring myself to look at the business plan I had written only months earlier.

It was like the person writing could see inside my head.

And they had the perfect solution to my problems! It was like a light at the end of the tunnel at last! And this time, I was sure it would totally work!

I don’t know if you can relate to this experience.

It’s a cycle I’ve seen people with online businesses repeat over and over again, and it’s not difficult to see how it happens.

Starting a business is hard. There is so much talk about the online space being the perfect setting for a 6 figure business that you can set up out of the box, but you don’t find out until you try it that there’s SO much more to it.

And because so many of us go into online businesses believing what we’re often told about it being easy, it is a horrible shock when reality bites.

After all, being an entrepreneur takes some getting used to.  We have more freedom than we’ve ever had, but sometimes you find yourself missing that boss who tells you what to do all the time, or your fixed monthly pay packet that just shows up in your account whether you deliver the goods or not that week.

So we end up desperately searching for the magic solution that will help us fix it all and get back on track with the business we were supposed to have.

If I can just do…. [insert your magic solution here], my perfect business will fall right into my lap.

Whether it’s investing in a high level coach, joining a flagship course, running Facebook ads, going on a visualising and manifesting retreat… it is so easy to believe that spending the money will lead us to the results we are dreaming of.

But as any entrepreneur worth their salt will tell you, there is truly ONLY ONE THING that will ever make any difference to the success of your business.

Stop looking for the secret sauce. The short cut. The easy way to success.

I’m not saying never work with a coach, or join a programme, or run Facebook ads.

But don’t mistake paying out money for putting in the hours.

Don’t believe the people out there who tell you if you just invest £5K or £10K, or whatever large sum they are asking you for, that everything in your business will change.

It will change when you start showing up consistently, implementing the things you have learned rather than just buying another course. When you realise that the answer to your problems isn’t outside of you, and you can trust yourself enough to stick with the solution you already found, instead of just tearing it up and starting over with something different for the hundredth time.

When I stopped looking for the magic solution, my business started to change.  My panic turned into focus.  My despair turned into determination.

It might take longer than you planned to get your business to where you want it, but if you listen carefully, almost everyone out there who has a successful business built it over a matter of years, not weeks.

You’re on the path you were meant to be on.

So stop looking for the secret sauce, and let’s get some work done.

Looking for the right coaching solution for your business?

Click here to find out more about my VIP Mastermind Coaching Group.

Advice and accountability for ambitious entrepreneurs

Doors Reopen 9th April 2018

 

 

Why Procrastination Can Be So Hard To Beat As An Entrepreneur

Why Procrastination Can Be So Hard To Beat As An Entrepreneur

Procrastination is consistently the number one problem that entrepreneurs have when it comes to productivity.

And it’s not difficult to see why.

As entrepreneurs our work time can be unstructured at the best of times.

You may not have enjoyed having your priorities dictated to you when you had a 9-5, but it feels a little different once you’re out there doing your own thing.

And the pressure to get it right can be huge. After all – if you don’t complete the right tasks then you might not actually get paid!

But often, our struggles with time management are not primarily due to our busy schedules, or balancing conflicting demands in our businesses.

I don’t think you’ll be surprised to hear me say it – we struggle with procrastination out of FEAR.

So often as entrepreneurs, we dream big dreams, and make plans for our businesses that require a lot of hard work to accomplish.

But the gap between the business plan and the reality of creating success in our businesses can be paralysing.

It can be really discouraging when a project we have been dreaming up – whether it’s a course or programme, a passive income product, an offer we are SURE our audience will love – seems to fall flat.

We launch what we’ve been cooking up, but the result can be far from what we imagined.

And although we build resilience over time – we can start to pull back from these big ‘TA DA!’ moments, because we learn from experience that they aren’t always met with the enthusiasm that we dreamed they would be.

It’s not hard to see how that translates into a greater desire to procrastinate.

If we can just eke out that precious dream of our success a little longer, we can put off the disappointment that could follow turning the plan into reality.

You don’t need me to tell you that that’s insane, right??

When it’s down in black and white in front of you, we can see so clearly that this is self-sabotage in its greatest form.

But we so often let it play out in our day to day lives.

Being ‘too busy’ for tasks we know will have the BIGGEST impact on our businesses.

Having a big project on the go that we aren’t moving forward with because we can’t bring ourselves to take the first step.

Putting off our plans like this isn’t self-protection. It’s self-destructive.

Because even if the worst happens – our big plan fails and we feel like we have to start back at square one.

You are never starting back at square one because you learn so much every time you try something and fail.

Every step is a step forward, whether it achieves what you hoped it would or not.

We only fail when we stop trying.

So if you feel the same, and you’re fed up of letting your productivity be stalled by procrastination, I would love to help.

In the last year I have been balancing my business around 3 house moves, looking after a toddler, plus pregnancy and the birth of my second baby. I have worked fewer hours than ever before in my business, but I’ve had my most profitable year to date.

And I’ve written a FREE PDF Guide all about how to make sure that you get the most out of every working hour you have available. It’s called How To Have Your Most Productive Day Ever, and you can download it by clicking here.

The Tools I Used To Babyproof My Business in 2017

 

There are some fantastic online tools out there to help you balance running your business with caring for a young family. But there are so many tools to choose from and it can be so overwhelming knowing where to start.

So I’ve put together this list of my top tools that have helped me to (almost) effortlessly run my business this year.

1. Zoom

What is it?

Zoom is a video conferencing tool similar to Skype, that actually just works a whole lot better. 

Why do you need it?

I’ve written previously about how much I love Zoom.

I won’t repeat myself too much, needless to say, this tool was a godsend during my time as a preggopreneur and still continues to be today.

I haven’t had to waste time travelling to work with clients in person while battling morning sickness or extreme tiredness, or worry about which of my clothes were bump friendly.

Zoom has meant I can just turn up at my computer, do the work I need to do and get back to my family. And I can do it with a smile on my face!

2. Edgar

What is it?

Edgar is a social media scheduling tool. Well what’s so amazing about that, I hear you say?

The feature that really helps Edgar stand out from the crowd is its ability to recycle your content.

Why do you need it?

I cannot stress enough how helpful Edgar has been for my business this year.

Whether I’ve been creating content or looking after pre-schoolers, it has meant my social media channels were active and unlike almost everything else in my life, IT REQUIRED NO THOUGHT PROCESS WHATSOEVER.

This means if you create a ton of brilliant content and then suddenly stop (to, you know, have a baby), Edgar just keeps putting it out there on your social media channels. No more panic that it’s Wednesday, and you’re supposed to always post about X on your Facebook page.

It just happens. And it’s awesome.

 

3. Acuity

What is it?

It’s an automated booking system that syncs with your Google calendar.

Why do you need it?

Again, I’ve written about why I love Acuity previously, and it really has been such a huge help to my business this year.

I have been fully booked with clients this year and my work schedule has been packed pretty tight.

Acuity has given me control over the slots that people are able to book in my schedule, which meant I could block off chunks of the week I knew I would need for family time. It also has a custom availability feature, which means I can open up one-off free slots as they arise, without leaving them permanently open in future weeks.

 

4. Evernote

What is it?

It’s a digital notebook

Why do you need it?

This year more than any other, I’ve felt like my brain is compartmentalised into ‘work’ and ‘home’.

And because I’ve spent a lot of my time looking after my little people, away from my computer and consumed with household matters, it’s been invaluable to have my Evernote app on my phone.

Even while I’m up to my eyes in childcare I’ve been able to note down key ideas for new content, new ventures, the best way to approach certain tasks or projects.

And it has really helped as this year my working hours have been so fragmented across the week. I often find that sitting down and writing unleashes a whole new wave of ideas, so it is really helpful to be able to jot down bullet points for a blog post or other piece of content on the go.

Obviously, the whole idea that we can compartmentalise our brains is pretty ridiculous – and this is why it’s so helpful to have Evernote to hand. The best ideas come at the most inconvenient times, but thankfully I can make sure they get recorded before I forget them. (No one say baby brain!)

DISCLAIMER – Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means I receive a tiny percentage of commission if you decide to purchase. When you buy through my links, you don’t pay any extra and in some cases you may receive a discount. I only recommend products that I use and can vouch for. However if you would prefer not to use the links above, you are more than welcome to visit these websites independently.

 

If you are in the process of preparing your business for a baby, I’d love to point you in the direction of my free PDF guide, ‘How To Babyproof Your Business’.

Click here to download your free copy.

How To Survive When You Are Building An Online Business Using Social Media

One of the most common issues I hear people with online businesses talk about is how hard it is to keep up with social media without running yourself into the ground.

More and more studies are showing the negative impact excessive social media consumption has on our health and mental wellbeing, and it’s all too easy to get sucked into negative habits.  Whether it’s staying up too late at night staring at device screens, feeling the pressure to push out content at a relentless pace, or just that dejected feeling that the market you’re trying to break into is already at saturation point, it takes resilience and strength to keep focused on your goals and not end up consumed by the vast ocean of social media channels out there.

So here are my top tips for staying ahead of the game and surviving your online business!

1. Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

I’ve lost count of the number of big names in online business who later reveal they have experienced significant mental health problems while building their businesses – not that you would ever know this from the bulk of their social media posts.

You have to remember that every post on social media has been carefully curated. From photos of laughing kids on Instagram to glamorous headshots on Facebook, you are looking at the airbrushed version of someone’s life and business and it isn’t representative of their daily reality.

We can so easily get (and give) the impression that building an online business is quick, easy and effortless. But anyone who has walked this path will know it is hard, hard work and takes grit and determination.

You have to be aware of how staged social media posts often are, so you don’t find yourself crushed by the relentless onslaught of other people’s marketing campaigns.

Which leads to my second point…

2. Stop Comparing Yourself

One of the best things about having an online business is that you can walk your own path and set your own standards.

But we miss out on this altogether if we continually compare ourselves to other people.

Whenever you do a successful launch, you will always come across someone who has done a bigger one.

You might get 1000 people in your Facebook group, but you’ll find someone who just hit 5000.

You publish a new blog post for the week and notice someone else who has posted 5 pieces of content in the last 24 hours.

You might have had your most profitable month to date, but there will be hoards of people out there who have exceeded that ten times over.

One of the most important lessons you can learn as an online entrepreneur is that you have to STAY IN YOUR OWN LANE.

It doesn’t matter what other people are doing. Every business has its own pace, and no one achieves outstanding success overnight.

You don’t have anything to prove and it’s not a competition to get to the finish line first.

So be aware of the times when someone else’s success leaves you feeling despairing and inadequate, and remind yourself to stop comparing your business to other people’s. Make sure you are focusing on YOUR successes, not just other people’s, and keep your eyes fixed on your own horizon.

3. Remember The Algorithm

Do you ever feel like there are just thousands of people who provide the exact same services as you?

Every time you log onto Facebook you see adverts for businesses branded almost exactly the same as yours, and it all adds to the feeling that you’re competing in vain amidst a marketplace that has already reached saturation point.

You have to remember that social media channels like Facebook are set up to show you more of what it thinks you will like.

So don’t let your heart sink when you see another post by a business just like yours – remind yourself that this is just the algorithm doing its work.

There is still space for your business if you are genuinely positioning your services in a way that will attract your target audience, and making connections with real people will always have impact if you do it with authenticity.

4. Stop The Endless Scrolling

One of the most damaging and unproductive things we can do with our time is the endless scrolling through our news feeds, browsing content that we’re not even interested in, just because we needed to log in to find something and we somehow got sucked in again.

But luckily the solution is easy – switch off!

If your news feed is making you miserable, put your phone down and do something active – get up and prepare a meal from raw ingredients, take yourself outside for a walk or a run, meet a friend for coffee.

We aren’t made to be worker drones who just sit down all day operating a device screen with one finger, and it probably isn’t helping you achieve your business goals to let the hours slip by while you’re vacantly browsing Twitter.

You can also set a timer so that you don’t slip into aimless drifting on social media. Being intentional with your work schedule and setting yourself daily tasks will also mean you are more accountable with your time and activities.

By far and away the most important thing we can do as business owners is make sure we are looking after ourselves first.

And if that’s your goal, you’ve come to the right place!

 

Looking for the right coaching solution for your business?

Click here to find out more about my VIP Mastermind Coaching Group.

Advice and accountability for ambitious entrepreneurs

Doors Reopen 9th April 2018

The One Thing That Will Make Your Business A Success and How To Start Doing It

 

My pulse started racing.

I couldn’t believe how much what I was reading so perfectly captured how the last few months of running my business had felt.

Frustrating. Slow. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I must be doing something wrong, and I couldn’t even bring myself to look at the business plan I had written only months earlier.

It was like the person writing could see inside my head.

And they had the perfect solution to my problems! It was like a light at the end of the tunnel at last! And this time, I was sure it would totally work!

I don’t know if you can relate to this experience.

It’s a cycle I’ve seen people with online businesses repeat over and over again, and it’s not difficult to see how it happens.

Starting a business is hard. There is so much talk about the online space being the perfect setting for a 6 figure business that you can set up out of the box, but you don’t find out until you try it that there’s SO much more to it.

And because so many of us go into online businesses believing what we’re often told about it being easy, it is a horrible shock when reality bites.

After all, being an entrepreneur takes some getting used to.  We have more freedom than we’ve ever had, but sometimes you find yourself missing that boss who tells you what to do all the time, or your fixed monthly pay packet that just shows up in your account whether you deliver the goods or not that week.

So we end up desperately searching for the magic solution that will help us fix it all and get back on track with the business we were supposed to have.

If I can just do…. [insert your magic solution here], my perfect business will fall right into my lap.

Whether it’s investing in a high level coach, joining a flagship course, running Facebook ads, going on a visualising and manifesting retreat… it is so easy to believe that spending the money will lead us to the results we are dreaming of.

But as any entrepreneur worth their salt will tell you, there is truly ONLY ONE THING that will ever make any difference to the success of your business.

Stop looking for the secret sauce. The short cut. The easy way to success.

I’m not saying never work with a coach, or join a programme, or run Facebook ads.

But don’t mistake paying out money for putting in the hours.

Don’t believe the people out there who tell you if you just invest £5K or £10K, or whatever large sum they are asking you for, that everything in your business will change.

It will change when you start showing up consistently, implementing the things you have learned rather than just buying another course. When you realise that the answer to your problems isn’t outside of you, and you can trust yourself enough to stick with the solution you already found, instead of just tearing it up and starting over with something different for the hundredth time.

When I stopped looking for the magic solution, my business started to change.  My panic turned into focus.  My despair turned into determination.

It might take longer than you planned to get your business to where you want it, but if you listen carefully, almost everyone out there who has a successful business built it over a matter of years, not weeks.

You’re on the path you were meant to be on.

So stop looking for the secret sauce, and let’s get some work done.

 

Looking for the right coaching solution for your business?

Click here to find out more about my VIP Mastermind Coaching Group.

Advice and accountability for ambitious entrepreneurs

Doors Reopen 9th April 2018

Should I Invest In A Group Programme Or One-To-One Coaching?

If you’re looking to work with a business coach, it can feel overwhelming knowing where to start. Especially when it comes to finding a solution that falls within your budget but will actually deliver results.

Here are some typical options that are available out there:

1. Free Content e.g. podcasts, downloadable PDFs, free Facebook groups

The Pros

  • It’s free so very little risk to you financially

The Cons

  • You can lose huge chunks of time to free content and still get no further forward if you aren’t implementing what you’re learning
  • You’re out there on your own so if you’re not super motivated you won’t have others to keep you accountable
  • Unfortunately some free content is very poor quality!

I’ve written more on the topic of free content, so click through to check it out here.

2. Group Programme

The Pros

  • More affordable entry point
  • Can be a good way to test out working with a coach without making a huge investment of time or money
  • Includes networking opportunities – some of the best contacts I’ve made have been through group programmes

The Cons

  • The programme leader may not be very available to group members because you aren’t paying for one to one coaching
  • The usefulness of the group is dependent on the quality of members within it, and you can’t always tell what this is until you have signed up
  • The content isn’t tailored to your specific situation so it can take a little more work to get answers to your questions

3. One to One Coaching

The Pros

  • It really can be all about you – no ‘general terms’ advice or following a syllabus
  • Tailored content to fit your specific scenario
  • Face to face contact with a coach who is focusing just on your business and situation

The Cons

  • It isn’t cheap!
  • An expensive coaching package doesn’t automatically lead to results – you still have to do the work
  • An expensive coaching package doesn’t mean the coach will actually have the expertise they say they do. It sucks, but unfortunately it does happen.

So where does this leave you?

Once you’ve decided you are ready to make the investment of time and money to work with a business coach, it can be frustrating not feeling entirely sure what kind of solution to go for.

A good number of the entrepreneurs and business owners I speak to felt like they were stuck in the gap between wanting more than just a generic group programme and being ready to pay for a corporate-level coaching package.

So I created a hybrid solution that combines the best of both.

A 6 month VIP Mastermind programme with group content AND one to one monthly coaching calls.

The doors open twice a year and you can find out more here.

Whatever solution you decide you’re ready for, the most important thing you need to do is ask yourself:

Am I making this investment because I think it will be a shortcut to a successful business?

It can be so tempting to think that if we can just buy another course, or pay for a high-level business coach everything will just fall into place and we’ll be on the fast track to a 6 figure business in 30 days.

It won’t. I know shiny object syndrome can hit hard, and it’s not wrong to want your business to be a success. Even for it to happen quickly!

But you will only get results if you put the time in and do the work.

 

Looking for the right coaching solution for your business?

Click here to find out more about my VIP Mastermind Coaching Group.

Advice and accountability for ambitious entrepreneurs

Doors Reopen 9th April 2018

The Coaching Pyramid – And How To Avoid Getting Stung By It

I’d like to let you into a little secret.

I never actually wanted to be a business coach.

Don’t misunderstand me. I love business. I love coaching. I especially love working with businesses that have become a complete chaotic mess, and helping the people who own them to get their business running like a slick, well-oiled, profit-making machine.

But I have a real issue with calling myself a business coach.

When I first started my business I set up as a business consultant (which felt really different, okay?!), but almost straightaway, I was relabelled as a business coach.

‘Oh, Jessica, yes she’s a business coach!’

It felt like something I couldn’t get away from, and in the end I gave up correcting people.

But I still cringe a bit when I hear the term banded about.

Maybe you feel the same?

There’s a huge amount of fatigue around this area and it’s not hard to see why.

There’s a whole pyramid of coaches out there, coaching people on how to become coaches. And you see so many new coaches with few or no clients, charging money to other new coaches teaching them techniques that they haven’t even made work for themselves.

It relies on a formula: ‘It’s easy to become an online coach! I’ll tell you how I built my coaching business to 6 figures in just 30 days!’

And the hardest part is that people so desperately want this to be true that they do sign away thousands, in the hope that it’ll lead to an ‘out of the box’ profitable online business.

But the problem with these simplified narratives is that they don’t tell the whole story. Pyramids always fall short of the easy success they promise, because they make their money from a consistent stream of newbies who don’t yet understand how the pyramid works.

In addition to this, the marketplace has become so flooded in the last 5 years. Everywhere you look online there are hoards of people ready to sell you courses on how to create passive income, get super good at selling your services, or even just how to create courses teaching people how to sell courses.

For people like me, who have solid experience of working in and alongside ‘real’ businesses, it breaks my heart that the work I love to do gets tangled up in all the online noise about ‘coaching’.

Not least because I see first hand the damage it does, and the debt that people get into because they were told that if they just ‘invested in a high level coach’ they would skyrocket their business.

They end up feeling like they were deceived, so they are less willing to believe that there could be anything of value out there that could help their business with the very real problems they have, and it denigrates the work that I love to do.

So yes, I am a business coach. I am passionate about working with entrepreneurs and business owners to get tangible results.

And I’m here to tell you that not all ‘business coaches’ are the scuzzy kind. We don’t all buy into the pyramid and try to sell you a quick fix for thousands of pounds or dollars.

If you want results, you need to be ready to work hard, for a sustained period, and not give up even when you feel like you are getting nowhere.

This is what it feels like to build any business, online or otherwise.

Don’t believe anyone who tells you any different, and don’t be side-tracked by it.

You aren’t missing out on the ‘big secret’ when it comes to building your business.

Get out there, stay focused, and keep taking one step at a time.

Looking for the right coaching solution for your business?

Click here to find out more about my VIP Mastermind Coaching Group.

Advice and accountability for ambitious entrepreneurs

Doors Reopen 9th April 2018

Why Free Resources Are Killing Your Business – and What You Can Do About It

When you first start your business there is so much to learn, and thanks to so many amazing podcasts, free downloadable PDFs, webinars, and online masterclasses, you really can find out so much of the information that you need to get established online for free.

However – you will reach a point where you are just SATURATED with all this free information.

And the root of this problem?

Quite simply, you are consuming too many free resources without taking the time to properly implement the principles you have learned.

We can find ourselves addicted to free resources, because so many of them promise so much.

Do I want more clients?

Do I want better results from my business?

Would I like to make more money in less time?

Of course!

But what we get caught up in if we get ensnared in this way of thinking is that we are somehow missing something if our business hasn’t gone from brand new to 6 figures in 30 days.

We end up looking at every other entrepreneur shouting from the rooftops about their speedy success, and wondering what we are doing wrong.

So then every freebie we download, or free Facebook group we join, becomes a quest for ‘the missing piece’ that will somehow set us on that fast track to overnight prosperity and fulfilment in our businesses.

If we can only post the right content in enough free groups, or spend enough on Facebook ads, or be visible enough on as many different social media channels as we can think of, the secret sauce will be ours and we too will be earning 6 figures in 30 days!

This is also a pretty handy get out clause for moving beyond any problems in our business, because we can just move onto the next freebie when we get stuck.

 

So here’s why I want to say that trying to build a business on solely free resources is a bad idea:

  1. It’s like only ever eating appetisers instead of proper meals – you end up unfulfilled and frustrated! Online marketers know what will pull people in to their free offers and every stage of their offer is carefully designed to point people to the next stage of their sales funnel. They do want to help you but most of all, they want to prepare you for their ‘upsell’. And there’s nothing wrong with this – but you need to remember that any free offer will always be an aspirin that provides temporary relief to your business issue, rather than the full solution.
  1. The quality of many free downloads can be appallingly bad. Some are just rehashed versions of other resources available, and unfortunately many are just repetitions of standard advice that isn’t even working for the coach who has made the freebie. I’ll be writing more about the ‘online coaching pyramid’ at a later date, but for now, it’s enough to say that regrettably, there is one and it’s not good for your business!
  1. Free resources are produced for a broad audience and lack the nuance that you get when you work with a coach. So very quickly you feel discouraged, as if you are truly stuck, you will need that outside help to implement what they are teaching. Or they are boiled down to a very simple narrative that quite frankly doesn’t accurately portray the steps that the person writing the freebie has actually taken in order to build their business. It all makes for a palatable story that will capture the imaginations of their audience, but if you are seeking to emulate their business journey, you are being set up to fail because you simply do not have the full picture.
  1. There is no accountability or option to ask questions with a single-use freebie. So it might provide you with the information you need, but will not help you to IMPLEMENT the changes you are learning about.
  1. Free groups are usually full of other frustrated and unfulfilled entrepreneurs who are also desperately fishing for clients. The gear change in quality when you upgrade to a paid programme surrounded by others who have made the investment is striking.
  1. Scarcity breeds scarcity. I’ll be the first to admit that I think there is more to a successful business than positive thinking and the law of attraction, but the reason these can be powerful philosophies is because there is a grain of truth to it. Business is all about making a return on an investment. Some people do get very lucky and make a huge amount of money without investing much upfront, but you must not think that this is a common experience for everyone. Building a business requires investment and commitment, there simply is no other way.
  1. Something very powerful happens when you commit to join a programme or sign up to work with a coach. You are making a strong statement about your positive intentions for your business, something that cannot happen if you stay on the fence, watching from the sidelines with free resources but not ever taking that leap.

 

So here’s what you should do instead:

  1. You need to stop looking for the secret sauce. There are no shortcuts. Building a business can be back-breakingly hard, involved work, and can take years. People will want to tell you it’s easy and anyone can do it, but many more people set off on the path of an online business than actually reach the summit. Stop believing the lie that if you only download this new free resource, you will find the answers you are looking for and everything will fall into place overnight.
  1. Don’t panic if you are finding your business hard. There are frequent discouragements, disappointments and failures on any business journey, and anyone who has achieved something worth aspiring to knows this very well. Accept the uphill struggle, embrace it and make it work for you!
  2. Use free resources as they are intended to be used – as a way of finding out more about the coach who made them, and deciding whether you might want to work with them.
  1. Find the right coach and invest in a proper solution at the right time. There is a time and a place for free resources. But there’s also a time to STOP relying on them solely. They are a great way to test the water with a coach you have never come across before, but they can’t substitute the value of investing the time and money to work with a coach.

 

Looking for the right coaching solution for your business?

Click here to find out more about my VIP Mastermind Coaching Group.

Advice and accountability for ambitious entrepreneurs

Doors Reopen 9th April 2018

Why Overcoming Your Fear Of Facebook Live Could Be The Next Best Thing For Your Business

 

Want to know the best way to increase your reach on Facebook?

As we all know, there’s nothing those naughty people at Facebook love more than changing their algorithms.

And what does that mean for those of us with online businesses? Suddenly the rules change!

The posts that have worked brilliantly on your Facebook business page are suddenly lost from people’s newsfeeds, and the little tips and tricks we all rely on can vanish without a trace.

So if you’re currently getting a miserably low level of reach and engagement on written posts on your Facebook page, here’s something you can do to give yourself a much-needed boost…

VIDEO!

This works well for 2 reasons:

  1. It’s more interesting
  1. Facebook will put video in people’s newsfeeds far more often, so your reach EXPLODES!

 

To illustrate this, my average reach used to be 4-11 people on many of the daily posts I would make on my business Facebook page.

It was so discouraging!

I was putting all that work in seemingly for nothing.

So I did my first video, thinking it would probably get around 10 views.

It got over 1000 views, with a reach of over 2000.

What?!

I was gobsmacked!!

And it wasn’t 100% organic, as I made the effort to share it on my Facebook profile, plus I shared the video in some relevant groups I’m a part of.

But it was super straightforward and didn’t cost me a penny.

However – I know that lots of us can feel a fair amount of resistance to getting started with FB Live. In fact, the very thought can be terrifying!

You might be perfectly comfortable standing up in front of a group of people and talking about your business (which for the record, I wasn’t!), but there’s something about introducing a form of technology we’re unfamiliar with that can just strike fear into our hearts.

What if it goes wrong when I’m live on air?

And then there’s plain old ‘fear of being seen’…

What if no one sees my video?

What if everyone does?

What if I get trolled?

So here are my top tips for getting started with livestreaming on Facebook Live:

  1. Watch other people’s videos and get a feel for the style that seems like a good fit for you.
  2. Don’t stress about what will work with your audience e.g. length of broadcast, time of day, topic. Try it and see what people respond positively to.
  3. Keep it moving – don’t take people’s time for granted. Don’t waffle – cram in the value and make it worth their while.
  4. Work hard on lighting and visuals – give thought to the staging of your background and outfit (especially colours!), where the light is and the most flattering angle. If you’re a make up wearer, go big to get that healthy glow!
  5. BE CONSISTENT – you need to keep up the momentum to really make an impact.
  6. Decide to do it today and just jump straight in. You’ll learn so much more by giving it a try than by sitting on the sidelines wondering if it’s for you.

Facebook Live has become one of my favourite marketing tools, and it could be about to be one of yours too!

So, what are your thoughts on getting started with livestreaming on Facebook?

Anyone game to give it a try this week??

The Tools I Used To Get My Online Business Off The Ground

When you are getting started with an online business it can be really hard to know

  1. What tools and resources you need
  2. Which ones you should actually go for out of the masses available
  3. When to stop using freebies and actually pay up for the right solution

So I’ve compiled a list of the tools I found most helpful when I first started my business, starting with the best free solutions out there and the paid alternatives you’ll want to upgrade to once you’ve got your business off the ground.

 

1. Zoom  

What is it?

Zoom is a video conferencing tool similar to Skype, that actually just works a whole lot better.

Why do you need it?

The most important thing you’ll do in an online business is speak to your clients. If you have clients from all over the globe you are very unlikely to work with people face to face, so video conferencing software is a must have!

Why this tool?

Skype is often the go to video call software that we hear about, but I have to confess I’ve never got on with it all that well. It’s glitchy and often cuts out, and it’s also really hard to find people unless you have their exact Skype ID. Zoom is a much better alternative as it lets you record calls, screen share, and you can even use it for your first webinars and masterclasses. You just give your personalised URL out to participants and everyone logs in at the scheduled time.

When to upgrade

On a free Zoom account you can host unlimited 1 to 1 meetings, and have up to 50 participants on a call for 40 minutes. If you want to hold group calls for longer than 40 minutes it is well worth upgrading to their $14.99/month Pro plan.

 

2. Acuity

What is it?

It’s an automated booking system that syncs with your Google calendar.

Why do you need it?

Very quickly you will discover that faffing about with your diary to book in client calls wastes valuable time, so this is an essential tool for automating and streamlining that process.

Why this tool?

Acuity’s free account is a good place to start. You simply set up your availability and then you can give your customised booking link to anyone who needs to book into your schedule, and it books them into your Google Calendar, also sending a handy reminder before the call.

When to upgrade

If you have different types of calls that you want people to be able to book (e.g. short slots for discovery/sales calls, longer slots for coaching sessions), it is handy to be able to set up different appointment types. To do this you need to upgrade, but this is well worth the investment. Acuity has all the functionality of paid versions of similar tools, Calendly and Satori, but at a third of the price, just $10/month. You can also add in a pre-session questionnaire (so no more turning up to a call completely cold), and it all syncs together seamlessly.

 

3. Typeform

What is it?

A survey generating tool

Why do you need it?

Typeform is great for pre-session questionnaires (if you’re determined to hold off on upgrading your free Acuity account), testimonial forms or research surveys.

When to upgrade

There comes a point where it is worth the cost of an integrated booking system such as Acuity, because you want your clients to have a seamless booking experience, and more than that, it makes more sense for your brand as a whole to uplevel.

Typeform can be manually integrated with your booking software (to send the questionnaire link after the appointment has been booked), but the free version doesn’t include the option of a ‘thank you page’ confirming your client’s answers have been submitted successfully, so it can appear unprofessional and leave people wondering whether you actually received their survey answers, or just unsure what they should do next.

Google Forms makes a pretty decent alternative to Typeform, as it is a little more cohesive from start to finish while being equally straightforward and intuitive to use. Just be careful what data you store in your Google account as new data protection laws in Europe are very strict about unencrypted personal data.

 

4. Evernote

What is it?

Basically, a digital notebook.

Why do you need it?

There is quite a bit of hype around Evernote and I was cynical about it for some time, but what I love most about it is that it syncs between my phone and my computer. It’s not always a flawless sync experience (there can be conflicting copies if you enter data on both devices simultaneously – and yes I have to admit I do sometimes have it open on my phone and my computer at the same time!), but it is just so useful having access to my notes and ideas 24/7 whether or not I happen to be at my desk.

Evernote can do a whole host of things, but I use it for capturing ideas and to do lists, as well as recording important information that I need to have to hand throughout my working day, such as the RGB code for the brand colours I use on my website, and web links to my free downloads that I often need to share with people on the go.

I love that I can edit and re-order my task lists as my priorities shift throughout the week, and even quite basic features such as having a tick box for items on each list.

When to upgrade

I have never actually upgraded to a paid version of Evernote, and I’m still using this as a free tool, which isn’t an issue as long as you can cope with only being able to sync to 2 devices. There are more advanced task and team management systems out there, such as Asana and 17hats, but the free version of Evernote still does the job I need it to.

 

5. iPhone and Macbook Pro

Why do you need it?

To some people, Apple products are overpriced, overhyped and a complete entrepreneurial cliché, and I’ll concede that there are perfectly good Android alternatives. I started my business using an (ancient and creaking) PC laptop and a fairly unspectacular Android smartphone, but since upgrading to an iPhone SE and a Macbook Pro, I can honestly say I haven’t looked back.

Having an iPhone is a complete no-brainer as an online business owner and this is almost entirely due to its capacity for video. I got my iPhone with the express intention of using it for livestreaming on Facebook and it has been a complete game-changer.

And in 12 years of laptop ownership, I can say hand on heart, I have never had a computer as good as my Macbook Pro. The main reason? It just works! You lift the lid, and it’s ready! You close the lid and it’s done! And if there are any issues, the Apple Support team will spend as long as it takes on the phone with you to fix it.

When to upgrade

If you are serious about creating an online business then it makes sense to invest in the right hardware to help you do the job.

A phone that cannot cope with displaying webpages for example, is no use to you if you are in constant contact with potential clients on the go.

A computer that sometimes takes 45 minutes to start up (as happened to me before I upgraded my laptop) will be costing you valuable time that you cannot afford to lose!

So the time to upgrade is when you decide you are going to take yourself seriously and truly get your online business off the ground. Apple even do some pretty great interest free payment plans, so if the hefty price tag has been putting you off, you can spread the cost by paying monthly as you build your business.

DISCLAIMER – Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means I receive a tiny percentage of commission if you decide to purchase. When you buy through my links, you don’t pay any extra and in some cases you may receive a discount. I only recommend products that I use and can vouch for. However if you would prefer not to use the links above, you are more than welcome to visit these websites independently.

 

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