Starting a Business: 10 Things I’ve learned along the Journey

Starting a Business: 10 Things I’ve learned along the Journey

In the past few years, I have learned my fair share of lessons when it comes to starting your own business.

As a business owner, we all have our fair share of battles that lead to learning opportunities. From failed launches to overbooking myself with clients, I have had many opportunities to learn which allows me to share with you my best practices!

Today, I want to share with you my top 10 lessons that I’ve learned along the way.

1. YOU ARE THE BOSS SO THAT MEANS YOU HAVE TO DECIDE TO WAKE UP AND GET TO WORK ON YOUR OWN EVERY DAY.⠀

2. WHAT YOU SAY GOES! ⠀
SO STICK TO YOUR WORD AND ALWAYS FOLLOW THROUGH.⠀

3. NOT EVERY DECISION YOU MAKE WILL BE THE “RIGHT” ONE.⠀

4. MISTAKES HAPPEN SO LEARN FROM THEM AND KEEP GOING!⠀

5. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY, ALWAYS!⠀

6. FIND A BIZ BESTIE BECAUSE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY DON’T ALWAYS UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH WHILE STARTING A BUSINESS.⠀

7. GIVE YOURSELF A SCHEDULE FOR NON-WORKING HOURS, YOUR RELATIONSHIPS WILL THANK YOU!⠀

8. YOU ARE ALLOWED TO CHANGE YOUR MIND.⠀
TRUE FANS WILL FOLLOW YOU!⠀

9. CELEBRATE EVERY SUCCESS ALONG THE WAY!⠀

10. KNOW THAT WHAT YOU ARE DOING CAN AND WILL MAKE A GREAT IMPACT. ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOU GREATER VISION!⠀

Remember, that nothing great comes easy. Put in the work and do it in a way that lights you up!

What has been the #1 lesson you’ve learned so far since starting your business?

3 Steps to Grow Your Instagram Following

3 Steps to Grow Your Instagram Following

Does it seem like for every new follower on Instagram you have 10 people unfollowing?

I wish I could tell you it’s not you, it’s me, but in reality, with Instagram’s current algorithm, it takes a lot to be seen nowadays. BUT… There are ways to make it happen! And you CAN find people who would love to hear about your business and its mission. Today, I want to share with you 3 SIMPLE TIPs that will help you be seen more on Instagram.

Step 1: Use Keywords in the Name Field.

Instead of repeating your Business’s name, which is most likely already your username (@orgname), choose some keywords to describe what you offer, where you are based, and who you help. This is one of the only “Searchable” sections of your profile so by utilizing keywords such as “Sydney Hair Stylist” or “Byron Bay Wedding Coordinator”, you will have an edge amongst the competition. Because when people search for hashtags with those keywords, GUESS WHO POPS UP?!?!

Step 2: Use ALL 30 Hashtags

Yes! DO THIS! I am telling you, so many people worry that they clutter their posts but there are ways around it! By not using all 30, you are losing out on searchability potential. Think of hashtags as the SEO of Instagram. You want to make sure that you are using hashtags that are relevant to your target market. Stay away from hashtags that are overly popular like #coffee with nearly 80 Million posts. Yours will get lost super fast, unfortunately. Look for ones with 20K to 100K if possible. One way is to make your hashtags less cluttered is to post them in your first comment. I have done tons of research on this and so far there is no evidence to say it has a negative effect on your account.

Step 3: ENGAGE for more ENGAGEMENT

You’ve got to give in order to get with Instagram. Go through hashtags relevant to your target market. Try to think about these questions: What other businesses might they support? What sorts of restaurants do they go to? Where are they based? The answers will help you focus in on exactly where your IDEAL FOLLOWERS who are hiding on Instagram. It is much easier for you to go find them and comment on their photo than it is for them to find you if they have never heard of you before. For example: If you’re targeting runners for your organization’s next 5k, search #GoldCoastRunner and various other forms of that. Then, go out and engage with them! Be sure to leave authentic (NON-SPAMMY) comments on their photos. They will check you out!

So, in a nutshell for those who scrolled straight to the bottom:

  1. Add Keywords to your Name Field to increase searchability.
  2. Use 30 Hashtags specific to your target follower
  3. ENGAGE authentically with people you wish would buy your product/services!

P.S. If you have a business or tech question on your mind that you’d like me to answer? Leave a comment below! Most likely, someone else has that question too!

Back by popular demand, we are offering our signature Social Greatness Audits which leave you with a Personalized Action Plan that will let you make a greater impact online. 

INCLUDES:

  • Your personalized online presence audit recorded and sent to you within 1 Business Week after payment.
  • An in-depth audit that will include all of your social profiles as well as your website.
  • A 3-5 page action plan with personalized steps for you to take to make a greater impression online.

Learn more at https://socialgreatness.co/sg-audit/

5 Steps to Create the Perfect Instagram Bio

5 Steps to Create the Perfect Instagram Bio

Crafting an Instagram bio can be quite aqonizing. This is your one shot to grab someone, engage them, and get them to click that coveted “Follow” button.

What do you say? What do people actually care about seeing in this little box that’s supposed to convey so much?

A great bio should showcase the personality and uniqueness of the business while prompting the consumer to take an action. Here are the components of a great bio section:

1 | A clear photo – whether this is of you or your logo, this should accurately convey the business

Instagram is all about imagery. While the image in that little bubble in the bio section seems small, it can convey a lot. When looking at the profile, if the image appears blurry or grainy, then that will reflect poorly on your brand. Whereas, if you place a strategically selected image or even just a clean shot of your logo, it will speak to viewers.

 

2 | Name as a subhead – utilizing the name space to showcase your tagline or 2 to 3 main keywords will help your account show up in more searches

By utilizing the namespace to insert keywords around your business’ purpose and products, your page will be able to appear in more searches. It’s good to use words here that captivate and don’t come off as just keyword stuffing – shoving certain words in as much as possible to appear more. Make this choice wisely and based in purpose and strategy.

 

3 | Two main messages – your bio should communicate your business’ purpose or meaning and how a call to action

It’s best to craft this in a notes app on your phone and then copy and paste it so that you can break up the lines well visually. There should be two pieces of information – Your purpose and a CTA. Are you offering a freebie? Do you want them to email you for something? Maybe check out your new blog post? Have your CTA clear and easy to follow through on, which brings me to my next point:

 

4 | A link – providing a link with a Call to Action

This is a must! The most frustrating thing Instagramtagram sometimes is that they only allow you ONE link. There’s this really great app, LinkTree, that allows you to create buttons for other links. Utilizing a platform like this lets you provide more options for your audience. Do you have a few main products your pushing? How about a freebie AND a service you want people to check out? Want your contact page always linked? LinkTree provides these options and makes it so easy. On top of that, you can see how many times the button was clicked!

 

5 | Contact – your viewer needs to easily know how to contact you when they come into contact with your page

When an account is moved over from personal to business, new buttons appear and a location can even be added. By easily adding a form of contact, a potential client or partnership is able to quickly and easily reach out to you to inquire about anything they may be interested in. Also, by adding a location, it can help with search results. This is mostly beneficial if your business is associated with a particular location or you have a brick and mortar store. This is less applicable if you have a service-based business that is mostly done online.

Bonus: Story highlights – this is more of a bonus, but once you’ve moved into curating beautiful stories, it’s great to add those highlights

Nowadays it seems everyone is all about the stories, especially when you have really strong ones! Instagram offers a feature to add highlights to the bio section in little circles. If you post around certain themes this can be really great. For example, if you have some great shots of product, that can be one highlight circle.

Are you ready to step up your Instagram Bio game?

 

Increase Email Open Rates with The #1 Email Subject Line Tester

Increase Email Open Rates with The #1 Email Subject Line Tester

Creating a subject line that makes reader click to open instead of click to delete can be quite daunting. Well, we have found just the tool to help you get closer to knowing if what you’ve written is headed down the right path before you hit send!

What if I said that there’s a tool out there that can help create email subject lines that will drive “more opens, more click, and more conversions”? Writing a quality subject line that resonates with a tribe of people can be so very daunting. However, now some of that challenge can be removed before even hitting send.

The tool we really want to recommend for anyone to check out this month is the Coschedule Email Subject Line Tester. So, first, why do subject lines even matter?

Email sources have an algorithm for filtering out spam. As an email receiver, it’s really helpful. As a marketer, it can be a bit of a nightmare. What is written in the subject line can truly determine if the email even makes it into the inbox of those on your list.

That means the key is to write subject lines that get into inboxes and convert! How do we even do that?

  1. Write like a human talking to a human – just as you don’t like being sold to right off the bat, don’t come at your audience with a sales based subject line. Write something like you’re having a conversation and will help them be intrigued to find out more.
  2. Make sure it links to the content inside – if you write something like “Find out how to make an extra $5000 a month,” and then you are actually selling a product that you want them to buy and not something for them to really act on for this extra money, you are going to leave your audience frustrated and confused and definitely more likely to unsubscribe. This means that linking the subject line to the information held inside the email is huge!
  3. Optimize word and character count – The first few words in the subject line are the most important. It’s important to create subject lines that are easy to scan with keywords that will jump out to the reader.
  4. Emoji POWER – Speaking of scannability, it’s shown that open rates increase by about 57% when utilizing emojis! This helps with quick reading and really draws the eye when looking at an inbox where all emails look and feel the same until you open them.
  5. ALWAYS BE TESTING – create two versions of the same subject line and then test them against your audience. This will help to learn what really resonates with your audience and guide you to emails that really convert. A really great way to test without sending it out to your actual audience is the Coschedule Subject Line tester. This can really help validate your marketing intuitions and move forward with quality subject lines that really convert.

Whatever your struggle with subject lines, implementation of the above tips can help increase performance continuously. Once these tips have been implemented, it’s great to schedule out emails to make sure they go out exactly when you want without requiring you to be the one to hit send at that moment.

Are you ready to give it a shot?

7 Ways to Find Motivation

7 Ways to Find Motivation

Okay, we’re a few months into 2018 (but, doesn’t it feel like the year should be over already sometimes?!) It’s time for tips and a pep talk.

Think back to a few months ago. Eager to be going into the new year, you set some goals. What were they? Are you still working on them? Did you hit a wall and give up? Did you surpass them and are well your way to more greatness?

Whatever the status of your goals and your progress, now is the perfect time to recenter your intentions and make sure that you are on track. Taking the time to recenter on your goals and analyze the reasons you may have fallen off track can help recharge your motivation as you launch into the month.

Let’s start of with breaking down the goals you set for 2018 and pinpointing what roadblocks you hit that may have caused you to fall off. Take a minute down to think about it.

Think: 3 . . . . . . 2 . . . . . . 1 . . . . . . .

Great! Now that you have your 2018 goals at the forefront of your mind, let’s talk about some simple steps to get back on track. The goals and roadblocks you thought about above were most likely the large, higher level goals you set out for the whole year. What about the smaller goals that build up to those larger goals? What are some of the steps you need to take to get to that goal? Take another minute now to think about them.

Think: 3 . . . . . . 2 . . . . . . 1 . . . . . . .

Fantastic. You know exactly what steps you need to take to reach your 2018 goals. Here are some tips to get going on these steps and reach your goals!

1 | If it can be done in 5 minutes, do it now.
Having more things on your to-do list causes more stress, more anxiety, and more distraction. If you are looking over your to-do list for the day and a task can be accomplished in less than 5 minutes (i.e. sending an email or scheduling a social media post), do it now. Scratching that item off your list will make you feel better for getting something done and prevents distractions as you work on the harder and more time intensive tasks.

2 | Trick your brain into productivity.
It is proven that if you stop yourself from slouching or slap on a smile when you may be frustrated, you can trick your mind into a stronger focus. Fake it ‘til ya make it! By adjusting and remaining at least slightly cognizant of your physiology, you can make a big difference on your psychology.

3 | Plan, Plan, Plan.
By planning your day out the night before, you can go to bed with your intentions for the day clear. When you wake up in the morning, you will instantly be more motivated and calm for what’s ahead because you have strategically set up your day prior to your alarm going off. This will also help you to get better sleep, because you can get all your thoughts out onto paper and organized in a constructive way for a good night’s rest. If you want more information on the impact of nightly planning and intentional morning, read The Miracle Morning by Hal Elron – it’ll change your life.

4 | ROCK ON.
Playing music that you enjoy will help you focus and will also lift your spirits. When focusing on your work while energizing yourself with stimulating music, you can synergize your work and even take a dance party break when you mentally need to relax, which leads to our next step . . .

5 | Don’t Force It!
Motivation doesn’t last for ever. If you expect it to, burnout will happen. Overworking yourself will not lead to your best work and will delay you from reaching your goals. Work hard, rest hard. It’s important to give your mind some moments of rest in order to recharge and get back on the motivation train. At the very least, take 10 minutes to do a short meditation and let your brain unwind so that you can really focus on the next big task ahead.

6 | Rethink your systems.
Is there one place where you find yourself continuously discouraged or stumped in your working process? If so, it would be ideal to take some time and re-strategize how you tackle that task or restructuring your system overall so that you stop degrading your motivation.

7 | CELEBRATE!
There are big wins and small wins, but all wins should be celebrated! When you take a moment to really appreciate your work no matter how big or small the accomplishment, you will be motivated to accomplish more! There needs to be more celebration in this world for all the things that people do. Be that change for yourself and your work!

Which of these tips are you most interested in trying? Are you going to implement them this week or month? Share below!

If you need a little extra help getting started, managing your stress, and getting focused, definitely check out my Manage Your Stress workbook here.

Corporate Social Responsibility Ideas for Small Businesses

Corporate Social Responsibility Ideas for Small Businesses

As millennials become the largest audience in the consumer market, their buying decisions have almost all of the purchasing power and guide corporations to make very specific strategic decisions. Millennials care more about purpose, ethics, and making a difference than they do about the price of a product. Most of the time they’ll spend more on a product when a company has clearly shown how the purchase of that product makes a difference in the greater world.

Being aligned in your purpose as a business and effectively messaging that purpose along with a powerful story around making an impact draws millennials toward your brand. Here are some corporate social responsibility ideas that are easy to implement within a small-scale business model all-the-while allowing for growth.

Buy One, Give One

With a physical product, a “Buy One, Give One” model has the potential to align well. Take for example TOMS. This is a company that saw a social issue and wanted to utilize their product to solve it. TOMS tend to be a bit more expensive, but when a pair of TOMS is purchased, a pair is also sent to a child in need.

Overall, TOMS has made volunteering and community impact a huge part of its mission and corporate lifestyle. Every employee is encouraged to volunteer in their local community, while they are also given the opportunity to go on one of their trips to deliver shoes to different communities.

There are other companies that have implemented a model like this as well. Check out Warby Parker, SoapBox, Out of Print, and Smile Squared.

Some of the above examples are large corporations, but some of them are much smaller meaning the business model they have is more transferrable over to a smaller business. However, keep in mind that the giants like Warby Parker and TOMS were once upon a time small businesses, too!

Percentage of Proceeds
If there is a cause that you feel deeply passionate about and it in some way relates to your business/brand, this would be a great thing to link up to your messaging and support through your business.

A few examples of companies already doing this: Elephant Pants, Bravelets, and Sand Cloud.

These companies have identified an issue that they want their brand to support and then a percentage of each sale that is made is donated in support of that cause. These companies have each supported their causes with thousands of dollars of donations. They’ve utilized this powerful tool to resonate with a group of people eager to support a cause, which makes them feel good and makes their consumer feel good!

Gift Wrapping for Charity

There are many companies that offer gift wrapping services to their customers. This is a great way to entice people to buy and they make sure that the presentation of their chosen gift is impeccable. One option to consider is adding a gift wrapping option that benefits a charity.

This is a great thing to do if you have a charity that you are really passionate about, but it may not necessarily align well with your overall brand or product. When prompted to add on a gift wrapping service, the messaging can include information about to proceeds of the gift wrapping going to support that chose charity.

Information on how to start a gift wrapping service can be found here.

Environmental Consciousness
With the scientifically proven environmental changes that have taken place in recent years due to global warming, there is a movement happening around environmental support. Verifying that the production of a product leaves the smallest environmental impact can help message a brand.

The millennial generation is becoming more cognizant of their impact on the environment or even makes purchases that help the environment. As a company analyzes their impact on the environment provides an opportunity to utilize their product production process in their sales messaging to engage this new movement and help the environment as they change or start out.

An example of a company that is promoting their environmental consciousness is Wanderer Bracelets.

Know any brands implementing these strategies that aren’t mentioned here? Share them with us!

Which of these strategies are you most excited to implement?