by Kelli | Nov 27, 2016 | Entrepreneurial Lifestyle
Top 5 Advantages to Being a #Mompreneur
The outdated idea that women can’t have both a career and a family is thankfully starting to become obsolete. More and more mothers are striving to balance their businesses and family lives, proving that the two can be done simultaneously–and done well, at that. Many women find the term “mompreneur” to be insulting. They cringe when they see it as a hashtag. But I say – why not own it? Why not be proud of the fact that we are capable enough to juggle two challenging jobs? I would argue that many of the strengths that make a good mother help build the traits needed to be an amazing entrepreneur, such as:
Patience. Just as your baby will one day sleep through the night and your toddler will eventually get the hang of potty training, so, too, will your business hit the major milestones you’re chasing. Being a mother cultivates enormous reserves of patience, which is a huge asset to have when it comes to building a business. The next time you are frustrated about the lack of perceived progress with your work, remember to treat your project like you would your child–with love, care, time and attention. It will be standing on two feet before you know it!
Building support systems. Becoming a mother has a way of forcing you into building a solid support system. Just as you call on your network of fellow mom friends and family, you can cultivate the same sort of support system in your business, whether it’s a VA, a coach, a mastermind or just a few fellow entrepreneurs that you trust. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and the same can be said of nurturing a fledgling venture. Putting yourself out there and building a team of people to be in your corner benefits both you and your fellow entrepreneurs.
Negotiating effectively. Nothing teaches good negotiation skills like having to reason with a child (or meanager) having a tantrum! The tactics you learn in your daily interactions with children (such as compromising, reasoning and communicating calmly in emotional situations) can help a surprising amount when it comes to dealing with all kinds of people in the business world (and vice versa).
Working under pressure. When you have kids, you are constantly thinking on your feet–taking care of injuries, fielding off-the-wall questions (But WHY) and navigating all kinds of unexpected twists and turns. Being able to manage many pressures at once is a huge advantage when you’re running your own business.
Nurturing. As a mother, you’re naturally sensitive to your child’s feelings and instinctively know what they need in order to excel. You know what it takes to love something unconditionally and how to gently push it in the right direction. Once you get to know the flow of your business, you will soon develop the same kind of intuition for what is needed for your venture to succeed.
These incredible crossover skills can hugely benefit you and your business, so wear that #mompreneur badge proudly! You earned it!
by Kelli | Nov 22, 2016 | Business Strategy, Entrepreneurial Lifestyle
It’s hard to believe that 2016 is almost over. For most people, these last few weeks of the year are filled (for better or for worse) with holiday preparations and family relations. As a business owner, though, it’s also time to prepare your 2017 strategic plan. Don’t worry; it doesn’t have to be as stressful as the holidays themselves, especially if you include joining a mastermind group as part of your plan.
A mastermind group is a form of peer-to-peer mentoring where group members share their particular knowledge and advice to other group members who would like some help. Its benefits are many, but here are a few of the best:
- Experienced Mentors. Mastermind groups let you meet up with entrepreneurs who have been exactly where you are now. They faced the same problems you face now and successfully overcame them and will have tips and advice to help you do the same.
- An Exclusive Community. Great mastermind groups limit their size number so they can better focus on everyone getting the help they need. Made up of diverse-minded people, they are a great resource to tap into without getting overwhelmed or simply annoyed.
- Collaboration. Moving your business forward often includes strategic collaborations. A mastermind group helps you easily find those fellow entrepreneurs that will be mutually beneficial to work with.
- Girl Power! Female business owners have their own (awesome) business sense that really sets them apart. Get a group of them working together and the creative power is unstoppable.
- Personal Development. Not just a source of great advice, mastermind groups also help you learn new skills to grow as an individual. Many groups also have opportunities for outside training.
- Resources. When you need to seek outside resources (i.e. a graphic designer), mastermind groups save you time and trouble. In other words, instead of starting from scratch and searching on your own, you can safely rely on recommendations from your trusted colleagues.
2017 will be here soon, but you don’t have to face it alone. Facing it as part of a mastermind group is not just great strategic planning, but a fabulous way to grow your business as well as your personal self.
I have teamed up with Jamie Palmer of Outlier Marketing Group and we have created a Mentorship Mastermind called Modern Female Entrepreneurs. It is a six month Mentorship program. In addition to the benefits of a traditional Mastermind Group, MFE will offer the following:
- Two-hour content creation calls each month (in addition to the weekly calls)
- Monthly training webinars with highly profile women business owners already killing it in their area of expertise.
- Two-day LIVE retreat in Boston, Ma (travel and hotel not included)
Fast Action Bonuses
First 10 registrants receive:
- 10 Hours of technical support (website creation, sales pages, course creation) (Value: $1,000)
- 90 – minute 1:1 private coaching session ($500)
Sound awesome? It is!
Click below to learn more.
by Kelli | Nov 20, 2016 | Entrepreneurial Lifestyle
Elections are always an emotionally draining experience, and this election may have been the most difficult that any of us can remember. The entire election was filled with negativity and campaigns aimed to take down the opponent at any cost. Tempers flared, arguments abounded on social media, and people even found themselves in heated battles with friends and family over political issues. No matter which candidate you supported, we can all agree that it is time to leave the hostility behind and move forward in a positive manner.
I belong to several Facebook groups that are communities of female entrepreneurs. One post the other day actually surprised me. The person basically posted asking people how they were doing post election and the emotions they were feeling. What really surprised me was the number of my fellow boss ladies that were saying that they were devastated and couldn’t focus on their business. Some were considering shutting down. Wait..what? No..no…no…we can’t have that. I honestly started to feel like many of these women probably shouldn’t run their own companies. I’m not saying this to be harsh, but I want people to snap out of it and move forward. You need to be fierce and present in your business if you want to succeed. Sure, it’s good for the soul sometimes to take a short break to regroup and refocus. But, please, don’t get sucked into a hole of wallowing and despair. It doesn’t look good and I’m sure doesn’t feel good.
In times like this I use my sister, Kimberley Ring, as an example. She runs a successful PR and Marketing firm here in Boston. When we got the call that Dad had stopped chemo treatments and didn’t have much time left, we flew down to be with him and help our mother take care of him. It was hard..like really fucking hard. For all of us. Mom hadn’t slept in months. I had my 3 year old son there and that had it’s own challenges. But my sister never skipped a beat. She was taking client calls and sending press releases in between taking care of our dying father. It was awe inspiring. She’s extremely dedicated to all that she does. She’s all in, 100 percent. And I’m telling you this straight. If you want to run a successful business, if you want to continue to move the needle, you need to be ALL IN. If you are going to let an election result completely derail your business, then you might want to rethink being an entrepreneur. As Lori Greiner says, “Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week”. You have to have the fire and hustle deep in your DNA to keep charging forward.
Look, I get that life can hit us where it counts. And we are all feeling some election fatigue. So here are a few tips on how to get back on track:
Remember your WHY
I keep a picture of my son walking down the boardwalk of our beach where I can always see it. It reminds me that I left the corporate grind because it no longer fit my life. I wanted to get back to creating growth strategies for women-owned business but I also wanted to be able to take my son for a walk on the beach whenever I want. I wanted to own my time. Your why is what keeps your entrepreneurial fire burning. Revisit it. Write it down. Maybe it’s changed. Just remind yourself of what keeps you chasing after your dreams.
Rewire your brain with meditation
Sometimes it’s really hard to pull yourself out of that funk. A good friend and fellow IIN grad, Cindy Suarez, reminded me recently of the benefits of meditation. I have found a consistent meditation practice helps to refocus and rewire the brain.
Meditation has many benefits–beating the blues is one of them. The process affects your brain and the rest of your body in many ways. Meditation boosts endorphins, giving you more energy and boosting positive emotions. It also increases GABA (a mood-stabilizing neurotransmitter) and DHEA (a hormone that reduces depression and improves memory and immunity). You probably haven’t been getting a good night’s sleep with all the negative election vibes–meditation also helps with that problem, as it increases melatonin.
Focus on the positive
It’s really easy to get caught up in negativity. There are certainly a lot of worries after an election–a new president means change and that is tough for many of us. Fear of the unknown makes it easy to focus on the negative things that might happen. It’s incredibly important during times like this to focus on the positive aspects of life. Look around and remember how much the little things matter–the weather is beautiful, you have a wonderful family, you’re healthy, you are successful, you have friends that make you laugh, you have the cutest dog on the planet–whatever it is that always brings a smile to your face, that’s what you need to focus on.
Continue to nourish yourself with proper nutrition
This may seem like a silly one but stick with me here as I put on my health coach hat. Proper nutrition is much more important than many people think. Remember that food is fuel, and that old saying “you are what you eat”. Stuffing down tons of starchy carbs laden with all sorts of funky preservatives and additives simply isn’t going to end well. It might be tempting to drown your sorrows in a big bowl of bright orange Cheetos or a three-scoop ice cream sundae swimming in hot fudge, but that kind of food is going to leave you feeling worse than ever. Sticking to a balanced diet every day will help your overall mood–omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, whole grains, and lots of fruits and veggies will help you ward off the blues.
If you are feeling upset about the outcome of the election, or even the chosen candidates, there are ways you can get involved and have more influence over the next presidential election. Change begins at the local level–get to know your local and state representatives. Even if you have no political experience, you can still help shape the future. The next time you think of getting on your soapbox on social media, think instead about how you can better affect change. Don’t confuse activism with narcissism.
Find a cause you care about
You might have a cause about which you’ve always been passionate, or maybe the election brought some important issues to light that you’ve never really thought about before. Either way, now is the time to put that passion to work. There are many great causes out there, and it takes a lot of hard work to reach the goals that will benefit these causes. Round up your friends and family members who share the same passion, and get to know other community members who are fighting for that cause. I personally work with and donate 5% of my income to a non-profit that creates inclusion opportunities for young adults with disabilities, You’re With Us!
This presidential election has been difficult for many of us. In addition to the negativity surrounding the election, transitioning to a new president is a big change. Many people are afraid of changes that may affect them and some are just downright angry. The anger, worry, and negativity has left many of us with the blues, but it is time to move on. Embrace the positive, take good care of your mind and body, and get involved in your community. Remember that you can make a change. Together we can all make a difference.
by Kelli | Nov 13, 2016 | Business Strategy
Effective Elements of a High Converting Sales Page
It’s no small feat to get people to look at your website, as many a business owner will tell you. And when the ultimate goal of your website is to turn viewers into paying customers, all the hard work you put into attracting visitors will be for nothing without a great high converting sales page. Converting a skeptical viewer with a short attention span into a long-standing customer takes exceptional effort, but it can be done by using some proven key tactics.
Go for elegant simplicity. A hideous website isn’t going to sell your product–and an overly-designed one won’t, either. The same is true for sales pages. It’s important to keep things simple so that your viewers don’t get overwhelmed or distracted. Potential customers often make snap judgements about your business based on what they see within the first few seconds, so stick to the basics with a clean layout.
Hit ‘em with a headline; back it up with benefits. Your sales page headline is the first thing your viewers will see, so make an impact! An ideal headline should grab attention and prepare the reader for what’s next–a concise, targeted list of your product’s benefits. The eye-catching headline and the product’s selling points support each other to convince viewers to make a final purchase.
Use a clear call to action. People are often skeptical about clicking virtual buttons when they aren’t sure where they will lead. To clear up confusion and increase conversion, tell your customers precisely what will happen when they make an action. For example, instead of simply stating “Buy Now” with a button to click on, state exactly what it is the customer will be buying when they follow instructions. Making these buttons clear is every bit as important as making them stand out.
Be trustworthy. It never hurts to show that your company is made up of real, good-intentioned people behind the screen–and that other people have trusted your services in the past. To boost your credibility, include a section on your site for customer testimonials or reviews so viewers can browse what other people think about your business. Another great thing to add are third-party verifications, or logos of other businesses that recommend your business and use your product. Lastly, be sure to use security seals and advertise that consumers’ personal info will be protected on your site.
The end result of a good sales page is definitely, well, sales, but those sales can’t happen without first creating a great rapport with your potential customers. By keeping things simple and 100% transparent for your potential (and current) customers, you can cut through the noise and help guide people through the sales funnel more efficiently.
by Kelli | Nov 6, 2016 | Business Strategy
In today’s business world, capturing consumer attention via engaging content (newsletters, blog subscriptions, or advertising) is a priceless tool to help you close sales. But, as you can imagine, getting website visitors to volunteer their contact information in order to send them that content is tough. Today’s consumers are wary of giving our their information–and for good reason. We have all had the experience of opening up our email inbox or physical mail box, only to find it crammed full of unsolicited spam from companies we have no interest in.
So, in order to grow your mailing list, you need to make sure that you are creating irresistible opt-ins. Here’s how to do it.
- Know Your Ideal Client
There is no point in having a big following if no one is engaged or interested enough to click on your call to actions. Before you set up your mailing list or ask people to subscribe, know exactly who you want to market to. Then, tailor your communications to meet the specific wants and needs of that population. The entire purpose of a mailing list or a growing social media following is to help you cultivate relationships that ultimately benefit your company, so make sure you are focusing your efforts on building rapport with the right people.
- Give a Winning First Impression
Make sure that your communications are high-quality; they should be error-free, eye-catching (but not too visually distracting), and should ideally offer something the consumer wants. Use your opt-in to give a great first impression of your professionalism and high-quality communications that customers can expect from you. Show that you value the opportunity to reach out to your subscriber base and that you won’t waste it with amateur content or low effort. Always provide value. I give a lot of valuable content away for free that most people would charge for. I do that because I always want my potential client base to walk away with an experience that actually helps them to move the needle on their business. It gives them the confidence that when they ultimately hire me, they will be receiving top notch service and a positive return on their investment.
- Cut the Sales-y Jargon
People can smell desperation and sales-y language from a mile away, so it’s important to keep your opt-in messaging authentic and low-pressure. Clearly, succinctly and conversationally lay out what your customers can expect to receive from you when they hand over their information. Additionally, put potential customers at ease by letting them know that you won’t give out their personal details to anyone else. Your messaging has to address their pain. If it doesn’t, they aren’t going to take the next step. You should focus on how you will address their pain and the value that means to them. Don’t expect people to hit the “buy now” button right away. They need to be nurtured through the sales journey. You can learn more about lead nurturing strategies here.
- Create Unique, Valuable Content
Can you distinguish your content from your competitors’? If not, your customers can’t, either. Stand out from the crowd by making sure you are offering something special — something they can’t find anywhere else. Nobody wants to trade their personal contact information for content they can find for free on another site, or for information that is not truly engaging, useful or actionable. What about your angle or voice sets you apart from the rest? What kind of articles, blogs, white papers, PDFs, or infographics can you create that will add value for your potential customer? To make your offer irresistible, make sure that your opt-in page promises unique, interesting content in exchange for their email address–and that you truly deliver on that promise.
Crafting a truly effective opt-in can be a tough nut to crack. As with any marketing efforts, try out multiple opt-in messages and validate them with A/B testing, using the above tips as a guide. Good luck, and happy info-gathering!
If you need some help creating your own opt-in, I’m holding a workshop on How To Create Your PDF Ebook And Attract Your Ideal Client. Click on the image below for details.