When you started your business, you were probably overflowing with hope, excitement, and anticipation of success. You were in love with your business and couldn’t imagine ever losing that feeling. You were going to run away with your business to a tropical island and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, it didn’t last. Just like your infatuation with your first love, your feelings about your business slowly changed with time and stress. Plus, it turns out he was allergic to coconuts. I mean, who’s allergic to coconuts?!
So, how can you fall back in love with your business?
1) Don’t try to do everything yourself!
In every business, there are jobs that you’ll just hate. Forcing yourself to do something you loathe is a sure way to begin loathing your business as a whole. Ignoring those jobs is even worse – both for your business and your stress levels!
Instead, find someone who likes doing the jobs you hate. Or, even someone who has no choice but to do the jobs you hate. That person is called an “Intern.” This will free you up to focus your energy on doing the jobs you love. You just might be surprised about the relief you’ll feel!
2) Who says work can’t be fun?
Create some interesting and fun rewards for meeting your daily goals. FYI: Stopping at three cups of coffee doesn’t count as a goal, but nice job anyway – you have more willpower than I do.ListGoal lets you turn your goal off getting new email subscribers into an interesting game. Another great resource I like to use is MomentumDash. It creates a personalized dashboard of your goals and every time you open a new tab, you are reminded of your main goal for the day (plus they have gorgeous images)
Meet another goal and take a ten-minute coloring break. If you enjoy Sudoku puzzles or online games, they can also work as effective rewards for accomplishing a goal for the day. Or, treat yourself to reading a fun and informative blog … wink, wink.)
Just make sure you set an alarm to remind yourself to get back to work!
Going outside for a walk on a beautiful day is an especially refreshing break with added health benefits.
3) Surround yourself with an awesome team.
You know, like the X-Men did. Just be clear to your team you don’t think they’re a mutant subspecies of humans … just awesome. According to entrepreneur and mentor Kai Sato: “You want to surround yourself with people who can run circles around you in as many areas as possible, people who are exponentially better in a variety of ways.” By doing this, you’ll greatly increase your chances of success while reducing the burden on yourself. That reduced burden may allow you the time and energy to appreciate your business again.
4) Work with an expert business designer for help developing an effective, and achievable, plan.
Unless you have a clear plan for accomplishing your goals, you’re likely to fritter away your energy and time without meeting them. Facing goals that seem to go on forever like an elementary school piano recital, without making any progress, isn’t going to endear your business to you.
The right professional can help get your business on the right track and stop it from derailing your life.
You’ll be amazed at how this affects your perception of it. I recently took 2 months away from my business. We moved during the holidays and it was a huge and chaotic time. For my own sanity, I needed to step back. I didn’t completely disappear but I certainly cut back my client load. Guess what? The world didn’t shatter. I still have a loyal audience. I still have a steady stream of awesome clients. It gave me time to sit back and reflect on what I wanted to achieve in the coming year.
Now I’m not suggesting you take months off like I did (unless you need that) but a simple weekend away from all business related activities and you’ll likely return refreshed, re-energized, and ready to get back to work.
Follow these steps and you’ll fall in love with your business all over again! You might even start dreaming of that tropical island again. Minus Mr. Coconut Allergy.
Ring Communications is a badass public relations agency in Boston (and recently expanded to Nashville) and my go-to experts on social media trends and strategy. This post is from the always fabulous, Jessica Poillucci.
Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are evolving at rapid speeds. If you’re worried about being able to keep up with the latest features, don’t be – we’ve got you covered.
Instagram and Facebook Split-screen Live
In a world where people are connecting from states and countries away, this feature is truly what dreams are made of – though, I’m not sure even Hilary Duff could have predicted such awesome technological advances when she sang those lyrics at the end of the Lizzie McGuire Movie. Now, in a FaceTime-like fashion, people can go live together from different locations, making live interviews easier than ever. For Instagram, simply go live, tap the icon at the bottom right of the screen (it’s shaped like 2 smiley faces), and select who you are going live with. For Facebook, just swipe left during your live broadcast to see “viewers” and select who you would like to invite to join the live. This incredibly easy to use feature will have you making your list of interviewees a whole lot bigger!
Everyone loves zooming in on a cute dog’s face – although there are many other options for how to use this cool new feature! Instagram has made stories even more entertaining with their new Superzoom feature, which zooms in on a subject with 3 hard motions set to music. Whether you are highlighting a new product or showcasing one of your employees, why not do it with dramatics?
Instagram Stop Motion Stories
This is such a fun new feature that is being totally underutilized. Lucky for us here at Ring Communications, we have brilliant minds on our team and our very own Ainsley Winship came up with a prime example of how to use Stop Motion Stories. As a female-led PR company that embraces our love of fashion (and lipstick… seriously, we love lipstick) we are implementing a new Instagram series that gives our followers a look into our bags. Using stop motion, Ainsley was able to show off each item in her bag, tagging the different brands that were shown for #Marketing! How could your company utilize this fun feature?
Twitter Periscope Live
Once again, social media is bringing all of our daily activities to one place. Instead of going to Youtube to watch your favorite daily shows, you can conveniently watch many within the Twitter app! AM to DM, a live morning show from Buzzfeed News is using this feature to broadcast their shows, allowing them to market and broadcast all within one place. “What makes this live feature different from those of Instagram and Facebook” you may ask – Twitter is used more often than the other channels as a timeline for news, making it a much more fitting outlet for daily shows and news shows. Plus, a Twitter-only show keeps people engaged by giving exclusive content that keeps them on the platform!
With a Youtube-esque feel, Facebook Discover allows users to follow different shows and “discover” new shows related to their interests. While in some ways this feature is similar to Twitter Periscope, it has an entirely different feel. Twitter’s new live feature feels perfect for news and daily shows, whereas Facebook Discover aims to make the most of everyone’s love for sharing viral videos by turning many of their concepts into weekly shows – for example, that video of kids listening to and trying to name songs from before their time has become a recurring show called “Do They Know It?” I highly suggest keeping a watchful eye on which videos are performing well and considering how you could turn them into a weekly or bi-weekly show.
For more great social media strategies, tips and trends follow the RingComm Girls at:
@JESSPOILLUCCI, @RINGCOMM and, of course, their Founder and President @RINGPRGIRL
It’s officially Fall. Although the weather is still humid here in Boston, it’s still Fall. The kids are back to school, and we are soon going to be well into the holiday season. As you eat your apple cider donuts and sip on your pumpkin spice latte, ask yourself these 2 questions:
Have you accomplished your goals for 2017?
Do you have a plan in place to finish the year strong?
If you answered no to these questions, don’t worry. You still have 2.5 months to make some EPIC shit happen. But, you MUST have a plan.
I know you have worked super hard to make some huge strides in your business this year. So, take a moment, pat yourself on the back, pour some champagne and reflect on your accomplishments.
Okay, now it’s time to get crack-a-lackin’ and make shit happen. You need a strategy to start bringing in that income you have been dreaming about.
The following are a few steps that might help you get to your stellar 4th quarter faster than you imagined:
Set an Income Goal: Be crystal clear about your expectations for the quarter for your company. A bad example of a goal for a quarter is: “I want to make lots of money” because it’s hard to measure against. “A lot of money” is a pretty general topic that is hard to measure against. Everyone’s definition of “a lot of money” varies greatly. However, if you were to say, “I want to make the most money of any quarter this year” you could look back and determine how much that is. To get even better at setting goals, to say, “I want to make $25,000 this quarter” is great! It’s a goal you can measure. You achieve it or you don’t! Simple as that!
Break Down Your Goals Further: To determine your end goal, set goals each month of how much you will bring in. For example, “To reach my $25,000 goal for 3 months I need to bring in $8,334 per month.” It’s measurable and not debatable! Keep breaking that number down further until you get to your daily goal. Based on 30 days in a month, you need to make roughly $278 per day. Sounds doable, right?
Set Steps to Achieve These Monthly Goals: Having income goals is a great step to keep you focused on having a great quarter, but setting steps to help you get there is key as well. First decide what your offers are. Do they need to change based on what your audience needs? Then analyze what’s been working and what hasn’t and adjust where necessary. Not posting regularly on social media? Pick ONE platform and be consistent. Set a plan to post twice a day and make a point to engage with your audience. Determine 3-4 strategies and break them down into actionable steps that you can take.
Current Customer Blitz: This is your low-hanging fruit. They have already purchased from you in the past and they are most likely to buy from you again or offer a referral. Another bonus to working with existing and past clients is that it reduces the on-boarding time. It’s always a good idea to stay in regular contact with existing and past customers. Keep them informed of what’s going on in their industry, share articles that you think would be of interest to them, send them your blogs and share any new updates in your business.
Start acting, “As if”: Okay, this is a mindset tactic but it works like a charm. A great motivator and mindset exercise is to visualize and start acting like you have already achieved your goal. Be the best actress you can be. Pretend “as if.” It’s like the exercise of feeling happy–you smile for a minute in the mirror and you just naturally start feeling happy. So, act “as if” you have surpassed your revenue projections.
Nurture Leads: Be sure to reach out to any leads that look promising. Check in with them. See how they are doing. Is there anything they are struggling with? Map your solution to their struggle. Sales is just a conversation. It doesn’t have to feel icky. Just keep providing valuable content that moves them through the buyer journey. For instance, write a blog post that answers a problem that is nagging at your audience. End that blog post with a call to action, either to another blog post, a free resource, an upcoming workshop..wherever you want to take them, and so on. Map the journey and then plan the content. Make sure to share that blog post EVERYWHERE.
Just remember to set goals and reach for them. Improving your business takes a clear strategy and a solid mindset. See where you can go and how you can help your business grow while also staying true to who you are and who your faithful clients want you to be!
Whenever someone asks me how to attract their ideal client or how to engage their audience, my answer is always the same…CONTENT. Every online business knows (or should know) that demands for original, high-quality, online content are higher than ever. But with a little creativity and a decisive strategy, you don’t have to stress over having enough content to attract inbound traffic. Having a content strategy in place will set you apart from the competition, let your audience get to know you, and allow you to express your personal brand. Why? People buy from those they know, like and trust. Think of the online space as though you are throwing a cocktail party in your home. Would you ignore your guests? Of course not. You would pour them a drink. Ask them what’s new in their life. Offer them some yummy appetizers (i love dip!) Not having content is the equivalent of standing in front of your ideal client at the party and not saying a freakin’ word. So here are six steps to planning and creating a month’s worth of content in one day.
Step 1: List all KPO’s (key promotional opportunities)
Those “special” days like National Friendship Day may seem silly, but they’re a great way to tell a story and connect with your audience. Here’s an example of the first few weeks of a month. Some of the KPO’s that will be included in September are listed below :
Sept. 1 – Emma M. Nutt Day and National Cherry Popover Day: Explore and celebrate the history of the first woman telephone operator — or elaborate on the origins of the cherry popover. Tie it into a new offer and tell your audience you have a deal as sweet as cherries.
Sept. 2 – International Bacon Day: If you’re enthralled by the great bacon trend that has become prominent over the last several years, you can dedicate a blog to writing about the history of bacon, where to buy bacon cupcakes, or how to make chocolate-covered bacon. And if you would like to show your healthy side, plan a great article about different types of vegan and vegetarian alternatives.
Sept. 5 – Cheese Pizza Day – Write an article about the top ten places (locally, regionally, nationally and internationally) where people can get the best cheese pizza around. In addition, you can write an article on how to acquire or make pizza with the highest quality ingredients — from cheeses to the sauce to the crust. Have a picture of you and your family enjoying some pizza together.
Sept. 5 – As an alternative, show your wild side and write an article for Be Late for Something Day — listing all the benefits of letting other people wait on you for a change.
Step 2: Think about the buyer persona (or kickass client) that represents the market segment you’re trying to attract.
For example, if I’m writing to an older, more conservative audience, I’ll be sure to include national days like Flag Day, 911, and historical biographies. On the other hand, if I’m writing for a younger audience — like young mothers — I’ll include content on health and nutrition, and life hacks such as how to make family meals under 20 minutes and how to prepare your home and family for the holidays. Lastly, each month I revisit my buyer persona write-up to see if it needs tweaking or expanding. The bottom line is this: When you create content designed for your ideal client, you win. Every. Damn. Time. Learn more about this in the masterclass, How To Attract Your Kickass Clients.
Step 3: Brainstorm
I like to write down everything that comes to mind on post-it notes. For example, suppose my target audience is Millennials, ages 23 to 37, and I choose to dedicate every day of October to National Gourmet Adventures Month. I’ll make a list of appropriate themes, topics, quotes, exercises, phrases and anecdotes. Then I’ll group similar concepts together — fun quotes for Millennials and interesting places to visit and try out the cuisine, for example. And if I decide to dedicate October to writing about how to celebrate the fall with exciting outings for the family, I’ll research and write on topics such as pizza farms (not really..but you get the idea)…. The list goes on!
Step 4. Use tricks to fight off writer’s block.
If you’re having trouble brainstorming, I have a trick that can help: I like to “reverse brainstorm.” I write down every bad idea I can think of, asking myself: “What could I write about that would turn people away?” This is the Constanza Principle. Remember when George Costanza decides to toss his gut instincts to the curb and instead consider radical alternatives to what his instincts tell him to do—and it works? The same works for reverse brainstorming. For example, for my October Gourmet Adventures Month, I would compile a list of things NOT to write about for my adventurous, experience-seeking Millennial audience:
I will not write about ordinary staple foods unless they have a unique or holiday-oriented twist to them.
I will not limit myself to local, regional or national cuisine. (My target audience loves to travel!)
I will not exclude food that young family members can enjoy.
I will not exclude vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free options — instead, I’ll probably dedicate an article to each!
Step 5. Plan the frequency of your posts.
Write down how often you plan to post on each platform, how many lead magnets you will create, and how many blogs you will write — and commit to your plan. For example, you may wish to post on the various social media channels three-to-five days a week, and update your blog posts at least once a week. Be sure to construct a plan with a reasonable time-frame that works best for you. And most importantly, stick to it! Tip: I like to use the Chrome extension Momentum. Not only does it display a different gorgeous image every day but I can add my most important task like, Finish Blog Post On Content Planning. Every time I open a new tab, which is A LOT, I’m reminded of that task.
6. Locate your images.
Sometimes I find even more inspiration in the images I run across. Some of the sites I like are: stocksy.com, creativemarket.com and bloguettes.com. With the October Millennial gourmet food plan, for example, I’ll get inspired by international images of families and fancy food, global cuisine, and lots of pictures that illustrate unique twists on Halloween, Day of the Dead, and All-Saints Day foods and customs from the US, the British Isles, and Latin America. Finally, I organize my thoughts and… I write my posts.
And then …. Done!
With these six steps, you can create a full month’s worth of content. And you’ll have a lot of fun doing it. You’ll also tune in to your customers’ expectations and find creative ways to connect with them. And if you need some help, be sure to download this month’s Content Planner.
Social media is the lifeblood of many businesses these days. It puts you in contact with your existing customers, allows you to reach out to new ones, and it gives you a platform to stand on so you can be more easily found. However, you can’t just throw whatever comes to your mind onto social media and expect positive results; garbage in, garbage out, as they say.
So what do you do when you can’t think of what to post? Well, even though your deadline is looming, and you need to say something, don’t go off half-cocked. Take a moment, take a breath, and remember the following tips.
Tip #1: Know Your Audience
Before you decide on a message, you need to know who is supposed to be hearing that message. Take a moment to think about your ideal client, and what they’re going to be looking for on social media. Even if you don’t have any ideas at the moment, that is a good place to start digging. The more you know about who you are trying to attract, the easier it will be to plan your social media and content strategies.
Tip #2: Be You, And Be Unique
The first instinct people have, especially on social media, is to find something popular and ape it. Instead of just trying to do what everyone else is doing, try being you. Don’t ignore social trends, but ask why they’re working, and put your own spin on it. People are a lot more likely to come see something unique than to see yet another imitator. The best way to do this is to document your life. That doesn’t mean posting pictures of what you ate for lunch (unless, that’s of interest to your ideal client) but more showing the behind the scenes of your brand. Letting them into your business so they can really get to know you. Remember, people don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it.
Tip #4: Go To The Well
You need to keep a repository of ideas on hand so that you aren’t depending on spur-of-the-moment inspiration every time you need to say something on social media. If you have a list then you can just open the file every time you need a new post, and bam, you have a list of stuff you’ve already thought of ready to go. In fact, you can double your money and write up posts in advance, setting them on a timed release. That way you can be truly ahead of the game.
Need some help with planning your social media? Click on the image below and download the August Content Planner.