Many people strive for success and this can come in various forms depending on what success means for you. Financial freedom, a good work-life balance, owning a business – each and every person has their own thoughts on what success means for them.
If you’re not completely satisfied with how your career or work life is going or heading, and you’re not feeling the joy of success, perhaps it’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate.
Setting up a business and working for yourself can have huge implications to your life, especially if you’re seeking a better work-life balance, and can be the answer that you’re looking for in order to be a more happier, independent and passionate person.
Many people dream about having their own business but get stuck on the ‘how to’ of getting started, often causing a stumbling block and even an excuse not to get started. But if you’re looking for encouragement in getting started and help along the way – we’re here to offer that and to give you as much guidance as we can to help you on your way. Don’t let barriers get in your way, hurdles and obstacles can be overcome – but you need to be in the right mindset to get there.
What are the main benefits to owning a business and working for yourself?
1) Financial freedom
Working for yourself means that you have the opportunity to work the hours you want or need in order to obtain the financial income that you want, or need. Depending on the industry that you head into, and the other commitments you may have, the world is your oyster in how much you can benefit financially when becoming your own boss.
However be aware that it is harder to motivate yourself and stay on track when you’re running your own business! There’s no one there to push you forward, telling you to get the work finished or making you stay 9-5 … you have to do this yourself. Not having a time-sheet or accountability can be hard at first, but when you are in a routine and have the motivation to want to earn, you’re on the right track. It may not happen overnight, but you will get there if you persevere.
Set goals of what income you need in order to see financial freedom – and what does financial freedom actually mean for you as this is different for everyone. Little by little you can reach your financial goals until you hit the place where you need to be. Once you’re there, make a plan in order to sustain that income.
2) Work-life balance
Yes it’s hard work being a business owner, especially when you first start out but if you can start out with the mindset that this is going to work around your other commitments and personal life, you’ll have a better chance that your work-life balance is going to be successful. Start as you mean to go on!
On the flip side of that, you still need to give 100%. This may mean working in a way that you are not used to, or working different hours to accommodate, it’s about balance and finding a routine that works for you personally.
What does a work-life balance mean for you?
Do you have family responsibilities, volunteer commitments, regular things that you need to do? However you balance your workload is completely up to you when you’re a business owner – find a pattern that is sustainable, try not to commit to things that are out of reach or make life harder, and enjoy the benefits of both a happy lifestyle and business that is passionate for you.
When you own your business, you can set your own goals and see them achieved.
When you’re working for someone else you can often feel trapped into achieving someone else’s goals. This is your chance to find your feet, set your own targets and head directly for your own success.
- What do you want to achieve?
- What have you always wanted to do that could be brought into the goals of your new business?
The best way to see success and achieve your goals is to set out a business and marketing plan aligned with where you want to be and how you’re going to get there. Follow the plan and if necessary find someone that you can be accountable to in order to stay on track of your plan.
4) Organisation & Efficiency
If you’re not one for being efficient and simply doing ‘what you need when you need to’, running your own business (should) shape you into being effective in all that you do. Productivity is a must if you want to be successful – start with this mindset when you begin your business and stay in this habit in order for it to continue long-term.
- How do you plan your day?
- What steps do you do in order to see something accomplished?
How about starting with a physical planner where you write down your goals, create step by step targets to achieve them and work out a plan of action in order to see the results? Much better than playing it by ear and hoping for the best! Efficiency and productivity are great tools but ones that need to be worked at and adhered to. However when you get into the routine of following them, you’ll see a more positive outcome and better results.
5) Positive Attitude
When you’re doing something you love, you’ll have the motivation to do it. Unlike a 9-5 where you go because you have to, watching the time tick by, you’ll be positive in what you’re doing. When you’re positive and happy in what you’re doing, you’ll see better results.
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” ~ Zig Ziglar
Success and achievement have an effect not just on the physical aspect of what you’re doing but in your personal attitude and lifestyle too.
Everyone dreams, everyone has goals that they’d love to see come to fruition. If you can put that desire into your own business and see dreams achieved, how much more confident and passionate will you become?
When it comes to starting a business, ensure that you find something that you are passionate about. Once you’ve found that passion, create a plan of action and a timeline of how you’re going to get started and what you need to move forward. Set SMART goals – be realistic in achievements and plan out your marketing to reach those goals.
Get creative, find inspiration, be motivated by passion.
Are you thinking about starting a business? Once you’re ready to get started, give us a call to talk about an online marketing strategy – we’d love to hear your story, see what you’re looking to do and help you get there. Speak soon!
With social media being the most popular way for people to communicate with a business, it is a given that businesses need to be responsive and interact on social media to keep their customers and audience engaged. A place where consumers can discover more about a brand, learn more about a product or service and get to know and trust a business before making a purchase.
The growing popularity of social media makes it an essential place for businesses to be and to reach their audience right where they are. It provides a faster and more personal touch to any conversation and allows the follower to feel cared for and part of a community. However, there are some rules and things that you can adhere to, to ensure that you’re covering the right basis and interacting in a positive way.
Post valuable content
Whatever social media content you produce needs to (and should always) produce value. Personal profiles are the place where other non-business things can be shared and talked about, but when it comes to your business profile, your customers want to see that they can rely on you giving value and being supportive when they need it. Whether you’re giving an inspirational quote or sharing a tip or advice, make sure that your followers can benefit from it.
It doesn’t always have to be something that you have written, this is called curated content. If another business or industry expert has written a relevant and valuable blog post, why not share this to your audience? Tip: You can use other people’s content to grow your own brand awareness!
Show some personality with your voice
You are your brand, yes, but the voice that you portray across social media content should reflect the right tone for your business. People will see through split personalities and conflicts of interests – be true to your brand, the core values that you believe in and the way you want your business to be seen and heard.
Create a voice across social media where you can be yourself and give a good impression of every aspect of your business. Your unique voice is your authenticity and is essential in speaking to the right people, engaging with the right people and reaching the people that are going to want to grow with you and the brand.
Creating your unique voice will make you stand out in a crowded digital space, make you stand apart from the other businesses and competition, and increase your chances of being heard and appreciated, trusted and loved. Become known in a digital world that is fighting for attention by being authentic.
Keep your social media simple
There’s nothing worse than trying to jump on every social channel, keep up with the large organisations and compete with everyone out there – it’s not going to work! Keep your social media marketing simple, make it as easy as possible with the best possible results. Learning to be effective and efficient in your online marketing will make life a lot easier and will help control stress levels which can increase when someone tries to everything all at once.
If you establish that you need to be doing more and keeping up with bigger competition, or even that you’re not the right person to be doing the marketing (everyone has their strengths and weaknesses) then why not think about outsourcing your social media to a VA (virtual assistant) or a digital agency that has the resources and expertise to be productive and reach your business objectives.
When it comes to simply, start with sticking to the point in everything that you post – captions, images, text & copy – keep it simple and easy to manage. Once you start making it complicated and adding in extras, your audience will expect that every time and it is obviously harder to keep up with. Start small and increase as you have the time and skills to do so.
Monitor your social channels
There’s one thing to create a great social media plan and schedule every post for a month in advance, but it’s something else to monitor the reactions and engagements that come from those posts. Be reactive and responsive on the content; when someone comments, respond. When someone shares, thank them. When someone recommends, engage. At all times monitor your social media profiles along with other people’s content that mentions you – this is called social listening and is a very valuable tool.
Make the most of User Generated Content
Your followers and consumers are the people who drive your business forward, who are an influence to others seeking out your business and are the people that will help you build trust and confidence with new customers.
UGC not something that is essential in your social media strategy but always an action that will help.
When someone shouts out about your business – engage with them and share their posts on your social channels. Their reviews, experiences, journey with your business can be shown to other people looking in – utilise User Generated Content wherever possible. Not only will it help with finding a variation in your content, but it will provide insight and reassurance to others.
Above all when it comes to your online marketing efforts, be consistent and on the ball with everything. Diffuse controversy, especially when it’s something that effects your business or nature. When you say you’re going to post, post. When you get into a routine, be sure to keep it up – people expect what they are used to and can get despondent or bored if they feel let down. Be true to your brand and let your personality shine through in your content. Organise, plan and prepare everything – there’s always room to add in extras, but ensure you have your basis covered first.
How do you manage your interaction and engagement on social media? Are you finding that you’re not effective or productive? Do you love social media and have some success stories to share with your audience? Are you looking to outsource your online marketing so you can focus on other parts of your business? Do you need a marketing strategy to work towards? Whatever your situation, we’d love to listen or help you engage and interact with your online audience, feel free to get in touch and let’s talk!
In the meantime, our Social Media Checklist can help, you’re welcome to download our FREE resource to give you the first step up. Click the link below.
Social media should always be part of your marketing strategy as a business owner however with the country on lock down, now, more than ever, is the time to get your message out there and to be giving value to everyone you meet ‘online’.
Without the ability to mix in social gatherings, it can become a lonely place and people are finding ways to break the boredom, frustration and changes ahead. Being online will be the first point of call for many who are trying to stay up to date with the world, stay in touch with friends and family and continue as normal as possible.
So where and how does your business fit in to the mix?
Many people are asking the questions, “Should I pull back from social media?” / “I haven’t got the money to put into marketing at the moment” / “There’s no need to promote my business at this time”. All valid questions or thoughts but at the end of the day, you have a business you believe in, the world will go on and come through the Coronavirus at the other end and you want to be in the forefront of people’s minds when that time happens. By disappearing and being unseen through these times, it will make it harder to have an impact when things start to get back to normal.
The best thing your business can do is to keep an active social media presence but perhaps change the tone of what you do. For example, how can you help your audience? How could you provide value to your audience? Could you provide tutorials or how-to’s? Can you inspire or motivate your audience or be a listening ear to the questions or thoughts they have?
There are many ways that you can still communicate with your audience online, it doesn’t have to be about selling your product or getting them to use your services, the above ideas will help to build a relationship with the people around you and to build trust and credibility. You just need to be you – YOU are your brand and the people (eventually) will buy from you when they like and trust what they see and hear.
Tell your story
Relationship building and story telling is so important throughout your marketing ventures, whether that be online or offline, people want to trust who they connect with and love what they see. Tell your story, be honest in what’s happening around you at this time. People are happy to listen and engage when it’s something real – in the long term they will not appreciate you being something you’re not and giving them false hopes of what they will get from you.
Be passionate and positive
Be passionate in everything you do, be inspirational and lift people’s spirits. These are hard time for lots of people and many are seeing their businesses fall around them. How can you be their ray of light? Even if you don’t feel like it’s going great for you, you can still take the positive mindset and believe that if you push through and do all that you are able to do, it will be ok and your business will come through the other end. Mindset has so much to do with outcomes – do you agree? The more positive you are through a situation, the better the result. And that can be applied to your business in these times of lock down, isolation and worrying days. Make the decision to be positive, to be brave, and to try new things as we go through a different way of life for a while. You may try something completely new and it works! You’d never know unless you try.
Bring your audience with you in the journey
Step out of the boat, put your best face on and be there for your audience. Explain to them where you’re at, bring them along with you in your story, make them part of the journey. Allow your audience to help guide the direction of where your business heads, your customers are your lifeline, they are the people that are going to keep your business afloat, so give them what they want and allow their reactions and decision to influence yours.
There is room for everyone online
Social media marketing is a minefield as you may well know by now, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t play the game right and fairly. The internet is a big place and there is room for everyone, you just need to know how and where you fit in. And with many businesses pulling back in their online presence there will be more opportunity for you to be heard, if it’s done correctly and sensitively. Know your audience, know when and where to post, understand them and what their pain points are, get to love them and be in their shoes when writing your copy or creating your images, be that customer and create your content as if it were for you. What would you want to hear? What solutions would help you? What inspiration would help you or guide you?
Make a list of questions that your audience could be asking and write content around these, dig deeper into the mindset of your customers and provide as much value as you can for them and let them think that you are writing directly to them.
Each of us will be going through different struggles in these unprecedented times, the country, the nation, the world is all going through it together, so you are not alone. It’s just going to be a case of what can you do now to keep your business alive and help it to come out the other side?
It’s all in the marketing strategy
Plan your marketing well. Don’t live in the hope that it might work, be strategic in your approach and use your time wisely in creating a plan that will help you achieve all that you need to, while speaking to all those you need to and by providing all the value and solutions that you are able. Be consistent, be persistent and love your audience.
If you’re looking for guidance on how to get your business through these times and showcase what you have to give, we’d love to chat with you. Feel free to get in touch and let’s talk.
Download our FREE social media 2020 awareness days calendar and give your audience something to talk about! …
Where do you start when marketing your business online? Do you struggle with getting a relevant, interesting and authentic message across? Do you find it difficult to come up with content that doesn’t repeat everything else you say?
Sometimes when a marketing message goes stale, we need to take a step away to refresh, recharge and revisit our mission statement. What we think we are saying, what we really say and the way that message comes across can be completely different things. Do you find yourself in the trap of repetition and regurgitating the same content over and over again? It’s time to freshen up!
Go back to basics
Go back to the drawing board, it’s time to brainstorm.
Start at the very beginning of your mission statement and the values that you hold, the things that are most valuable to you and your business. What is it that drives you forward, that gives you the motivation to do what you do? These are the fundamental elements that glue your business together and make you want to succeed. And these are essential parts that your audience need to know about when getting to know who you are and what your brand about.
Start the storyboard
Moving from your mission and values, start to set the scene and tell the story of where you’ve come from to where you are now. Everyone loves a story and for you to be authentic and unique will set you apart from the competition. Get the story rolling by sharing the heart behind your mission, the thought process of why you do what you do, the emotional angle of what’s precious to you. And then you can move on to the services you offer, why you offer them, what products you have, what value you give, what people can get from you and everything that physically makes up your business. By now your brainstorm should have lots of parts to it, all different aspects relating to the make up of your business.
Now you can start to link them together and begin to pull a common thread through it all. All these things together are what you’re going to share with your audience. You don’t just have one message to share but lots of multifaceted aspects that make up your brand.
Your message will not have a chance to go stale when you constantly go back to the basics, revisit the drawing board and brainstorm regularly to bring new ideas and visions to the table.
New content with new ideas
Once you have the ideas flowing and you’ve got everything that says what your business is about, you’ve got an opportunity to create some new content to go with it.
- Blog posts
- Social media content
How can you put your message into the above types of content? It’s about getting creative and sharing your message in different ways. Jump behind the scenes and share a video about what’s happening/ what’s going on/ your team/ your network/ your office. Interview people or create a podcast, this could give an opportunity to work with industry professionals – it’s not necessarily you doing all the speaking but it’s giving value and a variety to your audience. How much more engaging can a video or podcast be rather than a simple blog post? Both varieties have their merit but by doing both blog and video you automatically have two types of content that you can use across your social media, which you can then re-purpose and use again and again.
Once you’ve written a blog post, how many images or types of posts (i.e. infographics / how tos etc) can you create that share a similar message which you can use across your channels? Re-posting the same blog image could get repetitive but 5 or 6 different images that relate to the same thing will give a variety to your readers and your audience.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut of what’s always work should always work – but that’s simply not the case, especially in a fast paced online world where there is so much competition and fight for attention. There is no place for complacency. You may be comfortable, you may love what you do, but are you seeing measurable results from it? If the answer is no, you’re just wasting valuable time that could be better invested in your business. Try not to sit on the fence hoping that something will change ‘soon’, if it’s not working, something needs to give. Go back to the drawing board and figure out what your message is truly about and give your marketing some fresh substance for people to get a hold of.
At the end of the day, your message needs to be fresh, consistent, inline with your values and mission and giving value to your audience. If it doesn’t meet these needs, you’re going to struggle to make it work. Use this opportunity to get creative in your marketing, to relight the fire and passion about what your business is about and to think of new ways of getting the attention of your audience. What is it they want to see, what do they want to hear that will solve their pain points? Be there in the forefront of their minds, show up when no one else does and give purpose to your brand. If you love it and share that zeal, then other’s will catch on and be there with you.
If you’d like to chat over your marketing plans or strategy or simply know that it’s time to outsource your social media marketing to a team that want you get results – and know how to get them!, we’d love to talk. Contact us today for an initial consultation.
In the meantime if you’d like some inspiration on what to talk to your audience about, why not download our FREE 2020 Awareness Days Calendar – and start the conversations today!
In order to understand how content marketing can impact a business, we need to understand what content marketing is and the benefits it can have on business owners.
What is content marketing?
According to the dictionary, content marketing is defined as: A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.
Another way of looking at it, is how the Content Marketing Institute put it: Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
The main thing to remember is that content marketing is about being educational and not all about selling a product.
What is content marketing good for?
The reasons we look to content marketing is not ultimately to promote a product but about building a brand and reputation. Here are some other reasons:
- To build an engaged and interested audience – making sure that you’re taking the people that you want to speak to and not generalising at anyone that will listen.
- To educate customers – teaching your customers or potential customers about your business or industry.
- To increase sales in the long-term.
- To build a loyal customer base and create a brand that people will know, love and trust.
What do people know about your brand?
If you search Google or the search engines for you / your business, what do you find?
This can be a great exercise as you get to see what other people can find out about you.
Do you like what you find? Are you surprised by the results that you find?
By building on your content marketing, you can start to create a base and substance for what people are going to find when they do their due diligence and research your business. You can start to get control over the content people find about you. And the more good content you create, the more reputable your business will become.
Practice – Patience – Persistence
It can be easy to get worked up when you don’t get it right all the time but that’s just part of the process (and a part of life!). Not everyone is good at creating great content, but you will get better if you keep practicing, have patience and are persistent in your approach.
Results will happen when you have patience. But you have to be consistent and persistent. Don’t forget that if you really find that you’re not great after all at content marketing, there are people there ready to help. Outsourcing marketing is a common occurrence and just means that you’re looking after the interests of your business, focusing on what you do best and allowing an expert to take care of the other stuff.
Understand your business goals
Producing content for the sake of it will not get you anywhere fast, it will just increase stress, workload and worry about not producing results. Every piece of content should be created with a business goal in mind. Although this may seem a long process, for everything you produce, ensure that it aligns with a business goal and establish how it is going to benefit your long or short-term goals.
Consider your business goals, where do you ultimately want to get to, and think about how your content can contribute towards achieving them…
- Raising brand awareness
- Build an email list / customer base
- Provide a good customer journey and experience
- Upsell existing customers
- Help customers to be an advocate of your brand
Understand your mission and values
Just as you did with your business goals, each piece of content has got to be in line with your mission and values. There is absolutely no point in creating content that goes against what you believe, or doesn’t sit right with the people you want to reach, or even with the values that you promote. Your content needs to true to what your brand is about.
Consider your values or mission and how your content can contribute towards aligning with these:
- Who can you help the most with your content?
- What type of information can you provide?
- What is the desired outcome with the content that you’re producing?
What type of content can you use?
There are a wide range of resources that you can use to create your content marketing ideas, way to many to list but back to what we said at the beginning, all content must be educational or informational – not selling a product. Therefore the list can begin with:
- Books / ebooks
- Webpages / websites
- How to’s
And the list can go on. There is so much content that you create to build your brand, without directly selling.
But the question may come down to what you love to do, what you enjoy doing, what makes you smile and sits right with you personally. Looking at the list about, what jumps out at you and makes you think “yes I can produce that”? These are the things you need to start with. It doesn’t have to be hard, it just has to be true to your brand.
The more you start to think about writing or creating content that adds value rather than selling, the easier it will become. In all you do, the audience should feel like they’re receiving value, or being looked after.
Implementing the process
Once you’ve established what content marketing is how you can add value to your audience, it comes down to implementing it into your marketing strategy. Social media plays a big part in today’s society in reaching a wide and engaging audience and is often the best way to market to your customers. Build your content ideas into your social media strategy, creating a solid foundation for your business to gain respect, become reputable and trusted within your chosen niche. The more solid and authentic your content is, the more people will become to trust you, in turn becoming loyal and valued customers.
As we mentioned before, great content can increase your brand awareness, it can help build an audience that is interested in what you are about and ultimately it can lead to long-term sales and business growth.
If you’d like to get started with content marketing but are still unsure of how to get off the ground, or would like to look at outsourcing, we’d love to chat with you. Contact us today – let’s talk marketing!
And in the meantime if you’re looking to create engaging content around some of the issues that are important to your audience, why not download our free 2020 Awareness Days Calendar – it’s always good to have new ideas to share!
We look forward to hearing from you.