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By Nancy Sheed

How a Business Clean-Up Can Bring Marketing Success

You know that feeling when warm weather comes and you want to open all the windows and doors and air the house out? Clean out closets and throw out the collected winter clutter?

It happens to most of us. A new season comes and we have the urge to purge (and clean).

But what about our business? Shouldn’t it get a renewed look and de-cluttering too?

When was the last time you took a day off? Yes… a whole day off *gasp* to do a little clean up on your business.

What Kind Of Cleaning?

There are two clean-up projects you should do once or twice a year.

The first one is more of a clutter buster.

Get rid of old files bogging down your computer.

Move your images and big files off your main computer and put them on an external storage drive. Look at your credit card statement and note any recurring business expenses that you don’t need. Those little $9.99 monthly programs and subscriptions add up.

Open up the virtual windows of your business

The second clean up project is a mental cleanup

A mental cleanup?

There is a tendency with entrepreneurs to forget why we are running a business.  By now you may have realized that running your own business is not easy. As a matter of fact is can be downright hard some days. Like – “I’m done with this” hard.

There’s a reason you keep going.  Why? Do you know the answer?

To (re)find it. It would be beneficial to take another day off! *gasp* TWO days off?!?

Yes! Another day off. To reconnect with your goals and vision. To remind yourself why you’re doing what you do.

Grab a fresh notebook and a brand new pen. Go somewhere that you can think and get away from the hustle and bustle for a few hours.

Ask yourself the following:

  1. What do you want to achieve, in business and in life?

Take a moment to think about what it is you want.  If you want to have a business that allows you to travel, are you structuring it to allow that? If you want to only work 30 hours a week, are the plans in place to do so? Do you have an income goal? Write down what you want your life (and business) to look like.

  1. What’s your secret sauce? What makes you stand out from your competition? What is something you do, that your customers or clients LOVE?

This is the magic of your business.  I’m guessing you have competition.  What do you do to make your business the best choice?

  1. What do they need to learn from you? What can your unique specialties do for them?

Once you get clear on your secret sauce, think about what your ideal customers want from you. When can you deliver this information to them? How do you think they want to get it?

  1. How are you reaching your existing clients? How are you reaching new clients?

What’s working? What’s not?

  1. Where does my best business come from?

If Facebook brings you the most business, focus most of your online marketing efforts there.

What Does This Have to Do With Marketing?

Everything.

It all flows together.

See you do have a vision of what you want your life to look like, but we get caught up in our day-to-day activities. We tell ourselves, “tomorrow, I’ll really hire that VA”,  “Next week, I’ll get started on social media”,  “Hopefully, by next year I’ll be able to work less hours if I can hustle now”.

Start to structure your business around the life you want now, then decide where you need to be productive. What needs to be more efficient? What type of support do you need?

Make your business work for you.

Focusing on what your secret sauce is, changes everything you do. This is how you stand out with your unique voice, perspective, and services. This is how your ideal client will find you. They’ll be drawn to you because you resonate with them.

Knowing what your magic is, allows you to write more freely, and promote your services with the right marketing copy and connect with your audience they way they need you to connect.

Once you start thinking about your marketing with your customer or client in mind, it doesn’t feel so hard. And you’ll have a clearer sense about where best to reach them.

You’ll notice that your blogs are getting read.  Your emails are getting opened. Your social media posts are getting likes and comments.  Why? Because you have cleaned out the stale marketing efforts that are no longer serving you. You have reminded yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing, and you’ll remember what makes you stand out.

Now, open up your calendar and pick your two clean-up days, to.

  1. Clear out the clutter
  2. Set your one-on-one day with your business.

You’ve got this!

Having trouble with your clean up? Let’s schedule a “clarity call” so I can help you make way for marketing success!

Playlist: May Mex Mish Mash

This playlist was inspired in Mexico earlier this month, when my mom started digging on Thievery Corporation playing in the background at a Sayulita beach cafe. We (my mom, sisters and I) were chilling out for the afternoon enjoying the weather, taking surfing lessons, getting massages and very much enjoying lots of coffee, cervezas and margaritas (not necessarily in that order). So enjoy “May Mex Mish Mash”, which brings a south of the border feel along with some new chill tunes.

The 3 Things You Can Stop Doing Now With Your Online Marketing

I have a question for you.  Be honest in your answer…

Is your inbox flooded every day with the next BIG idea or Ah-mazing new product, program or widget? Are you stressing about the countdown sale for the newest service, product, or webinar that promises to create wealth beyond your wildest dreams?

I understand. Entrepreneurs and content marketers (we’re all content marketers!) have a tendency to sign up to a million email lists to get the latest incredible experts freebie ebook or training.

Why do we do this?

  1. We want to see what our competition is doing.
  2. We want some inspiration for our own ebook or training.
  3. We want the information to help us feel educated BEFORE we put our own services or content out there in the online world.

It’s very easy to want to virtually consume all of the information out there, but because we gobble up all of this amazing content, we get easily overwhelmed and confused.  

The experts out there each have a slightly different twist on the “best” way to run your business.  They have to offer their own spin in order to stand out in the crowd, but we then lose sight of how to move forward.

Expert 1 says, you should “be everywhere online.  Be on ALL social media platforms.”
Expert 2 says, “No, dial back. Focus on 1 or 2 platforms.”
Expert 3 says, “Go offline and reconnect in person.”
Expert 4 asks, “Why are you doing social media? Hire someone to do it for  you.”

So, who’s right?

They all are. What’s important is who YOU think is right and whose expertise works for how you want to run your business. Try not to follow ALL of the experts. Find a few whose message and teachings resonate with your business and lifestyle.

The 3 Things You Don’t Need To Be Doing

Unsubscribe from all the emails of experts who aren’t really your ideal mentor, and let’s get focused in business.

#1 – You don’t need to be everywhere

Social media can be time-consuming and hard to manage on your own.  It’s knowing where to post and what to post, engaging with followers who comment and share, and building a community around your pages and profiles.

Obviously, it’s not going away anytime soon, so it’s important to be online and be social.  

Pick 1 or 2 (3, if you have some support staff) social media platforms and do those really, really well.  

It’s much better to be in less places and present, than more places and non-existent.  

Go where your audience is. Use this amazing infographic from Tracx:

Social-Media-Demographics-2017
(click to zoom)

Once you choose the best social media platforms to be on, make sure to create a content plan that your audience will love. Use tools to help with automating posts and make sure to fill those threads daily. If you need help with content creation, then check out: 3 Ways to Simplify Your Online Marketing [+ FREE Content Calendar]

#2 – Don’t create content you hate doing

The trend lately in online marketing is to use video to grow your audience.  YouTube, Facebook Live, Periscope, and Snapchat are leading the charge.

“75% of online video viewers have interacted with an online video ad this month.”

“92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others” [Source]

BUT what if you hate the idea of doing video?  

For right now, don’t. I would suggest you try to put yourself out there with video content, but if the thought of it makes you freeze up, there’s no sense in forcing yourself to do it. Your audience will pick up on it.

If you are ready to try some video content, record it first, then upload it to your social media page. Get comfortable with video before you go live on video.

Is blog writing your nemesis? Grab some tips on How To Write a Blog Quickly

Create content that feels good to you and is valuable to your audience, and post in a place where your audience is online.  

Yes, writing blogs is good for increasing traffic to your site, but write them in a way that works for you. Maybe you are list person. Write a list blog that provides helpful tips to your readers.

Do you have a nice-sized email list? Write a daily email to them. Short and sweet. Give them a tip each day.  

Don’t feel pressured to create a ton of content that feels uncomfortable to you. Your audience will sense it.

The best content is quality over quantity. Create amazing, educational and valuable info, and your audience will love it.

#3: – Don’t create complicated opt-in offers or “funnels”

Geesh…this is a big trend that online marketers are over-complicating!

When someone opts-in to your freebie offer, they should be added to your email list. Then think about a funnel as a simple progression through your offerings and growing your community. Don’t think of it as a way to sell more stuff.

The benefits of a funnel are to:

  • Automate your follow-up process
  • Stay in front of your audience
  • Offer valuable and educational information to your audience
  • Build trust with your list
  • Segment your list, if you are using a program that can segment people by tags or clicks.  

You don’t need a 40-step funnel to stay connected with your list. Remember, these people want/need what you offer.  It’s your job to help them and bring some ease and transformation into their lives.  Keep it simple, sister!

What You Should Be Doing

Remember this is your brand and your business. Run it the way that feels good to you and that resonates with your audience. Write your blogs in a way that feels good. Use your voice and inject your perspective. Someone will follow you and ultimately buy from you if they know, like, and trust you.

Let’s find ways to make that happen. Stuck on what to do next?  I can help – how about a free clarity call to figure out the best way to connect and market to your audience.

Playlist: New Faves in 2017

With arrival of spring upon us (finally), I’ve got some “Fave New Tunes” released this year. No surprise – there are some old guard names (Sting, The Shins, Ben Sollee) and some new-ish bands that I’ve been following (Strand of Oaks, Real Estate, Local Natives, Father John Misty, Lucius) and some new to me (Temples, Broken Social Scene, and The Wild Reeds).

What’s new to your playlists this year? Who would you add?