10 ways to prepare for 2018

So we are fast approaching 2018 and the panic has set in for many. How do I finish off the year? Did I complete everything I said I would?  How much money can I make between now and Christmas? What exactly am I going to do differently in 2018?

Rest assured, this is a common feeling and dilemma that many entrepreneurs face and feel at the end of the year. The new year feels overwhelming but have no fear, I am here to share with you 10 ways you can prepare for 2018.

1. Do a brain flush

This simply means writing out all the ideas you have in your head in no particular order. Get it all out and on paper until you feel you have everything out so you have a fresh clean slate to start on

2. Write out a new goal

A goal not written is merely a wish list. To go into the new year, get very clear about what you want to happen in your life and your business. Write out a very specific goal which will highlight exactly what work you want to do, who you want to serve, how you want to serve them, how much money you want to make and by when you want to make the money.

3. Reach out to your clients and ask for a testimonial and a referral

Your past clients are your best clients…because they already know how awesome you are and will gladly spread the word once they have been blown away. So before the year is ended, ask them for a testimonial and a referral of your services so you can increase your client list and get more eyes on your business

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4. Review your analytics

If you use social media to actively promote your business, then this is a great time to review your analytics. Have a look back over the year and take note of the posts and information you shared that performed really well. The post which got the most views or engagement. The blogs that had the most responses. The videos that had the most engagement. Spend time going through your analytics so you get a better sense of what resonates with your audience so you can do more of those things as you work to increase your visibility and brand presence.

5. Choose 10 books you have to read to help grow your business

As an entrepreneur we know that we should be continuously learning and growing. Books should be our bets friend whether in hard copy or as an audio book. Reading is a great way to keep on top of your game and stay motivated as you climb the ladder to success. There are so many great motivational and personal development books that continue to help us be the best that we can be. I recommend you start with

The Success Principles by Jack Canfield

Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill

The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

6. Make a list of collaborators

Collaboration is a great way to grow your business fast! The key is to choose persons who already have a great client base and add value to their existing clients as well as yours. Identifying who you want to collaborate with and why you think the collaboration is beneficial to both of you is bound to elevate your business in 2018.

7. Create a content list of all the topics you can share with your audience

By now you should have a clear idea of the information that your ideal clients need and want. Using bullet points, start to make a list of topic ideas that you would like to share during the year. The list will not be exhaustive but it should serve as a jumping off point for you to start the year off on the right foot. Your list can then be used to write value post, send emails to your audience, do live or pre recorded videos and so many other things.  Planning in advance is key to the your successful growth

8. Identify 5 clients you have to land

No more shooting around in the dark. You know the clients you want to work with. You already know you your sweetheart client is and you understand exactly how you can make an impact in their lives. Start the year by writing out their names and how you plan to help them solve a challenge they presently have.

9. Choose a mentor

Having a mentor is one of the best things you can do for your business. No matter what stage of business you are in, it is great to have someone who has already been where you presently are to guide and support you along the way. There are many entrepreneurs who are willing to mentor new and budding entrepreneurs. Make a note of some of the people you really admire and seek them out as mentors. This will do wonders for your business, your moral and your motivation in 2018.

10. Identify 2 new skills you need to learn

Keep learning! It’s that simple. As we grow, we continue to learn. None of us have all the skills necessary to run a business. So we learn as we grow. Identify 2 new skills that you know you want to learn to improve your business and schedule a period of time during the year when you will start the process of engulfing yourself into learning that skill.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it is a great starting  point for you to overcome the overwhelm of finishing this year and taking a deep dive into 2018. If you still feel stuck, then I am just a click away.

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Create content that sells

One of the challenges many of my clients face is creating content consistently that sells. You see, this is something that is not taught in school and when most people start a business, they focus on building a pretty website, have a splashy call card and then maybe creating a flier that they hope will lure people to their business. And when it does not quite work out that way, they come to me and ask WHY? My question to most entrepreneurs is – what content are you sharing with your audience?

Content alone won’t make the sales. You also have to consider where you are sharing it, who you are sharing with and when you are sharing but you have to have a clear idea of what you are sharing with your audience. Is it something they need to hear, read or experience. Are you sharing the content in the best way for them to understand how you can actually help them solve a challenge they are facing? Content creation is one of those must do activities for any business whether now starting or in business 10 years.

Some of the top brands share content consistently and that is how they are able to close their sales. Content does not mean advertising…so let’s squash that misconception right now. Content is about educating your audience and sharing value. It is the information your provide to your ideal client to help them solve their challenge. Content can be shared in a number of different ways including

  1. Video
  2. Posts
  3. Audio
  4. Speech at a speaking or networking engagement

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Content is shared in different places such as your:

  1. Blog
  2. Podcast
  3. Social Media Platforms
  4. As a speaker at an event
  5. Through a Mic Man
  6. Newsletter
  7. Email

And because the places are varied and they way it is shared is plentiful, many entrepreneurs immediately go into panic mode. But the solution is right in front of you everyday.

Here are 5 easy ways, I have been able to create content consistently for my audience and close the sale daily

  1. Ask them exactly what they want to learn from you. I know this sounds obvious but you would be surprised how many entrepreneurs are afraid to simply ask this question. Give them exactly what they want and then some more
  2. Create a poll in your group or your page or send out a survey with a list of questions that you want to get answered
  3. Think back to all the clients you have had over the last 3 to 6 weeks and make note of all the questions they have asked you via phone or email. Each question is a piece of content that you can share and teach your clients
  4. Look at what your competitors are posting/sharing and look at the response they are getting from their audience. Those responses are pieces of content for you to grab up
  5. Keep reading about new trends in your industry and give your opinion

This list is not exhaustive obviously but it is a great starting point for you to begin creating content that sells to your audience. The key is to take this information that you would have gathered and turn it into pieces of information which you share with your audience so they get to know, like and trust you even more.

If you have read this and still feel you need help in creating content that sells then let’s connect and discuss how we can get you over this hurdle called content creation!

Success is uncomfortable

I have been working closely with quite a few clients lately, more than my usual amount but I wanted to do it to see how I would manage. It has been tiring and eventful but fun at the same time. But the one thing I heard from at least 5 of my new clients as we developed new strategies and they got into action was that they were uncomfortable.

I found it amusing that each one of them used that exact word. Not that they were afraid or stressed but that they were uncomfortable! And it was the truth. They were uncomfortable because I was asking them to do things they had never done before. Things that took them out of their comfort zones. Things they never thought they would ever have to do. And it was not that these clients were lazy but they got comfortable complaining about how their businesses were not growing. Comfortable just getting by and barely paying bills. Comfortable being just comfortable with nothing to show at the end of the month even though they had a burning desire to do more and be more in their business and for their family.

Working with a coach (me!) forced them to get uncomfortable and do more than they even thought possible. It made them go one step further than they would have gone if they were doing this all alone.

Their success means they have to get uncomfortable!

Starting, growing and sustaining a business is not easy.  In fact, it may be one of the hardest things to do if you do not have all the tools or knowledge at your disposal but it is not impossible. As entrepreneurs we have to be ready to get uncomfortable to get to our success or our version of success, because then we will appreciate it even more.

One client even told me before she sent an email her stomach was upset. Another said before she did her live video and while doing the video she wanted to literally throw up. Being uncomfortable looks and feels different for everybody but it is something most successful entrepreneurs have experienced as they grew their business.

 

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The point being that if you really want success you have to get uncomfortable trying and testing  things that you have never done before. Whether that is doing a live video, speaking to a CEO, speaking on a stage in front of 1000 people or getting published in a major newspaper or magazine. Our success depends on hoe much we are willing to push ourselves beyond our safe limits to get exactly what we say we want in business and in life.

We have to push past our fears and our anxieties. Acknowledge that they exist and then make a conscious decision to keep moving even though you feel the pain in the pit of your stomach. Because truth be told, you will never know until you try! There is no time like the present to get exactly what you want, so let’s work together to make this happen.

Still looking for guidance and support as you grow your business? Look no further! As your coach I will provide you with the extra push to move you from uncomfortable to comfortable in your business and it starts with just an email or a call

M is for Marketing

The dreaded M word…lol. Okay I may be stretching it a bit, but truly that is the number 1 complaint I get from most of my clients. They do not know where or how to market their business. There is a mis guided belief that they just need to start a facebook page, post pretty pictures and motivational posts everyday and business will come knocking at their door. It is because of this misguided belief that so many business fail.

Even in school where I did marketing, I am not sure they actually showed us HOW to market. Yes we learnt about product, place and price but the actual HOW I think was sorely lacking and it rolls over when we are actually ready to start a business.

Marketing your business does not have to be daunting. It takes work but once you devise a plan and strategy that works for your business, the pieces start to fall together and the sales start to roll in. I want to share with you some key elements of any marketing strategy you devise. There is no one size fits all, but there are key elements that you need to consider before you get ‘busy’ with the ton of activities you feel are necessary to execute a solid marketing plan. So, let’s begin

1. Have a goal/plan

You need to be very specific about what you want to happen. You know that old saying about ‘Start with the end in mind’? Well here is where it comes in. What specifically do you want to happen in your business over a period of 3 months, 6 months, 1 year? How much do you want to earn and how many clients do you want to serve? Where do you want to be seen and heard? You have to hone down on this idea so that you can see and feel it before you even begin execution of any plan.

2. Know who your audience is

Too many times entrepreneurs try to sell to everybody and they end up burnt out and frustrated. Everybody does not need the solution you are providing. Get specific about who needs your business so that you save time, money and resources by speaking directly to them on a consistent basis. The more specific you get the greater the results will be. In my last blog post- Who is your ideal client we examined why they were important and how you start to find them.

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3. Have multiple solutions

By this I mean, that your ideal clients may need what you offer in a variety of ways so ensure that you provide them a variety of solutions that fit not just their pockets but their needs. Gone are the days when you just have to sell one thing over and over. The best sales people know that you should be selling multiple things to satisfy the different stages of your ideal clients.

4. Have an opinion

What exactly do you want to be known as/for. People want to know that you stand for something and that they can rely on you for that thing that you stand for. Make sure than in any communication you share that your opinion is clear to your audience and that it resonates with what you are selling

5. Be consistent

This I cannot stress enough. Whatever medium you decide to use for your marketing strategy, you need to be consistent. Showing up once a week will not cut it because your audience is bombarded with information every 2 seconds. The challenge is to show up in an authentic yet creative ways so that your message stands out but none the less you need to be consistent in the delivery of your message and in asking for the sale every single day!

6. Do NOT rely on social media alone

Yes, I know billions of people are on social media but guess what — they all use social media differently. Social media is a powerful tool to get your message to your audience but its should not be the only way. A business page, a blog, a you tube channel, a podcast are all great ways to talk to your audience. But also utilise traditional media like radio, television, newspapers and magazines. Get involved with your community and network with your audience. Show up and let them see and hear exactly who you are away from your computer. Reach out and touch somebody (literally!!!..but not in a creepy crawly way please)

7. Do your research

Stop guessing about what people need and want. Ask them. Do a survey. Ask questions in groups; send an email or a text. Your role as an entrepreneur is to understand what your audience wants and tap into their emotional needs so that you can sell consistently. You cannot guess what their needs are. Start to ask them simple questions so you can structure your business to solve their challenges in a meaningful way that seems true to them. In a previous blog I asked- Are you doing your research? and I walked you through some of the ways to conduct research so that you grow your business consistently. Have a look and tell me what you think.

8.  Always measure

How will you know if your plan is actually working if your do not measure your growth. Every few months, take a look at the progress you have made. Ask your clients about the service they received and how it can be improved. Make note of where you may have fallen short and what you need to amp up in your business. To grow a sustainable business you need to measure your growth consistently.

Marketing is a mysterious task for many persons but it is something that you can learn to master with the right guidance and tools. As your coach, I understand the challenge you face and I would love to guide you to make marketing easier for you.

Let’s schedule a call this week and see if you would be the perfect fit for my MOB (Marketing on a Budget) Squad!

5 things you need to do before you start a business

Starting a business is no easy feat. In fact, having a great idea alone is not enough anymore. Gone are the days of build it and they will come. Now in order to build a sustainable business, you need to put in the work before you even officially launch the business. Why? So you do not waste time, money or resources. So that you have a clear idea of how fast and how deep your business will grow once you start. There are some important steps you need to take before you start.

Here are 5 things:

  1. A clear goal

You need to know what your end goal is for starting your business. Do you want to create a large conglomerate in 10 years? Do you want to leave a legacy for your children? Do you want to make $1million in 5 years? Do you want to create a regional impact and have your business in 5 Caribbean islands over 3 years?

What exactly do you want to happen in your business and by when? A goal needs to be written out and broken into smaller parts so that you can see and understand all the moving parts. A written goal is more likely to become real to you. A goal keeps you motivated and focused on the bigger picture even when you have tough days, weeks and months. A goal gets you excited to work on your business every single day.

2. A business plan

Your business plan is your guide to develop your business. Your plan will include who will make up the members of your team, as well as your estimated budget, your Unique Selling Proposition, your missions and vision statement and an analysis of your competitors and the market you are entering.

Some people rush through a business plan not realizing the importance it plays in guiding the developmental process of your business. Your plan can be flexible and in fact should be reviewed and updated maybe once a year to ensure you have tuck to your goals and take into consideration any changes in the economic climate in which you operate. I touched on this topic a few months ago- What does your business plan really say

3. Research

The one thing that many new business owners fail to do. They start with a great idea and then launch on social media with a biz page and images and expect to make millions. But before you start, you need to do some research to ensure you have a ready market for your business. Do people want what you are going to offer? How much are they willing to pay? How do they want it delivered to them and how often? What is the challenge they are facing that you are now going to solve for them?

Research is not a guessing game. It means you have to figure out who your ideal clients are and start discussions with them so that when you are ready to launch you know exactly what they need and want. It means speaking to industry leaders and do some surveys. It means getting really intimate with your market, visit and even speak to your competitors and ‘stalk’ them for a while to see what works and what is not working.

Without this crucial step, many businesses fail before they even have a chance to really get off the ground.

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4. Understanding of your money

Why did you get into business? To make some money. That is one of the key mistakes entrepreneurs make. What is some money? Entrepreneurs need to have a very key understanding of how money works for them and if they have a challenge then that is the first help you should get from an accountant.

  • Do you have a budget?
  • How much does your product/service sell for?
  • How much are people willing to pay?
  • How much do you need to make every day, week or month?
  • What would your overheads be?
  • What taxes do you have to pay every quarter?

 

5. A marketing plan

Marketing is the life blood of your business. Without a structured system of marketing, your products can sit on the shelves for months and your phone will never ring. Marketing is NOT creating a facebook page. But instead, is the process of engaging with your ideal customers to build know, like and trust so they will buy from you continuously.

Marketing also involves a combination of activities which compliment each other to increase your visibility and reach. Many entrepreneurs get stuck on this part of business and while they have he best intentions, never seem to move past the launch stage. Hire an expert who can guide you through what a structured marketing plan would look like for your business. In a past blog, I spoke about 3 ways to market your business when you have no budget

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it is a good starting point for you to start your business. How many of these do you have in place and did you skip any steps when you were first starting your own business?

As your coach, I would love to help you through this process. For more help, book a FREE discovery call with me today and we can get started.

 

 

Failure is part of your journey

 Failure! It is the one thing we all somehow seem to be running from. We are afraid to fail. Afraid that failure means that we are not good enough or that people will judge us by our failures. As a child we were taught that failure is not an option and that once you fail then you cannot advance and somehow you are less than.

In business, the opposite is true. If you have never failed at some part of your journey in business then what exactly have you learned? Some of the greatest minds in business and entrepreneurs that we religiously followed have failed in business. Most notably we have heard about at least 15 times billionaire Ricard Branson has failed at business. But that has never stopped him from trying and trying again until he found the things that have made him quite a huge success today. Failure does not mean the end of your journey but is merely a stepping stone for bigger and better things to come. It is how we learn, grow and expand our entrepreneurial muscles.

According to dictionary.com, failure is defined as ‘an act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful; lack of success’.  But is it really a lack of success? I choose to look at it from a different angle because failure to complete a task may mean that I do not get the intended outcome but it also means that in the planning and execution stage, I learned many new skills and tools along the way. In essence any of my failures have taught me some really invaluable lessons that I utilise to make my next project even better. My chances of success increase every time I fail at one thing. I know what not to do and have a better sense of direction of where I need to grow and who I need to serve

If you do a simple google search, you will read of at least 23 successful people who failed at first– Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney, Vera Wang, Isaac Newton to name a few. And today we remember them not for their failures but for their legacy. For what they did accomplish and how their tenacity and perseverance has changed the world in which we live in.

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As entrepreneurs we become so paralysed by this fear of failure that fail without even trying to fail…if that even makes sense. What I am saying is that, yes, you start each new venture with a dream and hope to succeed. A dream to make a mark in society. A dream to change lives and become a household name. A dream to make millions along the way so that you can live the life you always dreamed about. And it is important that you have those dreams and that drive to push forward. But it is also important to remember that even if you do launch your business and it does not yield the exact results that you want, that you have not only failed but you have learnt and you have grown and now you are better equip to try again and do even better. The goal is to keep trying even when things fall apart or you do not get the results you want. Keep in constant motion and do not let your dream die. Do not let the fear of failure, rejection or judgement stop you from producing something great that the world will love and you will be remembered for.

More importantly, in every failure, your success is right around the corner, so get up each day knowing that what you are doing will make a difference in somebody’s life. That somebody is also learning from your mistakes and that as you get up each day and set a goal that you are much closer to your success than you were before.

If fear of failure is something that has been keeping your paralyzed then let’s get on a FREE discovery call and discuss how you can move past this fear and get you into action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video is king in 2017

So yes I know this title sounds so cliche. Every year we grown some other new marketing strategy king of the hill but this year has been quite different. Video did not just become a thing. In fact since the end of 2015 it has been growing steadily as the go to the media by which to connect and engage with clients. Many more businesses are using it as part of their marketing strategy and reaping the rewards of doing so.

Why video?

  1. It puts a face to your brand. This is something that many entrepreneurs shy away from but more clients want to know the face behind their brands. They want to see who is creating and sharing all this valuable information
  2. It builds know, like and trust because we are visual creatures by nature and like a movie, watching a video makes your audience feel that they are part of the process of your business.
  3. It is cheap. With just the use of your smart phone, laptop or ipad, anyone with a business can create a video to share with their audience. You actually have no reasonable excuse (short of horrible wifi connections)
  4. It increases your visibility. Studies have shown that video will get more clicks and likes than just text messages alone. Hence the reason platforms like IG, snapchat are so popular. Now even have the feature on Whatsapp
  5. It can be shared over and over. Video has a longer shelf life. The video you do today can be shared again in 6 months once the information you share is relevant
HOW TO CREATE CONTENT CONSISTENTLY
How to create content consistently

Utilizing video is no easy feat. Because like with anything else in your business, once you decide to go down this road of utilizing video you must have a plan.

  1. What is the overall goal
  2. What do you want your viewers to do immediately after watching your video
  3. What is the core message that you want to share in each video
  4. Who are you targeting
  5. How often and on what days and times should you be posting videos
  6. What works best with your audience? Pre recorded or live stream

So while I completely endorse using video in your plan, it must be utilized properly or else you will not see and experience the results you really want.

How effectively are you using video to connect with your audience? If you are still not sure then let’s chat- Free Discovery Call– about how we can ensure it is being used effectively in your business.