Blogging consistently is hard. Making your blog posts "work for you" and make you money is even harder. What you need is a plan!I can help.
Sign up below for your very own weekly blog post planning sheet.
After months of careful planning and a nerve-wracking technological learning curve. You are finally ready to launch your dream business. Once you click “publish” and send out that email … the world (and your life) will ever be the same again
So… you load up that email to all 50 people on your mailing list… and press send…
Sound familiar? If it does, either you’ve moved past what my mentor calls the “Dream Up Stage” and have discovered what I’m about to tell you – or you are still stuck. If you are trying to get your business launched and it isn’t getting off the ground… you need to read this post.
Your business will never make it past the start-up stage without one simple thing.
And, that is market research. Most new business owners are excited to start building so they skip the foundational step of talking with their clients and learning about their needs and problems.
Taking the time to talk to potential customers before putting your offer out there is HARD. I’ve done it. I’ve put a ton of time and effort into several launches for my own business without really stepping back to take the time to see what my audience needs.
My first big launch was a huge 12 week class called Tame the Internet Monster. I covered a different aspect of Internet Marketing each week. One week was autoresponders, the next e-commerce, then social media. The pace was exhausting. I didn’t have many students and the ones I did have didn’t make it to the end of the class . The class was something I would have liked to have taken – but my clients aren’t me. If I had truly taken the time to ask and listen I would have learned that quick bites would serve them (and therefore sell much better). I would have saved a lot of time and money. And, served my students better to boot.
How to Validate Your Product Idea
So, you are sold on trying to do some market research to make sure that your idea is valid before spending too much time marketing it. But, you don’t want to spend a lot of time messing around with validation when you want to be making money now. The good news is the time you spend in this stage is an investment that will pay dividends throughout the life of your business.
The other good news is you can usually validate your business idea pretty quickly without investing a lot of time or money.
Here are 3 steps you can take to make sure that your idea will sell:
Are you past the “dream up” stage? Want to know YOUR next steps? Check out this excellent blog post where Todd Herman lays out the perfect steps for you to take at every stage of your business.
Need help implementing your next steps? There is a wealth of expertise available to you for free as part of the Time Traders Club – a time and expertise exchange for solopreneurs. Check out Time Traders here.
In my last post, I shared a recipe for a quick 10 minute blog post. I thought I would do a quick 10 minute post to show you how easy this type of post is to do. I chose a video where fellow Time Traders Club member Ellen Finkelstein was interviewed on RockingYourPath.com’s Fast Action Friday web show. Click here to listen to the whole interview!
Want to grow your list quickly? One of the fastest ways to do this is public speaking. Which is great, except, it can be difficult to constantly find new audiences to speak for. Plus, in the beginning, the speaking is usually for free with very limited opportunities to actually make an offer.
Webinars allow you to create your own audience… and to sell your product and follow up. When I look at the solopreneurs who have created successful business over the past 10 years I’ve been involved online, all of them do webinars — because they work.
Recently, I watched an interview with Ellen Finkelstein where she gave some great tips on how to create a webinar that works. Ellen is one of the top 13 Powerpoint MVPs in the country. While doing her work with her clients and while promoting her own business, Ellen began to realize the power of webinars to really change the course of a business.
Here are 7 tips from the interview for making webinars work for you. (If you want more tips… click here to register for Ellen’s full length webinar on Highly Profitable Webinars.
Tip 1: Start with the End In Mind. If you are doing the webinar to sell a product, have the product created first. That way, you can give the audience great value and build the know, like and trust factor.
Tip 2: Do Your Research Even if you are doing a free webinar – asking for an hour of time is seeking a commitment. To get that commitment, you need to know your audience and what keeps them up at night (just like you would need to know for a product that you are selling). The difference is that with a webinar, you want to keep your sign up page short, sweet and to the point. Also, when selling from a webinar – the webinar is the sales page. Keep the sales page you send to from the webinar short and sweet – don’t confuse people!
Tip 3: Write a Script and Practice
Practice with the script. Do a practice recording and see how you sound. Doing both of these things will make your webinar go more smoothly and you’ll sound more professional. Ellen uses Zoom for her webinars to create a more personal experience. Even though she is showing slides, you can still see Ellen in the room.
Tip 4: Make Your Topic Clear From The Start
Don’t make your audience guess what the webinar is about. You’ll lose them quickly. Make the benefits of what you are sharing clear right from the start.
TIP 5: Don’t Put Your Script On Your Slides
Yes, you need slides for your webinar – but don’t read from them. People can read faster than you speak. They’ll read the slide and then lose interest
Make slides visual and attractive. Use a simple title and images that help the learning process and relate to the story emotionally. Picture is worth a thousand words. The brain works visually.
TIP 6: Engage Your Audience
Ask questions of your audience. Use the chat box or polling feature to get responses. Answer questions if people have them (if they don’t – make up questions they should be asking… and answer them). Questions are a great way to engage people.
TIP 7 – Follow Up!
This tip will double your sales off the webinar. It is very easy to get discouraged when people don’t buy after your webinar – or you just get a few sales. Keep the follow up going – and you’ll get more sales. Over half of our sales in Time Traders come on the last day to purchase.
So… there are Ellen’s 7 tips. Want to learn more about creating a webinar that works for you? Check out Ellen’s free training on Highly Profitable Webinars.
You have a half hour in your schedule to write a blog post, but you can’t come up with anything to write. You need to get the post done – your virtual assistant is waiting for you in order to get your newsletter done.
Here’s a quick trick I learned from my mentor, Michele Scism – for getting a blog post up in less than 10 minutes.
And, as a bonus, if you do this right, you can get other people to promote the post for you.
Want to learn more? Here are the steps.
Done. One quick and easy blog post.
The above steps will “get the job done”. Here are two hints to make it work even better for you.
Want to see what a post done this way looks like? Check out this post I created using a video from Ellen Finkelstein.
Easy isn’t it? Now, you should be ready to rock and roll on your blogging!
Of course, the danger in this is posting too much “borrowed” content. You want to have your own point of view. I’m teaching a class starting on October 25 on how to create a message map for your blog. We’ll be looking at how to find out what your customers need to learn from you in order to buy. You can sign up for that here.
I didn’t really think I would be starting an “old-fashioned” journaly blog anytime soon. I’ve been a bit overloaded with my day job (after freelancing exclusively for 10 years, I recently took a job as a marketing manager for a Fortune 500 social media agency), my passion project – Time Traders Club (a time and skill exchange network for entrepreneurs) and my full-time job as a mommy/chauffeur to a 13-year-old girl.
But… I felt like I needed some accountability, a “room of my own” (separate from Time Traders which I run with my amazing business partner), and a chance to share what I’m up to with you (so you can see what is working and not make the same mistakes I make).
I was looking for a way to share what I know (which is A LOT) with you in a way that was leveraged – because I already have a full-time job and business.
I got an email yesterday, with an add for a book all about making lemonade out of your shiny objects. Since I am the queen of the shiny objects AND the book only cost $5. I decided to buy it and *actually* use it. How about that…
What to Expect from The Blog
This blog is essentially my lab book. I love trying new things. I will try them here – and let you know how they are working. I’ll be working toward one or two (please hold me to that – I have a tendency to work toward 10 goals at a time!) goals and sharing my progress. The result, if you want to play, will be a nice roadmap for you to follow as you build YOUR business. Sound good? OK, Let’s go.
Goal #1 Build a Functioning “Foundation”Site in 7 Days
In order for this strategy to work, I need a new site. I also know that this is a potential quagmire for me. The challenge is to get something that is “good enough” without getting too mired in all the details. Here are the steps I’m taking:
Yep, it really is that simple. And, I’ve done it before. I’ll let you know what tools I’m using THIS time to make it easier.
Goal #2 – Build My Mailing List to 5,000 People
This is the BIG goal! My list is currently around 3,400. It has grown a lot in the past year, but it is still not big enough to play in giveaways etc. I am growing really tired of having awesome conversations with people where they invite my on to their give away and then write me back the next day (after talking to their mentor) to say that they feel “out of integrity” including me because I don’t have the magic number. (Tho, I do produce results for the people who see past the arbitrary cut off).
So… list building it is. My preliminary plan is to promote a webinar we created around Time Traders Club – How to Get ALL The Help You Need In Your Business Without Spending a Dime. and to promote our weekly blog planner templates (see above) and posts. (Time Traders members get access to cool templates – or you can buy them here.). We are working both angles through Facebook Ads at the moment. As I find other methods, I’ll try them out and let you know how they work.
So…are you in? Leave your blog address below (if you’ve got one). Also, grab the weekly blog template (in the box above), if you are interested in growing your blog with me.
Finally, I would love some shiny object accountability. Grab the Shiny Object Lemonade book and we can build together 🙂