3 types of sucky first launches (and how to fix all of them!!)

Launches

Today I want talk to you about launching.

I know that this is something that you’ve tried, and it hasn’t really gone to plan.

Or you’re thinking about trying and you’re just terrified that it’s going to be a total flop, total waste of time and money.

And these are common fears, and it’s really common for these fears to come true when people don’t go about launching the right way.

I don’t like to say right or wrong because there is no right or wrong with businesses, it’s all around what works for you.

But with launching, there definitely is a better way of doing it, and there’s also a couple of things that are common that happen when you launch, and when you launch things multiple times, that a lot of people don’t realise.

You might not realise this is totally normal, until you’ve launched a few times yourself, and it can be quite disconcerting when it’s your first time launching, or even your second and third, and you’re like why does this stuff keep happening to me?

There are three types of first launchers.

And when I say first launchers, I don’t necessarily mean the first time you’ve ever launched anything.

I mean the first time you launch a particular product.

And there’s three really specific different types of launches, and things that happen with each one.

3 Most Common Types of Launches | Have you ever had a launch that has totally flopped? Find out the 3 most common types of launches and how to recover when your launch doesn't go to plan.

Launch #1: The Boom then Bust Launch

This is for those who might not have launched anything yet.

They’ve been growing an audience for a little bit, they’ve been giving great value, they’re really, really super primed, ready to create something.

And their first launch goes pretty well, and they’re like ‘oh this is awesome, that was easy, I’m going to do that again.’

And then their second launch doesn’t go so well, and even if they haven’t necessarily changed much about it, they don’t really understand why the second launch would be worse than the first.

Surely if something worked well the first time, it should work just as well, if not better the second time, right?Click To Tweet

Not necessarily.

So the thing that happens with these boom launches, when it’s the first time, is most people who have been hanging around, giving value, engaging on the internet for any kind of period of time, normally they’ll have a few super fans.

And these are the people who have just been dying for you to do something, for you to give them some other way of working with you or helping them with that next step.

They are that bit more engaged and looking for more intentional help, not just reading your blog posts, or watching your broadcasts.

These people, the second they saw you were going to do something, they’re like ‘hells yes, I’m 100% in’, they click buy, they were probably your first customers through the gate.

The problem then with your second launch is those people have all bought from your first launch.

So, second launch is pretty much for people in that situation, your second launch is more of an accurate measure of how well the different puzzle pieces of your launch actually performed as a tool for conversion for selling.

When your first launch doesn’t go as well as expected, people start to scramble.

And that’s when people go ‘oh well obviously everything I’ve done is no good, and I’m going to throw it out and start from scratch and do everything completely differently’.

And then they just start trying all sorts of new stuff to try and replicate the success of the first launch.

Be Strategic

The problem with that is you’re not being strategic about it.

The fact is that with your launch, if someone’s bought at all, even if it’s less people than bought in your first, that’s great and that means that you have done something quite well.

The process of improving your launches in the future, all comes down to taking a little bit of time and going 'okay, well what have we done, or what did I do that worked?'Click To Tweet

You need to look at your numbers, you need to go look at all the emails that you sent, what had the best open rates, and what had the best click through rates?

Look at your sales page and say ‘okay, from the number of people who looked at my sales page, what percentage of people bought?’

If you did a webinar or if you did a challenge, or you used a marketing tool to promote and sell your product during that launch, go ‘okay, how many people were in my challenge, how many people participated? How many people saw the offer that I gave to them, and what percentage did you sell?’.

You should be able to see the bits that worked better, and the bits that didn’t work so well.

And what you want to do then is be deliberate here, go, ‘okay, well, this bit didn’t work so great, so we can play with that bit, do that bit again, but this bit worked pretty well. Those emails worked well, people clicked through, but maybe the sale page didn’t convert very well’, so you go ‘okay, maybe I need to rework the sales page’.

You also need get into the mindset that it might take you a couple of launches to get your marketing tools, or your puzzle pieces right.

And that’s fine, that’s normal.

Keep Going

I’ve spoken to friends and it’s taken them ten launches to get it perfect, where it’s converting really, really well, and then they just do that launch over and over, but tweaking as they go and refreshing slightly, just so it doesn’t get stale, but not trying new things each time.

So, if you’ve had a launch where the first time you did it, you got good sales and the second time not so much.

I strongly encourage you to not completely start from scratch and don’t panic.

Just know that it can and should take several cracks at it.

And the best way to figure out and improve each of those elements is to try and do it in between the launch and send just a little bit of paid traffic to it.

If you’re only launching every three months or every six months, that’s a long time to wait to test out an element you’ve updated.

And it’s also a lot of pressure to put on that new element.

Because you don’t want to spend weeks setting up a launch, spending a whole bunch of money on some Facebook ads or even hiring some help for it.

Then you have these sky high expectations of it doing really well, or you’re a bit screwed. That’s pretty common as well.

Live launches are not the place to test new or updated elements.

If you go through the process of looking at the launch that you just had, and you identify one or two spots where you could make a pretty good improvement.

You want to test it before your launch.

For example, if your webinar sucked, and no-one bought on your webinar, you can go and rewrite your webinar or update it.

Then do the updated webinar live.

Send some Facebook traffic or even just send the invite to a portion of your list, go to that webinar, and then you’re going to be able to test and go week one, did that do any better?

If it did, try a couple of other things and just be really deliberate about it and be okay with it taking a bit of time.

3 Most Common Types of Launches | Have you ever had a launch that has totally flopped? Find out the 3 most common types of launches and how to recover when your launch doesn't go to plan.

Launch #2: Slow Start Launch

Now, the second type of launch is the slow start launch

This is when you’ve spent all this time, money and effort, and you’ve set up what should be this amazing launch, and you open the gates, and you only get a few sales and it’s really disappointing.

And there’s a voice in your head going ‘maybe I’m no good at this, maybe this product sucks, maybe no-one wants it, maybe I should just throw it all away’.

If that has happened to you, my advice to you is to treat your first launch (as my friend Laurie calls it) as the get it done launch.

The first time you are getting a product out to market, there are two boxes you want to tick.

Get it done

One is that at least a couple of people bought it, which shows people want this.

This could mean that with a slight tweak of your messaging, more people will buy it.

The next purpose of your first launch is to actually get everything done.

The course, the product or the service, you’re creating is done and it’s set up and the delivery of it is done and set up.

And you’re going to get a few people going through it, you’re going to get their feedback, and you’re probably going to go and improve some things, so next time it’s even better.

Feedback

The third part of it is to get that feedback.

So those people who are going through, ask them what they love about it, what stands out to them and how you could improve.

You want to find out what they saw as being the solution that your product was providing.

Quite often, one of the problems that comes up for people is there’s nothing wrong with the product, it’s just the way that you’re describing it to people.

It’s really important that you’re speaking to them in the language that they use and that you’re speaking to the problem that they think they have.

When you’re marketing or creating your sales page and writing your emails and social media that around a launch, make sure you are using your audience’s language.

That first launch is really market validation, it’s getting the product done, and it’s getting that first feedback.

And that first feedback from people going through is gold.

You can use that for headlines or on sales page copy.

Your customer’s feedback is what should be going into your marketing copy.

So next time you’re going to be using the stuff that already works, you’re going to have tested a whole bunch of new stuff, so you know that works, and you’re going to have a lot more time and energy in this launch anyway because you’re not creating a product, you’re not completely making it up as you go along.

You’ve already done it all from the first launch.

So your second launch then has a much better chance of being better and you just follow that process again and again.Click To Tweet

Yes, it can take some time, and it should, because if it was way too easy, then everyone would be doing it, and then they’d be no value to what we’re doing.

3 TYPES OF SUCKY FIRST LAUNCHES | Have you ever had a launch that has totally flopped? Find out the 3 most common types of launches and how to recover when your launch doesn't go to plan.

Launch #3: No Start Launch

This is the rarest one and the one that people are the most afraid of.

The no start launch is when you release a product and literally nobody buys it.

Firstly, you might just need to change the messaging, change how it’s offered, change what time you offer it or the different ways you offer it.

You want to go and play detective.

Reach out to some people who you saw opened and clicked and read stuff, but they didn’t buy and just say to them “Hey, this is my first time running these products, I want to make sure it’s awesome, and it’s really giving great value. I’d love if you could give me some feedback on what you thought was good about the product, what did you think wasn’t so great. Were there any reasons that stopped you from buying?”

Some people are going to be annoyed by that, but if these are people who are your genuine super fans they’re not going to be upset by this, they’re going to be glad to help you.

Use it as feedback, not as failure.

The next time you go to launch something, I really encourage you to pre-launch it.

Don’t create something until at least a couple of people have bought it, and the beauty of that is, you get to be really open and honest with your audience.

Don’t just get them to say yes, because a yes is easy, you want them to actually vote with their credit cards, say ‘if you would like to get one of the very first spots, to help be one of my beta testers of this brand-new product, it’s going to be great, beta price, it’ll be up and running’.

Tell them when, give them the details, tell them what’s going to be in it, and say ‘and I’d love to get your feedback as well, so we will be co-creating this together, and you can let me know exactly what you need’.

Make them feel a part of it and get a few sales through the door to market validate.

It shows people want this thing that you’re creating and then go and create it.

And follow that same process next time.

Get your feedback, get the people going through it, make those improvements, get the exacts words from them they used as to why they bought your product, what they liked about it, what the problems are they’re hoping to get solved.

Use those in your next round of marketing and be totally okay if things take longer than all of those pretty pictures on Instagram tell you they’ll take because there are some unicorns out there.

I’d love to know if you’ve launched something before and how it went. Comment below and let us know which type of launch you had!

4 Quick + Simple Things You Can Do Right Now For a Crazy Productive 2018

4 Productivity Tips for a Crazy Productive 2018

There are three things I am pretty well known for.
1 – Being the tallest person in the room.
2 – Being able to make inappropriate jokes about anything.
3 – Being the planning queen.

I take my planning so seriously that I even created my own darn blog + biz planner (grab yours here now) because there wasn’t one that did what I wanted.

So over these next few weeks, as we are ramping up to eating all the turkey and planning all the things season, I wanted to share some of my favourite planning and productivity tips with you all (including my favourite short-cut for creating champagne content on a beer time-frame!)

Check out my favourite 4 quick things you can do right now, to set yourself up for a super productive 2018!Click To Tweet

productivityProductivity Tip #1: Themes

I’ve had two blogs in my blogging life.

My first one, I started over ten years ago and at one point at Drop Dead Gorgeous Daily, we were doing five to six blog posts a day.

That was five to six pieces of unique content a day and we always had to come up with something new and fresh.

This is a problem, even when you’re not doing five or six pieces a day.

You spend all your time doing everything else and then it comes to content creation time and you’re  like, “Oh, um, what am I going to write about? Uh … uh … post it note. All right. I’ll write about how great post-it notes are.”

And you end up creating something that’s really mediocre and it doesn’t serve you or your audience and it’s a waste of everybody’s time.

Having monthly themes was one way we were able to stay fresh with our content and come up with so many ideas.

If you have a business that has promotions or launches or you’re selling or you have products that sell better at certain times or your product is seasonally based. Then having a monthly theme will really help your biz.

You’ll find that if you sit down, break that piece of paper into 12, and think about what is a theme?

What kind of topics should you be talking about in that month?

If you’ve got your launches mapped out as well, then you can plan your themes around those.

Tip number one is to go and create monthly themes for your content, and for your business.

It doesn’t just have to be about content, it can be about what you’re doing in that month.

I like to also have a bit of a regular flow, where we’re like, one month is setting up a launch, and then it’s running a launch and then it’s a break month and repeat that every quarter.

If you sit down, and you create this nice rhythm, it just makes it easy. You turn up at the start of January, and you go, “I know what I’m doing this month. I know what I’m talking about this month.”

Productivity Tip #2: Recycle

Next, I want you to go and find a piece of content and this doesn’t have to be blog posts, because I know not everyone here does blog posts, maybe you do videos, maybe you’ve done a really great Instagram post, or a really nice long form Facebook, or a Facebook Live.

Content comes in many forms. It could even be emails.

Go and find a piece of content that worked really well, that’s around that topic, for each of the months, so that’s 12 pieces of content, that you can re-use.

Then when it comes to that month, you can just update them, refresh them, and re-promote them, re-publish them.

You’ve saved yourself a heap of time, and you’ve got some proven content that you know works.

productivityProductivity Tip #3: Ditch It

I want you to think about everything that you’re spending your time on, right now.

What marketing activities are you doing?

What kind of social media are you doing?

What kind of products are you making?

Just think about all of the stuff you do in your blog + biz and try and come up with one thing that’s not working.

One thing that, if you’re really honest with yourself, is not bringing you any kind of return on your time investment.

It’s not bringing you more prospective leads or clients or customers or sales.

It’s not making your life easier.

It’s not improving the quality of the product that you’re delivering. It’s not giving your customers a better service.

It’s not serving you, but you’ve probably just been doing it because you’ve always been doing it, or you’ve been told you should be doing it.

Find one of these things, and have a good hard look at it.

If it’s something that you’ve just started doing, and it’s only been going for a couple of weeks, don’t ditch that one, yet.

If it’s something that you can see you’re starting to get traction on, that’s okay.

ProductivityBut if it’s something you’re just doing for the sake of it, if it’s just a time suck and it’s not serving you, maybe let it go.

How often are you doing your blog posts? Or how often are you creating your content?

Maybe you’re doing a bit too much and it’s not actually giving you that return.

Maybe you are offering a product that people aren’t buying, but you’re still promoting it, and you’re still updating it.

Maybe you have a Facebook group that isn’t serving you. You’re in there, giving a lot of energy, and you’re not receiving any return on that investment.

It’s okay to be honest about these things.

It’s okay to say, “Hey, I tried something. It didn’t work.”

What’s not okay is to keep doing it anyway and to just be throwing that time and that money down the toilet, when you could be investing it back in things that do.

I want you to find one thing that’s not working, and just let it go.

It’s not a failure. There’s no such thing as failure.

It’s all learning.

So let it go!  Just make like Elsa.

Productivity Tips | Entrepreneur Advice | Blogging Tips | Online Business Tips 4 Productivity Tips for a Crazy Productive 2018 | When it comes to planning, I'm the queen of it! Check out my 4 super simple productivity tips to have a crazy productive 2018!Productivity Tip #4: Automate + Outsource

The lucky last thing I want you to do, and again this is all down to helping to save you some time, is to automate or outsource one thing.

I want you to think about it. What is the one thing that you are doing, that you shouldn’t be doing?

Or one thing that a computer could be doing.

Or that wonderful, lovely VA in Malaysia could be doing, for $6-7 an hour.

There is definitely one thing, a minimum of one thing, that you’re doing, that’s probably taking a couple of hours a week, that you could either automate or outsource and for a very, very low cost.

You can then spend that time either A, having a life, which is always a good thing;

Or B, actually spend that time doing the stuff that you know you should be doing.

Think about it. Find one thing you know you could automate or outsource, and I want you to do that, or make the plan to do it.

I want you to take these productivity tips and put at least one into action for the new year. Make next year your bitch (in the nicest way possible).

Do you have any productivity tips that work for you when you need to be super productive? Let us know below!

 

3 New Geeky Tools I’m Loving Right Now!

There are so many amazing tools out there that it can be hard to decide what are the best tools to use for your online blog and business.

I’m going to help you out a little bit and share 3 business tools that I’ve been raving about recently.

And, I think you’ll find them really valuable.

My Fave Business Tools – #1: My New Fave Website Builder

I discovered this business tool way back at the end of January when I was at an event with a friend.

She had such an amazing site, her theme looked awesome.

I immediately assumed it was WordPress but it wasn’t.

Squarespace?

Nope!

It turns out it’s this awesome page builder which makes beautiful websites.

It gives you 100% control.

It’s drag and drop to the point that you’re basically just drawing it on the screen how you want it.

It’s amazing.

Was it a WP theme? Nope. Square space? Nope. It's actually something even better #secretbloggersbusiness.Click To Tweet

When you jump straight into it, it can be bit overwhelming because there is so much you can do with it.

But it does come with some templates you can start with.

The site builder is called Showit.

They created Showit to build websites for wedding photographers.

So, everything was meant to just be beautiful and really good at showcasing images.

But the thing is it’s not just wedding photographers who are going to be able to use something like that.

It has all of the features that you could want.

You can create beautiful pop-ups and beautiful opt-ins.

It has a great hide and reveal feature.

The hide and reveal feature is perfect for those really long sales pages that seem to go on forever as you can have elements which slide off to the side or which reveal stuff if people want to know more.

So, it’s super smart and super beautiful.

business tools

The other great thing is that it integrates with WordPress.

Showit looks after the header and the bottom stuff and what goes in the sidebar and you can use WordPress for the content.

They’ll also help you migrate across as well.

If you’re just wanting a page builder to do opt-ins, instead of Leadpages or similar, which generally looks real ugly, you can just use this instead and it looks beautiful and it’s really fast.

The loading speed is really fast.

Their support is off the chain.

It’s not expensive.  It starts from $29 a month, which is definitely way cheaper than Leadpages.

Other things I love about it is under your one account, you can have multiple mini sites.

And, they can each have their own URL’s and it’s all counted under one account.

I’m fully nerding out on this one.

business tools

My Fave Business Tools – #2: Making Slack Smarter

The second business tool I’m nerding out over is the integrations with Slack and Zapier.

I love Slack.

I use Slack to communicate with my team and also to communicate with my mastermind group.

For those who don’t have a team, you can also use it for notifications.

So, for those who sell online who love to hear when they’ve got a sale but hate the “payment failed” notifications. This is awesome.

I’ve actually created, with Slack and with Zapier, a three way integration with Samcart, which a shopping cart that I use.

It’s just a more positive way of getting that notification and then I don’t have to see any of the payment failed ones, which are just an absolute fact of having an online business.

But, it doesn’t mean we want to be getting reminded of them all the time.

business tools

My Fave Business Tools – #3: Your Own Online Assistant

Number three is one called HoneyBook.

HoneyBook is something that’s actually frustrating me because I have no need for it and I really want to use it.

HoneyBook is really more for people who have an online service or consultancy, so if you’re a coach, if you do photography, if you do social media management or if you do web design.

It’s an all in one.

It’s almost like your very own online assistant for doing things.

Like getting proposals ready, sending them out, having the process that goes through sending reminders, doing the invoicing, getting people to actually get the digital version of the invoice when they signed it then they get sent the payment request.

You build out the process that you want and every client has their own area so you can upload files into it, you can have your discussions with them in there.

The whole thing is streamlined & super easy and once you set it up, I can imagine it would save you hours and hours.

Those are my three pretty nerdy things I’m totally nerding out about right now.

UPDATE – HoneyBooks is for US-based businesses only, so I found another great (and actually cheaper) option called dubsado which works no matter where you are.

I’d love to know what your favourite business tools are. Let me know below!

 

Like a Boss: How being consistent can improve your blog + biz with Fiona Tye

Every day, our Blog Squad beauties are working hard and achieving great things for their blogs and online businesses and we love to shout about how amazing they are.

Once a month, we pick one member from Blog Squad who has been kicking a** all month and they share their story and awesome advice with you!

This month’s #NerdBoss has been smashing her goals, left, right and centre. Fiona Tye has been working really hard on getting her first course, Shape Up Your Style, ready. Shape Up Your Style is a step by step system to creating a wardrobe that works for you and your body shape!

Fiona is empowering women to feel confident in their own skin and she is here to tell us all about her online biz, how she got started and why consistency is key to running any blog or online business.

Blogging Tips | Entrepreneurial Advice | Online Business How to be consistent with your blog + online business with Fiona Tye | Find out how to be consistent in your blog + biz with Fiona Tye. Our #nerboss of the month tells us how being consistent helped her grow her biz!Tell us about starting A Beautiful Body Shape

I think it’s really sad that women don’t feel great about their bodies. Instead of seeing the positives, they tend to focus on the negatives.

That’s what my business is about – to show women that no matter what their body shapes are they can look and feel great!

It’s where I feel the magazines kind of drop off – they tell us what’s in and what the trends are but don’t really tackle ‘how do I apply that trend to my shape’ issue.

That’s where I hope I can take over and show women how to apply styles to them; so that they feel confident and not awkward in their chosen outfits.

What’s your story – what or who inspired you to start your business?

So what’s an ex High School English Teacher and Marketing Manager have in common with blogging? Not a lot especially since when I left work to have my baby, the internet was very very new…..ROFL! (giving away my age here a bit)

But in order to understand how I ended up there, you have to know a little about my backstory. I have always been very sensitive about my appearance and suffered terribly from a lack of self-confidence. I’m sure that you know what I’m talking about – always wanted to be taller or thinner.

Lack of self-confidence meant I was really very shy. In fact, I hardly spoke until I turned 17 (that’s another long, long story). My step mum used to pick on my body shape – I’d get comments like, “you’ll never be thin because you have big thighs” etc.. Not the thing you’d say to a teen and unfortunately I listened.

So I think to compensate, I used to dress quite conservatively and hide my shape. I just was never very comfortable in my own skin.

That just started a vicious cycle, being uncomfortable meant that I was also very indecisive, I couldn’t pick out an outfit to save myself. I’d go shopping and never ever buy anything.

It wasn’t until my late 30’s early 40’s that my husband got me to go to a stylist – so I went to 2.

That was when everything clicked for me. And that’s when my confidence improved – once I knew how to dress, how to choose clothes for me, I became so much more confident. In fact – my friends noticed so did my brother and my hubby.

I know that saying this might sound a little shallow or vain…because shouldn’t we all be looking at inner beauty?

What I know is this, if you don’t feel good on the inside, you’re not going to look happy on the outside. For me, the 2 are really closely entwined.

That’s when I got to thinking that if I felt like that, other women had to too. I’d had such a positive experience with my 2nd stylist and was looking to do some form of work around my kids, that a positive step forward for me was to combine my teaching with personal styling.

But I wanted to create a site for everyday women.

To me, personal styling isn’t just for a special occasion, it’s an everyday event. I think it’s just as important to feel good in everyday clothing as it is to feel special when you get all dressed up.

Because it’s the feeling good every day that builds up your confidence.

I’d done so much research on body shapes when studying that I found there was a gap in magazines, a gap on the internet between online shopping and how to dress. How do you know if something is going to suit you when you buy it online?

That’s when my husband and I came up with the idea of “The Dressing Room”, personal styling program (thank you for helping me clarify that Kate!), you choose your body shape, your avatar comes up or you can upload your own pic and all the clothing styles that suit your shape appear with links to where you can buy them.

You get to ‘try’ them on to see whether you like it or could imagine yourself wearing it. My blog is to support that program. To help women understand that no matter their shape or age they can look good and feel good about themselves.

If we don’t get women feeling good about themselves how are they going to help their sons and daughters feel good? But, I didn’t have that influence growing up..I missed out, but I didn’t want other women to miss out too!

I don’t really have a person who inspired me to do this. I found the lack of knowledge more of my driving force.

Blogging Tips | Entrepreneurial Advice | Online Business How to be consistent with your blog + online business with Fiona Tye | Find out how to be consistent in your blog + biz with Fiona Tye. Our #nerboss of the month tells us how being consistent helped her grow her biz!Do you remember having a sort of ‘oh damn, I really can do this’ moment? What was it??

I actually had to meet with a business coach who specialised in ‘what’s holding you back in your business?’ I just wasn’t getting anywhere. This was about 2 years ago. And it came down to me being scared and putting myself out there.

It took me about 2 years to come out of the closet and tell people that I’d actually started a business. That for me was the turning point – when I said to my friends, “I’ve started my own business”.

Yep, they thought I was crazy and they still think that, that I just sit all day and play on the computer but I don’t care anymore.

I have a vision and I’m going for it!

What is the best advice you have ever received?

Be consistent!! And, put it out there – it doesn’t have to be perfect, sell what you’ve got. Then work on improving it.

What do you find to be your biggest challenge, and what’s something that has really worked for you?

I am a bit of a control freak…so letting go and letting others help me. Like hiring a freelancer to help with the workload a little.

What is the thing you are most proud of about your blog or online business?

I feel really proud when I get messages from ladies just wanting to chat about their bodies and how they feel. I’ve had some great conversations with women from all over the world who feel embarrassed about their bodies.

It makes me feel so good when they say, “you’ve made me feel good about myself” or even, friends saying, oh, “I’m following your post on jeans” little things like that.

Any tips for others who want to achieve something similar?

Research everything would have to be my biggest tip. Find out what others are doing and find your own little niche.Click To Tweet

If you could work from anywhere in the world, where would it be?

The Greek Islands or Italy!! Now I have to be content with Macau, at least I can see the Eiffel Tower from where I am, but oh, I’d love Europe!

Blogging Tips | Entrepreneurial Advice | Online Business How to be consistent with your blog + online business with Fiona Tye | Find out how to be consistent in your blog + biz with Fiona Tye. Our #nerboss of the month tells us how being consistent helped her grow her biz!What was it that made you decide to join the Blog Squad community?

I’m not an easy sell…I’d spent so much money on courses, mentoring but wasn’t getting anywhere because it wasn’t organised. I needed an organised structured approach and a community that was encouraging. I’d join other communities and some were really really rude.

I just felt that Blog Squad had the structure which I and my business needed and to be perfectly honest, I have always admired Kate. She’d made a big splash in both of her businesses and I looked up to her for that and thought that I could benefit from her experience and help!

What has been your biggest accomplishment since joining the Blog Squad?

Getting more organised. Everything gets jumbled in my brain. Having the structured plans helps me to sit down and create something that I am proud of.

How would you describe the Blog Squad community to a friend?
As an encouraging, warm environment and the best blogging community, I have ever been part of.

Moving forward, what’s next for you and your biz?

I’d love to create body shape magazines and add an internal/external anti-ageing course (for women in their 40’s and 50’s) to my other courses and re-work my personal styling program.

But first things first, get my courses launched properly and then tackle the rest.

Want to know how to be consistent with your blog + biz? Why not sign up to the Blog Squad waitlist?

 

My simple content creation process to create crazy amounts of shareable content in less than 2 hours a week

When it comes to creating content (aka blog + social media posts), there seem to be two very different types of people.

Entrepreneur A is a real perfectionist, and love creating content. They love it so much they end up spending about 80% of their time on it (and never get anything else done).

Entrepreneur B is kinda the opposite, they spend so much time doing everything else that they kinda just phone in their content (if they even do it at all).

And neither are ideal.

Personally, I am a reformed type A, turned recovering type B thanks to a new content creation system I’ve created for myself which lets me easily create all the content I could need in less than 2 hours a week.

Do you A - spend all your time creating content, or B spend all your time avoiding it (this will help with both!)Click To Tweet

content creationLuckily, today I’m sharing my content creation process with you so you can create crazy amounts of shareable content in less than 2 hours a week!

This is something new that I’ve been doing in my business that’s been saving me so much time, and that’s been really helping me to up my content game.

We all know how time-consuming content creation can be.

You’ve got to be doing Facebook Lives and Instagram.

You’ve got to be doing blog posts and newsletters.

And, all of it has to be new, fresh, original and interesting.

It just makes you want to go and have a big nap, right?

So, I sat down and I’m like, “How can I hack this? How can I make this as easy as possible to get as much stuff done as possible”

And this is what I’ve come up with.

Content Creation Tip #1: Lights, Camera, Action

First, every week, I do a Facebook Live and I do it on multiple devices.

Each episode of SBB Live is streamed through Facebook Live, through my laptop plus, I have iMovie recording it at the same time.

iMovie films it at a better quality than the Facebook Lives get filmed at.

We are then able to edit it and upload it to YouTube with a good quality.

When we were doing it by downloading the Facebook Live directly from Facebook, it was really fuzzy and it wasn’t great quality.

Content Creation Hack #1: Get iMovie recording at the exact same time, so you don’t have to do it twice, and then upload the iMovie version instead.

And, of course, we’ve also just started doing the Instagram Live as well, at the same time.

That’s three pieces of content you’ve created at once.

But it doesn’t stop there, that would be way too easy!

Content Creation Tip #2: Post Production

Once this Facebook Live is over, I’ve got a series of steps that I go through.

Firstly, I jump into iMovie and I quickly edit the video that is in there.

I just edit out a little bit of the intro because this is going onto YouTube, and I’ve already got a trailer for that.

I then use the HandBrake app to compress it before we upload it. And that still keeps it a really good quality, it just means the upload time is about 10%.

Content Creation Hack #2: Anyone that struggles with how long it takes to upload videos, get the HandBrake video compression app. It’s free.

content creationContent Creation Tip #3: Teaser Time

Once I’ve done the main video, I create a one-minute teaser from it.

I scroll through the video and I try and find a minute-long segment, like a real snackable bit of information.

You know, something that’s just one tip, or one moment of brilliance (if I have one!)

They don’t always happen, but I can definitely normally find at least one good tip.

And then I create a short preview video, which I then can upload as a teaser.

I tell people to go check out the full video either on YouTube or over on the blog post when it gets loaded up the following week.

That’s now 5 pieces of content that have been created.

content creationContent Creation Tip #4: Strike a Pose

Whilst I’m uploading stuff, I go and do a mini photo shoot.

Because in my world, having a full face of makeup and clean hair and not being in gym gear is a rarity, and it normally happens only on Facebook Live days, so I try and make the most of it.

What I like to do here is create a backlog of branded photos, of myself and my desk that I can use on Instagram.

I can also use inside my blog posts, and I can use for promotions.

It’s so expensive if you’re wanting to go out and get regular photo shoots all the time.

I also tend to hate the photos that other people take of me because I tend to pull really horrible faces.

I bought an Olympus Pen E-PL8 camera recently and it’s awesome!

It connects to an app on your phone which works as a remote control.

You can see what the camera’s seeing, do timed photos, timed multi photos and then the photos are saved in your camera and in your phone.

I normally try and get about three to four photos of various things.

Some I’ll use to promote this post, some I’ll use over on Instagram, some I’ll just stockpile and they’re just great to have for later.

Content Creation Tip #5: Touch-Up

I then edit them super quickly in my phone.

I’m using the Color Story app, which is easy to make your photos look amazing.

And because I’ve played around with it enough, I’ve saved my photo settings

So each time I upload a photo, I just go into saved settings, pick my saved one for inside or outside, I’ve got two, and then it does it, you save it, and you’ve got a pretty damn good looking photo.

Next, I upload those photos into Slack because I send them over to my team, but you could also just pop them into your Dropbox.

content creationContent Creation Tip #6: Finishing Touches

My team then uploads the video to Rev and they transcribe it

It’s a $1 a minute, so every one of these takes about 10 to 15 minutes, so that’s $10 to $15 a month and you pretty much have a blog post.

We then create next week’s blog post with this very video and the transcription below it.

Of course, you’ve got to read through and edit the transcription so that it makes sense.

I then write the newsletter and the intro to the post that is going to go with this video.

My team then set up the newsletter and blog post for me.

Content Creation Hack #3: Do all of your content creation the same day you do your Facebook Live, whilst it’s all still fresh in your mind.

Content Creation Tip #7: Promo Time

The lucky last thing that I do is I take all the images and I jump into both Canva and Schedugram.

In Canva, I upload the photos that I’ve taken into a folder and then create two different images with them.

We’ve got our YouTube video template where I just pop in the picture and change the text.

And then our pinnable template, which goes inside the blog post image.

This takes about two minutes to upload and update those templates.

In Schedugram, I upload three or four images as well.

Normally, I’ll just schedule in one Instagram post, which will be promoting the blog post the following week.

I know it’s a lot of steps, but it probably takes less than two hours, and that includes the time where I check over the newsletter and I check over the blog post before they go live on Monday

And that’s a whole bunch of content, which is all set up, all scheduled, all ready to go and all original

It’s been a massive game changer and lifesaver.

These posts are also great for SEO.

Particularly if you have a keyword in mind at the start as it gives you a really long blog post and you’re going to jump in and edit it so you can easily add in subheadings, and whatnot, to make sure that it’s totally SEO’d.

Grab your free step by step content creation guide + checklist here

If you’ve got any other great little hacks or tricks about how you can get more bang for your buck with your content, as well as creating it, but sharing it, let me know in the comments.

 

6 books every entrepreneur + blogger must read in 2018

It probably comes as no surprise to you that I was not very “sporty” (aka cool) growing up.

Yep, I got the nerd gene young. And before I was spending most of my days with my head buried in a laptop, I was usually to be found hiding behind a life-sized stack of books (these days I alternate).

So it should come as even less of a surprise that I quite often prescribe out various “must reads” to my lovely SBB tribe when they hit certain business snags, and today I wanted to share my absolute favourites.

There’s one for pretty much every “oh shirt-balls!” moment you are likely to have.

Grab a cup of tea and get comfy with my must read books for entrepreneurs + bloggers in 2017!

must have reads for entrepreneurs

Must read books for entrepreneurs + bloggers: Profit First

I want to start with one of the newer ones, this is a book called Profit First, by Mike Michalowicz.

This is the book that I recommend to everybody when they’re starting to monetise.

Even if you’re already monetising your blog + biz, go an check this one out!

I love the premise behind this as it fits in nicely with my own personal beliefs; “The things that you focus on, are the things that expand”.

It’s talking about how to set up your business to be profitable from day one.

That doesn’t mean it’s making millions of dollars from day one, but with your very first $10 that you make, your business can be profitable.

What a lot of people do is say, “Oh I’ll worry about profitability later, when I’m at this income level.”

But what tends to happen is as your income from your business grows, so do your expenses.

It’s super common for people that have multi-six-figure businesses to be flat broke.

And this book is just a really simple methodology to help you structure your business to avoid that really common problem.

It provides clear answers and a framework for business owners at every stage so you can know exactly what you can and can’t afford to be doing and spending, how much you should be paying yourself and also, it gets you putting profit aside from day one.

It’s a great habit to get into, and it shows you how to structure the finance side of things in a really simple and easy to understand way.

I’m not an accountant.

I’m not a financial adviser.

Whenever anyone who has their own business asks me for financial advice, I’m like, “Just read this. This will make such a big difference.”

Must read books for entrepreneurs + bloggers: The E Myth

The next one is an oldie but a goodie.

The E Myth (or EMyth Remastered).

This is all about finding work/life balance and about setting up a business that is scalable.

It’s about making sure you set up a business that’s going to succeed and it’s going to succeed in a way that fits around you and your lifestyle.

All the stuff that they talk about in The E Myth works really well, particularly online and anything that you’re doing around courses and scaling.

This is a classic and an absolute must read!

must have reads for entrepreneurs

Must read books for entrepreneurs + bloggers: Purple Cow (Seth Godin)

My next choice is really great for people who are just getting started, and you’re like, “How do I stand out? How do I make myself be, what’s my point of difference? How can I be heard and seen, and really stand out in a crowded market?

This one is a gem: Purple Cow, by Seth Godin.

It’s a short book. It’s only a little one.

You can knock this over in an hour or two and it’s all about being remarkable.

And how to stand out through remarkability, through being amazing and different and something that people will want to talk about, in a good way.

For anyone who is going, “Oh, there’s a thousand other people doing exactly what I do, how can I make mine special and amazing and unique?”

Check this one out.

must have reads for entrepreneurs

Must read books for entrepreneurs + bloggers: Lucky Bitch (Denise Duffield-Thomas)

Then, this one is a book by Denise Duffield-Thomas, who’s a lady that I’ve worked with a couple of times in my business.

She is such a lovely Aussie chick.

But if you don’t like swearing, don’t read it. Just kidding (read it anyway).

It’s called ‘Lucky Bitch’ and it’s about money mindset.

That is where this book really comes into its own.

It takes you through some really simple processes that you can use to help you get over your own limiting beliefs

6 books to save you + your biz in any 'holy shirt!' moment #secretbloggersbusinessClick To Tweet

And the things that might be stopping you from charging as much as you’re worth, from actually going out and doing the things that you know you need to do.

You know what it is that you need to go do, right?

But you sabotage yourself or sometimes, you just feel like all you’re doing is working and nothing’s actually working?

There could be some other stuff at play.

Yes, it is a bit woo but it’s not full-on woo, and I think that mastering your mindset and success mindset, that’s actually more science than woo anyway.

If you’re feeling really triggered by other people’s successes, or you find it really hard to price things, or, you have a lot of guilt or resentment around money definitely read this one.

It’s awesome.

She’s an Aussie. She’s rad, definitely check out all of her stuff.

Must read books for entrepreneurs + bloggers: The Big Leap (Gaye Hendricks)

Book #5 falls under a similar vein and that is mindset.

The Big Leap by Gaye Hendricks is another classic must-read for anyone who’s trying to do something bigger and braver in this world, than just, working a nine to five job, getting a paycheck.

There’s nothing wrong with that but when you do step-up and start saying, “Hey, I reckon I can do something pretty cool, I reckon I can really help people, or do something amazing, something beyond the normal,” then you notice, some weird things start to happen.

Again, this is all about self-limiting beliefs, self-sabotage, and this thing which is called an “upper limit problem”.

You know you’re having an upper limit problem when you’ve been really comfortable at one level, but then when you try and get up to that next level, some really weird stuff can happen.

You might crash your car or you might get sick, or you might all of a sudden, feel really anxious, or horrible.

You might start picking fights with your partner.

You know there’s that old saying, and again, this is a limiting belief, just this saying in itself, that as soon as one area of your life starts going well, another area’s going to completely shit itself.

That’s not the word for word saying, but you get the general gist of it.

This book explains it way more eloquently than I ever could but if you are finding you’re struggling to get to that next level, and you keep hitting up against walls and obstacles.

And weird things keep happening, when you do try to level up your business, you will love this.

 

must have reads for entrepreneurs

Must read books for entrepreneurs + bloggers: Desire Map

Now, lucky last and this is, again, is a lovely mindset one.

Desire Map, by Danielle LaPorte.

This is another oldie, but a goodie, and I know a lot of people that have this on their bookshelf, and might not have actually gone through the process yet.

This is an absolute must-read, must do, for anyone creating or growing their business because it really will help you to create a business that is actually going to give you the life that you want.

This is something  I did myself, with my very first business.

I got 5/6 years in and on paper it was successful.

But I wasn’t enjoying it at all.

I realised that I’d created a “successful” business and done all the right things to grow it.

 

must read books for entrepreneurs

 

But at the end of the day, the actual job and the work that I was doing, wasn’t fulfilling me.

In fact, I hated it, and I kept asking myself, “How did I get here?”

But the problem was the goals that I was setting, and the path that I’d chosen were really focused on hard money goals, like, “I should get to XYZ”.

It was just, “Oh, we need to get this amount of traffic, and we need to get this amount of money through the door, and I want to have this size team,” and blah, blah, blah.

I didn’t really take the time to go, “Well, actually, forget all of that. What is the life that I want at the end of it and what does my business, therefore, need to do and need to allow me to be able to do, for that to happen, and for me to be happy, and feel fulfilled, and feel successful?”

Because that’s not normally about money in the bank or how many staff you have.

That’s normally about, what kind of stuff do you get to do during the day and who do you get to work with? How creative do you get to be? And when are you working, and where?”

So, The Desire Map really helps you to figure out what it is you want.

This is a big question I know a lot of people don’t actually have an answer to.

And it comes out from a really lovely, unique point of view.

If you have any other books that have been absolute game changers for you, that you recommend to people, again and again, please let me know in the comments below!

 

Like a Boss: The best way to plan and structure your blog posts by Danelle Harvey

Here at Secret Blogger’s Business, we love nothing more than celebrating our Blog Squad babes wins. Once a month, a member who has been totally kicking A** gets chosen to share their story (and some of their best ass-kicking advice) here with us.

This month’s winner is the oh-so lovely, and just hella smart Danelle Harvey from the Female Musicprenuer. She has been absolutely killing it the past few months and truly deserves to be our #nerdboss of the month!

Danelle is here to tell us about her journey and how figuring out how to the best way to plan and structure her blog posts has made all the difference to her blog and business.

 

Tell us about starting Female MusicPreneur

It’s a blog for the Female MusicPreneur, to empower her and help her to own her music career, blaze her own trail, and significantly increase her bottom line.

After becoming an indie artist and sustaining a 25+ year career in the music industry to great success, I want to help others to do the same in their own right.

Although it informs, educates and trains, I also aim to connect female musicians to encourage theirs and each others’ success.

I aim to build a community of strong and empowered female musicians who set standards, achieve amazing things, and lift each other up.

 

What’s your story – what or who inspired you to start your business?

I have always loved blogging and vlogging.

I started doing it after I left my major record label deal and management and went indie.

I found it a great way to inform, vent, educate, speak my truth and also connect with people online, including new and potential fans, and sell and build my e-mail list.

 

Do you remember having a sort of ‘oh damn, I really can do this’ moment? What was it??

I’ve blogged since blogging began and had just returned to it after a 4+ year break.

It was a challenge.

I had to re-learn how to blog and to blog consistently again with my business schedule and studying law full-time.

After joining Kate’s Bloggers’ MBA, and going through the processes methodically, I realised that I could do it.

plan and structure a blog post

What is the best advice you have ever received?

To set a blog schedule and use a content planner.

I used to write blogs weekly and release at a set time on a set day, but there wasn’t much structure involved in my actual writing process.

Having a planner helped me to focus on creating related content or write for specific purposes at a given time.

Kate’s advice is priceless.

 

What do you find to be your biggest challenge, and what’s something that has really worked for you?

I find it tough to stop writing!

I can write for days!

What has worked for me is setting a word limit, or writing short paragraphs and using bulleted or numbered points.Click To Tweet

I try now to aim for 5 points per post.

If I go way beyond 10 or a similar number, I find it’s a sign to split the post up into more than one this way I end up with a blog series, which is a great way to keep readers engaged.

My fave blog acronym mantra is K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, sweetie).

 

What is the thing you are most proud of about your blog or online business?

The icing on the cake was being asked to do a guest blog for a prominent indie music blog even though I hadn’t published many blog posts at the time.

Actually doing it within the allotted timeframe showed me that I could.

Receiving great feedback showed me that it was information that female indie musicians required.

This makes me very proud as it validated my blog/business idea externally as well as helped my target audience.

This makes all my hard work worthwhile and proves that my passion to help others succeed was not just wishful whimsy.

 

plan and structure a blog post

Any tips for others who want to achieve something similar?

I was told what I have to offer would be of great value to the community.

So, my general advice is to just be active in your blog’s niche area, be a part of the community, ask for help, and offer it sincerely (when asked!).

 

If you could work from anywhere in the world, where would it be?

On a tropical island. I live on one, and I do!

Otherwise, it’d be a quiet room.

 

What was it that made you decide to join the Blog Squad community?

I am a Bloggers’ MBA member.

The Blog Squad seemed ideal as I love Kate’s vibe and persona.

The community has such a different and warm vibe as compared to the ‘strictly business’ communities I’m in, yet it is about business.

I found it refreshing and very informative.

I also think the community is great.

 

plan and structure a blog post

 

What has been your biggest accomplishment since joining the Blog Squad community?

Actually creating an e-course ready for launch.

I’ve wanted to do it for years, and I have created a few, but they’ve not been published yet as they’ve not felt quite right.

Over the past couple of weeks since doing the last MBA modules, it just came together.

I think it was because I followed the formula for how to launch it successfully.

The support from the community every step of the way has been amazing!

 

How would you describe the Blog Squad community?

An excellent community of down to earth blogging bosses that provides a wealth of info and support.

 

Moving forward, what’s next for you and your biz?

I am going to build it into a sustainable business.

I initially approached blogging from a different angle as a surplus to my business, but I now see how it can be an integral part of the business.

So, a restructure is imminent…

 

Want to learn how to plan and structure a blog post? Why not sign up to the Blog Squad waitlist here

 

3 big mistakes people make when they launch their first course

Today, I’m going to be sharing the 3 big mistakes that people make when they create and launch their first course.

These are really common mistakes that I see happening a lot, that trip people up when it comes to creating and launching their first online course.

create and launch an online courseCreate and Launch a Course: Why?

I think we’re all pretty okay with the idea that online courses are a great way for people to monetise a particular skill or passion they have.

It’s a really great way to expand your reach.

And it’s a great way to help way more people than you ever could if you were trying to work one to one.

But, there is a lot of work that goes into creating and launching a course.

There are a lot of courses which get people great results and people are lining up around the virtual block to get in to them.

However, there are probably 20 times as many that are a bit lackluster where people have had a disappointing launch and haven’t even broken even.

No one wants to have that.

#onlinebizfail - spending so much time creating your course, you don't have any time left to market it.Click To Tweet

Create and Launch an Online Course – Mistake #1: Not Testing

First of all, and this is a really big one, a lot of people don’t test their products or their idea.

Or, they do, but they go the wrong way about it.

When you are planning to create and launch an online course, asking your audience what they want and doing what they say is not a proper test.

By test, I mean you need to know that people don’t just want this information from you, they want it so much and they value it so much, that they are prepared to pay for it.

You need to know that it’s going to be in demand.

And that you are offering enough value for the price you want to charge.

Plus, you need to know if you’re going to make enough sales to cover your time and your expenses for creating a course in the first place.

To really know that going in, unless you’ve got a crystal ball, you need to do a proper test.

There are two ways of doing this.

create and launch an online courseCreate and Launch an Online Course: Get people to say yes!

To do a legitimate test, you need to get people to vote and say “Yes” with their credit cards.

You need people to actually pay.

It’s all well and good asking people and have them go “Yeah that sounds great, I would totally buy that”.

But when it comes to the crunch, will they?

That’s a different story.

I am a big believer in the “Sell it before you Make it” philosophy. Especially for your first course.

You have to be really careful with this though.

You have to plan it out properly.

You don’t want to end up biting off more than you can chew.

The best thing to do is come up with your idea, one you’re really happy with, and you’ve already done a bit of research, and you’re pretty set.

You’ve got your name.

You start to bullet out what’s going into it.

You’ve got an outline, but then you need to pre-sell it.

You need to find out if people are going to actually buy it.

There are a few different ways you can do this.

I did this with my very first course, and I’ve done it with every single course since.

It is coming down to having a timeline or plan to make sure you’re going to be able to still create and launch an online course, and not just be creating a whole load of stress for yourself the next couple months.

But also getting that validation.

create and launch an online courseCreate and Launch an Online Course: Pre-sale or Beta Test?

Usually what you want to do is identify some of your best customers, and send them a pre-sale or a beta test of it.

Say, “Hey, I’m doing this at a discounted rate. We aren’t going to actually start it for another month, but if you want to come in now because you’re VIP, you’ll get a discounted rate. I’ll take your feedback on board, and we can help to create this awesome thing together”.

You need to test.

You can also use a beta test.

That is where you create a watered-down version, like a couple of modules.

And then you will offer it to some of your best people and say “Hey, I’ve started to create this thing. I’d love to know one, do you actually want to have access to it again at a discounted rate, and two, I’d love to know what your feedback is.”

Create and Launch an Online Course: Feedback

It works really well in two ways.

Firstly, you’re getting people to prove that, yes, they would buy something.

And secondly, you’re getting that feedback to make sure the product is actually amazing.

You need to make sure your product is going above and beyond these days.

Competition is massive.

There are so many courses out there, but there are still new ones coming in that are doing really well, but they’re not just delivering the bare minimum.

You can make it amazing and really, really blow people away.

You need to surprise and delight and always exceed people’s expectations.

create and launch an online courseCreate and Launch an Online Course –  Mistake #2: Not Enough Time Marketing

People tend to spend far too long creating a course.

Too long getting it set up and researching stuff.

They’re then too busy or too burnt out to actually market it properly.

This is just as important.

This is why I think pre-selling is brilliant.

You’re putting your time and energy into the marketing part first.

You want to be able to make sure that you prioritize the marketing first.

But still, allow yourself enough time to then create the content.

Yet, so many people spend months creating this amazing course and setting it all up and making sure it’s perfect but they haven’t even tested it.

So, they send an email out to their list hoping that someone will buy it, but there aren’t many takers.

They do a disservice to themselves.

It would be just like someone making an amazing cake and then going; I can’t be bothered icing it… I’ll just chuck a candle on it and say Happy Birthday to that person.

If you have used all of your energy, all of your brain power up front in the creation of the course, then the marketing side always fails.

create and launch an online courseThe very first time you do a course, there is a lot you’re creating.

You’re creating new marketing assets.

You’re creating the actual course.

That first course, the creation and launch process is always massive.

It’s always a really big undertaking and often quite bigger than a lot of people expect.

It doesn’t have to be.

There are a few little shortcuts and a few ways of launching something that’s much quicker to create.

You have to have that mindset.

Creating and launching a course is massive but next time, it won’t be as massive because the course is ready to go.

You might want to tweak some things, and then you’ll put all your attention into your marketing.

Second and third launches are normally much better.

What happens is, if people don’t market it properly the first time, they get discouraged.

They go “Well, I’m not going to do that again. That was a waste of time. I’m a failure. I give up.”

It’s just they prioritised the wrong thing, and they gave up too soon.

create and launch an online courseCreate and Launch an Online Course – Mistake #3: Taking Too Long

The third big mistake I see people making when they’re creating online courses is they wait too damn long to do it.

There’s this weird myth going around that if you’re going to create a successful and profitable online course, you need to wait until you’ve got a really big audience.

It’s not true at all.

This is the beauty of online courses.

If you’re doing blogging the old fashioned way like trying to rely on sponsorship and selling ad packages to get your money through the door then, yes, you do have to wait until you have a big audience.

As in tens of thousands of followers.

That sucks.

That takes a lot of time.

That takes a lot of effort.

You’re usually a couple of years down the track before you’re even starting to make any decent money.

When I say decent, I mean a few thousand dollars.

create and launch an online courseWith online courses and having your own online products, the beauty of them is you only need one person to sell it to.

You just need to be really clear on who you are, who your audience is, what they want, and then usually, you can launch something quite successfully with the list that you have.

Plus, as part of your launch marketing, you’ll be doing list building anyway.

The combo of the fans who are already on your list and the list building that you’ll do as part of your marketing is normally more than enough to have a successful launch.

This means that the best time to launch a course is right now.

If you’re not doing it now, if you put it off another 12 months, then it’s just going to get harder.

It’s wasted money.

You could have created it and launched it a bunch of times, and refined that launch over those 12 months, and have this thing that you know reliably earns you $20,000, $30,000, $100,000, whatever it is.

But you didn’t.

You waited, and now you’ve got more competition.

Now, you’re having to start from scratch, whereas other people who have been launching throughout the year, they’re miles ahead of you.

Don’t put it off.

Yes, it is a lot of work, and you have to try to and be realistic and fit that in.

Priorities-wise, if this is something you want to do, it’s priority number one.

Waiting is just going to make it harder.

Do you want to learn how to create, market, launch and start selling a course in the next 60 to 90 days? Then head over to sbbrsvp.com to sign up to my upcoming workshop!

How to Find More Time in Your Business and Blog

find more time in your business

In this week’s SBB Live, I’m talking about how to find more time in your blog and business.

Do you feel like you’ve got a never-ending to do list?

And that even when you finish one to-do list, you’re sat down writing a new one?

It can feel like there is never enough time to get what you want to do done.

Quite often we get stuck on this treadmill of doing, doing, doing but not progressing.

This normally happens when we are spending too much time on the “busy work”.

Like obsessing over analytics, perfecting blog posts or content, working on your social media strategy or answering emails.

While those tasks are super important, they are not necessarily the tasks that grow your business.

find more time in your business

Find more time in your business: Be the CEO

The aim for any biz owner is to become the CEO, not just the worst paid hardest-working employee. #nerdbossClick To Tweet

And yes, if you’re a blogger and you’re wanting to make money with your blog, then you are a business owner as well!

The CEO isn’t cleaning the toilet, the CEO isn’t doing the grunt work.

What the CEO’s job is, is to do the stuff that makes money.

Even better if you can outsource some of that.

But your job is to make the money and to do the stuff that you love.

That is all you want to have on your plate at the end of the day.

Obviously, when you’re getting started, that’s kind of impossible because it’s just you, right?

So you have to do most of the grunt work also but there is definitely a process that I go through, and I’ve been doing this pretty much since I started my business 10 years ago.

It’s how you build up to be able to start shifting to doing more of the work that grows your business and that makes you the more money.

Less of the stuff that doesn’t.

Basically, it means you’re being more and more productive.

In this post, I am going to show you my process and I try and do it about every six months.

find more time in your businessFind more time in your business: When?

Normally I review my business at the start of the year.

This is a great time as you’re most likely doing your planning and everything’s a little bit quiet.

Then, the middle of the year is a really good time to come back to it, check back in, make sure you haven’t gotten off track.

I find that even when I do go through and free up a bunch of time, slowly after a few months, that free time that I’ve freed up, it disappears, and that busy work comes back again.

So you’ve got to keep coming back and resetting yourself.

This is what I do, it’s really, really simple.

find more time in your business

Find more time in your business: Track your time

There are some awesome tools you can use to help you in this process too!

RescueTime is a great tool which can help you track what you’re spending your time on each week.

Or for a week, sit down with a pen & paper and make a note of what it is you’re doing when you’re doing your work on your blog or your business, what you’re spending your time on.

You can keep this rough, it doesn’t have to be super specific but if you can estimate how much time you spend on each task then you can work out what is taking up your time.

How long are you spending on answering emails, on responding to people’s comments on social media, on posting on social media, on creating your content?

Then look at that work and say, “Of that work, what is business growing work, money making work, and work that I love; what isn’t?”

The stuff that isn’t, that’s the stuff that we can start trying to eliminate.

Find more time in your business: Dive in

You also want to go through at this point and really dive into what is and isn’t working, particularly around your content.

I find, for most people, content is one of the biggest time sucks.  (Include all social media content as well.)

It depends on what your topic and your niche is and what you talk about, exactly how long it takes to do a blog post.

But most people, it’s several hours, some people it’s a whole day.

The thing is, you could just be doing that blindly and it’s not actually the stuff that’s working for you.

So go in, dive into your analytics, have a look see what’s working.

 

find more time in your business

 

Find more time in your business: Quality over Quantity

What this means as far as getting more time back in your day is that you don’t need to be creating so much stuff.

Right now, it’s really important just to make sure you’re creating the right stuff.

A lot of bloggers I know recently have cut down their posting schedule massively and found it really hasn’t impacted their stats.

You might be able to go from posting two to three times a week, to once or twice a week, and they’re still getting the same amount of traffic, because you repurpose stuff, you re-share old content.

You can go through and refresh old content as well.

It really is about learning to work smarter and not harder.

So diving into your content, what is and isn’t working, and then see what you can simplify down and where you can cut out some time.

find more time in your business

Find more time in your business: Video Works

I’ll give you an example:

The SBB Live’s I do every week, they are my content.

I can sit down, do a little bit of prep, a little bit of an outline, and shoot out a newsletter to everyone say, “Hey, I’m about to go live.”

Then I can do a 20 minute chat talking about something that’s come up recently that’s timely, answering a question, and then that’s my content done.

Like, 20 minutes, how cool is that?

Then I can share it on YouTube.

We get it transcribed and turned into a blog post, which we’ll then have on the blog the following week.

All of a sudden, my content creation has gone down from taking up a whole day to around 45 minutes.

This has just given me back so many hours. I’m pretty sure every single blogger can find a way of doing that, particularly in this age of video.

Video is what’s working right now, and you want to make sure you’re doing as much of it as possible.

The downside of this is that a lot of the social media platforms, if that’s what you’re using for a lot of your traffic, they’re now really loving live, in the moment stuff.

Instagram stories are going bananas. If you’re not doing them already, I highly recommend you do them.

But the problem with those is, you can’t pre-schedule them, you can’t have them pre-ready to go.

So you have to work that into your schedule.

If you can free up a bunch of time with your other bigger, chunkier content by doing less but the right stuff, and then try and systemize what you can, you’ll be amazed!

You’ll see how much more effective it is, so how much better results you get, and also how much extra time you then have to then start focusing on your CEO work.

If you want to be an epic empire CEO, you’ll just do the stuff you love.

Other people will do the stuff that makes you money.

That’s part one of the process; is going through, digging into what is working right now and how can you simplify what’s working and do more of that, but in less time, and how can you get rid of what’s not working.

find more time in your business

Find more time in your business: Automation

The other thing to look at is what can you start automating or putting a process around?

I’ve found, for doing things like Instagram, it’s been really helpful and a massive time saver to start creating this bank of images in folders, and the folders are in Dropbox so I can access them from my phone.

The thing with Instagram is you can reuse content after a few months, it’s totally fine.

If you’ve taken some beautiful relevant images, it’s totally fine to use them again three months later, no one’s going to remember.

People are so busy they barely remember what they had for lunch, let alone what you posted on Instagram, so don’t be too scared about repurposing.

But just going through that process, it took a few hours to set up, but that has saved me so much time.

Just think about all those things that you still have to do, how can you simplify them? How can you put a bit of process behind them?

find more time in your business

Find more time in your business: Outsource

I know this is something that’s a little bit scary for a lot of people, particularly if you’re not making huge income just yet, but it is is a game changer and it is not expensive.

How can you get some help and outsource some of these tasks?

Most people could probably afford $15 to $20 a week to get someone to help them.

That $15 to $20 can gives you back three to four hours of  your time.

You can get a really kick-ass VA for about $5 an hour, depending if they’re based in around Asia and things like that.

If you’re going to look for a local, like an Aussie, US, UK one, expect to pay more around the $20 to $30 mark for admin help.

But how much time could you save?

Look at all those things that you are doing and go, “What are the bits that I need to do?”

Maybe when you’re looking at all of your content across the board, go, “Okay, well I need to write it, right? I need to write the captions for my Instagram. I need to write my blog posts.”

But what if you then had someone who came in and took that blog post and took the first couple of paragraphs and popped it into your newsletter template and had that all scheduled out and ready to go?

What if they took that text and put it into your WordPress or into whatever blogging platform you’re using, formatted it for you, set up all the social media shares for it and scheduled all your social media.

How much time could that save you?

Seriously, this stuff can save you so much time.

Have you managed to find more time in your business? Let us know your top tips in the comments below!

My Favourite Email Sales Funnels for Bloggers

Welcome to another SBB Live!

Today, I’m going tell you about something that I think a lot of people seem to get a little bit worked up on, and it’s something that a lot of people think is a lot bigger and harder and scarier than it actually is, so they don’t get around to actually doing it.

That is email sales funnels.

I know funnel is the cool buzz word at the moment.

Everyone’s talking about how their email sales funnel is doing.

If you haven’t had a chance to play with funnels or you haven’t implemented them yet in your blog or business, they might seem more difficult than they actually are.

Email sales funnels is just a nerdy way of saying selling shit on autopilot. #secretbloggersbusinessClick To Tweet

This might mean you don’t go and try them.

That’s a real shame because email sales funnels are brilliant tools, particularly for solopreneurs or for any bloggers or coaches or for anyone who doesn’t have a massive team yet.

Email Sales Funnel

Emails Sales Funnel: What Exactly is it?

An email sales funnel is a way of automating different parts of your business.

Email sales funnels help to grow your audience, grow your list and get you more sales.

So why wouldn’t you want to have that done on autopilot when you’re not having to pay staff to go and do it?

You can just set up the cool online bots and software to do it for you.

It’s not expensive.

It’s not scary, and I’m going to take you through exactly how to do my favourite email sales funnel.

My favourite email sales funnel, which is one of the first ones I set up, and it’s probably the one that’s made the most money for my business as well, as far as evergreen revenue is my warm-up funnel.

I call it our master funnel.

Other people call it warm-up, intro or an onboarding funnel.

Whatever you want to call it, it’s basically just the funnel that introduces people who join your list to you.

That’s what your warm-up funnel is.

It’s where you get that chance to really put your best foot forward

Show your best stuff to really grow some trust, help to give some value, get people to really know who you are, what you’re about and tell them how you’re going to help them.

Also, more controversially, to know whether you’re not for them because that’s another important service that your funnel can offer.

That is to stop those people who have maybe come in that is tyre-kickers, or they’re just having a look around.

Maybe they’ve stumbled across you from some weird Pinterest search. You’re not actually related to the stuff they’re looking for. They just want to get that one particular freebie.

You can use your funnel to filter them out so you’re not growing a massive e-mail list that’s just full of time wasters.

Instead, you’re growing an e-mail list of people who are really engaged, who are really interested in what you’re talking about and who really see the value in what you’re doing and who are starting to create that connection with you through the e-mails and the stuff that you send them.

Some good service providers for setting up your email sales funnels with are:

Email Sales Funnel

Email Sales Funnel: Keep it Simple

Firstly, just keep it really simple.

Now, a lot of people can get really carried away with all the cool stuff you can do.

Once you start playing with different automations and things like that, you’ll be going, “Oh my God, when someone reads this, a blog person would send them this. Then, when they sign up for this e-mail and click on this thing and this and this other thing.”

Then, you create this crazy complicated email sales funnel.

That’s when you get yourself into trouble.

Simple is better, and particularly when you’re getting started.

Keep it simple because that way, you’re going to know what is working and what isn’t.

If you’re wanting to jump in and make changes or tweak or alter anything, test different stuff out, it’s a lot easier to do than if you’ve got this crazy 50-step, with all different variations and A-B testing and all kinds of stuff going on, and it’s not working as well as you want it to work.

Keeping it simple also means you can implement it quickly.

You can literally get this up and running in a couple of hours.

Email Sales Funnel

Email Sales Funnels: What goes into it?

Most of us have multiple different ways of people getting onto our e-mail list.

You might have content upgrades in your blog posts.

You might have your big over-arching list builder that you use, whether it’s a challenge or a freebie or an eBook.

You might have different workshops that you do or different challenges.

All of these things are going to be sending people into your list.

You want all of these people to be having a really similar experience.

Make sure you’re keeping that in mind.

This is for after they’ve got their content upgrade or they’ve got their freebie challenge and they’ve received their e-mail going, “Hey, here’s your freebie,” the first step of your funnel is what happens next.

You can add them all into this email sales funnel.

Email Sales Funnels: Intro Email

The very first thing you want to do is send them an awesome introduction e-mail.

In this introduction e-mail is what I call “The love me or leave me e-mail.”

It’s almost like your about page.

You don’t have to go and write this stuff from scratch.

You’ve probably got most this info on your site already, but I want you to give these people a really good introduction to who you are.

Tell them who you are for and how you can help them.

Also tell them who you’re not for, and give them an option to self-select out.

If you know that your niche is about A, B and C, but not so much for D, E, F, then say that.

Say, “And so if you’re looking for D, E or F, I’m sorry. I’m not your gal. Click here to unsubscribe.”

You’re giving people a secondary revalidation of their choice to opt in because if they choose to stay, then, they’re like “Yes, this is where I’m supposed to be. This is the person I want to be following. They’re definitely going to be able to help me. I’m onboard. Let’s do this.”

You’ll want those who aren’t going to benefit from what you offer to unsubscribe.

They’re just taking up space and you end up paying for them because e-mail service providers normally charge you based on how many subscribers you’ve got.

If they’re just there but not interested then they’re costing you money.

They’re ruining your open rates, your interaction and your deliverability.

You don’t want them. Get them out.

Email Sales Funnel

Email Sales Funnels: How Many + When?

For the first couple of weeks, I like to send emails 4 to 5 days apart because if anyone’s like me, you’re probably opting into a few different bits and pieces.

You might forget that you opted into someone’s list if you don’t hear from them again until a whole week later.

For this first couple of weeks, I do send a bit more regularly.

The first week, I might send three e-mails. Then, in the next week, two.

Then, it goes to about a five-day cycle for the following couple of weeks for however many e-mails you want to send in this email sales funnel.

The number of e-mails you send is entirely up to you.

A great tip is to go into your e-mail statistics and find what have been your most successful e-mails that you’ve ever sent?

Go and have a look.

What’s got the best open rates, the best click through rates of all the e-mails that you’ve sent to your list previously?

Take those e-mails. Add them in, in an order that makes sense.

Now, of course, you might have to tweak them slightly.

They might be slightly out-of-date, but you want to really use this chance.

Put your best foot forward.

Share your best stuff.

Why rewrite it when it’s already there?

You’ve already put the time and effort into it. It’s just going, finding it and popping it into this sequence.

Email Sales Funnel

Email Sales Funnel: The Offer

Now, the third part of your email sales funnel is probably the most crucial part is I want you guys to make an offer.

Somewhere in the sequence, and it will really depend on what your niche is and what your product is.

If you don’t have a product yet, that’s fine, but try and find an awesome affiliate product that you can link to.

Something that’s got a good amount of commission that you can get back.

Something that you really stand behind, that really aligns with the stuff that you talk about.

You can even have a few of them sprinkled through, but I want to make sure that in this indoctrination series, you are giving people a chance to take the next step and also give yourself the chance to start earning some nice recurring evergreen revenue.

There’s lots of different ways to do this.

But just make sure that within that indoctrination series, you are offering, and depending on how long it is, you might even have more than one, that you are doing at least one offer.

You’ll have people that have come in. They’ve got the freebie. They’ve reaffirmed that yes, you are the person that they want to follow.

Then, you can send them a bit of value and roundabout e-mails, three or four, you want to make an offer of some sort.

Your offer can be subtle or it can be big.

Maybe you invite them to a webinar.

Maybe it’s a straight-off 50% off.

Maybe you’re going to give them a bonus.

Email Sales Funnel

Whatever it is, find a way to make a nice timely offer.

Do it out the front, because your new subscribers are going to be probably the most primed to take that next step.

If they’ve sought you out, and if they’ve been looking for that particular solution, that particular topic that you’re talking about, then probably right now, they have an issue.

They have something that they need some help with.

Right now, is the best time to be offering that next step.

I know some people like to warm people up months before they go and make an offer, but you don’t have to be aggressive about it.

Give those people who are looking for a solution right now, the opportunity to take that solution if you have one, rather than making them wait for it, in which case, they might have solved it themselves.

They might have bought someone else’s offering. Don’t be too scared to make that offer.

I wouldn’t do it in your very first e-mail, but give a little bit of value.

Then, feel free to send through some sort of related offer.

Email Sales Funnel

Email Sales Funnels: Recap

Email sales funnels are not at all scary. They’re literally just a series of e-mails.

There’s some really cool tools out there that allow you to do them. ActiveCampaign is my personal favourite. It starts at only $9 a month.

Then, once you’re creating it, keep it super simple. Don’t get too complicated, particularly at the start. You don’t need to go on and reinvent the wheel.

Your stuff you’ve already got that works, so the first e-mail you’re going to send is your love me or leave me e-mail where you introduce yourself.

Give people a chance to reaffirm that yes, you are the right person for them to follow, but also to opt out and leave if you’re not.

Do not be scared of scaring the wrong people away.

Then, your following e-mails, so the next five to 10 e-mails, which you can scatter out at varying intervals over the next few weeks, even months, they’re going to be the very best e-mails that you’ve ever sent.

Go through your stats. Find them. Pop them altogether. Tweak them slightly, and you’re good to go.

Seriously, this is not a difficult thing to do. You can go away and do it in a couple of hours.

You will be amazed, particularly if you’re in the third step, which is adding in offer somewhere out the front, at how useful this can be for your business.

How good it is creating that initial connection, creating that initial value, that trust and also starting to get some sales coming through, literally, day-after-day, without you having to do anything, so well worth a few hours, I reckon.

Have you got an email sales funnel set up in your blog or biz? Let me know how it works for you in the comments below!