3 Ways to Make Facebook Work for Your Business in 2018

Consider this: Facebook is the largest interconnected group of people that has ever existed in all of history. Without leaving your living room (a solopreneur’s dream come true), you’re able to reach a couple billion consumers. What an amazing opportunity for your business!

After all, your business runs on connections, right? Regardless of what type of business you run or what your primary form of advertising is, ultimately your sales are dependent on how many people you can effectively reach with your marketing messages. If you’re looking to make connections, then Facebook might just be the place to be!

Facebook’s algorithm and business

Now you might be thinking, “That’s great, except I can’t reach any of those people because of Facebook’s darn algorithm!”

If you’ve spent any time on Facebook in the past couple of years, you’re probably aware that their constant algorithm adjustments have consistently given business Pages less and less reach. In fact, at this point, posts from most business Pages reach only about 5% of that Page’s audience.

Understandably, this is extremely frustrating to many businesses who spent a lot of time attracting those Page fans. Many people feel that their effort to grow an audience on Facebook was wasted.

Also, many who haven’t already put in the work to grow their Facebook Page are now wondering if there’s even any point to doing so. If that’s the camp you’re in, then you’ll find the three ways to use Facebook for business below to be very interesting. (They show that Page likes aren’t necessarily required for you to get tangible results from FB…really!)

What Facebook really wants

Why is Facebook constantly changing? Why didn’t they just leave good enough alone and preserve the old, chronological feed that gave every post equal treatment?

Well, that’s effectively what Myspace did, and look where they are now. :/

In short, Facebook’s primary focus is to keep their customers happy and interested. The more time that people spend on Facebook (and the more they enjoy their time there), the more money Facebook makes.

It’s in Facebook’s best interest to keep their customers happy and interested, and they will always make the choices that support that.

The whole point of Facebook’s algorithm is to figure out what each user is most interested in seeing and serve them that content. This is determined through a variety of methods, primarily:

  1. Keywords: Has the user responded well to posts with similar keywords in the past?
  2. Broad categories: In general, FB users are most interested in the recent life events of their friends. Everything else (including promotional business posts) takes the back burner.
  3. Engagement: Facebook serves each post to small segments of users at a time to be able to gauge their reaction and decide how many more people to show it to. Facebook knows that the more likes, comments and shares a post gets, the more interested people are in the content — and the more time they’re spending on FB as a result.

While the FB algorithm is incredibly advanced, it still takes shortcuts whenever it can — after all, there are billions and billions of posts for it to sort through, so it (they) want to give preference to posts that are more likely to do well.

At the end of the day, that means your business posts get mostly booted off the feed. Facebook knows that their users are generally more interested in the lives of their friends than they are in promotional posts, so they’ve made it a default for business posts to get very little reach.

How to make Facebook WORK for your business

All this makes it sound rather discouraging, doesn’t it? Facebook doesn’t want your posts and Facebook is in charge! Should we just abandon the platform altogether?

Fortunately, that is not called for. There are actually several ways that we can harness the power of Facebook and use it to drive sales in our businesses. Keep reading to find out how.

1. Start or participate in Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups are the equivalent of networking events, but so much more specific — plus, you can participate from the comfort of your own living room! (Again, living the solopreneur dream.)

There is power in being able to connect with your target audience and actually talk to them. Companies have spent millions and millions of dollars on A/B testing advertising campaigns because they don’t know exactly what resonates with their audience. The fact that you can just chat with your target customers is an amazing innovation of Facebook.

Facebook Groups are also the only way to connect with people on Facebook who aren’t already your friends. If you look at your News Feed, you only see the posts of those who you’re already connected to, but when you join a Group, you instantly get access to hundreds, even thousands, of new people who are all interested in the same, relevant topic.

Another advantage that FB groups have over traditional networking is the ease with which you can further connect with people on a more personal level. If you want to follow up with someone you met at a traditional networking event then you’d better bet that you managed to get one of their business cards. Totally not necessary on Facebook!

2. Develop desired content

Really, you and Facebook kind of want the same thing — you both want to promote content that generates interest. You can work with Facebook (it helps to have the big guys on your team) by intentionally creating and promoting content that is more likely to spread virally.

Many marketing studies have been done to determine exactly what causes some content to perform so much better than other content. In short, people are more interested (and more likely to share) content that they emotionally respond to. There are actually 10 different characteristics that viral content tends to have.

When you share content that has these characteristics, several key things happen. First of all, your posts will get more engagement. People will like, comment and share things that they feel passionate or intrigued by.

Second, every time your post is shared it will get exposed to that user’s friends — giving it even more opportunities to be shared further.

Third, when Facebook sees all that engagement, they will identify your post as one that their users (at least certain sectors of them) are finding interesting and give it additional reach.

Finally, all those likes, comments and shares will give your post a lot more social credibility. When additional users see your post and see that other people reacted to it, they will be influenced to believe that your post is, in fact, interesting. That makes it significantly more likely that they will also engage with your content.

And then the cycle repeats!

Bonus tip: Facebook really likes when you use its live features when developing content. If that sends chills down your spine, start here.

3. Understand when to invest in ads

Many people seem to have the idea that Facebook Ads are expensive or that they’re not sure if they can afford them. Really though, Facebook Ads are an investment, not an expense, and when done right, they will earn you far more money than they will cost.

What’s not to love about FB Ads? If you strategically use them to enter customers into your business’s sales funnel then you’ll be making money while you grow your brand. So long as they are earning you more than you’re spending, you have a perpetual machine to drive list growth, brand exposure, and future sales.

Not sure if your business is ready for this more powerful tactic? Check out this article: Are Facebook Ads for me?

Don’t feel like FB Ads aren’t for you just because you have a small budget. Really. Even with just $5 a day you can start to scale. As sales come in, you can reinvest your profits into progressively larger campaigns.

Facebook Ads are the silver bullet of advertising, allowing you to drive traffic and close sales for pennies. You can get started by talking to an FB ads expert who can help you figure out the best strategy for your campaign.

The right Facebook strategy for your business in 2018

Any of these strategies has the potential to uplevel your social media marketing strategy, but probably one or two of them will give you the very best results.

If you’re still in the research phase or you sell big-ticket services (such as advanced consulting, web design, or large branding packages) then FB Groups are an excellent place for you to start. Connecting with customers one-on-one can allow you to develop mutually beneficial relationships that result in qualified referrals.

Viral content can be a powerful tool for any business, but generally works the best for content or service-based businesses that can teach something impactful to generate leads.

Facebook Ads can be effectively used for many different types of businesses, but create particularly amazing returns for product-based businesses. Whether you sell physical products (clothes, decor, etc) or digital products (especially courses), FB ads can double your sales overnight, exponentially growing your brand.

Considering these three powerful ways you can use Facebook to promote your business, I think you’ll agree that Facebook marketing is alive and well. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity!

Over to you: What’s your Facebook marketing strategy? Which of these three ideas would have the greatest impact on your business?

A 12-Step Recovery Program For the Fully-Booked Online Service Provider

Jean’s coaching business is small but successful. She works with 5-7 clients every day, then spends time catching up on social media, emailing, blogging, invoicing and other business matters.

Her to-do list is never-ending, but she has what everyone in the online teaching industry desires — the state of being “fully booked.”

There was a time when “fully booked” was a phrase every online business owner coveted. Whether you’re a coach, an online teacher or a service provider, at some point Michael Port’s book was on your desk, and you wanted to “book yourself solid” for months on end.

And then, because (if you’re like me) you followed Michael’s every word, you indeed experienced what the “fully booked” means: several clients a day, follow up calls, invoices, social media and email marketing (no time to train anyone to outsource those), new clients, new projects (maybe), blogging or vlogging — all in that disrupted order, running the cycle without breaks.

Let’s pause. When we look up the term “fully booked” the first illustration comes from the hotel and restaurant industry to mean “no rooms or tables available at a particular time or date.”

One thing that our “fully-booked” heros forget to tell us is that we’re human beings, not restaurants and hotels and we cannot book all available hours we have in the day and give them to clients.

I find it ironic that the technology that “frees us” from the daily drudgery of business matters doesn’t help with the “fully booked” dream with to-do lists that don’t end.

I believe there’s a better way to work, make a living, and best serve the people with whom you work — without “fully-booking” your human capacity.

In order for this to happen though we need to start with some fundamental, mindset-shifting exercises.

In this post, I offer my 12-step recovery program for the fully-booked online coach, teacher, and other service-based business owner who finds themselves in the trap of no more time available.

Step 1: Acknowledge that you’re a business owner first.

“Oh, I’m not a business owner. I’m just a teacher.” If this is you, don’t run a business — go work for a school. But if you want to work for yourself, call yourself what you are.

The difference between a hired employee and a business owner?

A business owner focuses on the system, realizing that providing the service is only a part of the entire puzzle whereas a “just an XYZ” tries to ignore the entire system, thinking that the service alone is going to be enough to make the business sustainable.

Step 2: Identify your main strength and develop it into your superpower.

We’ve all thought at some point that we can do everything. We’ve exhausted ourselves working on projects we didn’t like and we’ve wasted our creative energy without making an impact.

Niching down isn’t some basic, feel-good advice designed to make us miserable. It’s our thriving code.

In Opted Out of the *Real Job* we write, “…focusing on a real problem puts you in a position where you can solve the problem — and that’s how you opt out of the illusion of helping people and move into the reality of helping people. Which one do you prefer?”

We begin impacting clients only when we use our superpower, not our average skillset.

Step 3: Identify your dream client and connect with her only.

When I started working online in 2009 I used to think that I was skilled enough to work with anyone. I believed that if a client didn’t like me, I could change that. I believed “the client was always right.”

That mindset brought nothing but turmoil and disappointment. We’re not a “Walmart-type” business. Hence we can only work with specific clients to ensure transformative results.

Step 4: Focus your content to help your dream client solve a specific problem.

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

It’s easier to add to what we already have than to focus on what works, dig deeper into it, and eliminate all the confusing noise. Eliminating the noise and focusing in on what matter takes courage and security in our brand, but it allows us to offer services that make a greater impact.

Step 5: Use automated software for client work.

Some of us resist setting up automated booking buddies because we want to provide the “special human touch.” So we dig ourselves into a hole of being overwhelmed with email and client onboarding process.

I use Acuity Scheduling and highly recommend it as a one-stop solution that allows clients to book, pay, fill out a questionnaire, and get automatic reminders. The opportunities for automation are endless, really.

Step 6: Delegate before you’re ready.

We’re afraid to delegate. It’s our baby, and people can mess things up. We think it’s not a big deal. We never have enough money to delegate.

But when you do have *enough* money you won’t be able to afford to train someone and wait until she learns your process. Waiting will cost too much. So rethink your budget now. Delegate draining tasks.

Step 7: Recruit your fans.

The best people to work for you are your fans. You can find some hired workers on crowded marketplaces, but it’s likely not the best long-term strategy. The people who comment on your posts, engage in discussions, or respond to your emails — start there when looking for someone to work for you.

“When people realize that they are not a cog in a machine, an easily replaceable commodity, they take the challenge and grow. They produce more than you pay them to, because you are paying them with something worth more than money.” – Seth Godin

Step 8: Identify the 1:1 people and everyone else.

As coaches/online service providers, we think everyone needs the 1:1 format of what we offer, but it’s not true. Some may not be in a position to hire us, but finding a way to engage with and transform them in a one-to-many format is something your business can benefit from.

Step 9: Create one product/program to help your audience members achieve their goals independently.

In the spirit of the one-to-many formula, create one product to offer to people who aren’t ready to invest into working with you. Can you offer a book? A series of videos? A short online course? A program?

I love Breanne Dyck’s post on how to (finally) create a product. (It made me realize writing a book isn’t as scary as you may think, especially if you have a blog.)

Step 10: Set up boundaries to your “fully-booked” schedule.

Even though there’s no assigned rule that helps us figure out when we reach our “fully-booked” mark, I believe each one of us knows when we stop giving our best to our clients.

When you turn from a human coach into a coaching machine, or a human (insert-expertise-here) into a (insert-expertise-here) machine, you know you’ve reached your limit. Set up your boundaries that will keep you from getting there.

Remember what Greg McKeown reminded us of in Essentialism: Set your priorities, or someone else will.

Step 11: Build your referral network.

Join professional forums (editor’s note: like One Woman Shop!) to build the network you need to create partnerships and refer work to your partners. New brands will thank you for the referral, and you will minimize your overload.

Step 12: Take breaks to foster your creativity on a regular basis.

Somewhere along the way we got busy and stopped being creative. We told ourselves “we’re not the creative type,” and it became our comforting story. And yet it’s creativity that helps us find the most unique solutions to solve our clients’ problems.

So find the time to be creative. If you’re too busy to do that, it’s hard to create anything customized because customized takes creativity.

My advice to you: Become available

We don’t have to be busy all the time to feel like “we’re working hard.” We don’t have to fill someone else’s work quota to validate ourselves. We don’t need to be fully-booked on someone else’s terms to prove that our work is valuable.

I propose that we strive to become available. It’s an oxymoron for someone who has chosen to opt out of the standard, 9-5 job and its demands, but it doesn’t take us long to realize that the same standards we ran away from still rule our days.

To paraphrase Brené Brown, let’s not wear our busyness as a badge of honor. Try being available for a change. It’s the key to recovering from the fully-booked syndrome that’s stifling the sanity of coaches and other online service providers, everywhere.

Spotlight On: Gratitude

One Woman Shop Membership doors now open

As the craziness that is the holidays goes from 0 to 100 over the next few days (with the barrage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deal emails to prove it), we wanted to drop in with what we hope is a breath of fresh air.

We want to show our gratitude for you.

For being a community of solo business owners who just gets it. Who can happily chat about outsourcing, email sequences, and live-stream video in one stream of consciousness. Who has no shame in taking an afternoon nap or waking up to work at 2am because an idea struck. Who gleefully celebrates being able to try out all her local coffee shops (as long as there’s good wifi, of course), and who also considers putting jeans on as “dressing up.” (Because, hey, they’re not yoga pants.)

We say it all the time: Solopreneurship is a misleading term — because even as a company of one, we need to know there are other people out there who get it. Who can help us through it. Who have the expertise, insight, and honesty we might not at that moment.

We count our gratitude each and every time we receive a reply to our emails, when we read through the comments on our Instagram posts, and as we witness the collaboration and sharing that takes place in our private OWS members Facebook Group (lovingly referred to as The FaceGroup).

It’s there that we celebrate (yes, celebrate) a Case of the Mondays when the first day of the week rolls around. It’s there that members ask for feedback on their latest opt-in, for extra hands when their plates are too full and they need a fellow expert, or for trusted opinions on software choices. It’s there that unicorns come out for birthdays and the best gifs, ever, come out for national coffee day. It’s there that client communication issues get solved, that mental roadblocks are overcome, and that collaborations naturally and happily form.

This week and always, we’re grateful to have you as part of the One Woman Shop community — and we want to invite you to take that one step further.

The doors to One Woman Shop membership are open for the final time of 2017 right now, but you only have until Friday, 12/1 to get your application in. What it is: Lifetime membership to a tight-knit group of ladies who quickly become friends as they support each other on this winding road of solopreneurship.

Because being a CEO ain’t easy — and we don’t pretend that it is. We keep OWS membership simple, but we hit on what’s most important:

A closed Facebook Group where you can share openly, ask for feedback, and offer support? Check.

Opportunities to showcase your products and services to your fellow biz owners? Check.

Access to courses and handbooks on solopreneur sanity, building an online community, solo biz finances, and kickstarting your content strategy? Check.

An accountability group who will hold you to your goals and provide a safe place to bounce ideas off? Check.

Grab more info — and that application — here.

As you dive into your turkey or tofurkey dinners (or bask in the silence that is your American coworkers being off), we ask you to think of what it might be like to be part of such a community…then we encourage you to actually find out.

In the meantime, we’ll be over here celebrating our gratitude for the fact that we get to both lead and participate in such a fantastic community of women doing business — and living life — on their own terms.

To gratitude, community, and tofurkey (if that’s your thing)!

P.S. We also <3 spotlighting our members. Grab a coffee and hear what One Woman Shops Lauren Pawell of Bixa Media and Lilly Garcia of Wild Olive Branding have learned on their solopreneur journeys so far.

Member Spotlight: Lilly Garcia, Wild Olive Branding

 

Welcome to our One Woman Shop Member Spotlight series, where we highlight what’s going on in the businesses and lives of One Woman Shop members. Interested in joining this ambitious group of go-getters? Apply today!

Today’s Spotlight is on Lilly Garcia, brand strategist and owner of Wild Olive Branding.

Tell us about yourself and your business – what do you do + who do you serve?

I’m a brand strategist and designer who helps heart-centered, conscious business owners get clear about their brand and communicate it visually so they can take bold steps toward their goals.

I believe that brand graphics should be more than just pretty, and so I deep-dive with each of my clients to figure out what makes their business tick and find ways to translate those abstract concepts into visuals that actually work.

Are there any things commonly accepted as truths in the business world that you flat out
disagree with?

Oh, man! Where to start?

I think the biggest myth I disagree with is that we all have to chase the same definition of success. The 6-figure launch and expensive bag + stilettos and fancy home aren’t what success looks like for everyone. And that’s okay.

You have permission to create your own version of success! No matter what anyone says.

What’s one thing people might not know just from reading your website and following you on social media?

That I’ve struggled for most of my life with being the weird kid and feeling misunderstood. I suppressed the parts of myself that I thought would offend or be misunderstood for a long time, and I’m just now starting to uncover that part of myself again.

I’ve been working on refining my own definition of success and including a more whole version of myself in that picture.

How has running a business changed you?

It has made me braver about so many things! About communicating openly — with clients, with colleagues, with collaborators. I’ve learned to ask for what I want and need in business, and that has seeped over into every other area of my life.

And I’ve gotten braver about owning my own stuff — my version of success, my values, my background, my priorities. I feel like I’ve learned so much more about who I am and how to be fearless about it.

What’s your one piece of advice for new solo business owners?

To get clear on what they’re about and what they want. To invest time finding their brand so that they can build their business intentionally.

There is so much advice out there — not to mention the endless tools and marketing options and systems. It can easily become overwhelming. But if you start from a place of clarity, the path is smoother and everything is just easier.

Give us a shameless plug for your latest project/product/freebie!

I recently launched the Brand Clarity Quiz to help new and seasoned business owners figure out how well they know their brand. It can help you see how much clarity you have right now and what your next step should be!

That’s a wrap on this Member Spotlight — thanks, Lilly, for sharing so much insight!

solopreneur membership

Member Spotlight: Lauren Pawell, Bixa Media

Welcome to our One Woman Shop Member Spotlight series, where we highlight what’s going on in the businesses and lives of One Woman Shop members. Interested in joining this ambitious group of go-getters? Apply today!

Today’s Spotlight is on Lauren Pawell, marketing strategist + owner of Bixa Media, where she helps entrepreneurs and businesses perform better digitally.

Tell us about yourself and your business – what do you do + who do you serve?

My name is Lauren Pawell, and I’m the founder and owner of Bixa Media, a digital marketing agency focused on helping entrepreneurs generate (and nurture) more leads through their websites.

Are there any things commonly accepted as truths in the business world that you flat out disagree with?

Quite frankly, I’m not sure that any “truths” are universal!

That being said, I don’t believe there is one perfect online channel or one perfect tool for every business. Be wary of someone who says “This is THE tool (or channel) that everyone should be using.” All businesses have different needs; the perfect solution for one business will be very different than the perfect solution for another.

What’s one thing people might not know just from reading your website and following you on social media?

My fiance is a pilot and the current nature of his job means we have a few moves in our future. We recently relocated (temporarily) to Denver and will likely be relocating a couple more times over the next five years. From a business standpoint, this means you’ve got to have services + products that move with you. Fortunately, I’ve got that covered.

Being my own boss makes our uncertain future significantly more certain…at least from an income standpoint and the fact that I don’t have to keep finding new jobs frequently. I can’t imagine telling a future employer that I didn’t know how long I could stick around. Talk about unemployable!

What’s your favorite social media platform and why?

While most may not consider this a social media platform, I love email. It’s the ultimate 1:1 form of communication and allows you to forge a deep and personal relationship with your audience members that just isn’t always possible on the various 1:many platforms.

If you could do just one piece of your business forever, what would it be?

I LOVE writing marketing emails. Coming up with compelling copy, seeing instant feedback from your audience…I find it very addicting. So much so, it’s one of my favorite things to teach other entrepreneurs how to do! Most think writing emails is difficult; I promise it’s much easier than you think it is.

If you had to describe yourself or your business in one word, what would it be?

Freedom.

Running my own business has given me a freedom that would not be possible otherwise.

I’ve been able to take significant time off to care for a sick family member, helped another family member create their own online business, been able to support my fiance’s career change, and travel the world….all while running Bixa Media.

More importantly, I’ve been able to help clients find their own entrepreneurial freedom. I believe that anyone who is willing to go out on their own and overcome all obstacles in order to do so deserves to take back their freedom, too.

What does community mean to you?

A like-minded group of people. In One Woman Shop’s case, it means women who are brave enough, and crazy enough, to go out on their own and pursue their version of entrepreneurial freedom.

What is the #1 lesson you’ve learned since being in business on your own?

Experiment and iterate.

When you’re creating something out of nothing, you have to get creative and experiment with things you’ve never done before.

And of course, not everything is a success right off the bat. But, with continued iteration and improvement, you can often turn so-so efforts into home runs.

What’s your one piece of advice for new solo business owners?

Want to go farther, faster? Hire help who’s accomplished what you want to, so you don’t waste time doing the “trial by fire” method.

Whether you want to implement Facebook Ads, build a lead-generating webinar funnel, require new contracts, or need to learn how to do bookkeeping…there are experts out there who can help you with all of that. And most of the time, they can teach you how to do it yourself, should you not want to outsource the process completely.

This approach will save you a ton of time and money long term, even if it requires some upfront investment.

How has running a business changed you?

Unlike my non-entrepreneurial friends, uncertainty no longer scares me. In fact, I’d say it fuels me! I like the challenge of creating something out of nothing…over and over and over again.

Give us a shameless plug for your latest project/product/freebie!

I’m currently teaching my audience how to build a site and create an audience from scratch, in a year-long, free experiment called the Transparent Marketing Project.

It’s a lot of fun (and also happens in my limited spare time), so it’s hyper-focused on marketing strategies that produce results.

Plus, you get to see when I try things that don’t work very well. If you’re new to the online marketing world, I highly recommend checking it out. I give away a ton of awesome freebies (think email scripts, website blueprints, etc.)

That’s a wrap on this Member Spotlight — thanks, Lauren, for sharing so much insight!

solopreneur membership

Spoiler Alert: The Answer is G (One Woman Shop Membership is Now Open!)

One Woman Shop Membership doors now open

Back in May, we opened the doors to One Woman Shop membership and in turn, welcomed an awesome new class of OWS members into our private community. Lucky for you, we’re re-opening the doors one last time in 2017 — and introducing a new lifetime access model to boot.

If you’ve been around these parts for a bit, you’ll know we love pop quizzes. (Blame it on our days reading glossy teen magazines…)

So, why is now the perfect time to become an OWS member? Is it:

A. You didn’t apply for OWS membership last time around and you’re still kicking yourself for missing out on the support and the fun

B. You’re overwhelmed as the end of the year approaches and would love to be part of a community of people who get it

C. It counts as a business expense for the 2017 calendar year

D. It’s an excellent way to ensure that you kick the new year off right

E. You want to take advantage of our new pricing model, which gives you lifetime access to OWS membership with just one upfront fee

F. You don’t know when the doors to membership will open next…

G. All of the above

In a shocking twist that no one could have predicted, the answer is G! Just call us super-sneaky quizmasters.

So, how does it work? You apply for membership before Friday, December 1. If it’s a good mutual fit (read: we believe that we can offer you value and you can in turn offer value to the community), you’ll pay a $360 one-time fee.

One payment and you’re an OWS member for life. Just like that.

Head here get all the details and apply.

We can’t wait to welcome you to the community!

How To Generate Publicity for Your One Woman Shop in Just 30 Minutes Per Day

You know the struggle when you’re first learning something?

One moment you’re vigorously trying new ideas from your entrepreneurial gurus. And the next? You realize you wasted three hours and you can’t tell if you accomplished anything.

That’s how I felt every day when I first started doing publicity.

Everything was hit and miss. My days got swallowed into the computer screen. I was driving myself crazy — and not seeing results.

Of course I learned a ton, but I wished someone could have said, “Here’s a way to break things down into bite sized pieces!”

That’s exactly what this post is about.

After several years of refining my own routine, I’ve reduced my weekly schedule into simple chunks. I got rid of the time-gobbling fluff and focused on tasks that bring about tangible outcomes.

This one-woman schedule is easy, actionable, and totally results oriented.

Once you get into the rhythm, you won’t spend more than 30 minutes per day on generating your own free publicity!

Monday

Read three articles from blogs or magazines you want to be featured on.

As you do:

  • Take notes on what you think about the article. Keep this in an easy to access place like an Evernote notebook or a Google Sheets spreadsheet.
  • To really make your presence felt, leave a thoughtful comment on the post. This will notify the writer or editor that you actually care about their work. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to someone you will eventually want to send a pitch to.
  • If they don’t have a comments section, feel free to send a quick email thanking the writer for the post. Don’t try to pitch or sell anything to them. You’re literally just there to acknowledge the value of this person’s article.

To take things a step further, spend a few minutes scheduling reposts for these three articles on your social accounts throughout the week. This shows bloggers that you care about their work and giving them exposure, too.

Tuesday

Pitch three writers you’ve connected with in the past.

Unless you have a last-minute time constraint, I don’t recommend that you pitch someone upon first contact (that’s why we read those articles and took those actions on Monday!).

Previous contact can include anything from connecting on social to getting a warm introduction from a mutual connection — but giving it at least a bit of time to marinate is key.

Whether you’re pitching a guest post or are pitching a full-blown feature, today is the day to make it happen!

Wednesday

Check in with your network.

Ahh hump day. Everyone’s feeling the weight of the week today, which makes this the perfect time to check in with your network!

  • Message a few of your business connections and check to see how they’re doing.
  • Comment or share some new blog posts from a few of your entrepreneur friends.
  • Hit up online networks on Facebook, Slack, Mightybell or even Quora and answer questions about your field.

I can’t count how many times I’ve gotten collaborations, new clients, and PR opportunities just from checking with with the people I’ve met online.

Thursday

Follow up with three people you’ve pitched.

If anyone you pitched on Tuesday clicked links in your email, but didn’t get back to you, today is the day to follow up. Come from a place of helpfulness in your follow up. For example: Do they have questions you can answer?

If there haven’t been any clicks in this week’s outreach, let those sit. Instead, take this opportunity to follow up with the people you pitched last week. (It’s now been nearly 10 days!)

Friday

Add three new outlets to your media outreach list.

Woo! It’s Friday, which means it’s the perfect time to prepare for the coming week. Today is the day to do some maintenance and add new publications to your media outreach list.

When thinking about adding a new media outlet to your outreach list, consider this:

  • Do your customers naturally gravitate toward this publication/website?
  • Is it a place they return to over and over again?
  • Can you provide obvious value to the publication’s audience?

Make sure you save the link to an article about your niche — this saves you time on Mondays!

Note the name of the publication, the author’s name, and their direct email address. If you need help, use free tools like Hunter and Big Picture’s Email Finder to track down almost any email address in seconds.

There you have it. A week’s worth of publicity work in only 30 minutes per day, and you’re set up to do the same next week!

Your turn: What first step will you take to kickstart your publicity efforts?

Shop Talk: A Crash Course in Opportunity Cost

solopreneur

solopreneur

Welcome to Shop Talk! While we love providing you with jam-packed, actionable posts, we also wanted to share quick, thought-provoking snippets here and there — from our brains to yours.

We talked last week about the joy we get from applying a principle from another field or industry to our businesses. We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: We’re nerds. (Who really like Planet Money.)

We bet you’re out there, busting down the sunk cost fallacy like warrior ninjas. We couldn’t be more proud.

Today’s mission, should you choose to accept it: Embrace the concept of opportunity cost.

Put simply, opportunity cost is “A benefit, profit, or value of something that must be given up to acquire or achieve something else.” Furthermore, “The notion of opportunity cost plays a crucial part in attempts to ensure that scarce resources are used efficiently.”

Take the opportunity cost of going to dinner with a friend. You can’t use that money on anything else and you can’t get the time back. But maybe you had an incredible time bonding, you ate delicious food, and you feel less stressed now. Totally worth it, right?

But now imagine that you accepted a gig with a terrible client. It’s boring work, you’re not learning anything new, they’re paying you diddly squat, and it leaves you feeling drained.

Instead, you could have been going through a course to increase your subject knowledge; working for a higher-paying client; doing an exercise class to get that post-work out high; or having a coffee meeting with a potential collaborator.

We know that sometimes in life and business, you have to do things that are less-than-desirable to make ends meet.

But remember this: The minute you say yes to one opportunity, you ensure that, for the time being, your resources (brain power, money, energy, and time) are unavailable for any other possibility.

The solution? Before taking on any opportunity, think about the monetary and non-monetary costs associated with it. Could your available resources be directed to a better opportunity?

Think about this, too: For every minute or hour you spend cleaning, cooking, or working on certain pieces of your business likely not related to your expertise, you’re giving up time and energy that could be spent on more high-value activities. (Yes, we’re giving you justification for hiring a cleaner, meal prep service, and/or a VA. You’re welcome!)

Your days, back in your hands.

Get instant access to 5 Days to Reclaiming Your Time, a free email course with the mindset shifts + action steps you need to get started in reframing your relationship with time. Sign up below!

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Shop Talk: The Sunk Cost Fallacy — And How to Let It Not Scare You

goal setting

goal setting

Welcome to Shop Talk! While we love providing you with jam-packed, actionable posts, we also wanted to share quick, thought-provoking snippets here and there — from our brains to yours.

Last week, we talked about the magical solution of completing a task by dropping it. (Missed it? Catch up here.)

Is it safe to say that some friction presented itself when you considered what you might be able to drop from your undoubtedly robust to-do list? We bet that friction has a little something to do with one of our favorite economic principles: sunk cost.

For the non-nerds, a definition: “In economics and business decision-making, sunk cost refers to the cost that has already been incurred and cannot be recovered.

Monetary costs. Energetic costs. Time costs. They’re all costs that are very real to our businesses as One Woman Shops.

We alluded to sunk cost in our diatribe on dropping tasks last week when we said:

“You might be a lot further in. You might’ve spent hours on plans and outreach. Hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on bringing it to life. Endless amounts of energy truly trying to make it work…No amount of time, money, or energy invested is worth carrying on with something that isn’t going to get you closer to where you want to be or how you want to live…”

Let’s take this one step further, to the sunk cost fallacy.

From YouAreNotSoSmart.com (haha!), the sunk cost fallacy states that: “Your decisions are tainted by the emotional investments you accumulate, and the more you invest in something, the harder it becomes to abandon it.”

Today, we encourage you to look over your to-do list (yes, again) and see if the sunk cost fallacy is at play with any of your current projects. Say to yourself, “The money, time, and energy I’ve invested in this project can’t be recovered, but I’m not doing myself a service by continuing forward.” Then (you guessed it!), drop that project.

Because here’s the thing…we also know this to be true in our businesses: The best ideas resurface.

It’s not easy to remember this when you’re considering letting something go, or dropping something you’ve started, or heck, when you’re in the middle of that meditation session and an idea strikes but you know you shouldn’t grab your phone and open Evernote to jot it down.

So we’ll repeat it: The best ideas resurface.

Need evidence? Pull up an old planner, old notebooks, or old Google Docs. We bet you’ll be surprised to see how many ideas you’ve actually acted on and implemented since you first wrote them down ages ago.

Maybe when the idea first presented itself, you didn’t have all the information you needed. Maybe you didn’t have the network of collaborators and purchasers in place yet. Maybe you didn’t have the time or energy to invest in it.

And now, maybe despite the costs you’ve already sunk into the project you’re considering dropping, it just isn’t the right time.

At the risk of sounding incredibly woo-woo, trust the process. Take steps forward if you can and want to, but rest assured that your best ideas will make their way into the world in some way, shape, or form eventually.

And if you live in constant fear of those amazing ideas disappearing forever? We remind you of an idea from last week: the simple but (for us) revolutionary idea of having a “Hold” section on your to-do list.

Tell us: What can you drop today?

Your days, back in your hands.

Get instant access to 5 Days to Reclaiming Your Time, a free email course with the mindset shifts + action steps you need to get started in reframing your relationship with time. Sign up below!

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Shop Talk: The Quickest Way to Get Something Done

solopreneur

solopreneur

Welcome to Shop Talk! While we love providing you with jam-packed, actionable posts, we also wanted to share quick, thought-provoking snippets here and there — from our brains to yours.

Have you ever had an idea that you were really jazzed about? The drop-everything-and-make-this-happen idea that wakes you up at 3am; makes you (gasp) forget you need coffee; finds you telling your pets about it because you’ve already chewed the ear off anyone else who will listen?

We love those ideas.

A lot of times, those ideas relight the fire and lead to breakthroughs in our businesses. They give us direction and purpose. They turn into the product, the service, or the platform that helps us grow.

But we’re not here to talk about those times. We’re here to talk about what happens when that idea you had just isn’t working out.

You know, the not-so-glamorous side of things. The times when:

  • You’ve put your all into it (time, money, energy), and it just didn’t work…
  • Your idea is made up of a lot of “shoulds” and not a lot of “wants”…
  • The fire’s burnt out and you’re no longer excited…

When you’re a solopreneur with endless ideas, this is bound to happen. And you’re bound to be plagued by the shame and the “shoulds” that keep you holding on.

Today, we’re granting you permission to let it go.

One of our favorite leading ladies, Arianna Huffington, wisely wrote in Thrive: “You can complete a project by dropping it.”

For her, it was about learning to play the violin and speak German. She wasn’t taking action, but, in her words, “Any project that you’ve started in your mind drains energy.”

You might be a lot further in. You might’ve spent hours on plans and outreach. Hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on bringing it to life. Endless amounts of energy truly trying to make it work.

Again: It’s okay to let it go. No amount of time, money, or energy invested is worth carrying on with something that isn’t going to get you closer to where you want to be or how you want to live, solopreneur. It’s oh-so-simple, but we know it’s not easy.

So we remind you of these two things:

1. Nearly everything we do as solopreneurs is a learning opportunity. In working on this idea, you’ve undoubtedly learned something new; met new people; did things you didn’t think you could.

2. Dropping a project now doesn’t mean dropping a project forever. (The “Hold” section of our to-do list is solid.)

And, finally…This is not a case study for taking the easy way out; for walking away from something just because it’s hard. This isn’t about sloughing off and making progress on your Netflix queues. (Okay, well, it’s not just about that.)

Simply put, this isn’t advice for the lazy — they don’t need it. (And we know that’s not you.) This is advice for the overachievers who want to do.it.all, all.the.time.

To you, we ask: What can you cross off your to-do list by dropping it?

(Even if it’s just for now…)

Your days, back in your hands.

Get instant access to 5 Days to Reclaiming Your Time, a free email course with the mindset shifts + action steps you need to get started in reframing your relationship with time. Sign up below!

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