Freedom! Map Out Your Week According to You

Create your own work life!

Last week we started with non-negotiables in our life and business. This week, let’s take that a step farther. Establishing a weekly schedule to fit you and your life is a very freeing experience.

I can just hear the screams now:

“But I have so many clients to tend to!”

“But I have so much work to do!”

“But things crop up – there is NO WAY.”

Yes, there is a way – and you are in charge. Keep your calendar for personal and biz in one spot. Really. If you separate them, as I did for years, you will double book, forgetting personal commitments while you are working with your biz calendar as you do most of the day. Put them together – trust me on this!

Weekly: Here is where the magic happens. Plug in blocks for the way you want you’re your week to go. You may have more categories, but at a minimum, include blocks for:

  • Client work (work done by you for your client)
  • Client meetings
  • Team meetings
  • Content creation (blog, podcasts, social media posts, course creation, team meeting agendas, etc.)
  • Email, calendar, and social media management
  • Prospecting
  • CEO time – strategic planning, updating KPIs,
  • NOTHING– blank space for chilling out, breathing. Here’s the spot where other things MIGHT creep in – and that’s ok.

A few key tips:

  • Batch anything that can be batched. Create a month’s worth of blog posts at a time. Only check your email 2x a day and clear the inbox each time. Put your phone on do-not-disturb and only return phone calls 2x a day.
  • Set boundaries with your clients and prospects and stick to them. For example, only take client meetings on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. If you work with an online calendar where clients/patients can schedule themselves, then open up only those times in the scheduler that YOU want to work with clients.
  • Create a template out of anything and everything. Save major time by not having to reinvent the wheel. Is there an email that you are sending out more than once (a pitch, an answer to a question, a thank you)? Create it once so that all you need to do is copy and paste. I’ve created dozens of emails that I keep on file. This saves SO much time. Is there a launch that requires a ton of prep (and what launch doesn’t)? Create a “work-back” schedule in excel detailing each step and the number of days before the launch that it has to occur and save it for the next time. All you should need to do is plug in the launch date, and the rest of the dates should auto-populate. Ta da!
  • Start with your personal energy levels in mind. As I mentioned last week, I’m the most creative in the morning. I schedule all of my content creation blocks before 11 am. If you are not quite at your best until you’ve been up for awhile, schedule client meetings after 1 on a few days.
  • Look at the week as a whole. Let’s be honest –getting back into work mode after a weekend can be slow going. Plan for that on Mondays. Fridays are for winding things up and crossing things off your list. This may not be the day to initiate new things – for yourself or your clients. Go with your own flow.

Two strategies that have completely changed my business:

Scheduling blocks of time for content creation on a consistent basis. I have a lot of content creation time built into my calendar since I create a lot. I’m no longer panicking about “OMG, when am I going to get that weekly blog post done, when am I going to prepare that presentation I’m giving next month?” I’ve scheduled consistent time for it and it all gets done. Wow – what a concept!

CEO time – Being a true CEO (strategic, having the long vision, planning) takes an unencumbered mind and a free schedule. It’s a critical part of your business. Make sure you have blocked out time weekly or risk getting lost in all the details of day-to-day operations.

Run your business, don’t let it run you. By mapping out a weekly schedule, you will be in charge.

Create a Strategy? But I’ve got one!

Hold up! Let’s pick that one apart.

Did you actually start with a well thought out strategy about your business for the first year or so, or did you just jump right into your passion? Most entrepreneurs dive into their business because they have a burning desire to teach, coach, provide a service, or sell a product they feel is truly needed and will benefit their customers. Something that is, of course, absolutely fabulous! After all, if real enthusiasm for the impact of their efforts isn’t at the core, why would anyone go through the hard work and risk of building a business in the first place?

Even if you did craft one from the start, the strategy launched your business with might not be serving you anymore. It may need some major tweaking, or possibly a complete revamp. If your business has survived a full year, you probably have a good idea of what’s working and what’s not. 80% of entrepreneurs starting a business fail within the first 18 months.  The bottom line is that most entrepreneurs will not make it past their first year. If you are still in business – kudos! Now let’s make sure that you are ready for years 2 and beyond.

The first year can be greased by passion and excitement, but when the nitty-gritty of the day-to-day and hard work sink in, things may look quite a bit different. That new perspective is a gift! Take advantage of it to make sure your plan is serving your life and business TODAY. Here’s how:

Revisit. Make sure your biz strategy fits your family life. Your whole life. How much do you want to work? Do you have kids, or aging parents, or a husband who travels a lot? What are the aspects of your home life that are impacted by the time and energy you invest in your business? I usually ask my clients to start there. If it doesn’t work for everyone, it’s not going to work, period.

Revisit – Make sure your biz strategy fits you personally. Do you want to work evenings or weekends? Perhaps you only want to work 9 months out of the year and take summers off. One of my early mentors only wanted to work 3 days a week to leave time for her very rich personal life. She had a booming business but said no to many things in order to keep her 3-day-only schedule. It’s your choice. It’s your life. Make it your strategy!

Revisit – Make sure your biz strategy is a short and long-range view of your business. If your strategy was to create online courses but found that you didn’t have enough of a base to make that happen consistently, you may need to regroup. Focus on list building and smaller offers first, then revisit the course idea in year 2. If your online store is just creeping along in sales, how else can you get your product to market? Your short-term strategy may be to start looking for distributors or joint venture partners to assist with your reach to develop stronger store sales. Your short and long-range visions need to be calibrated to the reality of your business as it stands today.

Revisit – nail down 6-12 months. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase: “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” Map out at least the next 6 months in great detail, and develop a general roadmap for the next full year. What will your offers be and when do you expect them? How will you promote them? What will your revenue and expense streams look like 6 months out? Have a general idea of how that will phase into the next 6 months, building on the first. Small businesses and entrepreneurs can have so many variables to contend with that mapping out a full year might be unrealistic. Give yourself the grace to take it piece by piece.

Will that 6-month strategy change or is this locked in? Well, yes, and yes. Be thorough in your 6 -month plan – mapping out as many tactics, cash and time requirements as you can, to truly realize your goals. Don’t be distracted by new/different ideas. Save that for another time. Stay dedicated to your defined strategy. That said if you find that a major piece of that strategy needs tweaking, or is not working, be ready to dive back in and make the needed corrections. Keep your focus on being profitable and growing your business. Unless things aren’t working, stick to your plan!

Wrap Up:

Whether you started your business with a solid plan, or just jumped right in following your passions, it may be time to revisit your short and long-term business strategies. If you have made it a year then you are doing something right! But failing to adjust to the new reality of your business as it stands today could cost you growth as you move into year 2 and beyond.

From Chaos to Clarity – My Story

Businesses evolve and grow, and mine is no exception. I had been providing Facebook Ad Strategy and implementation up until a few months ago. (Why look; my last blog post and newsletter was in June of 2017! Not good.) But I began to realize this business model just was not working for me.

 

The more clients I worked with, the more I realized that FB Ads were just one tiny piece of a much bigger picture. The ad and the strategy behind the campaign were only as good as the landing page. The landing page was a reflection of the client’s positioning of the brand. The offer was frequently a muddled reflection of the entrepreneurs’ positioning.

In truth, I turned away more clients than I took on because their business was not ready to run ads, either financially or strategically. And I didn’t want to help them throw away money! I wanted to help my fabulous clients with the whole picture – way before a Facebook ad came into play.

I’m a strategist at heart; that’s my “zone of genius” (Sigh, I’m a tad sick of that phrase, but it makes a point). I wanted to work with these women earlier in their planning and on a bigger scale so I could truly help them grow. And FB Ads was not a solution for many entrepreneurs.

So I took a step back (4 months worth) to re-evaluate my biz and my own areas of expertise and what I wanted to offer the world. To say I was in a bit of chaos in an understatement. I see this in so many entrepreneurs who are at a transition or growth stage of their business.

Every business goes through stages: From the seed of an idea, through initial startup, followed by progressive levels of maturity and growth. Each stage has its unique challenges, and none are easier than the last.

During these transition periods, things can feel out of control. Many of your carefully crafted processes are no longer working, and you and your company just feel like it is bursting at the seams.

“These are growing pains.” as my mom used to say. Growing pains are an unavoidable part of a thriving business at all stages of development. However, with some wisdom and strategy, you can make the most of these transitions while minimizing the pain of expansion.

The first step to clarity is to ask yourself these questions:

  • Where are you right now in your business? You have to be honest. If you’re not honest, you’re not ready or willing for the change you crave.
  • Where do you want to go? What do you want your biz to look like? (Or, did you jump in and just start looking for customers and take on any and all of them?)
  • Why did you start this business in the first place? Are your expectations being met?” It takes a lot of work to be an entrepreneur! Have you re-evaluated your why, now that you are in the midst of it, to confirm that you still feel your biz is worth all the effort?
  • How will you get there?

I can help you with that last question. I’ve owned and grown 4 online businesses in the last 10 years, and have been through all stages of entrepreneurial growth. You may be thriving but exhausted, or unfocused, or struggling to identify your next revenue opportunity.

I’d like to invite you to download my short e-book “From Chaos to Clarity – 5 Solutions”. It could just be the first step to help you see more clearly to the next stage of growth.

What are you struggling with in your business right now? I would love to hear from you directly so I can get a sense of the specific issues you are facing right now. Shoot me an email at elyse@elysetager.com or post in the comments below and let’s talk.

Facebook Advertising Blueprint

8 Steps to Success

Facebook is currently the biggest social media platform with almost 2 billion members. Half of those are online daily. With very few acceptations, your ideal client is there!

Facebook also has the very best targeting opportunities of any social media platform, which is critical for successful advertising.

I see so many entrepreneurs making the same mistakes over and over again. They are running Facebook ads incorrectly and wasting money. Or they are using Facebook advertising when they shouldn’t – it’s too early in their business to invest. Here are my 8 Steps to get you started the right way!

  1. Start with your offer

If no one wants what you are selling or offering, no Facebook ad can succeed. So if you can, use an offer where you have a proven track record – a course that you have already sold successfully, a coaching package where you have had previous successful clients. This way you know the offer is proven and you can focus on the ads themselves.

If you are starting from scratch, start with a lead generation campaign where you are offering something of value for free.

  1. Know Your Objective

When it comes to running Facebook ads, the first step is to choose your objective. You can run ads to build brand awareness and increase the number of likes on your Facebook page. Or you can promote your Facebook posts to do the same. I don’t typically recommend either of these tactics, as building an email list is more valuable than increasing Facebook liked.

NOTE: For more very valuable information, and more detail on these 8 steps, click here: http://bit.ly/FB-blueprint

3.  Know your Numbers

This is a critical next step.

Before you start running any Facebook ad campaign, you need to know what you can pay for a new customer or lead

For example, if you speak to 10 potential clients, how many can you close into paying clients? Some people can close 1 out of 3, for some it’s 1 out of 5.

Once you know, decide how many clients you want, and calls booked and you can figure out how much you can pay per lead and still be profitable.

  1. Identify a budget you can live with

The number one question that people ask when it comes to Facebook advertising is how much do I need to spend on my Facebook ads?

It just depends on your monthly income and comfort level. With my clients, we usually start with $30 a day and build it up to $200, $500 or more.

The second most frequently asked question is how much should you be paying per lead (or for someone to join your list).

You will pay less for somebody opting in to your lead magnet (your free opt-in offer) and more for a webinar registrant or to get somebody to get on a sales call with you.

  1. Start with the testing phase

Facebook ads are a test and iterate process. You will probably not hit the jackpot with the first campaign you run. The more variables you can test, the more you will learn, and the better and more productive your ads will become.

If you don’t already know, you should know and this testing period will tell you what your business model can support.

  • How much can you pay for a new lead?
  • What is your typical conversion rate from lead to paying customer?
  • How much can you pay for a new customer?

Let me tell you what a true strategic testing approach to FB ads looks like. In the beginning you are testing with a plan, and preparing for the rollout – not throwing a few ads out and watching for the magic. It’s a test and iterate process. The testing phase it for the purpose of learning as much as you can to prepare you for the future growth of your campaigns

Testing as many variables as you can afford to pay for.

  • Test 5-10 ad sets
  • Test 2-4 ads
  • Long copy vs. short copy
  • Split Test of landing pages.

It’s probably going to take $100-500 dollars, for that one week to establish your metrics and figure out how to expand with your successes.

  1. Create a landing page that will convert

Aside from the ad itself, the landing page will highly influence the success of your ad campaign. When you are getting clicks on your ad but people are not opting in, your landing page is the problem. Your landing page should convert at a 20% at minimum for your Facebook ads to work. 
Assuming you are sending traffic to a page prompting people to give you their email address in exchange for a free offer.

Your landing page should be closely aligned to your Facebook ad. Meaning, it should match the colors, fonts and the copy you used in the ad.

  1. Define your target audience or audiences

There are 2 types of audience; warm and cold.

Warm: These are people who are either already doing business with you or are on your email list, or have liked your Facebook page. They are the most likely to do business with you if you have a new offer. Your email list can be uploaded to Facebook so that you can send them your ads. You can create a “look-alike” audience where Facebook will take your email list and find similar people within Facebook for you. You can create a look-alike audience the with your Page likes as well.

Cold: This is everyone else. They don’t know you or your brand and will need “warming up” before you can convert them to any kind of sale.

You always want to start with your warmest audiences first as you build your Facebook ad campaign. If you are first starting out and are building your email list with a lead generation campaign with a free offer you will probably be using cold audiences. Look for interests that are related to your offer, or pages that are similar to what you are offering and certainly define your demographics by age, gender and geography if that is relevant.

  1. Create a compelling ad

Have you ever heard the phrase “thumb-stopping”?

People are browsing on Facebook constantly, rifling through their feed quickly. The goal of a well-crafted ad is to get the viewer to stop the scroll and actually look at the ad.

In your copy, be conversational. Use words that your ideal audience would use themselves. Use interesting images that go well with your ads but also stand out in the newsfeed.

The words and phrases in your ad should be repeated on your landing page to create congruency between the two.

Your copy can be short or it can be long. This is one of the things you will need to test to see which gets the less expensive leads.

BONUS – The secret is in the follow up

Now that you have a system in place to get more leads cost effectively, what are you going to do with them? The success in all online marketing, or any marketing really, is to have a follow up process to continue to warm up that lead to the point where they are willing and WANT to spend money with you. Have a clearly defined process in place before you start your campaign so you are ready for more customers and more revenue!

You now have the 8 basics of what creates a successful Facebook Ad campaign. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.  For much more detail that will assure you of success with your ad campaigns, click below

 

Who should NOT be Advertising on Facebook?

It seems odd that I as a Facebook Advertising Strategist would be talking about who should NOT be doing Facebook ads. But I’m approached by new businesses for help daily and I just want to offer some advice on who should NOT be doing FB ads.

Or put another way, when’s the best time to start doing Facebook Advertising

FB ads, if used strategically, are the cherry on the cake of a strong business model, rather than a secret ninja tactic that will make everything fall into place. 

I’m asked frequently for help running their ads, by people who think FB ads is the sliver bullet. It’s not. See the video where I talk more about this topic and when and how to jump in.

Also, please download my new ebook the “Facebook Ad Blueprint – 8 Steps to Success” See the box on the right and sign up to receive your copy.

 

 

 

Warm Audience – Don’t forget your Tribe!

Once you have someone on your email list, or liking your Facebook page, or in your Facebook group, it’s easy to think you’ve “got them”.  Meaning, they already know about you, and don’t need to hear about your newest offers or see your ads.  Not true!  You warm audience is the most important piece of your marketing strategy.

 

Facebook Strategy vs. Facebook Ads

Are you just dabbling?

There is a difference between “dabbling” with Facebook ads and having a well crafted, results oriented, long term strategy.

You will need patience, tenacity, and a bit of Sherlock Holmes to make it all hum.  But once it does, you will have an endless stream of prospects, leads, clients and revenue.