Do You Have the Right Team for Growing Your Biz?

Plan for growth with the right support

This week I’m starting a series on team building for business growth. I’ll be touching on job descriptions, the hiring process, onboarding, performance reviews, the firing process, and more…Stay tuned!

Today, we will get started with an overview of why the right team is critical to success and a few strategies to start to evaluate the overall health of your team.

No question about it! Growth requires the right team.

In last week’s blog, I talked about moving from being a doer to being a leader. You have to learn to delegate if you want to be a true CEO.

Choosing the right team is one of those make-or-break decisions that can either be the foundation of a successful business, or it’s complete undoing.

It’s easier said than done.

Business growth creates a lot of moving parts which can create confusion when it comes to figuring out where to make changes to keep pace with expansion.

Staffing isn’t a single decision, either. Instead, think of it as a constant process of evaluating the structure of your biz, assessing workflow systems, and making choices about where people best fit in your organization.

On the other hand, if your growth is stalled, or if there is a bottleneck in your business, the first place to look for solutions is within your team.

Do you have enough support?

Business growth can creep up slowly or explode suddenly. Either way, it’s all too easy to get used to chaos, stress, and 12 hour days. Don’t let yourself get to this point! Take a deep breath and consider whether you have enough people in place to actually do all the work.

  • Spend some of your strategic planning time to write down tasks that you are ready to delegate to others. Get busy-work off your plate!
  • Would another full or part-time worker make all the difference?
  • Can you hire a contractor for a short-term project?
  • What processes can be outsourced for less money and overhead than you can provide from within your business?

Are you on the same page with core values?

Finding employees that not only understand but also share, the core values of your biz matters a great deal. After all, they will be representing your brand with every customer they interact with and every word of content they create.

In addition, team cohesion will be strongest with a diverse set of people coming to the table with shared goals. The point is not to fill your ranks with people that all think the same, rather, to find people that can bring their unique perspectives and expertise to the ideas that are at the center of your business’s mission.

 Does everyone know what his or her job responsibilities are?

It isn’t enough for the job responsibilities to be clear in your head as the CEO. Unless your team members have a clear understanding of what they are expected to do, they can’t possibly perform.

  • Have the job responsibilities been clearly communicated to the employee?
  • Are you checking in with a weekly meeting to be sure that they are on track?
  • Have you defined clear benchmarks for success so that your team members can reach growth-oriented goals?

Is everyone doing what they are supposed to do and achieving their goals?

 People may know what they are supposed to be doing, but are they actually doing it? Once again a weekly meeting (at least in the beginning) to check in and see if the employee/contractor truly understands her role, or has questions, will go a long way towards solving potential problems before you both get into trouble.

Is everyone operating in their “Zone of Genius?”

Along those same lines, do you have your people operating in roles that bring out their best assets? Do you know if your bookkeeper is a design wizard? Do you know if your customer service person is fabulous with processes and procedures, but only so-so with customer interaction? Both of these employees may be a great asset to your organization but may be in the wrong roles, or their jobs might need to be adjusted to really take advantage of their strengths.

Do they get along with one another?

Not everyone has to like one another, but they do need to be able to work well together. If there is unhappiness or friction between team members, everyone suffers, and the business will too.. Addressing this head-on with a meeting with all concerned will go a long way to resolving the tension, providing all parties are willing participants. If it the problem persists, it may be time to make a change in personnel.

Are they productive enough?

An employee may know what their job is and be good at it, but perhaps it’s at a snail’s pace–too slow for the growth your biz is facing.

Sometimes you can solve this kind of problem with some additional training. For example, they may need support with organizational skills, or perhaps productivity tools will provide a much-needed boost.

Or…they may just be in the wrong job. (Stay tuned for a future blog post in this series that will discuss the firing process.)

Do you enjoy working with each member of your team?

If this is not the case take a good look at your hiring process (more on that in a later post). If you as the CEO are not happy with your people, your business will reflect that friction.

Does drama get in the way of any of them taking care of business? This is one of my pet peeves. My assumption is that we are all adults and professionals here. If someone consistently acts or reacts, from a point of emotion, rather than clear thinking, and if they are repeatedly upsetting others in the organization, this must be addressed. If this is the case with any of your team members, let them know early that this kind of behavior has been noted and is not acceptable. If you don’t see vast improvement cut them loose, for everyone’s sake.

Is your organizational structure keeping pace with growth?

Typically we hire with a specific job description and certain responsibilities in mind. However, a business is not a static organization. As your biz grows, staffing is a moving target. You must be willing and ready to evolve to keep up.

It’s your job as the CEO to regularly examine the functional needs of your business and make changes accordingly.

Once or twice a year, take a fresh look at what needs to be done functionally at this stage of your business to support your growth and then see if you have people assigned to those tasks. If not, you have no choice but to move the tasks around to fit the personnel you have or create new positions to bring on the talent you need to thrive.

A strong team is essential for your business growth. Incredible creativity and productivity come when a team is working together and is accountable to each other and you. A team can meet or even exceed your expectations when they are clear on what you want. A winning team works together and gets you that much closer to being about to take a vacation without worrying.

Invest in and support your team and they will contribute to your thriving, growing business.

Has Content Creation Become a Chore? You Need a System.

Content Creation Made Easy: 4 Simple Steps

My biz is content heavy. In January of 2018, I made a commitment to doing a weekly blog post.  Talk about a stretch goal!

This seemed absolutely impossible, as the most I had been able to do previously was a post every 3-4 weeks.  But I knew that consistency builds visibility, fans, and engagement.

I was on a mission to make it happen.  But I had to find a process or structure that was going work for me so that I was not tearing my hair out.  Been there? Read on!

This is a game changer, my friends: Weekly content creation doesn’t have to be a dreaded chore!

Want a free sample of the Content Calendar Template? Just click the button below

How many times have you wandered into the kitchen to start dinner for your family and thought, “There’s nothing in the fridge – what am I going to make for dinner?”   Another panic moment I’ve experienced far too often.

The solution?  Create menus before building a grocery list and go on a  grocery run once or twice a week. Doing the pre-planning is the hard part, and the pre-dinner time is just execution (and joy, if you like to cook!).

Using the same principle, I created a content calendar for myself in the very beginning and this has saved my bacon and my sanity many times.  I plan 3-4 months in advance, plenty of time to continuously add detail to content as it comes to me, and have found that the rhythm of weekly content creation is now totally manageable.  

Here is the process in a nutshell:

Nail the broad strokes FIRST.

Create 8-10 categories that will capture all of your content goals. If you are a Google keyword master, you might start there. I did some research on Amazon and checked out other blogs on entrepreneurship to see what topics came up repeatedly and made my choices.  The research took less than an hour.

By taking the time to make sure you have the breadth of coverage on issues that matter to your service or product in advance, you can let go of the fear that you might miss something important.

Choose ENGAGING topics.

Come up with 4-5 ideas for posts within each category, each covering a vital topic in a fun and engaging way. Sitting down once and doing 4 to 6 months worth of ideas will take a big weight off of your shoulders. The hard thinking is behind you. “OMG, what am I going to write about THIS week?!!” The panic part of the process is completely eliminated.

Now that you have your ideas on paper, you have a place to add details to your content as it comes to you, well in advance of your publishing deadlines.

Now your thinking like a true CEO! This is the kind of strategic planning that makes the difference between long-term success and a flash-in-the-pan.

Repurpose in multiple formats.  

Map out how you will re-purpose the same content to get the most visibility. Don’t be afraid to post the same content in multiple formats. Your audience will want to engage with you in the format that they prefer.  Some people are visual learners (hence the video and FB Lives), while others prefer to read.  

Share your blog post in your newsletter.  Create a variety of posts and graphics so you can post on social media over the next week. Do a Facebook Live or record a video of the content of your blog post.  Upload to Facebook and YouTube. If you do a podcast, you can just read the blog post for some quick content.

Remember, your email newsletter probably has about a 20% open rate, so 80% of your audience didn’t read your email. But they may see the post on your blog, or your FB page, or on other social media platforms. The more ways that you can share a single piece of content, the more likely your target audience will find you and engage.

Thoroughly think through your new content once, and publish it in several formats. Now that is Bang-for-the-Buck right there!

While you’re at it…

I also use the same content calendar spreadsheet for even more content using the same helpful categories. I jot down ideas for new presentations, webinars and training sessions.  I create content upgrades (lead magnets) that I can use to get more email sign-ups. I shoot for one per month and a topic that is related to an upcoming blog post. By the end of the year, I’ll have 12 new lead magnets to use throughout the year! That’s golden.

By dedicating some time to the pre-planning, the creation of weekly content doesn’t have to make you crazy!  

Wanting more?

Want to see my system in more detail? I have a sample content calendar that I’d like you to have. It includes a detailed look at just how my system works and some additional tips to make it work for you. Click here to subscribe

Imposter Syndrome – Flip the Script!

Feel Like a Fraud? It Happens to the Best of Us.

 

When I start working with clients, one of the first subjects we deal with is mindset. One of the topics that always, always comes up for the female entrepreneur is “Who am I to think I can do this?” …or teach this, or provide this service, or whatever. The fear is all the same. And, if you let that fear run your show, it will keep you from reaching for your dreams.

Here is the Definition:

Wikipedia: Impostor Syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenonfraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychosomatic pattern in which people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.

The truth is, the further you go in your business or career, the more risks you may have to take, and the more likely it is that Imposter Syndrome will show up. If you have experienced feeling like a fraud at any point in your life or career, chances are you have chalked up your accomplishments to luck, charm, connections, or some other external factor.

Psychologists tell us that the personality types most likely to have Imposter Syndrome are perfectionists and overachievers That’s right: The superwomen. That sounds like most entrepreneurs to me!

So let’s talk about how to break through it.

Identify what is shaking your confidence. The more you can pinpoint and define the issue, the more able you are to confront it head on with some actionable solutions.

Remember your real life value and all that you have achieved. I’ve started a “Look back 2018” document where I record everything that I have accomplished, big or little, biz or personal. I add to it on an ongoing basis. It builds confidence!

Stop comparing yourself to others. I know, easier said than done. There will always be someone else that is farther along than you are, so what’s the point? Stay focused on your own path and capacities. You may need to opt out of newsletters, and curtail your social media habit to keep your eyes on the prize.

Look at your own language, both internal and external. “I think, I feel, it may just be me, but….” Stop right there. Consciously upgrade your language with more confident, assertive phrases and you will reframe your own self-image. “In my opinion,” “I have a question, and I’m sure I’m not the only one,” are examples that communicate much more strength. Be on the lookout for words and phrases you can eliminate or tweak.

Understand that there is no “right way.” I’m sure there are multiple techniques for conducting specific surgeries! If you perceive that someone has “cracked the code,” or are the ultimate expert, try looking to them for guidance and influence, rather than making yourself wrong.

Take a calculated risk. What would you do if you were not afraid or insecure? Write it down, tell someone else, and take even a small step in a new direction. If you don’t succeed, so what? Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Don’t let Imposter Syndrome rob you of your own progress and ultimate success.

Everyone starts somewhere. Your perspective and point of view will be unique and will resonate with just the right people. If it doesn’t, then they are not the right client or customer for you.

Think you are the only one? Famous actors, artists, CEO’s and the most successful people are the most likely to experience Imposter Syndrome. Consider it a symptom of success. You are in good company! But manage it so it is only a tiny voice that does not cripple your progress. Assume the power pose! You got this!

Know Your Numbers

You Can’t Improve What You Don’t Understand

I know. It feels like hopping on the scale. That dreaded moment that many women agonize over (me too!) when they get on the scale to check their weight. Time’s up! Was I good, or bad? Is there shame or self-doubt? Jubilation?

Body image aside, we need to get over that fear regarding our businesses. You need to know what your numbers are at all times. I strongly recommend at LEAST a monthly check-in. Don’t wait until the end of the quarter or (ye gads!) the end of the year.

If you have ongoing ad campaigns, then tracking those efforts is critical. How else can you improve or eliminate what is below an acceptable metric? How else can you do more of what is working well? You will be investing your time and/or money in your efforts, so measuring on a regular basis is key.

What numbers are we talking about? You get to decide.

Of course, your accountant and the IRS will want to know your revenue and your expenses, so those are a given. One of my favorite books, “Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine” has recommended healthy percentages of revenue, profit, operating expenses and taxes based on where you are in your business.

But those are not the only things, by far, that you should be tracking. Here are a few key things (frequently called Key Performance Indicators) that you can be measuring monthly, and these will vary based on the business you are in:

 

Revenue
Expenses
Net Profit
New customers or clients
New leads
Size of email list
FB page likes
FB group participants
Instagram followers
Pinterest followers
Podcast interviews conducted
Speaking gigs given
Free discovery calls
Strategy Sessions
Page views
Networking events attended

 

Some of these are very dollar oriented, and others are softer measures, but nonetheless, important to track growth. You are expanding your revenue as well as your visibility (online and offline), so the more improvement on the latter, the more likely it will reflect in revenue.

Strong tracking leads to solid strategy.

Once you are tracking regularly, you will know how many cold calls (or ads, or event attendees, or outreach of any kind) you will need, and at what cost, to yield x number of discovery calls. With time, you will see that 10 free discovery calls will usually net you 2-3 new clients. (A 20-30% conversion is not bad for the early stages. As you get better at sales, or have a seasoned sales team, that number should be much better). Your numbers will be different if you are running a chiropractic business, or a high end consulting firm, but the model holds. This will set you for a realist lead funnel.

Once you have your metrics in place, you will develop some benchmarks that will allow you to create realistic and stretch goals for each area.

You will be able to identify what is going well or which areas need improvement. It will allow you to create an action plan based on results that will allow you to improve.

Think of this exercise as an “aha” moment rather than a call to judgment.

Fastest Path to Growth? Tap Into Your Network

Untapped Gold: How Biz Besties Can Help You Grow

What do you envision when you think of growing your business? Typically it’s new leads or prospecting. But most of us do a really crummy job of utilizing that asset called our network, or our Biz Besties, to really help us grow.

What is a Biz Bestie?

  • You may have met recently or known each other forever, but the connection is unusually strong.
  • You can share anything, without embarrassment, shame etc. Stories of biz mistakes, hiring errors, deep levels of debt, business deals gone wrong.
  • It’s a no holds barred relationship for both of you!

There are three different types of Biz Bestie:

  • Bosom Buddies: These are your best friends. You can tell them about your failures, your debts, your stupid last hire that cost you$$. No shame!
  • Connectors: They know EVERYONE and take special joy in putting people together. Make them happy!
  • Influencers: These folks are industry experts. They know everything in a specific area and are usually happy to share it.

How can you serve each other to build your businesses? (Hint: It’s not about leads!)

  • Assist with locating vendors, suppliers, assistance of all kinds
  • Sounding board for any problems that come up
  • Seek out their specific expertise – knowing you will do the same in kind for them (brainstorming, etc.) Be sensitive – if this kind of advice is how they earn their money. Keep it short – a single specific question or two tops.
  • Referrals! (Duh!) You have to ask?

Make connecting with your network part of your weekly schedule.

One of the techniques that I use to make that happen is “3x2x1.” Schedule a half hour block on your calendar once a week, at least. I first heard this from my real estate broker about how she built her very successful business. Just sayin’, it’s not a new concept.

Here is what it looks like in terms of weekly targets:

  • 3 phone calls. (Or individual emails, but don’t forget about the phone.)
  • 2 handwritten thank you notes. (Who gets mail anymore? Set up a little kit on your desk – cards, a pen, stamps.)
  • 1 face to face encounter. (This could be right in your neighborhood – just integrate a conversation about what you do in your everyday life.)

When you do connect, then let your Biz Besties know what you want them to feel/know/do.

Be sure your conversation is not just a social call (although it can be that as well). Make it count. Here are some things to hit during your connection:

  • How do you want them to feel as a result of connecting with you?
  • What do you want them to know about you and your biz right now? This will change as your business moves forward.
  • What would you like them to do? Do you have an event coming up that you’d like her to know about? Do you need a publisher for a book you are writing? Are you looking for a venue for your next live event? GET SPECIFIC!
  • Always, always offer to help your contact. “What can I do for you?” will cement the relationship and keep the reciprocity going. My fabulous CPA ends every meeting or phone call by asking how she can help me grow my business, and who she can connect me with?

How many of you are thinking “I don’t have the time to nurture my Biz Besties.”

Why not? Make the time. That’s part of your role as the CEO of your business. Your weekly calendar should have slots built in for client time, content creation, team call/building and a CEO time slot. Find a block every week for a Biz Besties half hour. Build your week according to your needs, not the other way around.

What is your mindset when you go to a conference or a networking event?

Do you hate them? I used to until I changed my goals. I now am looking for Biz Bestie material, not leads. Think about building your community, not your prospect pool. It really takes the pressure off.

  • Find one, maybe 2 women that you sense may be a possible Biz Bestie. It’s as easy as finding one or two women that appeal to you. You may like how they look, their hair, jewelry, their smile, or something they said during a session. – Something resonates with you.
  • Make a point of sitting next to them during the next breakout or workshop for more conversation. A little stalking is OK.
  • Be a servant, not a taker. Try to find a way to offer help by sharing a contact or offering a solution to a problem that has worked for you.
  • It’s not about leads. That MAY come later. It’s about building your network of Biz Besties.

Keep connecting and building your network.

Make a point of going to networking events once a month. Revisit ones you have enjoyed in the past, or seek out new ones. Or, commit to one organization and attend the majority of their events to establish a presence.

Can I help you on your path to growing your business? Let’s schedule a call to chat about where you are right now and how I can help you.

CEO Time – Is it on Your Calendar?

Plan CEO time to think about your business.

Ah – time to plan…when is there ever enough time to stand back and just think? I may sound like a broken record, but putting a non-negotiable block of time on your calendar for CEO time is the only way this is going to happen.

As entrepreneurs, especially during growth surges, it is easy to get sucked back into working IN your business (“ I just need to get this DONE!”), rather than ON your business (“What is happening in the big picture?”). Your best bet for getting out of the weeds is to plan some think-time.

I’m sure you have a strategic plan for your business or you wouldn’t have made it to year two or beyond. So, let’s assume that’s a given. You also need the discipline of doing a weekly check-in. Pick a time in your schedule when you are at your clear-headed best. For me, that’s early morning, and Friday’s are the day when I’m winding things up. So, Friday morning is my weekly CEO time block on my calendar. I don’t’ take calls, check email, schedule meetings. I’m booked for a solid two hours, sometimes three.

What do you do during your CEO time? Pick a few of these ideas or rotate through them throughout the month so you hit them all:

  • Update your KPIs. Establish what your key performance indicators are and update these at least monthly. This is not just for revenue, but any measure of progress that you deem important. How many strategy sessions did you have? How many client meetings, new email contacts, web visits, and new social media followers did you have? Did you attend any networking events?

 

  • Monthly – Take a look at your profit and loss statement. How are you doing? Are you making a profit? Here is where it comes back to the bottom line!

 

  • Plan – Long and short range. If your 3 to 6-month plan is nailed down, then revisit and make adjustments as necessary. Start making notes about the next 6 months – the first stage before actually setting things in motion. You may have set aside some ideas and projects for later. Start building one or two of those into the next planning phase.

 

  • Set your specific goals for the next month. Can you contact five potential partners for a collaboration, schedule at least one speaking gig, attend one new networking event?

 

  • Build organizational culture. If you have a team, this would be the time to plan team-meeting agendas, team events, and think about the areas where your organizational culture needs to improve.”

 

  • Plan for scaling – Next stage of business. Think about it now as you are growing. Keep on eye on that org chart (fledgling as it may be). Will you need additional team members? What additional professional services will you need add – legal counsel, CPA, salesperson or manager? Are there areas of your biz that are ripe for outsourcing

 

  • Build Playbooks – Processes for scaling. For anything you do more than three times, write down your process in detail or film a training video. Create templates, email copy, or scripts that you can just cut and paste or reuse repeatedly to save time.

 

  • Check in with yourself on your own performance. How am I doing? Am I delegating enough and doing it well? Am I aware of customer needs? Am I on top of team needs and performance? Are you truly spending 80% of your time on things that will move the needle in your business, or are you spending too much time on busywork? Re-visit your top priorities – do they still hold?

 

Pixar studios did a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the film “Finding Nemo.” A few of the lead animators and story creators attribute the success of the movie to “story think time”-cut to a picture of them asleep at their desks. Don’t sleep! But do plan your own story think time, or what I call CEO time, into your schedule today!

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.

How to Get Over the Fear of Creating Videos

Today we are talking about video and specifically how to get over your fear of being on camera. We have been talking in the past few weeks about how important video is not only in Facebook Ads but in your business in general. But many women are not brave about hopping in front of the camera.

Today I’m delighted to be joined by my friend and colleague SaCola Lehr. SaCola is known in the online world as a Video Launch Strategist and creator of “From Introverted to Video Powerhouse”, where she helps coaches, consultants, and other online female entrepreneurs bring their words and visions to life by using video.

 

The Importance of Video in your Facebook Advertising

Part 1 of a 2 part series

Video is so important for your business, especially on Facebook, that I’m going to be doing a 2-part series. How is it important, you ask?

Facebook is favoring video posts in the newsfeed – so you will get more reach!  A little background: FB wants to be more personal, engaging immediate and in the past year has placed a huge emphasis on video. In fact, Facebook is going after Youtube and will create its own TV channels.

But a few more points that are relevant to your business.  The cost to advertise with video ads is lower because you will get more reach for your dollar of ad spend. More eyeballs! Your responses, click thru’s and conversions will be higher.  I just convinced one of my clients to test a video ad to some of her proven audiences and the click through rates were double and the cost per click were less than half of her controls.  We had a winner!

Here are just a few tips for your video creation:

  • Make it short. Wistia, (a video hosting platform), data showed that on average, people watch more than 80% of a video shorter than 30 seconds. I recommend no more than a minute for max viewing time.
  • Add captions: According to Facebook, captioned video ads increase video viewing times by 12%. Another study showed that 41% of videos were meaning less with out sound. Don’t be that guy.
  • Run videos that have done well elsewhere – your website or blog

So NOW is the time to start using video in your Facebook ads.