Posts Tagged ‘small business’

5 Things To Help You Get Attention With Your YouTube Strategy

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world – and it is owned by the largest one, Google. If you are wanting to reach your potential customers, it would make sense to be on the largest search engines on the Internet. However, based on a previous blog post I wrote, ONLY 9% OF SMALL BUSINESSES ARE ON YOUTUBE. This is just crazy. Video is really leveling the playing field when it comes to marketing your company. For a small business, video is an inexpensive and relatively quick way to get in front of your target market. It allows you to connect with your audience in ways you never could before. However, it can be overwhelming when you are first starting a video marketing strategy. So here are some tips to keep in mind as you begin your video marketing strategy that will help you get attention.

  1. Topic
    This seems like a no-brainer, but I am often hit with “what do I talk about?” Your topic should cut right to the heart of what your target market is struggling with. What is the pain point they are having, and how can you solve it? Think about what specific topic they would be typing into Google or YouTube and make a video about THAT. Answer questions. Show demonstrations, introduce yourself at the end and let them know how to find you so that you can help them.
  2. Title
    This goes along with the topic. When you are thinking about your customer’s pain points or problems – THAT is what your video should be titled. The title of the video is very important since that is one of the first things the search feature of  YouTube will go to. Yes, tags are important, but don’t get to caught up in making your title fancy or shocking. My next tips will take care of that. The title is very important for the AI function of YouTube. It will suggest your videos if someone is watching another video with a similar title or topic. So make sure to keep your title very specific.
  3. Thumbnail
    This is where you get sassy, shocking, eye catching, or thought provoking. When people are scrolling either on their phone or their desktop looking for videos to watch, YouTube shows them the thumbnail loud and proud. So it is in your best interest to make it eye catching! Don’t panic, you don’t need a graphic design degree to do this. Canva or PicMonkey both have templates you can use where you can add your own picture and change the verbiage. You can get crazy or you can make some that use the same branding and color scheme as your website. The sky is the limit here. For more information on eye-catching thumbnails, check out this article.
  4. Consistency
    As with any other marketing strategy, you have to keep at it. Video is what everyone is watching, so ideally a new one a week should be your minimum. This is also not something you try for a month and see what happens. You have to remain consistent. Stick with it. It takes time to build a following and create relationships on any platform. YouTube is no different. Test and measure along the way to see what works and what doesn’t. You can do this – don’t give up!
  5. Share
    Video marketing is NOT “if you build it, they will come.” If you are going to spend all this time and energy on creating great content – why would you not share it EVERYWHERE? Every video you do should be blasted all over your other social media channels. Put it on your website, send it in your email newsletters, edit out clips and make graphics to post with a link to the entire video. One video is a plethora of content to be shared all over the place. Get over being shy and share this magnificent piece of content you have created!

“To not have any kind of video support and/or strategy that lives with and/or complements your existing communications would be a fool’s errand. It’s time to learn to love video.”

I completely agree and cannot stress this quote enough. Using video to market your business is definitely not going away and I am sure we will see a lot more this year in technological advances that will make it even more simple to do. I would love to help you get started on your video marketing strategy.

Contact me about today so I can help you be consistent and successful with video.  

It’s Time To Learn To Love Video

I recently read an article titled “75 Staggering Video Marketing Statistics,” – and staggering was the perfect word. This was a great article that approached some numbers from the consumer side, the business side, as well as breaking down statistics of video for YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We all know we can get our fill of video on multiple platforms, but I am going to focus on YouTube for a moment. Check out these amazing YouTube video marketing statistics:

YouTube Marketing Statistics

I will be honest – ONLY 9% OF SMALL BUSINESSES ARE ON YOUTUBE – blew my head right off.  What is happening here? The one thing you cannot argue with is math – and if 70% of viewers have made a purchase from a brand as a result of seeing it on YouTube – the question can only be, “What are you waiting for?” The reason you should make sure your videos are on YouTube is because they will be searchable when someone goes to Google to find an answer to their question or a solution to their problem. You will not find all of your Facebook Lives, Instagram Reels and TikToks on Google. So yes, you may be putting your video two places – but it is worth it! Did you see that it is the preferred digital platform for NINETY PERCENT of people in the U.S.?

Video is really leveling the playing field when it comes to marketing your company. For a small business, video is an inexpensive and relatively quick way to get in front of your target market. It allows you to connect with your audience in ways you never could before. You can answer frequently asked questions, showcase new products, interview happy customers, demonstrate your products, the list goes on and on. This should eliminate the question – “what do I talk about?”

So what are some more ways you can use video to market your business?

  1. Add video to your marketing emails. An initial email with a video receives an increased click-through rate by 96%.
  2. Embed videos on landing pages of your website. This will help boost your website’s SEO. Sixty-five percent of people will visit a website after viewing a branded video they find online or via social media channels.
  3. Answer emails or text messages with a video message. I recently tried this out to a prospective client. I had left phone calls and emails to schedule a meeting and heard nothing. Then I recorded a video and sent that back to their email. They called me back!

Video is the next best thing to being there in person. If you can’t show up in the flesh, do it on video. It makes a bigger impact than just an email or a text. I recently read a quote that said:

“To not have any kind of video support and/or strategy that lives with and/or complements your existing communications would be a fool’s errand. It’s time to learn to love video.”

I completely agree. Using video to market your business is definitely not going away and I am sure we will see a lot more this year in technological advances that will make it even more simple to do. I would love to help you get started on your video marketing strategy.

Contact me about today so I can help you be consistent and successful with video.  

Time to quit dragging your feet and get started.

Now That I Have Video, Where Should I Post It?

I get asked a lot of questions about video. I have numerous blogs on what you need to produce video, but once you have it, now what? There are so many platforms out there, where do you begin? Let’s start with some stats:

YouTube

Inarguably the biggest video platform out there. With over two billion monthly active users, YouTube is the second most popular website in the world. Since it is also owned by Google, your video has an amazing chance of begin seen if you are doing your due diligence behind the scenes with descriptions, tags, etc. Since it is a huge platform, you need to make sure to know your audience and how to properly promote these videos.

Tik Tok

Per State of the Screens, 59% of Tik Tok’s audience is between the ages of 13-24, so it is appealing to a younger audience for sure. Only seven percent of users are over the age of 45. However, it is still holding its lead as the most downloaded app in the last 18 months that is a non-gaming app. It definitely has ongoing momentum, and should be at least considered in your digital marketing approach if it makes sense.

Facebook

Facebook still dominates the overall download trends, and with Facebook Live videos, IGTV, and Instagram Reels, you have A LOT of options for promoting your video. Since Facebook and Instagram are already largely populated platforms, it will be extra important to make sure you are producing relevant content to your audience so they will WANT to watch your videos. Facebook allows up to 20 minutes of view time, although studies show that most users are only watching for 21 seconds. So keep that in mind when you are producing your videos.

LinkedIn

This one is tricky. It does not have the functionality to create or host videos within the platform itself, (meaning there is no “Facebook Live” type of functionality), so you have to embed or attach your video links. This would definitely be a place to post knowledge based videos since it is geared toward business and learning and not a place people go to post recipes are funny cat videos.

 

At the end of the day, the answer to your question is “where is your audience hanging out?”

Since the pandemic when we were all forced to stay home and our only means of communicating was online, we learned quickly of the importance of video. Not only are there many places with restrictions still in place, marketers have found that video can reach people in a way that a lot of other methods of advertising can not. I have said this many times – video is the next best thing to being there in person. It helps to establish a relationship of trust much faster when your target market can see your face consistently. The key word here is CONSISTENTLY. You cannot expect a video strategy to work if you post occasionally or give up after a month or two. A relationship of trust takes time and effort. Don’t give up on it.

I know between shooting, editing, and posting, video can seem overwhelming. LET ME HELP YOU. I have multiple ways we can do this, so just ask. The important thing to remember is to not give up – because video is definitely not going anywhere!

 

It Takes A Team To Grow A Business

Growing a business takes a village – for every business owner. There simply are not enough hours in the day. Everything needs to be done, and it is so easy to let life get in the way and allow things to get put on the back burner. No matter what stage you are at in your business,  money can be tight and your schedule can be even tighter so you find yourself burning the midnight oil to try to get it all done. After all, if someone else is doing it, it will cost you money, right?

Well, sometimes yes, and sometimes no, and sometimes not as much as you think.

So with that in mind, here are my tips on trying to figure out what to delegate and what to handle yourself.

1. Make A List Of What Needs To Be Done

Sit down and write all the tasks that need to be done – in your business and in your home – from Accounting to Yardwork. I mean list everything. Even if you think it is a small detail, put it on the list. I found a helpful list online of tasks you can delegate. This list may help you get the wheels turning of all the tasks you need to do if you are having trouble – which I doubt!

2. Pick The Activities That You Like To Do

This one seems silly, but it is very important. The tasks that you actually enjoy doing are more likely to get done before the ones you don’t enjoy. It is just human nature to put off what you do not enjoy. You may also be in a rush to get through those tasks since you don’t enjoy them and the quality may go down. This will show in the long run and can be very detrimental to your reputation. Don’t let the name of your business suffer just because you don’t enjoy a specific task. So put your name next to all the tasks you actually enjoy.

3. Who Do You Call?

Freelance people are a great option to go investigate. Especially now that working from home is so much easier than it used to be. There are many virtual assistants out there that can take on a multitude of different tasks including bookkeeping, content writing, social media, etc. Look at your list and start investigating local companies or online freelancers that can take on the more professional tasks for you. Ask your local Chamber of Commerce for help. Look at the people you network with on a regular basis. Take a look at the list I have below of just a few options:

  • Virtual Assistants – there are many local options, as well as online sources. Do your homework and check references. There is a lot that VA’s can do for you so you can focus on the tasks that make you money!
  • Copywriters – Keeping an up to date blog is very important for SEO purposes as well as establishing trust and credibility. Writing can be a daunting task if it is not your favorite thing. Blogs, press releases, any kind of printed material – get a professional to help you if this is not your thing.
  • Web Designers – Yes, WordPress and the like is basically simple. But investing the dollars to have someone set it up correctly will go a LONG WAY in the long run. If this is not your skill set – then call someone. You will be glad you did.
  • Online Business Presence – This means social media, video, email marketing – anything and everything that happens online. Make sure you are putting your best foot forward. When it comes to video and social media – I would love to help!
  • Business Coaches – even the highest paid athletes or biggest millionaires have someone coaching them and holding them accountable. Don’t rest on your laurels – challenge yourself. If you are the smartest person in the room, then you need to find a new room!

I understand this list covers a lot. I am happy to give recommendations on any of the above. Which leads me to point #4…..

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help

Sadly, many entrepreneurs are still just too afraid to ask for help. Some reasons may be money, some are confidentiality, some are just plain fear someone will find out they are not Superman. Trust me, no one thinks you need to be a martyr or a super hero. If you do your homework, you will find reputable, trustworthy organizations or people. If you sit down and take the time to plan out who is in charge of what, it will allow you to do what YOU do best – make money!

So, what do you think? What are some services you have used that you can recommend to others that have really helped your company out? Let’s share them in the comments and help your fellow entrepreneur!

Smart Business Resources for Pandemic Recovery

pandemic recoveryAs business owners find their way to get back to normal, or to find their new normal, I was delighted to be spotlighted in a recent article on various resources you can use to get your business back on track. Thanks to Elena Stewart of ElenaStewart.com for the great shout out to me, as well as the other suggestions. Let me know what you think!

 

From delayed reopening to pandemic pivots, many businesses have struggled to maintain solvency throughout prolonged quarantine periods. The good news is that there are ways to keep growing your business, even if your physical doors are closed. Check out these resources to get a head start on your company’s pandemic recovery.

Learn Some New Moves

No matter what type of business you operate, there’s a workaround for sourcing income while your physical doors are closed. Consider these platforms and methods.

  • Upgrade your digital marketing by working with Queen Bee Consulting.
  • Use video streaming platforms and software to deliver virtual services to customers.
  • Implement e-commerce strategies for selling products and services online.
  • Go mobile with in-store offerings; curbside pickup and delivery are highly popular (and lucrative) models.
  • Start reaching new customer subsets with marketing research and implementation. You can use freelancers for market research services if this is outside your wheelhouse.

Keep Tabs on Your Cash

You may not have a ton of income coming in (for the moment). However, navigating your business finances is a crucial step toward post-pandemic success. Consider these resources for tracking your incoming and outgoing amounts.

  • Get started with a solid bookkeeping strategy so you’re organized and solvent.
  • Hire a financial consultant to make sense of your financial situation and any unique challenges.
  • Reduce overhead costs wherever possible to streamline your budget.
  • Check out small business grants to help make ends meet without complicated repayment requirements.

Work a Bit Smarter

You may still be putting hours in while your business is closed – and you’ll definitely be working overtime if you’re reopening. Either way, there are ways to work smarter and save your energy for when business ramps back up.

  • Explore technology that can make your life easier – think chatbots for your website, automated client emails, project management software, and more.
  • Set measurable goals with set deadlines so you can see progress happening.
  • Employ time management strategies to get the most hours of your day.
  • Avoid burnout by taking time away to recharge and refresh as a human, not a business owner.

There’s no foolproof approach for ensuring your business outlasts the pandemic. But with these resources, you have a solid plan for shaping a venture that has a fighting chance.

Ready to take your business to the next level? Working with a business coach from Queen Bee Consulting can help grow your business! Complete this form or call 618-530-7166.

Photo via Unsplash

Does Your Business Have A State Of The Union? – 2020 Edition

business state of the unionStarting in 2009, I took it upon myself to develop a Business State of the Union. My company had been growing since its inception in 2008, and with the way technology was changing all the time I felt I needed to have everything in one place. I needed to have information available to me or someone I trusted in case something were to happen to me.  Articles have been written that touch on pieces of what was going through my mind. In fact, there was an article from the The Atlantic about having a social media will. Now, more than ever, I believe this is extra important considering the pandemic our world is facing.

But it is not just about social media. Think about your entire business. The infrastructure, the access, the passwords, the chain of command. What happens to all of that if something unexpectedly happens to you?  Who has access? Where are the passwords? You never know when you will need to have these things ready for someone to take care of your estate.

Setting up your own State of the Union (SOTU) is an essential part of running your business. I am on my 12th year of doing so, and remind everyone annually at this time. So let’s go through the basics of what you need to do in order to set up your own personal SOTU.

Step One: Collect all the data.

  1. Business Systems – what technology do you have in place that is a vital part to running your business? Is it a specific software or database? Who has access? Where are the passwords? Does someone else understand how it works? A common one that comes to mind is Quickbooks. But this can also include any type of industry software that helps you run your business.
  2. Social Media –  As it stands, Facebook will not give you access to your loved one’s account when they pass. They will “memorialize the account” so only confirmed friends can see and still post. Now for most people this may not be that big of a deal, but what if you have a lot of Facebook Ads tied to this account? Pictures? You cannot access this without the name and login.  There are types of legislation the will assist in certain cases, but why not avoid it altogether and have your login and password accessible to the person that will need it? This of course also applies to Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, you name it. Gather your logins and passwords to all the social media sites you frequent and list them on your SOTU.
  3. Email – Where is it hosted? What are the passwords? Do you have access to all of the machines, such as home or work laptops, phones, iPads, etc.  where you can log on to the email?
  4. Websites – Again, where is it hosted? What are the logins and passwords? How many domain names do you own, and when do they expire? Where did you register them? This is especially true if your livelihood is tied to your brand and website.
  5. Internet/Back Ups – Gather your logins and passwords to deal with our internet account. Do you know your wireless network password? Do you have a guest account with a password? Do you have a Time Capsule or other back up hard drive that is password protected? You need to know what these are!
  6. Cell Phone Accounts – Again, having access to logins, passwords, and plan information is vital. It is extremely rare that anyone has a land line any more, so you need to be able to get on the carrier’s website and adjust whatever is necessary.
  7. iCloud/iTunes – Apple is typically very helpful in retrieving someone’s music if they have passed, but if you have access to these accounts and can relieve a lot of extra work and aggravation.

I could go on and on with the list of different programs, products, services like PayPal, Amazon and various people like lawyers and insurance agents, but you get the idea. You also need to know that Hulu and Netflix accounts cannot be changed. If those accounts are set up under you, a new account will need to be created.

Step 2: Where To Store It

Now that you have all of this technical data in one place, what do you do with it? First, I recommend using an encrypted system to store all of your vital passwords. Once I can recommend is Passpack. Passpack.com is a password management system that will allow you to manage and organize your passwords, create accounts for family members or team members, and it is all encrypted and secure.

Next, it is time to create the official SOTU: a Word document or Excel spreadsheet that lists the physical location as to where to find your important documents, such as wills, life insurance policies, bank accounts and so on, and then also include your Passpack account information. This document can be as simple or as thorough as you want it to be. Then you find a place to put it.

Last year I even placed everything “in order of importance” to the best of my ability, just to make it easier on my executor. I have placed my SOTU onto Dropbox, which is not only accessible to me and my executor, but makes it easy to update the information. I also have a printed copy that I keep with the wills in a safety deposit box – just because I am anal like that.

Step 3: Update on an annual basis.

For me, that just happens to be every July or August. Set a date on your calendar – one that you will stick to. It only takes me less than an hour to go over any changes to passwords, business systems, bank accounts, etc. Just a small amount of time can really save you a lot of grief and struggle in the long run.

The SOTU is very personal since everyone utilizes technology and social media in different ways. Honestly – you don’t need to be a business owner to have one. Everyone should. Get your info together and then pick a person in charge. I make all of my Accountability Program clients do this.

So consider this your annual reminder! How many of you have a SOTU? Am I the only one? Did I get your wheels spinning? What are your thoughts?

Online Tools For Entrepreneurs To Help Them Work More Efficiently

Online Tools For EntrepreneursEntrepreneurs are often tasked to running the ship alone until they get things moving. As a business coach and marketing consultant, I am often in the position of wearing many hats! But as business grows and time becomes scarce, it becomes necessary to delegate out things you once had time for, but now seem to be putting on the back burner due to time constraints, or find helpful online programs to help you work faster. Something that gets the job done without you needing to reinvent the wheel.

I am here to tell you, DELEGATE is not a dirty word! There are so many things to get done, and fortunately we live in a world where you can find quality freelancers or programs that will help you get the job done efficiently so you can focus on your clients. Below is a list of online services I recommend to my fellow small business owners!

  1. PicMonkey and/or Canva: These services are a quick way to create a graphic for all of your social media platforms, or even something you want to create to physically mail to someone. They have templates set up for just about any occasion or event, and both services will store them in a library so you can re-visit and edit them. Easy to use and with a ton of tutorials, you can create a quick graphic for just about anything. (Side note: Don’t skimp on a quality graphic designer when it comes to your logo though!)
  2. Rev.com – I was recently introduced to this service. It is a transcription service that will take your video or audio file and turn it into text, thereby allowing you to use that content to also have a blog post or document for whatever you need! They are FAST and very accurate. My experience has only been minor edits. Video content is so important, but you should always re-purpose good content. A blog post is a perfect start and this eliminates a lot of the work involved! Check it out!
  3. Trello – this is a great online tool that helps you organize content of any kind. Brainstorming, to-do lists, you name it. Whatever you want to share and collaborate with others that is accessible online and has a great mobile app as well. I use it for to-do lists that are shared, as well as sharing flow charts and ideas. You can create teams, projects specific boards for certain people to share, the list goes on and on.
  4. Hootsuite – I know, this one has been around a while, but it recently has really stepped up its game to include Instagram and make the ability to share on multiple platforms even easier. The user interface has really grown leaps and bounds, so if you have checked out a while, make sure you give it another look.
  5. HubsSpots Blog Topic Generator. This is a great tool if you have NO CLUE what to write your blog about! It simply wants you to enter three different nouns and then it will come back to you with five different topics that will get your mind working. The best part, you can enter the same three nouns again and hit enter and will give you five more ideas if you don’t like the first round. Blogging is important, and it is easy to get stuck on a topic, but not with this tool!
  6. Ripl.com – what a fun app you can use to create videos on your mobile device. But did you know there is also a desktop version? Perfect opportunity to create fun and quick videos you can share anywhere even if all your content is on your desktop! They will brand them any way you like and then you share them with the world!

This is just the tip of the iceberg on the programs and services you can use to help run your business, but still keep the costs down. It is so easy to get stuck in a rut doing the same thing, I highly encourage you take the time to learn how to work smarter, not harder, so you can make your time more efficient, thereby giving you the opportunity to make more money!

So tell me – what is a favorite service of yours that you use to help run your business? Post in the comments below!

 

How Long Should My Video Be?

low long should my video beHaving run many video campaigns for clients, and also speaking on the topic of video frequently, the most common question that is asked ever since video became popular was, “How long should my video be?”

You are going to hate this, but the answer is: IT DEPENDS.

Before you go getting mad at me, there is a reason that I say this. It depends on several factors.

  • What are you using it for?
  • What platform are you posting it on?
  • What are you wanting the end result to be?

Since we live in a world where it is almost impossible to keep people’s attention, obviously the shorter the better. The best thing to do is analyze what your video is for, what platform are you going to publish it on, and how you want your audience to engage with you.

What are you using it for? I typically tell my clients that we want to aim for keeping it no more than 2 minutes. However, some videos may need more time based on what you are talking about. For example if you are doing a demonstration, (remember all those cooking videos from Tasty?), it may take longer than two minutes. Perhaps you are running a class, those videos will definitely be longer than two minutes. If your audience is interested in the topic, and you are engaging from the very beginning, they will stay tuned for the entire video.

Now let’s talk platform. In 2018 Hubspot analyzed thousands of videos from different social media platforms and this is what they  found:

  • Instagram: 30 seconds
  • Twitter: 45 Seconds
  • Facebook: 1 minute
  • YouTube: 2 minutes

This means you may have to film one particular topic several different ways if you are planning on posting it on multiple platforms. But that extra effort is worth it in order to fully cater to your audience and their ever withering attention spans.

What is the end game? Obviously, it should have some sort of call to action. A clear next step of what you want your audience to do. Do you need to add graphics for this? If so, that may take more time. So again, it depends what the end game is as well.

In short, my mentor and video guru, Lou Bortone, says:

Ultimately, your video should never be any longer than it has to be! Keep it tight and respect your viewer’s time. Shorter is almost always better.

Exactly. Well said Lou. Everyone wants it yesterday, so do your best to make it as short as possible while still accomplishing your goals.

Want to learn more about video marketing? Contact Queen Bee Consulting to learn more about video marketing plans done for you as well as one on one business coaching.

Ways To Market Yourself Other Than Social Media

market yourself other than social mediaTwo weeks ago, the unthinkable happened to business owners: Facebook and Instagram went down for several hours. Everyone was scrambling. Building your following on Facebook or Instagram, or any private company’s site, can be a double-edged sword if their system goes down. Now don’t get me wrong, these platforms are the most widely used and you should DEFINITELY keep using them, but what I am saying is don’t put all your eggs in one basket. All business owners need to consider multiple avenues of marketing other than social media. I have put together a list of several that are still useful and should be included in your marketing repertoire no matter what.

Email Marketing

You cannot ignore how valuable it still is to have someone’s email address. Compiling a quality list of current emails is pure gold that you have access to whenever you want, which is priceless. You can set up drip campaigns, send thank you emails, special announcements, congratulatory emails, share testimonials, the list goes on and on. It is also an opportunity to showcase some of your best work. Share video tutorials or perhaps some podcast interviews you have done recently. Note: make sure you are optimizing for mobile devices. Fifty percent of all emails are now opened on a phone, so you want to make sure it opens quickly and is easy to read and follow through on whatever call to action you attach to it.

Text Marketing

We are starting to see more and more companies utilize the power of a text. It may take people a few days to check and follow up on email, but let’s face it – we are always checking on whatever text has just come in. This is not a service reserved for just big box stores or larger chains. Small business have the same opportunities to utilize this service at very affordable rates. It is always permission based, so you know people are interested, and the message can lead the receiver anywhere you want them to go, allowing you the opportunity to gather more information in addition to making a sale. Better yet – it applies to all ages since everyone texts. Definitely worth checking out.

Snail Mail

When I reference snail mail, what I am specifically referring to are cards. HAND WRITTEN cards. I know there are services out there that do it automatically for birthdays, anniversaries, etc., but what I am referring to are “just checking in” cards. How hard is it to pick out two people a week to just say, “Hey, haven’t talked to you in a while and wanted to know what was new.” Who doesn’t love getting a hand written card in the mail? It is not expensive to have some with your logo printed up. I recommend GotPrint.com. They are very affordable and high quality. Just think of the smile on their face when they see you have thought of them. You never know what it could spark.

Networking

And of course, nothing beats face to face check-ins. Networking has always been and will always be my favorite form of keeping in touch. The key to great networking really comes down to one thing: consistency. You have to keep putting yourself out there. Consistently showing up proves to people you are a dedicated business owner, allows you to meet new people on a regular basis, and establishes a great reputation for your company. Stay informed of the local Chamber of Commerce events, Meet Ups, and also do a quick scan of local events on EventBrite. If you join an organization, make sure you can actually attend a majority of their events, otherwise it is a waste of time and money. It should also go without saying – but be prepared. Have plenty of business cards so people know how to get a hold of you after the event.

Marketing is a task that needs to be handled every single day you are running your business. We are lucky we live in a world where that can typically – and effectively – be done online primarily, but what happened a couple weeks ago is a good reminder to have a few other forms of promotion already going on so you are still out there getting the job done no matter what happens in cyber space!

Got questions? Comments? Want to learn more about what Queen Bee Consulting can do to help you promote your business? Contact me and we will sit down and figure it out!

What Are You Spending Your Energy On While Running Your Business?

spending your energy onI recently picked up a book again that I had gotten away from. It is called Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert. For those of you who don’t know who she is, she is a well-known author probably best known for her book Eat, Pray, Love. In Big Magic however, she was talking about how to have more energy in your life. Although she was referring to someone personally, it made me think: where am I spending all of my energy in my business?

It is so easy to get caught up in what we think we are supposed to be doing. We read articles, blogs, and books. We watch videos and take online classes. We typically listen to whatever catches our eye and spend time coming up with plans based on the latest and greatest promotions and methods. I have a radical idea here.

Stop it.

Stop chasing what everyone says you are supposed to be doing and really evaluate WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.

I know you are thinking, how do I do this though? Sadly, there really isn’t a quick and easy answer. I don’t care what anyone says. In order to know what really works for you, you have to come up with a plan of attack based on what you do best and what your target market really is looking for. Develop a marketing plan on how you will educate people that you are the person to give them what they are looking for, and then TRACK AND MEASURE your efforts. (I recently wrote a post about this.)

That is why this is not a quick and easy answer. Tracking and measuring takes time. You need to be consistent with your approach and your methods at a minimum of one quarter. You cannot try something once and give up. You have to be consistent with how you are marketing yourself, what you are promoting, and then providing whatever that is. When that is all said and done, you do what is commonly called a “Monday Morning Quarterback”  recap where you assess what went right, and what went wrong. Once you have this data, you can make a decision on how to move forward. Then you look at the next step.

 Did you enjoy it? Was it fun?

Most entrepreneurs start out with excitement and a fire in their belly because they love what they do. But all too often they get caught up in those latest and greatest ways to promote themselves and they start to loose sight of why they started their business in the first place. Running your own business is supposed to be fun! A lot of work, yes, but definitely fun! If you are finding yourself dreading getting out of bed to go run your business, then the time is now to re-evaluate. Just because one method is working like gang busters for someone else does not mean it will work that way for you. Maybe that method is correct, but you just need someone else to carry it out while you focus on something that YOU love to do. My coach and mentor, Michael Port, often says he wants you to have a mad love affair with your business. He could not be more correct. If you don’t even remember why you became an entrepreneur then it is time to stop the madness and focus on where your energy is going and if it is doing you any good. Again, the only way to know this is to TRACK AND MEASURE, and then have a brutally honest conversation with yourself to determine if you had fun. And for heavens sake – if it is a task you hate doing, then DELEGATE. It is not a dirty word!

Just Say NO

In the last two years, I made a conscious effort to step down from every board position I had. As this has been going on, I find myself getting questioned thoroughly as to why. And I simply told them the truth: it was time to say YES to ME. I run my company, I am a Mom of two adorable girls that are in the throws of finishing high school and needing a lot more of my attention to prepare them to leave the nest,  and I am wanting to explore new interests and don’t want to be in charge of anything that is not necessary for a while.

The response was amazing to me. Not one, but EVERY woman that heard my response was in awe. They all called me courageous and were so proud of the example that I was setting for other women in business. This made me feel good, but at the same time, made me very sad. At what point did we get labeled “SuperWoman”? Why do we, as women, feel if we are not “doing it all” then we are somehow failing ourselves and our families?

I for one, am not going to let the fear of saying one little word cripple me any longer. I am going to start really looking at my responsibilities and prioritizing better. Of course it is a great idea to donate some of your time to worthy causes, but one of the worthy causes that gets your time SHOULD be your family and your livelihood.

“When you stop chasing the wrong things, you give the right things a chance to catch up.”

So I ask you: what are you spending your energy on while running your business? What can you let go of and do differently? What will make you fall in love with your business all over again?

Helping entrepreneurs get clarity and focus is one of my favorite parts of my business. If you are looking for some guidance and are interested in learning how I can help with customized strategy sessions, contact me today so we can make 2019 your best year yet!