May 2020 • Issue 5 • Pivot or Perish?
SUCCESS CHAMPIONS Special “faces of Small business insert
Success During Quarantine Top 5 ways to manage stress when you’re stuck at home Oh Sh*t My Faires, events, & Cons are all cancelled! Bonus Excerpt from the book “How to be a success champion”!
Contents 4 What a Wild, crazy ride so far!
34 Taking your business online
6 Sell Online Like a Badass; 3 Tips for Writing Words They Click On!
36 selling on Pinterest
Heather Carr shares her experiences going from brick and mortar to click and order.
Donnie Boivin shares the focus of this issue....
Sarah Ankney extols the virtues of Pinterest.
40 there is no such thing as an offline business anymore
Laura Di Franco shares how to write copy like a badass.
10 success during quarantine
Kevin Snow and three steps to move your service-based business online.
Kelly Myerson shares how to navigate working from home with children
44 free resources for your content marketing made simple
14 Book excerpt: Chapter 10: Learning the hard way An Excerpt from Donnie Boivinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recent book sharing his adventures in networking.
Lorianne Vaughan Speaks shares great resources for content.
20 top 10 books you should read
46 oh sh*t! my faires, events, & cons are all cancelled
Get schooled in business with Stephanie Powersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; top 10 book list
Donald Dodsoon suggests nots and bolts strategies for moving your business online.
24 top 5 ways to manage stress when you are stuck at home
52 Atomic Habits To Help You Crush Your Goals Book review by Michelle Thompson.
Stacy Snow shares five habits that will help you break the stress cycle and take back control over your work and life.
28 Special Insert: The faces of small business Twelve profiles of small businesses you should know.
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What a Wild, crazy ride so far!
hat a crazy time in our lives! I believe those that take action in this situation will come out of this winning. When we were thinking about this magazine issue and knowing it was going to come out during a lot of business shutting down because of Covid, we felt it was important to share ideas on health, running a business from home a, managing your kids will working and a lot of other ideas to help.
your support. We canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t put this magazine together without themâ&#x20AC;Ś Keep on being a badass Donnie
This issue has been a lot of fun to compile and put together. So many great stories, suggestions and things that people have done to pivot or evolve their business and home life. We also took a moment to recognize some small business owners on the cover and inside the magazine to share their personal changes in their business.
I really hope this issue inspires you to with new ideas about your business. Do me a small favor and click on the links and the ads. They are all from small businesses that could use
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Unleash Your Inner Badass 5
Sell Online Like a Badass; 3 Tips for Writing Words They Click On By Laura Di Franco
W “Writing words that people can’t resist clicking on is about writing for your ideal client in a way that really turns them on, that resonates emotionally, and that moves them into action.”
riting words that people can’t resist clicking on is about writing for your ideal client in a way that really turns them on, that resonates emotionally, and that moves them into action. Easy, right? Well, if you’ve ever sat at your computer with the blank page taunting you, then you may feel like this is the most difficult thing you try to do as a business owner. And frankly, it’s why people hire copywriters. As an eight-time published author, I still get stuck writing my own copy many times. I get help with this when it comes to my own business, because sometimes I’m just too close to it. Don’t have the budget to hire out? Then it’s time to give it a shot and I have three tips for you that’ll help you sell online like a badass in terms
of your writing. After training with the best in the business I know one thing for sure; this takes some practice. You’ll get better at this as you go. Here’s what I want you to do: • Know your ideal client • Don’t be afraid to feel something • Master your call to action
Writing for your ideal client If you haven’t done your homework regarding your ideal client, or haven’t done it in a long time, it’s time to master this. Knowing your ideal client, down to the flavor of green smoothie they love, is necessary. If you’re not getting comments like, “How are you in my head all the time?” from your clients, then you’re not doing it right. The best homework I ever got from a business coach on this topic was to take my ideal client to lunch and interview her. I sat down with my friend Stacy that day after emailing her the invite, feeling a little nervous. The information we exchanged and the authentic conversation we had turned into the words I actually copied and pasted onto my sales pages. I highly recommend you do this homework too!
Write something they feel This may be the most important tip regarding copywriting. If you don’t feel anything when you’re creating the words you want people
Pivot or Perish?
to be moved by, then they won’t feel anything either. Worse, if you feel tired, bored, or disinterested while you’re creating those words, guess what they will feel? Don’t be afraid to play on people’s emotions when you’re writing. Emotions are why people buy. If your words lack emotion, you will not sell anything. Let your words be contagious. Inspire people. Feel passionate during the writing process. When you allow yourself to feel something, the people who read your words will feel something, and they’ll want to feel more of it. The tip I have for you in terms of writing words people feel, is decide what exact feeling you want them to feel first, like a mini mission statement for your sales page. And then conjure up that feeling as you create.
I’ve read something brilliant and then there was nothing to do next. So, what did I do? I scrolled on to the next thing. If you remember one thing when you write your words, let it be to add a strong call to action. You must tell your reader what to do next, and it needs to be specific. If you add too many of these, your reader will be confused and do nothing. So, pick one, clear, powerful thing you want them to do next, and give clear, specific instructions on exactly how to do it. A call to action can be to click on a website, join a Facebook group, read another blog, or register for an offering. Just make sure you invite them to do something. Your clients are waiting for the transformation you have the power to give them. Make sure you let them know just how to access it!
Tell them what you want them to do next
Copywriting is an art. It does pay to hire someone to do this, especially if you don’t enjoy it. But if you like writing, then I’ll encourage you to
I can’t count the number of times
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“If you don’t feel anything when you’re creating the words you want people to be moved by, then they won’t feel anything either.”
“If you remember one thing when you write your words, let it be to add a strong call to action.”
practice, and/or hire a writing coach to help you make your writing shine. It’s extremely satisfying to write copy that people click on or engage with. And when your business or income grows as the result of your powerful words, you’ll begin to understand that writing words that sell is how we change the world. Laura Di Franco is the owner of Brave Healer Productions where she’ll help you share your story, build your business and change the world. With three decades of expertise in holistic physical therapy, a third-degree black belt and eight books, she has a clear preference for being badass but she’s also the champion of entrepreneurs who want to grow their health-based practices. Her writing workshops, business strategy sessions, and online writing club
are just some of the ways she helps talented professionals maximize their professional impact. www.BraveHealer.com
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Success During Quarantine How to effectivinly work at home
By Kelly Myerson
y inner perfectionist took over the first couple weeks of quarantine. I was sustaining myself on adrenaline, cortisol, and coffee. I created a false front of positivity. Perfection left me; and overwhelm set in. After a few days of selfpity, I took control.
“Get clear about what you want and need. This is not the time to be oblique! Be succinct and use details.”
Like many of you, I was experiencing grief. I began by accepting life was different. Once I accepted this change it was time to confront the reality of my situation. I am a mom working from home during this quarantine. The truth? Working and supporting my son in distance learning has challenged my capacity for grace. I will not sugar coat my breakdowns, but I am celebrating my break throughs. I have reassessed what works. Parent to parent, here’s my advice.
Enhance Communication Halfway through the second week
of quarantine, I called my husband. Through sobs, I told him I felt so overwhelmed and I wanted his help. Looking back, I needed better timing and clarity. Once calm, I asked, “Babe, can you please complete 3 out of 5 school activities with our son this evening?” Get clear about what you want and need. This is not the time to be oblique! Be succinct and use details. By clearly communicating my needs, my husband was able to support me. Don’t forget your kids! My son became more flexible when I created a daily visual schedule. He needed to know what to expect.
Release Perfection If you’re like me and your default is managing everything for everyone: stop! Ask your spouse or partner to join in the mental burden. Include your children too! Engage everyone in household chores. But, only aim for good enough. Let go of high expectations. Some days, my kitchen is clean at the end of the day. Other days we go to bed with dishes in the sink because our sleep is more important. This is not the time for overachievement. It’s time for survival!
Challenge Expectations I live in a town with an excellent school system. Our teachers are compassionate, highly professional, and engaged. We cannot keep up with the amount of work expected of my Kindergartener. Honestly,
Pivot or Perish?
neither can my son. So, as a family, we pick what we can accomplish. My son is bright, and we’ve decided playing Pokémon, reading books together, and building Legos counts towards education.
Embrace Opportunities We are routine based, but the routine has shifted. I’m not commuting, my work is accessible all day, and the kitchen is always open! We have embraced a new normal with its new opportunities. I can write for an hour in the morning or evening, without sacrificing sleep. My husband, a musician, can practice piano daily. Once my husband goes to work, I work for a couple hours while my son relaxes. My son loves this extra down time. Midmorning, we do some schoolwork. We always break for lunch together. Some of my paperwork can wait until my husband gets home. We’re enjoying a nightly family dinner.
Shift Happens! My day job as an Occupational Therapist for children with multiple disabilities is hands-on. Prior to quarantine, my work stayed at work. It was easier to mentally and physically compartmentalize. Working and schooling at home requires greater flexibility. I need to shift back and forth between demands. It took me time to get into a flow. Preparation is key! Thankfully, I had a habit of mind dumping and time blocking pre-Corona. I don’t leave a task without a quick note about the next steps. When my son comes in to see me and I’m working, I stop and shift to “mom” mode. Sometimes all he needs is eye contact and a quick hug.
Remember What Drives You My husband and I have set aside time to communicate about what’s
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“My husband and I choose to model for our son how to successfully navigate this imposed change.”
Success Champions important for each of us besides our day jobs, co-teaching, and home maintenance. Keeping our personal passions (writing and music) alive is essential to our mental health. What brings you joy? What about your family? Be sure to get those activities into your daily routine.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Self-care has become even more essential! Our priorities are sleep, rest, and a balanced diet. â&#x20AC;&#x153;
Take Care of YOU Self-care has become even more essential! Our priorities are sleep, rest, and a balanced diet. We exercise and get extra sunshine and fresh air. My husband and I recognize signs of stress in one another and give each other breaks. My husband and I choose to model for our son how to successfully navigate this imposed change. We are teaching our son graceful living through challenge. I invite you to do the same. Kelly is an author and wellness coach for caregivers and purpose-driven humans seeking to live their best lives to give to
others from deep abundance. As a pediatric occupational therapist, Kelly has over 20 years of experience specializing in sensory integration techniques. Her background in occupational therapy provides a unique perspective on development and the human condition. With two books in the works, Kelly is emerging onto the wellness scene with refreshing perspective and a sense of humor. Kelly believes the journey toward healing and wellness begins with one small step. Each step builds towards the embodiment of wellness.
Special Excerpt From “How to be a Success Champion”
Chapter 10 Learning The Hard Way By Donnie Boivin
s I started selling commercial printing, they gave me a desk, a computer, and a phone and told me to go sell. My boss Jane often said, “If you need anything from me let me know, but go sell!” She hired me because the current sales team would not focus on the new style of printing the company had started. They wanted to stay with the old style, traditional printing. There was a complete sales department with ten or twelve people and a VP of sales. But I reported to Jane. This really pissed off the VP of sales. It was a tough spot to be in; trying to learn something new but being caught up in company politics. But it was a great crash course. I had no clue where to start. I called my brother who’d been a successful salesperson for many years and said, “What the hell do I do?” He laughed and walked me through what prospecting was and gave me a general idea of a how a cold call should go down, but really wasn’t a lot of help. Love ya bro. Later in life, he helped me figure out networking. In his field, he was known as one of the top go-to guys for anything and most companies he worked for hired him for his connections. I called my uncle who was the self-
proclaimed patriarch of the family and had had a successful career in banking for years. He was a cold, direct guy who talked at you, never with you. “You’re crazy to get into sales Donnie. Go get a real job,” he said. That wasn’t any help either. He did help me with my career later in life but it took him a while to see me as a professional instead of the punk kid he watched grow up. I had to figure out the sales thing on my own. I hit the internet to see what I could find and I started researching everything I could to learn about sales. There are a lot of idiots out there that talk about their sales skills. Most of it is bullshit and doesn’t work for a multitude of reasons. But mainly they just want to sell you their shit.
Sales is just a conversation with an outcome. You either get to a yes, or you get to a no. And both answers are right. Stop overcomplicating things with too many processes and systems. Find your own unique style and process. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. Find one that focuses on you and your mental fortitude and helps you get out of your own way. If that way only teaches tactics, look for something else. You need something
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Special Excerpt From “How to be a Success Champion” that helps you get out of your own head and focused on success. I’ve spent a lot of money on training, seminars, webinars, and classes. I’ve heard and seen it all. What I know now is you need to find your own process. More on that later. During all this training I started mapping out a sales process and trying to put a game plan together and build my sales. I had no idea what I was doing so I was trying everything. While researching I stumbled on the idea of business networking. It was a completely foreign concept to me. Most things I read about sales talked about cold calling, doing walk-ins, or tricks to closing out deals. The idea of going to events and meeting people or going to group meetings and talking about my company was crazy to me. It didn’t sound like sales at all and I didn’t really know how it would grow my business or more importantly, my commissions. The groups sounded like an AA meeting and the after-hours activities sounded like a party. The kind of party I liked but AA-style which is not so much my thing. Everything is worth trying once so I found a local networking group, made a phone call and decided to go check them out. If you’ve never done networking let me walk you through what not to do. If you’re familiar with networking I hope you enjoy my complete amateur introduction to networking. I don’t know if you’ve made mistakes in networking but I made some good ones. Learning from those mistakes is how I created the process I use now. The morning before the event I put on my best suit. I’d had it dry-cleaned the day before. I had new socks and a crisp shirt and a brand-new tie. My pockets were filled with business cards and brochures. I had index cards with my sales pitch written on them and key talking points,
both of which I practiced on the drive to the event. I turned on my favorite motivational audiobook to help with my nerves and began psyching myself up while I drove to the event. I pulled into the parking lot of a local community center that was like a small convention center. The place had rooms rented out for meetings and could be converted into a large ballroom that held a couple of hundred people. With my best smile, sales pitch ready, I walked in and found a nice lady sitting at the reception desk. She looked very busy talking into her headset and typing into her computer. Walking up clearing my throat I said, “Um, I’m Donnie. I sell commercial printing. Who do I talk to about printing business cards or brochures or anything like that?” Just like I was on a sales call, I was fired up. She was not. She smiled (maybe scowled) but wasn’t rude. She just said, “You must be here for the networking group.” And with a knowing smile, she pointed down a hallway. As I turned to walk down the hall, I heard her say into her headset. “Oh boy, they are going to love him.” I got excited. I thought she meant it as a compliment. Down the hallway, I found a couple of ladies in business attire sitting behind a folding table covered with a white tablecloth. They were collecting business cards in a clear fishbowl and signing people in, smiling the whole time. I was rehearsing my sales pitch in my head while I moved up in line. With a welcoming smile, they greeted me. And I hit them with my prepared sales pitch of the benefits of printing with my company and why we were the best in town and how we could handle all of their print needs. They quickly informed me in a motherly,
Special Excerpt From “How to be a Success Champion” condescending way only southern women can pull off, “It doesn’t work that way. Please sign in and give us a couple of business cards.” If you haven’t seen that kind of look before, picture a mother looking down her nose at you like you’re a dumbass, while patting you on your head like a puppy and saying “Bless your heart.” “Bless your heart” in the south is a polite way of saying you’re a freaking idiot I handed over two business cards and two brochures about my company. Both ladies were rolling their eyes as they told me to go in the main room and that someone would meet me there. What the hell was their problem, I thought. I heard snickers as I walked away into the main ballroom. It was laid out with tables in a large U shape with chairs along the outside. People were mingling and talking and no one really seemed interested in me. I had this gut feeling this wasn’t going to be good. I found a chair I assumed was okay to sit in (it was the only one without a name card on it). As I started setting my stuff down to work the room a tall gentleman with dark hair walked up and introduced himself. I felt a little relieved thinking this person was going to show me the ropes and tell me what I was supposed to do. He stuck out his hand and went on the offensive. “Do you own your own home?” He asked. “Who is your electric provider?” He continued. “Do you know what your current rate is? He went into a pitch about my home electricity and how I could save money and make money in residential electricity. He handed me a business card, took one of mine, and said, “I’ll call you and we’ll go have coffee.”
in my pocket and no sooner had electricity guy walked off than another gentleman walked up and he started in the same way. Yeah, he was that guy; old suit that didn’t match, disheveled hair, big toothy grin. Sticking out his hand he said, “I’m a financial advisor. We should have lunch. Do you have a 401k set up yet?” Another gentleman walked up who was short in stature but had an air of authority around him. He said to the financial advisor, “Leave the boy alone.” Looking at me he told me his name then asked if I owned my own home and/or needed insurance on it. It seemed like everyone I was meeting was trying to sell me something. Here I was thinking I was supposed to pitch them and they were out pitching me. I was so out of my element. You’re going to have to up your game, I thought. Grabbing my confidence, I was ready to turn the tables on these guys. The leader of the group hit a gavel on the table and everyone took their seats. The leader was an older gentleman with a comb-over, wire-rim glasses, and a crooked smile that made him look like he was trying to hide something. “Welcome everyone,” he said and proceeded to talk about the group and what its function was. He introduced a lady to his right and she began reading off the rules and policies of the group. What was funny to me was all the rules were merely suggestions because no one was following them. They then went around the room and each person stood (like an AA meeting). It was the exact thing I was fearing. They introduced themselves with a clever tagline finish that almost sounded like a commercial jingle.
I was nervous I didn’t have a tagline and I was bewildered and overwhelmed. I wasn’t had no freaking clue what the Hell I was sure what had just happened. I put his card going say or talk about. All I had was my Success Champions Magazine
Special Excerpt From “How to be a Success Champion” prepared sales pitch and I was ready to use it. As it got close to being my turn the butterflies began and I got nervous. Was my pitch going to be enough? Could I fit it in in sixty seconds? I began sweating under my jacket and my heart started pounding. Then when the person beside me stopped their introduction I took a deep breath and started to stand. As I stood the leader banged his gavel and immediately said, “Please sit back down. Guests go later.” It was embarrassing. I didn’t know the stupid freaking protocol. Frustrated I could feel my temper starting to rise as I sat back down. When the last member finished, they came back to me and asked me to stand. At this point, I was fuming inside. Every part of me was about to explode. I started to say my pitch when the gavel clanked again and the leader told me that I was only allowed to say my name and the name of my company. What the Hell is this? I’m not in the Marine Corps anymore, I thought. I think everyone noticed because the room got eerily quiet. Trying to maintain some sense of corporate politeness but still pissed off I went ahead with my pitch. I wanted to say more. Everyone else gave a damn pitch. I was going to too. Ignoring his order I began to tell more about my business and he banged the gavel again and he quickly reminded me, “Please just give your name and company name.” He then went on to explain that telling more about my company was a privilege of membership. Part of me understood this and it made sense. This was going to be part of their sales pitch for new members. The other part of me was red in the face and contemplating walking out.
it was a complete waste of time. Why in the world were these people sitting in this room every week not following their own rules and taking time out of their sales day? What was the point? Everything was ritualistic and everyone seemed to be saying the same thing while trying to sell each other. It made no sense. Then they got to the section where they gave out referrals to each other. One person would stand and read off a sheet of paper and hand out referrals for other members. It was like the heavens opened and the angels were singing. They went around the room and announced how many referrals they had for someone else and how many dollars they were turning in for closed business from referrals from other members of the group. It was incredible. Hundreds of thousands of dollars where being handed out. These people were doing massive amounts of business. It was ridiculous just how much business they were doing. The realtor stood and thanked someone for buying a house. The mortgage guy thanked someone for getting their mortgage through. And the title guy repeated the sentiment. Bam, the group just made almost four hundred K. And I quickly proceeded to forget about all the other stuff that had just happened. Later I learned that most of it was fabricated, but that story is for another day. At some point in the meeting, I was asked to step outside so they could tell me about the group. The electricity guy walked me outside and started telling me about his success from the group. “I have six people in a downline and it’s growing,” he boasted. This group was about helping each other out but he was building a business out of people.
I wanted in. So I let him drone on until I got tired of him talking to me about joining his www.DonnieBoivin.com
The meeting went on and I was convinced
Special Excerpt From “How to be a Success Champion” business.
do all your printing business.”
I had a job. Why would I want to start a business? “What do I need to do to join this group?” I asked.
I got an awkward smile and a confused look back. You know that look where your dog tilts its head to the side trying to understand English?
He looked disappointed. I wasn’t sure if it was because I wasn’t jumping up and down about selling electricity or what, but he sighed and proceeded to pitch me on the group. They met once a week. You had to bring so many guests each week to be able to join. And you had to give so many referrals. You also had dues to pay to become a member. The last rule was funny. “Don’t pitch the members of the group while at the meeting.” The dues committed you to the group and I would not be allowed to participate in any other networking activities outside of the group. No chamber or other networking groups or associations. This was a family and we always referred business to the family. It made me think of a cult, or like I was making a deal with the mafia. After the meeting, I ran back to my company and immediately told Jane, “We must do this!” Half frantic, I told her that these people just handed out money. She asked me a ton of questions, none of which I could answer. All I knew is that we had to do it. I knew I had to be in that room. Reluctantly she gave in and wrote the check and I filled out the application. The following week I went back with a check in hand. It was game time. This group was filled with all my new customers and I was ready. Or so I thought. I walked confidently past the receptionist and went straight up to sign in with the ladies behind the table. They informed me this was the last time I could visit. I would need to join after that or I couldn’t come back. “I’m joining today,” I said, “I can’t wait to 18
I don’t think I won her over. She took my application and my deposit and ushered me into the room. I walked in and jumped into my sales pitch. I went on to everyone about printing their business cards and their brochures. “Do you do flyers?” I asked. I was like a tornado moving around the room handing out business cards and taking theirs. As I whirled around people started to avoid me, looking at me like I had two heads. I was confused. Weren’t these people supposed to be my new clients? I filled out the application, paid my damn dues, so now it was time for them to give me their business. I really thought I was buying business by joining this group. These people were going to give me millions. When the time came to give my pitch (They called it a thirty-second commercial) I was ready. I cleared my throat and in my best voice proceeded to tell the room about how awesome our printing was. I’d prepared a five-minute speech and had some fantastic closing remarks ready. I was sure they were going to be lining up to do business with me. Right around thirty second mark, the leader banged his damn gavel. I ignored it and kept going. He banged it again and I got louder. He then went to rapping on the table and glaring at me. “Would you please not interrupt me,” I said. That went over well. He went so red in the face that spit-dribble was coming out of his mouth as he raised his voice and said, “You’re only allowed thirty seconds!” I sighed and quickly finished my speech, frustrated it didn’t go over as eloquently as
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Special Excerpt From “How to be a Success Champion” I’d prepared. I wish I could say this had a happy ending but that didn’t happen. Me and the leader never got along. Especially when I didn’t want to buy his life insurance and he wasn’t going to buy any printing. Nobody was coaching me on how to network but I was used to learning things on my own. Ultimately, I left the group never making a single sale. Later I joined another group and found some networking mentors. Taking the knowledge, I learned from group one, I began a very successful career in sales from networking. Hopefully, you laughed at my folly or said, “Bless his heart.” If you didn’t then it’s most likely that you’re new to networking in general. That’s how I learned what not to do in networking and it’s why I’m writing this book. I want to take you on my journey of
networking and help you find an easier path.
Top 10 books you should read (hey, you’re stuck at home anyway, so no excuses)
with this gem. Gary gives you seven principles/guidelines to dramatically counteract self-defeating monologue. Get it. Read it. Apply it. You can thank me later. **BONUS: if you like audiobooks, grab this puppy. Ole boy is Scottish and narrates. You’re welcome. “...your self-talk is fucking you over and in ways you can’t even begin to imagine.”
2 By Stephanie Powell
“These are my top ten for making you a better business owner, a better human, and an even bad-assier badass.”
thought about an intro. Hell, I even wrote one. But, let’s be honest...y’all don’t care (I wouldn’t). You just want the list. These are my top ten for making you a better business owner, a better human, and an even bad-assier badass.
Numero uno (and for damned good reason): Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life by Gary John Bishop. I’m pretty sure it’s time for my second go-round
You Are a Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero. We’re pretty much all familiar with Jen’s first best-selling book, “You are a badass.” I actually started with this one because I KNEW I had some mindset issues when it came to money. Chances are, unless you’ve done the work, you do too. This isn’t all woo-woo and rainbows and skittles and unicorn farts. It’s authentic, honest, and actionable. “One of the best things you can do is get rich. Because of the way our world is structured, money and power are intertwined, so if you want to help make a positive change, money is one of the most effective tools you can use to do it.”
The Win Without Pitching Manifesto by Blair Enns. I could literally write an entire article on the value of this book ALONE. What I’ll tell you instead is that Blair’s twelve proclamations will RADICALLY change how you think about, look at, and engage in sales. “Presenting is a tool of swaying, while conversing is a tool of weighing. Through the former we try to convince people to hire us. Through the latter we try to
Pivot or Perish? determine if both parties would be well served by working together.”
Brand Gap, Brand Flip, and Zag, all by Marty Neumeier. Okay okay...so those are technically three books. Overachiever, remember? But real talk: I put all these books together because they are remarkably easy and quick reads. Don’t let that fool you though, because you’re going to want to highlight almost every single page. In fact, that was the author’s goal: to write a book you could read in an hour or two with zero fluff. These books will give you some amazing insight and perspective shifts on branding, building a brand in the age of social media, and business. “When everybody zigs, zag.”
Start With Why by Simon Sinek. I know you’ve heard of it and have probably heard it referenced more times than you care to count. If you haven’t read it yet, I’m not sure what you’re doing with your life, but fix it today. Knowing and understanding your “why” is one of the most crucial parts of owning/running a business. And if you have read it, awesome. Time for round two. “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”
Launch by Jeff Walker. Ok, so this one is a bit more specialized/targeted, BUT...if you have anything within your business that you plan on launching EVER (products, online course, new
service, etc), this book ingeniously lays out exactly how to do that with huge success. “If you want to make your business and your marketing memorable, then your marketing needs to tell a story.”
Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss. As a former international FBI hostage negotiator and worldrenowned negotiation expert, Chris walks you through negotiating anything from purchasing a car to asking for a raise to getting your kid to go to bed. One of the things I love most is that he starts each chapter with a story from his experience as a hostage negotiator to illustrate his field-tested and proven techniques. We all negotiate something at some point, so this is for everyone. “Negotiation is not an act of battle; it’s a process of discovery. The goal is to uncover as much information as possible.”
Know What You’re For by Jeff Henderson. I just finished this recently and, like all the others on this list, I highlighted the crap out of it. Jeff ’s book is all about getting you to shift your mindset and perspective on what and who you’re for. If we want to change the world with our product, service, and mission, then we have to stop being so focused on ourselves and promoting what WE do. Instead, we need to be focused on who we’re FOR. “...when your business is authentically FOR people, people will become authentically FOR the business.”
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“This isn’t all woowoo and rainbows and skittles and unicorn farts. It’s authentic, honest, and actionable.”
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Confession: I’ve heard people recommend this book more than once or twice. I didn’t start reading it until a few days ago. I’m done now. It’s THAT good. Now, fair warning: it’s not a “quick” read. It was written in 1937, shortly after the Great Depression, and you can tell. But this book can be life-changing. If you let it. “Set your mind on a definite goal and observe how quickly the world stands aside to let you pass.”
“One of the things I love most is that he starts each chapter with a story from his experience as a hostage negotiator to illustrate his fieldtested and proven techniques.”
I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart.Yep. I sure did put a book by Kevin Hart on this list. Full disclosure: if you’re not going to get the audio version and listen to Kevin narrate his own book, don’t even bother. I mean, you’d still get great life lessons, but it won’t even kind of be the same. Yes, Kevin Hart is a comedian and silly and outrageous. But, y’all. His life story is really kind of incredible, and it will challenge you in ways you won’t expect. Plus...it’s Kevin Hart. “Your life today is the sum total of your choices. So, if you’re not happy with it, look back at your choices and start making different ones.”
Bonus (because I can’t ever follow the rules and just do what’s asked of me): How To Be a Success Champion by Donnie Boivin. No, I was not paid or coerced into including Donnie’s book on my list. I am nothing if not insanely authentic
and I don’t say anything I don’t mean. Just ask anyone who’s ever been around me for five seconds. I put this book on the list because it deserves to be there. Listen, we’re talking about someone who went from nothing to a six-figure business, and he’s literally telling you how. It’s true, I love Donnie. He’s authentic as hell and tells it like it is. He’s also telling you what you NEED to hear, and I can speak from experience when I say that if you’ll just shut up and listen, it could change your entire trajectory and set you on a path to something pretty fucking amazing. “You must jump into the fire. You must face your fears and go straight at it because when you do, you’re going to find out what you’re made of.” Et Voila. That’s my top ten (plus one) list of books you need to read, kiddies. Do yourself a favor and grab one of them (kindle, audio, hard copy, whatever) and read one chapter right freaking now. We all know what happens when we say, “I’ll do that later.” Oh, the lies we tell ourselves, n’est-ce pas? But seriously, I hope you’re able to make the time to check these books out. I genuinely believe they could change things for you and your business in so many ways. I know they have for me. I hope you’re staying healthy and as sane as any of us can be right now. If you’ve got questions, I’m always here to chat. Just hit me up! stephanie@ morepowelltoya.com
Pivot or Perish? Stephanie is a brand strategist and creative designer specializing in brand + web design solutions. But more than that, she’s a: total nerd, animal obsessor, lion chaser, Aggie, lover of Jesus, breaker of molds, crusher of boxes, and a fierce believer in the badass magic you (and only you) can give the world. Her business began as a leap of faith after 13 years in public education, she’s got a dope husband, and her own little mini zoo (6 dogs, 2 cats); the only way to properly usher in her ultimate dream of opening an animal sanctuary.
“... make the time to check these books out. I genuinely believe they could change things for you and your business in so many ways.”
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Top 5 ways to manage stress when you’re stuck at home By Stacy Snow
“It’s so easy to go down the slippery slope of stress and overwhelm and feel like you can’t turn off your brain, but it’s vital that you find ways to stop that cycle so you can get back on track and back to work, especially while working from home.”
ife as we know it has changed drastically in the past few months. Social distancing guidelines are keeping us stuck at home more than we’ve ever been before. We’re having to combine work with pets, spouses, kids, and changing routines in ways we’ve never had to in the past. Unless you’re a saint or a zen master, you’re likely experiencing high stress levels (and my guess is that even the saints and zen masters among us are dealing with them too!) It’s so easy to go down the slippery slope of stress and overwhelm and feel like you can’t turn off your brain, but it’s vital that you find ways to stop that cycle so you can get back on track and back to work, especially while working from home. These five
habits will help you break the stress cycle and take back control over your work and life.
Meditate: give your brain a break Meditation is one of the best ways to help your brain to disconnect and your body to relax. If you’re new to meditation, just starting with 5 minutes in the morning will make a huge difference in your day. Just find a comfortable spot in a quiet place where you can sit and close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Set a timer for 5 minutes and just focus on deep breaths in and out. If you find that your brain won’t ‘shut off ’ and thoughts keep coming in to interrupt the quiet, no worries! That’s totally normal and will eventually improve the more you do it. Just stick with it, set your timer, relax, and give yourself 5 minutes of much-needed down-time. Your brain and your body (and your stress levels) will thank you for it!
Exercise: Get your body moving Exercise is one of the most immediate and powerful de-stressors there is. Often when we’re feeling overwhelmed and stuck, we need to change our physical state and our environment. If you’re feeling frustrated and overwhelmed, rather than staying stuck in those emotions, put on your running shoes and go for a jog or a brisk walk. The fresh air, wind in your hair, and the sensation of your heart
Pivot or Perish?
pumping blood through your body will completely change how you’re feeling. It will disrupt the stress cycle, change your focus, and force you to come back to the present moment without letting your mind spiral into worry and things that are out of your control. You’ll come back feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to take on the problem with a fresh perspective.
Connect: Don’t let ‘social distancing’ make you feel alone Make a list of your most important people, especially the ones that make you laugh, and you can talk to for hours! Schedule time to chat with them on a regular basis. Schedule a Zoom happy hour with your important peeps once a week and have a commitment to talk about something other than the coronavirus. Laughing is good for
the soul, good for your health, and good for diminishing stress so try to plan moments in your day to do it as often as possible!
Brain Dump: Clear out the brain chatter We don’t realize that our brain is working non-stop almost all the time. When you start to feel overwhelmed, take a moment to set a timer for 10 minutes and do a brain dump, which simply means writing out every single thing that’s on your mind. And I do mean Every. Single. Thing! You want to get it all out. Everything from your worries about how you’re going to pay your bills, stress about how your business will survive, and even seemingly inconsequential things like the annoying rip in your favorite sweater. By doing a complete brain dump on a regular basis, and especially when you’re feeling stressed, it will give
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“Connect: Don’t let ‘social distancing’ make you feel alone”
“By creating a consistent sleep routine you’ll give yourself the chance to fall and stay asleep so you can wake up refreshed and ready to start the day.”
your brain a chance to rest from constantly trying to solve every little (and big) problem in your life. By getting it all out on paper, you’ll essentially be telling your brain, “I’ve got this.” It will be able to slow down and relax because you’ll be putting it on paper and your brain won’t have to struggle to remember and solve each little annoying detail.
Get to Sleep Already: Give your body (and your brain) a rest Even though sleep is so vital to every aspect of our health, it’s also one of the first things to go out the window when we’re feeling stressed. By creating a consistent sleep routine you’ll give yourself the chance to fall and stay asleep so you can wake up refreshed and ready to start the day. Schedule the same sleep and wake times every day and try to aim for 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Doing a brain dump before bed is especially helpful if you find it hard to fall or stay asleep because your mind is on hyperdrive.
Hopefully we’ll be back to ‘normal’ before we know it, but in the meantime, using these 5 hacks will help you to maintain your health and sanity in these crazy times. Dr. Stacy Snow is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, creator of The Purposeful Body Method, co-author of The Ultimate Guide to Self-Healing Techniques, and a Health and Performance Specialist in Falls Church, Virginia. For free resources to help you be as healthy, strong, and fit as possible so you can confidently step into a life you love without limitations, visit her at TranquilPlacePt.com.
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Taking Your Business Online Trying Times Call for Drastic Measures
By Heather Carr
A “Our business model needed to change desperately, and it needed to happen fast. I was borderline burnt out trying to do it all.”
fter two years on Main Street in small-town Azle TX, we decided to close our storefront this year on March 1st. Overhead just wasn’t making sense anymore. Our business model needed to change desperately, and it needed to happen fast. I was borderline burnt out trying to do it all. In the year prior we rebranded and began trying to ramp up our online sales. We were doing events, trying to stay active in the community and gain influencers on social media. We reached out to Donnie Boivin and a few friends whom we met through networking for some guidance. We began to put some of the things we learned into motion. We were gaining some followers on Social Media by following some simple rules. We chose two platforms to advertise (Facebook and Instagram) and post every day! I started an Etsy store and began listing our products there. Etsy is great for showcasing your products
and integrating them through your social media channels. Slowly, we started adding more products to our website. We wanted to concentrate on maintaining a certain vibe with product pictures to convey the brand. I also put some products on a group called Range Me. Range Me has buyers for wholesalers and BIG Box stores to buy your products in bulk. A good friend introduced me to an awesome program to use for stock photos in a pinch. Keep posts simple and make sure to post a link for purchasing. We also partnered with a local cafe to serve some of our Teas. And I have decided to reach out to a few other Coffee and Tea shops to see what other opportunities we could use to get our products out to more people. Initially, I had a hard time deciding to close. I loved our little shop, the friendships we made and the people we met. Let’s be honest though, that wasn’t going to pay the bills. So, time to get serious and move on. We were increasing our online presence; it was a slow trickle. Then February rolled around. Christmas and Seasonal sales were fading, and the realization set in. I was going for it! It was time to close. The real magic started to happen here! Once I announced we were closing, people were coming out of the woodwork. We decided to lease a small display space within the Cafe we teamed up with. We could keep our Teas accessible to regular customers and have a place to mix products in bulk. During the process of moving, we
Pivot or Perish?
were contacted by a Tea Membership company called Sipsby. They found us through Range Me. They wanted to add our teas in their monthly membership boxes! Score!!! Things are finally happening!! But Wait...Then COVID Happened… Sigh… It was even more important now to use this opportunity to teach people how to shop for the products they loved online. Much of this was copy and pasting links to our best-selling products, sharing on our social media platforms, and guiding them to our web page. I made exceptions at first, invoicing if necessary but gradually grew them into our process of online shopping. We also began a delivery service once every 2 weeks. Now we are doing delivery twice a week for a small fee per delivery. I researched shipping platforms from third parties such as Shipstation and stamps.com for customers outside of the delivery zip code. This can cut your cost for shipping by almost half! My Sales took a jump by about 40%, and Guess What? I can hang on to some of it because we moved our business primarily back home.
During this difficult time, ask yourself, “what can I do to be proactive? How can I help, still make sales, and keep momentum?” Making Hand Sanitizer and teaming up with a friend who makes cloth masks was one of my solutions. I was overwhelmed with orders! The moral of the story here is to see a need, fill a need. Know when to fold ‘em and just go for it! Take advantage of this time to move into online shopping. We still have a lot of work to do and always room for growth. When you see that something is not working, for the love of God, change it! Things will start happening if you adjust your mindset! Best of Wishes to Y’all! Keep up the momentum. Heather has been an entrepreneur for 5 years. Her background includes twenty-plus years in the Allied Health Industry. She currently owns and operates two businesses including Tin Star Tea, which is her main passion for herbal teas and Preferred Sleep Scoring Contract Services. Azle Tx is her home town, where she shares her home with her husband, 7-year-old son and two dachshund puppies.
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“During this difficult time, ask yourself, “what can I do to be proactive? How can I help, still make sales, and keep momentum?” “
Success Champions your audience. Examples of content are videos, blogs, podcasts, optins(freebies), and offers.
Sassy Social Media
$elling on Pintere$t By Sarah Ankney
S “Right now, there has been an increasing Pinterest traffic with all the down time that people have.”
elling on Pinterest…say what? Right now, there has been an increasing Pinterest traffic with all the down time that people have. It is the perfect time to get on and start monetizing it. People are using that search engine, visual blog, and social media for more than just crafts and recipes. In fact, when I first started an online business, I used it to learn all I could and increase my knowledge. I was driven from Pinterest to other people’s content outside the platform. Pinterest is a traffic driver, which means more eyes on all your content and offers. Content according to Wikipedia is ‘In publishing, art, and communication, content is the information and experiences that are directed toward an end-user or audience. Content is “something that is to be expressed through some medium, as speech, writing or any of various arts”.’ Basically, it is anything that you communicate to
How does content make you money on Pinterest? Content makes you show up as an expert, provide value to your audience, be of service to your audience, and build brand awareness. All these things are the first steps to making money in your business. Monetizing Pinterest is all about putting amazing content out there that gets your audience to your platforms including your website and build the like know trust factor. This drives traffic to your money-making offers. Pinterest is all about the long-haul investment in yourself and your business. It takes time, like any other social media platform or search engine. You are building awareness of your brand as well as yourself. This is a great time to build and fill your sales funnels and email lists directly from Pinterest. You are bringing new readers to your website and email list! (Are you selling to your email list?) How do you do this? By creating a strategy and story for your brand and business using Pinterest. This is basically using your blog and content to bring your prospective clients to you. This is done through amazing picture graphics that show what your content is about and draws them to your website or the platform you designate. Pinterest is a search engine, picture blog, and social media platform all in one. The strategy is
Pivot or Perish?
one that is bringing your prospective clients to wherever you want them to hang out whether it is your website or your Facebook group. You can also do this through affiliate marketing of products that fit your business and your brand, just as you would on your blog and website. Do your research. Look at companies that provide the affiliate links but also the products that you will be linking so that they fit within your strategy and brand story. There are tons of products and services out there that you can be an affiliate marketer for including Amazon and Tailwind. In fact, you can market about any affiliate program, product, and service that you can think of on Pinterest. Etsy is another way that you can monetize your business by connecting your Esty account to Pinterest and sell directly on Pinterest. I am not an expert in this
area, but I know I have gotten tons of downloads and workbooks from there to use in my business as well. Not to mention it is a great way to sell craft services on Pinterest. Another way to monetize Pinterest is to become a Pinterest Virtual Assistant which is what I have done. I help others create the strategy and brand story to drive the traffic to the platform that they desire. This helps them to get more downloads on podcasts, drive traffic to their website, build their email lists, and get content in front of prospective clients. I create the graphics, copy, and schedule the content for them as this is not everyone’s skill set. Instead of doing it themselves, you do it for them. These are just a few of the ways to monetize Pinterest for yourself. You can post to drive traffic to your own platforms to get in front of prospective clients. You can do
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“Pinterest is an amazing way to add to your business, pick up new perspective clients, share your content, increase your downloads, build your email lists, affiliate market, and of course make money.”
“You can post to drive traffic to your own platforms to get in front of prospective clients.”
affiliate marketing to drive traffic to other people’s products or services that in turn compensates you. Or you can do these things for clients and make money while doing it. Pinterest is an amazing way to add to your business, pick up new perspective clients, share your content, increase your downloads, build your email lists, affiliate market, and of course make money. Lastly, you can even sell your crafts and the like from Etsy on Pinterest. Pinterest is more than just a search engine; it is a powerful selling tool. Sarah Ankney of Sassy Pinterest is a Pinterest Account Manager. She wants to empower your business with a bit of magic to help you get visible. Sassy Pinterest
creates graphics and descriptions as well as manages your Pinterest account so that you can do all the things you need to do and drive traffic to your business. If you need assistance in your business to get traffic to all your sites, please contact Sarah Ankney to add another powerful marketing tool.
Pivot or Perish?
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Success Champions offices, your clients couldn’t come to you, and you couldn’t even go into your own office….indefinitely.
There is No Such Thing as an Offline Business Anymore By Kevin Snow
T “And that one thing will require you to make a fundamental change in how you do business…you need to move from offline to online services.”
ransitioning from brick and mortar retail to online is relatively simple. It’s not easy, but it is simple. Set up a website with shopping cart capabilities, link a payment gateway, upload your products, add in a little SEO juice and BAM! you are now an online business. But I want you to imagine that instead of a brick and mortar retail shop you own and operate a business that relies entirely on you performing a service in person or at your clients location for income. Depending on where you live, at some point during February or March, you woke up to a world where social distancing was the norm, you couldn’t go to your client’s
At that moment, the only thoughts going through your mind were… “Oh fuck! How am I going to pay my employees? How will I pay all my expenses? Will I have to close my business forever?” As all these thoughts are racing through your head and taking your anxiety and stress to all new levels, you realize there is one thing you can do to keep your business operating. And that one thing will require you to make a fundamental change in how you do business…you need to move from offline to online services. So how do you do that? Here are three steps to move your business online
Step 1. Figure out what you are going to sell online. This is going to be easier for some of you than others. If your business provides a service like coaching, consulting, or marketing, you may do some in person meetings, but really, you can do everything you normally do for clients remotely and meet virtually. If you are in an industry where clients traditionally prefer in-person meetings, legal and accounting for example, you can still transition everything you do to online. You just need to have a conversation with your clients about how you are changing how you
Pivot or Perish? interact.
clients AND your employees.
But what if you are one of those people who can’t work remotely because you are a [insert profession]?
Video conferences are the new norm for business, and they are most effective when others can see your facial expressions and body language, so don’t keep the video off and be aware of how you present yourself. Approach each meeting with purpose. Avoid multitasking while in the meeting, arrive on-time and prepared, and if there are more than two of you meeting; assign a facilitator to keep the meeting moving and on task. For video, I recommend Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
It may take some creative thinking, but you can still do it. There are five questions you need to answer to identify what your online offer will be. • What part of your services could you offer online? • What are the related skills you have you could use to create an online offer? • What existing assets can you turn into an online offer? • What would your audience be interested in learning from you? • What specific problems can you help your client solve right now? As you develop this new offering you may notice that this new offer does not have to disappear when social distancing disappears. These offers can become a permanent offering that generates additional revenue for your business.
Step 2. Embrace technology and virtual meetings Obviously if you are going to be doing business online you are going to need some additional technology to facilitate your online communication and support for your
In addition to a video communication tool, there are some other cloud-based business applications that help you stay in sync with your clients and your team. These include Instant messaging, project management and file sharing. Some of my favorite tools include Microsoft Teams and Slack for chat; Asana for project management; and One Drive and Box for file sharing. It is also important to be smart with how you use your communication technology. Emails should be used for single messages, such as setting up video meeting times or sharing files; not long drawn out back and forth conversations. Instant messaging should be used for discussing a project casually or having brief catch-ups with coworkers or clients. For more in-depth conversations that require a lot of back and forth, make a call via phone or video conference.
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“Obviously if you are going to be doing business online you are going to need some additional technology to facilitate your online communication and support for your clients AND your employees.”
Step 3. Ramp up your marketing The brands that come out ahead from this quarantine are the ones that keep their marketing machine moving. This is the time to build your brand awareness and your email list so when things return to some semblance of normalcy, you are front and center in your clients’ and prospects’ minds.
“While it may be tempting to spend downtime catching up on paperwork, emails, and inquiries, it will benefit you ten-fold if you focus on other marketing efforts, business building, and strengthening your connections.”
Think about the value you can offer your audience right now. People will be online and on social media more, so the businesses that keep showing up and being visible will be top of mind when things turn back around. But you can’t be all “Hey come buy my stuff!” Be real, raw, and open about your struggles navigating through this as well as offering solutions to your audience’s pain points. Be authentic and provide as much value as possible to your potential clients and when they have a need you can fill; you will be the first person they think of. Review your marketing spending. Make sure you are putting money towards campaigns that are generating results. Now is not the time to pay $3 for $1 worth of revenue. With that being said, ad costs have gone down, meaning you can stretch your budget further and reach more of your target audience. But you need to be super targeted on your social media. Do your ideal clients for your pre-social distancing products match your new product offering? If not, update your Ideal
Client Avatar and adjust your social media ad campaigns. Ok so I mentioned email. If you aren’t already building an email list… get started! Of all the marketing mediums out there, email still has the highest return on investment. If you aren’t using email automation to communicate with your prospects and clients you are missing out on opportunities to shorten your sales cycle and generate repeat revenue from past clients. My email tool of choice is a system called Ontraport. While it may be tempting to spend downtime catching up on paperwork, emails, and inquiries, it will benefit you ten-fold if you focus on other marketing efforts, business building, and strengthening your connections. If you bring in a remote worker and delegate those administrative tasks to them it will free up your time and make you more productive during this time in your business. The world of business is quickly evolving and if you are afraid of doing business online your business will struggle to survive. Yes, businesses are in a difficult time right now, but it is possible for a business to undergo a digital transformation and generate revenue. As a business, you have a lot to gain when you market your services online and a lot to lose if you don’t. As millions of people permanently transition to purchasing products and services online, the greatest risk to your business isn’t losing customers; it’s becoming obscure to the point of
Pivot or Perish? irrelevance. Kevin Snow is the founder of Time On Target, a digital marketing agency that helps businesses effectively use technology to grow their business. Kevin has helped companies all across the United States shorten their sales cycle and increase their closing rates by utilizing sales automation to increase the time sales teams are in front of prospects selling. You can reach Kevin at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Free Resources For Your Content Marketing Made Simple By Lorianne Vaughan Speaks
I “As I work with my clients, I constantly talk about consistency in posting.”
n this era of on-line sales and marketing we need to embrace the many facets to market your expertise to the world to gain traction and visibility. As we move forward, there may be even less foot traffic – so you need to embrace the social media platforms to market and sell. Part of that marketing is content (to teach them something that will help them decide to work with you). As I work with my clients, I
constantly talk about consistency in posting. I truly believe it is important to have a weekly blog as well as short posts to share your knowledge with your clients, prospects, peers and followers. But sometimes we are at a loss for a new topic on which to write. Here are some free websites we can use to get a handle on the top searched topics so we can provide the most valuable content for our clients, peers, and followers. When deciding what to write about, it would be nice to have a crystal ball to know what your audience is looking to learn! Now - there is a site to search what people are asking about: check out www. answerthepublic.com. This will help you determine your blog subject matter (in your field of expertise – please be authentic). Another site that will give you valuable information is www.wordtracker. com. This site will help you optimize your SEO terminology and again show you what people are searching for on Google; which can also be
Pivot or Perish? useful if you plan to use Google Ads to broaden your reach. As you get started writing on the topic you have chosen highlighting your expertise, one of the key drivers to your blogs is the title. If you haven’t heard of this site, check out www.title-generator.com. Plug in the subject/content of your article or blog and it will generate up to 700 titles to grab the public’s attention. (I did it with this topic! Who knew! I didn’t...so I am passing this on to you! Lastly, the graphic you use can grab attention of those surfing the social media rabbit hole. I think everyone knows about www.Canva. com which I use almost daily (a great site for graphics!). They even have PowerPoint templates now. If your content is highly professional you may also want to look at the options on www.unsplash.com and https:// elements.envato.com/. This last site has video available as well. We all need to get our content out to all social media platforms in many ways. Whether you are a great writer (which I do not profess to be), speaker or live video aficionado (nor am I here either): do what works for you and use these tools to UP your game. As a small business looking to bring some things in-house, these can be so helpful for budgeting constraints.
this will end!) and we can go back to in-person meetings, we need to share our expertise on all social media platforms. Know that the article or blog you write can be repurposed for all platforms to drive clients to your website. Be a valuable resource! Sharing your message/content/expertise freely and consistently will be remembered. If you’d like to learn more about what we do, check out www. LVSConsultingServices.com Bio: Lorianne Speaks is an expert in the area of Speaker/Author support. She amplifies the visibility of Authors/ Speakers/Messengers while they do what they love - SPEAK! Lorianne has helped spearhead multiple best-selling book campaigns - editing, proofing, through to launch and social media marketing to help authors create buzz and momentum throughout the social media platforms and increasing their message World-Wide. Lorianne and her team have made it their mission to empower speakers to deliver their message by handling the rest of the details!
Today, we need to embrace on-line marketing and selling as our world becomes more and more virtual. Even when COVID19 is over (and
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“Today, we need to embrace on-line marketing and selling as our world becomes more and more virtual.”
Oh Sh*t My Faires, events, & Cons are all cancelled!
Nuts and Bolts of Pivoting from Physical to Digital Sales By Donald R Dodson, Jr.
W “this is not about a pandemic or any other crisis. It is about making a shift or even a complete pivot for your business. “
e are living in unprecedented ….” No, that’s no good. “In these uncertain …” Yeah, that’s a no for me, dawg. Seriously, I have rewritten this article a few times, and realized that this is not about a pandemic or any other crisis. It is about making a shift or even a complete pivot for your business. I am mostly talking about folks who sell physical products often in a physical location or at least a face to face venue like a Renn Faire, a festival, craft or county fair. Or, maybe you fit that description and just need to grow, or because of other reasons need to shift FROM the those venues. In any case, you need to bring your physical product into the digital or on-line space. So, I am going to suggest some strategies that will get you headed in the right direction. So, we just jump right in, start
making a website right? Not really, in fact, the first two things you need to do is • Take “inventory” of what on-line assets you DO have. Maybe you already have a website. But it looks like something you made for that class you took in 2001. Do you have a Facebook business page? What other social media do you have? Email list? Do you have an on-line “audience”? • What do you need, and what resources can you bring to bear? Obviously we want to have customers beating down our digital door as soon as possible, but some people might be in a different position then others and that means their strategy will be different. Plus, having money (or a really tech savvy relative) to throw at the problem can help tremendously. I am going to assume that you have little on-line “inventory”. I base this on the research I have done and few on-line polls. At best, you are 80 percent in person and 20 percent online. These folks are the outliers. Less than half of you have a website or any real social media presence. This is not a dig, its just establishes where you are.
Now, can I make a website? Yes and no! Many of the strategies
Pivot or Perish? can be done concurrently and need to be started as a few can take several months to get up to steam. Should you START getting a website made? Absolutely! But these next strategies will be quicker in the meantime. That means On-line sales sites like Etsy, eBay, Amazon Hand-made as well as Buy-Sell groups on social media. You can literally set up a half-assed Etsy store or eBay account and be selling in the time it takes you to read this article! OK, maybe not that quick, but within a few hours.
EBay Most people are familiar with eBay. You can post your items for sale and you have the option to let folks bid on your items auction style or list with a “Buy It Now” price. To list an item you pay a small insertion fee (starts at 25 cents and you get 50 free ones), any listing upgrades and then you pay a percentage (about 3.5%) to E-Bay (including shipping costs) which depends on the sale amount (it has a limit). You will also have to pay any appropriate fee for payment processing. The advantage with E-Bay is access to millions of motivated buyers without having to drive traffic to a website. You can also set up a store front which has a monthly subscription (starts at 7.95) which offers some other benefits.
Etsy. I am surprised how many people have never really checked out Etsy. Etsy started as a seller’s portal site for handcrafted and artisan goods. It had Inexpensive fees and an audience
who wanted the handcrafted aesthetic. Etsy has lost some of that flavor and has added some policies that make it a LITTLE more costly. However, it is still a pretty good option, with a significant audience reach that is likely a little more targeted to people who appreciate handmade items. I have had an Etsy store for over four years. With Etsy, you set up an account (your store), pay a small fee to list items (20 cents per item) and once you have made a sale, Etsy gets 5 percent, plus payment processing. Recently Etsy has urged its sellers to offer free shipping on items over 35 bucks and is charging a marketing fee (which stores under 10k sales can opt out of) of 15% on sales that can be attributed to its marketing. This may be off-putting, but you can add some of that to your cost, and, honestly the reach is hard to beat. This is a sale you likely would not have had! Also, of note is Amazon Handmade and Marketplace. The reach is even greater, but there are more upfront costs and more requirements. It’s still worth checking out! (I’d go into this one, but my editor is already grumbling about my word count.) With any of these sites it’s important to take good photos, use attractive key words and descriptions. There are quite a few articles out there to be found that help.
Groups Next is check out many of the Buy-Sell groups in Facebook (Not
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“You can literally set up a half-assed Etsy store or eBay account and be selling in the time it takes you to read this article!“
Success Champions FB marketplace) and other sites like Reddit. Some Facebook groups, like Faire Relief 2020 are expressly created to help folks sell their stuff. I have also seen a group for Cowboyrelated items. Pirates, SCA Groups, etc. Just be wary, some groups have specific policies regarding sales and sales posts, so be sure to check it out.
Let’s establish an On-line Presence. “Online presence is key, because when you interact with people and gain followers in most any social media platform, you have a “place” to send folks to learn more about you and feast their eyes on your glorious merch.”
Simply, this is creating a virtual storefront and identity, where people can find you. Social media profiles for you and your business, Google, and yes, a website. This is key, because when you interact with people and gain followers in most any social media platform, you have a profile to serve as your virtual self and, most importantly, a “place” to send folks to learn more about you and feast their eyes on your glorious merch.
Facebook Business Page. Unlike a normal profile, a FB business page provides more benefits like post and ad scheduling, analytics, its own pass through to a store, etc. Set one up, plaster it with albums of all your cool stuff and share the neat stuff you make. So, when you are in your favorite Facebook group in your niche, and some asks, “Who makes x?” you can share the link to your Facebook Business page. You gain both a potential sale, engagement on your sales, and other people seeing that conversation. I also list both my website and my Etsy on my business
page. Use as many sales channels as you can handle.
Google My Business. This is great to have regardless of where you sell and its great for SEO (Search Engine Optimization – IE, making it easier for folks to search for and find your stuff). Its essentially a on-line Yellow Pages ad for Google, etc. Its free, and pretty easy to use. You do have to have an actual address that is connected to your business, but not necessarily a store front. You can also set up a free limited website there too. You can also list items with prices.
Websites. Yes, we are finally gonna talk about websites. Firstly, a website is only as good as the traffic you send to it!. It could take 3-4 months with efforts in decent SEO, social media sharing and word of mouth, for you to build any kind of substantial traffic. That’s why is suggested sites like Etsy and eBay, first. They do much of that for you, at least indirectly. With a website, YOU have to help push that traffic yourself. Secondly, e-commerce platforms on a website can be pricey or stiflingly restricted for the free template ones, with some exception. So, as important as a website is, it is going to take time to build up traffic. Lets dive a little deeper. Personally, my need for a website was because I needed a place to share galleries of my leather work, which I could not really do on Etsy. A website can provide inspiration, they
Pivot or Perish? can allow you to share your craft in both images and long-form words (think blogs). They can encourage interaction, and, most critically for us, they can SELL!
E-commerce This is also one of the more challenging things to do on a website. I mean sure, you can post pictures of your cool stuff with prices and have folks email you. But it can be so much more -- a real E-commerce site. Firstly, WHERE you have your website can dictate what kind of e-commerce you can support. “Free” sites like Wix, Weebly, etc either have limited templates or, you need a pass-through link that sends them to a storefront site like Square or PayPal that will host your sales pages securely and do your payment processing. These tend to have limited offerings as well in terms of both look, and how much info can be in your item listings. If you have your own domain name and host it with a service you have virtually no restrictions, if done properly. It will also look more professional having a domain like www.CromsSharpSwords.com rather than www.Square.com/stores/croms23.... This is an added expense.
Which e-commerce platform? There are many e-commerce packages available. Shopify is a front runner in terms of popularity. There are some good free ones, like WooCommerce that you can use, too.
This really comes down to the cost model you are comfortable with. Let’s look at two examples. Shopify, and others like it, have a monthly subscription fee, regardless of whether you make any sales or not, plus a listing fee and a percentage of sales. In the case of Shopify for the basic level, its 29.95 a month, plus 2.9% and a 30 cent transaction fee. A benefit is that you don’t have to pay hosting for Shopify, though your non sales pages are more limited in design. WooCommerce is very similar to Shopify in terms of what you can do. But the cost structure is different. You purchase a theme – a template, usually around 60 bucks – though free ones are available. You might want to upgrade it with plugins which might be a few bucks, but as far as the platform, that’s it. The costs come in if you need to pay for hosting. However, you may already pay tat for your website. Just know that not all of the “free web building” and hosting sites may not support it. Word press, however does. Again, it needs to be said, that you need to help push traffic to these sites. They won’t automatically garner sales just because you built it and filled it full of cool stuff. That’s why its important to use social media and connecting to people in groups to help create that traffic.
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“Firstly, a website is only as good as the traffic you send to it!. It could take 3-4 months with efforts in decent SEO, social media sharing and word of mouth, for you to build any kind of substantial traffic.”
Success Champions Which leaves us with the last, most time-consuming and possibly most important strategy. Audience building
Building your audience. “... you need to help push traffic to these sites. They won’t automatically garner sales just because you built it and filled it full of cool stuff. “
Realistically, audience is everything. Think of them as the on-line versions of your regulars. You need to help nurture those relationships and that takes time. Think about how word of mouth spreads and then apply that on-line. We already talked about buy-sell groups in Facebook, briefly. You’ll need to expand that to the regular groups in your niche and interest area. Many of you do this already, but now you need to focus with a bit more intent to share all your cool stuff but do it the right way. Many of these groups want to talk ABOUT the things that interest you, but they may not be there to buy. Or, if you offer a more general product, like Soaps, or everyday items you might need to increase your participation in more general groups. The point is you are going to turn people off if all you do is talk about your items. You can’t just run amok on-line waving your merchandise around thinking people will buy from you. Its about building trust. Some of my best customers (and now friends) I met in groups that had nothing to do with what I make or sell. In fact, I do probably 90 percent of my on-line sales (which is more than half my total
sales) through Facebook, often as reactions to something I share, people referring me, or engagement in a group.
Leveraging an audience Once you have an audience there are some ways you can drive traffic and sell in interesting ways. One vendor does an auction in her Facebook page. She posts the items and people bid on them, with each person posting their bid in the thread. Another person uses Facebook Live to do a virtual trunk show and shows her audience her items and people buy from that. Ideally, you should implement the things that work best for you from this article. Most importantly, is connecting with an audience and then building from there. It’s OK to pick just one or two strategies. Good luck! Donald Dodson, owner of Dodson Designs, has been involved in artistic pursuits for as long as he can remember. Starting at age 16 as a sign painter assistant, and after high school, he pursued a career in graphic arts, finding his home in graphic design and web design. After an eight-year stint as a teacher, Dodson, a combat veteran, longed to return to his passion for the arts and, at 49, started a full-time leather working business. He crafts handmade, creative custom leather goods and accessories near Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Success Champions goals.
Atomic Habits To Help You Crush Your Goals By Michelle Thompson
E “Is forming and keeping new habits while getting rid of bad ones that difficult? Well, it can be if you’re doing it the wrong way.”.
veryone wants to become a better person. We all want to be the best versions of ourselves, that’s why a lot of us like to kick start the year with New Year’s resolutions. It’s a way to leave our bad habits behind and start fresh. A way to spark positive change. But have you noticed that a lot of us fail to keep our resolutions? Why is that? Is forming and keeping new habits while getting rid of bad ones that difficult? Well, it can be if you’re doing it the wrong way. Since we’re all stuck at home doing who-knows-what during this Covid-19 pandemic, we should be using this time to improve ourselves so we can come out of this better than we were before. For me, James Clear’s Atomic Habits is a book everyone should read if they want to get over the hurdle and achieve their
In Atomic Habits, James Clear explains that the way to build a habit is to start small and make it attainable. Don’t underestimate the importance of making tiny changes on a daily basis. You don’t have to change everything all at once. You’re only setting yourself up for failure if you do that. Instead, you have to start small. Take baby steps. That’s the key to forming new habits that can improve your life in general. Throughout the book, Clear reminds us that we need to have a system in place to keep us going, and to focus on this system instead of our goals. It’s good advice because let’s face it, we tend to spend too much time thinking about our ultimate goal when we should be using that time designing the process that will lead us to that goal. Habit stacking is a concept the book talked about that I find extremely useful. It’s an easy way to form a new habit by pairing it with an existing one. I’m sure a lot of people are watching Netflix a lot these days to pass the time, so why don’t you try pairing that routine with a new habit you’re trying to build. Try exercising while you watch. There is just so much you can learn by reading Atomic Habits.
Four Laws of Behavior Change Let me share something from the book that can help anyone who
Pivot or Perish? wants to build better habits. It’s what Clear calls the Four Laws of Behavior Change. If you want to keep a habit, you have to make it: • Obvious • Attractive • Easy • Satisfying It’s a simple strategy to follow, and that’s exactly why it’s so effective. To make it obvious, don’t say something vague like, “I want to get in better shape this year.” Instead, place your workout clothes in the middle of the sofa where you can see them before you turn on the TV. That way you can remind yourself that you’re supposed to exercise while watching Netflix. And by pairing Netflix with exercise, you’re combining something you want to do with a habit you want to build, and it makes the routine more attractive than it would be otherwise. This is why I loved the idea of habit stacking. Of course, you need to start slowly if you want to integrate new habits into your daily life. That’s why you’d want to make your habits as easy as possible at the start, so you’d want to do them. You can’t do 100 push-ups right away, start slowly. Most importantly, you have to make the habit satisfying because you are more likely to repeat a behavior when the experience is satisfying. Clear suggests keeping a habit tracker so you can measure your progress
and make the habit satisfying. Or maybe you can reward yourself for completing the habit. The book also contains tips on how to get rid of bad habits. All you have to do is to invert the laws. That means you have to find a way to make the habit invisible, unattractive, difficult, and unsatisfying. It’s not as easy as it sounds but Clear has provided a lot of tips on how to do this.
Highly Recommended Atomic Habits is well worth the read. What I have said here has barely scratched the surface of this fascinating book. It’s a treasure trove of information. That’s why I highly recommend Atomic Habits for people who want to make a lasting change in their lives. Automation and Outsourcing saved my sanity. After a life-altering stroke, at the age of 36, I had to start all over again. From a successful MBA in Finance to a second grade IQ level... overnight. Since my stroke, I’ve had to learn how to automate and outsource as much as humanly possible. It touches everything I do. Now, I am on a mission to help free you up from all the unnecessary tasks you do, and I’ll stop at nothing to help you get your freedom back.
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“That’s why I highly recommend Atomic Habits for people who want to make a lasting change in their lives.”