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Category Archives for Business

What Customers Are Saying About Your Website When They Aren’t Saying Anything At All

When businesses operate in physical spaces, they have observation on their side. If customers don’t like their displays, it soon becomes clear. The looks on customers faces will give the game away. If not, staff may overhear customer grumbles. And, your business can adjust according to recurrent issues.

Things couldn’t be more different when it comes to your website, though. Whether your business is 100% ecommerce, or you have an online store, you’ll find customers silent. Sure, they’ll leave comments for lousy service. But, they’re less likely to tell you what they think of your website as a whole. Still, that’s not to say they aren’t giving a sign. As Boyzone said, you say it best when you say nothing at all. Or, in this case, your customers say it best. In fact, they’re probably giving you some pretty big hints about what they think. And, as you would in a physical store, you should notice and respond accordingly.

Lucky for you, there are a few different ways to tell what your customers are thinking. Using website analytics is always a good idea for getting here. Equally, methods like user research can take you far here. But, neither of these would do any good if you don’t know how to interpret the signs. So, let’s consider what your customers are saying, and what it means.

 

What Customers Are Saying About Your Website When They Aren't Saying Anything At AllImage Credit: Sergey Zolkin

 

Click off after ten seconds

If research shows customers are clicking away after ten seconds, the issue is obvious. Your welcome page isn’t doing its job. The reason for this can vary, but chunky paragraphs of text can be a real turn off. Equally, slow loading times are leading causes for clicks away. These are often due to advertisements or images. Your best bet is to keep your welcome page simple. Just display your logo and write a brief paragraph about what you do. One thing’s sure; you’ll struggle to grow your online presence if you don’t keep customers around longer than this.

 

Browsing without buying

It’s also worth looking out for customers who browse but don’t buy. In this instance, your welcome page has done its job. But, something else is stopping customers from going further. It may be that there are too many pages for them to select. Again, simple is best. Keep your pages to a minimum. It may also be that your product photography or descriptions aren’t up to scratch. In many ways, these are your sales assistants. Take time to find one who can secure sales!


Leaving with items in their basket

 

This can be most frustrating of all. Customers may get as far as clicking buy but still leave before completing. Your site has obviously done its job, but something’s still stopping you from sealing the deal. Often, this is down to your payment options. Sites that don’t offer Paypal, for instance, can expect higher abandonment rates. Instead, provide secure payment options your customers will put their trust in. It’ll make more of a difference than you would expect.

 

How To Maintain Financial Stability As An Entrepreneur

 

There are a number of amazing benefits that come with being an entrepreneur. You get to make money doing something you love, have control and flexibility over your own time, and don’t have to answer to anyone but yourself. Unfortunately, entrepreneurship does come with its drawbacks, the most obvious being the huge financial risk. No one wants to imagine their business failing, but if yours did, you’d need to make sure that you’re prepared for the blow. With that in mind, here are five ways can you maintain financial stability as an entrepreneur.

 

  1. Separate Your Business And Personal Finances

You might see your business and yourself as one of the same, but if you want to protect yourself later on, then you need to rethink this mentality. There should be a separation between you and your business, particularly when your finances are concerned. This means you need to set up a business bank account and pay yourself a fair wage, as you would for any employee. This will save you money later, and also protects you from being held liable for corporate debts.

 

  1. Earn Money Many Different Ways

Your small business may be your main source of income, but it certainly shouldn’t be your only one. If it were, and your company went under, you’d be left without any cash whatsoever. Because of this, you should consider investing in real estate, trading on sites like CMC Markets, and writing a blog. You could also think about writing an ebook or creating online courses. If you had the cash, you might even want to consider becoming a silent partner in another business.

 

  1. Make Sure You’re Financially Organized

There’s no way to be financially stable unless you’re financially organized. With that in mind, it’s vital that you know where all of your money is coming from and what you need to do with it, whether that’s saving, investing, or something else. This is crucial for your personal finances, just as much as your business’s. When you know what’s happening with your money, you’re much less likely to get into debt.

 

  1. Build Up An Emergency Fund

Running a business is no simple task. Things might seem to be running smoothly at one point, only to run into disaster a moment later. Unfortunately, in many cases, these disasters require a substantial amount of money to be fixed, which is why you need to ensure that you build up a business emergency fund. This way, if something were to go wrong, you’d have the cash to cover it, without having to borrow money and put yourself in debt.

 

  1. Get Advice From A Professional

Regardless of your financial goals, or the shape or size of your business, it’s always a smart idea to speak to a professional financial planner. They will be able to offer advice on budgeting, saving, investing, and more, which can help you to save cash and put you in a much more stable position financially. Many entrepreneurs don’t take this step, as they see it as a waste of time, but it actually takes very little time at all and can save your business and your personal finances.

 

Getting your finances in order can be a challenging and intimidating task, but, hopefully, with these tips, you’ll find the process a lot easier and much less stressful.

 

A Step By Step Guide To Growing Your Online Presence

Growing your online presence is so important if you’re going to make a name for yourself, grow your brand, and make a profit. The online world is vast, and it can take a lot of work to get your business out there. You need to make sure you’re differentiating yourself from your competitors, consistently working on your growth, and keeping that momentum up so you don’t get complacent and fall behind.

 

In this step by step guide, we’re going to talk about growing your online presence. Read on if this is something you know you need to do:

 

1: Create Your Website With Your Target Market In Mind

Make sure that before you build any part of your website, you’ve done a ton of market research so you can build it with your target market in mind. They should be at the forefront of everything you do. How will they like the layout? The branding? The content? Will they find the site easy to use? Make sure you consider everything and make the experience as enjoyable for them as possible.

 

2: Choose The Right Platforms To Grow Your Brand

You can’t use every single platform online to grow your brand. Well, you could, but not at the beginning. In the beginning, you’re going to need to choose the most effective platforms. You’ll need to work out where your audience is, for starters, and consider which type of content suits your brand most. Pictures, like those posted on Instagram, or short bursts of info used on Twitter? Hiring a social media manager could be a good idea if you want to master social media, as it can indeed take up a lot of time.

 

 

3: Incorporate Video

Video is huge: in fact, YouTube is the second largest search engine right now. If you can create video content, you’ll increase your chances of people sharing your information, improve your reach, and help your users with valuable video tutorials. Video allows you to get more information across in a shorter amount of time, and usually in a more attractive format!

 

4: Work With An Experienced, Established Company

To grow your online presence, you’re going to need a company that offers SEO Services online, as well as other services that can help you to get your company name out there. It’s important to note that not all marketing companies are created equal, so you must do your research.

 

5: Be Responsive To Your Audience

Being responsive to your audience is a must. It’s how you build relationships, generate returning customers, and build loyalty. It allows you to show your brand personality, provide fantastic customer service, and more.

 

6: Ensure All Content Is Valuable And Shareable

All content you create must have value, whether that is because it’s helpful or humorous. Make it as shareable as you can!

 

7: Track And Analyze

Tracking and analyzing consistently is the only true way to know how you can move forward with your strategies. Keep an eye on your analytics and you’ll get a good idea of how you can grow!

 

We love the power of marketing

Marketing definitely is a powerful tool, and we love the power that it holds in the business world. It’s that powerful, that there shouldn’t be a business out there who aren’t using it as a technique. In fact, it’s one of the main ways that a company can gain exposure, push for growth, and boost the appeal of products or services. But, for all of the power that it holds, some companies just don’t know how to use it. Instead, they’re using the wrong techniques, investing in the wrong companies to help them, and could potentially be doing more damage than good to their company. Remember the recent H&M scandal with the supposedly ‘racist’ marketing campaign? Well, it just shows that whilst marketing has the power to bring a company to the top, it also has the power to completely damage a reputation. So, we want to show you why we love the power of marketing, and how you can use it right for your business.

 

What It Can Do For Your Company

This is where we want to talk about why we love marketing. We love it because it can simply do everything for your company. Whether you’re just starting out, or whether you’re a few months in and still finding your feet with marketing, it can make your business one of the best. That’s only if you use the right techniques of course. If you use a combination of techniques, you increase your chance of exposure and profit increase. But, if you focus on the wrong techniques, or try the right techniques in the wrong way, then it’s never going to do anything for your business. Take social media marketing as an example. It’s usually a great way to market your business, but it’s just as easy to be left in the dark. Everybody is on social media, so getting your posts and your company noticed is going to be hard. But, if you do a lot of research into what to post when to post, and how to boost your posts, then it could work amazingly for you in conjunction with other techniques.

The Areas You Should Be Focusing On

There are a few areas that you should really be focusing on. One of the biggest is your website, the design, and how you market it. Believe it or not, your website design does play a big part in the success of your marketing efforts. If your website content is SEO optimized, and the design is conversion rate optimised, then it should be unstoppable. Afterall, people visit your website the most to make purchases, so making sure it’s in the front of your marketing efforts is key.

 

How To Use It Right

To use it right, you’ll have to outsource. Unless you hire a team of people to be employed on your payroll, you’re not going to be able to keep it in-house. But, you don’t want to go for a company who is the cheapest, you want to go for the company that gets results, no matter how expensive that might be!

 

Top Reasons To Choose A Career In Catering

Image If you are looking for a new career to start this year and you are sick of working in an office, a wonderful change of career could be to become a caterer. If you have a love for good food and meeting new people, this can be the perfect job role for you. Here are the top reasons you should think about a job in catering this year. 1. Making people’s day If you work as a caterer such as abm Catering, you have a unique opportunity to put a smile on many people’s faces. When you are hired to make food for an event the food needs to be great, and it can ruin a night if food is terrible and everyone ends up ill. When you cook for a party you can see the smiles on everyone’s face as they try and love the food you serve. You can make their day and they will make yours in return. 2. It’s creative If you are a creative soul, there is nothing worse than being stuck in a job where you have to crunch numbers all day. Catering is an amazing job option for anyone who loves to be creative because you can come up with your own menus, recipes and even come up with a certain way that you like to present the food to your audience. You can be as fancy or simple as you like and you will have lots of chance to try new things. 3. You can travel The beauty of choosing a job such as a caterer is the fact that you are not nailed down to staying in one place for the rest of your life. You have the freedom to go wherever you want because people all over the world need someone to make food for their events. You could be a mobile caterer and travel around the country or even move abroad and set up your own catering business somewhere completely new. 4. You can be your own boss As a caterer you will have the option to either work for a catering company which is already established or you can go it alone and do it yourself. If you choose to do it yourself you will no longer have anyone to answer to and you can become an entrepreneur in your own right. You could start a small empire and hire great chefs to work for you and to travel around the country. It is a unique opportunity to be a business owner and thrive in your career. 5. Not 9-5 Perhaps the best part of being a caterer is the fact that you don’t have to get up at 6am in the morning only to be stuck in traffic on the way to work. A catering job is usually for afternoon evening events which means that you can be more flexible with your working hours and work to a schedule which allows time for everything to be cooked and prepped. As long as you have enough time to get everything done, you should have no problems with working to your own hours.

If you are looking for a new career to start this year and you are sick of working in an office, a wonderful change of career could be to become a caterer. If you have a love for good food and meeting new people, this can be the perfect job role for you. Here are the top reasons you should think about a job in catering this year.

 

  1. Making people’s day

If you work as a caterer such as abm Catering, you have a unique opportunity to put a smile on many people’s faces. When you are hired to make food for an event the food needs to be great, and it can ruin a night if the food is terrible and everyone ends up ill. When you cook for a party you can see the smiles on everyone’s face as they try and love the food you serve. You can make their day and they will make yours in return.

 

  1. It’s creative

If you are a creative soul, there is nothing worse than being stuck in a job where you have to crunch numbers all day. Catering is an amazing job option for anyone who loves to be creative because you can come up with your own menus, recipes and even come up with a certain way that you like to present the food to your audience. You can be as fancy or simple as you like and you will have lots of chance to try new things.

 

  1. You can travel

The beauty of choosing a job such as a caterer is the fact that you are not nailed down to staying in one place for the rest of your life. You have the freedom to go wherever you want because people all over the world need someone to make food for their events. You could be a mobile caterer and travel around the country or even move abroad and set up your own catering business somewhere completely new.

 

  1. You can be your own boss

As a caterer, you will have the option to either work for a catering company which is already established or you can go it alone and do it yourself. If you choose to do it yourself you will no longer have anyone to answer to and you can become an entrepreneur in your own right. You could start a small empire and hire great chefs to work for you and to travel around the country. It is a unique opportunity to be a business owner and thrive in your career.

 

  1. Not 9-5

Perhaps the best part of being a caterer is the fact that you don’t have to get up at 6am in the morning only to be stuck in traffic on the way to work. A catering job is usually for afternoon evening events which means that you can be more flexible with your working hours and work to a schedule which allows time for everything to be cooked and prepped. As long as you have enough time to get everything done, you should have no problems with working to your own hours.

 

A Quick And Simple Guide To Putting Together Your Home Business Plan

Putting together your home business plan is still important. It doesn’t matter that you’re not planning on starting a multi-million dollar business that takes over the world. You still need to have your business outline written on paper. Why? Many reasons. It can help to keep you focused when you’re lacking in clarity. It can help you secure funding if you need investments. It can help you see what direction you should go in if things don’t go as planned. There are just so many reasons to create a business plan!

Here, we will talk about creating your home business plan in quick and simple terms. Enjoy!

Find A Template Online

Most people felt overwhelmed when creating their business plan and don’t know where to start. This is normal, so you shouldn’t worry. However, finding a template online can be a brilliant place to start if you’re feeling a little like this. A template can help you include all the relevant information, guide you on what to include and where to put it, and more. You can find both free and paid templates to help you create a plan that suits you.

Just remember, although you’re using a template, this doesn’t mean you can compromise on the quality of your business plan. You should still set time aside to create a quality plan. You might end up regretting it later on down the line if you don’t.

 

Home Business Plan

Do The Math

Make sure you do the math accurately. You need to know your numbers. Just look at Dragon’s Den and even the Apprentice, and how they get a huge dressing down when they don’t know their numbers properly, or their numbers make little sense. You need to know how much money you will need, your projections for the future, and more. Not only will this help you see if you’re on track, but it’ll also help you attract investors later on down the line. You can even look for small loans with resources like https://smallbusinessloans.co/, but you must know how much you need and what you will use it for.

Include All Relevant Information

Although you need to include all relevant information in your business plan, you need to make sure you find a balance between making it too detailed and not detailed enough. Too detailed and nobody will read it, not detailed enough and it won’t be taken seriously.

Make Sure The Lay Out Makes Sense

Your plan not only needs to read well, but the layout also needs to make sense too. Make sure you use headings and that it’s nice to look at – this isn’t the most important point, but it matters.

Avoid Grammatical Errors

Check over your plan multiple times to avoid grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. They don’t make a great impression!

Hopefully, these simple tips help you put together a plan that really makes sense and helps you to grow your business. A business with a plan succeeds on purpose, not by accident. Leave your own thoughts and ideas below. Thanks for reading!

 


 

This post was edited using the best grammar checker I’ve found (and it’s free!!)

Rash Employment Decisions Which Could Leave A Nasty Mark

No one likes a rash. Left unchecked, these pesky skin irritations can soon turn nasty. Either through itching or severity, a rash can leave a nasty mark and even a lifelong scar.

Admittedly, it’s unlikely your business is going to get red and itchy anytime soon. But, rashes come into play here, too, especially when it comes to big decisions. Making rash choices with a business you’ve worked hard to build is the worst thing you can do. In fact, far from slight irritation, rashness in business could see your dreams crumbling.

 

Rash Employment Decisions Which Could Leave A Nasty MarkPicture Credit

 

As such, it’s crucial you take your time over every decision. And, never is that more important than when it comes to employment. Given employees are largely responsible for success, you could say taking time here is most important of all.


Yet, a shocking amount of employers rush this. After all, employment is a sideline rather than a real focus. Yet, rash decisions here could leave the nastiest mark imaginable. So, we’re going to look at two times when speed definitely shouldn’t be the name of this game.

Hasty hire

Hiring in haste is always a mistake. We get it; this is a pain in your backside, and it’s taking you away from your work. Hence, you don’t bother with background checks or questions. Instead, you ensure candidates meet the minimum requirements before offering them the job. The trouble is, this is both damaging and, ultimately, more time-consuming. After all, how can you expect to retain your employees if you don’t even take time to discover their long-term goals? If you hire staff who intend to leave, you’ll need to start again, and thus spend even more time on this. Even if staff stick around, there’s no guarantee they’ll be right for you. As can be seen from sites like www.inc.com, there are certain questions you should always take time to ask during interviews. These are essential for determining how a candidate acts. They alone can tell you whether they’re a good fit. Rather than making a mark on your company, measures like these make sure staff fit seamlessly.

 

 

Fast fire

Fast firing is also a risk. You have a legal obligation to staff, and that works when it comes to firing, too. Even in the case of gross misconduct, the correct procedures should be put in place. Rather than rashly telling a staff member they’re fired, you need to suspend and investigate. You should also hold disciplinary meetings. If you’re unsure of the legality, you could work with companies like http://gbirnlaw.com/services/offer-letters-and-employment-agreements who can help you get this right. Either way, you can’t fire someone without taking time over it.

Failure to follow the necessary avenues could leave you open to reputation-damaging lawsuits. As well as giving the impression you’re a bad employer; this could see the staff member reinstated. The last thing you want is a team member who has a grudge against you. And, all you need to do stop is it take your time!


 

 

Helping Your Employees Feel Protected On The Road

You care deeply about your employees. While you may be the driving force and the vision behind your enterprise, you’re always sure to give your employees their due. Quite simply, you don’t know where your business would be without them. Your ideas, passion and sheer strength of will may have caused your business to rise up from out of nowhere to become the successful enterprise that it is today but it’s their inventiveness, creativity, hard work, passion, people skills and wholehearted willingness to invest themselves in your brand have been what’s helped it to go from strength to strength. As such, you want the best for them. You don’t want to be the kind of boss who’s an appalling micromanager, taking their responsibilities out of their hands and leaving their skills to atrophy. Likewise, you don’t want to be the kind of boss who sends their employees into potentially worrying situations unprepared.

A good entrepreneur understands the value of nurturing and supporting their employees. But while this is easy on the premises, it’s a little harder when sending employees out on the road. Even confident drivers can get skittish when it comes to using their vehicles for professional purposes. Fear not, here are some ways in which you can ensure that they feel safe and protected and thus are able to give you their all on the road.

Helping Your Employees Feel Protected On The Road

Give them the very best training

Training is the single most way of driving professional standards and maintaining the quality you associate with your brand. But if you treat training as a “one and done” exercise, don’t be surprised if your employees’ skills start to erode over time or they lapse into bad habits.

The right ongoing training can ensure that your employees know exactly how to conduct themselves on the road and what to do in the event of an incident or an issue with their vehicle.

 

Show them that you have their back when incidents arise

Many roadbound employees worry that their employer will through them under the proverbial bus if they are involved in a collision, even if they are not at fault. You can demonstrate your commitment to them in instances like this by ensuring that they have proper legal representation to help them pursue justice. See more from Winer, McKenna, Burritt & Tillis. This will empower them and give them confidence without compromising their driving standards.

 

Let tech be their shield

Technology can be enormously helpful in empowering employees on the road. Telematics and GPS solutions can allow them to calculate safe routes and manage their time effectively while dash cams can help them to demonstrate that they are using the skills with which you imbue them and help them to defend themselves when involved in an incident.

 

Give them a direct line to you

If you have the trust and respect of your employees, it may simply be empowering and helpful for them to have a direct line to you personally should they need your help, advice or counsel. Needless to say, if you offer them this, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you can be reached on that number at all times.

 

Self-Care and the Life of a Mumpreneur

Hello Mamas, how are ya? Are you running around, making sure the kiddos are sorted, the laundry is done, the dinner cooked? Oh, and don’t forget about sorting your partner’s lunch and dry cleaning, all while building your business and having life generally under control? Yikes, I am tired just writing that.

What about YOU? Have you asked yourself how YOU are doing lately? You are important. This is where self-care comes in. You know, making sure your glass is full. If you aren’t feeling like YOUR best self, how can you perform your best in your business?

 

self care

You’re not alone!

You are not alone if you are scratching your head thinking, ‘What self-care? When am I supposed to fit THAT in?!’ Well, let me tell you how.

Sometimes self-care can get muddled up with long, lush baths, facials, massages, etc. Sometimes it can be a super sweaty session at the gym or a long run. That is SO not my definition of self-care, but it could be yours and that is the beauty of self-care.

Some people’s self-care is just having quiet time while their little ones are still asleep, reading or meditating. Or perhaps your self-care is sitting in a cafe with a good coffee or eating a good, nourishing meal. The point is, self-care is whatever gets YOU back in that alignment and fills your cup up.

 

So how do I do this self-care thing?

So how do you figure out what the heck fills your cup up? Well, it is pretty simple-what lights you up? What makes you feel good, like really good? The best version of yourself? No rules, everything goes here. Some examples are:

  • Having a bubble bath with essential oils and Epsom salts
  • Get a back massage
  • Go to a sweaty OR relaxing yoga class
  • Dance around your kitchen-Impromptu dance party with your kids
  • Make a super lush meal and eat it with reverence

Now, how the heck do I fit it in? If it works for you, invite a friend to do it with you. Perhaps you want to start a new morning routine and waking up early works-do that! Schedule it. As a Mumpreneur, we tend to be ALL about the schedule. So do that-schedule your self-care in. That gets it done, right? Finally, skip lunch. I know, I know, sounds counterproductive. However, if you work or freelance in an office, see if they offer fitness classes during your lunch break. You get up, you get to move. If they don’t or you don’t work in that environment, go for a walk. Getting out in nature can really help fill your cup up if that’s your bag.

 

selfcare

Conclusion

The point of this article is that YOU matter. You can’t be your best self if you are tired, cranky, annoyed, anxious. You can’t be the best mumpreneur, mum, partner, friend if you are all of those things. How can you expect to grow your business in that situation?

Let me know how you have decided to take care of yourself with your self-care!

 

Guest post was written by Sarah

I am a Mama and a Mrs, a yogi and an essential oils junkie, as well as a Holistic Wellness Coach. I have been leading Mamas on their unique wellness journeys for the past 5 years, starting with yoga, moving on to essential oils, and now incorporating it all in Holistic Wellness Coaching. My motto is to have fun and to laugh our way through the education-if you aren’t having fun, then we aren’t doing it right!

Find me at Sarah Byrne Yoga

Benefits of Blogging for Your Business

As much as we might wish, no magic spell can bloom our businesses overnight. Startups demand motivation, dedication, and lots of time to trek to progress. There’s one element that can boost growth though and it’s called blogging. It can help drive more audience to your business site and boost your conversion rates. At the same time, it can craft a personality for your venture and increase your engagement with potential clients.

53% of the digital marketers commend the role that blogging plays in growing a business. Hard to swallow? Check out Hubspot that offers sales, marketing, CRM, and customer services software. It runs an incredible blog that provides informative posts and gets 4.5 million average views every month.

Let’s walk you through some significant benefits of business blogging:

  1. Shapes your business’s personality

In the present times, nobody wants to do business with lifeless scarecrows. Customers want to learn more about the people at the helm of things. The CEO of Modify Watches, Aaron Schwartz explains, “We work hard to make sure people think of our business as comprised of a group of real individuals, and not some soulless enterprise.”

To this end, the company uses blogging to express its personality. As you write blog posts for your business, you develop a slow but significant voice for your startup. Plus, blogs mirror your business values. Have a look at Gap Inc.’s blog. Their blog reflects the brand’s personality by showing its vision and values.

  1. Takes your SEO game up a notch

The content that you write for your blogs gives you an ample opportunity to insert a keyword into it. Keywords are the phrases or queries that people type into the search bar. These are the fundamental pillars of search engine optimization (SEO), as they bait clients for you.

With the use of a keyword, there are increased chances that the search engine will rank your business blog high. Consequently, more people can find your initiative. Research reveals that brands with blogs tend to 434% higher indexed pages. Therefore, blogging is a cost-effective approach to driving organic traffic to your business. Plus, keyword-enriched blogs enhance your search engine visibility.

  1. Provides content for your social media networks

You can share your blog posts on your social media channels too. These posts can multiply your exposure as well, as people love sharing informative blog content. 94% of the folks share blog posts on numerous social media platforms. Hence, blogging helps you with your initiative’s social media marketing.

  1. Helps you educate your potential customers

Customers just don’t make a beeline to a business unless they have worked with it before and are fully satisfied. Instead, before shopping for something or availing a service, customers conduct thorough research. Reports confirm that 81% of the people research online before purchasing something.

You can use this pre-shopping behavior to your use. Update your blog with long posts that solve customers’ problems. For instance, if you sell accessories online, you can always write blogs about hot accessory trends or how-to styling guides.

  1. Increases engagement with customers

Blogging gives you a chance to engage with potential and existing customers. You can leave questions at the end of the post and interact with people as they leave comments under your post. These also serve as an excellent means to get feedback from your customers.

What’s more is that you can provide a call to action (CTA) button at the end of each post. A CTA delivers clients a simple and direct path to connect with you to get your product or service. Therefore, blogging assists in generating more leads.

Key takeaway

Summing up, blogging is a useful tool to boost your business. Regular blogging drives more audience to your website, works wonders for your SEO, increases your leads and conversion rate, and allows you to interact with your clients. It gives your initiative a voice and establishes you as an authority in your niche too.

How to Set Your Blog Up for Success

Blog success, or as we like to call it, the Garden of E-Blog-den, Blog-adise, Shangri-blog-la or even Blog-topia. But those titles wouldn’t exactly be the best for SEO now would they?

There are so many blog posts across the wide, wide web that explain how to start and build a blog all the way to success-ville. I’m sure you’ve heard a million times: don’t compare yourself to anyone, find a niche, engage with the audience and be consistent. All of those are very true but we know this by now. Let’s step outside of the box together and unveil some magic tricks of the trade.

We’ve broken it down to seven ways to snag a one-way ticket to fulfilling the American success dream in the US of B. (United States of Blog-merica).

 

1. Just another Manic Business

Make a schedule from the very beginning. Or at least try.

Why? Because otherwise, you and your blog will deteriorate like Britney Spears’ career in the 2000s. We just implemented a schedule a few weeks ago with Google Calendar and it’s been a godsend. Before that, we did whatever we wanted whenever we wanted. It worked for a while and before we knew it weeks had gone by and our blog was as dry as the Mojave.

Then, opportunities started flooding in with no Noah’s Ark in sight. We were missing deadlines, blogging all over the place and playing catch up.

Keeping a schedule will make it easier to organize tasks efficiently, set goals, and track progress. To top it off, there’s still time for all your Netflix binge-watching needs because you’ll be working smart in addition to working hard.

I would recommend Google Calendar because you can access from anywhere. Whether you’re at your in-laws for dinner or sitting in a space station. All I need to do is log in to my Gmail account and I’m good to go.

2. Why be a patchwork quilt when you could be melting pot?

There’s nothing wrong with looking at other blogs for inspiration but don’t try to be them. If all your time is spent trying to make your blog look like everygenericblog.com’s, any personality or authentic voice will get lost. I’ve seen so many blogs where I recognize the exact theme and stock photos. It gets boring!

Instead, take bits and pieces, tweak them, and turn them into your own. For example, we loved the idea of a heinously large landscape header like the Nomadic Boys but it just wasn’t working on our blog. It made our blog look like a big ol’ slab of cold lasagna. Instead, we discovered sticky headers and that’s been the best thing since pre-sliced cake because it gave us a happy medium.

Take the time to surf around different blogs, do some trial and error with ideas and find what fits your personality. make your blog stand out! What’s going to make more headlines: a naked streaker running across the field or another shirtless Joe-schmo wearing a cowboy hat in the crowd?

3.  Drake’s right – you’ve gotta start from the bottom

Your first posts and ideas are probably going to suck. Seriously. Don’t believe me? Just look at these heinous logos we designed on Canva before realizing we needed a pro like Miranda to create one for us. Why? Because even though we saw ourselves improving we got tired of waiting for our strengths to grow to where we wanted them to be.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with recognizing what your strengths and weaknesses are and using them to your advantage. The main thing to keep in mind is that even if your first blog post is the worst thing since smooth peanut butter, it’s something you did to the best of your ability. That’s fine because everything you do after is only going to improve.

So embrace what you’ve accomplished, put it out there, be open to feedback, and grow from the advice and criticism you get. If you don’t share your masterpiece with the world, how can it improve?

 

4.  Mirror, mirror on the web

The blog is a reflection of you and you alone. think of it like a first job interview.

Would you hire someone who walked into an interview wearing a chimp suit, munching on tree bark, wearing a banana peel necklace, and grooming their dry patches? Or would you hire someone who came in looking fresh with their hair brushed, clothes pressed, and black coffee with one milk and no sugar in tow? (People who drink coffee with one milk and no sugar mean business.)

Probably the second one.

In an interview, first impressions matter and the same goes for your blog. Display any aspirations, skills, and talents right off the bat.

  • Good at scheduling? Be known as the reigning king of consistency in the blog jungle.
  • Genius at drawing? Design all your icons yourself.
  • Got a knack for organizing? Have an epic, easy-to-navigate blog layout.

We spent hours doing colour contrast tests for our logo to make sure the blog readability was the best it could be. The original colour was yellow, which looked great on the logo but if used for writing no one was going to be able to read anything!

Paying attention to those details matter because it makes all the difference in showing your dedication, work ethic, and eye for detail.

5.  Join the Proud Family

Be proud of what you’re sharing with the troops and don’t just settle for good enough.

If you’re not your biggest fan, who’s going to be? The more effort put into the blog, the happier you’ll be with it and the more you’ll want to promote it and put it out there. People will recognize the pride and hard work. Here’s another imaginary scenario.

Tweet 1:

“Hey everyone. I started a blog about mops. It’s kind of boring but the mop industry is lacking information. Check it out if you want.”

Tweet 2:

If there’s one thing people know about me, it’s that I’m a mop queen. Nothing gets me going like a fresh Pinesol soaked mop: they clean, make my floors shiny, and keep those diseases at bay. I started this blog to share all my mopping tips and tricks over on lordofmops.com. Mop on over and check it out!

Which one are you more likely to click on? The second one of course.

People will only care if you care. So care.

    6. Give people an experience

    People don’t want spammy BuzzFeed posts like “Five Things I Wish I Knew About Squeegees” or “How to Build a Raft with Cotton”. People also don’t want just another basic lifestyle blog about OOTDs, beach-grams, and DIY didgeridoos.

    Think of your blog as a counsellor. Are you more likely to go to a blog with the same information as every other blog in the world? Or are you more likely to go to a blog with new information conveyed with a unique voice?

    Even if it’s something people already know about, like hammers, make it seem like it’s the most valuable and novel information. When people are on the Internet, they’re either looking for answers or entertainment. So why not combine both.

    Here’s another thing. Make people feel like they’re being heard!

    When we picked a blog layout, we had no idea that you couldn’t click on the picture to read the post. We never noticed that but other people did and complained about it so we’re going to change it!

    Listen to people’s feedback and use it to improve. It shows you care what the audience thinks and they feel heard. At the end of the day, give people an experience that they can’t stay away from. That’s what will keep them coming back over and over again.

    7.  Prioritize your stacks

    Try everything for free before deciding to toss stacks at things.

    As a beginner, it doesn’t matter whether you have Canva, Tailwind, an email provider, a hosting site, a site designer, and a logo all rolled up into one gourmet sandwich. Blogging is all about building online relationships. Having all this will give a boost but if the writing isn’t engaging and you don’t form connections, all that money for the gourmet sandwich has gone to waste!

    Prioritize what you spend your money on. As a lifestyle blogger, Pinterest might be perfect. As a news blogger, having a good email service provider might be more important. Or if you’re a burger enthusiast, a top-notch mallet magazine subscription could be vital to your success.

    We decided to spend money on getting a logo designed because we wanted something to reflect our personality and our blog’s brand. The last thing we wanted was a pixelated, planet-shaped hot-dog logo designed on Canva.

    So $ave Dat Money and spend it carefully.

     

    Blogging isn’t going to be easy. There are going to be a ton of setbacks and bumps in the road. Like breaking your website or not getting that one affiliate.

    It’s going to be more of a bumpy bus ride than a smooth Tesla autopilot journey. But there are things you can do to march your way up the ladder of success:

    • Make a schedule
    • Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there because you will improve
    • Put your best face forward
    • Be proud! You’ve worked hard to get where you are
    • Spend your money where it matters.
    • Be open to feedback! Listen to what people are saying and use it to improve.

    What’s one piece of advice you’d add to this list? Or would you rather just have a pile of dogs around you while you work? Comment below or email at alieneatingblog@gmail.com

    8 ways to manage the tasks you don’t enjoy in your business

    Being in business can be very hard, especially on days when you have a list of tasks you need to do but no motivation or willpower to do them. Unfortunately, it’s these tasks that will keep your business moving along the track to success. Today I’ll share my tips to get you completing those niggling tasks that you really don’t want to be doing!

     

    1. Outsource Tasks!

    If you really don’t want to do the task then take a look at what options are available. Outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant or freelancer is a great option. They can complete tasks you do not wish to do yourself or don’t have time for.

    Virtual Assistants vary in price and quality so do some research first, you never know you could find a good one that will do more of the tasks you hate.

    2. To Do Lists!

    We all know that to do lists are really helpful, but they can also be a real pain and never get touched as other things pop up during the day.  One thing a business mentor taught me was to make a list of 10 things you must complete by the end of the day (non-negotiable things).

    If they do not get done that day, add them onto the list for tomorrow’s 10 things, but never carry them over onto a new week. This way each week you have covered the tasks you needed to do that week and you feel like you have accomplished something.

    3. Make a done list!

    This is like a to-do list but in reverse. Once you complete a task write it down! This way it is making you feel more productive and you are able to feel proud at the end of the day even if it was just one thing it was one thing that you did.

    4. Get Motivated!

    If you are not in the right frame of mind you may struggle to get motivated. We all have that one thing that motivates us to be creative and get down to those tasks. Read a motivational book, listen to a Ted Talk, put on some tunes, get that energy high and you will find yourself in a better place ready to tackle that list.

    5. Look at why you don’t want to do it!

    There comes a time when there is something on your list that you really do not want to do, like making a phone call, doing a live training, doing a podcast, completing your tax return whatever it is you need to look at why you do not want to do it. Are you scared? worried? Find the reason and address it.

    Once you have got over your fear you will feel so much better when you have achieved it.

    6. Get rid of distraction!

    If you find you’re trying to get tasks done, but not getting anywhere, then it could be time to remove distractions, switch the TV off, turn off the phone, step away from social media. These will just suck you in and stop you from getting anywhere. You know it’s true!

    7. Plan your work!

    Being organised in the first place will set you up for success and help you achieve your goals. I sit and plan everything on a Sunday ready for when Monday comes around, I know what I need to achieve in the week and I make room in my plan for when something pops up unplanned so I don’t feel overwhelmed.

    This helps my productivity no end.

    8. Reward yourself!

    If you get through your jobs then give yourself a little reward. Celebrate your success!! If you have a list of 20 things to do by 6pm and complete it on time, then reward yourself. Have a glass of wine, do a face mask, take a bath, order a takeaway, watch a movie! Whatever it is you enjoy make sure you do more if it to reward yourself!

     

    To wrap up…

    I use to be someone who feared the to-do list, but once you implement a few simple strategies, you will find it more enjoyable and easier to get through.

    Do you have any tips that have helped you? Drop them in the comments below or contact us!

     

    8 ways to manage tasks

    How to deal with overthinking in 5 easy steps

    As I hovered over the publish button, my overthinking mind got into gear.  

    “What would people think of me?”

    “Who the hell am I to post something on YouTube?”

    “What if my school friends see it and laugh at my expense?”

    If only I’d have acted in courage immediately and hit submit straight off, my overthinking brain wouldn’t have been fed.

    But that’s how I roll.  It only takes 5 seconds of hesitation and I start to doubt my initial enthusiasm and my overthinking mind goes into overdrive.  Hello self-sabotage.  

    However, I did hit publish and the world didn’t stop turning. I didn’t hear any distant giggles of ridicule either.  Instead, I felt empowered. But I had wasted precious energy on overthinking the what if’s again. It’s not my best healthy habit.

    And it’s not just for my online business, it’s life in general.  Have you ever overthought and overanalysed a simple text message?

    The text after a first date.  Sent with love and then when an immediate reply doesn’t transpire, we analyse our “Hi”…should’ve put “Hey” He’s only put x1 kiss at the end of his text and last time it was x4.  This is the beginning of the end of our blossoming relationship. And on and on our minds’ go…

    The amount of times my overthinking brain has conjured up the most intricate stories and STOP!

    STOP overthinking and overanalysing.  It’s done, it’s dusted, move on.

    How then can we deal with the overthinking habit?

     

    the female business centre

    1. Chunk it down

    Confucius says “The man who moves mountains begins with carrying small stones.”

    So strive for regular baby steps as opposed to huge daily goals and you’ll find your overthinking muscle gets weaker.

    2. Get cool with failing forward

    Often we stop ourselves because of the risk of failure. Yet making mistakes are our greatest lessons, so if we prevent this experience we prolong our path to success.

    3. Bust out overthinking

    When you start to play out all the negative scenarios of what could happen, acknowledge this, be kind to yourself, pack away your crystal ball and switch your thoughts to action and just make it happen. 

    4. Congratulate yourself for inspired action

    Hi-5 yourself for actually DOING something. Making a decision. Moving yourself forward towards your goal.  As soon as you feel yourself going over and over your decision, switch off and look at the positive.

    Now, without overthinking this, what is the one thing in your business that you want to achieve one year from now?  We’d love to hear your work goals! Let us know in the comments below or contact us here.  

    And remember small steps towards your goal, quit overthinking, make a decision and just go for it! You’ve got this. 

    Guest post was written by Dawn Barnes.

    I’m getting my shine back after having children, helping other mothers on my way. I’m on a big mission to help and inspire ambitious women to feel fabulous again and get more out of their life.

    Find me at dawn-barnes.com

     

    overthinking

     

    overthinking

    5 Best WordPress Plugins to Use for Your Business Website

    WordPress is an efficient platform for managing content for your business. It powers around 14.7% of the world’s top 100 websites with 17 new posts published every second. It has a market share of about 60%. On top of it, WordPress is the fastest growing content management system (CMS).

    If you’re a WordPress user, you’re probably beaming with pride right now for deciding to use this tool for your e-business. There’s more to this tool though. You can easily empower your platform with the help of plugins that drive up its efficiency.

    In this regard, here are some of the best WordPress plugins that you can use to ante up your business’s game:

    1. JetPack

    This is an exclusive plugin for WordPress users. Running a business without the numbers is like building a house on a weak foundation. You need to know the statistics which give a picture of the customers visiting your site. JetPack does the math for you. It keeps track of your visitors, daily users, traffic, tools, and the like.

    The plugin allows you to customize your website as per your taste. It also provides security features for your site. It is an excellent tool for image optimization, traffic growth, website appearance, performance, and security. JetPack creates sitemaps too so that your website can be indexed easily by search engines.

    1. Yoast SEO

    Your business will never make it to the right audience without the help of search engine optimization (SEO). It’s the key to bringing your website into other people’s attention. Companies spent $65 billion on SEO in 2016. So, it isn’t something to be taken lightly. To this end, Yoast SEO is an all-important tool to add to your business arsenal.

    The plugin aligns all the SEO-related actions under the post that you write. With this plugin installed, you can add keywords, fix your URL for better browser visibility, craft a catchy meta description, and so on. It is also useful in helping you determine your content’s readability, which further strengthens your search engine ranking.

    1. WPForms

    A Google report highlights that business websites that provide sufficient contact information are considered trustworthy. The takeaway is that you need to provide your visitors and users with a substantial amount of contact information.

    A good means to this end is the WPForms plugin. It is beginner-friendly content form tool for your website. The tool allows you to create contact forms, order forms, email subscription forms, payment forms, and other online forms with only a few clicks.

    1. Sucuri

    It’s common knowledge that cybercrime is on the rise. The damages that it costs are estimated to reach a pointer of $6 trillion by the year 2021. Save yourself from the trouble of security infringement with the help of Sucuri.

    This WordPress plugin is dedicated to shielding your website from hackers and blackmailers. It gives you complete control of your site. The plugin allows you to augment your existing security measures too. With Sucuri, your site will be protected against brute force attacks, DDoS, malware threats, and XXS attacks. You can also take post-hack security action with this tool.

    1. BackupBuddy

    BackupBuddy is your partner in times of distress. It is a crucial crisis prevention weapon, which protects you in the case of data loss. The fact of the matter is that data loss, server malfunction, hardware failure, data breach, and hackers are not mythical matters. These are very real, which is where this tool comes into the picture.

    BackupBuddy is easy to use. It backs up your business site on numerous remote locations like cloud storage, your computer, FTP server, and the like. You can preserve significant customer data with the help of this plugin. Furthermore, you can schedule backups, so you don’t have to worry about running the backup operations by memory.

    Key takeaway

    There are tons of WordPress plugins that you can use to harness the full potential of this CMS for your business. In this context, these listed tools help you with some of the most basic functions that form the backbone of an online business.

     

    Wordpress plugins

    How to create buyer personas to boost your content’s effectiveness

    Ever wished you could pinpoint exactly who your ideal customers were? That you could understand what they really want, how to help them solve their most pressing problems, and market your business to appeal to them? Well, that’s exactly what buyer personas can help you do! Follow She Hustles Inc’s guide to improve your marketing today!

    What are buyer personas?

    A buyer persona is basically a fictional representation of your ideal customer, based on real data and educated speculation. Personas generally include information about who your target customer types are, where they tend to be located, what they’re looking for, challenges they face, solutions they seek, other brands they like, and more. Knowing your target customers is a vital first step in marketing your brand and getting sales. And that’s where buyer personas come in.

    In fact, a whopping 71% of companies with documented buyer personas beat their revenue and lead goals.

    Not bad, right?

    The process of gathering the information needed to make a buyer persona is an excellent way to get familiar with your customer base. As a result, you’ll be able to create content that your customers actually want to see, reach them on the social media sites they spend the most time on, and even improve your products/services to meet their needs.

    How do I create buyer personas for my business?

    Don’t let the marketing jargon put you off. Creating buyer personas is actually a pretty simple process. You’re basically just looking at your existing customers/ideal customers and making a list of important common traits they share. Who are they? What do they do for a living? What do they need? -List their common challenges and needs. What do they want? -List out the goals they tend to have and how your product/service can help them.

    Maybe your online nutrition planning service can help them get healthy despite a busy schedule?

    Or your social media management business could help them expand their audience without forcing them to learn the ins and outs of new platforms.
    Remember, every customer segment values different things when buying, so make sure you’re not marketing your product’s low cost to a customer who cares more about quality or prestige (or vice versa).

    Write out the common objections you hear when they’re deciding whether or not to purchase your product/service. Doing this will help you create content and marketing that overcomes those objections.

    What do they look for in a brand? List similar brands your customer base tends to trust and buy from.

    This information will eventually help you highlight what your brand can offer.
    When gathering answers to these questions, the specific path you take will depend on whether you have existing customers or not.

    Gathering persona information from your existing customers:

    To better understand your target customer, dig into Google Analytics and Facebook Audience Insights. These two tools can help you uncover:

    Age, education, gender, relationship status
    Location/language
    Devices used online
    Purchasing information
    Your target audience’s favourite pages
    Interests

    Don’t worry about segmenting this information into similar types yet. For now, just focus on gathering as much relevant data as possible.

    Try a survey; get persona information directly from your customers by creating a short survey with a service like Qualaroo or a free alternative like SurveyMonkey. You can email opted-in customers a link to your survey or simply host it on your site via a pop-up. Offer giveaways for participation and keep the questions brief to ensure more people follow through.

    Don’t have a ton of customers to gather insights from yet?

    No worries! You can still get the persona information you need, even if your business is brand new.

    Two ideas you can try right now:

    Do competitor research
    Competitor research tools like Alexa or Quantcast can help you get an in-depth view of the types of customers you should be targeting. Just type in the URL of your main competitor’s site to see visitor information like browsing location, sites visited before that site, visitor gender, education level, keywords used, and more.

    Follow your completion on social media
    Finding out what kind of audience your competitors have on social media is a great way to determine who your ideal customers are and what they’re looking for. Look at their followers’ pages for background on age, location, and profession.

    Pay attention to the kinds of posts they respond to most from your competitors, as well as their comments and questions. You’ll find plenty of psychographic information here to fill out your personas with.

    Creating your personas:

    Now that you’ve done the research, it’s time to start fleshing out your personas.
    Give your personas names and make educated guesses based on the data you’ve gathered. If the majority of your target customers have kids and high pressure jobs, you can guess that one of your persona types is pressed for time.

    If they follow certain fashion influencers on social media, you can guess that on-trend brands and products will appeal to them. Obviously, you don’t want to get carried away and make stuff up. But it’s very important that you use the data to make informed assumptions about who your customer is.

    Remember those social media comments you looked at earlier? Well, take a couple of the most common ones and add them to your persona template under the “quote” section. This will remind you of what your target customers are saying online.

    Keep in mind that as you interact with your customers/audience, you’ll learn more about them. Maybe some of the assumptions you made will turn out to be false. That’s absolutely fine. Buyer personas are meant to change over time to reflect your understanding of your customer base.

    And finally, keep your finished personas in mind as you create content and marketing for your business.

    You’ll be surprised by how much more focused and effective your content is when you’re trying to reach certain types of people rather than just a nameless “audience” out there.

    The wrap-up:

    Now, more than ever, customers want to feel that the brands they buy from “get them”. Generic content and broad marketing simply won’t do the trick any longer. Luckily, buyer personas are an easy-to-create but powerful tool to help you identify and truly understand your primary customers. Try creating a few of your own to start seeing the benefits to your business now.

    Have you created personas for your business yet? If not, what’s holding you back? Share your experiences in the comments below!

    Author Bio:
    Hulua Seyoum
    I’m a digital marketer and business writer. Entrepreneurship is my jam.
    HubSpot Inbound and Content Marketing certified and borderline obsessed with helping businesses grow.
    Also obsessed with: travelling and finding the ever-elusive perfect cup of coffee.
    Follow me on Instagram @inboundmarketinglounge for more marketing tips to boost your business.

    Are you a mumpreneur? Mums are tooled up to run amazing businesses!

    Are you a mumpreneur. Mumpreneurs are on the rise and there’s a good reason why. Let’s face it as mothers we have a tough job. I don’t care what anyway says it’s tough, once you’ve made it through the first 3 months of being a zombie, the real fun begins!

    Now don’t get me wrong, I love being a mum. It’s literally the best thing that’s ever happened to me and once I became a mum I felt I’d found my purpose in this world. But good god I’ve been tired for 11 years!! But my career is important to me and I want to show my children what hard work looks like. This is why I’ve become a Mumpreneur!

    Valuable skills

    We learn skills that are essential for business as a mum. If you’ve ever negotiated with a toddler then you will fully appreciate that your negotiation skills need to be on point. You will develop more patience than you realised was possible. You have seen your child struggling to learn something and adapted your technique to teach them another way.

    We do our best to assert leadership skills…. eye rolls and a sigh!

    You now understand responsibility and assertiveness, the need to adapt and learn to raise your child to be the best version of themselves.

    And it’s my belief that this is why many mums make excellent businesswomen. There are so many valuable skills that translate into running your own business.

     

    Discrimination

    I know first-hand mums are often discriminated against in the workplace. Often we’re seen as a lesser species not as a capable as the menfolk or people that aren’t parents. Actually, it’s my belief we’re just as capable, if not more. If you’ve ever negotiated a difficult meeting on 2 hours sleep and not just two hours sleep but pacing up and down with an angry baby that’s refusing to sleep and you’ve still made a success out of that meeting, in my eyes you rule!!

    If you’ve had time off to raise your babies, it’s seen as a negative on your CV. How? How is this? It’s our main purpose in life to bring in the next generation, was that person viewing your CV not raised by someone? Maternity leave can set your career back years. It doesn’t seem right to me.

     

    mumpreneur

    Doing what’s right for you and your family

    You have to consider what’s right for you and your family. For me personally, I needed a few different things. I like freedom over my schedule as I like to make all the various assemblies, concerts and events at school. I like to drop them off and collect them from school. This also reduces the childcare needs of course.

    For me personally, I like to work from home ideally, but one step further, I like the ability to work remotely. I like to be able to pack up my laptop and work from anywhere with WiFi. More often than not this is just my sister’s house or my nans. But to me, dropping the kids off, then going sitting with my grandparents for the day until the kids need collecting is great. I get to do my work but keep them company at the same time.

    Obviously, for others, remote work means travelling the world, which is simply amazing, but with my two bambinos, travelling long-term isn’t an option really.

    You need to consider what business would work for you. If you have clients that require your services in person, you will have a degree of control over your schedule, but it may be dictated by the busy times in your industry and your client’s needs. For example, Personal Trainers tend to be busier in evenings and weekends. This isn’t ideal for me around the kids.

     

    How to get your mumpreneur business completely online

    As a mumpreneur, you may prefer to work with people. It might be for sociable reasons. But having run businesses that serviced clients in person, I knew when I started She Hustles Inc I needed a business that was entirely online.

    You may think your skills mean you need to offer services in person, but more often than not you can turn this around. In the example of personal trainers, you could offer online services. If this isn’t an option could you offer courses in your area of expertise? For example, if you can sew, often a course that teaches people these skills, how to make a particular design for example.

     

    There are so many options for mums to start their own business and grow it to support their family. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done! Work out your options and don’t look back. If you need ongoing tips check out our social media channels – Facebook and Instagram.

    If you want more focused support for growing your business you could consider our membership which gives you monthly support to grow your business.

    You can also drop a comment below if you need help or want to tell us about your experiences!

     

     

    Get more done! 5 simple tips to improve your work productivity!

    Guest post by Masooma Memon

    Despite starting the day in good spirits, we often end up plummeting down a hole of lessening productivity as the day progresses. A survey reveals that around 75% of the employers report that two plus hours of efficient work are lost daily. Procrastination tends to work hard to tip the balance in its favour, making it difficult to complete work.

    The signboard that reads productivity tends to lead to two roads. One includes dedicating more hours to your work schedule and the second entails efficient working. Since all that work and no play make Jack a dull boy, it’s safer to stick to the second option. We believe at She Hustles Inc that you have to attain a balance between work and personal life. Therefore, making the most of your precious work hours with a boost in productiveness is a good option.

    Here is an in-depth look at some simple yet useful tips and tricks to enhance your productivity:

     

    productivity

    1. Set realistic goals

    Crafting goals is an essential step to ante up your productivity game. The chief aspect concerning making and pursuing goals, however, pertains to setting realistic goals. Drafting unrealistic goals puts excess pressure on you. In a frenzy to achieve more, you tend to achieve less in the light of exceptionally high expectations from yourself. Moreover, unrealistic goals negatively impact your mental health. Therefore, start with spelling out achievable aims.

    2. Give yourself deadlines

    There is no denying that stress is a culprit that you don’t want in your progress picture. But setting up self-imposed deadlines and chasing them can help you focus more. In the other way around case, we tend to become lazy by assuming that there’s lots of time at our disposal. This wastes a lot of time. You will be pleased to see how productive you can be by competing with the ticking arms of the clock.

    3. Track your time for increased productivity

    Keep track of your time as a means to accomplishing deadlines and goals. Most of us think that we have an accurate idea of the time being spent on a particular task. However, research indicates that only 17% of people can keep a precise estimate of time. Therefore, you can try to keep a better eye on the clock, set alarms for yourself if you work solo or seek assistance from tools such as Rescue Time.

    4. Take regular breaks

    Productivity does not equate to consistent, round the clock work. It translates into more work done in a short period. Constant work tends to drain your energy, which sips your productivity levels. Regular breaks are antidotes that refresh your energy levels as well as prevent your productiveness from derailing. A study backs this too. It confirms that the key to maintaining performance throughout long tasks is to punctuate them with short breaks. It highlights that the flip side declines performance and focus.

    5. Plan each day beforehand

    Planning each day the night before is a game changer. Take out 15 minutes before heading to bed and jot down your work plans for the next day. It is critical to write down your plans and ideas. Such a tip can also be taken from Richard Branson’s book. The founder of the Virgin Group says, “Write down every single idea you have. No idea is too small, and no idea is too big.” He further adds, “Make a list of small, manageable tasks to complete every day. Cut your day up into chunks, and you’ll get lots more done.”

    Wrap up thoughts

    Summing up, these tips can help you stay on a productive track and accomplish more. Making goals, pre-planning your day, tracking your time, and setting deadlines can assist you to reach your optimal potential. Include regular breaks into this equation, and you’ll have complete tasks under your belt in no time.

    Let us know in the comments if you have any great tips for productivity! You can contact us here!

     

    You can view Masooma’s portfolio here.

    How to collaborate with other businesses, even if you’ve never tried it before

    Arranging to collaborate with other businesses is a really good idea because you have your products exposed to each other audiences, this means you expand your reach. Often it can be more than that, with you sharing and supporting their normal posts and vice versa, it can really increase your brand reputation.

    So how do you go about collaborating as a small business? You may feel unconfident about approaching other businesses or just unsure where to start.

     

    1. LOCATE YOUR IDEAL PARTNER TO COLLABORATE WITH

    Find another business that your customers would shop with, but that sells different items to you. Their items should be complementary to yours. For example, if you sell handmade baby clothes, collaborating with a handmade teether business is perfect. If you are a mummy blogger, collaborating with anything child related could work from clothes through to food through to household products and items.

    It is certainly easier if you have a product you can swap with them. Bloggers and service providers will need to show what they can bring to the table. Bloggers will need to show that they have a good sized captive audience that makes it worth the other business giving you free stuff.

    Once you’ve located a business you’d like to collaborate with, message them and say you would like to work with them. You could suggest doing a product swap so you have their product in your pictures and vice versa.

     

    2. USE WHAT YOU HAVE

    If you are not having much luck with option one, then you may need to invest a little. So you could look at items you already own or you could buy new items. Then when you post tag them in and refer to them. Hint – go with the type of item you want to receive for free! Let’s say you go on a lot of holidays as a family, and you’re a mum blogger. You want to be posting amazing pictures from your hotel, tagging them in and raving about them in the post. Or you could tag a fashion label you always wear or always put your children in. You could tag your favourite place on a day out, your favourite cafe or restaurant. Once your feed is big enough, you should find by tagging the right people you get freebies also!!

    If you don’t have existing material then buy it. If you wanted to collaborate with a teether company, then buy a teether or two from them and regularly use them in your pictures. Tag them and give a little review in your post in a natural way.

    “Little Sandra is loving the sunshine today and thank God for these teethers from @teethercompany keeping us sane whilst she’s teething. I’m passionate about shopping handmade and natural products and I love these! Anyone else’s little ones teething?”

    You’ll notice there’s more to my caption that meets the eye! It’s telling a story, giving a review, working a collab and encouraging engagement! Boom! Read more about captions here!

    Post like this a few times and the teething company will be happy to work with you. Try to select a company that’s roughly the same as you in terms of stats for the most success. Shooting for a bigger business would seem better, but they’re less likely to collaborate so it can be a waste of time.

    The bigger you get, the better your collabs can be. Check out our new marketing membership for consistent growth for your business.

     

    Here’s little Sebastion and Tizzy brand repping!

    collaborate

     

     

     

    3. FIND OTHER BUSINESSES ACTIVELY LOOKING TO COLLABORATE

    Search out brands and businesses looking for collaborations. There are a few easy ways to do this. You can search on Facebook just using terms like “collaborators needed”. Or try searching for “brand rep required”.

    Brand repping is a good way to go on Instagram also. You can put yourself forward a rep in return for free or discounted goods. You need to make sure your feed is good and you post pictures already that they would easily slot into, so start thinking about this now if you don’t already so you have an established feed.

    On Instagram, you can search collaborators, brand reps, or have a good look at hashtags used in your niche. There tends to be certain hashtags dependant on your niche that indicates people are up for a collab. You can also use sites like Collabfinder to locate businesses. But my best advice is to get lost in Insta or the book of Face and have a good look round your niche at who’s offering what.

     

    The benefits of collaborations are huge, you will find you always have support from the other business and the benefit of their audience and marketing efforts!

    Simple steps to help you GDPR-proof your email list

    You’ve probably heard it tons of times – the money’s in your email list. And it’s totally true. From getting loyal followers and increasing sales to up-selling and keeping current customers happy, building a strong email list can help your business grow and thrive like nothing else. But strict new EU regulations (called GDPR) are seriously changing up the rules of the email marketing game.

    If any of your subscribers are EU citizens (no matter where your business is actually located), you’ll need to ensure your email marketing is GDPR-compliant before May 25, 2018, or risk stiff fines. Yikes, right?

    But don’t panic! Even if you’ve never heard of GDPR before, this post will help you get up to speed and protect your business in a couple of simple steps.

     

    GDPR

    What is GDPR and how does it affect me?

    GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulation. It’s basically a new set of EU rules that govern how businesses can gather and use personal data such as subscribers’ email addresses.

    But what about if your business isn’t located in the EU?

    Unfortunately, GDPR rules still apply to you, even if you only have a few EU-based subscribers or customers. If you’re scrambling to get your email signup forms GDPR–ready, don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, more than half (52%) of all businesses are unsure about the potential impact of GDPR and 57% of retailers are not GDPR-ready.

    But just what is so challenging about this new regulation?

    It all comes down to a major shift in the concept of “consent”. The new standards for what constitutes consent are much stricter than what was acceptable pre-GDPR. Under GDPR, a simple email opt-in doesn’t cut it anymore.
    Instead, you now have to be able to prove that you’ve received “clear and affirmative” consent before you can collect someone’s email address and send them messages. This rules out previously acceptable forms of opting in, like pre-ticked consent boxes and failure to definitively opt out of receiving marketing communications.

    What constitutes consent under GDPR?

    In the past, consent only required you to receive confirmation from people that they were willing to get marketing communications from your business.
    With GDPR though, both the way in which consent was asked for and the way in which it was given matter. (For a more in-depth view, check out this GDPR review)

    Here are some important changes you need to know about:

    Consent must be clear and affirmative, as well as “freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous”:

    It can’t be bundled together with other terms and conditions. In keeping with the requirement that it be specific and freely given, consent must be independent and granular. If you’re like most businesses, you currently offer value-packed content like guides, checklists or eBooks to people in exchange for an opt-in to receive newsletters or other email marketing. From a marketing standpoint, this is an awesome way to draw in potential subscribers and provide them with more content, based on the offer they downloaded.

    Unfortunately, under GDPR, this is no longer considered freely given consent.
    In other words, subscribers must consent to receive your newsletter because they actually want it, not because it’s a pre-requisite to getting the checklist or eBook they really do want.

    Let’s check out two examples of the right and wrong way to receive independent consent:

    Correct:

    GDPR

    Note that on this sign-up form, an individual isn’t forced to download additional marketing communications if they don’t want to. They can simply download the checklist without opting into anything else if they wish. This helps to fulfil the requirement for freely given consent.

     

    Incorrect:

     

    GDPR

    In the example above, the subscriber has to sign up to receive a newsletter they may NOT want in order to get the checklist they DO want. This makes the consent given invalid under GDPR.

    Always provide granular options for people, allowing them to download or sign up for only what they want.

    The (very) rare exception is in cases where it’s necessary to receive email consent in order for you to render a certain service. It’s best to always clarify that this is the case before proceeding.

     

    Consent should not be passive:

     

    Passive consent, such as an individual failing to uncheck an already checked box, is not considered valid under GDPR. While this may be good marketing, (passive consent options tend to garner higher opt-in rates on forms) it can place your company in non-compliant territory.

    This also applies to any form of passive consent, including inactivity, silence, or failure to actively opt out.

    Let’s look at examples of active (correct) and passive (incorrect) consent below:

    Correct:

     

    GDPR

    In the example above, the individual has to check the sign-up box themselves, meaning that they actively consent to receive the communications offered.

    Incorrect:

    GDPR

    Here, you can see that the sign-up form has a pre-checked box. This puts the onus on the individual to stop and uncheck the box if they don’t agree.
    Under GDPR this is considered passive opting in and is not an acceptable form of consent. For this reason, steer clear of pre-ticked forms, opt-ins through silence or inactivity, and any other form of consent by default.

    While double opt-ins were once the gold standard of consent, they’re not enough under GDPR:

    Don’t get me wrong, double opt-ins are still an excellent way to ensure every contact in your database has willingly opted in. But with the advent of GDPR, you’ll have to do more. Compliance requires that people explicitly agree to your terms and conditions and your privacy policy, not just that they consent to receive your emails. To facilitate this, all of your terms and conditions and your privacy policy should be clear, easy to understand, and easy to access.

    But GDPR goes one step further:

    You’ll also need to be able to prove that you’ve told people how you’ll use their personal data and that they’ve agreed to your terms. This proof will need to be stored and presented in case any question of non-compliance comes up. Using a CRM that automatically saves a copy of all opt-in forms for you can make this step a little easier.

     

    Past consent is not exempt:

    This news is the source of most businesses’ GDPR-related headaches.
    GDPR comes into effect on May 25, 2018 but that doesn’t mean that you can continue to market to contacts previously gathered before that date in a non-compliant way. Its regulations apply to both existing and new data, so past data gathered in a non-compliant manner can still land you in hot water.

     

    Legitimate interest may not be enough:

    Many businesses agree with the need to receive explicit consent but feel that, in some cases, proof of legitimate interest may be enough.
    For example: If your e-commerce business’s subscribers gave their original consent in a non-compliant manner but then proceeded to open and engage with your messages, wouldn’t that serve as proof they are legitimately interested?
    And wouldn’t your business then be justified in continuing to market to them?
    The short answer is “not really”. Unfortunately, GDPR doesn’t allow using legitimate interest when marketing to individuals, so I would err on the side of caution. While this could represent a major cut to your existing contacts list, it’s well-worth it to avoid falling foul of the regulation.

     

    Send out re-permission emails

    Of all marketing operations, the new rules hit email marketing particularly hard. In the face of GDPR, you might be tempted to just delete your contacts and data altogether.

    All isn’t lost, however. While these new requirements are certainly challenging, you can turn GDPR into an opportunity.

    Savvy marketers are already going through their databases and working to salvage contacts through re-permissioning.

    Re-permissioning is the process of getting a definite opt-in from your database. By sending out re-permission emails that seek clear affirmative consent from your existing contacts, you can move forward with a clean and engaged list.

    Benefits of re-permission:

    Will you lose some contacts after sending re-permission emails?
    Almost definitely. There’s no sugarcoating that fact. Industry statistics show that re-permission opt-ins range anywhere from only 10% to 50%. But while you’ll likely end up with a lower number of contacts, getting opt-ins from contacts who do want to continue hearing from you will allow to market more confidently in the wake of GDPR. And sending re-permission emails offers your business benefits beyond GDPR compliance, including:

    Better deliverability:
    Contacts who are willing to opt in again are more likely to open and engage with your emails. This will give your deliverability and sender score reputation a major boost. Don’t worry about losing a couple of names on your list.

    Higher conversion rates:
    Your smaller list may actually be way more powerful, as every contact on it actually wants to hear from you and is actively interested in your business’s offerings.

    You probably have a much better chance at turning a subscriber who has taken the trouble to opt-in again into a customer than you do with someone who may originally have passively opted in.

    You’ll also spend less time and valuable resources marketing to people who just aren’t that into your content.

    A clearer analytics picture:
    Your current list may be larger but it probably includes a number of subscribers who aren’t genuinely interested in receiving your messages.
    As a result, their lack of engagement with your emails can artificially drag down your analytics, giving you a false impression of your content’s effectiveness. While you may be doing great at converting those who are interested in your emails, you’ll still end up with a cloudy idea of your strategy’s effects.

    Cleaning up your list with re-permission emails helps you gain analytics clarity.

    An enhanced reputation:
    Asking current contacts whether or not they want to keep receiving your emails is a fantastic way to gain trust. If you stress the fact that you want to provide real value, not just clutter up recipient’s inboxes, your brand’s reputation will definitely benefit.

    she hustles inc

    Tips to keep in mind when sending re-permission emails

    Start sending now:
    Keep in mind that there’s going to be rush of re-permission emails from other brands in the lead up to May 2018. Many businesses are probably waiting until the last minute, still unsure of how to deal with GDPR. This gives you a head start. Staying ahead of the pack means you can get your emails sent before recipients get tired of the flood of eleventh hour re-permission messages in their inboxes.

    Only contact those who have given consent:
    But be sure no to send re-permission emails to those who’ve already opted out before. Current regulations require you to ensure you’re only contacting those who’ve given you consent. The alternative could mean major fines, as organizations like Honda and Flybe have learned to their cost.

    Don’t use a blanket approach:
    While a general template will work well for most subscribers, single out your best customers for special treatment. In select cases, try a highly personalized email. Go for relevant, targeted messaging that reminds contacts why they like hearing from you. Use first names, thank them for being subscribers, and be genuine.
    Acknowledging valued customers is the best way to ensure they stay on board after GDPR.

    Be clear and direct:
    While GDPR is an important issue to businesses, your audience is likely less interested. Sending a clear, to-the-point email will go a long way towards ensuring your message actually gets read. A long-winded email that sounds like marketing, on the other hand, is a surefire way to get opt-outs.
    Instead, focus on grabbing attention with punchy subject lines and keeping it with purposeful keywords in the brief body copy.

    Remember, silence equals an opt-out:
    If a recipient doesn’t open your email, (or opens it and doesn’t definitively opt-in) take them off your list. GDPR is very clear that anything less than clear and affirmative consent is not valid, so resist the temptation to reach out again.
    Clarify which organizations will be relying on the consent received:
    Make sure that your business and any third party organizations gaining this consent are clearly named. So for instance, if your organization “Bella Trading” and a partner company called “The Beauty Group” will be relying on the consent, both must be named.

    Provide a clear opt-out:
    Your message should state clearly that people have the right to opt out or withdraw their consent at any time. Include clear information about how to withdraw consent. Focus on making it as easy to opt out as it is to opt in.
    Bonus: Your subscribers will appreciate it and will be less likely to opt-out if they feel like they have a choice.

    Keep records:
    I can’t stress this enough. Going forward, it will be super-vital that you protect your business by maintaining records of consent received.
    Your records should also demonstrate how consent was asked for and given. If you haven’t already done so, start re-vamping processes now to prioritize the maintenance of thorough records. Everything from automatic screenshots to copies can help.

    The wrap-up:

    There’s no doubt that email marketing can help you take your business to the next level. Customers absolutely love hearing from their favourite brands via email, as it’s a more personalized experience.

    But with GDPR right around the corner, you’ll have to make changes now to make sure that your email list is 100%GDPR-proof. Businesses everywhere are rushing to deal with this change but instead of worrying, keep your focus on getting ahead and being prepared.

    Making a few important adjustments can help you protect and grow your email list, so you can actually turn GDPR into a business opportunity.
    With that said, however, these regulations and the repercussions of non-compliance aren’t to be taken lightly.

    If you have any questions about compliance, I’d highly recommend consulting a legal professional. Clarity about your business’s specific situation will allow you to craft long-term strategies that make the best of these new email marketing rules.

    Have any questions or comments about making sure your email marketing is GDPR compliant? Share with us below!

     

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