Episode #28 Growing Influence and Audience Online

wsdblb28

Hi everyone. Welcome to episode 28 of Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter.

In this week’s podcast, I want to address a question which appears in the Brilliance Ignition Facebook group which, by the way, is a free community which is hosted by me to which you are all invited.

Do check out my website, dexterousdiva.co.uk, and you’ll see the community tab on the menu bar which is a link to our Facebook group. It’s a fantastic place full of people who are also undergoing the free Brilliance Ignition four week masterclass, so it’s a really cool place to be.

As always some great discussions appear in the group, and what I’m going to do now is something which you can all do, it’s watching out for questions as they arise and then answering them.

This question which was asked by a lovely member of our group who is always really active was:

“Okay, it’s time for me to start spreading my message out to the world online. Where do I even start?”

She felt completely overwhelmed…there are blogs, podcasts, YouTube…where does she start? This is such a brilliant question for many reasons, firstly because it’s something which I’m pretty sure we can all resonate with. Once you’ve got clear on what you want to be talking about, the next stage is, right, who do I tell, and how do I tell it?

It can be really confusing knowing where to start! As you would expect, I’ve got lots of tips on that, and it’s also super well timed. As I’m recording this on Monday 21st September 2015, in just four weeks’ time I’m going to be running six weeks of live Blogging for Business Bootcamp workshops right in my Blogging for Business Bootcamp Facebook group and online.

Oooh, What’s In That?

I know – exciting, right?! In that we’re going to be covering all sorts of new material.

I’ve got sections on exactly how to guest post, how to leverage your influence online, how to use audio, Periscope and all sorts of things. I’m going to start promoting the access to that soon, but you can jump on now here.

Existing Bootcampers will have access to all the old material and the new material and any future pop-ups which I put into the group – I have several exciting things planned with experts, speakers and workshops – and newbies will have access not only to the new live workshops, but also the original material.

So it’s really exciting times and it’s super relevant to this question because that’s exactly what we target in bootcamp. What we look at is how to layer up an approach, so the lovely Corinna, the lady in the group who asked the question, feels overwhelmed and so the way that I would start is to first of all start building up the message on your own website.

Start Layer By Layer

Start telling stories on your blog and start thinking about themes around your subject and different angles to it.

Think about some client case studies, think about some personal experiences, think about some how-tos, some tips, some reactions to current news with your particular angle on things. You could think about round-ups of other people’s tips which also include yours to have a real bumper post.

There are all sorts of ways you can approach this, you could Periscope or you could do some audio, but start in a way that feels super comfortable for you.

Some people get really scared by a blank page on the screen and so if writing is really not your bag, then consider doing what I’m doing just now, just let it flow into a microphone. You can use SoundCloud for this as a free starting platform, you could use Garage Band on the Mac or use Audacity on the PC, or you could even just brain dump some thoughts into your smartphone and have these transcribed.

If audio is the way that you express yourself the best, then just get some thoughts down and you can always tidy it up later or have someone help you to do that for you.

Let’s recap.
1. Think of some different angles around your story and your message, and
2. start to work on your own website in a way that’s comfortable for you, be it audio, visual, video or written, start experimenting with formats.

Next…

A really great thing to do next is to leverage traffic on your own site by working with other people’s websites, so make a target list of people whose work you really admire, whose stuff you really resonate with, and who also might have an audience that would love your stuff.

Start to form relationships with these people if you don’t have them already, make sure you’re following them on Twitter and that you’re engaging in conversations with them. Leave comments on their websites, start to build up some visibility with them, and then approach them with a really well worded guest post pitch. Tell them you absolutely love their website and all the work they’re doing and it was great to have a conversation with them on Twitter.

Make sure they know who you are and that you love their work, and then say, I’ve got some ideas for some posts which I would love to pitch to you to be a guest contributor before shooting them your ideas. I know myself whenever someone pitches a guest post idea to me, this is all I really want to see:

  • who they are
  • why they resonate with what I do
  • the angle of their work
  • how it fits with my audience
  • a bullet pointed list of ideas

That usually straightaway leads to me saying yes to having a guest post, because actually, most small business owners have a problem which you can solve, as in they have a website that they’re running with content on it, and if you can provide some really valuable content to them and their audience, they will snap your arm off for it and it’s a win-win situation.

Write a really concise, well-worded pitch with some ideas, and start approaching people in your industry who have websites and audiences that are really relevant to your stuff. You’re layering up your website and your voice in your own home, if you like, and you’re starting to branch out to other people.

You’re The Expert, Darling

What you’re looking to do is to establish yourself as an expert in what you do, so really seek to assert your authority, be it for a technique that you use, a book that you’ve written, the clients that you have or the process in which you work with.

Just really start to establish your brilliance, essentially, and make people aware of that by being heard and seen in a lot of places. It can feel overwhelming, but do it step by step and just start taking actions every day. As part of my Brilliance Ignition process – which you can find out all about here – it’s really all about outputting content on a daily basis to gain clarity around your message. If you do that you will have a wealth of material that you can share in various places as quotes on social media, as inspirational posts, as newsletter ideas and all sorts of things.

That requires taking a little bit of action every single day, but you do get massive results from it. Whilst it can feel like a massive wall of things to do, to approach people for posts, to create content, we’re talking about taking small actions and doing them consistently.

Here’s What I Would Do:

Build a slot into your calendar to work on your own content at least once a week, and make sure you’re creating something for your website if you’re trying to build up an audience and really consistently work with that.

Then approach people in your niche and sector and in your zone of genius who would be great people to work with and to guest post for.

Experiment with different platforms, so if you’ve always been doing blog writing, try audio. If you’ve always done audio, mix it up and try some writing or use your transcripts.

Once You’ve Got It Make It Work!

Work to re-purpose the posts that you’ve already done and make them work super hard for you. If you work with a VA already, you can hand this off. If not, it’s something that you can build into your process that you can hand off later on, and we go into the detail of this in the bootcamp live sessions, things like pulling apart one blog post and re-purposing pieces of it as quotes and imagery to spread throughout social media and be seen by more people.

You could also create a SlideShare PDF from the key points from your post and pop that up to get seen and found by new people, or you can pop it on your LinkedIn profile.

You can re-purpose one piece in different angles and different ways and put that on different platforms, and this is something which I’m really excited about. As small business owners and content creators, there’s often not enough time to really work on the content that you need to, to get the valuable word out and to spread your niche and your authority and your expertise.

Like a MACHINE

Over time as you do have guest posts published and as you do keep building up your audience by adding value on your website and by telling your story and spreading the word, you will start to become known as someone who knows their stuff. You’ll start to become referred to and you’ll start to grow your own little hub of raving fans.

This is really where you want to be, because when you have your content working 24/7 for you, and your raving fans recommending you and spreading the word for you, then that’s like a machine working for you all the time and the word can soon snowball from there. Obviously there are lots of other things you can plug into to get the message out, but I would really urge you to start experimenting with different content styles, approaching people to guest post for and appear on their websites.

Be Ready

A really handy thing to do is to create a super simple bio that you can send somebody, and you can do this really easily either in Google Docs or in Canva.

Mine has been designed by Team Diva and I think having something that’s really visual and lovely to look at will help you, but it doesn’t have to be, it can just be a nice Google Doc with some images in there. Have your bio which explains who you are, what you do, where we can find you on all the different platforms, what your areas of expertise are, where you’ve appeared before, if indeed you have, and just have a nice summary of you and your different talking points as a media bio in PDF.

What we do is send out this media bio to people whose blogs or podcasts or websites I’m asking to appear on, and it has a link to book with me and also a link to my images in Dropbox.

It’s a really helpful way to get things done in one email.

The Long Game

What you will find as well is the more word spreads about you, the more people will be asking you to be part of telesummits or to appear on their website, and so after a while the hard work doesn’t have to be done by you.

Once you’ve done the legwork to start off with, people will be running to you to work with you, to partner with you, to have their message seen alongside yours. It’s a case of just getting started and trying to break it down into really small chunks.

Growing your influence is a long term gain, it’s something which is an investment in the long term and it’s about being consistent, taking lots of actions and investing in your message and time in yourself to keep getting the content out there.

Really it’s setting aside some time in your calendar and sticking with it, and honouring that time for yourself and your business to start getting the word out there.

As I said, the Blogging for Business Bootcamp live sessions, the brilliance sessions, are starting on 12th October, and you can grab your space RIGHT HERE.

I’m really excited about this because it’s going to help so many of you to let go of the overwhelm and to try all sorts of ways to find a way of creating content that really aligns itself with your style and how you work best, and to really leverage your influence online.

As always, I’m really grateful that you listen to (or read!) my podcast and I love to hear from you guys, so feel free to tweet me @dexdiva. Find my me on my Facebook page, or come and join me on Periscope and show me some hearts, @dexdiva!

I’m hanging out in the Brilliance Ignition Facebook group every day, so that’s where I’ll be, and of course you can drop me an email, hello@dexterousdiva.co.uk.

If you would like to hear something in particular looked at on the podcast, then you can drop me a line, you can tweet me, you can find me in the Facebook groups, and I always love to hear your feedback. Thanks very much, go and be brilliant.

Blogging for Business Bootcamp: Want To Watch My Re-Launch?

As a small business owner, I find watching and reading the “behind the scenes” stuff to be immensely useful.

I love knowing which tools my peers are using, how they go about their daily work and rituals; what works and, just as importantly, what doesn’t.

So, I am doing a mini re-launch of one of my programmes, and will be sharing the journey.

 

Blogging for Business Bootcamp is a programme I put together back in June 2014. It ran live for 2 rounds, and then I made it evergreen.

The feedback from it has always been fabulous – people really re-connect with their content ideas, understand how to work smarter, how to get “unstuck” with their business blogs, and how to have a wealth of ideas at their fingertips for content.

 

This October, I am adding a new live round, with new materials, workshops and bonusses.

 

In the 15 months since Bootcamp first ran, new tools and new social platforms have arrived, I have changed immensely as a solopreneur in terms of business growth, ideas, and how I work, and it was time to refresh this classic programme.

So, I am providing 6 weeks of brand new workshops, one every week in the group.

The new stuff will be covering the Big Things I keep being asked:
– how to successfully pitch and get published on big sites
– how to re-purpose content far and wide
– how to use Periscope & podcasting to grow an audience;
– how to design as a non-designers
– how to get super influential online
….and more.

The whole experience is underpinned by my Brilliance Ignition Process, a way of working which infuses creative thinking with business DNA with incredible results for my clients.

So, Bootcamp has evolved.

Current ‘campers will have access to this new material and future pop-up workshops, as will newbies joining us.

How do I plan to spread the word about Bootcamp Live: The Brilliance Sessions?

I will be sharing the news with my tribe, and everyone on my list, of course.

  • I plan to re-run some Facebook ads for a free 10 day Blog Challenge I have used in the past as a lead magnet/opt-in.
  • I will be working with the affiliates for Bootcamp, providing them with a swipe file of copy and images to help them to promote it to their networks.
  • I will be promoting via the Facebook group communities I am in, working with my colleagues and key influencers to share the word.
  • I plan to promote via social media, and to focus on the new Bootcamp round during the next few weeks on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Linked In.
  • I will be periscoping about commonly asked blog questions, and building my content around the new Bootcamp sessions here on my blog, on my podcast, in newsletters, and on my Periscopes.

So, stay with me as I start to set the word rolling, and let’s see step by step what works (and what doesn’t!).

 

Jo
x

 

EDIT: 24th September 2015

Behind the scenes as I talk about my Blog Challenge + working with affiliates on a Periscope chat.

The Road To Solopreneur Success

road to solopreneur success

Success is whatever you deem it to be.

As a solopreneurs, we might all have very different definitions of “making it”.

It might be:

  • your first 10k month,
  • your first media write up,
  • your first sell out e-course;

Whatever it is, it is likely to be deeply personal.

Whatever your definition is, make the realisation of them tangible, enjoyable, and trackable to celebrate each moment as you pass them.

My Ideas

For me, my goals as a solopreneur were always to love what I do, to inspire others, to make life better for my family financially, and to teach my daughters about the power of self-employment for women.

Beyond those, on a very practical level, I wanted to build a career for myself that allowed for my family, for my health issues, and for my personal development as a human being.

I can certainly say I achieved those goals, and seek to deepen them daily.

I was a childhood entrepreneur, with a colourful, multi-passionate and multi-directional portfolio career that followed. The experience of going solo is something I am proud of, and I treasure the experiences that I collect along the way.

What story can you tell yourself about your life and biz today?
Tell, it, speak it, live it! Jo Gifford – Hustlin’ Heroes

My Goals

When I started out, success meant quitting the 9-5 and having my own freedom.

My next goal was to make enough to pay the rent and to feed myself sufficiently well (yep, being an entrepreneur can make and break you!).

Next up, my goal was to travel more, working as I went, and to enjoy the flexibility of my new freedom based lifestyle.

My goals along the way have been to increase my readers and audience, to be featured on certain sites, to become talked about, respected, and well known as a leader in my field.

As each day, week, month and year passes, my goals change as do my definitions of success.

My aims on the vision board change regularly, as I reach new levels of my own version of success. My financial goals become higher as I become comfortable with more clients and products, a bigger audience, more opportunities for collaboration, and a higher profile.

The life of an entrepreneur evolves at 4 times the speed of a “normal” person.
Who wants to be normal? Jo Gifford – Hustlin’ Heroes

Risk and Growth

As my goals become larger with more challenges, risks and exposure, there is more scope for failure and vulnerability as I progress. Embracing those risks, in your own time, brings growth.

My goals for success are always linked to my goals for myself as a person – after all, mindset and the choices we make are at the heart of everything we do in life, which applies to business in every sense.

  • It takes guts to go solo.
  • It take courage to be visible, to put your soul and your name on the line as you make your living.
  • It takes daily habits, actions, choices and failures to have success.
  • It takes continued learning, mentors, masterminds, resilience, investments, highs, lows and everything in between to continue on this road.

Going solo and making it – whatever that might mean to you – always requires that you love what you do enough to keep learning, growing, and rebuilding yourself after each failure.

It means igniting your own brilliance, committing daily to being the best self you can be, and to keep on truckin’.

A dream starts with a challenge.
Where is your challenge today? Now, go find the dream. Jo Gifford – Hustlin’ Heroes

 

Solopreneur Success Bundle

This post is part of the blog tour for One Woman Shop’s Solopreneur Success Bundle, a roundup of e-courses, e-books, and subscriptions designed to help you succeed in all aspects of your solopreneur biz. Your chance to grab over $1,500 in products at just $99 is only here from September 14-18th learn more and get yours now!

Episode #27: Rituals and Brilliance for Success as a Solopreneur

episode 27 Rituals and Brilliance

Hi everyone, welcome to episode 27 of Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter, it’s Jo Gifford here, the Dexterous Diva! I’m really, really happy that you’ve joined me for this podcast, and guys, I’m so, so grateful.

We’ve just hit over 95,000 podcast downloads, and I’m over the moon and really grateful to all of you who are listening and leaving reviews.

If you find my podcast helpful, then I’d be really, really grateful if you could tell your friends about it! Thank you so much for showing up, being here and being part of the tribe of Diva.

Rituals

Okay everyone, so today we’re going to have a little look at the concept of rituals.

I was really inspired to chat about this briefly today, because among the many books that I’m currently devouring and reading, is Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields of the Good Life Project, and I’m sure you guys know of him. If not, then I would certainly look him up here.

Failure and Brilliance

He’s one of the Danielle LaPorte, Marie Forleo kind of power peers, and he’s such an interesting guy. In Uncertainty, it’s all about how failure is really important and how to find your own brilliance amongst uncertainty which is a really powerful thing for us solopreneurs. In particular I was reading about rituals and the place that these have in our work.

So I want to read you this really brief paragraph:
“For the creator whose very existence depends on the ability to spend vast amounts of time living and operating in the ethereal sea of uncertainty and anxiety that is creation, rituals in every part of life serve as a source of psychic bedrock. They provide just enough of a foundation to allow you to free up that part of your brain that needs permission to run unencumbered in the quest to create the greatest possible something from nothing”.

The crux of that is basically if you have rituals in every part of your life, then your brain is free to go ahead and create those golden nuggets of brilliance which relate directly to your business and your success.

As most of you guys know, I’m all about the Brilliance Ignition process which is the process that underpins creative thinking in your business, and it’s kind of like my own artist’s way for solopreneurs, if you like.

If you haven’t done the Brilliance Ignition free mastermind process yet, I would really love for you to head on over to dexterousdiva.co.uk/brilliance, and you’ll find a free community on Facebook and the whole Brilliance Ignition power moves roadmap which I’ve provided for free via email.

The Diva Take on Brilliance

My take on Brilliance Ignition is all about providing some quality input.

We do things like New Diva Daily, so by doing something slightly new every day, whether it’s

    • listening to new music
    • trying out a new podcast
    • taking a slightly different route from work
    • ordering a different coffee

these slight tweaks, exposing yourself to slightly different stimuli, and then the ritual of creating content every day, is a way to allow your brain to get some of that quality input out in your own way.

We also talk about the rituals of a business like a business playground day, which is where you take yourself off for the day with your business, get super creative and allow your brain to run wild.

Those elements are part of the Brilliance Ignition process, and also as you guys have recently been talking about, The Miracle Morning, by Hal Elrod. I know that a lot of you have been sending me emails and messages about trying The Miracle Morning, and this is a ritual that I’ve been bringing into my own life with amazing results.

Freeing Up Your Brain

Whether you do The Miracle Morning in the morning or you do it throughout the day, it’s the very act of spending time on yourself and knowing that every day you’ll be doing rituals. For me, it’s moving my body, meditating, visualising, reading some powerful and inspiring stuff, spending time with my journal and outputting on 750words.com. (Read more about the habits which have ramped up my biz and life here)

For me the ritual anchors my day. I know that I’m getting loads of good stuff in plus I’m letting my brain let stuff out. It’s like an underpinning so I know I don’t have to tick stuff off the list and I don’t have that kind of feeling of, oh, I haven’t meditated yet.

I’ve got a time and a place for it and it’s getting done, it feels really good, and as Jonathan Fields says, I’m allowed to let my brain think about other stuff rather than worrying about my list.

We find rituals in really simple things like the same time to do stuff every week, and I’ve spoken before about how I record my podcasts on a Monday morning.

I have had two weeks off, as you guys have probably noticed (did you miss me?). I went to the south of France and I didn’t record my podcast over there, (and that’s fine, we are allowed to stop things for a little while).

I know that every Monday morning I’m going to sit down with my microphone and be intentional and speak to you lovely people, and then I know that that’s done for the week.

The same is true for other things, I know that every Friday is my flexible free day. I allow myself to not work and to go and do something creative and cool or just to switch off. Oftentimes it’s just resting and recovering from the week, as I still have to manage chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, but having that flexible day is part of my ritual, so that I know I have a downtime built in.

Early bedtimes for me are part of my ritual and again, it’s like a self-management thing, I know I’m looking after myself and that helps me get up early for my Miracle Morning.

The Snowball Effect

You kind of have a snowball effect of rituals, and when you break them down and look at them, it’s like they’re habits that you are choosing to put in place for your life to make your life easier.

It helps all that autopilot stuff run for you and so you’ve got pegs to hang stuff on throughout your day and your week. You know when things are getting done, you know how you do them and you’ve already pre-set some choices which are helping your brain then focus on the other cool stuff.

That’s when your magic really happens and where your brain will be kicking out the golden bits of ideas, those amazing genius inspiration ideas that will strike.

You’ll suddenly realise that you’ve got the next podcast idea or product idea or service and it will almost rock up into your brain because you’ve allowed space for that to happen. That’s such a key part of the creative thinking process for a solopreneur, and even if you’re not actively engaging with it as creative thinking, you’re simply allowing your brilliance to show up, which is really what the hard work is about.

As Jonathan Fields says, we are content creators, we are creators of our businesses, of our art, and in terms of solopreneurs, our art is whatever we’re choosing to show to the world and to do a service to others.

Making Space for Success

By allowing rituals to help make that stuff easier, we’re only going to be more successful, and I know that certainly I’ve seen a huge change in my mindset and in my success levels as a business owner since I’ve started to take choice after choice, ritual after ritual, habit after habit of good stuff.

It might be that you change some bad stuff, and by that I don’t mean terribly evil stuff (mwah ha ha ha!), I just mean stuff that’s not serving you very well. Maybe swap one hour of trashy TV a week to read a chapter of something awesome. In my case it was swapping that extra hour in bed in the morning to do my Miracle Morning. I’m now ploughing through inspiring blogs and personal development books, and the content I’m coming out with as my output is partly rubbish, it’s partly brain dumping, but there’s some really interesting stuff in there and the ideas are coming out. It’s part of making space for that.

And So Darlings, How About You?

I would love to hear what you guys are doing in terms of rituals, for those of you out there who have already started with your rituals, what kind of habits are you working with and on? If you haven’t started with any good habits yet, have you got an idea of where you could start?

I would certainly encourage you to head over to the Brilliance Ignition power moves roadmap and read all about the free mastermind over there with the free community support group of people, and to start applying the Brilliance Ignition process to your life and your work.

The feedback from people already is just amazing, so I would really, really love to encourage you guys to go over there, and as always, thank you so much for showing up and listening. I read every single email and every single tweet and every single Facebook post, so if you do want to drop me a line, you can do so on hello@dexterousdiva.co.uk. You can tweet me @dexdiva or find me on Facebook, facebook.com/dexdiva.

Thank you so much for listening, and I’ll be back next week with some more thoughts. Thanks guys, and take care.

50 Things I’ve Done In The Last 12 Months To Ramp Up My Life And Biz

50 things to ramp up your bizYou know how when you take a step back you get better perspective? Like your Dad moving the Sunday papers further away to be able to read them 😉 ?

I’m on holiday at the moment (ahhhhhh, lush) and it’s having this little bit of distance from the every day which has helped me see the huge strides that I’ve made both in my personal and business life.

Here’s my list of FIFTY things, some big some small, that have helped to make the difference. Enjoy!

  1. Found a great NLP and CBT specialist and made a date with her every month.
  2. Stopped eating wheat and dairy. My body loves me.
  3. Started to walk as much as I can, every day. Podcasts on, trainers on, go.
  4. Began my Miracle Morning routine, and found it is super sacred me time before the day begins. I feel grounded, inspired, powerful.
  5. Indulged in 1:1 yoga every few weeks. Major body and energy happiness. I am now breathing properly too, which is pretty fundamental.
  6. Ploughed through and devoured book after book after book after podcast after podcast after book. Learning goes deep when it’s all around you.
  7. Made a choice to watch TV less. There is DEFINITELY a time for mindless and fun 90’s films and TV dramas, but my brain cells need a little more documentaries, amazingly directed films, comedy, and, actually, silence.
  8. Started believing in myself more. Wow, I am capable of so much.
  9. Let go of the “shoulds”- shoulds are in the realm of other people’s expectations of you. No, no, no.
  10. Dreamed bigger, and bigger again.
  11. Invested in myself.
  12. Invested in myself again.
  13. Sought out coaches and mentors who added more value to my life in so many ways than an hourly rate can even describe.
  14. Sorted out my money blocks.
  15. Hit a new level. Sorted out money blocks again.
  16. Re-discovered that play leads to brilliance.
  17. Remembered that I am enough.
  18. Discovered that actions are just just choices made over and over, and they make a profound difference.
  19. Hired, incrementally, an amazing team. Team Diva inspire me support me, challenge me and provide office banter daily. I adore them.
  20. Started checking in with a mastermind/accountability buddy. There is HUGE power in combined thoughts, skills, energies, and knowing someone has your back through the highs and lows.
  21. Looked at my vision board every day, always smiling when things begin to happen.
  22. Got super active in Facebook groups, but in small chunks of time. Facebook is awake 24/7, I am most definitely not.
  23. Moved to checking emails once a day. Sanity, ahoy.
  24. Tried, failed, tried again.
  25. Cried. Learned from each mistake. Moved on (amazingly it gets easier each time).
  26. Booked girl time with my friends – spa days, weekends away. My soul needs girl time.
  27. Said no to projects and clients that weren’t a good fit. They need to come to life somewhere else.
  28. Re-discovered the power and joy of creating content daily, whether purposeful or just putting pen to paper (or keyboard to 750words.com).
  29. Reached out to people I really admire. Turns out they admire me too.
  30. Gave my time and knowledge freely to projects and people I am passionate about.
  31. Raised my rates.
  32. Changed the ratio of dreaming to action to suit me better (and to make more room for dreaming).
  33. Enjoy every second of being with my amazing daughters. They are teaching me so much about wonder, innocence, and play.
  34. Upgraded my wardrobe, skincare, and haircare. When I feel awesome, I believe in myself.
  35. Invested in the skills of others when I need them. I am not here to do everything, and I my brilliance is not in everything.
  36. Kept a note of every heartfelt email, thank you note and testimonial.
  37. Had the coil removed. Hello natural cycles and connection with myself.
  38. Hung out online (and off) with ladies who show me what’s possible.
  39. Went more visible without being perfect. Periscopes are perfect for jumping on, whenever and wherever, to connect and be available. No lights and make up. Just me.
  40. Started my podcast. Loved it.
  41. Had intuitive readings, and got blown away each time.
  42. Discovered the power of mandalas.
  43. Built in regular cleanses to love my body right back.
  44. Connected with my inner mentor. She is a pretty amazing woman and I am becoming her every day.
  45. Decluttered often to make energetic space for new opportunities.
  46. Hired a cleaner. Oh my goodness, sanity saver.
  47. Told the truth about myself – to myself, to my clients and audience. Realness and rawness connects people.
  48. Started going to bed super early and before my second, third or fourth wind powers me through.
  49. Had a make-up update. Surprisingly powerful in so many ways.
  50. Started believing in myself again.

I’m not telling you these things to be a show off (except the new make up, that rocks – seriously. Do it.) but so you can see that all the small things really do add up.So which of the list do you do? Or would you recommend any extras for me?

Let me know.

Jo.x

I am a Miracle Morning Convert

episode_27_-_miracle

I am a Miracle Morning convert. Here’s why:

Finding space in the day for myself as an entrepreneur and mum of two? Nah. Not happening.

Or, I might schedule in a walk, some meditation, some reading time etc and do them, but then feel stressed that I only have an hour left to get stuff done on my business before the kids come home from school (I don’t like to work late often – circadian rhythms gooooone, baby).

So, thanks to Yo Pal Hal, I have been setting my alarm for 6am, and starting my day on my own. Heaven.

Yup, I would also have also conceded prior to this that I am not a morning person, but I actually wake up excited to have this time ALL TO MYSELF.

I meditate for a few minutes, look at my vision board, read a blog post from someone who challenges and inspires me, or read a few pages of a personal development book; I do some yoga stretches, journal in my 5 minute journal, then free write on 750words.com.

The results so far after 10 days are astounding.

  • I am more focussed (making the choice to do this for myself each day is a parallel of the choices we make daily to progress or not in our growth.
  • I am more inspired – dedicated time to read materials I love has just rocked up.
  • I feel more grounded. Starting the day with some inner work and mediation, gratitudes and journalling does that for you.
  • I am nicer to my kids and my partner in the morning. When I have spent time by myself, FOR myself, I feel ready and able to do the breakfast chaos, to be present with the Minis and to hang out with them mindfully. I am noticeably less grumpy, and find I haven’t shouted my usual “yes, yes, I am coming – can I JUST make a cup of tea first, PLEASE” mantra for a long while now.
  • I am generating some content gems. When you write 750 words a day some nuggets rock up. As I talk about in Brilliance Ignition, creating daily content gives clarity in your mind, and free writing as per our amazing Julia Cameron really does work magic.
  • I feel more like the person I am becoming, or want to be when I grow up. Yep, this week I found myself doing yoga outside on the balcony in the South of France as the sun came up, having had my smoothie and done my journalling. Ohhhhh, I am THAT person. That’s what successful people do!

I know now why successful people create habits and stick to them. This practise of my time for myself is making huge shifts, in just one hour a day.

7 hours a week all to myself makes a huge difference. I am reading, meditating, rocking my asanas (I plan to get back to Shawn and T25 soon), writing, inspiring myself, and all sorts.

It’s a Small Price to Pay

Yes, I DO go to bed super early to get up early, but my early nights are part of my CFS management routine anyway. Also, I would much, MUCH rather have an early night and feel amazing about what I have accomplished and how I feel than spend an evening watching TV or losing brain cells on Buzzfeed. Just sayin’…

I have learned to be super quiet on my tippy toes as I make my way downstairs to start my routine – small people have been known to join me when they hear me get up. We have had SO MANY squeaky doors that, it turns out; WD40 has been a huge part of my Miracle Morning routine too.

And, I’m Passing on This Habit

One of my Minis, Eva, really respects what she calls “mummy’s quiet time”. On the occasions she has woken up as I snuck downstairs and got up with me, she has been more than happy to sit with me quietly and do some drawing, or colouring in her mandalas while I do my yoga postures or journalling. I love that she will see a habit that may benefit her as she gets older, too. Teaching Eva to respect my quiet time has been a really sweet little contract between us, and I make sure I respect my new carved out time as well.

So, I am a nicer, more inspired, grounded and successful person. I am more patient, creative, and happier all round.

Miracle morning, indeed.

Extra Reading

Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

5 Minute Journal

Brilliance Ignition

Julia Cameron Artist’s Way

Squabbling In Online Business: Let’s Play Nicer, Folks!

My two daughters are 6 years old.

Six is a hell of a lot of fun – these dudes are developing their characters, humour, interests, vocabulary, and are soaking up knowledge like sponges.

They also squabble over who did what first, who has had the most chocolate, who sat in the seat behind Mummy in the car last time….and all that jazz.

These guys are 6, so I expect it. It will pass.

What I do find interesting, though, is this behaviour in the online business space.

I see business owners claiming to have been the first to be talking about personal branding, or passive income, and most recently, squabbling over who was first on Periscope.

Being first, in my eyes, only makes a difference if you do it well.
Being first doesn’t make you the best.

It just makes you first.

And as for claiming every idea as your own?

Let’s consider the value in open source culture and sharing, in building each other up with knowledge and being better for it, rather than hiding your work in case anyone copies you.

We all bring something truly unique to everything we do.
If you ignite your OWN brilliance, and do it with integrity and intention, you never need to squabble again.

Sharing your knowledge and expertise with integrity and value is where it’s at.

There is absolutely no need to copy someone else’s work, and I support entrepreneurs who call others out on their plagiarism (or even downright swipe-and-sell).

Let’s play nice. Integrity is a power move.

Episode #26 – Talking Wealth And Finances With Jen Turrell

Episode 26

Hi guys, it’s Jo Gifford here, welcome to episode #26 of Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter.

Today I’ve got a lovely friend, colleague and just general all round amazing person here to host the show for me, and it’s the amazing Jen Turrell of jenturrell.com.

Jen does an awesome intro as to who we are to each other and how we met and she’s super sweet in the way that she does that, so I just want to tell you a little bit about this lovely lady which she doesn’t tell you herself.

About Jen

Jen is a financial personal trainer and she’ll tell you all about that in her guest microphone holding spot, but she also runs a ranch as a business in Arizona, which I think is pretty cool.

Not only that, but she’s an actual pop star, as in, in the nineties she and her husband were kind of indie rock stars and they were travelling and doing gigs and just super cool people. She’s a pilot, she’s a mum and she has two children with autism who she’s amazing at nurturing and taking good care of.

She’s just so interesting as well as being a lovely, lovely friend and client.

So Jen will tell you all about how we met and the work we’re doing together, but I really wanted her on the show today, because Jen has so many tips on finances and running a business and feeling wealthy, but in a really sensible way. I think she’s going to be really influential, really helpful for so many of you, and me, I’m always learning from Jen.

This woman runs multiple successful businesses and she has a family. She’s amazing with what she’s doing with it all, so I would urge you to really listen to Jen, to take on board some of her tips and check her out at jenturrell.com. She also has a Facebook group, Mastering Money Mindset Labs, which you can access for a super affordable rate.

Without further ado, over to Jen Turrell.

Welcome to Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter. This is your guest host today, Jen Turrell, financial personal trainer, and I am standing in for the gorgeous Jo Gifford, the Dexterous Diva herself today, and I am so honoured to have a chance to guest host this show.

Jo Gifford is one of my favourite people on the entire planet and she has drastically changed my life over the course of the last nine months.

Just to introduce you to my experience of Jo, I met her last October when I was working with a coach that she’s worked with too, named Rebecca Dickson. If you’re interested in hearing more about Rebecca Dickson, Episode #17 of Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter is an interview with Becky Dickson where she and Jo discuss how they met and her influence on Jo’s life as well.

Becky Dickson introduced me to Jo, first as someone who could make a book cover for me, because I needed a new book cover, and that was the start, and then I hired Jo to do my logo, and then some blog boosts for me as I struggle sometimes to write my own blogs.

I have no trouble having conversations with people, talking about things, even this, talking to a microphone, I find much easier than sitting down sometimes and writing a blog, which is funny, because I did go to college as a creative writing major, but still, the blog has some barriers for those of us who run our own businesses sometimes, so I really appreciated Jo’s help with the blog boost first.

I then also hired her to do some bespoke images for me, and little by little over the course of the last nine months, I finally got to this summer, learned all about her Web Smart work plans and realised that that was what I needed in my life, so this summer I’ve been working with Jo one on one in her team, and they have been helping me to streamline and systematise my work, and my world has changed!

It’s getting better and better, I am working smarter, I am dreaming bigger and I am living brighter, so I am a testament to the success of Jo Gifford.

One of the reasons that I love what Jo does so much is that I help women set up financial systems and I particularly like to automate them so that it takes the daily decision out of as many financial tasks as possible, and I feel that Jo does that for content creation and work flow and all kinds of things. While I’ve been able to do that with this one small area of my life in finances, Jo’s sort of spreading it out to the work life. What I want to share with you today are some of my financial productivity tips that help me do that with finances.

My Two Tips

The two tips that I would like to share with you are:

  • Batching your financial tasks and;
  • Scheduling financial days.

These are two things that have made a huge difference in my life. The reason that I think it’s so important to do is that a lot of people end up thinking about their finances every day. You think about major financial decisions, can I afford this, can I not, what’s coming up, what’s left in my account, checking bank balance, doing bank balance accounting as opposed to bottom line accounting.

What I mean by that is you check your balance, see, oh, there’s a lot of money in there because I just got a payment, let me pay all these bills without necessarily thinking of what else needs to come out of that first.

Here in the US as small business owners we all have to think about setting aside quarterly estimated taxes which can be a real problem with bank balance accounting. If you look at your bank balance and see that you have enough money to start a new project or do something that you’ve been thinking about, but you haven’t yet set aside your taxes, you can get into trouble.

What I think batching and scheduling could do for you in terms of your finances is relieve all of that thought and worry on a daily basis so that you can focus more on what you want to be focusing on, which is probably your work, your family, your life, the rest of it. If we can batch our financial tasks and schedule in days to take care of those tasks, it can relieve you all of that worry the rest of the month.

Here is how we do it!

Batching

First, for batching I like to use my rewards credit card as much as I can to corral in lots of different little bills, like my cell phone bill and other things that recur like that. Anything you can put on it, I put on it and then set the credit card on auto pay, full balance, every month.

I’m not talking about running up crazy balances that you can’t pay, I’m just talking about using it to get points and also to be able to batch the payment date. All of those little payments like my credit card and little things you can put on there, maybe your internet company, whatever bills you can put on there, it gives you a single payment date when your credit card payment is due.

For anything you can’t do that with, you can go online or call the companies you pay, electric, heating, car payments, different things like that, and ask them to move the due date.

Top Mortgage Tip

For your mortgage, if you’re able to, I recommend that people pay every two weeks instead of monthly, and there are a couple of reasons for this. One, it lets you balance it out across the month rather than having one day when you have a much bigger payment. The other reason is if you pay every two weeks instead of monthly, by the end of the year you get an extra payment in. While there are only 12 months in the year, there are 52 weeks, so if you’re paying it every two weeks, you get an extra payment in over the course of the year which helps you get ahead of that mortgage interest just a little bit.

For other invoices and bills that come in irregularly from random places, things you get in the mail, things you get in your email inbox, I would recommend having both a physical inbox and an email inbox for those bills that you put them into it and then address them on your scheduled days.

Scheduling

Now we will get to scheduling those days. It takes a little bit of work upfront, like calling the companies and asking them to change your due date. In order to schedule these days I like to work on this system which is that if you have a regular pay cheque, most people get paid on the 1st and the 15th of the month or thereabouts.

If you work for yourself, I still recommend giving yourself your own salary on the 1st and the 15th, just so you have a regular system that you can work with. If the income comes in on the 1st and the 15th, I auto transfer to savings and a bill pay account on the 2nd and the 16th, so the day after the pay cheque hits your account, you transfer out the spend into your savings account or retirement, which is set up however you want to set it up.

I definitely work on that with people one on one and in my Mastering Money Matters membership group, but for now, let’s just say it goes into a savings account and then you have a separate bill pay account that’s a chequing account where all your other bills get paid out of.

That includes the credit card, the rewards point card that you’ve put little bills on, and then your mortgage, your utilities, whatever else you couldn’t put on that credit card, all get paid out of that bill pay account. That gets set to pay on the 5th and the 20th, so when you called the companies or went online to batch your bills, you batch them for the 5th and the 20th, and you try to make it roughly even.

If you aren’t able to change your mortgage and if it happens once a month, see if you can have that on the 5th and then balance out your other bills so it’s roughly an equal amount on the 20th as well.

Now that you have the electronic automatic pays happening on the 5th and the 20th, you can also go to your inboxes, both online and physical, and pay those on the 5th and the 20th as well.

Keeping Track

You schedule in the 5th and the 20th if that’s the day you take care of all those things. You check that all the online payments have happened correctly, that there was plenty of money in there, and you check that there’s enough money for the cheques you’re about to write or the online bill pays that you’re about to do, the invoices that have come into your inbox.

Make sure everything’s working okay and then what’s left in your spend account, the account that you transferred out of, that original chequing account, that is what you get to spend for the rest of the month, guilt-free, your bills are paid, your savings are done and that is what you have to work with, so now you can do real big balance accounting for that account and it feels pretty good.

Good Housekeeping

The other day that I like to schedule is the last day of the month, so on the last day of the month, as someone who runs small businesses, that’s the day that I look at the income that came in for that month and make a transfer to my tax account.

If you don’t run a small business and don’t pay quarterly estimated tax you don’t have to worry about that, but I still think the last day of the month is a great day to just look back through the month. That’s when I do my expense reports for my credit cards and just make sure everything’s tidy. Look into everything, check the accounts and it doesn’t have to be a long time. Sometimes it’s just 20 minutes or half an hour that I check over everything on that last day of the month, and feel confident going into the next month that everything’s working the way it should.

How You Can Work With Me

So that is my financial productivity tip. If you’re interested in finding out more about what I do, my website is www.jenturrell.com, and you can find my new Mastering Money Matters membership group where I walk women through a lab a month.

We focus on debt reduction, on automating your accounts and expenses, it’s just a slow month by month progression through all of these different things to get your money set up into a system that you love and that will give you peace of mind, knowing that your savings are done, your bills are paid and everything is working toward the goals that you want.

That’s what I have to offer, thank you so much for joining me. I can’t wait to listen to next week when Jo Gifford is back!

Find the podcast on:

iTunes

Stitcher Radio

Podbean RSS feed (non iTunes)

Episode #25 Stellar Email Marketing Tips with Jenn Scalia

Episode 25 Stellar Email Marketing Tips with Jenn Scalia

Hi everyone, and welcome to episode 25 of Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter, it’s Jo Gifford here.

Today I have a super special guest who’s going to be holding the mic for me.

I’ve invited some of my colleagues and co-workers and collaborators and biz friends to contribute to the podcast on occasion, and this is a really great way to allow them to share their amazing tips with you, for you guys to really benefit from some people whose journeys I’ve been part of and whose work I really admire.

Jenn Scalia is one such lady.

We met in April 2014 when we were both part of a group – and I’m going to shout out the awesome Becca Tracey of theuncagedlife.com – the Uncage Your Biz group. This is a month long group with Becca and it really helps you to get your biz to the next level.

On the Same Path

Jenn Scalia was someone who really stood out from the crowd of amazing ladies in that group and since then she and I have been on a path of growth. We joined Denise Duffield Thomas’s Lucky Bitch Bootcamp {affiliate link} at the same time. We were both also working with the amazing Rebecca T Dickson so we’re both now experts on Becca’s Clients, Clarity and Cash programme, which is just amazing for female coaches, it’s a brilliant programme, and Jenn has had an explosive business growth over the last six months to a year.

She works really hard, she hustles really hard, she invests in herself and in her business and she has such an ethic for self-improvement and learning, to really getting herself to the next level. It’s just amazing to have been on even part of that journey by experiencing the same things she has, but also to be just standing here watching her stuff go crazy.

Jenn has some amazing tips for you guys today on email marketing and she’s someone you should definitely check out. She’s going to share ten tips for email marketing and of course you can check her out on her site.

Without further ado, here is the amazing Jenn.

Hello everyone, this is Jenn from jennscalia.com and I am excited to be here as Jo’s guest for today. I am a bestselling author, visibility coach and business strategist. I work with coaches and other online entrepreneurs to help them get in front of their ideal clients by showing up and standing out in a crowded industry.

  • I have coached hundreds of women entrepreneurs to get more clients, make more money and achieve success online. I grew my list organically from 300 to over five thousand in less than a year without spending a dime on advertising. I also booked over 100 thousand dollars in new clients in the first three months of 2015.
  • I have over ten years’ experience in marketing and social media, including starting and growing my own clothing line to an internationally recognised brand that was featured on reality TV shows and MTV.
  • I have been published in the Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen, Elite Daily, Tiny Buddha and more. I also co-authored the book, Against the Grain, with Brian Tracy, and have been featured on countless podcasts and telesummits.

Again, I am so glad to be here today, I am so happy that Jo invited me. Jo and I met just a little over a year ago when we took a course together and we’ve kind of been on this very eerily similar path through our businesses, through our entire journey, through entrepreneurship, so it’s been really cool to see each other kind of grow and see the huge changes that have happened over the past year.

It’s really amazing to just think back and look back at the big picture and really see how much can happen in such a short period of time. If you feel like you’re struggling right now or you feel like it’s not happening fast enough for you, I just want you to think about that. Even look back a year from where you are today and look at all you’ve accomplished.

It really can happen super fast, and with all of the knowledge and information you get from Jo and her experts and with some of the knowledge I’m going to give you today, you’ll be able to make that happen even faster for yourself.

Breaking the Rules

Today I want to talk about breaking the email marketing rules. There are all these rules and things that we’re supposed to follow in the online space. We see things all the time, there’s so much content, there’s so much noise, so it’s really hard to distinguish what you should listen to and what can go by the wayside.

It’s really about tuning in and tapping into what feels really good for you and your business, because one way of marketing or promoting may not feel good to you and another way may feel really awesome to you, so always check in with yourself and your inner guidance on which of these things feels really good to you.

#10 Tips on Email Marketing

Today I’m going to give you ten tips on your email marketing and how you can use that. For example, if you don’t resonate with all ten, then you don’t have to do these. Just take what feels good, take the little nuggets, use them for your business and leave the rest.

  1. I’m going to start off with one of the things I learned from my mentor which was sending out newsletters on a specific day.This was always something I taught my clients, I was always telling them to make sure to be very consistent. If you’re going to send out your newsletter on Tuesday, make sure that you send it out on Tuesday, every Tuesday at the same exact time, and that’s the way I did it for myself for the longest time.I found that between Tuesday number one and Tuesday number two there was definitely stuff I wanted to say and it really sucked to have to hold that back and didn’t feel good to have to wait until the following Tuesday to say what I needed to say or share what I wanted to share with my audience.This is a rule that I began breaking a few months ago and I think it’s been really, really good. Instead of only sending on specific days, I only send when I have something to say. If I have something that I’ve created, if I’m doing a podcast or an affiliate for another coach, if I am doing an event, if I come across something I feel like my audience can really benefit from, I don’t want to wait to send it.Only send something when you have something to say and likewise if you don’t have something to say, don’t just send crap. Make sure that you do have something to say, make sure that the content in your emails is very valuable because that is what’s going to keep people on your list.

    It’s one thing to get them on your list, it’s a whole other thing to keep them on your list, especially because there’s so much inbox competition and people are getting inundated with stuff, day after day, hour after hour, email after email. You want to make sure that your stuff stands out so you want to make sure you’re giving high value on every single correspondence you send out to your list.

  2. The next thing is something I love doing and it is to send love it or hate it emails.
    Much like I was saying before, there is a lot of competition, so if you’re sending the same old boring emails saying, six ways to do this and ten ways to do that and you’re really not having any type of personality or stance on anything, you’re going to get deleted pretty soon because they can get that information anywhere, and people don’t need to have that clutter in their inbox.So what I mean with a love it or hate it email is for you to get really personal and authentic with your ideal client. Now, notice I didn’t say with your entire list, I said with your ideal client. This is what you want to keep in mind when you’re writing these emails, you are speaking from the heart. You are taking a stance for something. You are speaking to one specific person. Everyone else, don’t worry about.When you do this, what you’re doing is you’re really calling in those perfect clients, you’re really calling in those people who are meant to work with you, who are going to adore you, who are going to become raving fans, and you’re going to start to see other people who aren’t exactly your ideal client or maybe who will never buy from you disappear, and you will get unsubscribes.Don’t worry about that, because unsubscribes are just a filter for you having a list that’s really quality, which brings me to my next point.
  3. The number really isn’t that important. You can have a list of five thousand people, but if those five thousand people are not engaged, then it really doesn’t matter. However, you can have a list of a thousand people and if you get 80 per cent open rates – which is crazy, by the way, but I know some people who do – then you have a better chance of selling and of calling in your tribe with that smaller number than someone who has a big number of unengaged, unresponsive people who aren’t even opening up their emails.The actual number on your list, for me is not that important. The number you want to pay attention to is that number that shows you how many people opened your email.So let’s say for example, I have about five thousand people on my list and I used to get upset because I was like, oh my gosh, only 22 per cent or 27 per cent of people are opening. I started to reframe because once I looked at that number and I saw that at least 12 to 15 to 1700 people were actually clicking and opening and reading my emails, that’s the number I started to focus on. I really started to focus on the people who were opening my emails and didn’t really worry too much about the people who didn’t.
  4. Number four is to really nurture your current list instead of just trying to grow it. Of course you’re always going to be growing your list, you’re always going to be putting things out there to try to build your list and get new people. However, don’t forget about the people who are already on your list.You want to make sure that you really nurture these people. Like I was mentioning before, high, high value, make sure that they feel like they’re getting something special from you, so don’t just build a whole list and then continue to build your list but never communicate with the people that are currently on it.Yes, we have social media, we have Facebook groups, we have Twitter, we have all these ways of getting in touch with our people, but your list is your bread and butter because this is actually your platform, these are your people whereas Twitter could go away tomorrow, Facebook groups could be banned, and then what are you going to do? You want to have a consistent communication with the people who are on your list.
  5. Next is don’t send the same emails that everyone else is sending. I kind of touched on this earlier when I said about being vanilla and bland and boring and saying, here’s the six best ways to use Twitter for your business.That’s all well and good and I’m sure it’s really great information. However, it doesn’t move someone, there’s no emotional factor there. When you’re sending your emails, are you sending something that has been said before? Are you sending something that your competitor is probably going to send next week? If that answer is even a slight yes, re-think and re-frame what you’re going to send out there.Make sure that you put your personality, your own unique spin, make sure that you are flipping it or creating some kind of controversy or even just looking at it from a different angle. This is a tip that I give to my membership site members.We had a content challenge and this is something that I actually had them do. Whatever your industry is saying right now, whatever everyone is on the bandwagon about, you come in from a completely different angle and people are going to want to read it.Say for example you’re a health coach, and everyone is talking about creamed smoothies and kale and all of these things that are so great for you. What if you were the health coach that was like, hey, you can eat ice cream and cookies and lose ten pounds next week? Of course that might seem a little bit like a stretch, but people are going to wonder, they’re going to say, oh my gosh, I want to know how to do that, so you want to really get people to get excited about your emails, you really want to know what you’re going to say next.
  6. Number six is to get crafty with your email subject line. Similar to sending the same emails, if you’re sending a subject line that’s tired, that’s overused, that everyone in the industry uses, people just become blind to it, they don’t even look at it, they’re just going to delete, so make sure that you get really creative with these things and make sure that you’re putting some personality in here.Like I mentioned before, it’s kind of flipping the script on what your people are going to expect from you. Make it so enticing that they’ll want to open the email.
  7. Next is to have one call to action at the end of every email. I see this all the time! I get people’s newsletters and there’s all this stuff on there, read my latest blog post, check out my latest YouTube video, follow me on Twitter, follow me on Periscope, join my Facebook group and oh, by the way, I have this course for sale!It’s not going to work! You need to give people JUST ONE call to action at the end of all your emails which will pull them to take that action as opposed to giving them five different things to do and having them choose, because they’ll never do any of them.
  8. Next is to leave them hungry for more. At the end of your emails you want to entice them with what’s coming next, so say if you did an email post or a newsletter about the five ways that you can get a flat tummy by next week, then at the end of your email you want to give them a nudge that you have more!You could say something like, watch out for next week’s email where I’m going to be talking about how you can get buns of steel within three days, so give them that little hint that something even better is coming, and what this is going to do is actually make them want to open your next email.
  9. The next thing I do a lot. I always encourage my people to reply, so this would be my call to action on a specific email. If I’m talking about something that I went through or some kind of struggle or something I’ve learned that I shared with my audience, I often encourage replies.If I really want to hear an opinion on a certain email, I’ll ask my audience and say, hey, have you ever gone through this? If so, hit reply. If you’re giving them a call to action, maybe have them hit reply, maybe you’re telling them how to use Periscope for the first time for their business, so tell them, hey, if you want me to follow you, click reply and give me your username and I’ll follow you on Periscope.That’s going to be something that people are really going to want to reply to so it’s not just a one way street with you broadcasting to those people, you’re actually going to interact with them by asking them questions and showing them that you actually care. I have got anywhere from 12 to 20 and even up to 40 people that emailed me back on a specific email that I sent out, so that is pretty darn good, because I’m now creating and opening this line of communication with my audience that’s not just one way.
  10. Finally, do not be afraid to sell on your emails. I know that as coaches and online service providers a lot of time we think that we just want to send out really great information, that we don’t want to bother our list, but here’s the thing. You have a business to run, so in order for you to have a viable business, you need clients, you need to sell products, you need to sell stuff, so do not be afraid to sell on your email.As long as you are giving valuable information and it’s not always sell, sell, sell, it’s absolutely okay to sell on your email, and this is a big mistake I made in the beginning of my business because I really thought the same thing. I didn’t want to bother them, I didn’t want them to think that I was salesy or sleazy so I never gave them the call to action to actually buy something.If I knew I was launching something and I wanted to send out an email I was always nervous and felt like they were going to hate me and unsubscribe. I’ve got over that and I’ve realised that I’ve given my audience and continue to give my audience such great value that when I have something to offer, I’m going to offer it, especially when I know that it is going to benefit them.

So those are my top ten tips for breaking the email marketing rules. I’m just going to go over them really quickly one more time.

  • Don’t worry so much about sending out your emails on specific days, but send something out when you have something to say.
  • Send the love it or hate it email and don’t worry about unsubscribes, because you will get them.
  • The actual list number isn’t that important. Make sure you’re looking at the number of people that are opening your emails and focus on that number and those people.
  • While you’re growing your list, make sure that you are nurturing your current list and make sure they know that you really care about them and that you want to continue to give them valuable information even as you are adding to your current list.
  • Don’t send the same emails that everyone else is sending because you will get ignored!
  • Get crafty with your email subject lines and be really creative and unique. Make sure that it’s something that people are going to be dying to find out what’s inside.
  • One call to action at the end of every post. If you’re giving people too much, they won’t do anything.
  • Leave them hungry for more by giving them a little teaser of what’s to come in your future emails.
  • Encourage them to reply by asking a question, asking if they’ve ever struggled with something, offer them help and ask them to reply to you personally to open up a communication that is two way.
  • Don’t be afraid to sell on your emails.

That is it, my friends. I want to thank Jo again for having me on, I really hope that you’ve found this helpful, I really hope that you can take some or all of this and apply it to your business in a way that feels really good and authentic. ‘Bye!

 

Make sure you check out Jenn and her work right here.

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Business Writing Tips From Udemy

busineswritingtips

As you guys know, I am an avid content creator. My angle is all about ideas for content creation, how to ignite your brilliance and sound like you (because you ARE you!), and how to inspire and connect with your audience.

The folks over at Udemy (an amazing place for online courses), shared with us some super handy business writing tips from the Business Writing Course: “Writing With Flair: How To Become An Exceptional Writer” (Instructor Shani Raja), which I know you will all love.

This stuff is about adding power to the way we communicate in business, with simple advice that’s easy to follow.

Ready?

1. Avoid Reversing Into Sentences

Poorly structured sentences often lead with a weaker (subordinate or dependent) clause, and end on an “active” (independent) clause- blunting their impact.

Take the example below:

“In order to aid victims of the earthquake, the organization donated $500,000”.

If this sentence is restructured to lead with the stronger “active” clause, it reads much more naturally: “The organization donated $500,000 in order to aid victims of the earthquake.”

Additionally, this new structure allows the writer to be more concise by removing an unnecessary phrase (“in order to”):

“The organization donated $500,000 to aid victims of the earthquake.”

 

2. Use Crisp Distinctions To Heighten Contrasts Between Opposing Ideas

Drawing effective comparisons is an essential element of any writer’s toolbox.

To maximise the impact of a comparison, make sure that distinctions are clearly structured, specific and as analogous as possible.

This might mean using very specific language: don’t compare Q1 2015 profits with those of “previous quarters”, compare them with last quarter’s profits, or Q1 2014 profits.

Sentence structure and appropriate punctuation also play an important role in heightening distinctions, and guiding users through complex comparisons that bring in multiple details.

Take the following sentence as a negative example: “Candidates for the position include A, a former startup CEO with technical and managerial skills; and a Colorado based contractor, B, who would need to relocate and has four years of industry experience.”

Although all the information in the sentence is relevant to the hiring decision, the structure and punctuation confuses the comparison- since the information about Candidate B’s relocation is not relevant to the comparison of the two candidates’ experience.

Using double dashes to frame that detail as an aside helps reinforce the comparison. “Candidates for the position include A, a former startup CEO with technical and managerial skills, and B — who is based on Colorado and would need to relocate — a contractor with four years of industry experience.”

 

3. Avoid Over-Stretching Your Thoughts

While great writers often use long and complex sentences elegantly, excessively  long strings of sub-clauses can often burden the reader and obscure your point.

The sentence below attempts to squeeze in too many sub-clauses, and it is a challenge for the reader to follow it to conclusion.

“Michael recently moved from China, where he taught English to students in “Solar Valley”, a community that has enjoyed enormous investment from the Himin Solar Energy Group in solar technology, to New York, where he’ll be utilising some of his Chinese contacts to start his own solar energy business.”

With so many clauses and sub-clauses, the meaning of this sentence is lost and the impact blunted.

Tearing it up into two sentences allows the reader to digest the  information in manageable pieces.

Within the first sentence, the use of a colon instead of a third comma also serves to emphasise the final and most important clause of the sentence (which connects it to the next sentence).

“Michael recently returned from China, where he taught English in “Solar Valley”: a community that has enjoyed enormous investment from the Himin Solar Energy Group in solar technology. In New York, he’ll be utilizing some of his Chinese contacts to start his own solar energy business.”

 

 

4. Redundant Word Echoes Make Your Writing Fall Flat

One of the biggest challenges in writing is the necessity of avoiding redundancy.

The lines below illustrate the downside of word repetition:

“The submarine industry is on the upswing; but life in a submarine is notoriously cramped and unpleasant (with many submarine operators churning out of the industry on a regular basis). Nonetheless, submarine enthusiasts and investors in marine extraction industries continue to fill submarine order lists.”

If you have to refer regularly to a word for which there aren’t many direct synonyms (for example, while writing an article about submarines) you might have to get creative.

 

Here are few options:

– a non-direct synonym (vessel, craft) – a metaphor (refer to “life under water” rather than “life in a submarine”) – a generic term (instead of “submarine operator” just “operator”)

 

For those of you who want to learn more, Udemy are giving the first 50 folks using free access to this course (worth $297) with the code DEXTEROUSDIVA.

Click here, and enter the code!

Stay Super,

jo gifford

Jo Gifford

My work is about helping people work in smarter, creative ways + getting their message out to the world via killer content—blogs, copy, images + social. I am a designer, writer, blogger, mentor, author, creativity addict + prolific geek. You could call it a portfolio career of multi-potential multi-passions. I call it being me.
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