Episode #23: What To Do When You Feel Useless As A Solopreneur

When you feel useless as a solopreneur

Hi everyone, it’s Jo Gifford here, and this is episode 23 of Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter.

Today we’re going to be talking all about what to do when it all feels useless as a solopreneur.

I’m sure this is something that many of you will have been through and will have experienced, I know I certainly have.

It’s part of the entrepreneurial journey which I wanted to dive into this morning, and this is my first ever time of recording the podcast as a Google Hangout.

I’m doing a live Google Hangout On Air to record the podcast and so this morning I’m sharing that broadcast to welcome comments and feedback and just as a kind of experiment! You can find the recording at the bottom of this blog too – if you prefer to watch than read!

What to do when it all feels a bit useless?

Not so long ago, probably about a year ago, just before my business kind of exploded to the next level, I really had this feeling an awful lot, that feeling where everything’s useless, it feels like everyone is doing so much better than you and you feel like you’ll never get there. It’s something I know lots of my community feel and I’m sure lots of you guys out there on your entrepreneurial journey will either have felt or might be feeling right now.

That feeling can really hold you back, but it’s also one to embrace and to learn how to move forward with and learn what to do so that next time that rocks up, you can deal with it!


The Why

First of all, let’s look at reasons why you might be feeling useless as an entrepreneur.
One of the first things is the comparison trap. I mentioned earlier that we look at other people and we’re thinking, “oh, it’s fine for them, they’re doing so well, or how come she can do it and I haven’t done it yet?”

That comparison trap is negative for a couple of reasons.

    • It’s negative because you’re projecting a vision of what the person, that company, that brand is experiencing when you don’t know the full details of what they’ve done to build their business, of how they’ve got there and all that sort of stuff.
    • It also reflects on you, in that you don’t believe that you can get there, and mindset is just so much a part of our journey as an entrepreneur.


To try and keep yourself believing that you can do it is part of the battle, and it’s a really huge part of it.

I’m not saying that every day you’re going to wake up full of zing and knowing that you’ve got it in the bag and it’s all going to be awesome and you can totally do this because we’re human, and it’s important to remember that part of the human experience is that sometimes we can just feel a bit crap about stuff, especially as a solopreneur.


If you’re being really visible all the time and if you’re putting yourself out there, you’re hustling, you’re creating products, you’re putting yourself on the line in a really public way, if you feel or perceive rejection or failure, that can be really tough and it can be such a personal feeling. It’s something that you can really take to heart.


The Comparison Trap

So the comparison trap is one thing that can make you feel useless, so try and stay out of that mindset where you’re comparing yourself to other people.



Another reason is tiredness, pure and simple.

As entrepreneurs we’re running our own businesses and often our brains don’t switch off and we’re in it all the time, aren’t we?

We’re brainstorming, we’re thinking about things, we’re doing all the stuff behind the scenes, we’re doing the podcasts, the blogs, the content creation, the marketing, the admin and emails.

Until you build your team, you’re doing a lot of it yourself, so tiredness is really common. Not only are you doing the actual work, client work or building your stuff behind the scenes, but you’re doing the rest of it as well.

Tiredness can really make you feel as if everything’s going a bit wrong, and I am terrible for this one.

Quite often I’ll reach a stage, and I’ll be honest, guys, it happened at the weekend, where I was crying and thinking, what’s going on? I have a real pity party for one and I’m really kind of wondering what’s going on, what shall I do, shall I go back to having a proper job, all this kind of stuff, and actually it’s usually just tiredness.

If I go and have a little chill for a while, I’m fine, so you need to take yourself out of that zone of feeling really ground down and feeling like you’re grinding in your business, like you haven’t got enough time for anything else.

You need to have a balanced life, a space away from your business in order to be as awesome in it as you need to, and also most of us have become solopreneurs and entrepreneurs because we want to have a better work/life balance, and I’m sure lots of you guys have as well.

Keeping the balance

We want to have a better relationship between life away from work and life at work, because actually usually, if it’s our own business, it’s something that we love to do, we just can’t get enough of, and especially if you’re doing it right, you’re sharing your personal gifts with the world, and that’s something you love doing.

We want to keep that balance, we want to keep that mindfulness going on about having enough space away from the screen, having enough space with other human beings, and this is something that we’ve been talking about a lot in the Brilliance Ignition Mastermind, which is a free mastermind.

There’s an option to upgrade to get all the printables and to get more bonus audios and videos, but it’s a free four week mastermind all about igniting your brilliance and using creative thinking in business.

A huge part of the creative process in business is to enable the space to happen, so you need to have space for your ideas, you need to step away from the noise to be able to let your genius shine through. Sometimes if you’re feeling overwhelm and tiredness it’s because you’re in it too much and need to get out, and that can mean an hour away from the noise.

Be brave and maybe take a couple of days away from social media, see how you feel about that. Maybe you could even outsource if you’re at the stage where you have a VA or someone to help you. Maybe you could outsource your inbox for a few days and get used to not having your emails flowing in to you, get used to stepping away from social media just a bit, and I promise you, guys, the world will not fall in! It will all be fine!

Finding Space

Just to find that space really helps you to tune into yourself and what you really want to be doing and it keeps you back on track. It also works as part of the creative thinking process, so we have that space for what we call illumination, those Eureka moments.

I’m sure you guys have noticed if you’re ever in the shower or out having a run and you’re switched off from everything, that’s when your best moments happen and your ideas often rock up. You can actually help that process by building in space, and part of that is to listen to your body and listen to your mindset.

If your negative talk is occurring a lot more often, if you feel like you can’t cope and it’s all feeling too much, step back a little bit. It often doesn’t take as long as you think, because usually when you’re in that zone you feel as if you’re so busy and you can’t possibly step away because what’s going to happen, well, actually, you’re not working effectively if you are in that zone.

I’m telling myself as well as you guys, because I used to reach that stage, and as my business grows and grows there’ll be more learning curves to have, and I know people above me who have been doing this longer than me who still have that stage and it’s something that you just have to learn.

Say a year ago, I was having this feeling, this zone, probably every week I’d feel completely useless, everything’s rubbish, I’m never going to get there, then as I learnt to work with that feeling and to know that things are getting better, to know that I’ve been working really hard and I’ve just got to take a break, I know now that that is part of the journey, so now when it happens, I can usually turn it around fairly quickly.

Here’s what I do

I usually step away, I’ll grab a rest, I’ll watch a film, I’ll go and have a walk, I’ll do some artwork, I’ll just chill and perhaps watch something awful on Netflix.

Often if I’m feeling really in that negative mindset or comparison trap I’ll use EFT which is Emotional Freedom Technique.

For those of you who don’t know it, it’s a great one to look up, and I know that Denise Duffield Thomas is a great fan of this. I’m part of her Lucky Bitch Bootcamp and you can check that out on my affiliate link.
She goes through a lot of the benefits of using EFT to get rid of your mindset and money blocks around success, because a lot of the reasons why we have mindset and money blocks is because often we’re reaching a new level of success and visibility.

Upper Limits

I know myself whenever I’ve reached a new level, perhaps I’ve gained a whole new audience, perhaps I’m launching a new product, perhaps I’ve become even more visible and it’s feeling a little bit more uncomfortable, that next level can bring with it what we call the upper limit problems. I would urge you to read The Big Leap by the amazing Gay Hendricks where he talks about the upper limit problem.

It’s almost as if energetically your system has been programmed you to allow a certain level of success, and when you reach that, you’re really stretching yourself and you perhaps don’t believe the next level is possible. It’s almost like you’ve reached your own glass ceiling, so to move beyond that you have to change your mindset and allow yourself to believe that you can go further.

Upper limit problems can manifest as all sorts of things, as tiredness, as overwhelm, as illness, all sorts of things, so often this kind of feeling that you’re completely useless can really just be part of growth. It’s all part of reaching your next level of success, and so often it’s an indicator that you’re doing really well, so it’s worth bringing that into the mix.

What YOU Can Do

Let’s also think about what we can do when it all feels completely useless. As you would imagine, I wrote a blog post on it a while ago, and this one I think really hit some chords with lots of people.

So we’ve talked about finding some space, stepping away from the noise, finding space to be creative and brilliant and to just step back. A lot of it is just not having judgements, so I say find some space to be brilliant, but that can immediately make you feel like, aargh, I need to go away and be amazing. You don’t, you just need to be, you just need to hide away from the screen, from social media, from expectations, from your own mind for a little while and just let yourself be you.

This is one thing that I talk about in my blog post – which I’ll leave in the show notes below – is that sometimes you just need to reconnect with people who have no idea what you do in this online business world, people who don’t care what you do, who don’t care whether your launch has been successful or whether you’ve had x amount of open rates or whether your funnel was working properly, just people who love you for who you are.

That to me means connecting with my kids, particularly, with the mini divas. They don’t care whether my launch has worked or not, they just care that I’m mummy and that I’m hanging out with them. I can connect with my friends, friends who don’t know anything about my business, or kind of know about it, but don’t really mind and have known me for years and years and know who Jo really is. That is really important to me, it’s really grounding.

Who can you be with and connect with and hang out with who loves you unconditionally for who you are, whether or not you’ve made six figures in a month?
Who can you hang out with that can just boost you for being you? Help you re-find your flow, find some space, reconnect with your brilliance, look back and see how far you’ve come!

This is a really important point. Often we’re looking forward all the time which is great because we’re manifesting, we’re visualising, we’re working towards something, but look back and see how far you’ve come.

When I did this just the other week, I was having a moment and I spoke to my mastermind buddy and good friend, Tara Newman – and you guys must check her out – we were talking and she was like, Jo, you’ve increased your business ten times in a year. I was like, oh yeah, that’s actually really good. Tara really had to show me that this time last year I would have been really envious of myself right now. My audience has grown ten times, my sales have grown ten times, literally everything has grown ten times, and because I’m still looking to the future, I kind of couldn’t see that.

It’s important to look back and see how far you’ve come

Go through your notebooks from last year and maybe look at your goals from the years before and realise that you’ve actually come such a long way!

Remember that experience is vital and you just can’t hack it. This is a post that I wrote as well about how experience can’t be hacked. You can’t hack all those feelings, all those growth spurts personally and in business that you have as an entrepreneur. You can’t fast forward. You can learn from others, you can have coaching, you can have mentors. You can fast forward by taking on board learning and investing in yourself, but part of the journey is that your journey is bespoke to you, it’s unique, and you just can’t fast forward it.

Remember that everyone else starts from somewhere as well. All the people that you admire, Marie Forleo, Danielle LaPorte, Jonathan Fields and Denise DT, anybody who is an awesome entrepreneur who you really love, they’ve started off from somewhere, they’ve started off with a rubbish website, with no audience, not knowing how to do this stuff as well.

Everybody starts from somewhere Check out this post that shows you how awful their websites were when they started out. Actually, everyone really has to start from somewhere, so you are on your part of the journey and you can’t compare your middle to someone else’s end or someone who is further down the line, it just doesn’t work.

We talked about EFT as being something that can really help move along those feelings of failure, and another great person to turn to for EFT is Brad Yates. If you Google him or look him up on YouTube he has got so many scripts about tapping and clearing and unblocking negative thoughts around money, around success, around business, so have a look at Brad Yates and he will provide you with some scripts.

We’ve grounded ourselves with people who love us unconditionally, we’ve taken some time out, we’ve tapped it out, we’ve gone to be creative and we’ve made some space.

Build a Gang

Do also connect with people who do get it, who really understand, who really know what you’re working on, so build a little posse around you, which we talk in the Brilliance Ignition Mastermind as being your cluster of people who totally understand what you’re up to.

This might look like a mastermind buddy or two, it might be in your Facebook communities, it might be in offline networking events or it might be people who you talk to online. Whatever it is, people who know who you do, it should probably be your coach or your mentor, having these people are part of your team who really know what you’re about and can help you move on, is really, really important. They can be the ones to kick you up the butt and make things work a bit faster.

Feel the Love

Another really handy thing to do is to store your love letters and testimonials from clients and your audience, and I have a couple of ways of doing this.

I tend to paste any lovely comments and words of appreciation and thanks, either when people hit reply from a newsletter or they thank me for a programme or for a one to one session or something, I store those emails in Evernote which makes it really easy to dive in if I’m feeling really crappy and I feel completely useless and nothing’s working. I can pop in and see that so-and-so said last week that my hour session with them helped them unbelievably and they’re moving forward in their business, and I can really feel that, okay, that’s great, I do know my stuff.
Or maybe somebody from Blogging for Business Bootcamp has been writing about how their audience has doubled and their sales are coming in and they’ve actually built a whole business using their blog, and I’ll know that I’ve made a difference.

I also have a jar of awesome in which I write down things which I’m really proud of, really pleased with, any quotes that people have sent to me, and I fold it up in the jar and I can dip into it if I feel really, really rubbish.

Over To You

I would love to hear how you guys feel. I would love to hear how you have dealt with feeling useless as an entrepreneur.
Have you got any strategies to get over that awful feeling, have you discovered ways of coping with it? There are all sorts of ways that you can get your comments to me.

You can either email me, hello@dexterousdiva.co.uk you can tweet me @dexdiva using hashtag #episode23, you can leave me a comment below this podcast or you can find me on Facebook, facebook.com/dexdiva.

On the website, you will see a little icon on the right hand side which says ‘leave me a voicemail’ and you can go ahead and do just that and I will give you a shout out next week on the podcast with some comments.

I would love to hear how you get on when you feel useless as an entrepreneur. What do you do? Have you applied any of the strategies that I’ve been talking about here? How do you make it work for you in your business?
I record a podcast every Monday and it drops every Friday on iTunes, on Stitcher radio and on my site, so you’ll be able to listen to that then, but if you’ve been part of the hangout right now, you’ve seen it already! Until next week, have an awesome day and stay brilliant!

As promised here’s the video for those of you who like to watch!


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Episode #22: The Scope for re-purposing Periscope in Content Creation


The Scope For Periscope In Content Creation

In this episode, I’m talking all about how you can use Periscope for content creation.

Hi everyone, it’s episode 22 of Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter, and I am, of course, Jo Gifford, the Dexterous Diva.

I’m thrilled to be back with another episode of my podcast, and this week I’m going to be talking about the scope for Periscope in content creation.

For those of you who listened to last week’s podcast all about using Periscope for solopreneurs, or looked at the material on my website including the complete guide for using Periscope as a solopreneur and the trends we would expect to see and how people are using it, this is a really big thing.

I’m completely hooked on this format for so many reasons, so just to recap, Periscope is a live video streaming app which allows you to point the camera from your smartphone at anything you like, anything you’re looking at – and of course that includes yourself – and you can broadcast live to an audience.

Because Periscope is linked with Twitter you have a native inbuilt following, and as soon as you start your live broadcast it goes straight out to your Twitter feed (obviously you have the option to turn that off!) and your followers whom you’ve probably built up over time.
People can hop straight onto your broadcast, and what is amazing about these broadcasts is that
you can jump on for a few minutes and add some immense value to your audience and to your followers by just being yourself.
You’re giving people an insight in real time to your life, so I’m going to do one straight after this podcast and talk about recording the podcast and what I’ve just done. It’s great that you can show insights from behind the scenes, you can

  • answer adhoc Q&As
  • you can do behind the scenes at events
  • you can do ‘how to’s
  • you can do all sorts of stuff, and people can ask you questions in real time

You’ll see there are little text updates on the app itself while you’re broadcasting, so you can respond live.

This is going to have a huge impact on so many businesses.

I think that whilst I love the format of Google Hangouts and webinars for the really structured and more planned approach, for me to be able to jump onto Periscope any time of day and speak to people, to answer questions and be involved and be the brand of Jo Gifford behind the scenes, is just such an amazing opportunity.

But What About After?

What I want to talk about a little bit in this episode is what you can do after you’ve done your live broadcast. After all this is a great way to broadcast live, but then what? The episodes and the broadcasts disappear after 24 hours on the native app itself, so after you’ve completed your live broadcast it doesn’t stay around.

You might be aware of the other work I do running the Blogging for Business Bootcamp, and it’s all about creating content for business, getting your message out to the world and really doing it in a smart way, so using time and social media effectively, setting up loads of blog and work hacks to get stuff done in less time, because after all as solopreneurs we’re juggling a lot of stuff.

This is really important for content creators to be able to make it fun and work in a way that works for you. 

That’s one of the main products I’m known for, and the other one I’m starting up is the process which underpins everything I’ve been doing so far, and it’s called The Brilliance Ignition process. If you hop over, you’ll find a free four week mastermind course and it’s all about how to keep your creative well full as a solopreneur, how to upcycle your content, how to take action and get clarity through content creation, right the way up to flexing your hustle muscle and adding creative thinking into your business.

In both Blogging for Business Bootcamp and Brilliance Ignition, creating content regularly is a theme that I really amp up.

That’s not to say that I think you should create a blog post or podcast every day or whatever it is, because these things take time. It takes me a week from recording my podcast to get the transcript done, to get the image done, to get it all set up on the blog and make sure we’ve scheduled everything.

What I do really advocate is doing small chunks of content creation on a daily basis so you can slice up a blog post or slice up planning your next batch of vlogs. By doing something every day, it kind of keeps your brain really attuned to help you get some clarity through what you’re doing. I like to think of it as an artist who practises sketching or life drawing every day.

As most visual artists know, whatever their field of work, if you’re keeping your eye in tune, it’s kind of like the building blocks to those amazing moments of brilliance that will occur in artwork, and the same is true of content creation. If we spend ten or 15 minutes every day creating some content, be it sitting down to write 200 words for a Facebook update or part of a blog post or, as we’re going to talk about in this case, hopping onto Periscope. Whatever you do on a regular basis helps your brain keep attuned to what you’re doing. It really helps you focus on what you’re passionate about, especially if you’re an entrepreneur leading others, as I am, as many others are.

It’s a great way to make sure that your message is getting clearer every time you sit down to create content. In the same way an artist might be doing life drawing to keep their eye in, regular content creation helps us to keep clarity, helps us to ignite these lurking ideas and helps us really get to the gold dust of the stuff.

What’s that got to do with Periscope?

Well, I have been creating a Periscope broadcast on pretty much a daily basis for the last couple of weeks, and this has shown me a number of things.

It’s shown me that people really respond to live interaction and it’s shown me that people love to be able to have shout-outs, to ask me questions live, to really guide the way that a conversation might go, and to see behind the scenes and get to know me as a person.

It’s still in a one to many format, but to bond with me on a slightly different level than perhaps reading a blog post or listening to this podcast. The great thing about that is that if I broadcast for maybe five or ten minutes every day for five days a week, that’s five broadcasts of five minutes, and this is interesting, because what you can do with each of these broadcasts is super exciting.

You can save your broadcast when it’s finished to the camera roll of your smartphone. There were some third party API driven web apps where you could still view your broadcast online but I’ve noticed that they’ve been taken down, so there may be more in the future, but for the moment let’s work with saving your broadcast to your phone.

So How Can You Use Your Scope?

From here you have a video and you can do several things with that video.
You can send it off to be transcribed and there are plenty of ways that you can do that. You can send it off to somebody on Fiverr, which is the way I first dabbled in getting transcriptions done. I now have a transcriptionist who is amazing and we have a Dropbox folder set up. I ping her a note whenever we’ve got a new file in there for her to transcribe and she pings it back in a couple of days.

So you can either find someone if you might be doing stuff regularly or just use Fiverr for adhoc jobs, but you can get that thing transcribed. With a transcript you can then edit that to be a blog post, so you’ve not only created content from your broadcast, but you now have the option to turn that into a blog post.

You can either keep it as one blog post which might make sense for you, or you might split it up. Say you’ve had people asking you different questions, you might want to split it up into different posts per question, so now you have more than one post from this one broadcast.

From that blog post you can make that into some kind of PDF slide viewing version of your broadcast, again you can have that done on Fiverr, you could do it yourself or you could ask your VA to do it if you have a team. You’ve now really condensed that information into text and into a slide, so you could upload that to SlideShare.

SlideShare is an amazing platform to really get your work seen and to drive new traffic back to your blog posts, and this has worked really well for me in the past. People love to use SlideShare as a platform to research and find new content that’s really helpful and it’s actually somewhere I dive into quite often if I’m doing research for blog posts or ebooks. To have content there is going to help people find your site, so upload it into SlideShare to find a whole new audience.

You could also use that slide presentation on LinkedIn, you can use it on Facebook and you can use it back on your blog. You can even pin it to Pinterest, so you’re spreading the same content out to different networks.

Let’s go even further!

You have a video from your Periscope and you can upload that to YouTube. The thing with Periscope is that the app format tends to have the video in the portrait setting as opposed to landscape so it’s not brilliant for YouTube, but the quick rough and ready aspect of it is fine and people accept that that’s how the app works.

You will now have a presence on one of the world’s biggest search engines a great way again to be populating your channel with video. You can also extract the audio from it and upload it to Soundcloud, so now you have an audio version of your Periscope.

And Further Still..

You can even have a collection of your audios and put them together as one long weekly podcast. You could put them together in Audacity or Garage Band, which is what I use, and suddenly you have a whole week’s worth of stuff from five minutes a day of doing your Periscopes.


Do you see how exciting this is, guys? I’m so excited about Periscope for content creation and for recycling that content, because I think you’re like me in that we’re really busy. We’ve got client work to do and lots of us have passive income products we’re creating or running AND we’ve got some VIP stuff behind the scenes.

Not Forgetting That…

We also want to get some life/work balance in here and have time off with our families and we want to be outside enjoying life. Most of us entrepreneurs do this because we want to have a better work/life balance, and content creation is something which I know really grinds people down sometimes. I get emails all the time from people who do my free blog challenge saying,

I don’t have time for this stuff, and how can I do this in a way that’s really time effective, I’m drowning in stuff to do!

By the way, if you haven’t done my blog challenge yet, it’s a ten day free resource which walks you through how to create content in really smart ways.

In the first email of the blog challenge I ask people to hit reply and tell me what they’re struggling with, and without fail all the time it’s things like, I’m struggling for time, Jo, I don’t know how to get content creation done in time! Using Periscope to re-purpose stuff is one way that we can make this new platform work really smartly for you.

Repurpose Content from PeriscopeDon’t forget that for each medium that you do, whether you’ve extracted audio from your video or you’ve turned it into YouTube, to SlideShare, you can then go even further. You can pull out quotes of stuff that you said on your Periscope, hop into Canva or PicMonkey or whatever it is that works for you and create a quote of that thing that you said, upload it to social media, use it on Instagram, use it on Twitter, use it on Facebook, use it on Pinterest and pin it. You can make that one five minute Periscope broadcast go such a long way!

If you’re creating it every day or even if you do it once a week, see how much you can get from this one thing which is already adding value to your followers, your clients and your audience by you being available live, and then you can re-purpose it and go really far with it. As we’ve already seen we’ve got a YouTube option, Soundcloud option, Pinterest, social media, SlideShare, all of this stuff, just from one five minute broadcast.

Over To You

I’d be really excited to hear how you guys have been using your Periscope broadcasts. Rather than letting them fall off the face of the planet when you’ve finished your broadcast, use them and get excited about how this can be a really clever way to create content in a really time efficient manner. Jump on for five minutes and then extract stuff and re-purpose it on your platforms.

If we look at all those possibilities I know that some people can feel really overwhelmed. This can sound like a lot to do, so just pick one thing and start off with that. Maybe the first thing you do is to get it transcribed and you have the actual text in front of you of your broadcast.

Even if you just pull some quotes out from that and turn them into imagery, that’s brilliant, you’ve made Periscope work harder for you already. Maybe next time you know you’re really confident with that so you might go ahead and pin it on Pinterest as well. Maybe you might then work on building it into a blog post, but guys, I’m so excited about how you can use Periscope.

You can even schedule some live stuff with your community work and build it in with programmes you’re doing, if that works for you.

Make it Work for You

For me, as most of you know, as someone who lives and works with a range of chronic health problems, I find the scheduled stuff really difficult. If I have a really big webinar booked or something where I need to be live, I try and keep those to a minimum, because for me, I can never be 100 per cent sure that I can be on my game and be completely with it and able to do what I know I need to do, which is why for me, podcasting really works well, blogging works well, having my courses out there working for me on a one to many format works really well.

Periscope works well because if I’m feeling good and I’m feeling fine, I can just jump on and I can serve people in that way, and then I can use that content and go further with it.

I would love to hear from you guys what you’ve seen out there of people re-purposing Periscopes. How have you been re-purposing Periscopes? What is inspiring you from this podcast and from my blog to take this content a little further? Even better than that, I would love for you to tweet me any blog posts you’ve done which have been upcycled Periscopes and I would love you either to tag me on Facebook at facebook.com/dexdiva or tweet me @dexdiva and of course you can follow me on Periscope @dexdiva.

I’m so excited to hear about what this might ignite for you and if it’s inspired your brilliance at all. Don’t forget there are a few free resources that you can jump onto, so I mentioned my blog challenge. There’s the Brilliance Ignition masterclass and also really get involved with what’s happening and keep your ears to the ground about how people are using the stuff. I’ll be here guiding you with new developments and new trends with Periscope as they unfold, and I would love to hear back from you.

As always, if you want to get in touch with me in the ways that I mentioned before, tweet me @dexdiva or on Facebook, facebook.com/dexdiva, and you can also leave me a voicemail. If you head on over to my website you’ll see a little tab on the right hand side, ‘send a voicemail’, and that voicemail comes directly to my inbox and I can pick up your question or feedback. I love hearing from you, so please feel free to drop me a line.

As always I’m really grateful that you’ve tuned in to my podcast. I’m recording every week and this will be dropping every Friday, so do make sure that you are subscribed on iTunes and you can also pick this up on my website, and all the show notes are there under each episode. I’m really grateful that you tuned in, have an awesome day, and if I have inspired you in any way to get scoping, do let me know.
End of transcript

Episode #21: Periscope For Solopreneurs + Growing Brilliant Facebook Communities


In this episode, I talk about how Periscope and facebook groups can help you grow your biz.

Well, hello, gorgeous podcast people, it’s Jo Gifford here, the Dexterous Diva, and this is episode 21 of Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter.

Today I have a couple of subjects for you. The first I want to talk about is scoping, and for those of you who haven’t yet discovered Periscope, you are in for a treat. I’m sure most of you have, it’s the app that’s taking the web by storm at the moment, and Periscope is available both on Android and iPhone.

What it’s all about essentially is viewing the world through somebody else’s eyes.

You use your phone to show people what you’re seeing in front of you to have live interaction with people, and equally you can join in other people’s broadcasts, which is what we’re calling these live streams.
I’m hooked, guys, I’m not going to lie, it’s amazing!

Periscope is owned by Twitter, so when you join you log in with your Twitter ID and it’s super easy to set up. You enable your microphone and camera and just jump in and do your first broadcast.

Ready Made Audience

Admittedly at first it feels kind of weird, but the great thing is because it’s native to Twitter, it shows all your followers that you’re broadcasting live, so if you already have an audience on Twitter you can use that native audience to show people that you are broadcasting and that you’re online and available to be talking or doing stuff.

What’s interesting about it at the moment is watching how the early adopters are using it, and there are some really interesting things starting to shape up that are particularly of note for solopreneurs, so let’s just walk you through ways that you could use this tech for your business.

How it Works

The way it works is that essentially this:

  • choose whether to tweet out your live broadcast as well, (basically saying what you’re seeing)
  • call your broadcast the title of whatever you want to talk about or whatever you can see
  • jump on and get going!

What happens is that people can interact with you in real time, so you will see text updates and comments from people and if they like what you’re saying, you will see loads of hearts. This is a screenshot of me this morning:
Dexdiva Scoping

People can click the screen, a little bit like Instagram, and every time they press the screen it sends you out a love heart which gives you some feedback as to whether people are enjoying what you’re showing them.

Re-use, Recycle, Repurpose!

After a broadcast has finished, Periscope only keeps it online for 24 hours, but you do have the option to save it to your camera roll on your iPod or iPad and you then have a video that you can use.

You could upload it to YouTube, you could have it transcribed and made into a blog post or you could even extract the audio and use it for a podcast.

It’s kind of exciting what you can do with this content creation, and what I particularly have been using it for has been to jump on and do some live Q&As with people about blogging for business and about Brilliance Ignition, my current programme. You KNOW how I love to repurpose!

It’s been great just to be able to jump into the Facebook groups and say,

hi guys, I’m going to be on Periscope in ten minutes

and I will literally just broadcast from wherever I am.

I can reach hundreds of people at one time and it’s really nice, because it feels like I’m adding value by being able to be there live for people. They’re getting real interaction with me, they’re able to ask questions that I can answer on the spot, and it’s been a lovely vibe so far.

The downside is that there are a lot of strange people online, so because people can have live interaction with you in real time you get people asking questions that really are not appropriate!

I love the fact that we don’t have to plan this, it’s not like a funnel of, here’s my opt in, here’s my webinar which is on such and such a date, so I’m not using it as a list building thing. I’m using it to interact with people and have a chance to get to know some of you guys some more. It’s really exciting!

So please come and check me out on Periscope @dexdiva, and my plan is that I’m jumping on daily to have a chat with you guys about something. If you’re not on the programme, by the way, you can find it here, where we’re talking about igniting your brilliance and creative thinking as a solopreneur, and how to inject some real brilliance into your work.

Still Not Sure How to Use Periscope?

Stick with me! It’s interesting and it’s really one to watch, and for those of you who are interested in how you can use it for your business, I happened to write a blog post on it, don’t you know, so head over to The Guide to Periscope – Everything Solopreneurs need to know to read all about it.

I go through everything from what Periscope is, how to use it, getting started, the interface, how to broadcast and interact, how big brands are using Periscope, ideas for marketing with it, how you can use it for your business, what it means for your business, tips for using Periscope and future predictions for it.

I’d be really excited for you guys to hop on over and join in the Periscope conversation, and also of course to jump onto Periscope and follow me @dexdiva. It’s a really exciting platform and I think that we’re going to see a lot of brand interaction on it.

Who Else is Scoping?

As solopreneurs we are our brands, aren’t we? so by showcasing our brilliance, our quirks and our behind the scenes, you guys get to know us and your audience can get to know you. I’ve seen some estate agents locally who are using it to show people virtual tours of the house they’re trying to sell, so it will be interesting to see if it changes the way that the estate agent industry is working. I’ve seen the beauty industry being really on it by doing live demos and things like that.

It’ll be really interesting to see how other big brands jump on board with this technology and use Periscope. It’s amazing, we’ve gone from visual content being really important to video being really important to live streaming video being really important, and it works really well for me.

Those of you who follow me and who know my work know that I juggle a few chronic illnesses as well as my family and running my biz, and so for me, if I plan a whole webinar, live call chat thing, I don’t always know that I’m going to be alright to do it, but I can just jump onto Periscope and be there live when I feel fine, and it’s a great way to add value and to meet you all.

Do check out my post, The Guide to Periscope for Solopreneurs.

Facebook Groups

I had a couple of questions I wanted to jump on in today’s episode, and I’m now recording these every Monday to go out on a Friday and am open to your questions. You can leave me questions by tweeting me @dexdiva or by leaving a message on my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/dexdiva. You could also leave me a voicemail if you want to, so head to dexterousdiva.co.uk and on the right hand side there you’ll see a little widget that says ‘send voicemail’. If you just click on that tab you can send me a voicemail with your question or with some feedback and I can jump on it in a future episode.

The one I wanted to respond to today was a question from Daire who says,

“How do you create such brilliant Facebook groups?”

A brilliant question to dive into!

I’m really proud of my Facebook groups, I have to say. For some time we’ve had The Dexterous Divas and Dudes Facebook group which has been my main tribe, but we’re now moving everybody over to the Brilliance Ignition group because that’s really my signature work.

In the 18 months or so that I’ve had The Dexterous Divas and Dudes group it’s grown to such an amazing community of people, it’s so exciting to see. I have the main tribe group and I also have The Blogging for Business Bootcamp group, which is everyone working through the Blogging for Business Bootcamp programme. Obviously I’m also growing the Brilliance Ignition one and I also use Facebook groups for the pop up Pinterest courses I’ve done.

So let’s start with Divas and Dudes. That grew up to about a thousand people in just over a year and there are a lot more people than that on my list, but I think the main user base of the Facebook group are people who love to be in there.

The How

The way that I grew that first and the way I tried to develop an open culture of sharing and support was to give prompts on certain days of the weeks. On a Monday we have a kind of, hey guys, what are you planning for the week shout out, on a Wednesday we have the ‘pimp your post and your products’ thread, so people can jump straight in and let us know what they’re doing, and on a Friday we have a round-up of the week, what’s been good for you, what’s been bad, let’s share it. I think having those daily prompts to work around gives a framework for people to have discussion.

What’s also been really important is to lead with the ethos of the group, so I was quite clear that I didn’t want the group to be one in which people are just pitching all the time, even disguised pitching. What I mean by that is quite often people in a Facebook group might have a status update or a thread in there that’s kind of like, hi, could you have a look at my sales page, and yet there’s no real reason to have a look at the sales page, just literally, please go to my sales page, but in a really cloaked way. Urghhhh, no thanks!

So we’ve been clear when growing the Divas and Dudes group that we just want it to be somewhere that’s really supportive and a safe place to be. As solopreneurs and entrepreneurs we need somewhere we can go and rant and rave and share our wins and ask questions. There are people with different skills in there and it’s place to ask for support, advice and feedback and to share what you’re up to. It’s really grown into such an amazing place!

The Challenges

The challenges with it have been spammers joining the group and people not adhering to the group rules, and as that’s got much bigger, the challenges have been in moderating that and making sure that people are still having a happy experience.

What I did with that was I got some people on board to help me and I asked key members of the group if they’d like to moderate for me because I’m not online all the time, you just can’t be. I’ve had my trusty team of peeps helping to moderate the group and I’m super grateful for them.

They know my work really well so they’ve been able to shape discussions around what I’m up to and they know the vibe of the group as they’ve been there since the beginning. If anyone is jumping in spamming or in there asking for sign-ups to their webinar on a day that’s not a ‘pimp your post’ day, then we just deal it with that way using the team.

Meanwhile Over In The Other Groups

Over in the bootcamp group there are far fewer people and at the moment, as of June 2015, there are just over 100 people who are doing the Blogging for Business Bootcamp. It’s a smaller group of people and I’ve found as that reached a critical mass of just over 50 or so, the group started more to look after itself. I’m in there with advice, with leading questions, with challenges and stuff, but the group has also begun to kind of splinter off and do its own little challenges.

A while ago someone started a 21 day blogging challenge to go through the stuff again and stay accountable to people. A lot of it has been creating a framework again to talk around, so I’ll schedule prompts and images in the group to get people inspired and talking, and then they go from there. It’s almost like giving enough material for people to know the ethos and the culture of the group and to be there myself, but to then allow people to take it on themselves and shape the group a little bit.

The Pop Up Pinterest Facebook groups I’ve used for my five day Pinterest courses have been a similar thing. Again that’s a more intense thing that’s only there for five days and only exists for that course, and so as people work through the materials they again have prompts scheduled in there and then me jumping in, in real time.

What has made the groups really exciting, certainly in the Dexterous Divas and Dudes, has been having a weekly workshop. I invite somebody from the community or even go in myself to run a workshop every Monday, so there’s a free thread in there where someone’s sharing their skills.

It feels like a really supportive, encouraging place, and it takes a bit of work to keep it like that, but building a team around you, when the time is right to help moderate that, be it a VA or some Facebook moderators or whoever you need, is really key.

Be Crystal Clear

Be clear about what you want from your Facebook group. Is it somewhere where you want people to be able to pitch? Do you want it to be pitch free? Do you want to have a certain day where people can go crazy and share what they’re up to? How do you want the vibe to be? If you’re clear from the outset how you want it to be, you can kind of shape the group discussions around that and make sure people are aware of how you roll.

Other challenges I’ve discovered from running large Facebook groups are that people message you a lot via Facebook Messenger. I’ve built some boundaries around that and let people know to email me because I can deal with email and file it better and make sure that things don’t get missed, whereas if I’m receiving some private Facebook messages I can’t keep up with all the messages and things get lost.

As you’re growing your business and using Facebook for biz, if you don’t want to receive things via Messenger, just let people know that and build it in as part of your culture. People will come to respect that.

I love the Facebook groups I’m in as a member, I love mine because I just adore the vibe people have in there and it’s such a supportive culture. Just figure out what you want from it.

Running a Facebook group does take time, it takes vision, it takes some effort, but while a Facebook page is fantastic for finding new people and for marketing and all that sort of stuff, a community group that’s run really well and is a great place to be reaps so many rewards. People become loyal to you, they know your work, they know each other’s work, they’ll support each other, and I’ve found it to be a fantastic tool for my business.

Over to you

So over to you guys, I’d love to hear what Facebook groups you’re in that you love, which ones have you found great, what problems have you found yourself in running a Facebook group? Are there any problems that you discover when trying to create and run one? I’d love to hear, so you can tweet me @dexdiva and use #episode21 for the chat, or you can follow me on Facebook, www.facebook.com/dexdiva, or you can leave a comment below this podcast on the blog.

If you have any queries or questions or things that you want to add in for next week’s podcast recording, then drop me a line. I can’t wait to hear your questions and get your feedback. That’s it for today’s episode, thank you so much for listening. If you have enjoyed the show, please head over to iTunes and leave a review, and also do send me either a voicemail through the website or you can find me on my Facebook page. I can’t wait to hear from you. Alright guys, be brilliant, have a brilliant week and I’ll speak to you soon.

What Would Jo Gifford Do? Well, It’s THIS….

One of the most amazing things to emerge from the last year has been the emergence of the “what would Jo Gifford do?” meme.

(I know, right?!)

Time and again, in the community groups of my programmes, in mentoring calls and via email, I have been told that channelling the inner Jo Gifford has become a “thing”.

What an honour, from this incredible position of working with glorious people,


For some time now, I have shared my tips and knowledge in working smarter, content creation, and building a business.

I have talked and taught how to work less and do more, how to find your flow and feed your own creative well in order for ideas to emerge and for remarkable content to emerge.


Everything I bring to my business and those of people who hang with me, comes from my background as a designer, manager, copywriter, lecturer, and content creator.

Of course, as you all know, they are also tempered with the life of a self employed Mum with chronic illnesses.


My ideas on blogging go far beyond the scope of putting words on the WordPress editor.



My “thang” is about creating a body of work to re-purpose, re-cycle, up-cycle, hustle, teach and test.


It’s creating products from content.


Everything I have taught so far, from the practise of doing something new each day, to finding your flow, working smarter and up-cycling content to fledgling products is part of a process I feel is unique to me.

It’s a collection of activities that feel personally Jo, that are tried, tested and loved through blog posts, programmes, opt-ins and mentoring.


It’s a set of processes that form the whole, the Jo Gifford approach.

It’s my power moves to get creative, contribute content, and build your business with authenticity and authority.


The set of processes has incredible impact and value when taught as a whole.

The resulting changes of the business and life of solopreneurs who implement what I teach have been huge – and long may that continue.


As I begin to brand the “What would Jo Gifford do” process, I am excited.

By packaging up the knowledge and processes that underpin the programmes and products I have already put out to the world, I know I can do so much more and reach more awesome entrepreneurs.


I have plans, people.

The “what would Jo Gifford do” question will be increasingly easier to answer.

It’s the ignition of brilliance.

Let the Brilliance Ignition Process begin.

Why Information Rocks Your Biz

As you may remember, I am in Week 2 now of creating content every day.

The content is taking different forms – blog posts, audio, lists, images, all sorts – all with the goal of testing myself to produce valuable information regularly.

(For those of you following #contentdaily, don’t worry, I will be rounding up with one almighty post at the end).



Information is what blew up my business, and is (probably) why you are here reading this l’il old post.


Well, that and my enigmatic charm, natch.

Information sets you apart by:

– adding value to your readers

– showcasing your skills and expertise

– demonstrating your wealth of knowledge and experience.

– helping your potential clients and readers to have quick wins and see how you work.

– giving us an insight to YOU and your brand.



Of course blog posts do this, which is why they are hugely important for your biz. (stay tuned for Blogging for Business Bootcamp to return with new togs on soon).


You can also do this with what I call “Mini Info Optins”.


Say whaaaat?


Think about it.


If you have taken my Blog Challenge, done my Raving Fans Challenge or grabbed my Definitive Guide To Visual Content, you have seen an example of a mini info optin.


A mini info optin allows your readers and future clients to get a taster of working with you.
It also builds you list by offering something of value to sign up for.

*side note*: I am becoming less and less fond of the term “list” – last time I checked, you are human, and not just an entry in my Ontaport. More on that in this sneak peak audio from Next Level Labs. As you were…


A mini info optin might be:

– an audio guide

– a mini programme

– a challenge

– a mini ebook

–  a series of videos

– a webinar

…or indeed anything else your wonderfully creative brain thinks of.


Creating something for your audience – both existing and future – is a proven, winning formula to building your biz.

Mini optins provide quick wins and value…

They give your readers a chance to implement – quickly – some tips.

They are like a try-before-you-buy sampler of Brand You.

You can use them as a marketing funnel for larger products, or to create niche lists within one list.

…your options are huge.



Of course, getting down to actually create the things can be a challenge some of us find hard.

So, I have set aside a weekend to help you do just that.


In one weekend, together we will create and implement your very own mini info optin.

There are 3 options to choose from all with some extra special magic from me to make this whole experience super fun. After all, it’s totally ok to have a lot of fun while you build your business!

And, if like me you don’t have whole weekends to yourself, I have that covered, too.

Have a fabulous week and stay super,

jo gifford







Other stories I wrote this week:

5 Ways To Find And Keep Your Raving Fans

Tools I Can’t Live Without In My Biz

2 Super Simple Reasons Visual Content Rocks

2 Super Simple Reasons Visual Content Rocks

There as SO many reasons to go visual and to harness the power of visual content.


A question I get asked often over in my Blogging for Business Bootcamp is  “Should I bother adding images to my posts? It takes a lot of time…what’s the point?”

So let’s get clear on WHY visual is important in just 2, super simple, easy to remember, steps.

visual content



1. Brain Power

Our brains process visuals faster than information presented in text format.

visual content


2. Get Shared

Visual content and post with images are shared much more than their Plain Jane counterparts.

visual content

So there you have it, broken down into 2 powerful reasons:

Of course, there are many more reasons supporting the visual content trend (read more here), but these two points are great reminders.

Pin this post for later.

Stay Super,

jo gifford




(for The Definitive Guide To Visual Content and a free ebook download, click here).

5 Ways To Find (And Keep) Your Raving Fans

business desk and a white keyboard

Do you ever wonder where your raving fans are hiding?

Do you know you are offering some SERIOUS awesome but just can’t get the engagement you need?


These 5 simple tips will help you to find, engage (and keep!) your very own raving fans.

No cheesy tactics, no dodgy sales stuff, just tried and tested tips and tricks to raise your game online.

I hereby pledge that:
– this will be painless
– there will be no jargon and babble
– you will love seeing how small steps can make your impact online so much more meaningful
– you can do it all in small chunks
– you business will thank you for it!


say thanks

#1 Say Thanks.

Having a solid base of raving fans is akin to having your own brand ambassadors out in the world, spreading the good news of you and your biz.

There is a secret to building a fan base of loyal, loving followers and it isn’t always about the big guns.

In fact, far from it.

Go back to your blog and visit your blog comments.

Is there someone new who has shown up in the comments that you haven’t seen before?

Email that person.

Drop them a line and say thanks SO much for your comment, I love that you took the time to drop by.

Be real.

Be authentic.

That’s it.

Repeat another couple of times if you have the inclination to do so.

As your biz grows you will be able to do this less and less, but while you are building your loyal base of audience, clients and followers, reach out from time to time.

Start today.



#2 Feedback Loop.

Sometimes we THINK we know all about our ideal clients, but it helps to get under their skin a little more (in a non-stalker fashion, of course).

Identify a small group of people who may be friends, readers, or in your current community who are your ideal client type.

Personally invite them to conduct a mini survey for you in return for something spesh (maybe one of your ebooks, a short session with you, or a form of chocolate bribery – hey whatever works, right?).

Make sure they know how much you value them as a member of your blog community/Facebook community/clients, and that as your ideal client you would LOVE to work with them on some product development (sounds elite, right?) in return for {insert here awesome thing} and your gratitude.

Ask questions that give you an idea of what else they might need from you, how your work is helping them (or not), and anything else they are stuck with in their biz.

Listening to your peeps ensures they love you even more, it means you are in touch with how you are being perceived, and keeps you accessible enough to be authentic and loved (despite your global superstardom!).

Typeform is a handy, easy to use and nice to look at platform for a survey, so you can be up and running with this in no time at all.

Now, sit back and await some answers and some invaluable feedback from your fans who are about to love you even more.





#3 Showcase Your Peeps

Using your blog and your content to tell your story is something I cover extensively in Blogging for Business Bootcamp, my signature programme.

One of the tricks I teach that Bootcampers love and use time and time again is the crowdsourced blog post.

In this really handy blog post type, simply ask a question for discussion in a post either on Facebook or Twitter (or both!).

Embed the tweets and/or Facebook posts into your blog post.

(to do this, click on the elipses … under the tweet and click on “Embed Tweet:.

Then, you can add your expertise and commentary around the social media mentions in the post.

This is a super quick way to kill a few birds with one stone:
– you get to source super quick content (hurrah!)
– people who are mentioned in the post are likely to read it, comment and share (well hey there, mini ambassadors!)
– you involve your audience and make them feel part of the conversation.


For more on blogging tips check out my FREE Blog Challenge right here.



#4 Show Your Expertise + Be Generous

Nurturing your raving fans relies on some generosity from you.

How can you showcase your expertise and really add VALUE to the lives and businesses of the folks who need you, in a way that is generous?

Could you:
– host some free calls for your community
– offer a sample chapter of your ebook
– set aside some time for live chats on your Facebook page, on Twitter, or in your community?

What feels good to you to offer that would feel amazing for them to receive?

As the amazing Danielle LaPorte says, “inspire and invite”.

How can you inspire today?



#5 Step Away.

As you become more visible, the odd thing is you need to be less accessible to be valued.

If people can access you on Facebook or email and get an immediate response or advice anytime they like, why would they buy from you?

Think of all the big names in biz who you admire – is it Leonie Dawson, Marie Forleo, Becky Dickson, Danielle LaPorte, Denise DT?

Now, look at how accessible THEY are.

Most of them have clear processes in place in which you can communicate with them.
If you email you get an autoresponder (email me on hello@dexterousdiva.co.uk to test mine out!).

There are expectations set on their about page, in their emails, or in appropriate places of contact with regards to how, when and in what manner they will respond.

Now, channel your inner biz guru.

Try drafting an email autoresponder that sets expectations around how available you are (fee free to use mine as a starting point!).

Try stepping away from the machine and from social media so you are less plugged in and on call.

How does it feel?

Mix up your generosity and offerings with that premium, VIP diva feeling.

Upgrade yourself and how you are perceived, and leave them all wanting more.

Fancy this blog post as an easy to keep and refer to e-book?


Click here to download yours.

raving fans


Pin this post for later. 

Have you tried any of these tips?

Let us know in the comments below!

Stay Super,

jo gifford

How To Explain What You Do

how to explain what you do

As entrepreneurs, explaining what we ACTUALLY DO is pretty much the most important thing.


After all, if we can’t articulate how we help people, no-one is going to buy your stuff.

That’s the bottom line, folks.

So, how to explain what you do?

You could…


Infuse explaining what you do with emotion so people remember you (via The Muse)

” I am Jo. Tell me about the last time you felt overwhelmed. Ok, so I help soloprenurs who feel just like that work out ways to get more done and create great content for their businesses.”


Stick to umbrella terms (via Little Lofts)

” I am Jo. I am an online entrepreneur, designer, writer, and blogger”


Use a simple formula and tailor it to your audience (via Betty Means Business)

” I am Jo. I mentor solopreneurs to work in smarter, creative ways and get their message out to the world”.

“I am Jo. I teach you to create kickass content that’s fun to do, takes less time and sounds like YOU.”


Imagine you are explaining it to your parents (via News To Live By)

“I talk about things a lot online. Yes! I still use my degrees in the work I do. Honestly.”


Remind people of a pain point and how you solve that problem (via Lifehacker)

So, lots of entrepreneurs who are juggling work, family life and personal time just feel swamped by the idea of creating content and don’t know where to start. I make it fun, creative, and teach them how to work smarter.


So, how do YOU explain what you do?

I would love to hear your mini explanations below or tweet me with what YOU do!


Pin this post for later.

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.
Work with me, Shop with me, and Chat with me!