Word Up: The Power Of Language (with Scripts + Apps)

I sipped my coffee and powered through the final paragraphs of the email at my iMac.

My fingers flew across the keyboard,  my teeth chewing my lips as I hammered out the words I had longed to say.

This was the nail in the coffin; the definitive last word in working with a client who had, time and time again, caused havoc and issue after issue with the agency I worked for at the time.
So here I was, my keyboard on fire as I tapped out my frustrations in a stinging e-battle from which there would be no return.

I hit send.

It was done.


And it didn’t feel good.


I had dealt with the situation, but the energy around it was all wrong.


I had let boundaries be overstepped, I had let emotions rule, and I didn’t deal with the email encounter with grace.


But you know what? We learn along the way and each interaction becomes stronger.



The way we communicate can invite grace and respect, it can evoke admiration and loyalty, it can inspire, motivate, endear and bring positivity.


Or, it can be destructive.

Powering up your language has far reaching effects. Saying no can either cause a rift, or command respect. Establishing boundaries can build your business or break your spirit.


How I emailed that client, that time (many years ago!), is a far cry from how I would communicate now. I am far from perfect – who isn’t – but I have learned so much more about the power of language since that day.

Word Up- (2)

Powering Up Your Language

This week I read an interesting article about Just Not Sorry, an app which is designed to be an inbox cheerleader to ensure we use language in emails that has power.

Brainchild of Tami Reiss, CEO of technology company Cyrus Innovations, the app was inspired by the fabulous Amy Schumer – pause here for appreciation and applause – and a sketch about a panel of female scientists who can’t stop saying sorry until one of them apologises herself to death (ring a bell, anyone?!)

As Reiss tells The Independant,  “This idea of successful, entrepreneurial women who don’t even realise how often they’re saying sorry and undermining their own ideas really struck a chord with me,”  “I just wanted to create a simple tool to help me and my friends. I’ve been completely overwhelmed by all the attention.”

Acting like a spellchecker for apologies and disempowering language, Just Not Sorry is designed to make us aware of language when communicating, and is part of the Female Founders initiative.

Of course, there are plenty of other in which we communicate, other than via email.

Content creation for personal updates and business updates is prolific and diverse, so how else can we be mindful of the power of language?


Using scripts as a starting point with communication can be a really helpful tool.

Whether it’s a prospective client communication, tricky contract negotiations, remote team working comms or just firing off an email to someone you would LOVE to connect with, scripts can reduce the overwhelm by giving you a framework. Simply by having that starting point done for you, you can find your flow and personalise your content much easier.

I have two much loved and used resources for scripts that I use frequently to get my grey matter kickstarted.

The first is a two separate sets of scripts by the wondrous Alexandra Franzen, who sprinkles fairy dust on mere letters to make them magical.

Five Scripts To Fill Your Client Docket (without sounding desperate, needy,  pushy or presumptious)

The second is the most shared link I think I ever send to clients, colleagues, family and friends who have issues with saying that tiny word that packs so much power: “No”. (Raise your hand if you need to learn better no-ness too. Yup.)

Five Scripts To Set Yourself Free


With those two free resources alone, your language will already be feeling the power, yo’.

yes absolutely


Ok, next up is a piece of work by the doyenne of small biz snark and humour, Ash Ambirge. *cue fan girl music*

Ash’s script set Love, Business Owner* is a byooootifully designed pack of scripts for pretty much every small business situation that you might need to fire an email off for. Think managing your team, client negotiations, quotes, eepy moments, dealing with boundaries and much, much  more.

Love, Business Owner is SO helpful in staring down the blank page of your email editor, rolling your comms with power, and just getting stuff DONE (always a good thing).


Next up in my toolkit is the amazing work of my friend Bushra Azhar over on The Persuasion Revolution.

Bushra’s ENTIRE SITE will have your bookmarking and Evernoting left right and centre, as she is all about using language for persuasion (and she teaches it so, SO well, guys).

Bushra also recently created a script for non-paying clients, something I know is a problem for a lot of micro biz owners. This is the link to the script in her Facebook group (you will want to join it, believe me).


Using Shortcuts For Powerful Language

Once you have made the leap and sent a message that felt empowered, make it easier for yourself to replicate again.

Use Evernote to file a reply for later, or set up Google’s Canned Responses feature to save replies you know you will use over and over again.

Indeed, next time someone emails or messages you in a way that evokes a positive reaction from you, save it to Evernote so you can use the format as inspiration next time you need to reach out.


Pin this post for later

Keep it powerful, and stay brilliant,

jo gifford


Chatting with Shari Teigman

I’ve been chatting with the ADORABLE Shari Teigman.

We talked playground hustle (yeah baby, I’ve always had it!), health issues and Type A tendencies in our musings through my particular journey. We all get to our HERE in a different way. Some choose the path, some fall onto it and some of us get a little shove from the big U.

It’s PERFECT – Now What To Do With it?

The online world is PERFECT for me. I just had to try out a few things to find out exactly what I was supposed to be doing in it! (Actually, that’s a work in progress – ask my team.) And I think that’s true for a lot of people.

I love being a hustle partner in crime, and seeing my clients explode into their own special Brilliance makes my flippin day! Shari is just the same, we could have been separated at birth (except she got the States and I got a country village in the UK). So talking about helping our clients realise that they ALREADY have all the pieces, and showing them how to put them together was so.much.fun.

And also anyone who says this:

being creative is a state of mind, not an activity

will always be on my Christmas list.

Crazy, Crazy World

Amazingly we also found time to discuss the crazy brain and world of an entrepreneur. The ups, downs and bits in between. I’ve got some advice for the 2 problems which ALL entrepreneurs have – either not enough ideas or too many ideas!

You can listen here:

Creative Soul Lab

You can find Shari in all her sparkle making glory here, and the podcast on iTunes here.

We talked about my Brilliance Ignition Process which you can find here – jump right in, and I’ll see you there, darling one!

Stay in your Brilliance lane,

jo gifford

45 Things I am Learning From Business Growing Pains

45 things I'm learning from business growing painsWe go through A LOT of ups and downs on our entrepreneurial journeys, guys!

One moment on top of the world, full of passion and driven to make it happen, the next having a little cry and wondering if it will ever JUST CLICK, or if it will get any easier or why people don’t like you!

I’m here to tell you that all of those things happen to all of us (and anyone who says otherwise has their pants on fire)

I’ve pulled together this list of things I’ve learnt from MY growing pains. And the thing is that although it is “pain” it is also GROWTH. And that, my darlings, is the gold.

    1. The ebbs and flows get easier to manage (they do, I promise).
    2. You can’t do it all alone (here’s my advice on building your team).
    3. You need someone to check your main enquiry/info inbox for reasons of actual sanity.
    4. …and to respond on your behalf.
    5. You need somewhere to let it out with people who understand.
    6. And somewhere to go with people who don’t get it at all.
    7. The bigger the growth, the more ULP’s show up (more about that here).
    8. Surround yourself with the best minds.
    9. Forgive yourself when you fuck up (you will, but that’s ok).
    10. And admit your mistakes.
    11. Be vulnerable, but keep your dignity.
    12. Be open and accessible, but with clear boundaries.
    13. Be willing to be disliked.
    14. But be open to being loved even more.
    15. Note your moments of brilliance (find out how to ignite it here).
    16. And repeat them again and again.
    17. Be ready to outgrow your previous expectations.
    18. And work on your mindset daily (check out some rituals here).
    19. Safeguard your time and your energy.
    20. But be generous with your intentions.
    21. Keep trying, launching, offering, tweaking.
    22. Learn from each time and grow.
    23. Stay focussed, but let your dreams roam wild.
    24. Tell others what you learned to help them too.
    25. Learn to love failure (check out this post to help).
    26. But love success more.
    27. On the days when it all feels too much, take a step back.
    28. and revel in the comments, love, thanks, and shout outs then they come.
    29. Let go of the hate mail with love and light.
    30. And focus on who you serve with your heart.
    31. Remember that your energy and intentions are a magnet.
    32. Practise managing both daily.
    33. Your very best work now will be next year’s learning curve.
    34. You can’t hack experience (but you can invest and grow faster).
    35. Keep investing in yourself – smart small and stretch each time.
    36. Go with your gut. Always.
    37. Remember that mastery trumps masquerade every time.
    38. The world is yours, and potential is limitless.
    39. Read, read, read, read, read again.
    40. Make time for yourself or it all falls down.
    41. Learn to grow into a leader.
    42. Your only obstacle is your mind.
    43. Subscribers are a number – raving fans are golden (here’s how to find and keep ’em).
    44. You are probably not charging enough.
    45. Get systems in place. Then breathe.

I’d love to know what lessons you’ve been learning – let me know here or come and find me on Facebook or Twitter @dexdiva.

Stay in your brilliance lane,

jo gifford

Blogging for Savvy Solopreneurs – My Blab Chat with Sandra Pilarczyk

One of the things I say SO OFTEN to my lovely clients is that “blogging” doesn’t have to be a blog!

Here is a prime example of someone who is creating killer content and so visible and she hasn’t written a blog in year.

I had such a fun time on my Blab chat with the lovely Sandra Pilarczyk where we chat about blocks people have with different types of content and how you can find the best medium for you.

We also talk outsourcing – as well as my awesome team I mention Fancy Hands – a total lifesaver and to do list slayer.

And my 10 day blogging challenge which you can find all the details for here – look forward to seeing you in the group!

Episode #29 – Hitting an Upper Limit Problem

Hitting an Upper Limit Problem

Hi guys, it’s Jo Gifford here, welcome to episode 29 of Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter.

In this episode I’m taking a little look at the old favourite, upper limit problems.

If you haven’t heard of an upper limit problem or a ULP, I’m going to be diving into what it is, and if you have, I know that you’re probably going to understand where I’m coming from.

So, What IS it?

An upper limit problem is something that’s defined by the author Gay Hendricks in his book, The Big Leap, which I absolutely urge you guys to read, it’s amazing. The Big Leap is all about conquering your hidden fear and taking life to the next level.

The work of Gay Hendricks is absolutely amazing, he’s a New York Times bestselling author, and in this particular book he talks about a problem that occurs when you reach the upper limit, obviously, of your ability to experience happiness and success.

This is specifically when you’ve perhaps just reached a new level in your business or perhaps when you’ve reached a new level in your health or your wealth. If you’ve just managed to expand your life and your experience of life to a certain level, you will often hit an upper limit problem.

How It Can Show Up

The way that that manifests itself for different people will show up in different ways, so I want to talk to you about a few of mine, because I think it’s really good to be honest about these things and it’s really good to share our experiences.

The First One

For me, upper limit problems showed up in their droves about this time last year. Back in September, October 2014 was really when I made a big leap of faith in my business. I’d started to invest more in coaches, I could feel my confidence rising, my reach and authority and visibility were starting to gain momentum, and it was round about that time that I started to see a big increase in my finances.

Lo and behold after I’d signed a few great contracts and been hired left, right and centre, suddenly I was hit with illnesses.

For me, becoming unwell is not unusual. As you guys know, I’ve talked through my health stuff, my chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and endometriosis, so that’s all stuff that I manage day to day and it goes through cycles, but I hit a massive, massive wall.

I started getting really busy, things were going really well, I was investing and seeing some great results, then I was hit by a massive round of ‘flu bugs, exhaustion and I couldn’t get out of it.

At the time I was aware enough of The Big Leap and the upper limit problem and could probably recognise what it was, and it took me a while to work through it. I’ll talk in a moment how I worked through these, but I set about getting myself back on track.

And Then Again

Another big one appeared in February, March time earlier this year and again it was because I’d been experiencing success, I had a great run of being hired, of getting lovely one to one clients, of my programmes doing really well. I was living the dream, I was seeing some great things occurring, and again I hit such a big upper limit problem that it lasted for about two months.

For the space of those two months, I couldn’t sell anything for love or money. It was almost as if suddenly having gone from everybody wanting me and stuff hitting critical mass, it was as if it was crickets out there and nobody wanted my stuff. Again I’m going to talk about that in hindsight as to what I can now see was going on, and as you can probably hear from my voice, I’m just recovering from a big sinus infection, so I hit another one just in the last couple of weeks.

Let’s Look Into This Last One, What’s Been Going On?

Well, as you guys can see as you look back through the podcasts and my blog, I’ve been really on form, I’ve been in a really good space.

I’ve had a huge increase in my podcast listens, in my client base, in my recognition. I’ve been feeling great, I’ve created my miracle morning routine, I’ve been on such a good vibe for ages, I’ve been in such a happy place.

When you’re in that kind of energy and in that vibrancy and that state, then stuff automatically happens because you’re attracting it to you so I’ve been meditating, focusing on my goals and I’ve been asked to take part in loads of amazing partnerships, summits, talks and experiences. I’ve had some amazing stuff happen, and I’ve put plans in place for amazing, exciting stuff in the New Year.

At the same time as going through that, I’ve been looking at revising my Blogging Business Bootcamp and we’re just running the live round now and everyone’s really enjoying it. I realised that we need to position that in a slightly different way for it to really resonate with people, so I’ve had a few things going on, I’ve had some great success, I’ve had the mini re-launch of a live round of a programme, and that is prime conditions for upper limits to appear.

Lo and behold, the last couple of weeks I’ve had a really killer sinus infection, the kind that you have to reluctantly take antibiotics for, and they made me hallucinate because they were so strong, and then my health was wiped out because my immune system was really low. Because I was off kilter, I wasn’t able to do my miracle morning practice which really earths me. Everything just felt out of whack, and it’s taken me some time to get back into the swing of things.

Let’s look at how I’ve been doing that.

First of all I was able to recognise that this was an upper limit problem. I could see that things had been going well for ages, so how strange then to be suddenly hit by illness. Yes, of course there’s a physical reason behind this stuff, but it’s always good to be in tune with things as they happen and to be able to realise when you can see that this might be a kind of upper limit problem.

It’s almost like a form of self-sabotage, really, that my body and my energy, somewhere in my subconscious had said,

hey, hang on a minute, it’s going too well, Jo, let’s just slow it all down!

The way that I’ve been working through that is to bring back in some practices to help work through this upper limit.

How I Bust Through It (and you can too)

I’ve brought in some EFT which I do on a regular basis anyway, but I’ve made sure that on a daily basis I’m tapping out some affirmations to get rid of some limiting self-beliefs. A great place to start with Emotional Freedom Technique is Brad Yates on YouTube.

I love Brad Yates, he’s an amazing guy. He does all these videos for free on YouTube, and one of the best ones to start with is Brad Yates’s Amazing Day EFT tapping routine. It’s a lovely one to do in the morning to set yourself up for the day, so I’ve been bringing EFT back into my daily practice.

I’m making sure that I meditate, even when, during this last upper limit problem and illness time I’ve had all sorts of emotions coming up, anger, negativity, loads of stuff coming out to play. Even when I’ve felt really out of sorts, I’ve tried to sit down, make myself sit with that feeling, meditate on it and work through it.

The other thing that I’ve done that I think is also super important is just to roll with it. I’ve really leant into this one, and last week I literally had to write off about two or three days to just sleep, I was so floored by this. I just went back to bed and slept, and we had to reschedule my calls and all my appointments, and I just got back under the duvet and rode it out.

Sometimes it’s what you have to do, just lean into it. This was a physical response to my body saying, right, it’s time out, Jo.

Yes of course, on a rational level we’ll look at it and say, well, you had a really bad sinus infection and antibiotics and of course bed’s the right thing, but when we know that we’re going through a personal development upper limit problem, because you’ve read about it, it resonates with you, experience tells me that this is what’s happening.

I was kind of able to lean into it with some insight and some knowledge that I was going to come through the other side, which is happening now.

But Don’t Worry – I’m Back!

I’m feeling back in the room, I’m still a bit tired, but I’m looking after myself and I can feel my clarity coming back, I can feel excitement back, I can feel that I’m back in tune with my own intuition and with what’s needed of me and my work. That’s a place where I want to stay for as long as possible whilst I carry on building stuff, but I know as I hit the next level of stuff it’s likely that I might encounter another upper limit problem.

This is something that I would urge you guys to be aware of. I would of course urge you to get The Big Leap and read about the work of the amazing Gay Hendricks, and I would urge you to be aware of whenever bad something happens straightaway after something good, just question whether it might be your version of an upper limit problem.

No-one Is Invincible

Just to put another example onto this one, I know that the infamous Marie Forleo has spoken in one of her videos about one of her upper limit problem experiences as well.

It was just after one of her biggest launches of B School ever, and she spoke about being in a yoga class and suddenly being overcome with feeling really ill, really sick, really dizzy, and this illness lasted for some time. She talked about how the doctors couldn’t find out what was wrong with her and everyone said it was a virus, and then one of her friends pointed out that it was an upper limit problem, and she recognised that.

She’d hit such a massive stage with B School that it was almost as if her energy vibration just couldn’t handle that level of success and it threw her out.

To give you another example, my lovely friend Laura Husson, who’s an incredible designer and expert of looking awesome online, she talks about one of her most memorable ULP experiences being that she was driving home from a big flashy photoshoot in London, and she had to pull over because she thought to herself, I’m going to throw up. Who does she think she is? What if I look ridiculous?

She told me she hid from launching her new brand for six months, and it took her some time to work through that upper limit problem, and when she put herself out there, the results were amazing and she’s completely smashed all of her goals. So Laura Husson, thank you so much for letting me shout out to you. Do go and find Laura on laurahusson.com, where you can see her new photos and her brand. She’s just incredible!

This happens to a lot of us and I’m sure it’s probably happening to you. If you’ve ever felt out of sorts either just before you’re doing something that’s stretching you or just after something amazing has been happening, just look into it and consider that this might be an upper limit problem. I would certainly use EFT to work through stuff.

Get in Touch With Your Peeps

Other tools that I use are going to my circle of friends and my mastermind. I speak to my coach and my mentors, I speak to my team about it and Team Diva are excellent experts at realising when I’m hitting an upper limit problem. We all speak this language in the team and it’s not unusual for me to hop in there and say, hey guys, I feel terrible, is it chronic fatigue or is it a ULP? Often it’s both!

We work through it and they can also be great at seeing it if I’m not able to be tuned in that day because I’m feeling out of kilter. Using your mastermind and circle of entrepreneur friends who understand this can be really helpful, because actually, if you talk to your friends in the real world and say, hey, I’m having an upper limit problem, I feel terrible, they might look at you as if you’re a little bit crazy.

Speak to people who get it, who’ve been there, who understand it and have that support around you and make sure that you have some tools to tap through it, to meditate through it, to speak about it and to lean into whatever emotion you’re feeling.

What About You?

Have you had upper limit problems? I would love to hear! Leave a comment below or you can hit me up on Twitter, @dexdiva, or on Facebook,.

If you are going through an upper limit problem right now, I totally understand and hope that you’re working your way through it. If you’ve never had one before, perhaps you’ll recognise one now if and when it rocks up, and just know that it means that you’re moving onto more amazing things.

Once again, check out The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, and you can find me on social media and of course on email, hello@dexterousdiva.co.uk, so let me know what you’re going through.

Alright guys, I’ll see you soon in the next episode, but hopefully my sinuses will have all completely cleared up and I will be way past the ULP and onto the next round of brilliance.

The One Where I Chat to Webtech Wonder Woman

I always have SO MUCH FUN talking to Webtech Wonder Woman. This week we’re having a good old natter about websites, WordPress and what happens when it looks like you’re selling Viagra…

Website In A Box

I’d love to tell you a little bit about Jenny’s Website in a Box – OMG if I’d had this when I first started I would have bitten Jenny’s arm off.

It’s a great basic package, all you have to do is buy hosting and domain, send it over to Jenny who builds a safe, secure website with – and this is the best bit – GUIDED VIDEOS on how to use your new site. Plus hand holding in the first few weeks.

I’m a big believer in letting go of the things that make you cry (for me, it was Bookkeeping, deep joy in letting that one go!) – if your website is making you cry, give it to Jenny!

As Jenny says,

when you’re a solopreneur the most important person in your biz is yourself

What we mean is, if you’re dragging yourself down messing around with your website or writing copy or bookkeeping you aren’t giving yourself a snowball’s chance in hell of being your brilliant self.

We chat branding, investing in yourself, and seagull names. And, as well as that you can get a hit of kiss me quick, candyfloss, summer beach feeling from the background noise of seagulls.

Have you had any website disasters, darling? Let me know, comment below.

And to get Jenny’s great Website in a Box deal click here.


Webtech Wonder Woman

Webtech Wonder Woman is the alter ego of Jenny Hume, whose mission in life is to remove the technical barriers that get in the way of having a brilliant online business.

With over a decade of experience in IT, Jenny now takes her love of technology out into the online solopreneur world. She refuses to stand by and let anyone believe that they can’t have an online biz because the “techie shite” is in the way.
As Webtech Wonder Woman, Jenny is here to show the world that technology is no barrier to having a kick-ass online business.

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.

Find the podcast on:
Stitcher Radio
Podbean RSS feed (non iTunes)

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

Episode #19 – Designing The Life You Want With Ruth Ridgeway

ruth ridgeway

In this episode, I chat with the super lovely Ruth Ridgeway of The Lifestyle Designers Club, and ask her advice on working smarter, dreaming bigger, living brighter.

We talk about outsourcing, living the life you want, overcoming adversity, facing challenges as an entrepreneur and lots, lots more.

Resources from the show:

Ruth’s Website


Find the podcast on:
Stitcher Radio
Podbean RSS feed (non iTunes)

Dude! Why is No-one Buying My STUFF?



This is a question I get asked a lot.


It’s also one I have asked a hell of a lot in the past, too.


It’s so heartbreaking to put yourself out there, to be vulnerable, visible, to offer your wares and then…crickets.


Has this ever happened to you?


Then listen up I have some advice for you.


1. Where and how are you promoting your thang?


Firstly, look at how you are shouting about your Awesome New Product.
This is a saturated world we live in, so make sure your message gets heard.


Can you:
– create a mini version of it to act as a free giveaway and lead magnet?
– work with other businesses owners to guest post and promote your work?
– build a buzz around what you are doing with blog posts, podcast interviews + free calls/webinars?


Think about how you can make as many people as possible aware of your Awesome New Product.


2. Is your list too small to support the sales that you need?


Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of selling off-page, and The List is not the be all and end all.


However, it may be that your raving fans have already bought your product, and you need to find some more.

At this stage I would bring out the Facebook ads and funnel for some fast growth.


Consider an optin that showcases as closely as possible your skills and brand as a mini free giveaway.


Then, you can create this as an optin on Facebook using some targeted ads.


Add the new peeps to your list and make them an offer on the Amazing New Product.


Other ideas for growing your list are:


– guest posting (something we go into in detail on Bootcamp;
-webinars and free Q&A calls;
– consistently offering value on your business blog (check out Bootcamp and all we dive into over there to grow your biz);
– appearing as a guest on podcasts as an interviewee.


3. Establish your authority

Establishing your authority in a niche is part of the trust process in making sales.


Using your business blog to add value, to showcase that you know your stuff, and to open up conversations with your audience.


We really dive into language and how to connect with your audience over on Bootcamp, with amazing results for my clients whose businesses are booming, baby!


Authority is what you need I find it really hard to not imagine a South Park voice whenever I say that word)…

4. Is the Awesome New Product in your zone of confidence?


The work of Gay Hendricks is so useful in being clear on your strengths.


In short, if something feels fine, and you are good at it you are probably working in your zone of confidence.


When something feels super easy, you are in your flow, and you LOVE it?


That is your zone of genius.


I totally get that staying in a zone of confidence can be tempting. I spent 15 years in my zone of confidence as a graphic designer because I enjoyed it and it made sense. I also didn’t realise that inspiring people to create content and work smarter could be a job – hello, upper limits, anyone?- and it also seemed too easy.


Sometimes it still does.


If you create something from your zone of confidence as opposed to your zone of genius, that energy is palpable.


You may get some sales, but you are unlikely to hit a home run – your energy is off, we know it, you know it, and the universe knows it.


So, is no-one buying your stuff?


– Build a buzz.
– Grow your list.
– Use your blog to establish authority.
– Check your zone.


If you are still having issues with getting your products out there and selling, get some support and dig into what is going on.






My one to one slots are sold out until May, when the next round of group mentoring begins.
Find out more here and grab yourself a slot.


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!