The BYOD trend and Derek from Dell

Waaaaaaay back in the ether of time I had a real job.

Yep, an actual, desk-sitting, team leading, Senior Designer and New Business Development Manager job. I loved it, too (waves at Point 6 team).

My work involved a lot of networking, travelling to clients, home-working, and also studio based stuff, so I had a laptop that came everywhere with me. It plugged into the studio monitor when I needed to design stuff, and was my mini office everywhere else.

In those days (2003-5), smart phones and tablets were still a twinkle in the eyes of the innovators.  I know, I am old. Mobile phones were still for texting and calling only (ahhhh the innocence!) and  – dare I say it – I had a My Space page.

So, fast forward to 2014, and the world is a verrrrrrry different place.

10 MINUTE (2)

 

We have smart phones with the entire world at our fingertips (and the fact we still choose to use that power to look at celebrity gifs and cat memes amuses me); we have tablets, laptops, apps, and we are plugged in to so much more than I could have ever imagined.

We get to choose how we work, which platform and device to use that works best for us.

You can develop your own hacks and tricks to stay productive and focussed, and so many of the rely on your own device being part of the picture.

Choosing how you work is such a key factor in working efficiently, working smarter, and finding your own groove.

I have been self-employed for 9 years now. In that extended portfolio career time I have worked on site as a lecturer, designer, or studio manager. Trying to find my own way of working on new devices in each setting has taken time, and can often be really frustrating.

Once we have a device set up to our own style of working, with the apps and settings to suit our own style, life becomes so much easier.

Maybe you are an Apple bod like me, or maybe you are all about the Android. Maybe you like to use Focus at Will to get into the zone; maybe you need to plug into Headspace once an hour to rebalance yourself, or maybe you like to pretend your office is a coffee shop with some Coffitivity. 

However you roll with your smart tech workflow, it makes sense to be able to do it on your own devices.

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend is huge.

A recent U.K. study shows that over a third of office workers would think about leaving their companies if they were not allowed to use a mobile device for work, and Inc has recognised the huge shift in working culture as part of the BYOD trend,

An article on Forbes argues that BYOD may cost companies money and that security remains an issue when BYOD is in place, concerns shared by many corporations globally who are considering their stance on on BYOD.

Amid the debate, Dell have produced an infographic to explain the benefits of BYOD, and to allay fears around security and productivity in the workplace.

byod_derek

Using the story of Bring Your Own Device Derek, the scrollable infographic demonstrates how “Derek” manages his devices in the office and working remotely at home, and what happens when his device is stolen.

As the story demonstrates, fears around security, data and theft can be dealt with through training and appropriate security policies, allowing Derek to make the most of his personal device and productivity.

So, do you work in an office where you can Bring Your Own Device? Are you a small biz owner and considering the BYOD trend for your employees? Let me know in the comments.

Stay super, plugged in + productive,

jo gifford

{this is a sponsored post}

Facebook breakups: a vlog

Have you even taken a break from Facebook? Did it feel like the sky would fall in?

Here is what happened when I got friendly with Facebook breakups and tested the removal of The Blue God from my life just for a bit.

I would love to hear your comments and thoughts on breaking up with social, do you find it easy to do?

Stay super,

josignature

P.S: apologies for the audio, my iPhone isn’t playing ball. But heck, I shipped anyway :)

How to make great decisions

This is a guest post by Shana Lynn Yao, of Your Marketing Mastermind. Shana is a fabulous friend I have had the pleasure of getting to know through a course we both took with Becca of The Uncaged Life

Have you ever agonised about making an important decision?  Or even deciding HOW important a decision is?

Decisions determine the fate of your life and your business.

One wrong decision could ruin your reputation; it could launch you into superstar success, or put you in a situation where you meet your future lover… the possibilities are endless!

As a success-driven entrepreneur, decisions are what make up our lives and the success of our business.  Research shows that the speed that an entrepreneur can make a decision that is critical to their business is one of the key factors of success.

And as a solopreneur, it’s even harder!

Getting caught in your head when faced with a decision can turn a molehill into a mountain.

So what do we do now? (Oh no! Another decision!)

As a Libra and the daughter of an engineer, I have been notorious for over-contemplating and over-complicating, numerous decisions from what to wear in the morning, what car to buy, where to go, and everything else under the sun.

While you may not be as tortured as me, everyone is faced with decisions everyday and at one time or another has lost sleep over it.  Well no more. I have the answer. When I heard this life-altering advice, it changed my life.  And it’s so simple you are going to wonder why you didn’t think of it sooner.

So here it is:  It’s called the “The Easy Decider”.

When faced with any decision, just The Easy Decider question:

“Will doing this bring me closer to or farther away from my goal?”

This advice was brought to light by a 28 year old multimillionaire.  And while she may have not invented this method of decision making, hearing it from a successful 28 year old just simplified the entire decision making process. Laura Roeder, creator of LKR Social Media, teaches social media to entrepreneurs online.  In one of her webinars she offered that simple advice.  She started her business when she as 22 years old, and explained that of course, at age 22, she had no idea how to start or run a business. So she researched, took courses, and ventured along her path using that one question as the determiner in how she ran her business.

“Will doing this bring me closer to or further away from my goal?”

The best part? You can apply this advice to anything. Just think, the next time you are tempted to reach for a box of cookies and you are trying to lose weight – “Will doing this bring me closer or father from my goal?”  In this case, the answer would obviously be farther. But let’s say you want the cookies and decide to eat them anyway.

Asking this one question creates conscious decision-making.

1. It makes you aware that you have a choice.

2. It places the responsibility of the decision on you.  It makes you own this decision.

3. By thinking about and accepting future consequences, you eliminate future blame.

Why Should You Use “The Distance Decider” Decision-Making Method?

As a success-minded entrepreneur (and I’m sure you are one too) – I believe in the shortest path to the solution.  Knowing yourself, clearly defining your goals and values, is how you create your successful business that works with your values. Making the right decisions that contribute to your ideal business is essential.

THE TAKEAWAY

Next time you have to make a decision, whether it’s what to wear tomorrow, when to go to bed, or deciding to spend $$$ going to that seminar or having qualms about raising your prices – ask yourself this one question: “Will doing this bring me closer to or further away from my goal?”

Trust me, if it worked for a 28 year old that created a multimillion dollar business, it can work for you!

Have you ever been tortured by a decision? How did you handle it?

This week, decide you will try the “The Distance Decider” decision-making formula, make great decisions, and report your results below!

 If you liked this post, “Like” it, and “share” it with a friend!

SLY Love

About Shana
Shana Yao is a business and marketing strategist, coach, and Founder of www.YourMarketingMastermind.com.  She works with creative entrepreneurs and small businesses to achieve success on their terms. Shana transforms businesses and lives with personalised branding and by creating understandable and actionable steps focused on people’s connection to purpose and self-fulfillment.
To read more, please visit www.yourmarketingmastermind.com.   Follow Shana on Twitter @ShanaLynnYao
 

How to work less and do more (a reminder to myself)

I am not quite at the point of outsourcing my every waking moment and bodily functions but I am definitely embracing my inner Tim Ferris right now.

This week I’m currently struggling to balance work life and family with my chronic fatigue illness.
This is a theme which becomes back time and time again for me, almost like a lesson that I keep needing to relearn every time about how much I’m able to do versus how much I think I’m able to do.

You would think I would learn, wouldn’t you?!

Whilst I am not at La Ferris standards of the 4 hours week, I am working on a 3 hour working day, and it’s teaching me so much.

My portfolio career has many benefits; design thinking came to my rescue this week for saving my ass and re-working my time.

I spoke to one of my bezzies this week, the superb Emma Sexton who I shared many years with in my earlier career as a designer.
What Emma said really and truly made me laugh;  she looked at my situation and said “Jo, it’s just like a closed brief” – a joke which is designer speak for the kind of brief where the outcomes look as if they were they are pretty much predetermined and there is little room for creativity – ” and if anyone knows how to crack a closed brief with some creativity it’s you!”.
It really made me smile because she is so right!
I haven’t been approaching my own life with the creativity that I teach others to do. I know how to work less and do more, yet I get caught up in the melé of STUFF.

My current the situation is “closed” in that I am very limited in the energy that I have currently.

This means I am limited in the ability to travel, to be out and about, to see people, to work, socialise and manage time in the day since I have to pace and reduce my activities to keep my energy in what I think of as “credit”.

 

So, my creative approach to this is to see it as a challenge.

It’s always good for me to step back and take a look at exactly how I am working.
Right now as I am having a flareup of CFS kicking me in the butt it’s a good chance to make a new plan, to work on reducing the hours that I work, play and do the things that I think I can do to go right back to the bare bones of activity.

I have devised a new contract with myself to get back over this hump.

I promised myself that I will work no more than 3 hours a day, that I will rest at least 2 to 3 hours a day, and that I will rest in between activities as seemingly easy and mundane* as taking the girls to school, writing a post, doing some housework or even talking to friends.

*yup, for a CFS person in the throes of tiredness these are exhausting tasks!

Right now, time = energy.

But then, it is for all of us, and this lesson in using it wisely applies universally.

So, how am I approaching this in a creative way? I am mapping out time in my newly discovered + beloved  Bullet Journal (more on that in a later post!), and planning out the work and the activities that I need to do, those I want to do, and making sure that they break down into sizeable chunks of time.

As a Type A person I could so easily keep on plodding on and doing more more stuff in the day because I love what I do and I have ideas coming at me all the time, but it just doesn’t work like that for me long term.

I have two amazing children, a job I love, a house to run and amazing friends and family I want to see and spend time with alongside my personal projects. It can all happen, just in moderation, and step by step.
If I train myself to only work a couple of hours in the day, I not only get as much done as I need to, but in fact it tends to be of a better quality.
As an online entrepreneur, my ultimate goal is to is to work remotely for a couple of hours a day and to be able to travel with my children and to work from anywhere.  Breaking free from the conventional work model is something I am already doing, and this  situation is forcing me to do even more.
It is amazing how much can be done in just 2 to 3 hours a day off work simply by eliminating unneccessary time sucks.
  • I also means managing my own expectations; I may have learned to say no to clients I don’t want to work with, to say no to time sucking favours, but I haven’t learned to say no to myself.
Aha…

The lesson that I’m constantly re-learning time and time again, is that I am capable of doing so much but by actually working less.

It’s what I teach others, is what I talk about with absolute passion all the time and yet it can be so hard to remind myself that I need to do that myself.
I no longer swap time for money as my model of earning a wage, and every time I re-live this scenario and have to limit like myself to the amount of hours I work in a day it is a great reminder that I actually can work a lot less to be able to achieve so much.
My programmes are online, my content is online,  my clients are global and accessible at all hours in all different time zones,  and I simply don’t need to be plugged in online as much as I think I do or maybe want to be.

 

In fact, I have finally now reached the stage that I can run things with the most minimal effort ever which is just wonderful, so it’s a great reminder to do so as my body is reaching out again for some rest.

 

My new boundaries and my new contract to myself over the next few weeks as I regain some strength again is to work no more than 2 to 3 hours a day,  to meditate for 20 minutes every day, to get exercise for at least half an hour and to limit the amount of tasks that I take on all assigned to myself.
Making that commitment to meditate for 20 minutes every day whilst also reducing my working hours may seem really counter-productive, but in actual fact I’m able to get so much more than in a much more mindful way.
The ultimate goal is to regain my strength day by day so that I will be able to do more every week, but I always need to remember to hold some back in reserve.  Whilst I can find it really frustrating at times that I’m not able to do as much as I want to or as much as I want to, I know that by limiting myself and allowing rest to come is the only way that I will be able to regain my strength.
There are probably times in your life where you need to operate on the barebones – maybe during the school holidays, during a family emergency situation, or during illness. Working smarter in less time is a skill when you need to grab some space. Or even grab some life…
The school holidays are approaching quickly and I plan to take August off to be with Eva and Mia, so this is fantastic preparation for working less in lieu of making sandcastles, playing in the park and getting creative with the minis.

Although chronic fatigue may not be your current bugbear, maybe you are feeling overwhelmed, or feeling burnt out as well?

If so I would really love to hear what challenges you might face with reducing your hours of work to be more manageable.

Let’s rock the “only work 3 hours a day and do less headless chicken shit” biz model :)

Stay super,

jo gifford

P.S, if you liked this, you may also like the podcast I recorded this week on the same theme.

How to stop procrastinating + your best avoidance tactics

pssst – you can highlight anything in this post and tweet it, go on, give it a go!
 

Need to know how to stop procrastinating?

You have come to the right place.

stopproc

I have some tips for you to set you back on task with a Converse shoe in your butt, a coffee in hand and some motivation renewed.

Are you bang on it with work, or are you more…

….riiiiight.

Well I know if you are reading this you are already probably procrastinating, so in which case I am going to make you JFDI* and keep this short and sweet. Are we ready?

 

Roll up your emails and stop losing your day.

Tame your Type A brain.

lose the overwhelm and map out your mind

– get more done by taking the day off.

– get focussed and find your flow.

– get time management tools and tips in place.

mindsweep your brain.

– use a timer and divide your work into chunks.

turn off alerts so you can concentrate.

schedule your social media smartly to save some time.

lose the intimidation.

kickstart some creativity.

– unplug and go fallow.

Lastly, work out why you are procrastinating.

Do you find you always procrastinate over the same tasks?

Maybe it’s something you need to let go of in your biz and admit  you just don’t love it, or, (and I love this one), outsource it.

If you are still procrastinating I would love to hear your tried and tested avoidance tips in the comments, or what works for you to get back in the zone.

Now, back to work!

jo gifford

 

 

 

 

 

* Just Fucking Do It. Yes, I swear and yes, you are welcome to leave my site and mailing list.

Lose the intimidation: successful entrepreneurs before they were famous

hey! You can highlight any test in this post to tweet it – give it a go :)

Do you ever wonder what successful entrepreneurs looked like online before they were famous?

I certainly did.

Sometimes, as self hustling, list building, learning curve climbing entrepreneurs it can seem so daunting to see how far we have to go.

In my Blogging for Business Bootcamp this last week I was showing some old sites and how far people we know and love have come, to take away the enormity of what can seem to lay before us as we travel the online business trail of “making it” (in whichever format that resonates with you).

But let me tell you something; no-one was born with a mailing list.

No-one starts out from the word go with a huge, engaged audience, a fabulous website and programmes ready to rock and roll and change the world.

Successful entrepreneurs can sometimes seem like they are out of our league. No siree, I found some evidence to show that in reality they are just like you and I.  

And a helluva lot worse, in some cases!

The web is a fabulous place of internet space junk, and thanks to some digging and the wonder of Wayback Machine, we can take a peep at how some successful entrepreneurs and stars of 2014 did their thang before they were famous.

So, are you ready for the sneak peek behind the scenes?

 

1. Marie Forleo

I love Marie Forleo and watch her show every week. The content she provides is phenomenal.

Before she produced weekly award-winning TV shows and ran the multi-million dollar B-School Programme, the lovely Marie hustled her buns online like this in 2001:

marie forleo forleoold2 forleoold3 forleonow

By 2007 the Marie we know and love is starting to flourish, but even in 2011 she deosn’t look as pro as she does now.

See?

Even the fab Forleo didn’t always have a pro hair and make up team, TV studio and the rest of it.

She worked her way through it just like we do.
Does that make you feel a little better?

Awesome, let’s see some more.

 

2. Mastin Kipp

I adore the work of Mastin and his crew, and am a huge advocate of The Daily Love. You know what? Even our awesome Mastin started off with a Blogspot blog, a small mailing list and grew from there to his multi-media, world renowned and Hay House published success of 2014.

mastinold MASTInnow

 

3. Danielle LaPorte

Girl crush alert. I adore Danielle LaPorte, she is such an icon to me of everything I admire in a successful entrepreneur from honesty, vulnerability, awesomness, generosity, feminity, sass and just EVERYTHING.

But, guess what? This is what Danielle’s site looked like back in 2002. Not spesh, is it? Heck, even in 2013 she still doesn’t look like the gal we know and love today.

laporteold laportenow

 

The list is endless folks.

We could dive into the archives and see what ALL the successful entrepreneurs looked like “back in the day”. It will encourage you, and make you realise that a) good web design is hella important and b) we all start somewhere!

A lot of entrepreneurs have old WordPress.com and Blogspot sites lying around like space junk (mine is here if you fancy a laugh!) and it can be so refreshing to remember that they are just like you and I.

We all start from somewhere, and now is as good a time as any to make your biz work for you.

I dare you to have a dive around into the web archives and see who surprises you the most. Leave me a comment if it makes you feel less intimidated!

 Successful entrepreneurs naked!! With @dexdiva 

Love and lasting web evidence,

josignature

 

You may also like:

28 things I would tell my newly self-employed self

How blogging for business makes you more money

Unhackable, Unstoppable

6 Business Blog ideas

 

6 business blog ideas

Stuck for business blog ideas?

So. You know you need to do a spot of  blogging for  business.

You have emptied your inbox, tidied your desk/café space/iPad, ordered 5 espressos to try and re-boot some grey matter, but nothing is doing the trick.

You need a quick fix, some business blog ideas pronto before you lose a day in procrastination hell.

So, roll up your sleeves, and let’s take a lightening tour of some quick fix business blog ideas shall we?

 

1. Take a spin

Have you read an article that was relevant to your niche and sector? Pull out salient points, give your own (obviously awesome) insights and additional narrative, and BOOM! Your post is done.

 

2. Link round up posts

These are gold dust and time saver essentials. Link posts also add super bumper value to your readers; this post I wrote a while ago was simply a bumper round up of other content I had written, but curated in one place it has so much extra value. It remains of of my post popular posts and it took very little time at all. Bonus!

Of course, the content doesn’t always have to be yours. Nope. You could compile a list of interesting articles your audience would value, and add some personal snippets of narrative to the mix.

 

3. Go behind the scenes

Clients and potential clients love to connect with a biz in a personal way. You could profile a day in the life of your business, a staff member or supplier and show us what makes you tick! Hint – you can even do a super quick photomontage visual post for extra brand engagement-itis (check me out making new words), and easy peasy time fabulousness.

 

4. Google what your clients are asking for

Go to the oracle of Google. See how if you search for something it shows you automatically some pre-filled searches? Add a “how” or “what” to a word related to your business, and see what your potential clients are asking for.

Now you can answer it in a blog post, whilst getting SEO sauce all over the shop as a bonus side order.

*hint – “business blog ideas” is a common search. I am answering that question right here*.

 

5. “How to” posts

People love to learn and by providing a “how to” tutorial on your site, you add super duper value to your readers and appear to be extra nice (which I KNOW you are). What how-to’s could you write about?

 

6. Crowd source it!

I mentioned the crowd source social blog post as a super efficient way to garner opinion and create content in one clever hack. Read all about it here.

 

Still stuck for ideas? Read this post.

Next time be prepared before procrastination strikes, my friend:

♥ Use this video to kickstart your creativity;

♥ Get started on tasks using Pomodoro;

♥ Create a coffee shop vibe without the expenditure here;

♥ Try these hacks for size;

♥ Grab my FREE e-course, Idea Generation + Creativity for Bloggers;

Bootcamp your blog to magnificence with me and create rockstar content, plus a crazy amount of materials to boost your blog;

Ask me to produce some content ideas for you ready to roll.

I just got 6 business blog ideas from @dexdiva, baby!

So, did that help? If you use any tips leave your next blog post in the comments below to air and share.

Love and letterpress blocks,

josignature

Want to know how blogging for business helps you make more money?

psst! Got no time to read? I have a sonic boom for you just below the post…

So, you want to make more money?

It’s ok, we can say it.

It’s not self-centred or materialistic to want to make more money.
After all, isn’t that why we are all in this self employment game? I certainly didn’t quit the cubicles aiming for poverty, and I sure as heck don’t imagine you did either.

I will admit to you guys that I love making money from my business, and I love to show others how blogging for business helps you do just that.

So, let’s talk bottom line and take a peek at  blogging for business will help you make more money and what that means for you.

Alrighty.

 

1. Be found!

This is totally key to the whole shebang.

If you aren’t getting found online, either as an online entrepreneur, service based outfit or bricks and mortar business, how the heck are you going to grow your client base?

Word of mouth, referrals and offline networking will get you so far, but isn’t it SO much better to get Google on your side? You know, that massive search engine thing that everyone goes to when we need to search for, you know, EVERYTHING!

Blogging for business helps your SEO, your ranking, your visibility, and, ultimately, your ability to be found online.

Be found online, new clients can find you, make more money. 

Nice.

 

2. Build your list

Businesses don’t exist in a vacuum. They need clients to provide services to, people to sell to, serve, and work with.

By building up a list of people who are interested in what you do, every time you have a new product, programme or a sale, they are in line, engaged and waiting to hear about it.

It’s like a hotline to sales, higher conversion rates and you know what happens then?

That’s right, you make more money.

3. Feedback

Ok, so you have a growing email list.

Readers are signing up to hear your news, your expertise, and your personality that they resonate with.

Not only is your audience valuable for sales, but for feeding back their wants and needs. Who better placed to articulate what your target audience needs than your target audience themselves?

Build in feedback opportunities via surveys, one to one emails, comments on your site and social media, and let the conversation flow.

Being able to pre-empt what your customers need, or adjust things that aren’t working after feedback is incredibly valuable.

Happy customers are loyal, engaged, and brand ambassadors for you. All of which helps you – all together now – make more money.

Yes! You got this!

 

4. Showcase your wares

Small business blogs are a great conduit for showing off your awesome.

By giving away, for free, bits of your knowledge and authority in your field you add value to readers. By drip-feeding valuable content, potential clients get a flavour of who you are and what you are about (otherwise known as “your brand”), but you know, your “you-ness”.

It’s like a mini preview of what you can do for them, a pre-sale conversation, if you like. A pre-sale lays the foundations for more sales.

And more sales means? That’s it – you make more money.

See? Blogging for business is super important to you, your business and that there bottom line.

You make more money, you are working on your financial freedom and the life you are pinning right now on Pinterest in a vision board (yes I can seeeee yoooou!!).

The lowdown on blogging for biz + making more moola with @dexdiva

It’s ok to want to make more money, and it’s ok to not quite know how a blog can help you to do that.

After all, it’s often seen as an “add-on” service, a hobby of fashionistas, narcissists and the over sharers amongst us.

But, your sales depend on you being found online.

Your sales depend on knowing what your customers need and allowing them to feedback to you.

Your sales depend on you having people to sell to.

Blogging for business is essential in the content marketing age in which we operate.

Show them all how awesome you are.

 

josignature

 

 

 

If you need a little help, my Blogging for Business Bootcamp has a sale on RIGHT NOW for the July session, and you can grab your spot right here to work out all you need to make more money and rule your world of awesome.

2014 part 1 – how my biz has grown with online services and how you can do it too

So, here we are at half past 2014, and it only seems like a moment ago when I sat down in January to map out my goals for this year.

2014 has seen the biggest growth of my online business, with so many leaps happening that it’s incredible to see how far things have come.

Now, I should clarify that whilst my business and online services have blown up this year so far with a great success, what I am calling “success” is not  retiring with my mansion, outdoor pool and diamond encrusted Porsches.

Not quite yet, although you should see my vision boards :)

I call success seeing a huge increase in my reach and audience, successfully selling out my programmes, and reaching the point where I am not exchanging time for money.

So, that said, I want to share what changed for me this year so that others of you doing this online services thing might benefit too.

 

Planning

Firstly, I have never, ever planned things before.

I know, right?

8 years of self employment and I was always juggling varied business and income streams from design to social and teaching. But, this year I had my eyes firmly on the Dex Diva online biz prize, and I sat down with the lovely Leonie’s Amazing Biz and Life Planner and did it.

I now check in every week with my goals and it’s just incredible how many of them I have already hit.

 

Invest in myself + my biz

This has been so, so key in the success so far this year.

I joined a couple of business programmes in areas I recognised that I needed some help in (and wrote about that here).

Each time I have invested the associated growth and sales recouped has always made the investment pay back, usually really quickly, too.

Not only that but each time I join a new mastermind or bootcamp course, I have a whole new raft of like minded solopreneurs to jam with, many of whom have become my audience and new clients.

 

freeworkshops

 

Masterminds, groups + my tribe

Being active in various masterminds and Facebook groups has meant I have connected with SO many new and fabulous people. These connections have turned into JV’s, clients, friends, subscribers, service providers, guest posters and all sorts.

I find that, for me, Facebook groups work really well (for some reason Linked In just doesn’t gel for me), and I am usually on Facebook so it’s easy to keep in touch.

I also started my own group  for list subscribers, Dexterous Divas and Dudes (make sure you are on my mailing list for access!).

This group has grown into an incredible space where like minded biz owners share their highs and lows, ask questions and support each other in a really positive, encouraging space.

We also host Monday workshops which are free for everyone to attend right there in the Facebook group. This allows everyone to showcase their skills, adds value to the group and is a great mutually beneficial platform for everyone.

#divapod podcast

Podcast + using audio

Back in January I did two episodes of a podcast. I lost momentum, and got myself back on track just last month when the newly re-vamped show started airing, Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter.

The show has, incredibly, had over 1500 hits in the last few weeks, and is a great tool to reach new audiences and to add value in another medium.

I interview other entrepreneurs as well as some solo shows and audio blogs, and I am so excited to see where the podcast goes over the next few months.

You can find the show here on the site, on iTunes and Stitcher Radio.

I have also been experimenting with using audio on my blog posts in addition to text and imagery. I have been recording posts on SoundCloud with my Blue Snowball microphone, and the feedback from people has been really positive.

For those folks who don’t have time to read, listening to a post can be a great way to connect. It also gives me a new presence on a different platform to extend my reach.

 

Interview + press features

As well as hosting my own show, I have been asked to appear on several podcasts myself too, which has been a lot of fun. I am a member of the She Podcasts Facebook group and network with other female podcasters to swap interview spots and tips.

I would definitely advise you all to have a browse of podcasts that feature other entrepreneurs and reach out to them for an interview, it can do wonders for your reach and audience growing (feel free to drop me a line too, either via the voicemail feature of my site, or by the contact form).

I also keep my eye on the #journorequest hashtag on Twitter, and as a result have appeared in a few press articles this year in major magazines.

 

Guest posts

Guest posting has remained a large part of my content outreach strategy this year, and I regularly post on both large authority sites and other business blogs as a guest.
This has helped me to reach new people and to also help my SEO and authority for this site and Google Plus.

I currently write for Lifehack, have appeared on Lifehacker, the Selz blog, Prowess 2.0, the Talented Ladies Club , Regus and others.

As I teach on my Blogging for Business Bootcamp, guest posting can be such a powerful way to show your authority in your niche, and to connect with new audiences.

 

Getting help

I took on an intern earlier on in the year, who is absolutely lovely. I offered to mentor her one to one and give her access to my training and classes in return for some help with updating social media and some admin/research. This has been a great way to leverage more hours whilst adding value to someone else.

I also use Fancy Hands a lot for tasks such as bookings, research, admin tasks and compiling resources.. The response time is super quick and they are a really affordable way to get extra help (they also link to Asana too, very clever!).

 

New website

I realised I had taken my website as far as I was able to on my own, and invested in a new site by the absolutely awesome Marta from Polish Lab. The new site reflects me and my message in a MUCH more cohesive way, and it also acts as a client filter straight from the off; like marmite, you will either love me or hate me.

Making an investment like this is not for the faint hearted, and I would make sure you are clear on your aims, your message and get your copy sorted before you take the plunge. However, when selling online services this is my shopfront, and I am SO pleased with the new clothes it has now. Thanks Marta!

 

Saying no + keeping focussed

Saying no to work I knew wasn’t right as I focussed on online services has been hard, particularly when extra income would be welcome. But, I wanted to stay focussed on the goal of getting my Blogging for Business Bootcamp and other online services up and running, and needed to recognise that turning down work that would hinder that goal would be worth it in the long term.

I am happier when working on a one to many model, and have designed the business to work in that way. I concentrate on content marketing through guest posts, this blog and podcasts whilst mentoring in the bootcamp and devising new programmes.

 

Creating automated income + online programmes

This has always been my primary goal for my business, and this first half of the year has seen major progress in automated income from various sources.

Whilst I still offer limited one to one coaching and blogging services, the main focus of my work is on programmes like the Blog Biz Bootcamp and the tools and other programmes I am currently devising.

So, my income from automation comes from the Bootcamp, my Skillshare class and earnings from affiliate links.

I empower all members of the Bootcamp to become an affiliate too, a strategy which helps spread the word, and gives us both opportunities for abundance. Boom.

BLOG N FIND

 

Leveraging the visual

Instagram and Pinterest are big traffic drivers for me, proof that we still love to digest images over words.

I take quotes from my posts and format them in a branded visual, which acts as a snippet preview of my content. I then add those to Pinterest and Instagram to engage with a diverse audience and re-air my content in a new way.

My Instagram reach has increased rapidly in 2014 so far, and  I also link up my insta account with IFTTT to tweet my images as native Twitter pics for more reach and sharing.

 

Mindset

A massive part of my growth this year too has been about mindset.

I am famed in Casa Diva for my midweek meltdowns of business overwhelm, and have put several practices into place to prevent the tears and dark chocolate consumption (ok, you got me, I still have the dark choc!).

I meditate twice daily to stay earthed and mindful (hear more about this in my interview with Gillian Rowinski in Episode #7 of the podcast). I also use EFT, a strong tool to help with money blocks, limiting beliefs, and subconscious programmes that hold me back. EFT seems to crop up a lot in my podcast interviews, and is a tool the fabulous Denise Duffield Thomas teaches in her Get Rich Lucky Bitch Bootcamp.

Working on mindset for both life and business is all part of this wonderful journey, and like all of us I have a long way to go. In fact, there is no destination, and I seek to tweak and make improvements to my personal life and business every day.

I have come to realise that what I have to offer is unique, not because of the content, necessarily, but because of who I am and how I deliver.

We all have a unique story to tell, and a biz that is unique to us. 

No-one has my unique set of skills, experience, set backs and learning curves. No-one else has my exact method of teaching or delivery, or content creation. So, if you are thinking “oh that’s fine for you but no-one will listen to ME”, take a look at what makes you unique, what your message is, and be confident to know that YOU ARE ENOUGH.

 

I really hope this mid-2014 round up of what has worked for me helps you in some way.

Have you implemented any of these? What has worked for you this year so far? How are you tackling the next 6 months? Let me know in the comments.

Love and lovely light evenings,

josignature

 

 

 

 

P.S for a LIMITED TIME I have a midsummer flash sale going down for the July intake of Blogging for Business Bootcamp. Join me with 50% off the usual cost if you sign up before 22nd June. Go!

28 things I would tell my newly self employed self

I went self-employed 8 years ago, at the start of 2006.

MySpace was in full swing, we thought video calls on mobiles were the Next Big Thing, and The Kooks were my soundtrack to a new era.

I have always felt the calling of self-employment in me.

I have had a portfolio career, I have taught at LCC and Cambridge colleges, I have worked as a copywriter, blogger, designer, and mentor to other small biz owners.

I have loved every step of my journey, from the bridge jobs to the career moves, the sleepness nights, the abundance and the scarcity, the self -doubt and the confident highs and there is ALWAYS more to learn. Amazing.

Mum of Awesome Mini Divas Eva and Mia, I  am also someone who lives and works with chronic illnesses – endometriosis and chronic fatigue – yet I also successfully run a business online that I LOVE, I jam daily in Facebook with the tribe, write on other sites, run my podcast, Bootcamp, and am constantly creating ideas left, right and centre (Type A, anyone?!).

 

So, what would the 37 year old me tell my fresh faced 29 year-old newly self employed self?

Listen up, girlfriend:

❤ Don’t charge less than you are worth because you worry about money. Be the pro that you are from the get go, charge accordingly and the sales will come in.

❤ Be clear with yourself what you do and don’t want to do. Set boundaries and be clear on your model of business, and let the clients self-select from an early stage,

❤ Who are the clients you love working with? Find more of them, and step away from the rest.

❤ Start building your mailing list NOW! If only I had started when I began blogging in 2005…..

❤ Invest in yourself, my lovely. You are worth it. The more you invest when you can, the more you will reap.

❤ Take time out to reflect, and trust in the process. You don’t have to work as hard as you think.

❤ Editors often don’t get back to you. That’s how it is.

❤ The ones that do might just commission a centre spread leading article straight off the bat. Be in it to win it.

❤ You rock more than you realise.

❤ The journey will be tough. It will make and break you, but it will be worth it. I promise.

❤ Outsource the stuff you aren’t good at as early as you can. Let your brain work on stuff you ARE great at, let the other stuff go.

❤ Avoid the cashflow problem of non-payers, and set up t’s and c’s to protect yourself (along with payment up front where possible).

❤  It’s ok to say no to clients and jobs that don’t feel right.

❤ Start building products online as early as you can – they earn you money while you sleep.

❤ Blog, blog and keep blogging! It will raise your biz profile and sales will rocket.

Experience is priceless. Go through it and learn. Then show others.

❤ It’s ok to be yourself in biz.

❤ It’s ok that not every loves you.

❤ When you get haters, you are growing :)

❤ You might lose confidence, but don’t lose the vision.

❤ Keep learning.

❤ Keep growing.

❤ Keep going, one step after another.

Work on your money blocks and limiting beliefs around money.

❤ Mentors are invaluable.

❤ So is a good accountant.

❤ Remind yourself daily why you did this.

❤ A set back always comes before a come back.

Oh, and side note? Facebook is WAAAY better than My Space and will change how you work… and wait until you find Twitter!

Also, it gets SO much better, and 2014 will rock!

What would YOU tell your newly self-employed self? I would love to know in the comments below.

josignature

 

 

 

Don’t make the same mistakes as me – get your online biz working  for you NOW, rock your mailing list + online content to fast forward your sales. Join me in Bootcamp (just 13 places left).

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!

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