eBusiness Blog

Marketing eTip: What To Write About For Your Blog

Today’s eTip is about finding the right topics to write about for your blog.

I know that I have been a strong proponent of making sure you post to your blog regularly with good articles.

Some of the feedback I receive is that people just don’t know what to write about so I thought today I would share a few ideas on what you want to write about in your blog.

First of all, what you want to do is you want to put yourself in the shoes of your ideal client. What kinds of questions do they keep asking you? What kinds of problems are you solving for them?

Whether it’s a product or a service you are offering, try and think about what they would be searching for in the search engines in order to help them solve the problems that you can offer a solution for.

Write about that. Write about the problems that people are facing and offer some solutions.

The best blog article topic is to offer tips to problems your ideal client faceClick To Tweet

And you don’t have to write a whole novel about it. Find one specific topic that you can write about and write a 400-500 article about that topic.

Then your call to action at the bottom can be to contact you for more information or to sign up for your free giveaway that might be related to that particular topic. Or to purchase one of your products or services that would be in relation to that particular article.

It really doesn’t have to be rocket science – just put yourself in your clients’ shoes and find out what would they be interested in learning from you? What would they want to hear from you?

And that’s where you can start with the writing.

I’d love to hear what you think – do you have a hard time coming up with blog titles or does it come easily for you? Share your response below in the comments section or if you have a question, I’d be happy to answer.

To your success,

P.S. New to online marketing or you find it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
CLICK HERE: www.socialblastcoaching.com

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

7 Essential Keys to Developing Self-Trust

7 Essential Keys to Developing Self-Trust

Reflecting back on my life, I remember feeling so envious of people who felt comfortable in their own skin and radiated self-confidence at the time when I felt like a shrinking violet.

A vivid memory that stands out is when I was in my early 20s, sitting in the audience watching a man on stage giving a lecture about the benefits of meditation.  I was mesmerized, not by his words, but by his presence.

He wasn’t particularly good-looking, nor did he have a ‘killer’ body; it wasn’t even that he was charismatic.  So what was it about him that utterly riveted my attention?

He was relaxed and comfortable in himself. He trusted himself completely.

Observing him sharing his thoughts and personal stories, and later fielding questions from the audience, I knew that my first step was to learn how to meditate and that more would be revealed.

Practicing meditation calmed and released my stress, supported my composure under pressure and heightened my awareness.  I noticed that:

  • I said, “Yes” when I wanted to say, “No” or, at least, “I don’t know, can I get back to you?”
  • I caved in to others’ ideas and suggestions, letting my own input bite the dust.
  • I watched how I undermined my own decision-making, second-guessing myself.
  • I routinely put other people’s needs and desires before my own.
  • I tried so hard to be perfect or what others seemingly wanted me to be.
  • And, I realized that I didn’t trust myself.

I came to understand over time that you cannot be trusted unless you trust yourself completely, and you cannot trust others if you do not trust yourself!

It became my imperative to develop self-trust.  On the one hand, it is an ongoing project but, on the other hand, it really is doable. Here’s how I did it:

  1. Developing self-trust begins with the daily practice of grounding and centering.

    One of my biggest obstacles was that I developed a preference as a child for being out of my body. It felt safer to be out than in; after all, if I were in my body, I would have to feel all the pain I was in.
     
    I now call this “faulty problem-solving.”  That is, you ostensibly solve one problem but, in actuality, are creating another.  Not only does being out of your body leave your body unattended and defenseless but all of your resources like your intellect, intuition, feelings and innate body intelligence and strength can only be experienced when you are in the body.
     
    And, there’s more: when you are ungrounded, you are scattered, feel overwhelmed, anxious, run late, and will say anything in the moment (because you are not connected to your truth).
     
    I saw that this was the core of my own lack of self-trust and that, in truth, I was not trustworthy.  I became highly motivated to become a woman of integrity.
     
    There are many ways to get grounded and centered.  The one we teach is a simple breathing and visualization process.  Some people are naturally grounded, others spend time in nature or in their garden.
     
    For those whose childhood was challenging, getting back into your body is the way to protect yourself going forward and to release the pain of the past, so it no longer holds you back.

  2. Say what you mean, mean what you say and don’t say anything if you are unsure.

     
    This takes discipline and practice, but is essential to developing self-trust.
     
    At first, I only noticed that I had just committed to do something I had no desire to do after the fact.  Although I was horrible embarrassed, I forced myself to clean it up, apologizing for wasting the person’s time.
     
    After doing this several times in a row, I was able to catch my words mid-sentence in the moment, and take them back.  “Oh, just listen to me!  I have no business saying, ‘yes’ to this request.  Excuse me, please.”
     
    Finally, I was rewarded: I was able to catch the habitual pattern of giving myself away before I spoke.  Although I couldn’t bring myself to say, “no” right away, I would let the person know I needed to think about it, check my schedule and would get back to them by a certain time.
     
    This is such a great technique: buying some time versus acting from a programmed response was liberating!  It allowed me to renew my grounding and then to see what was my truth?

  3. Be self-loyal: keep the promises you made to yourself

     
    When you have a pattern of giving yourself away piece-by-piece, you put your own goals at the bottom of your priorities. You keep telling yourself that you will take a walk or a nap to renew your energy when it slumps, but somehow it always slips your mind or you rationalize that you are too busy today (and every day).
     
    How often do you ‘forget’ to go to the ATM or even to go to the bathroom when you need to?
     
    A word here about making and keeping your promises to others. It’s not a good idea to make promises to others if you haven’t kept the ones you previously made!
     
    Pull the rug on yourself!  Share that you are mortified that you broke past promises and while you are working to rectify that in yourself, you will let your actions speak louder than your words.
     
    Then make sure that you do.  Trust is earned.

  4. Be responsible for handling your own needs, without drama or depleting others.

     
    Consistently handling your own needs, with no muss or fuss, is the way to show up responsibly.
     
    Making sure you are grounded before you show up at work or deal with problems in the home, allows you to be your best self. Neediness pushes others away.  Running drama is toxic and completely out of integrity as you are compromising and depleting others.
     
    Years ago, I made a new agreement, that I have kept, to handle my own needs at the beginning of the day, even if it meant getting up a little earlier than usual.  Handling my own needs, supported me in being able to give focused attention to my clients, without resentment.

  5. Decide what integrity means to you, what it looks like and sounds like and be in integrity!

     
    Your integrity is your own code of ethics, no matter how the people around you behave, it’s how you behave. Your self-esteem flows from your integrity.

  6. Avoid people who support you in keeping the old patterns alive.

     
    These are the people who undermine your self-trust; they are the ones who try to talk you out of what’s best for you, make light of the issues that you are working on, so that they can still run their own energy-sapping behaviors around you!
     
    When you are ungrounded, you make other people work harder – you forget key details and need to be reminded, you show up late for appointments and sessions with professionals, perhaps without your checkbook!
     
    When you clean up your own act, the behavior of others comes to the fore. Do the individuals who surround you support you? Do they add value?  Do you really want them in your life?

  7. Remember that building self-trust is a journey: if you screw up, forgive yourself (and clean up your mess.)

     
    Developing self-trust also includes treating yourself like a best friend. A best friend is patient when they see that you are really committed to new behavior.  They will even partner you in gently catching the old programmed responses and question them.  “Is this really what you want to say?  Is this your truth?”
     
    So, the next time you make a mistake and criticize yourself harshly, catch yourself, and instead say, “Oh, there’s that old pattern again,” or “Oops, let’s try that again.”  Creating a safe internal environment for embracing change is essential, so do yourself a favor and start today!

    I know that many people are looking for the instant fix, to pop a pill as it were, and as such I was tempted to call this article, The Fastest and Easiest Path to Self-Trust,” or “Three Shortcuts to Developing Self-Trust,” but I would be out of integrity in doing so.
     
    No, it is a journey.  Somedays you feel triumphant and exhilarated as you demonstrate a new behavior; other days, you feel as though you haven’t made any progress at all.  But even two steps forward and one backward is progress.  You will succeed if you keep on, keeping on!

If this article touched a chord in you, or if you would like to share what works for you, we would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

Aimée Lyndon Adams

About the Author, Aimée Lyndon-Adams

Aimée Lyndon-Adams is both a seasoned corporate executive and a metaphysician practicing spiritual energy healing. She has provided coaching and healing sessions to individuals, couples and groups and has offered an energy management curriculum of training classes for many years. She is an articulate and charismatic speaker and facilitator.

Visit www.WhatTrulyMatters.com to claim instant access to your free gift for your juiciest life EVER!

Summer is Almost Over: Here’s 10 Ways to Get Back to Business for Fall

10 Ways to Get Back to Business for the Fall

As the dog days of Summer come to an end, it’s time to ramp up your business plans for Fall.  There’s no better time than now to put things into high gear.

There's no better time than NOW to ramp up your business for the rest of the yearClick To Tweet

After reading this list of practical ideas you will be able to get back to business armed with great ideas and inspiration to help you finish the year on a high note.

  1. Review and Assess. Many small business owners spent so much time working IN their business, that they don’t take time to plan, review and strategize ON their business.
     
    Schedule quiet time away from the office to think, dream, and assess. Here’s some questions to ponder:

    • Have you reached your goals?
    • If so, what attributed to your success?
    • If not, what got in your way?
    • Did you reach your revenue goals?
    • How many new clients did you gain?
    • How did those clients find you?
    • What areas of your business were the most profitable?
    • Are there expenses you need to keep an eye on?
    • Which marketing activities get the best return on investment?
    • Are there people you need to follow up with that are back from vacation?
  2. Make Goal Cards. I am a firm believer in the power of focus and intention. Writing down your goals and reviewing them daily keeps them top of mind.  It also keeps you from getting sidetracked from things that are not in alignment with your top priorities.
     
    I love to take time in the morning visualizing each goal as if it has already come true.  This gets me engaged and excited to do whatever it takes to make my business goals materialize.
  3. Define Action Items. Take your goals and break them down into action items with deadlines.
     
    Define what you will do yourself, what you can assign to a team member, and what you can outsource. Wunderlist, Asana, and Basecamp are excellent project management tools that make it easy to track, manage, and follow progress of tasks for virtual teams. We use eGroupware and it works great for our virtual team productivity.
  4. Identify Resources Needed. What do you need to make your goals happen? Do you need to hire new team members? Do you need to learn a new skill? Should you invest in new technology or software to get it accomplished? Will you hire a coach or mentor to keep you on track with your goals? Is there an industry event you should attend? Are there new networking groups you should look into?
     
    Arm yourself with everything you need to make your goals a reality.
  5. Update Your Website. Carefully review your website to see what is out of date from this summer and update it with new information about upcoming Fall promotions, new blog posts, and change anything else that is no longer applicable to your business.
     
    If you haven’t given it much thought, now is the time to stop neglecting your website and get it working FOR you instead of AGAINST you.
  6. Holiday Planning. There’s still time to have a back to school sale. Plus, Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas are just around the corner.
     
    Many people start holiday shopping early.  So, plan your seasonal promotions and plan out your marketing calendar accordingly.
     
    Organize your plans and promotions such as:

    • Put your summer items on a clearance sale.
    • Create a new product or program launch around a holiday theme.
    • Get extra visibility by signing up for Fall events and trade shows.
    • Schedule your Cyber Monday shopping specials.
    • Write and pre-schedule your email marketing, and social media, and blog posts now so you can kick back and relax with your family during the holidays instead of slaving over your business.
  7. Offer Gift Cards and Top Holiday Gift Ideas. Make it easy for shoppers looking for gifts for those hard-to-buy-for individuals.
    • Make a landing page just for your gift cards.
    • Add a navigation button on your website.
    • Make social media graphics to promote your gift cards and top gift items.
    • Write a blog post with the most popular gift items you offer.
  8. Boost Sales with a Facebook Ad. Grab holiday sales fast by setting up a Facebook ad that captures buyers attention. Re-market to your business’s Facebook Page visitors using a custom audience re-targeting pixel on your website.
     
    For example if someone is looking at “gifts for dad” on your website, use a Facebook re-targeting pixel to show your ads for best gifts for dad to them on their Facebook feed!
     
    Not sure how to do all that? Get help from a marketer who knows how to get the best value from those efforts.
  9. Show Gratitude with Season Cards. Now is not too early to hunt for those perfect holiday cards. Better yet, get a card custom designed to enhance and really showcase your brand.
     
    Let your clients, colleagues, staff, and trusted vendors know how much you appreciate them.
     
    One idea to stand out from the crowd is to send Thanksgiving or New Years cards instead of the typical Christmas card.
  10. Schedule Your Holiday Vacation Time Now. Encourage team members to put in their vacation requests early too. This gives you time to work out any scheduling issues and make holiday time less stressful.

I hope this inspires you to come up with creative and profitable plans to build your business as we near the Fall season.

A systematic approach to a fall review can produce amazing results if you plan in detail and cover all the bases.

The more you plan now, the easier and more successful your business will be for the rest of the year.

Do you have any further tips you can share about getting back into business focus once summer is almost over?

To your success,

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Knowing How to Take That Next Step to Success

Knowing How to Take That Next Step to Success

Have you ever known exactly where you wanted to go, but hesitated because you didn’t know exactly how to get there?

That is perfectly natural and very human.

From a survival standpoint, we all want to know what’s in store for us in order to determine whether or not the risks outweigh the reward.

The only trouble with this way of thinking is that avoiding a step due to un-surety keeps you from ever accomplishing your dreams. It’s safe – but a true waste of a wonderful life.

Fortunately, YOU are probably really good at handling whatever comes your way.

Almost every day you manage to avert disaster and arrive safely on the other side of hundreds of challenges, small and large.

Drawing confidence from this vast well of experience, surrounding yourself with positive people who are equally driven, and pulled by the desire to achieve your dreams, you can rise to meet the road ahead, even if you can only see 3 feet of it.

And guess what…most of the time, the 3 feet in front of you is all you have to deal with.

Handle that and then there’s the next 3 feet…and the next…and as the old saying goes, “By the yard it’s hard, but it’s a cinch by the inch.” The story you tell yourself about the dangers again is just that – a story – nothing more. So change the story and take that step.

No matter what dream you’re chasing or difficulty you’re facing, if you just take the next step, you’ll almost certainly arrive at your destination safe, sound & successful. You will have a life well-lived!

About the Author, Katherine Hartvickson

Kathryn Wilking

Katherine Hartvickson is the founder and president of Hartvickson & Associates, Inc. dba Quantum Ascendance. She is an experienced business consultant and success coach. Since leaving the corporate world in 2009, her clients include business owners and other seriously committed professionals and entrepreneurs who want to gain the confidence and skills to break through the barriers of success and achieve their ideal life.

What separates her service from others is her experience in leading large teams and developing top performers in corporate environments and because of this, clients achieve individual & financial rewards and the recognition they earned without sacrificing their personal life. If you are interested in knowing more, she can be reached at www.QuantumAscendance.com.


Marketing eTip: What’s Involved In Hosting a Webinar

Today’s eTip is about hosting a webinar or teleseminar.

I’ve had several clients lately come to me asking to host a webinar but they aren’t all that clear on what a webinar is and what is involved in actually putting it together.

First of all, a webinar is when you are putting on an online presentation. Usually a webinar is referred to when you are either visible like in a Google Hangout and they can see you like you are seeing me right now or if you are doing a slide show presentation, usually through a program called Instant Teleseminar, which is one of the programs that we use, or doing a slide show.

A teleseminar is when there’s just audio only. When you are only talking to people through audio with no visual component.

A webinar is a little bit more effective. It gives people an opportunity to have more attention on you –  whether they are watching you or watching your slide presentation.

A webinar is used when you want to launch something new. It’s used to showcase a brand new service or product offering and give everybody a sneak peek to what this new program is. It is usually offered for free and is typically an hour long.

Hosting a webinar is an excellent means to launch a new product or programClick To Tweet

What you want to do is give people a hint or sneak preview of what they would get if they actually purchased your new offering.

It’s structured where you have an introduction where you talk about yourself a little bit. Then you provide excellent value; something that would be beneficial to people who listen.

Then you would end with a call to action of telling people about your brand new service offering or bundle package and follow that up with sending people to that product or program’s sales page.

You could also offer an incentive for people to take advantage of with a sale that’s on right now for a limited time.

Aside from using this as a platform to launch a new product or service, webinars are a fabulous way for list building too. You get new people onto your list who are interested in attending that particular webinar.

If you haven’t thought about doing a webinar yet and you are not quite sure about how to put one together, give me a call and I can help with the process.

Usually you do require some sort of a team; it’s very difficult to do a webinar all by yourself. There are a lot of different pieces and components that are involved in putting one on.

You really do need to have somebody on your team who knows what they are doing and can help with the marketing campaign. Getting help with the technical part of putting it all together to make sure you get great results is a worthy investment.

I’d love to hear what you think – have you ever thought of hosting a webinar but were not sure how to go about doing it?  Share your response below in the comments section or if you have a question, I’d be happy to answer.

To your success,

P.S. New to online marketing or you find it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
CLICK HERE: www.socialblastcoaching.com

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

5 Secrets to Creating a Business That Has Longevity

5 Secrets to Creating a Business That Has Longevity - Top customer service strategies to create and sustain a profitable business

Top customer service strategies to create and sustain a profitable business

This weekend Daniel and I were invited to the Abbotsford Airshow as a guest of Chef Michael Dicks of Culinary Touch Catering. He was the official caterer of the 8 Chalets there and served over 5000 guests during the 3-day event.  That’s pretty astonishing!

This isn’t Michael’s first “rodeo” at the show and after many years of doing this, he and his team have everything down to a science where it all ran very systematically and smoothly.

And this is the reason why he gets asked back to cater the Airshow Chalets year after year.

His clients know his consummate professionalism, attention to detail and high-quality culinary skills will not let them down.

Clients will return if you are professional, pay attention to detail and provide high qualityClick To Tweet

Do your clients feel the same way about you and your business?

Do you continually bring in referrals based on your stellar reputation? Do you consistently get repeat customers because they know exactly what they’ll get if they hire or purchase from you?

I’m proud to definitely say “yes” to those questions. Since our humble beginnings in the early 2000’s, we have grown to a multi-six figure income business with 10 team members.

90-95% of our business comes from referrals. That means we have built a reputation for delivering what our clients want and they are happy to tell others about us.

As a business owner, focusing on creating a sustainable business that thrives due to a stellar reputation is an ideal scenario to aspire to.

With this in mind, I put together a list of 5 top qualities that focus on customer service you need to infuse into your every-day business practice that will give your business the longevity you want. It has worked for us since 2000 and it can work for you too!

  1. Become a Master Networker… For Your Clients

    Aside from networking in order to find your next client, be a master networker on behalf of your clients.If they are struggling with a certain problem, help find someone to solve it for them. For example, if they are looking for a great web developer, tell them about eVision Media ;)!
     
    The best way to be on the lookout for these opportunities is through social media. Always watch out for when you can help refer someone to your clients that you know will help them with their needs.
     
    This will have a valuable impression on them and they won’t forget your generosity.

  2. Provide Exceptional Customer Service

    I can’t stress this enough. Do you know how many times I get emails and phone calls from business owners complaining their web developer or marketer disappeared on them? Way more often than you can imagine.
     
    Make your clients a priority. They are your lifeline. Always return their emails and phone calls promptly and always provide the absolute best you can for them. No exception.
     
    Don’t be one of those people who disappoint their clients, sending them to your competitor.

  3. Truly Care About Your Clients

    I can safely say I can call the majority of our clients a friend. From our very first phone call, I’m working on developing a long-lasting relationship with them.I want to get to know the person, not just the business I’m dealing with.
     
    In today’s marketing arena, it’s now “person to person” and no longer B2B or B2C. It’s P2P all the way with me and should be for you too!
     
    When you come across an article, product, book or anything else that you think would really help a client, send it to them. No strings attached.
     
    You’re showing you truly care and want the best for them. This really helps when nurturing a prospect too.
     
    Always be thinking on behalf of your clients and how you can best serve them, even if they’re not paying for it directly. You’ll get tremendous indirect rewards as a result.

  4. Pay Attention to Details

    “The Devil Lies in the Details” is a saying I heard back when I first studied web development. A missing quotation mark meant the whole site was broken. You had to have every keystroke of code done perfectly for it to work (and still do!).
     
    This same attitude should go for your business and especially when dealing with clients.
     
    Don’t let the mistakes slip past you. Set up a system that will double check what the client receives so they are not the ones who having to do the quality control and sending back the errors for you to fix.
     
    Your business may not need as much care and attention but in mine, it sure does! Not that we’re perfect, mistakes are definitely made, but if the client knows you’re on top of it and mistakes are far and few between, you will be forgiven for the odd transgression.

  5. Be Consistent

    Just as my example with Chef Dicks, consistency is a key to longevity in business. His Abbotsford Airshow clients know they can count on him to deliver exceptional quality every time, year after year.You need to be focusing on this kind of consistency too.
     
    Excuses are not acceptable when you show up late for an appointment, don’t deliver on time, or didn’t provide exactly what you promised.
     
    Figure out a system so you’re not letting anyone down in your business, especially your clients. Disappointment leads to them not having any loyalty towards you and your business.
     
    Once you are known as someone who can be relied on, your referral and recurring rates will skyrocket.

Following these 5 rules of thumb in my business is what I can truly attribute to our success today.  If you start making these strategies a part of your normal business habits, I know that you will see similar results too!

Do you have any other tips you can share that would help entrepreneurs and business owners build a sustainable business? Write in the comments section below!

To your success,

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

8 Secrets to Keeping Your Business Going While on Vacation

8 Secrets to Keeping Your Business Going While on Vacation

The summer means it’s vacation time! Time to get away and enjoy sun and summer fun!

But when you are a business owner, the thought of leaving your business can be stressful. I know it took me several years before I allowed myself the opportunity to truly take time off for some badly needed respite.

When you are on holiday, you should be able to unwind… not sit and worry about lost productivity and things falling through the cracks.

Taking a vacation is important to unwind and shouldn't be stressful for entrepreneursClick To Tweet

So how can you ensure your business will run smoothly while you’re gone?

Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years to help keep your business humming along while you get some needed rest and relaxation:

  1. Mark it Down. As soon as you decide on your vacation time off, put it on your personal and company calendar.
     
    This not only solidifies your commitment to take time away from business but will also help you plan projects and meetings around your vacation time.
     
    Plus it allows you to get things done early before you leave so there’s not a backlog when you return.
  2. Notify Your Clients. Send a note letting your clients know you’ll be out of the office and when you’ll return.  Leave the contact of a key staff member they can reach in case of emergency.
     
    I use Social Media and our weekly newsletters to help with this task. For clients that I’m working closely with at the time, I ensure they get a personal email as well.
  3. Set Up an Autoresponder. Create an email autoresponder that let’s people know you are on holiday so they don’t expect an immediate reply.
  4. Put Someone in Charge. Assign someone to check your emails and keep the ship running while you are gone.  I have one of our team members take care of this for me and it’s a huge relief knowing our clients’ needs are being taken care of while I’m away.
     
    Make sure this person has the rest of the team’s contact information so anything can be handled that comes up.
     
    Let every team member know what they are responsible for and have access to key documents and passwords before you leave.
  5. Write a To-Do List. Create a list of ongoing projects and deadlines that must be met while you are gone so your team can keep things rolling.
     
    Also make a list for yourself so you can quickly orientate yourself and get back to speed upon return from your vacation.
  6. Automate Your Marketing. Just because you are gone, doesn’t mean your marketing has to stop.  Preschedule your social media posts plus write and schedule your newsletter to go out ahead of time.
     
    Keeping consistent with your marketing is really important to business success and going on vacation shouldn’t be a reason to break this consistency.
  7. Stay Connected. Make sure you’ll have phone or Internet access if you need it.  Even though my team is amazing, there are times when they need my input before they can take care of an urgent matter. I try to do a check-in once a day to ensure nothing is being held up due to my absence.
     
    So tell your team how often, and how you plan to check in.  That way they know to keep a list and share all urgent items during your daily check in.
     
    Also, check your cell phone coverage to make sure you won’t incur costly roaming charges. When I went to New York recently, I was able to get a different package that included international calling and texting for only an additional $5 a day.
  8. Enjoy Your Vacation. It’s a scary thought to let go and truly check out while on vacation. Horror stories will dance in your head about how everything will fall apart if you’re not there.
     
    This simply isn’t true – taking a vacation means trusting your team and respecting their abilities so you can take your well-deserved break with peace of mind.
     
    So even though you will be tempted to check your emails every hour and call in to see how things are going, don’t. Trust your team and don’t be tempted to man the office from the beach.
     
    Taking this time away is vital to your health and well-being so when you return, you are refreshed, energized and ready to infuse new life into your business!

So what are you waiting for? Get out and enjoy a little get-away without worrying about your business.

I hope these tips make planning for your next vacation easier!  So unplug, relax, and renew.  You’ll come back energized and ready to tackle the world again!

To your success,

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Up-leveling Your Success – Is a Coach or Mentor best?

Up-leveling Your Success - Is a Coach or Mentor best?

If you look at top business achievers, you will find one common denominator: They didn’t do it all alone.

High performing entrepreneurs and business owners know that to truly excel requires guidance and support.

High performing entrepreneurs know they need guidance and support to succeedClick To Tweet

Are you wanting to be a high-performer?

If so, you might be wondering what kind of guidance do you need exactly?

Do you need a mentor or coach?

How can these kinds of advisors best serve in your professional development?

Working With a Mentor

First let’s look at the role of a mentor. A mentor is a more experienced individual who offers guidance, friendship, and support based on their past experiences, knowledge and expertise.

Usually there is a level of personal connection as the mentor serves as a role model to help an individual reach their potential.

Working with a Coach

A coach on the other hand serves more as an expert guiding you in a very specific area of performance. If you Google “coach” you’ll see coaches for performance, marketing, financial support, sales, business growth, social media support and more.

What’s unsettling is that many coaches are self-appointed experts.

While they may present themselves as knowledgeable and highly successful, many could be just one step ahead of you. While they may “talk the talk”, you truly don’t know if they have the experience or skills to help you succeed.

Advantages of Working with a Mentor

  • Outside Perspective – Often we are too close and emotionally tied to our business to see what’s really going on.
     
    There’s a great benefit to someone else taking a bird’s-eye view to get a clearer picture of your situation. Sometimes we are too in love with our work to be truthful about areas that need a little work.
     
    Your mentor can probe to uncover problem issues that may not be apparent to you.
  • Help You Reach Higher – Sometimes we will do things for other people that we wouldn’t do for ourselves. Having the accountability of a mentor can help you push harder to reach your goals. Knowing you have to report your results to your mentor can make you go the extra mile to get things done.
  • Business Experience – Even if you have years of corporate experience, running your own business can be a real challenge. While you probably know a lot about your particular industry, you may not know enough about running and growing a business.
     
    Having someone with experience in creating systems, delegating, marketing, and successfully growing a business is invaluable. Not only can it help you avoid costly mistakes, but it can help you grow farther, faster.
     
    Often mentors have proven templates and blueprints to boost your results in a number of areas.
  • Cheerleader – Being a business owner can be a real roller coaster There are days you are on top of the world. But there are also days you doubt yourself. You wonder if you should throw in the towel.
     
    Everything seems to be going wrong. You don’t know what to do.
     
    It is in those times that a mentor can dust you off and get you back on your
    feet again. Staying positive and motivated is key to keeping your business moving forward daily.

5 Common Blind-spots That Crush Our Success

As a mentor, I have worked with dozens of small business owners over the years. When entrepreneurs come to me for help, there are some common areas I see them struggling with.
 
Here are the most common “stories” we tell ourselves about our business that keep us stuck:

  1. Being In Squirrel Mode.
    When you spread yourself too thin, it’s hard to fully monetize your business. One big mistake I see people make is when one thing isn’t working, they see the next “shiny object” and try something new. The result is they never fully put in the work it takes to make a new objective take off.
     
    Having a mentor can help you find the focus you need to experience growth. They can help you create a plan to use your money, resources, and time in ways that laser focus your results.
  2. Not Admitting When Wrong.
    Being your own boss is awesome. You get to call all the shots and be captain of your own ship. But the problem is that you always get to be “right” – even when you aren’t.
     
    There can be great value to having a mentor to reframe your situation and show you areas that need improvement that you may be Having someone speak the truth to you when it’s needed is critical to growth.
  3. Getting Stuck in Victim Mode.
    It can actually be cathartic to gripe and moan about how busy you are, or how out of control things have gotten, etc. but some people find a certain kind of honour in projecting themselves as a martyr that way.
     
    But people who succeed know the value is healing those wounded areas. A mentor can hold your feet to the fire and help you move through the bleeding wounds and address the bigger issues.
  4. Not Looking in The Mirror.
    It’s your team’s fault. Your software isn’t working right. The market has changed…The excuses can go on Until you realize that you are 100% responsible for everything that happens in your life and business, nothing changes.
     
    A mentor will be honest with you about the role you played in failures. They can help you learn the lesson, grow, and move on. Personal growth is key to your success.
  5. Trying to Do it All Themselves.
    Women are especially hard on themselves when it comes to thinking they should know everything they need to know to run a business. It’s a sign of weakness or ineptitude if they don’t, so they set off to learn everything all themselves.
     
    The problem is, the more they try to learn someone else’s skill set and expertise, the less they are focusing on their own core competency and thus, not on their own business.
     
    A mentor can help you determine what you should be doing yourself to grow and expand your business, and what you should be outsourcing and delegating. This allows you to take advantage of someone else’s skill set so you can spend more time focusing on your own.

Work Smarter, Not Harder – Mentoring Can Help

I’d love to provide you with the empowered support you need to grow your business. As your mentor, we’ll look at what’s working, what’s not, and create a plan to move you forward.

Click here to find out more about how business and marketing mentoring can help you increase your cash flow and grow your business.

To your success,

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".