eBusiness Blog

Don’t Be a Jack (or Jill) of all Trades. Be an Industry Master

Don't be a Jack or Jill or All Trades

Why focusing on your core competency will get you greater returns and more referrals

Have you ever hired someone to do a job believing they were the expert you needed to fix the washer or repair your car?

When the washer leaks again or the car breaks down within 24 hours of having it fixed, it is incredibly frustrating.

You thought you had the right company to do the job but instead, you find you hired a ‘Jack of all Trades.’

Unfortunately, the world is full of companies who pass themselves off as experts, but they are really generalists in their trade.

Now, I’m not saying most businesses do a lousy job.

I’m just saying that if a company is a ‘Master’ of their industry and knows their business, it can help that business to stand out from the competition.

And who doesn’t want to stand out?

Becoming a ‘Master’ in your field also leads to making better business decisions when hiring the right people and identifying the necessary up-to-date training.

It also incites innovative thinking by setting the performance bar higher. We ask, “How can we do it better, faster or more efficiently?”

Masters of the business game want, and more often than not, success in turning customers into raving fans.

Here are a couple of additional benefits to discarding the ‘Jack (or Jill) of all Trades’ label:

  • It becomes easier to create a clear marketing message. Once a business has identified its special differentiator, the messages can focus in on what your company does best.
  • The customer may demand a higher quality of work from you, but you can charge higher rates.
  • You don’t always need to chase new markets. Referrals will come naturally as the standards of excellence are established and delivered. This may save marketing dollars.

So, is it time to do a business review?

Is your business a ‘Jack (or Jill) of all Trades’?

If so, perhaps it is time to shift the vision and examine how your organization can become a ‘Master’ or more of a Master of the business game. It’s worth the effort it will take to get you there.

The added bonus? More money in your bank!

About the Author, Pamela Chatry

Pamela Chatry

Do you work too hard? Is your business in chaos? If you are struggling with business issues, contact Pamela Chatry for a complimentary assessment. Pamela has been a trusted and highly respected Business Consultant, Mentor for Women in Business, Self-Employment Advocate, Trainer and Keynote Speaker for over 25 years.

Visit www.pamelachatry.com or call her at 778-856-8970 for help in getting your business to its fullest potential.


5 Ways to Create a Culture of Innovation in Your Business

5 Ways to Create a Culture of Innovation in Your Business

The ABC’s of Business Basics Series – I is for Innovation

What’s one really big advantage a small company has over a large one?

The smaller company can adopt innovation and introduce change quickly.   Innovation can result in increased revenue, cost reduction, better client relations, improve your competitive edge, and create an exciting work environment.

Let’s not confuse innovation with creativity. WhatIs.com defines ‘Innovation’ as, “an organization’s process for introducing new ideas, workflows, methodologies, services or products.”

As Siyana Sokolova states in her blog:

“Creativity goes hand in hand with innovation.  And there is no innovation without creativity. While creativity is the ability to produce new and unique ideas, innovation is the implementation of that creativity – that’s the introduction of a new idea, solution, process, or product.  

Creativity is the driving force behind innovation and the incorporation of looking at things from a different perspective and freedom of restrictions by rules and written or unwritten norms.”

Here’s a recent example of a simple, but impactful innovative idea. 

I recently took a WestJet flight on my way home from Costa Rica.  After boarding the plane in Liberia, the plane was reversing, preparing to taxi to the landing strip.  I looked out the window and saw 5 men walking towards the plane, all in a row.

They all stopped and unfurled a banner with a WestJet logo on it.  The banner was held and directed towards the plane.  It read, “Thank you for visiting Costa Rica.  Come back soon.  Pura Vida.”

The whole planeload of people laughed, smiled, waved and took pictures to post on social media when they arrived home.  What a powerful way to make a lasting impression!

Someone had come up with the idea, and then a team had created a plan to carry out the farewell message for every WestJet flight that left the country.

Here’s 5 ways you can create a culture of innovation in your company:

  1. Hold regular idea generation meetings and involve your staff whenever possible. At each meeting, pick one area of the business to concentrate on.  Pose a pre-planned question or two. 
     
    For example, if you are a retailer you might ask the question, “How can we sell more at our POS?” or “How can we get our staff excited about the new fall line-up?” Be sure and give everyone an opportunity to share ideas. 
     
    Remind your staff that there are no bad ideas.
  2. Hold follow-up meetings with your leadership team. Use the terms, ‘feasibility’, ‘desirability’, and ‘viability’ as your guidelines to evaluate ideas.
  3. Keep the great ideas stored somewhere. Not every idea can be adopted right now, but you never know when they can be used.
  4. >Once an idea is adopted, create an action and implementation plan. Examine current practices and brainstorm new ideas for improved efficiency, increased revenue, or better client relations.
     
    Identify who will be involved and what specific steps need to be taken, then attach working deadlines.  Hold everyone accountable to the process.
  5. Book time in your management meetings for discussion around innovation. Create a culture of research.  Encourage information sharing, both from a local and global perspective.  
     
    Monitor trends, and be open to new ideas.  Encourage outside the box thinking.

Business innovation is crucial in our fast-paced world.  Technology often demands response quickly. 

Be brave.  Be unique.  Be innovative.

About the Author, Pamela Chatry

Pamela Chatry

Do you work too hard? Is your business in chaos? If you are struggling with business issues, contact Pamela Chatry for a complimentary assessment. Pamela has been a trusted and highly respected Business Consultant, Mentor for Women in Business, Self-Employment Advocate, Trainer and Keynote Speaker for over 25 years.

Visit www.pamelachatry.com or call her at 778-856-8970 for help in getting your business to its fullest potential.


What it Takes to Create an Award-Winning Business

14 Strategies We Attribute to Our Recent Business Excellence Award

What it Takes to Create an Award-Winning Business

Out of the blue, I received an email from the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce one day notifying me that eVision Media was nominated for a 2016 Business Excellence award.

Say what?

Once I got past my shock and disbelief that they must have the wrong Susan… it began to sink in that someone out there thought we were worthy enough of this nomination. Wow, what an honour!

Part of the nomination process consisted of a 30-minute interview in front of a 3-judge panel. Imagine being forced to actually brag about yourself for a half an hour!

Talk about squirming in my seat!

winning Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce business excellence award 2016Fast forward to last week where the awards ceremony took place. Much to my relief, our category was  up first so I could relax the rest of the evening.

To be honest, I wasn’t all that anxious – I knew the odds of winning was only 1 in 7 so I waited patiently for the winner’s name to be announced, not at all expecting it to be us.

But it was! eVision Media was declared the winner!

SAY WHAT???

Shock and disbelief once again came over me as I took a moment to grasp what just happened. Walking to the stage was quite the blur but I managed to do it without tripping up the stairs to get our award. 🙂

In the aftermath of winning this wonderful recognition, I reflected some more about that judge’s interview and how they deemed us the winner from the other worthy nominees in our category.

With that in mind, I wanted to share some of the attributes I feel helped us win this prestigious award.  Without further ado, here’s what it took for us to create an award-winning business:

  1. Be Passionate About What You Do

    eVision Media is not the first business I’ve created; there’s been plenty others ranging from creating craft pieces to faux finish painting. But no matter what I did, I was very passionate about it.
     
    Don’t waste your time trying to run a business just to make money. You’re going to tire of it very quickly and it will be harder to make sales.
     
    But when you’re passionate about what you do, others will immediately see that and will be drawn to you like a magnet.

    When you’re passionate about what you do, others will see it and be drawn to you like a magnet.Click To Tweet
  2. Love Working With the People You Serve and Offer Exceptional Customer Service

    One of the truest joys I receive is the knowing how much we are able to help a new business owner get their online presence up and running. Being a part of their joy at seeing their dream materialize into something tangible gives me just as much joy.
     
    If you avoid answering the phone or responding to emails because you dread having to talk to a client, then you need to adjust your marketing so you attract the right people to work with.
     
    If you don’t love who you’re working with, then it’s hard to establish a successful business that needs to cater to your clients by making customer service a #1 priority. And that means answering the phone, responding to emails in a prompt manner, and treating every person as if they were your only client. And when you’re attracting your perfect ideal client, then this should be easy to do.
     
    Make your business about them, not you. Just remember, if you had no clients, then you’d have no business.

    Make your business about your clients, not you. If you have no clients, you have no business.Click To Tweet
  3. Know Your Stuff

    Before even thinking about starting a web development/digital marketing business, I ensured I got the education I needed first. I attended the Vancouver Film School in their Multi-Media program and then later earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Computer Information Systems (with an A+ GPA).
     
    Not to mention the countless online courses I’ve taken over the years to ensure my skills are kept up-to-date with this ever changing industry.
     
    Sadly, I see a lot of entrepreneurs wanting to start a business with not a lot of skills or experience under their belt and then they wonder why they’re struggling.
     
    Reading a book or taking one on-line course is probably not enough to reach award-winning status. But if you’re passionate about building a successful business, you’ll find a way to ensure you become as qualified as needed.

    Reading a book or taking one on-line course is probably not enough to reach award-winning status.Click To Tweet
  4. Be Committed

    Is working 15 hour days, 6-7 days a week committed enough? Yep, that’s what Daniel and I do every week. We have to in order to fulfil points 2 and 3 above.
     
    It takes a lot of time and effort to ensure your clients are taken care of properly. You also need a “do whatever it takes” level of commitment.
     
    You might not need to work such long hours as us and trust me, we’re continually working towards lessening that kind of volume but until then, we are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure our business is successful. Are you?

    Are you willing to do whatever it takes to ensure your business is successful?Click To Tweet
  5. Be Consistent

    Consistency shows up in many forms when running a successful business. For me, it’s being consistent with my message, my brand, my Social Media presence, my newsletters, my team management, and the level of quality we bring to our clients.
     
    Do I miss sometimes? Absolutely. But being consistent in these areas are very important to me, and I do what needs to be done in order to show up the best I can for my team and our clients.
     
    Without consistency, it’s hard to create brand ambassadors (such as the ones who nominate you for an award), loyal team members, and a steady flow of clients.
     
    Whatever you have decided to commit to, be consistent at it and you’ll be amazed at how things start to flow your way.

    Whatever you decide to commit to, be consistent and you’ll be amazed at how things flow your way.Click To Tweet
  6. Surround Yourself With a Dedicated and Knowledgeable Team

    I started off as a one-woman show. Because of my educational background, I was able to do the design, build and marketing of a website quite easily. I’m what you would call a “generalist”, someone who knows a lot of about a lot of things and is a specialist in a few areas.
     
    But my one-woman show was not going to create a successful business. Especially in this technologically-driven industry. It quickly became apparent my skillset was only going to get me so far.
     
    So my first hire was someone who could offset my biggest weakness. Warren was a student at UFV and applied for my part time programmer position. He was a perfect complement to eVision Media and the moment he came on board, I was relieved of having to do all the site builds myself. I could then take that time and focus on building the business instead.
     
    It’s tough to try and do everything yourself when it comes to running a business. Sure, there are expenses involved in hiring but if you hire smart, keep an eye on your bottom line, and know when to let go of those that aren’t serving you best, your business will escalate far quicker than if you try to struggle with everything yourself.
     
    This topic is worthy of a whole article itself so I encourage you to read How to Take a Solo-Entrepreneurship to the Next Level for more.

    It’s tough to try and do everything yourself when it comes to running a business.Click To Tweet
  7. Have Honesty, Authenticity and Gratitude be a Part of Your Daily Life

    It’s sad I even need to list this as an attribute but I’ve been in business long enough to know not everyone adheres to these principles.
     
    To me, this is a no-brainer – I’m not certain I could live any other way?
     
    But judging from the stories I hear from new clients about how they were treated by their previous web developer, it sounds like many people need to be reminded of this.
     
    No business will thrive without honesty and integrity. And a little secret: gratitude will not only make your business thrive, but your whole life too. Give it a try and see what I mean.

    No business will thrive without honesty and integrity. Plus the secret sauce: gratitudeClick To Tweet
  8. Persevere

    Every business, including ours, has its ups and downs. The key to success is to not let those “downs” overcome your enthusiasm. Pick yourself back up, learn from whatever lesson there was to be learned, and keep moving forward.
     
    If we had quit when we only had $20 credit left on our credit cards at Christmas time just a handful of years ago, we wouldn’t be award winners now!

    The key to business success is to not let your 'downs' overcome your enthusiasm.Click To Tweet
  9. Invest in Your Business

  10. Building eVision Media has been one investment after another. It never ends really.
     
    There’s always something that needs to be worked on. Here’s a short list of my recommendations on where you need to invest in your business:

    1. Branding & Website
    2. Marketing
    3. Education
    4. Building a Team
    Building your business means investing in it continuallyClick To Tweet
  11. Understand You’re Running a Business, Not a Hobby.

    I think this is an important distinction to make and one many entrepreneurs aren’t differentiating.
     
    I’ve always looked at eVision Media as a business and that’s mostly due to my business mind and having a business degree.
     
    But for those that simply are passionate about something and have a dream to make money off of it, it’s hard to know exactly HOW to turn that dream into a business.
     
    They end up blindly doing what they think they should be doing, all by themselves, in order to save money (or not spend money they don’t have) and hope for the best.
     
    If this sounds familiar, I’m adding another business investment to consider as your top priority: A business coach or mentor. ASAP. Otherwise, you’ll probably end up just running a hobby.

    Entrepreneurs: It's important to differentiate if you're running a business or a hobbyClick To Tweet
  12. Set up a Systemized Business Structure

    I’ve worked with a lot of clients over the years. Some amaze me at how organized and systemized they are. And others, well, not so much.
     
    Having a systemized business structure in place is the only reason I haven’t gone insane with my daily workload.
     
    Here’s the tools we use to be more organized, efficient and less stressed.

    Having a systemized business structure in place will keep you sane.Click To Tweet
  13. Get Comfortable With Sales

    Sales. It’s a dirty word for many entrepreneurs and business owners alike. Me too. I hate to think of myself as a “sales person” but at the end of the day, if we’re not selling our wares, we don’t have a business.
     
    Now that’s not to say you need to become a pushy, in-your-face predator. Far from it.
     
    Remember attribute #1 about being passionate? That’s what you need. People will trust your passion and will respond to it. But be careful, sometimes passion can be too intense and will turn people away.
     
    Find your sweet spot as to what resonates with your ideal clients and keep working at it. But do embrace the fact you’re selling your wares and learn some strategies that fit with your personality and comfort level that will work.

    When it comes to sales, people will trust your passion and respond to it.Click To Tweet
  14. Give Back

    Giving back is an imperative attribute to have when building a successful business. We give back in several ways, here’s some ideas to consider that we do:

    • Offer discounted prices for non-profits
    • Volunteer your services to community groups
    • Send cash donations to worthy charities you believe in
    • Make purchases that support worthy causes
    • Donate door prizes and/or silent auction items for fund raising activities
    • And support your own clients whenever you can

     

    Giving back is an imperative attribute to have when building a successful business.Click To Tweet
  15. Be Accessible

    When new clients approach me due to being disenchanted with their existing web developer or marketer, the most often complaint I hear is they can never get a hold of the person. Either they take forever to respond to an email or never answer their phone.
     
    I think I’m going to write a book on how NOT to run a successful business based on this alone. It boggles my mind when I consistently hear stories like this. How are these people keeping a business going with such poor service and accessibility?
     
    I have a policy to answer emails within a day of receipt. I often exceed that policy but sometimes the volume is too much and I get delayed in responding. Same thing with the phone. If we’re available to answer, we do so. If we’re not, we’ll call the person back right away.
     
    Being accessible provides peace of mind to our clients; they know we care enough about them to take care of their needs in a timely manner. ‘nuff said.

    Being accessible brings client peace of mind; it shows you care about them and their needs.Click To Tweet

There you have it. My honest take on what created eVision Media to be an award-winning business. Maybe I need to write a book about this because, honestly, I could have added more but, it’s coming into the 15th hour on this Sunday night of working so I’ll leave it at that.

What about you? What would you add to the list? Please leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

To your success,

P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Here's What it Takes to Create an Award-Winning BusinessClick To Tweet

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".

How to Take a Solo-Entrepreneurship to the Next Level

How to Take a Solo-Entrepreneurship to the Next Level

5 Members Every Growing Business Needs on Their Team

Many businesses begin as a solo-entrepreneurship. With one person who has a vision, passion and skill that compels them embark on a journey so they can make a difference in the world and build a successful business along the way.

But the truth of the matter is, no one can build a successful, thriving business singlehandedly.

No one can build a successful, thriving business singlehandedlyClick To Tweet

One person can’t possibly possess all of the skills needed to carry out day-to-day business and marketing operations. Not well anyway.

As solo-entrepreneurs build their business, it’s a natural progression to surround themselves with a support team in order to avoid becoming stagnant and making costly mistakes.

After all, they simply don’t know what they don’t know when it comes to charting new territory in the business world.

When I began building my team years ago, I started by hiring people who offset my weaknesses.

Being a generalist in the web development/online marketing field made that a bit tricky because there was a lot that I could do myself. But as technology evolved and I got busier, it became clear in order to expand my business, I needed to bring in qualified resources so I could provide more value to my clients.

We all have strengths and weaknesses and if we want our business to be successful, it’s important to have others on our team who are more capable at certain tasks than we are.

The challenge is to be honest enough to be able to admit where our skills fall short and where we could use help in offsetting them.

Be honest enough to admit where your skills fall short & where you need help in your businessClick To Tweet

I had a conversation with a visionary client the other day after he realized his business was in a state of disarray due to him trying to manage it all himself (or hiring the wrong people for the wrong reasons to help him). He was asking who he needed on his team so he could better focus on what he was good at. So below is a resulting list of what I shared with him.

Here’s 5 essential team members and resources every solo business person needs when they are ready to grow to the next level:

  1. Financial Person

    Someone to take care of the bookkeeping, tax filings, payroll etc. This person doesn’t need to be on the payroll, just have someone available that you can outsource this work to so they can free up your valuable time and let them do what they do best.

  2. Legal Representative

    It’s always good to have access to legal advice, especially when it comes to creating contracts and even for debt collection.

  3. Administrative Assistant

    This type of person can end up being a hugely valuable resource on your team that will free up a ton of your time so you can focus on your business instead of all of the little details.
     
    Here’s a brief list of what this type of assistant can help you with:

    1. Calendar management. Have your assistant set up your appointments for you (or use an automated service like Acuity.)
    2. Team or project management where they are responsible for ensuring delegated tasks are done accurately and on time.
    3. Customer service liaison where they take care of all client questions and concerns.
    4. Email management where they can manage your inbox for you and delegate to appropriate team members instead of you being the middleman.
    5. Affiliate management. If your business includes selling online programs where affiliates and other partnerships are involved, an affiliate manager can keep everything organized and running smoothly.

    Depending on your type of  business, you can probably think of many other areas that an assistant could help you with including doing personal errands if they are local.

  4. Social Media Manager

    Let’s face it, social media is a big time drainer. But in today’s marketing world, it’s a necessity for every business to have a social media presence.
     
    Even though you do not want to delegate all social media activities to others, a social media manager can help by creating and scheduling daily posts, being a customer service representative, posting news and updates, sharing blog articles, uploading YouTube videos and much more.
     
    Qualified social media managers can also take on the marketing tasks of creating and fulfilling promotional campaigns including Facebook ads.

  5. Website & Marketing Team

    Notice I didn’t say a “website guy or gal” as in a single person. There are many different components that make up a website and it’s rare one single person can be really good at them all.
     
    So having a website team as a resource will ensure all of the areas that are needed to create, manage and promote an effective website are in place such as:

Every business is different and these roles are the essentials for new entrepreneurs but can easily be added to depending on the industry you are in and the type of business you want to create.

It also doesn’t hurt to have a business mentor or coach to help guide you through all the different areas that you might not be thinking of too.

So if you are a solo-entrepreneur and are getting overwhelmed or too busy at trying to learn and do everything yourself, perhaps it’s time to consider the benefits of having someone on your team who can support further growth and sustainability for your business.

If you're overwhelmed or too busy, consider the benefits of a team to help grow your businessClick To Tweet

The first step is determining your weaknesses and finding suitable people to offset those.

The second step is to take action. And if you’re wanting a web and marketing team who will be your trustworthy champion every step of the way, consider eVision Media as that valuable resource you’ve been needing.

I’d love to hear from you: have you started to surround yourself with a team yet?

To your success,

P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Here's How to Take a Solo-Entrepreneurship to the Next LevelClick To Tweet

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".

Is Social Media Really Worth it for a Small Business?

Is Social Media Really Worth It for a Small Business?

As a business owner and solopreneur, it’s really important to know that the time, energy, and resources you invest in your business provides a generous return on investment.

Social media platforms are a powerful tool that can help you market your business, but unless you know how to use it to generate tangible ROI for your business, is it really worth it?

Social Media can be a powerful marketing tool if you know how to get a ROIClick To Tweet

This article will provide you with a clear breakdown of all the information you need to make the best decision for your business.

How Much Time Does Social Media Require?

Even though having social media accounts is free (unless you spend money on ads), that doesn’t mean there are no costs associated to using these platforms to your benefit.

Since time costs money to business owners, let’s look at the amount of time the average business owner spends on social media.

According to a survey by Vertical Response, about 43 percent of small businesses spend about 6 hours per week on social media.

Writing and posting a weekly blog post can take 1-3 hours to do. So this means it takes a full day to write, schedule, and post to social media plus write and post a blog article each week.

It can take 8 hours a week to focus on social media for small businessesClick To Tweet

This is assuming you, the business owner would be doing everything required to fulfil these two marketing tasks.  If you decide to hire someone to help, then the money you pay out needs to be the ROI factor as opposed to your time.

The Benefits of Social Media

On the flip side let’s look at the advantages of social media for your business.  In general, there are 5 benefits a business owner can count on if using social media marketing:

  1. Relationship Building: Social media is an excellent way to build relationships with prospects. It provides an opportunity for multiple exposures to your fan base by using a mixture of information and calls to action.
  2. Lead Generation: Add followers to your email marketing list by sharing links to downloadable freebies on your social media accounts. This allows you to send follow-up emails and information that can lead to sales.
  3. Traffic Generation: SEO optimized blog posts can help your website rank higher for important keywords in the search engines. Plus, when you post blog articles, you can tell your social media followers about them and share the link to your blog to read more.
  4. Consistency: Staying top of mind requires frequent marketing touches. With many people spending hours a day checking their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts on their smart phones, social media gives you lots of exposure to your target market.
     
    Sharing daily social media posts and weekly blog articles keeps the relationship with your customers strong.
  5. Customer Service: Social media offers an easy way for customers to reach you with questions, problems, or complaints about your products and services.

    This gives you a chance to respond immediately to address the issue.  Plus, giving the VIP treatment to customers in need shows that you are a company who cares and goes a long way towards building your reputation online.

Social Media Tactics That Drive Results

What actions should your business be doing regularly on social media to generate the best results?

Here are just a few of the tactics you should be employing on your social media channels:

  • Strategically planning social media content in alignment with sales goals
  • Curate content on a regular basis
  • Promote LinkedIn Pulse and blog posts on social media
  • Interact with other social media pages and groups to attract new followers
  • Create and share social media graphics, photos, videos and infographics
  • Listen and respond to comments on your own social media posts
  • Engage in social listening and respond to those who mention you
  • Promote high engagement posts with social media ads
  • Review analytics and reporting on engagement posts and reach
  • Plan opt-in freebies to share on social media for list building
  • Write and post blog posts
  • Look for guest blogging opportunities
  • and so on…

So you can see to really stay ahead of the game, realistically, you need to have a dedicated social media person or hire some help to do it right.

The ROI of Social Media

Because the benefits of social media efforts are often intangible, such as the amount of brand exposure your business would get, it’s often difficult to put an actual number to the ROI of your social media efforts.

But if you look at it this way, just a few new customers every month (depending on what you sell) would more than likely pay the costs of doing social media marketing for your business.

Plus, if you hire someone to manage your social media, it frees you to focus on other revenue-generating activities.

Bottom line, if you aren’t on social media, you are missing out on business. The opportunity cost of not marketing on social media is with lost visibility, less website traffic, slower list building, and weaker relationships.

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

P.P.S. if you found this article helpful, please share it with your followers!

Is Social Media Really Worth it for a Small Business? This article helps decide:Click To Tweet

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!

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".