Entrepreneur of the Month

Suzi Dronzek

Suzi Dronzek

The first entrepreneur of the month honors for 2013 fall to Suzi Dronzek, graphic artist, intuitive consultant, healer and entrepreneur.  A lot of the challenges that beset entrepreneurs are similar from person to person and career path to career path.  If you have the chance to hear from other entrepreneurs where they struggle, where their personal habits have either expanded their businesses or caused challenges, then perhaps we can shave some time off of your personal journey to success.  You can learn more about Suzi at her site Starcana.com and listen to my interview with Suzi here:  SDronzekInterview.

In keeping with this being the entrepreneur of the month blog, I’d like to share some of my favorite tips and tools with you starting with the book Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg.  This book is for every woman who has ever questioned her right to speak up because she didn’t feel she was good enough.  Women have been in the workforce in one form or another forever, but the idea of being in a leadership position, well somehow, in some quarters, that idea still ruffles some feathers.  Ms. Sandberg invites us to take a look at that and then be willing to stand up or as she puts it–lean in.

I mentioned awhile back that your Instagram profile and photos were going to be made available via the web and Instagram is one hot, hot, hot platform for business owners now.  You can share tips, help people get to know you, show your products, and advertise your services worldwide.  So, if you’re not on Instagram now, you might just want to check it out.  And of course, I can’t leave Pinterest out of the equation.  If you’re marketing to women, you need to be in two places online right now–Facebook and Pinterest.  Selling products, curating great content, warehousing your blogs, and possibly connecting with Joint Venture buddies are just some of the reasons for you to take advantage of this platform that is taking the business world by storm.  Eye candy sells, so get moving and meet me on Pinterest.

Last, but not least, that tiny voice in your head that says you’re not good enough, you know, the one Ms. Sandberg mentioned?   Well, it can kill your business  PDQ.  I have been working with a set of audio programs that literally retrain your brain so that you think not just positively, but these program teach you to think like the men and women who have already achieved success.  Want to learn more?  You can check it out here(affiliate link).  You’ll also find a host of other helpful tools, books, etc., here on my Resources page and in my business newsletter which you can sign up for here.

I think that’s going to do it for now; know that I’m wishing you a brilliant April filled with powerful, positive success and don’t forget to share this blog with friends who might find it helpful!

Rich Blessings!

Dee

Copyright 2013.  All rights reserved.

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Business Success; Filling Your Funnel

woman-telephone-1

Greetings Friends!

I’m enjoying the end of a comfortable day doing business coaching from my home (I love the 10 second commute to my living room).  I coach women entrepreneurs, most of whom have businesses in the spiritual or metaphysical arts and that makes sense, since that’s what I do too.   Between caring for families, a primary job and developing a successful business, what most of them want is the freedom to work full time from their homes doing something that they love while earning a great living.  Sounds like Wonder Woman, doesn’t it?  Some even want to be able to take their businesses on the road; have business will travel!  The gap between where they are and what they want–well, that’s what the coaching is for.  And oh yes, I have a coach too…how about you?

Coaching can help you get clear about your objectives, your weak spots, and hold you accountable for meeting your goals (especially during the period when you’re developing new skills and habits).  Nearly all business owners suffer from the same challenge…how do we fill our funnel?  The answer is both easy and a challenge, especially for those business women who are at war with themselves.  What do I mean?   There are some who are suffering from career burnout; these are women who are excellent at what they do, but need to make the leap from being in the trenches doing the work to teaching the up and comers in their field how business is done.  They would probably rather do anything other than that which they’ve developed as a core expertise.

Next we have the people who love what they do, but it’s woo-woo and their anxiety has to do with whether or not it’s even possible to sell woo-woo.  Trust me their are lots of folks out there making good money selling woo-woo.  So if your particular fear has to do with that, buckle down on business basics and check my Resources page for additional tools to help you with sales doubt and fear.

Ultimately though, the trick to creating a business that you love is having a business model that provides not only a full funnel, but a lifestyle to match your business vision.  Here are some of the things you can do to fill your funnel:

  • Blog–yes, create content and share your journey, tips, ups, downs etc., to a regular audience of followers.  Pick a regular time/day and show up like clock work so people learn they can trust you.
  • Teleseminars (or webinars)–do a monthly training call or interview with an expert in your field and make sure people have to sign up to access the training!  Give great content to your listeners while you’re building your list.
  • Workshops are another great way for people to interact with you and learn how amazing you are at what you have to offer.  Be sure to capture email addresses and make a special offer so that people can learn more about your products and services.
  • Share content on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest so that people get a taste of what you have to offer…and then offer them…
  • A free white paper on an important topic in your industry.  Of course they have to sign up to get the paper–just make sure it’s worth their time.  Make the report juicy enough that when you roll out your program or product you have folks practically drooling for more!

And don’t forget LinkedIn–even if what you do is woo-woo.  Get in the habit of helping others solve their problems.  Ask questions, join groups, or start a group; once you do, you can expand your audience, fill your funnel, sell a book or product and get back to living that life you designed when you first tip toed out onto the business playing field.  You have skills that someone needs–and if you need help whipping your business dreams into shape, check here for information about my coaching program.

You’ve already done the hard work, you’ve acquired the skills for your industry.  Match it with marketing expertise, a dash of courage and you’ll be able to fill your funnel whenever you need to.

Rich Blessings!

Dee

Copyright 2013.  All rights reserved

8-Top Business Success Tools

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Greetings Friends!

The beginning of a new year holds so much potential for expansion and success–it just seems like a natural time to focus on bringing our desired hopes and dreams to life!  Usually we hit a wall somewhere along the way, but it doesn’t haven’t to be the end of our enthusiasm or our adventure.  Seeing the year ahead as a journey where we may encounter tire problems, detours or bad weather may encourage each of us to enjoy the ride rather than focus so fiercely on outcomes.  If you’re not enjoying a healthy business and life experience you won’t have the stamina to see your dreams through, so I thought I’d begin the New Year with a look at some tools that you can use as GPS devices.  These tools can assist you not only in achieving your dreams, but encourage you to take a balanced approach to the journey.  P.S.–none of the links below are affiliate links, so I am not compensated in any way for these offerings.

OmniFocus:

Whether you prefer your laptop, desktop, phone or iPad as your main business ally, this tool will assist you in getting your ideas shaped up, planned and synced.  The cost runs $80 for your Mac/laptop and about $20 for your phone, so if you’re on the go, you can still keep your business ship shape and on target for success (don’t forget to plan your vacations)!

2013 Create Your Incredible Year Workbook

A more affordable tool ($9), this calendar/workbook duo comes in two flavors–life and business.  So for the savvy business owner you’ll not only have a ritual to bless and release 2012 you’ll have an opportunity to flesh out those really big dreams in detail.  Grab a latte and sneak off to your favorite quiet nook for some deep thinking with this tool; you should come out of your reverie with a balanced, detailed idea of how 2013 will roll.  Sweet!

PowToon

Would you like to establish an online video presence, but hate seeing yourself on camera?  No problem!  PowToon will enable you to deliver your message or presentation in a classy, yet affordable fashion–and no one need see your face.  Always helpful if you’re camera shy!  Cost rages between $9-$57 per month and you get a 14 day trial.  This is a nice, flexible tool you can add to the social media platforms that you’re already using.  The added caveat is that Google, who owns pride of place in the search engine optimization world, also owns–ta-da, YouTube!  You’ll be top of the heap in no time and you’ll have done it with style!

Live Off Your Passion

Is this your year to leave the employee life behind?  You might want to check out Scott Disnmore’s program Live Off Your Passion.  Most of us have to work–about 99% of us as a matter of fact.  And it’s also a fact that many of us hate our jobs…Scott has created a $197 program to help you identify your passions and skills–and then take that information to the next level–transforming you into CEO of YOUInc, the much coveted level of successfully self-employed entrepreneur.  If your wallet is a bit slim after the holidays, no worries.  Check out Scott’s Live Your Legend site; you’ll find a variety of free tools that can get you off and running on your journey to being happily financially solvent as a self-employed entrepreneur.

The Desire Map

This is a multimedia success tool from Danielle LaPorte intended to focus you on success from the inside out (and not just for business)…what does your success feel like?  Interesting question!  A book–digital and old school paper; three months of email support, activity sheets and more for $170; this is perfect for the right brained success maven on the go and a must for all Danielle LaPorte fans!

Planner Pad

As many of you know, this is my personal favorite planner–personal and business life all in one book; gotta love it!  This planner is divided horizontally in three levels; a brain dump, daily list, timed appointment section, plus sections for expenses and a column to track your shopping list, or any other important info.  The Planner Pad comes in a variety of sizes and prices; click the link above to find the right type of Planner Pad for you.

The Right-Brain Business Plan

I’ve already talked about the importance of having a business plan for tax season 2012; the IRS has new ideas about ways to eliminate your business deductions and it all hinges on the viability of your business plan (see that post here).  While the book is available on Kindle, I recommend the paper version so that you have better access to the worksheets.  This book is for those of us whose heads spin whenever the topic of book keeping, financial statements or anything of a similar nature is mentioned.  Yes, your business planning in 2013 should include a business plan–go figure!

Pagemodo

This tool is for the graphically challenged among us who also happen to a) have a limited budget and b) need Facebook fan page designs.  Not as fancy as your graphic designer or web genius ally, this will still get the job done for anywhere from free (not much with this offer though) to $33.25 per month.  Not bad and a great way to add some social oomph to your Facebook page!

I could go on, but that’s a lot to get you started.  Hopefully this list will reignite your New Year’s enthusiasm if it is waning and support you in knocking the proverbial ball out of the park if you’re ready to fly out of the starting gate.  And as a Twitter friend of mine posted on New Years day, may 2013 exceed your expectations!

Rich Blessings!

Dee

Social Media–Do More!

Social Media

 

Greetings Friends!

We’re fast coming up on the end of September–how the heck did that happen?!  So I thought I’d share a few of the resources available on this blog before we hop into a new month–in case you’re new or just haven’t checked me out yet.  First, you can sign up for the LAGirl13 business newsletter here; it’s bi-weekly and in it I share some of the tips and articles I’ve found interesting for the up and coming entrepreneur.  Secondly, you can check out the Entrepreneur of the Month piece for September; if you’re interested in being interviewed as an Entrepreneur of the Month for this blog, leave me a comment and I’ll touch bases with you!  I like the idea of creating a business magazine feel with this blog, so there are interviews with entrepreneurs, a resource page with some of my favorite tools and even a weekly meditation.  Who is more likely to need some self-care than an extremely busy entrepreneur in the trenches trying to build their business?  So here you have a one stop shop, if you will, of tools, tips and information to assist you on you journey 😉

One of the things that I put on the Resources page was PJ Van Hulle’s ‘Listapalooza’ program; 90-days to 10,000 fans.  Well, I didn’t get 10,000 fans, but I did garner quite a few more people on my astrology blog and the various social media sites that I participate on.  My business is rapidly growing and I have found disorganization is deadly, not to mention very frustrating to deal with.  Hopefully you’ve chosen a niche in an area of expertise that you love.  And if you didn’t get organized before you chose your niche, I highly suggest you make that your next priority.

Probably the biggest take away I received from the Listapalooza experience is that at this stage of my business I have to do more, not less, social media work.  I’m cultivating content for the newsletter, this blog, Twitter and Facebook–and that means at least an hour a day.  If you have begun to slow down on your social media work or your blogging, you might want to move to doing strictly a newsletter–not a newsletter and a blog.  A blog is a three day a week deal, at the very least.  You only need to do a newsletter twice a month–the rest of the time can be spent on gathering high quality social media content.

Speaking of social media, I have to admit my latest guilty pleasure is Pinterest; if you’re already there, please come visit my boards.  If you haven’t joined, you might want to check it out–it’s the most fun I have had with social media–ever.  It was a bit hard to figure out though–lots of fun, so how does this relate to my business exactly?  Well, you can check out my business and astrology board to get some ideas of how I am using Pinterest now.  I had a failed attempt earlier in the year and took everything down.  Now I’m adding content from my core areas of expertise to boards so that people can use them to get great info on things like health, astrology or business.

If all of this sounds like a lot of work–it is.  If you’re hoping to do your business full time at some point, be prepared for your business workload to grow as you approach that full time marker.  Be willing to do more to have more–remember you’re building your way to a better quality life.  And you’re worth it!

Rich Blessings!

Dee

 

I am an Entrepreneurial Geek

Greetings Friends!

I have spent the majority of the day rolling through emails, YouTube videos and PDF’s hunting for new shiny toys to play with.  It was with a bit of dismay and shock that I realized I was up so late doing something that–OMG, I enjoy!  No wonder I didn’t go to bed!  I am a modern hunter-gatherer with OCD tendencies fueled by the need to find better ways to tweet, have my Facebook posts actually show up for the people who asked to see them and last, but not least–bring all of you new ways to do your thing faster.  Okay, I admit it, I’m weird–but for me this is–well, fun.

Last Tuesday I finished my writing by 5:00 PM–I was so proud of me; this week I didn’t even get close to that.  Oh well, it was worth it, I learned about several new things that can help me with my social media and blog content requirements.  And I hope you find some of them useful too!  So without further ado…

Need more content?  Try the online version of Hootsuite; while I couldn’t get by without my iPhone version (trust me, when it crashed a month ago and I was without it for a week, I learned how sadly true that statement is), I create new streams for the variety of topics I blog about or that my followers might find helpful; I can pick interesting pieces to retweet and fill my Twitter feed for days–and they have added a feature that picks the best time to send out your tweets!  http://hootsuite.com/

Try using Buffer to schedule out a weeks worth of posts on Facebook or Twitter.  This is a great tool for those times on Facebook when you find lots of great things you’d like to share, but don’t want to overwhelm your audience.  There is a premium version for most of these tools, but you don’t have to break the bank or your budget.  I find the free versions work well enough for my needs, at least for now.  You can add a Buffer app to your browser or Facebook page and add content directly to your feed stream (my inner geek is extremely pleased with this):  http://bufferapp.com

Tweriod takes buffer to a whole other level by evaluating your peek times for sending out tweets.  The social media game is refining itself by the second.  So now you can not only tweet, but you can do so at peek hours, when more of your followers have a chance of reading your posts:  http://www.tweriod.com/

And last, but not least, my favorite new shiny thing is AllTop; created by Guy Kawasaki, this tool literally allows you to gather input from all over the internet on subjects of interest to you (or your followers).  You can go through the various topics and feed the information into Hootsuite, Buffer or Twitter and fill up your social media streams without breaking a sweat.  That definitely works for me.  Check out my AllTop page here:  http://my.alltop.com/msdeem9

They say if your work is something you love, you’ll never work again.  I may not be there yet, but I’m pretty darn close!  I hope some of these new tools help you get closer to ‘never working again’ too.

Rich Blessings!

Dee

Your Book, Biz & SEO

 

Greetings Friends!

One of the (new) jobs for an aspiring writer or entrepreneur is figuring out how to find your community, tribe, or audience in the cyber world–pick which ever description works best for you.  If they can’t find you, you’re as good as dead before the game even begins.  As tempting as it is to say the hunger games…I won’t.  Okay, moving right along…

Anyway, we have apparently become a search engine optimized planet.  If my toe bothers me I can look up symptoms, holistic alternatives to pharmaceuticals and who (in my local area) can treat my affliction.  Which is very cool–and also where your work begins.

When you’re choosing that start up or catchy book title (and subject)–look it up.  You can use Google adwords or keywordspy to find out how many people want what you desire to offer.  If people aren’t snapping up your goods it’s probably one of a few reasons:

  • Your numbers are low for number of people searching (per month) on your topic
  • Your site name doesn’t include a power keyword (or two or three)–remember to speak the language of your audience so that they can find you (in blogs, on your site, ezines, etc.).  They are looking for you, so don’t make it hard for them to find you!
  • You may still be in a building phase–it can take a couple of years to build up sufficient numbers of people who follow you (yes, patience is required) before you have a knock out launch or can convince that literary agent to sign you.  But there are other things you can do…like join forces with other entrepreneurs and share your audiences.  You can also look for places where your tribe hangs out in the real world–if you’re a beauty blogger you might want to hold a workshop at a local mall, for example, (be sure to advertise sufficiently beforehand). Meetups in the real word are popular!
  • Once you find your tribe, use social media tools to help you bring your tribe great content on an ongoing basis–and here are some great ones to help you do just that http://bit.ly/Nh3lE2

Search engine optimization is the way business gets done now, take advantage of it so that you can sell that book proposal, fill your coaching programs and sell your products.  That’s why you went into business, right (or stayed up late to write that book)?  And if you’re still feeling stuck, check out my resources page for tools to help you get out of your rut!

Rich Blessings!

Dee

 

Control Your ROI

Greetings Friends!

This week I heard some news that confirmed Facebook is now limiting the number of people who see your Facebook fan page posts; you can see the article here http://bit.ly/JNUKVx.  Facebook shows your posts to people who interact with your fan page–no interaction, no post on their timeline.  To top it off, Facebook will then offer you the opportunity to buy ads to get the attention of the people who you probably thought were interacting with you already.

I had wondered why I seemed to be getting so little bang for my buck lately and now I know why.  While the post gives you some ideas for insuring you’re not totally wasting your time with a Facebook fan page, it’s a good reminder that social media sites are businesses too and they are going to do what they need to do to earn their daily bread.  The question is, what can you do to insure you don’t waste tons of time on a slow boat to no where while working the popular social media sites?

  • First of all, take the time to listen to the seminars/webinars about the various social media sites to stay abreast of changes.  The changes are coming fast and furious now and you could easily spend your time on something, that unfortunately won’t serve your short or long term business aims.
  • Read–there are books out there too about the ins and outs of social media; just pay attention to when your book was written.  A book written a year ago is probably only good for lining your hamster’s cage.
  • Think of where you can meet your clients off line.  If you’re working with Mom’s, visit children’s gym’s, Mommy and Me classes–even your local PTA to hand out brochures, business cards, etc.  Consider giving a live workshop to meet some of your peeps in person.
  • Look into Google Plus http://wp.me/p1ep9Q-po, LinkedIn, or Twitter and see if you get a better ROI for blog posts and special offers.  Spend your time where you get the biggest return.
  • Link arms with your business pals; working with joint venture partners is a good way to reach more of your potential clients.  Just be sure to a) pick a pal who works with a similar niche–not a competitor and b) offer a great affiliate program to make it worth their while to help you out.

When it comes down to it–business is business whether it’s Mark Zuckerberg or you, the solopreneur, working a start up.  Figure out what you do best, keep yourself abreast of changes and bring great value to others so that sites like Facebook are just one of many options for meeting up with the clients you need.

Rich Blessings!

Dee