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Learn more about freelancing and owning your business and your time from six-figure freelancer Laura Pennington.
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Now displaying: July, 2017
Jul 27, 2017

85% of small business fail within the first 12 months because new entrepreneurs don’t take the time to identify and understand their ideal customer. If your new venture is struggling to get off the ground because you are hurting for clients, today’s guest is prepared to offer guidance around getting your product or service in front of the right audience and then creating an automated system of lead generation to produce consistent sales.

Oguz ‘Oz’ Konar grew up watching his father start business after business, all of which ended in bankruptcy. Motivated to understand what makes a business successful, he studied sales and marketing strategy to identify common mistakes made by aspiring entrepreneurs – and how to avoid them. With seven years of sales management and marketing experience under his belt, Oz founded Local Marketing Stars to assist small business owners in the implementation of productive marketing strategies. He has written two books about online marketing and marketing automation, and he is currently running four companies of his own.

Oz is an expert in the area of results-driven marketing strategy, and today he explains why automation is essential, the seven marketing strategies you need to know, and the function of a small business website. Listen in as Oz reveals his greatest challenge in building his consulting business and how to get your product or service in front of its target audience!

 

Key Takeaways

The importance of marketing automation

  • Too many small businesses rely on ‘random acts of marketing’
  • No systems in place to measure results
  • Automated system of generating leads, sales is essential
  • Business must run itself when you aren’t present

 

The first step toward automated lead generation

  • Look at products, services
  • Determine what has been most successful
  • Develop system to get right offer to right people

 

The greatest challenge Oz faced in building his own business

  • Difficulty focusing on single vertical
  • Felt like missing out on opportunities
  • Wanted to do lead gen for variety of small businesses
  • Realized niching down was easier to scale, produced better results for clients

 

Oz’s seven marketing strategies you need now

  • Understand your audience
  • Work on offer (solve problem for audience)
  • Find your customers (identify channels)
  • Develop core message
  • Create proven sales model
  • Establish system to retain customers
  • Develop system to generate referrals

 

Oz’s advice regarding small business websites

  • Understand their function – to generate, convert leads
  • Capture email addresses of visitors
  • Ensure that your site accommodates search engines
  • Study your analytics and optimize page by page

 

Oz’s #1 tip for aspiring entrepreneurs

  • Interview 10-15 potential buyers
  • Get their feedback re: your product/service
  • Ask them to walk you through pain points
  • Build your business based on feedback

 

Connect with Oguz Konar

10K Revenue Club Website

Jul 25, 2017

What is holding you back from pursuing the life you want? In most cases, the answer is fear. Change makes us really uncomfortable, and our brains are wired to resist anything that takes us outside our comfort zone. But today’s guest is ready to help you forge a new neural pathway and expand your comfort zone through clearly defined goals and strategic action.

Jill Ethier is a personal strategist who combines her passion for business with the power of energy to mentor aspiring entrepreneurs who want more in every aspect of their lives, from business to relationships to health and personal growth. Her online programs provide the framework to shift your mindset, reclaim your power, and fulfill your purpose.

Jill spent a number of years as the Director of Marketing for SIGA, managing four casino marketing departments. After the passing of her young daughter, she knew she wanted to live her life differently, and Jill began to study Feng Shui and other energy disciplines. In 2000, she united her love of business strategy with the study of energy to found Jill Ethier Consulting. Today she shares tactics around cultivating the right mindset, tackling resistance to change, and avoiding distractions. Listen in to understand the importance of a strong WHY and how to prioritize daily actions as you work toward a meaningful life.

 

Key Takeaways

Jill’s ideal client

  • Moms 30-48
  • Want more for selves in all areas
  • Aspire to build businesses

 

The greatest challenge Jill’s clients face

  • Developing mindset (belief they can do it)
  • Fear, discomfort is normal

 

How to cultivate appropriate mindset

  • Brains wired to stop when outside comfort zone
  • Must create new neural pathway
  • Provide structure/framework (e.g.: three actions per day)
  • Acknowledge resistance, but commit to take action regardless
  • Dig deeper into the WHY

 

How to tackle extreme resistance to change

  • Complete most significant tasks first thing in morning (highest energy, focus)
  • Sets you up for WIN
  • If get off track, get back quickly

 

How to avoid distractions like social media and email

  • Ask yourself if activity will move you forward toward goals
  • Prioritize actions that are more important

 

Jill’s energetic platform

  • Focus mental, physical and spiritual energy first thing
  • ‘Sets the table’ for your day

 

How accountability plays into success

  • Depends on person, level of change
  • Investment in coach tends to raise the stakes
  • Accountability helps shift habits

 

Jill’s advice around goal-setting

  • Establish five-year goals (global perspective)
  • Define one-year goals
  • Break into 90-day cycles and 30-day sprints
  • Determine daily actions
  • Set objectives in all areas – business, health, relationships, personal growth
  • Design goals that are realistic with a stretch, rather than idealistic
  • Avoid setting too many goals (only so much time, energy and effort)

 

Connect with Jill Ethier

Website

Podcast

Facebook

Jul 20, 2017

As new entrepreneurs, we are hungry for clients. It can be tempting to take on a project that doesn’t feel quite right because we need the money and want the experience. But today’s guest argues that a poor fit leads to immense frustration, and she is here to offer strategies that will help you determine whether a client is a good match on the front end so that both parties feel comfortable moving forward.

Liz Thompson earned her undergraduate degree in communication, then pursued master’s degrees in English and literature. She worked in editing and communication in the corporate world for 15 years before taking the leap into entrepreneurship. When Liz got married two years ago, the timing was right to start her own firm so that she would have the flexibility to stay home and raise her new blended family.

Liz is on a mission to help writers find and refine their voice and share their stories with the world. She takes on fiction and non-fiction projects, and she loves to edit cookbooks. Today Liz shares her secrets around building a clientele, online networking, and pricing her services. Listen in and learn how Liz approaches scheduling clients and the process she employs to choose clients who are a good fit.

 

Key Takeaways

How Liz built a clientele

  • Got connected with entrepreneur groups early on (primarily online)
  • Enlisted help of business coach
  • Found Facebook groups where ideal clients ‘lived’
  • Offered authentic help on platform
  • Subsequent clients through referrals

 

The value of online networking groups like Boss Mom

  • Going through similar things (parents building businesses)
  • Wide range of experience
  • Experts in different areas of need (i.e.: designing websites)

 

How Liz made the decision to invest in a business coach

  • Had already invested in several courses
  • 15-minute coaching call with Dana Malstaff led to Liz's first client
  • Made sense to invest up front on person who would help grow business

 

How Liz structures the working relationship with writers

  • Phone call to get overview of project, type of editing necessary
  • Perform sample edit to determine fit
  • Work on front-end helps avoid bad experiences

 

How Liz prices her editing services

  • Rate per word depends on experience of writer, condition of manuscript
  • Quote encompasses two rounds (developmental and copy editing)

 

Liz’s approach to scheduling clients

  • Cap out number of projects per month
  • Map out how much want to make, how many projects can take on
  • Booked two to three months in advance

 

Why Liz only accepts clients that feel like a good fit

  • Early on, took on client who requested partial edit of manuscript
  • Many mistakes in portion she hadn’t edited, but name on project
  • ‘If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it’
  • Refers science fiction, highly technical business projects to other editors (not her interest, strength)

 

Resources

Boss Moms

Course: Slaying the Enemies of Good Writing

 

Connect with Elizabeth Thompson

House Style Editing

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Jul 18, 2017

If you want to make a change in your business, but you are unsure how to go about it, you may benefit from enlisting the help of an executive leadership coach. But how do you choose the right one? Should you invest in a one-on-one program, or is a group setting right for you?

Susan Barber has 20-plus years of experience as an IT and Leadership Executive. While working a traditional job, she pursued coaching as a side hustle, earning a certification in leadership coaching. When the company was going through a merger, she took a package and a leap of faith – and Susan M. Barber Coaching & Consulting was born.

Susan is passionate about helping her clients build confidence, grow as leaders and find their authentic voice. She also seeks to bring coaches together to support each other and share resources as entrepreneurs. Today she explains the differences among one-on-one, group and mastermind programs, the advantages of a structured group coaching environment, and how to choose a program that is the right fit for you. Listen in as Susan reveals what to look for in an executive business coach!

 

Key Takeaways

How to scale a coaching business

  • Develop group coaching initiatives, masterminds
  • Generate passive income with home study programs

 

The difference between Susan’s group program vs. mastermind

  • Group program guides members to create vision, values and action plan
  • Mastermind focus on accountability, one member on hot seat

 

The advantages of a structured group coaching environment

  • All share, support other group members
  • Community and connection
  • Learn from each other

 

How to choose from among one-on-one, group coaching, and masterminds

  • One-on-one if not comfortable sharing current situation with group
  • Group settings typically less expensive
  • Masterminds provide most structured experience (same questions each week)

 

When to pursue a business coach

  • You know you want to make a change
  • Unsure how to go about it

 

What to look for in a business coach

  • Connection, chemistry
  • Referrals
  • Good fit, both feel comfortable

 

Questions to ask a prospective coach

  • How have you been successful with others?
  • What methodology do you use?
  • Do you do assessments?
  • What is your background/experience?
  • Do you have your own coach?

 

Characteristics of a quality coach

  • Allow client to drive conversation
  • Good listener, observer

 

What to do if you’re not getting what you need from a coach

  • Ask for a time out to address issues
  • Seek someone different if not getting value

 

Susan’s advice for business owners considering an investment in a coach

  • Have two or three conversations with different coaches
  • Trust your gut
  • Ask for references or choose an accredited coach through ICF

 

Resources

Susan’s Blog

International Coaching Federation

 

Connect with Susan Barber

Website

Facebook Group

Twitter

LinkedIn

Facebook

Jul 13, 2017

So you’ve launched a product or service you’re really proud of, complete with a stellar membership site, but all you hear are crickets. Today’s guest has firsthand experience with this frustrating scenario, and she is here to help you learn from her mistakes and build an audience first. 

Nathalie Doremieux and her husband, Olivier, spent ten years working as software engineers in Silicon Valley before returning to their native France and founding New Software Marketing in 2006. But they made the mistake of thinking that if they built a quality piece of software, people would find them. Because of their inexperience in the marketing realm, the business struggled.

Down to their last $2,000, Nathalie and Olivier invested in a coach who changed their perspective, pushing them to focus on skills they might leverage to monetize quickly. It was then that they niched down to web design and membership sites, and New Software Marketing took off. Five years later, the multi-six-figure business serves entrepreneurs and public figures including Kimra Luna, James

Five years later, the multi-six-figure business serves entrepreneurs and public figures including Kimra Luna, James Wedmore and Kate Northrup. Today Nathalie shares the importance of ‘the hustle’ early in your entrepreneurial journey, how she and her husband approach working together, and the biggest mistakes people make in building websites. Listen and learn how to build an audience that will make your product launch a success!

 

Key Takeaways

The mistakes Nathalie made in building her business

  • Hid behind expertise
  • Ignored marketing piece

 

How Nathalie pinpointed web pages and membership sites as niche

  • Sought help of coach
  • Determined what could monetize quickly
  • Built list of people with interest in establishing websites
  • Developed a reputation in space (via blogging, etc.)
  • Saw need for memberships sites in offline entrepreneurs seeking online presence

 

The importance of ‘the hustle’ early on in your entrepreneurial journey

  • Quit 9 to 5 for 24/7
  • Must build business first, then enjoy four-hour work week

 

The necessity of building an audience

  • Nathalie created online course, built membership site
  • Launch fell flat because she overlooked marketing component

 

How Nathalie approaches working with her husband

  • Became entrepreneur for love
  • Had to acquire entrepreneurial mindset
  • Clearly defined roles (she is face of company, he works behind-the-scenes)

 

Nathalie’s biggest accomplishment in business thus far

  • Accepting invitation to speak on stage
  • Boosted business to next level
  • To grow, you must get comfortable with being uncomfortable

 

The biggest mistakes people make in designing websites

  • Make themselves the focus, rather than the visitor
  • Must convince visitor you can do something for them in five seconds
  • Goal is to add visitor to list with free content

 

Resources

Off the Charts with Nathalie Lussier

 

Connect with Nathalie Doremieux

New Software Marketing

Jul 11, 2017

Some of us are attracted to online entrepreneurship because of the freedom it affords us to travel, living the digital nomad lifestyle. Others of us choose web-based businesses because we want to get off the hamster wheel and spend real quality time with our kids and partners. Today’s guest is combining both of those perks and embarking on an RV adventure with her husband and two small children, traveling the country to visit family while maintaining her online venture, brb Yoga.

Catherine Middlebrooks began a yoga practice in college. Ten years ago, she earned a certification to teach and began a successful corporate yoga business. After a move to Nashville, Catherine transitioned into a ‘regular job,’ using her master’s in experimental psychology to work in market research. But when her daughter was born in 2012, Catherine and her husband made the decision to be more intentional about their lives and start their own online business.

At the same time, Catherine was struggling to find time for yoga. As a new mom, she didn’t have 75 minutes to spend at a studio, but she knew she needed the mindfulness and calm a yoga practice provides. So Catherine developed a program of shorter, precisely designed classes to pull her out of the overwhelm and help her embrace her new life and body. She created brb Yoga to help other moms make time for self-care and restore their core strength. Today she discusses how she niched down to serve a very specific population of new moms, the challenge of maintaining her relationship with her husband as they build a business together, and her upcoming family RV adventure! Listen and learn how to employ Facebook ads to generate traffic and apply a project management system to make the best use of your time.

 

Key Takeaways

Why Catherine’s digital format works for new moms interested in Yoga

  • Struggle to find time to attend class
  • Looking for program that serves post-partum body

 

The value of identifying a need in the marketplace

  • Women with abdominal separation not served by traditional fitness industry
  • Catherine created Heal Your Core program for niche audience

 

Catherine’s struggle to attract ideal clients

  • Started w/ ‘quick, efficient online yoga for busy moms’
  • Realized not specific enough
  • Gained traction after designing specific products (i.e.: Beginners Bundle)
  • Landed on serving women with diastasis recti
  • Relies on Facebook ads, targeting companies that serve same population
  • Alludes to pain points of ideal client in marketing

 

Catherine’s tips for employing Facebook ads

  • Invest in course early on
  • Don’t drive traffic to sales page
  • Give value first (e.g.: blog post)

 

Catherine’s biggest challenge as entrepreneur

  • Maintain relationship with husband while building business together
  • Make sure work brings family closer together

 

Catherine’s upcoming RV adventure

  • Decided freedom and family were priority
  • Started online venture with travel in mind
  • Designing trip so both have daily time to work, spend time with family
  • Obtaining booster for RV (internet connection)
  • Will continue to blog, nurture Facebook group, email

 

Catherine’s best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs

  • Create structure
  • Consider Scrum project management process
  • Establish weekly objectives
  • Ensure that time/energy driven by you, your goals

 

Resources

RV Entrepreneurs Facebook Group

Scrum Project Management

The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

 

Connect with Catherine Middlebrooks

Website

Jul 6, 2017

One of the major hurdles online entrepreneurs face is that of scaling their business. How exactly do you generate the client base necessary to take your venture to the next level? 

Susan Cabezas quit her job as a digital marketing consultant in 2010, with the hopes of building an online business. She worked as a VA through Elance while she had her first child, but struggled to make a sustainable income and eventually went back to full-time work. She was laid off in 2013 and worked for a VA company doing subcontract work when her second son was born, but again returned to a ‘regular job’ to generate consistent income. Susan has been at her current full-time digital marketing position with a large non-profit for the past three years but has built an online social media management business as a side hustle. This venture, Being More Social, seeks to help female entrepreneurs connect with their audience and grow their businesses.

Susan is also a blogger, helping busy moms live happier and be more present with their families at The Mama Resource (formerly Modern Frugal Mom). Today she shares her best tips on organization and time management as well as her vision for the future of her business. In addition, Laura offers some on-air coaching to help Susan strategize next steps as she works to position herself as a social media expert, write effective proposals, and take Being More Social to the next level.

 

Key Takeaways

Why Susan has struggled to move into full-time freelancing

  • Need for sustainable income
  • Difficulty finding clients via networking

 

How Susan finds clients now

  • Entrepreneur/blogger Facebook groups

 

Laura’s advice around scaling a social media management business

  • Offer monthly retainer packages
  • Niche down to one or two platforms
  • Position/brand self as expert

 

Laura’s tips for landing clients

  • Ask current clients for testimonials, referrals with incentives
  • Talk to prospects in a results-oriented way (i.e.: social platform growth, time saved)
  • Provide case studies of current/former clients
  • Empathize with client pain points when developing proposal

 

Susan’s advice regarding time management and productivity

 

What’s next for Susan’s business

  • Grow into full-time enterprise
  • Leverage blog to make passive income via affiliate marketing, products

 

Susan’s #1 tip for aspiring online business owners

  • Know what you want
  • Be consistent

 

Resources

Google Drive

Google Calendar

Trello

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner’s Affiliate Marketing Course

 

Connect with Susan Cabezas

Being More Social Website

Being More Social on Facebook

The Mama Resource Blog

Susan on Twitter

Jul 4, 2017

Even the most passionate solopreneurs among us can get to a point where our energy is depleted and we need a break from it all. Today’s guest admits to being the Queen of Burnout, working so hard for her clients that she forgets to give herself a break.

Based in beautiful Knysna, South Africa, Carol Hampshire is a brand designer and business strategist with twenty years of experience running her own studio, Red Hot Designs. She added business mentoring to her resume ten years ago, with the intention of helping female entrepreneurs who are coaches, creatives and wellness consultants work smarter and play harder.

Two years ago, Carol hit a wall. She had taken on too much, she was losing her joy, and she could no longer deliver her best work. After a week away from her desk on a sailing trip to Turkey, Carol realized that she needed to create a business around her life, not vice versa. Today she shares her best advice on avoiding burnout, connecting with clients in the onboarding process, and allocating time away from the computer. Listen to understand why Carol makes it a point to learn what drives her clients and how to shift your business model as the need arises.

 

Key Takeaways

Carol’s key to consistent success

  • Shift business model as environment, personal needs change

 

Signs of burnout

  • Up early, finish late
  • Race against clock
  • Loss of joy
  • Compromise quality of work

 

Carol’s tips to avoid burnout

  • Enlist accountability partner
  • Schedule time away from computer (e.g.: yoga class, walk dog, tea with friend)

 

Carol’s guidance around working with clients

  • Take time to get to know them as people
  • Connection eliminates confusion, brings out best work
  • ‘Take on clients you would spend the weekend with’

 

The questions Carol asks new clients in onboarding process

  • What is your core essence?
  • What is your message?
  • What motivated you to create the business?
  • What are your unique talents?
  • What makes you an authority in your field?
  • What drives you?

 

Carol’s biggest challenges as an entrepreneur

  • Allocating time to work on own business (update website, nurture Facebook group, ongoing marketing efforts)
  • Devoting time to professional development

 

Carol’s shift to working as coach/mentor

  • Came from within, passion to work with people
  • Desire to offer insight to emerging entrepreneurs

 

Resources

Trello

The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks PhD

 

Connect with Carol Hampshire

Website

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