May 2016

Three Things You Can Do Right Now To Get Your Business Back On Track

It’s been a rough patch for me lately – while the client side of my business has been wonderful, I’ve been a little bit uninspired for what other products or services I wanted to bring to the table. I started the year off with a flood of ideas but after a lackluster launch, a trap of the comparison game, and a slight over-scheduling problem…  nothing really inspired me that much.

For some personal reasons (which I’m going to be talking about a little bit on Periscope, as it relates to business, this week) I had the “ah-ha!” moment where I was reminded that I am, to be honest, a terrible employee. Just awful. I get grumpy knowing that I have to work around someone else’s schedule and that I can’t, on a whim, head out for a long lunch or take a long walk on a beautiful day. So my “ah-ha!” moment was more of a “oh hell no” moment when I had to lock it up and re-establish my focus on making TheCrownFox a successful and sustainable business. 

If you’re going through a slump or an uninspired spell here are some things I’ve been doing to re-motivate, re-excite, and re-ignite myself.


MAKE A LIST OF PROS

I started here. I reminded myself of the pros of running my own business. I reminded myself that the number one thing I value in my life is flexibility/adaptability and that creating my own schedule means EVERYTHING to me. My quality of life since moving to Charleston and doing TheCrownFox has been at a steady 1,000 on the 1-100 scale and I blame a large portion of that on the flexibility I have. I recently forgot how valuable that was to me and tried to start a part time job (out of fear over my uninspired-ness) and immediately realized I can’t work on other people’s schedules (hit me up on Periscope @TheCrownFox to hear more about this). 

Other pros that I needed to be reminded of: I get to work with AMAZING clients. Feeling so uninspired definitely showed in some of my client work, making me slower to make decisions and designs than I’ve ever been. I second-guessed myself and felt nervous about showing work to clients. Through some positive reinforcement and amazing reviews I quickly wiped away that self doubt and re-doubled my efforts to provide great work and quickly, too.

What are some pros that you have in your business? The ability to take a long lunch if you need a break? The opportunity to go for a walk on a beautiful day? The option to head to the doctor when you don’t feel well versus waiting 8 hours until your shift is over (this was the icing on the cake for me with my attempt at a part time job)? List those out when you’re in your slump and remember all the good that can come of taking time to make your business successful.


WRITE DOWN YOUR SKILLS THAT NEED TO BE VALUED/SHOWCASED 

Next I wrote down skills that I have that are showcased through my work with TheCrownFox (and not recognized elsewhere). I thought back to tweet-compliments and nice emails I’ve gotten from people and clients to get me started. 

I think a lot of slump periods or lack of motivation comes from a root of fear. I was fearful that my business had just been a lucky streak so far. I even described it to people in a way that was self-deprecating, “well it’s worked out so far so… I’m just hoping it keeps going” versus saying, “I work damn hard and put myself out there everyday trying to improve and grow and it’s working.” So to get this fear out my head and subconscious I wrote down a list of all the things I’ve been pleasantly surprised to be good at (like writing blog posts for example – that was a surprise) and things that I know I’m good at. I wrote down specific tweets and comments I’ve gotten from people, too.

I know that might feel a little bit cocky or overzealous, but the fear monster is a big one and you need to bring out the big guns to battle it. So if it takes you putting on Beyonce and telling yourself that you’re amazing ten times, then do it. You are amazing. You have something unique that is valuable.


MAKE A PLAN OF ATTACK 

Lastly, once I was feeling pumped up about myself and my business again, I made a plan of attack for how I was going to come back better and stronger than ever. It started with telling myself I was going to write this blog post and be vulnerable, and even more, commit to Periscopes and be really open (hence why I keep mentioning it, because now I have to actually do it!).

But business-wise I also wanted a plan. My most popular opt-in has been around for a while now, so I decided I needed to upgrade that and re-release it soon. I outlined the next Branding 101 e-book (coming out in June, a second part of Building Your Base)..

I wrote out a plan for the next few months and I let myself get creative, excited, and ambitious again. I stopped being worried about failing and started getting excited about doing. 


So what about you? Do you get in slumps like this? How do you recover? I want to hear from you so either let me know in the comments or come hangout in Periscope with me this week. If you’re currently feeling ambivalent about your business – stop. Repeat after me: you can do this. Make your lists, get excited, and get going.



kaitlyn.jpeg

I’m Kaitlyn, your design assistant! I work with successful creative entrepreneurs to create cohesive, clean, and compelling visuals for their businesses. You can keep being the #girlboss you are (but with more time to focus on growing your empire)! Let's set up a time to chat!


Why Your Business Doesn't Need Every Social Platform

Hi there! Kaitlyn here, introducing this week's guest post from Brittney of BrittneyLLynn.com. Brittney is talking to you this week about why you don't necessarily need to waste your time on every social media platform if it's not the right fit for your business. Be sure to follow her using the links at the end of the post!

I know. The title of this blog post may seem like the opposite of everything you’ve ever learned about social media.

  • “Be everywhere!”
  • “You need to be on every platform, otherwise your business is missing out!”
  • “You’re losing major dollars if you aren’t every social platform!”

We’ve all heard it. And while some aspects of these statements ring true, there are times when it makes sense to not be on every platform.

  • “But what if I miss out on customers?”
  • “Will my brand be noticeable online if I’m not on every social platform?”
  • “Everyone says you have to be on all social media platforms.”

These could be questions you’re asking yourself, and I’m going to show that you won’t miss out on customers, you will be noticeable, and you don’t, in fact, need to be on every social platform.

Reasons Why Your Business Shouldn’t Be On Every Social Platform


It’s not relevant to your industry

I used to work at a university that primarily has majors in engineering. There, I managed a department’s social media profiles (as well as all of the marketing efforts). If you don’t know, engineering and engineering topics are not as popular on Pinterest. Shocking, I know.

Are there businesses out there in the engineering industry that are rockin’ it on Pinterest? Maybe. But for the most part, the engineering industry isn’t sharing articles with “Pinterest-worthy” images. The time and effort to maintain a Pinterest profile for our department didn’t make sense, because the industry we primarily served wasn’t as relevant on Pinterest at the time.

If your industry doesn’t spend time on these platforms, why should you?


You’re limited on time

If you’re a small business or solopreneur, you only have so much time. And if you aren’t ready to outsource your social media, you need to be picky about where you spend your time.

We all only have 24 hours in a day. To effectively run a small business while also keeping up with the business tasks, marketing, customer service, AND social media, you need to be very selective with the time you spend on your business. You can’t do it all.

Pick the one or two platforms where 1) your audience spends the most time and 2) where you see the biggest ROI and engagement and stick with those.

This requires research. You will need to put in the time to discover where your audience spends time (don’t just guess) and pay attention to your current social media profiles to see which has the biggest ROI and engagement.


You ignore it

If your social media strategy is to create profiles and then never log back in again for another 6 months, it’s not time to start using that platform.

Seems like a logical suggestion right? Don’t start something you don’t plan on contributing to?

Well I see it all the time with small businesses. Someone told them they needed to be on Instagram, so they hurried up and created an account, stuck a few pictures up there and then never opened the app again.

I would rather see a small business truly master the social platforms that they choose to be on, and show up every day, instead of kinda sorta participating and then fall of the face of the earth.

Your audience will notice if you ignore your accounts, they won’t notice if you aren’t on the accounts in the first place.


Your audience/fans aren’t spending time there

If your target audience isn’t there, why should you spend time there? That isn’t to say you don’t routinely do research to see where your audience hangs out (because it can certainly change!) but if your target market isn’t on a platform you shouldn’t waste your time.

Big brands like Nike, Best Buy, and Delta are on all of the social platforms because their target audience is quite large. Nike sells sneakers, nearly everyone wears sneakers. Best Buy sells electronics, think of all of the people who buy electronics. Delta sells flights, thousands of people buy flights every day.

You get what I mean. As a small business, you are probably serving a much smaller portion of the population than Nike, Best Buy or Delta serves. Which means you need to have a true understanding of where your audience spends time before you jump on every single social platform.

By choosing to only be on the platforms where your audience hangs out, you won’t be missing out on customers, because you’ve done the research to find where your audience spends the most time.


You plan on sharing only your content

If you plan on only sharing your own content on any social platform, you might as well save your time and effort and not be on social media at all.

It’s called social media for a reason. You are supposed to be social. Which means not always talking about yourself and your business.

Think about when you go to a party. Do you waltz in and only talk about yourself? Or do you sit down, chat with someone and have an actual conversation (meaning more than one person is talking).

Of course you have an actual conversation (at least I hope that was your answer! :) ). Nobody wants to hear your message if all you do is talk about yourself.

The same goes for social media. Your audience will begin to tune you out if all you do is promote your products or services.

You need to share other people’s content to get the most engagement out of your audience.

Question: Are you on every social platform? Why or why not?


This guest post is from Brittney Lynn, who is a social media strategist who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners grow their audience, build engagement and get raving fans on social media. You can check out her blog, sign up for her free email course, or follow her on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.