#7 - How to make sure your website is found on Google

Rachel Di Martino is owner of Geek Unicorn, a company that focuses on website optimization and brand presence for businesses. I asked Rachel to join me to talk about brand optimization and why business owners need to care about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for their businesses.

What is SEO?

Rachel Di Martino SEO

SEO is bringing your web page up onto the search results so if someone looks for a specific subject, a link to your website comes up. This is important because you don’t want to be paying for marketing all the time. Certainly paid marketing through Facebook ads, etc. is important, but wouldn’t it be nice to have nonpaid leads through Google and Bing searches as well?

Years ago, the typical SEO strategy was to pay someone to stuff keywords into the code of your website, but it doesn’t work that way anymore. There have been more hours devoted to developers looking into the search algorithm then anything else – search engines have gotten smart; especially Google and Bing. We need to understand a bit more about how it all works so that we can help ourselves be more findable online.

How does SEO work?

Search engines no longer just look for one specific word or phrase, i.e. cat or dog because they realized that it was too easy to manipulate and people were abusing it. So, now search engines want to be your friend. What does that mean? Search engines want you to think of search the same way you would if you were to ask a friend for a restaurant recommendation. If a friend were to ask you for your recommendation it would be based on many things: service, speed, location, menu, and price. Google wants to do the same – they want to be a trusted friend and make a recommendation based on over 200 factors.

Google also wants us to find quality information – based on more than just one word. To tell Google that you are more than just a word or phrase is to think about what your user is thinking and to think of a search engine like the restaurant in terms of service, speed, etc. So, you want to make sure all the information on your website is easy to find, i.e. is your contact information easy to find, is the information you provide in blog posts relevant, accurate, easily consumable and shareable?

How does Google know something is true?

Google looks for clues to ensure things are accurate, including how long someone has spent on your website, i.e. on blog posts, etc. If someone spends a lot of time on your website then Google will assume it is good content.

Google also looks at your bounce rate i.e., if someone clicks on a page and then leaves right away for whatever reason, they bounced. Maybe the content wasn’t relevant or the site took to long to load. Regardless, Google takes your bounce rate into account.

Google also looks for how the page has been shared on social media and whether the page has other links out there, including backlinks and referral links that link back to your website or blog post.

What are some tips for being Google friendly?

One goal is not to have irritating popups that are difficult to close because people will become frustrated and leave quickly – giving you a bad bounce rate and negatively affecting your SEO.

You also need good content so people will stay and backlinks to build your credibility. (If you can get people to link to your content that will help with your search engine rankings.)

Finally, you need to think about your traffic – how many people are visiting your website in a week or a month? This is where a newsletter is good because then everyone in your network is visiting your website based on the links in your newsletter, and this builds up your numbers and your SEO.

You should also make sure your website is mobile responsive. If it’s not mobile friendly then you are going to have a hard time ranking because it is not current with best practices. If you’re not sure, then you should use Google’s mobile responsive test website to determine if your site is mobile responsive.

Make sure to always approach new content with a little bit of SEO in mind every time – write about topics and trends that are currently popular but where there is an opportunity for better content. Or create content that will be highly liked and valued by your demographic – put your voice into a problem your audience wants an answer or that you can add value to. The more value you provide the more likely people will visit your website, spend time with it and share it.

Build your referral links –partner with other sites through guest podcasting, guest blogging or by being a trusted and strategic partner in their business i.e. a doula can partner with a lactation consultant, etc.

Building your SEO may take time, but the good news is that is something that once you get started and start seeing results, it gets easier.

Resources & Links

Geek Unicorn

Geek Unicorn on Facebook

Join the Free Facebook Community

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

Podcast Contest

As this new podcast gets off the ground, I’d really love your help to make sure that it gets in front of the right people. The first weeks of a podcast’s life are the most important in terms of the opportunities for iTunes to showcase you to other listeners. Because of that, I’m starting out this new podcast with a bang. There are 3 episodes available for you right now, and there will be at least two more episodes every week for the remainder of the eight weeks.

I thought I’d find some extra ways to thank you for all the sharing and supporting you do of the new podcast so every week until July 15th I’m going to be giving away one of my favourite business books to one person who either:

  • subscribe to the podcast or leave a review on iTunes; or
     
  • share the podcast on social media; or
     
  • come in to the Biz Studio and post your favourite tip from a specific episode (along with a link to that episode)

In all cases, you need to make sure that I either know who you are (email me a screen capture of the review or showing you are subscribed) or that the posts on social media are public and tag me (@larawellman) or the Biz Studio (on Facebook you can tag my page).

Each week I’ll be announcing the book winner on Wednesdays on my Facebook page

Some of the books I’ll be giving away are (I’ll be adding more titles soon):

  • The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
  • It Starts with Why by Simon Synek
  • How to Live a Good Life by Jonathan Fields
  • E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

So get out there and start sharing your reviews and sharing the podcast and good luck. AND THANK YOU!

#6 - The dot com alternative: Choosing an alternative domain extension

Maris Callahan joins me on today’s podcast to discuss alternative domain extensions. Maris is Director of Public Relations for Donuts Inc., an Internet domain registry company that offers alternatives to the traditional dot com naming conventions. Many companies are moving away or adding to their dot com domain name, but there is a lot to think about when it comes to buying personalized and other alternative domain extensions.

What is an alternative domain extension?

Maris Callahan - alternative domain extensions

For businesses and entrepreneurs who are experts in their field, the purchase of an alternative domain name means they may be able to purchase a domain extension that better suits their area of expertise, i.e. yourname.yourfield, which allows businesses to clearly tell the world who they are and what they do. For example, if a photographer named Bob Smith has the domain name BobSmith.com, it does not tell people what Bob does, however the domain name BobSmith.photographer clearly tells people Bob is a photographer.

Why would I want an alternative domain extension?

Let’s face it—there are less dot com’s available nowadays! Dot com’s have been around for 30 years and online real estate is shrinking. Donuts Inc. has worked for three years to bring new domain extensions to market. These alternative extensions have been trickling out for three years and are finally hitting the mainstream, including with larger brands, such as Google who uses blog.Google and domains.Google. Hollywood movie studios are using alternative domain extensions, such as dot movies, take LaLaLand.movie, for example.

The alternative domain extensions are new, but they do not have to be backup domain names either. Businesses are also not being told to drop their dot com’s, but they should know they do have a choice if they are looking to personalize their domain names. There are so many alternative domain extension choices, including dot media or dot computer or more lighthearted ones such asdot cool,  dot life ordot pizza – to name just a few. You can be very creative to the left of the dot and very specific to the right of the dot, for example thebiz.studio.

Are there a lot of alternative domain extensions available?

There are over 1000 specific and generic dot coms as well as some geographic options, i.e. dot NYC or dot Vegas, as well as branded domains, which are for large brands who went out and bought their brand name as their extension, i.e. dot Marriott. Alternative domain extensions can also be used for microsites or marketing purposes, especially for brands, i.e. see what BMW has done.

How can I use an alternative domain name in addition to my dot com?

Because the dot com domain extension has been around for a long time it is definitely more recognizable. A common objection is that people won’t take a company seriously unless they have a dot com, which is why we are not suggesting people move away from that.

Another objection is if a business already has a dot com, why would they need another domain? Donuts Inc. doesn’t exist so people will drop their dot coms. If a business already has a dot com then a unique domain extension may be in addition to a long web address—a shorter one may make sense for marketing or word of mouth.

You may also want to increase your SEO with an additional alternative domain extension. For example, if you are a shoe store who also sells jewelry or clothes you may want to buy the dot shoes, dot jewelry and dot clothing to increase your brand’s SEO. Amazon does this well.

Again, creating microsites to compliment a main website is also a good use of an alternative domain extension. There are a few pet food companies who use this to market their specific pet food i.e. dot dog, etc.

Students use alternative domain extensions, such as dot land or dot world to house their online portfolios that directs people directly to what it is they do. Professionals also use them when applying for jobs i.e. dot engineering.

Where can I purchase an alternative domain extension?

To purchase an alternative domain extension visit Google Domains, GoDaddy or Name.com and type in what you are looking for to see if it is available. You can also go to Donuts.domains to find out more about how to chose a name and Name.kitchen for naming inspiration.

There are many fun and inspirational domain names to choose from. Just remember to keep it relevant and easy to remember, if you can!

If you have bought an alternate doman extension, leave me a comment and let me know what it is. You can check mine out at www.thebiz.studio!

Resources & Links

Donuts Inc. 

Google Domains

Name.Kitchen

GoDaddy

Podcast Contest

As this new podcast gets off the ground, I’d really love your help to make sure that it gets in front of the right people. The first weeks of a podcast’s life are the most important in terms of the opportunities for iTunes to showcase you to other listeners. Because of that, I’m starting out this new podcast with a bang. There are 3 episodes available for you right now, and there will be at least two more episodes every week for the remainder of the eight weeks.

I thought I’d find some extra ways to thank you for all the sharing and supporting you do of the new podcast so every week until July 15th I’m going to be giving away one of my favourite business books to one person who either:

  • subscribe to the podcast or leave a review on iTunes; or
     
  • share the podcast on social media; or
     
  • come in to the Biz Studio and post your favourite tip from a specific episode (along with a link to that episode)

In all cases, you need to make sure that I either know who you are (email me a screen capture of the review or showing you are subscribed) or that the posts on social media are public and tag me (@larawellman) or the Biz Studio (on Facebook you can tag my page).

Each week I’ll be announcing the book winner on Wednesdays on my Facebook page

Some of the books I’ll be giving away are (I’ll be adding more titles soon):

  • The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
  • You are a badass by Jen Sincero
  • It Starts with Why by Simon Synek
  • How to Live a Good Life by Jonathan Fields
  • E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

So get out there and start sharing your reviews and sharing the podcast and good luck. AND THANK YOU!

#5 Moving your business beyond the startup stage

In the first couple of years, business owners often struggle with understanding how much work running a business is and how long it can take to have a profitable business.

Angela Sutcliffe is a business consultant (and Smart Old Broad) who draws on 30 years of knowledge  and experience to move her clients beyond the start up phase. Angela works with business owners to  design and implement strategies that are relevant to their business and their industry to make them consistently profitable. Over the years, she has won many awards for her business acumen, as have her clients, but the one thing she is most proud of is being selected by Kevin O'Leary's production company to work with the winner and runner up of his reality TV show, Redemption Inc. as they rolled out their new businesses.

 

I spoke with Angela about what she believes every business owner needs to know before taking his or her business to the next level.

Know your numbers

According to Angela, 90% of businesses are gone within two years. Business owners don’t understand what profitable means because they don’t pay attention to their numbers—instead they work to build a business that makes their clients happy, but does not make money. If you’re not bringing home a pay cheque then your business is not going to work.

If a business owner does not know how much money they are making or if they don’t know if they are making enough to support the lifestyle surrounding it (their bottom line) then they are working to please their customers while simultaneously going broke. If you start your business with a number in mind then you can work from there.

You can’t make up numbers based on what you think people will pay instead of what you need to earn. Money is the one thing people avoid, but once you understand that a number is just a number you can work towards earning that number.

How much it costs to run her businesses and how big her pay cheque needs to be – those are the two numbers that, added together, make up her sales target.

Freedom and comfort comes from knowing your numbers. If you know your numbers and see that you're not hitting them, then you can look and see if you are trying to sell high price items to a market that cannot afford it, etc. so you can determine what exactly is not working.

Know your sales cycles

Have you heard about the hundred percent solution? It goes like this: in your first two years of business you sell to your friends and family and their friends, and then at the end of those two years, your sales stop.  That’s because you made the easiest sales possible—you sold to the 20% of the market that will buy from you now.

In order to succeed, within 1.5 years of selling you have to learn about how the sales cycle and process works, and how to sell to the other 80% of the marketplace. If you don’t, you will fail.

So, what is a sales cycle? Well, think about how many business owners believe a customer when they say they have to 'think it over'? Most think that means they'll never buy, but believe it or not, most customers really do need to think about it. Did you know that 24-36 months after an initial interaction is when 80% of your sales will happen? When you think about the number of people who come back to you a year or so after they are first introduced to your business or product, that's a good demonstration of you sales cycle.

There are generally three steps to a sales process – meet a potential client and follow up with card, go out for coffee, and have a closing conversation. However, people may surprise you and want to meet for coffee and say they are following you online, or met you at a networking event a year or so ago and now they're ready to work with you even though you've never met them—it’s happened to Angela! But to get there you need to do the work because the sales cycle was happening behind the scenes.

It can be discouraging and you may not think anyone is listening to you, but remember the 20% and 80%! Think long term and in two years you will be closing the 80%. Sales isn’t anyone’s job, activity is the job—sales is the result. If you have good marketing activity and get yourself out there then you will make the sale. Just keep in mind that you won’t be a millionaire by midnight.

Keep in touch with past clients

Your next best sale can come from your past clients – they know you and love you and have had a great experience with you, so you should always keep in touch with them—and not in a salesy way. There are all kinds of ways to keep in touch with people, including inviting them to attend events, or just catching up on social media. Make them feel important.

While they may not work with you now, past clients may know someone who would be perfect for you, so keeping those relationships healthy is in your best interest.

Stop doing, start planning

One of the hardest things for business owners, at any level, is the drive to keep doing things. Before you exhaust yourself by doing things that may be futile, remember that the best thing anyone can do is to stop and plan.

Plan your finances – for marketing and your business.

Stop and get advice, so that you’re optimizing your products and business. Business can get expensive, so it’s important to stop running your business and plan what comes next.

 The keys to the kingdom are in planning.

All business owners stumble. Even Angela had to get help with her business; she had almost bankrupted her cleaning business and it took two hard years to turn it around. You have to swallow your pride and ask for help, plan and work. Seek help from the right people – it’s the behind the scenes that can make or break your business.

Leave a comment and tell us what your sales cycle is, or let us know if you have any questions!
 

Resources & Links

Angela's website: Smart Old Broad

Join the Free Facebook Community

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

Podcast Contest

As this new podcast gets off the ground, I’d really love your help to make sure that it gets in front of the right people. The first weeks of a podcast’s life are the most important in terms of the opportunities for iTunes to showcase you to other listeners. Because of that, I’m starting out this new podcast with a bang. There are 3 episodes available for you right now, and there will be at least two more episodes every week for the remainder of the eight weeks.

I thought I’d find some extra ways to thank you for all the sharing and supporting you do of the new podcast so every week until July 15th I’m going to be giving away one of my favourite business books to one person who either:

  • subscribe to the podcast or leave a review on iTunes; or
     
  • share the podcast on social media; or
     
  • come in to the Biz Studio and post your favourite tip from a specific episode (along with a link to that episode)

In all cases, you need to make sure that I either know who you are (email me a screen capture of the review or showing you are subscribed) or that the posts on social media are public and tag me (@larawellman) or the Biz Studio (on Facebook you can tag my page).

Each week I’ll be announcing the book winner on Wednesdays on my Facebook page

Some of the books I’ll be giving away are (I’ll be adding more titles soon):

  • The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
  • It Starts with Why by Simon Synek
  • How to Live a Good Life by Jonathan Fields
  • E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

So get out there and start sharing your reviews and sharing the podcast and good luck. AND THANK YOU!

 

#4 Where to start before starting a business

Are you thinking about starting a business, but have no idea what that really means when it comes to time commitment or how it will fit into your current lifestyle? Pamela Eastwood, owner of By The Horns, a business that helps new business owners get their business off the ground, joins me on the podcast today to discuss what it really means when you say you’re going to start a business. With over eighteen years experience in SME development and franchise ownership, Pamela has a reputation for working with her mind, heart and her gut and has a talent for relating with others. Together we get under the hood to help aspiring business owners figure out as much as they can before launching their business.

 

Are you prepared for time management changes?

When you first start out as a business owner you must start with a conversation with your family. A business starts at home. You need to speak with your immediate family to ensure they fully understand your endeavour—they need to understand what they are signing up for, including you working longer hours, adjusting your level of home commitments, and any changing roles within the family. You need to look at your current schedule and then look to see if your tasks can be delegated or if you need to change your schedule around in order to make your business work with your family life.

There is a preconceived notion that being an entrepreneur means you will have more time on your hands, and while this is sometimes the case and it can mean more flexible hours, it also means you may be working more evenings and weekends than you ever did before.

And while you must be aware of the changes in hours and potentially longer hours, you should also keep in mind and discuss the benefits, such as the freedom to accompany your kids on school field trips.

You need to ask yourself and your family: what matters to you as an entrepreneur that will make the not-so good parts worth it?

Are you ready for any financial changes?

In addition to time management and schedules, starting a business impacts a family’s money. Finances is another deciding factor for any big business decision-can you invest in your business financially? Consider everything that you will need to spend money on: marketing, business cards, etc.—can you afford these? If there is a physical product, do you need to spend money on product development, etc.?

For some business owners this means looking into a small business loan, while for others it may mean changing their personal spending habits in order to invest in their business. Are you (and your family) ready for these financial changes?

Do you have any transferable skills?

How do you have to think as an entrepreneur? Pamela runs an assessment with clients to determine their strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has transferable skills that will benefit their business.

For example, are you genuinely the kind of person who can just walk into a room and talk to someone? This is a transferable skill that works well when running a business because it transfers well into sales and marketing, which are essential in running a business.

This also refers to typing, social media, customer services and technological skills. As a business owner you are probably doing a lot of this stuff yourself, unless you have a lot of capital.  So, if you want to sell jewelry you probably don’t have a lot of capital starting out, therefore you have to be honest with yourself and see if you can do it all yourself.

You also need to be honest about your personal assets—are you organized, driven, is your office cluttered? Will this impact the success of your business?

Having a basic understanding of your skill levels from the very start will let you know where you will have to really work at certain areas more than others. If you wait until you are already in business and you have your hands in 10 different pots and are trying to learn these things while running your business, you may be setting yourself up for failure. Try to get enough of a foundation prior to starting your business.

How much money do you need to start?

How much money you need to start a business depends on the type of business you are starting. For example, if you are looking to start a lawn maintenance company, but already have most of the equipment needed then you only need to spend money on registering your business, for office supplies, and perhaps on local marketing and networking. So, this would be about $250 to start to get the word out about your business.

But if you are a baker baking cupcakes then you need money for inventory, inspections, permits, ingredients, a commercial kitchen, etc. There is a longer process to starting and setting up a bakery so you will need more money for that as well as money for office supplies, marketing and advertising.

You need to ask yourself what you need to start your business. If you’re not sure then you can research this through free business resources at the public library, innovation centres and community programs. There are also a lot of social groups that offer free tips and resources.

You can also barter for services—if someone needs a website and you have that skill, offer your skills in exchange for a website. Don’t be afraid to ask! You may be surprised at what you get. Just make sure it is for something you actually want and need—you need to make sure it makes sense for both parties. You want to treat a barter transaction as you would any business transaction.

Are you committed?

Commitment means asking yourself if this is the right time for you and your family—Do you have the flexibility required to make it work? Do you have the money needed to start?

Sometimes you may have the flexibility, but not the money and that means you may need to get a part time job to support your business. This the means you have to commit to setting aside certain days and time to work in and on your business.

Your commitment can vary depending on your situation—if you’re unsure you can commit to a certain period of time, such as three months. Just be sure to discuss this with your family and make sure it works for everyone.

When starting any business, it is important to know your skill sets and assets and then seek out help for the rest. You may want to look at hiring a consultant, such as Pamela, who can help you define the services and customers that are unique to your business.

Then establish early foundations in operations management. This means keeping receipts and invoices organized, get the appropriate processes, etc. Having these in place means you will spend the time working on making your business a success instead of spinning your wheels.

In essence, starting a business takes more than just loving what you do. You need to have make sure everyone close to you is on board, and have the foundation needed to ensure you have everything you need to give your business the best shot.

 

Resources & Links

Pamela's website: By The Horns

By The Horns Facebook Page

By The Horns Community Resources

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

Podcast Contest

As this new podcast gets off the ground, I’d really love your help to make sure that it gets in front of the right people. The first weeks of a podcast’s life are the most important in terms of the opportunities for iTunes to showcase you to other listeners. Because of that, I’m starting out this new podcast with a bang. There are 3 episodes available for you right now, and there will be at least two more episodes every week for the remainder of the eight weeks.

I thought I’d find some extra ways to thank you for all the sharing and supporting you do of the new podcast so every week until July 15th I’m going to be giving away one of my favourite business books to one person who either:

  • subscribe to the podcast or leave a review on iTunes; or
     
  • share the podcast on social media; or
     
  • come in to the Biz Studio and post your favourite tip from a specific episode (along with a link to that episode)

In all cases, you need to make sure that I either know who you are (email me a screen capture of the review or showing you are subscribed) or that the posts on social media are public and tag me (@larawellman) or the Biz Studio (on Facebook you can tag my page).

Each week I’ll be announcing the book winner on Wednesdays on my Facebook page

Some of the books I’ll be giving away are (I’ll be adding more titles soon):

  • The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
  • It Starts with Why by Simon Synek
  • How to Live a Good Life by Jonathan Fields
  • E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

So get out there and start sharing your reviews and sharing the podcast and good luck. AND THANK YOU!

 

 

 

 

 

#3 Why Business Owners Should Be Using Facebook Live

Are you a small business owner looking to build your audience and increase your know, like and trust factor with potential clients? Live video is the latest marketing technique used to educate audiences on what it is you have to offer, and social channels, such as Facebook are rewarding those who have ventured in to live video.

Allison Hardy is a Business Strategist for mompreneurs who focuses on the importance of Facebook Live. I first saw Allison in a Facebook Live in a popular group I'm a member of and knew I needed to talk to her—so she is joining me on the podcast today.

Allison uses Facebook Live because she believes live video builds your know, like and trust factor. When we buy something, it is because we have developed a relationship of knowing and trust with a business or person.

Why choose Facebook Live?

Facebook Live is real time– you cannot hide or edit. Viewers can ask questions live and you can answer in real-time creating a genuine connection.

Periscope started the live video trend in 2015 and business owners were quick to start building big empires by connecting with people via live video. Because of this Facebook created Facebook Live and reward those who use it.


How does Facebook favour Facebook Live?

Facebook Live videos will show up in newsfeeds more than other text-based posts. They want people watching Facebook live videos so when people do them they show up in newsfeeds more. A lot of pages and groups also will send you a notification when someone you know is on live, which means even more viewers. Facebook Live will get you in front of your people more often.

In addition to favouring people using it, Facebook also favours engagement. If you are offering really valuable comment, people are going to share, react and give you comments. The more people engage with your Facebook Live, the more it will continue to be seen long after the live is over.

Another thing to note is that Facebook likes it when people stay on Facebook. Creating native content (uploading a video directly to Facebook or a Facebook Live) is a way to keep people where Facebook wants them and can get you better reach than when you direct them to another website.

One way to get more bang from your live is to broadcast your Facebook Live video from your Business Page and then share it into other groups. This helps more people see it and shares are popular with the algorithm.

The value to broadcasting Facebook Lives directly within a group is that you are providing added value for being a member of that group. 

What if I make a mistake?

People make mistakes and that’s okay! The more you do Facebook Live the more confident you will be. Find a safe place and just do it. More often than not people are supportive when mistakes happen. You just have to muster up the guts and confidence to do it. People realize you are putting yourself out there—not everyone does live video so it is something that people will tune into and want to watch. They want to learn from you. They want to see how you relate and what you have to offer.

What should I talk about?

What are you working on right now? What mistakes have you made and how are you going to fix them? Talk about the things you are working on in your business or a mistake that you made or how you are setting yourself up for success. People want to hear about what you are working on, so talk about that. Even if you don’t find a certain topic interesting, someone else out there does. There is always someone out there looking to learn from you.

Final tip

When you are doing Facebook Live always ask for engagement. Invite followers to engage from the very beginning. Ask them to say “hello,” then, when you launch into your content, ask them pointed questions. Asking questions builds engagement and increases your know, like and trust factor and means more and more people will keep seeing the content you've taken the time to create.

Will you be using Facebook Live? Leave a comment with a link to one so we can come and check it out, or come on over to the Biz Studio Community and try Facebook Live out with us!

Resources & Links

Allison’s Ultimate Facebook Live Checklist

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

Biz Studio Community

 

Podcast Contest

As this new podcast gets off the ground, I’d really love your help to make sure that it gets in front of the right people. The first weeks of a podcast’s life are the most important in terms of the opportunities for iTunes to showcase you to other listeners. Because of that, I’m starting out this new podcast with a bang. There are 3 episodes available for you right now, and there will be at least two more episodes every week for the remainder of the eight weeks.

I thought I’d find some extra ways to thank you for all the sharing and supporting you do of the new podcast so every week until July 15th I’m going to be giving away one of my favourite business books to one person who either:

  • subscribe to the podcast or leave a review on iTunes; or
     
  • share the podcast on social media; or
     
  • come in to the Biz Studio and post your favourite tip from a specific episode (along with a link to that episode)

In all cases, you need to make sure that I either know who you are (email me a screen capture of the review or showing you are subscribed) or that the posts on social media are public and tag me (@larawellman) or the Biz Studio (on Facebook you can tag my page).

Each week I’ll be announcing the book winner on Wednesdays on my Facebook page

Some of the books I’ll be giving away are (I’ll be adding more titles soon):

  • The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
  • It Starts with Why by Simon Synek
  • How to Live a Good Life by Jonathan Fields
  • E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

So get out there and start sharing your reviews and sharing the podcast and good luck. AND THANK YOU!

#2 - The value of being authentic

Amanda Jetté Knox is a writer, public speaker, radio host and human rights activist. Her writing has influenced people in so many ways, including the topic of being authentic. It is an important topic to her because for years she tried to be everybody but herself. She thought that was going to get her ahead in life, but in truth, she didn’t value herself as a person. She wore ill-fitting hats and wore a lot of masks, until her life forced her to be authentic.

Amanda joined me on the podcast to discuss the value being authentic can have on a person’s life and on their business.

Amanda Jette Knox Authenticity

Her journey into being her authentic self began just about three years ago when her middle child came out as transgender—after 11 years of thinking they were raising a boy, Amanda and her spouse discovered they were raising a girl. As someone who cared way too much about what other people thought she suddenly had to let that go because she had to support her child who really needed her and she knew not everyone would agree with letting her child be who she really is.

This took Amanda’s writing in a different direction. Although she had written on parenting and mental health issues, she hadn’t dug as deep as she did after her daughter, Alexis, came out. In an effort to raise awareness, Amanda shared her daughter’s journey on her blog, in newspapers and on TV—this meant she had to step out of her comfort zone.

It also meant Amanda had to be authentic. Her life wasn’t always bliss; she didn’t paint herself as being a perfect parent, but she did paint it as being a loving and supportive one.

Eighteen months after her daughter came out, Amanda’s spouse came out as transgender, so what little worry she had left in regards to what other people thought really had to go out the window because now Amanda was outwardly married to a woman.

Authenticity, although it felt forced, has been such a gift for Amanda. She now speaks publicly in front of small and large crowds to get the message out—her goal is to make the road easier for other trans people and families. Sharing her story has helped many people in many different situations.

Not everyone has to share their entire life story to be authentic, but it does help connect with your audience, and this can be valuable for business owners. Authenticity helps people understand other people better.

The value of being authentic

Sharing the real you with the world is freeing — but to get there you have to walk through this minefield of “what ifs?” and fear people rejecting you. This journey allows you to get to a place of being comfortable and be yourself.

When you think about all the time you spend trying to be someone you’re not just to please other people, you have to ask yourself why? Being yourself allows you to get in touch with yourself and care for yourself. When you’re true to yourself and learn to love yourself for who you are, taking care of yourself becomes even easier.

There is nothing more creative than being yourself… when you bury your true self you bury your creativity. Amanda’s creativity got so much better and easier with authenticity.

How to deal with people’s reactions

There was a big reaction to Amanda’s authenticity, and it certainly wasn't the one she feared.

Her readership has soared; her speaking engagements and her calendar is full! People are eager to find out what is happening with her family and her life. Her audience is engaged and growing.

This has taught Amanda that when she is more authentic she does business more authentically. People are able to look at her story and journey and say, “me too.” They can relate and that makes them want to connect with her. Of course there are trolls, that’s par for the course, but you need to see beyond that. See the acceptance.

What should people know about putting themselves out there?

Anytime you put yourself out there, there is a certain level of vulnerability. You will be scared to let people see what it is you are sharing. There is also a “vulnerability hangover.”

Amanda shares a lot, but her business is her—she is her “brand.” Because of that she looks for connection in every business she seeks out, she doesn’t need to know everything about them, but they need to be authentic. Putting forward a certain level of perfection is okay, but you should also put a human side to your stories. When you share a piece of yourself it will make people want to share with you.

Will people care?

It’s normal to wonder this, but people want to relate to something. So, if you struggle with something such as mental health, miscarriages, etc. then it makes sense to do a drive for this and put this out there—this will connect with people who have had similar experiences. The little things you share can have a big impact.

Not feeling alone is really big—human beings are social creatures and need to connect. So, the next time you create content, whether it is on a personal or professional level, ask yourself if you are being authentic and if what you are putting out there will connect with someone. Taking that extra step to share more of you could make a huge and positive difference on your business!

 

Resources & Links

Amanda's website

Amanda's speaker page

Join the Free Facebook Community

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

Podcast Contest

As this new podcast gets off the ground, I’d really love your help to make sure that it gets in front of the right people. The first weeks of a podcast’s life are the most important in terms of the opportunities for iTunes to showcase you to other listeners. Because of that, I’m starting out this new podcast with a bang. There are 3 episodes available for you right now, and there will be at least two more episodes every week for the remainder of the eight weeks.

I thought I’d find some extra ways to thank you for all the sharing and supporting you do of the new podcast so every week until July 15th I’m going to be giving away one of my favourite business books to one person who either:

  • subscribe to the podcast or leave a review on iTunes; or
     
  • share the podcast on social media; or
     
  • come in to the Biz Studio and post your favourite tip from a specific episode (along with a link to that episode)

In all cases, you need to make sure that I either know who you are (email me a screen capture of the review or showing you are subscribed) or that the posts on social media are public and tag me (@larawellman) or the Biz Studio (on Facebook you can tag my page).

Each week I’ll be announcing the book winner on Wednesdays on my Facebook page

Some of the books I’ll be giving away are (I’ll be adding more titles soon):

  • The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
  • It Starts with Why by Simon Synek
  • How to Live a Good Life by Jonathan Fields
  • E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

So get out there and start sharing your reviews and sharing the podcast and good luck. AND THANK YOU!

#1 - Three strategies to get the life and biz you want

Entrepreneurs often start their own business because they want freedom and flexibility, but so many of them quickly fall into overwhelm and frustration. Sound familiar?

As a certified business coach I enjoy working with entrepreneurs and small business owners. I help them find the support they need, and help them find the clarity and actions needed to reach their business goals.

On this first episode of my new Biz Studio podcast, I am introducing business owners to how I can help with mindset, marketing and sales, as well as find the right support. The Biz Podcast is going to be a mix of just me sharing my business tips and advice with you, as well as interviews with experts in their field that I know can help other business owners.

Three strategies to get the life and biz you want

On a regular basis I hear these concerns from business owners: they feel stuck, they feel overwhelmed or they don’t know if they should continue with their business.

If you want to feel good about yourself and your business start with these three things:

1) Know what you want your life to look like

If you don’t know what you want your life to look like then you don’t know what your business should look like. Design your business to fit in with the life you want. You need to be clear on what it is you want to do for yourself—do you want to work 2 to 5 hours a week? Or do you want to work 80 hours a week? There is room in the entrepreneurial space for both kinds of entrepreneurs; you just have to figure out which kind is best for you and your life.

How do you figure this out? Write it down. How many hours are you willing to work in a week? What about weekends and evenings? What about time off, including vacation time? This can vary a lot based on your business, and there is no right answer.

You want to figure out what your priories are and how that’s going to fit into your life. Do you need flexibility for your family? What about other commitments you may have, such as volunteering? Set it all out so it will help you better understand how much time you have to devote to your business.

I am not pretending you can make $1 million working four hours a week. You need to think about the base amount you need to make in order for you to be okay. And then think about money for extra things, such as vacations, hiring a housecleaner, etc.? 

This is all part of figuring out what you want your life to look like. Your thinking and your business plan must align and writing it all out is the best way to figure this out.

Not sure how to get started? I have a worksheet that will allow you to write this all down and map it out.

2) Make concrete plans

This may sound obvious, but here’s the thing: many of us have these great plans that are stuck in our head, but not many of us write them down.

Having ideas is great, but these ideas need to be on paper to make them concrete. This can be on computer or in a journal, they just needs to be out of your head.

3) Find community

I have been an entrepreneur for 10 years… but I did it alone for many of those years. Talk to other business owners to figure out what is a good (and bad) idea, etc. Entrepreneurs are busy people, but they need a community to bounce ideas off of or hold them accountable. Whether it is a free online community, mastermind group or local in-person networking group, a supportive community of like-minded people can make a big difference in your business.

A community can help you not feel alone and offer valuable business tips and ideas. It will help normalize many of the concerns and struggles you may be having as a business owner. It will also help you see things about your business that you may not have otherwise noticed.

There are so many things business owners should consider when running a business. It may feel like a never-ending race on a hamster wheel, and you know there are lots to prioritize. This is why I started The Biz Studio podcast: to help fellow business owners stay in control, offer support and share resources and tips I know will help.

Make sure to grab your free download from today’s podcast and subscribe to hear more informative podcast episodes of The Biz Studio podcast.

Resources & Links

Free Planning Worksheet

The Biz Studio FREE Online Community

Subscribe on Stitcher

Subscribe on iTunes

Podcast Contest

As this new podcast gets off the ground, I’d really love your help to make sure that it gets in front of the right people. The first weeks of a podcast’s life are the most important in terms of the opportunities for iTunes to showcase you to other listeners. Because of that, I’m starting out this new podcast with a bang. There are 3 episodes available for you right now, and there will be at least two more episodes every week for the remainder of the eight weeks.

I thought I’d find some extra ways to thank you for all the sharing and supporting you do of the new podcast so every week until July 15th I’m going to be giving away one of my favourite business books to one person who either:

  • subscribe to the podcast or leave a review on iTunes; or
     
  • share the podcast on social media; or
     
  • come in to the Biz Studio and post your favourite tip from a specific episode (along with a link to that episode)

In all cases, you need to make sure that I either know who you are (email me a screen capture of the review or showing you are subscribed) or that the posts on social media are public and tag me (@larawellman) or the Biz Studio (on Facebook you can tag my page).

Each week I’ll be announcing the book winner on Wednesdays on my Facebook page

Some of the books I’ll be giving away are (I’ll be adding more titles soon):

  • The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
  • It Starts with Why by Simon Synek
  • How to Live a Good Life by Jonathan Fields
  • E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

So get out there and start sharing your reviews and sharing the podcast and good luck. AND THANK YOU!