small business

#47 – 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.

Pamela Eastwood

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.

#41 - The Intersection point of business and charity

Jenny Mitchell is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) who empowers and educates fundraising professionals to make more money for their organizations through workshops and online training programs. She joined me on the podcast to share the value in businesses getting involved with charitable organizations.

Together we debunked myths that business owners aren’t charitable. Charities sometimes approach business owners with the wrong ask, but when a business owner approaches the right charity – great things can happen!

Sponsorship and marketing

Sponsorship is a business decision that comes out of a marketing budget. So, when investing in a sponsorship opportunity, charitable or otherwise, it is normal for a business to look at the return on investment. That could be potential buyers they will be in front of or visibility of their logo. It’s Jenny’s job to make sure charities understand the marketing value of the sponsorship opportunities they offer to make sure it is a good fit with a business, i.e. you don’t want a toy store investing in sponsoring a beer tent at a charity event because it probably isn’t a good fit for their charitable dollars. From a business point of view, you need to think about what a good charity for your business will be as well.

How to get involved with the RIGHT charity for your business

Be clear about who your target audience is

When looking at getting involved with a specific charity, ask yourself about your target audience: what do they do in their spare time – what do they care about? The key is to find an organization that speaks to your client’s values as well as your business’ values.

Create a partnership

Instead of doing one-off sponsorships, look at charitable organizations that speak to you on a higher level and that you could create a partnership with.  Find a way to partner with them for mutual advantage – so it is beneficial for both parties and it will be a long term relationship; this creates more measurable experiences to ensure everyone is getting what they need and what they want.

Think about why you are getting involved

Showing your social responsibility and value to your investors and stakeholders as well as employee engagement could all be reasons why you are getting involved with a certain charity. If you want to show your employees appreciation you could align your business with a charity that would create a deeper relationship for everyone.

Remember: Bigger is not necessarily better

Don’t think you have to go big when it comes to charity involvement – the bigger the sponsorship dollars the longer it will take to confirm and get sign off on, whereas smaller means you can get creative and if you are a small business you may be able to get creative in your offerings i.e., offer your business space for a board meeting. If you want to get involved with a charity, but are not sure how simply reach out and have a conversation with them.

Open the lines of communication

Don’t wait until a sponsorship is up for renewal, engage with charities and get to know them more intimately from the very start – it will result in maximum impact for both parties.

Close the loop

In the modern world of social media, why not announce to the charity via Twitter or that you are donating proceeds from a business engagement or sale to them. This is a part of closing the loop – the second part would be to follow up with those who participated in the event to let them know you donated and the final tally or result. People crave connection and those who know they helped a charity want to know about it.


There are two kinds of volunteers – the burger flippers, who are the people who like to show up to a charitable event and participate and help out, and then there are the strategic planners, those who like to lean in at a board meeting and sit and contribute their thoughts.

Know which kind of volunteer you are and know that both are needed and wanted. If you show up you will be noticed and appreciated.

How to get started with a charity

If you want to meaningfully contribute to a charity then chose a charitable organization near and dear to your heart. As a business owner, think about if there is a place you can contribute your skills and experience.  What do you want to do? Who do you want to help? How can you help?

Research, reach out, and then schedule a meeting and get to know them and see if they will be a good fit. Take your favourite charity out for a date and see if they like the same kinds of things you do and then see if there is a way you can help them that would be mutually beneficial.

Volunteering and charity work should be a positive experience. 

Resources & Links

Jenny's web site

Blog post: Vikings, pirates and sponsors

Blog post: 5 tips for getting your board "on board" with sponsorship


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#37 - Is mindset affecting your business

Today I am talking to Certified Core Belief Engineering Practitioner, Megan O’Neill who works with entrepreneurs and small business owners about their mindset and their relationships with their spouse, clients and even money.


What is mindset?

Mindset is a system of beliefs. It is what you believe, and what you believe creates your reality. Think of it as the lenses through which you see the world. If you have clean, fresh glasses through which to see life then your overall view of things is going to be clearer and better.

How do beliefs impact us?

We all have different beliefs that impact us in different ways. With entrepreneurship, one area of beliefs that affects us has to do with visibility – whether that is public speaking, networking or putting something on Facebook for fear that they will be seen as a fraud.

Women entrepreneurs in particular suffer from a fear of looking foolish or as a failure and that is a block to success. It is these blocking beliefs that stop us from fulfilling our personal and business goals. 

Where do your beliefs come from?

Oftentimes this block comes from their childhood. We are born with innate beliefs that are pure and uninfluenced. Our beliefs then start to form through our contact with our parents, school, etc.

What are common blocking beliefs for entrepreneurs?

There are many blocking beliefs that can impact an entrepreneur, but here are some:

1) Charging your worth – a lot of women hesitate to charge their rate or hesitate to invoice their clients and end up doing a lot of work for too little money. They are afraid what their clients will think once they send that invoice.

2) Visibility - as mentioned above, entrepreneurs often hesitate to put themselves out there and promote themselves. For example, if your parents told you to be modest and not talk about yourself then as an adult you will be hesitant to talk about yourself – even though it is necessary to talk about yourself when marketing and promoting your business. This belief needs to be changed in order to be successful in business.

3) Fear of failure - This is commonly around the word “expert”. No one wants to use the word “expert” because they feel like a fraud.

A lot of entrepreneurs struggle with their beliefs around success. Success with women often seems to have a negative connotation associated with being ruthless, selfish and not have enough time for their children and spouse – even though this is not the case at all. 

So, even though a woman wants to make more money and bring their business to the next level, they fear doing so because of the negative connotations associated with success. These beliefs have no value and are often not real. Megan works with people to show people how these beliefs are affecting their life and business and that once you work through these beliefs you will be able to grow your business and make more money.

How do you recognize that you have blocking beliefs?

Often times an outside person points it out, such as a business coach or mastermind group who instruct someone to do something, but the person hesitates to do it or perhaps it comes to pay bills and see there is nothing in their bank account.

When we feel embarrassment or uncomfortable we consciously know we are feeling this and sometimes we begin to question why we are feeling this way.

If there are steps an entrepreneur is supposed to take, but can’t for some illogical reason then they have blocking beliefs. If the roadmap to success is right before them, but they delay doing it, then it has nothing to do with laziness or being too busy, and it more than likely has to do with a belief.

Are beliefs changeable?

Absolutely. We change our beliefs all the time, but the bigger beliefs are harder to change. A CBE practitioner gets clients to see where their beliefs are and become aware of their beliefs; their blindspots. This recognition is invaluable. Once you have this you can work with them, move forward and create new beliefs.

Those who have trouble changing these beliefs are the ones Megan works with. Megan digs deep, deep, deep into a person’s subconscious to see what is impacting your beliefs.

We all have different beliefs, but when these beliefs prevent you from achieving the business you have always wanted then it may be time to work through those beliefs.

#36 – Social Media in 23 minutes

Dan McCue of Grinnell Mutual has worked with multi-channel marketing campaigns for over a decade. He uses social media to help businesses be successful, break down roadblocks, and build relationships.

Dan recognizes that there is a fear of 'missing out' among businesses when it comes to social media. They know they have to use it, but either don’t understand it or fear it because they don’t think they have the time needed to be successful with it. Businesses have to overcome this fear and be willing to be in the same online space as their audience. They need to also understand their clientele and understand what it is they need. The better you know the objectives of your business, the more you will be able to tell your story online.

Dan shares the strategy he figured out for himself and to help his clients in this episode - a strategy that is manageable and doable.

Make a plan

In order to have a solid social media plan, you must first know who your audience is and where they are online. For example, Dan’s customers sell peace of mind and risk management. To help them understand their audience he works with messaging that will help build on their relationships with their audience. The idea is to effectively reach your niche audience by using what you already know about them.

As part of Dan’s work he keeps an ear to best practices as it pertains to the insurance industry (his niche market). He encourages people to look for the white papers within a person’s industry and research what they are doing and who their audience is.

Break it down

Social media is already there and waiting for us, we are not responsible for the algorithm behind it; we just have to play to its preferences.

Break down your industry’s best practices and see where like-minded businesses are spending their time online. For example, with insurance it is Facebook, LinkedIn and then Email marketing. Dan then looked at how much staff insurance companies are using and how much time they spend on social media compared to other marketing channels. 

Once you know how much time and money is spent on social media, you may come to realize that you don’t need a person to work on social media marketing full time and that in fact, it may only take 23 minutes a day (in his industry that's what the successful businesses were doing broken down into a daily amount)! It could be done by you throughout the day in five to ten minute chunks – morning, noon and evening. 

Stay on task

The key is to avoid the rabbit hole and stay on task. Have your game plan and check list and as you do those things check them off and then sign off. For insurance agents, the goal is to publish every day. So to make content posting easier, Dan took a look at other insurance carriers to see what content they were posting. The idea is to look for content that matches your story that you could perhaps share on your social channels. This will also reinforce a sense of community between like-minded businesses.

How can you find content on a regular basis that will speak to your audience?

Maintain relationships

Who is talking to you?

Respond to comments and private messages and continue those dialogues as much as possible. The expectation in the U.S. dictates that people will respond to online messages within an hour, but in reality it is closer to one day and 40% of those posts or messages never receive a reply, but if you break up your time to 5 minutes, three times a day you are allowing yourself the time to read and respond as needed and within a reasonable amount of time.

By creating a plan and following it you can eliminate overwhelm and find success with social media. Instead of feeling like you don't know where to start, you have an action plan that helps you know that you will be putting aside short blocks of time three times a day to share, engage and build relationships with the key audiences you want to work with.

How would you break down the time you spend online to make it feel more manageable? Leave a comment or come and share in the Biz Studio

Resources & Links

Connect with Dan McCue on LinkedIn

Subscribe on iTunes

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#33 - Crowdfunding for small business: The what, the why and the how

This week's podcast guest is Eden Spodek. Eden owns her own company that provides digital communications services including content development and execution, coaching and assistance with crowdfunding campaigns.

What is crowdfunding?

According to Google, crowdfunding is: “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.”

Together Tales – A Crowdfunding Success Story

Eden Spodek crowdfunding

Eden has worked with quite a few companies to help them raise funds with crowdfunding bit Together Tales was the first one and it was a resounding success.

The founder of a new product approached Eden about six months before the product’s launch looking for someone who was interested in working with him to get the word out about his product: a personalized interactive print book that incorporates real world activities and gaming.

Eden helped him with every aspect of the product promotion. He had done research on crowdfunding and knew exactly what he needed in terms of building the right team and sought out different people whose skill sets would work well together. So, they had a web developer, graphic designer, etc.  and everyone had a stake in the success of this product.

By crowdfunding and setting up a campaign that was well planned out, he was able to get the funds to produce his product: Together Tales!

Ways to use crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding does not only have to be for the production of a physical product. If you are a small business owner, you may need crowdfunding for cause marketing or to bring a community together to raise funds for a family going through a difficult time and may need financial assistance. 

You can also use crowdfunding for “backers” so filmmakers and artists can find financial support to create a film or to sustain them while they finish a novel. The Veronica Mars movie is a great example of this.

If you are a writer or podcaster look at a platform like Patreon, which helps artists find funds so they can keep working on a project. You can commit certain funds to a specific project i.e., if I continue to create a podcast you will give me $10 each time I do so, etc. You can subscribe to these services, so for example I used to subscribe to Walk on the Earth so every time they released a new song I would donate one dollar to them.

Crowdfunding is not all about raising funds to see your passion product become a reality, but sometimes it’s about raising awareness about a product or service. Either a business needs the funds or they need the public relations – and sometimes they need both.

You may even see a crowdfunding project on a product that is already on store shelves, if so it is definitely a part of a public relations campaign.

How to get started crowdfunding

As the founder and heart and soul of the project, you need to be completely dedicated, for the funding and follow through of the project. It takes a lot of planning and time – you should start building your community about six months before launching your crowdfunding campaign.

Your ideal target is to raise 30% of your funding target within the first 48 hours of the campaign launch. You have to make an effort to be present and engaged during the campaign. You need to make those relationships happen and nourish them in order for your campaign to be successful.

You will also need an email list that complies with CASL or the anti-spam laws in your country because in the first 72 hours these contacts will be the bread and butter of your campaign.

How important is video?

You have 10-15 seconds in your video to engage the viewer in a video and this video is what can capture people’s attention, so make it great! The video should be polished to build people’s confidence in you. Show as much as your product or service as much as possible in order to make it more tangible for viewers. And again, this needs to be planned and created well before the launch.

Crowdfunding Basics

Have a plan, a realistic goal, and have 1/3 of your funding accounted for before you launch your campaign – meaning you have engaged with these people in some way and got as close to a guarantee as possible prior to launching. The quicker you can raise those funds the more people you will reach organically through the platform you are using. The campaigns most likely to succeed typically have raised a lot of money in the 48-72 hours.

You can also use perks or rewards to encourage funding; incentives that will encourage people to contribute and build momentum. A print of artwork, t-shirts, etc. that speak to the cause, service or product that money is being raised for.

It doesn’t have to be a tangible item, but it could be the promise of keeping them informed throughout the campaign, etc. Sometimes this will give people the chance to increase their contribution, which is important for campaigns like Kickstarter where you have to raise your entire goal or you get nothing. You can also offer rewards based on contribution levels, including offering only one of something special for a large contribution you set before you launch i.e., a signed something or tickets to something, etc.

Crowdfunding, with proper planning and execution, can be a great way to raise money in or for your business. Would you consider it?

#26 Processes, Systems and Delegation with Amy Wright

Many people start a business to have a certain lifestyle and then find themselves busier and more stressed out than before. Processes, systems and delegation are ways to make sure you don't end up in that situation or, if you are already in that situation, are ways to get yourself out.

This week I spoke with Amy Wright, a business consultant who helps business owners improve their project and time management, teaches them how to hire and delegate effectively, and helps them develop customer service systems that work. In essence, she helps business owners get unstuck and get their acts together (but, Amy uses more colourful language than that). ;)



Outsourcing is hard, but so worthwhile. It's like the first time you have to take your kid to daycare, an analogy I know a lot of you are able to relate to. It's hard, there may be kicking, screaming and crying (from mom/dad or kid) but ultimately you know that it's in the best interest of everyone if daycare or school is in the picture.

It's the same thing with delegation. You need to let go of the reigns, even when it's hard, because ultimately it will help you be a better business person.

Have a plan for your day

Most entrepreneurs get caught up in a reactive state. They are replying to emails, trying to share on social media, responding to inquiries and suddenly it's the end of the day and they feel like they haven't really accomplished anything - because they haven't!

A plan can make all the difference but sometimes it's hard to stop and take time to make the plan because we're so busy IN our business. But a plan NEEDS to be a priority so that you don't get burned out and continuously feel frustrated. 


How do you figure out what needs to go in your plans? Spend time to assess where you're at and where you're going.

Spend time thinking about your goals. What do you want to be working on? How much do you want to be making?

Track your time - what you are spending time on? Are there any key areas that you really shouldn't be spending time on and that could be delegated?

How easy/hard is it to start delegating?

Some people fear that delegating is a huge time and financial commitment. Start with three hours a week. Even if you have more, start small and get comfortable and build trust with the person you're going to be working with.

Process versus System

A lot of people mix these words up. A process is the steps you take to get from point 'a' to point 'b'. Step-by-step: how you manage your customer service, communications, and how do you plan out your blog posts (topics, fonts, layout, promotion).

Systems are the tools you use to manage those processes, such as MailChimp, Infusionsoft, Quickbooks, and Boomerang.

Create an Operations Manual

An operations manual isn't a big stodgy document. It's a working document that tracks what you do and how. The best way to put one together is to screen capture the processes you have, step-by-step. Tools like Jing and Camtasia are great for this. Then when you are ready to delegate you don't need to spend huge amounts of time on training, instead you just give them access to the operations manual.

Challenge yourself to spend two hours a week to capture what you do and create your operations manual.

#14 Using Facebook Groups for your Small Business

Facebook Groups are an incredible tool that I think people don't use enough for their businesses.

In this episode I talk what Facebook Groups are and how you can use them for your business.

What are Facebook Groups

A group is like a discussion forum.  It is created by one person but everyone within the group can post to the rest of the group.  There are a variety of different kinds of groups, public ones (which are called open), private ones (which are called closed and secret ones that can’t be found by search at all.

How can you use them?

For teams and committees - this is a great way for people who are working together to easily stay connected on what the others are doing and it's a great way to keep communication all together.

For paid programs - I always set up a Facebook group whenever I'm running any kind of paid program. It becomes a bonus for anyone taking part in a course to talk about what they're learning and to have access to you or someone from your team.

This can also be done for clients (members only Facebook Group support system for people at a gym, anyone who has bought a product, etc) without there needing to be an online course.

As a place to build a community. People are always looking for community - spaces to feel understood and safe to talk about topics they feel passionately about. Create a space for your ideal client that is of value to them and you'll start to see the results in the relationship you can build with those people within that group.

Additional Links and Resources

Come and join one of my Facebook Communities to check out what they're all about!

The Biz Studio Facebook Group

The Kids in the Capital Facebook Group

What's the difference between a Facebook page, account or group (blog post)

Should your business have a Facebook page (podcast episode 4)

Social Media Simplified on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

#13 Can you design your own graphics?

There is an ever growing need to have images in all that you do for your business. You want to make sure that you are creating a business that looks professional and that stays in line with the brand that you want to be associated with.

This week I sat down with Rachela Brisindi of Butter & Honey Graphic Design and we talked about the importance of good design and whether or not you can do some of the design in house.

Simple tips for creating your own designs

- Know what your most important point is and make it the most prominent

- Use good quality images that you have the rights to use (no Google image searches!)

- White space is your friend, don't overcrowd your designs

What should you go to a designer for?

Your logo is the most important design piece for your business. You want to make sure that it is not only well designed, but that you have all of the right files types and information to go with your logo.

Designers are also great at create brand guidelines which you can use moving forward to create your own images.

Links & additional resources

Follow Rachela online and check out her web site and free mini course. Don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to get all the new episodes automatically.

Episode 2: Twitter

Episode two focuses on the social media network, Twitter: how it works and whether or not your business should be using it.


What is Twitter?

According to Wikipedia, Twitter is defined as:

An online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called "tweets". Registered users can read and post tweets, but unregistered users can only read them. 

How does Twitter work?

Twitter users can share messages that are 140 characters in length. Users can also share images as well as videos up to 30-seconds long.

Basically, people follow your Twitter account, which means that the content you “tweet” gets pulled into their Twitter stream. Tweets show up in chronological order so the chances of people seeing your content depend on when they go online and if your content appeared (and was noticed by them) as they scrolled through their Twitter stream.

Some users follow a lot of people on Twitter, which means content moves quickly and depending on how many followers they have, people may miss content shared by the people they follow.

What makes Twitter a great tool for businesses?

Twitter is more than just telling people what you had for lunch. Conversations are a huge part of the magic of Twitter.

You find your audience and you have conversations with them. You can have conversations with people you never would have had the opportunity to have conversations with anywhere else and this not only includes your audience, but also thought leaders in your industry.

Twitter has amazing potential for relationship building – I’ve made great friends and have also found great clients through Twitter.

What is a Twitter handle?

A Twitter handle is the @ symbol followed by the person’s Twitter name i.e., my name is @larawellman. When you put someone’s Twitter handle in a tweet they will have that show up as a notification in their Twitter account.

What is a hashtag?

Hashtags are a great way to follow a conversation or event that is being tweeted about. People use the hashtag symbol “#” followed by the word, and when users search for a specific hashtag i.e., #SocialMediaSimplified every tweet that uses that hashtag appears in a list.

When should a hashtag be used?

If you’re having an event and you share a hashtag, people will start talking about your event using that hashtag. This is great because people start to follow each other, and it makes it easy to find other people who have similar interests.

To be a part of the conversation and to expand your following, you should be tweeting and paying attention to hashtags at events you’re at or events of interest to your audience.

More Twitter Tips

 Create lists

Once you find the right people to follow add them to a list, i.e., Lifestyle Bloggers. Put together a list of industry experts, businesses you support or want to help, and users you want to interact with. By creating these “channels” you make your time on Twitter more efficient.

Look at other people’s lists

To find out what lists a specific Twitter user is on go to their Twitter page. Right above their tweets you’ll see Tweets, Following, Followers, Favorites and Lists. Click on lists. You can also just go to Once you’re on that page you’ll see the lists that person has created. Below their avatar on the left you can switch that to “member of” and then you’ll see all the lists that person has been added to.

From here click on the list and then on the left hand side under the name of the list click on “members.” You can now easily follow people from this list.

Don’t read it all

People have a tendency to think of Twitter as an Inbox. Instead you need to think of it more like the radio. Just pay attention to what you see while you’re there, but don’t be afraid to close it and return again later.

Use DMs for private messages

Don’t broadcast your personal information on Twitter, instead use the private DM (direct message) feature to share personal information. You can only DM someone who follows you.

Links mentioned in this post + extra resources:

Lara Wellman’s Twitter

Twitter Lists

Blog post: How to create Twitter lists

Blog post: Managing Twitter with lists