tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:/feeds/all Flying Solo 2015-03-27T07:30:00+11:00 tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/15050 2015-03-27T07:30:00+11:00 2015-03-27T10:18:05+11:00 6 About page mistakes you’re probably making <p>Did you know the ‘About’ page is the second most visited page of any website? Disturbingly, it’s also the page where many of us are getting things really wrong! </p><p>Why are so many of us getting it wrong when it comes to writing the content for our About pages? Well it seems to be because we find it hard to tell people about the value we can bring to their lives.</p> <p>Enter <a href="http://thestoryoftelling.com/about/" mce_href="http://thestoryoftelling.com/about/">Bernadette Jiwa</a>.</p> <p>She’s a globally recognised expert in <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-writing/storytelling-in-business-whats-your-story" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-writing/storytelling-in-business-whats-your-story">brand storytelling</a> who shows great businesses how to become meaningful brands. Bernadette reckons there are six main areas we’re most likely to go wrong when it comes to writing the copy for the ‘About’ page on our websites:</p> <h2>1. Not knowing who you’re talking to.</h2> <p>This is <em>the </em>most overlooked aspect of brand and business communication in general.</p> <p>Every message you craft should begin by <a href="http://thestoryoftelling.com/u2-dont-sing-to-everyone/" mce_href="http://thestoryoftelling.com/u2-dont-sing-to-everyone/" target="_blank">understanding the audience</a> it’s intended for. If you don’t know who you’re talking to, how can you tell them what they want and need to hear?</p> <p><strong>So </strong><a href="http://www.startwithwhy.com/About.aspx" mce_href="http://www.startwithwhy.com/About.aspx" target="_blank">start with why</a>, but don’t forget who.</p> <h2>2. Leading with the facts.</h2> <p>People need to know more about the <em>real</em> you. Facts alone don’t persuade. Your about page should function as a window, not a&nbsp;wall.</p> <h2>3. Forgetting to show and tell people how you can help them.</h2> <p>Be specific, add links to your products and services.</p> <h2>4. Failing to show how you’ve provided solutions for others.</h2> <p>Link to your portfolio, <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-relationships/client-testimonials-your-questions-answered" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-relationships/client-testimonials-your-questions-answered">client testimonials</a> and list projects you’ve worked on. And if you don’t have these things on your website, get them on there!</p> <h2>5. Not including a contact link or call to action.</h2> <p>Your about page should not only provide information and build trust, it must also encourage potential clients to get in&nbsp;touch.</p> <h2>6. Making it all about you</h2> <p>Think about why you’re writing an about page in the first place. It’s to show people the value you can bring to their lives. Remember your reader is not all that interested in you. They’re mostly interested in how you make <em>them</em> feel.</p> <p>So the best way to approach your About page is to ask yourself “how do I want the reader to feel when they’ve finished reading?”</p> <h2>So who’s getting it right?</h2> <p>Well not too many people it seems! But happily there is one person whose About page totally hits it out of the park and that’s <a href="http://jamesclear.com/" mce_href="http://jamesclear.com/">James Clear</a>.</p> <p>Do you see how James shows up as the nice guy he obviously is?</p> <ul> <li>Photo, check. </li> <li>Doesn’t make it all about him, check.</li> <li>Tells readers exactly what they are going to get, check.</li> <li>And not only does he tell people what to expect, he shows them what to do. So that requisite strong call to action is definitely checked off&nbsp;too.</li> </ul> <p>James does a great job of opening a window into his life, showing the value he can bring to his readers’ lives … and then making it very clear how readers can get access to that value.</p> <p>Nice job James!</p> <p>But back to you. What’s the best thing about everything we’ve learned above? Well it’s the fact that not too many people are getting it right! That means if <em>you</em> do, it’s a real opportunity to stand out from the crowd.</p> <p>So what are you waiting for? Go!</p> <p>And if you’d like to hear more from Bernadette, check out the podcast Robert Gerrish did with her <a href="http://fsolo.co/1wtAZRn" mce_href="http://fsolo.co/1wtAZRn">here</a>!</p><p><em><b>When was the last time you gave your About page a bit of love and attention?</b></em></p> FlyingSolo tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/15042 2015-03-26T07:30:00+11:00 2015-02-25T15:57:30+11:00 3 things every work-at-home-parent should know <p>Thinking of taking the plunge and starting a business you can run from home with kids underfoot? Corryn would like to clear up some common misconceptions for you!</p><p>Between the new baby demanding attention, and your co-workers giving you sideways glances when you leave early AGAIN, it’s no surprise that, for many new parents, the idea of running a business from home is extremely attractive.</p> <p>Three years after taking this leap of faith myself, I can vouch that the <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/working-alone/its-time-we-celebrated-the-freedoms-of-working-for-yourself-soloism" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/working-alone/its-time-we-celebrated-the-freedoms-of-working-for-yourself-soloism">flexibility is unmatched</a>, and that it can work really well for young families. But the learning curve has also been steep, especially with regard to a few odd notions I had when I first started. I wish someone had nipped those in the bud for me ahead of time.</p> <p>So, if you’re considering starting up your own business and taking the leap, let me clear up some common misconceptions ahead of time for you!</p> <p><b>1. Working while the kids play&nbsp;</b>&nbsp;<strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </strong></p> <p>When I started out, I had this notion that I’d be able to work while my kids happily entertained themselves.</p> <p>Um. No.</p> <p>I’m going to put it out there and say it’s not possible. I found myself juggling the need for dedicated time to run my business, with wanting to be present for my kids when they were around.</p> <p>To save yourself the stress and guilt induced by being pulled in two separate directions all the time, my advice would be to schedule set work time during your child-free hours. And the more predictable the schedule, the better. It will allow you to really plan out what you expect to achieve during those hours.</p> <p>I like putting my to do items in my calendar to ensure I stay on track during those precious business hours. This includes scheduling time for day to day operations and checking emails. I find if I don’t schedule out my day then I’m not as productive and I lose time on social media, browsing <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/forums" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/forums">Flying Solo forums</a> or ‘researching’ my latest project or idea!</p> <p>In a related point, be ruthless in selecting what you’re going to do during your child-free hours. When you have limited time you don’t have time for the ‘nice to haves’. Focus on what you <strong>need</strong> to do.</p> <p><b>2. If you set up a website the traffic will come</b></p> <p>With so many stories out there of online successes, I thought if I combined a great blog with social media then the traffic (and sales!) would flow. Unfortunately, unless you’re particularly talented in crafting viral content that will translate directly to website sales, this is not going to happen.</p> <p>You’re going to need a well thought out <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-marketing/marketing-tools-a-business-marketing-plan" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-marketing/marketing-tools-a-business-marketing-plan">marketing plan</a> (and budget). As you get to understand your niche and your marketing channels it’s highly likely that this marketing plan will be updated, refined or completely overhauled on a monthly basis.</p> <p><b>3. Online eCommerce stores have low overheads</b></p> <p>While this may be true, the overheads are still there, and they do add up. There is a fixed cost component in website hosting, ongoing marketing, SEO, directory listings, bookkeeping/accounting, office/warehouse costs, and most importantly, your own salary.</p> <p>If you’re selling a product you may also be surprised to discover the volume you need to move to cover your costs, let alone <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/finance/financial-management/boost-business-by-managing-your-profit-margins" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/finance/financial-management/boost-business-by-managing-your-profit-margins">make a profit</a>. You need to make sure you have the cash to get through lean times and past your breakeven point.</p> <h2>But in the end, it’s so worth it</h2> <p>It’s such a privilege to be able to work on my passion while still having the flexibility I want and need for my kids. The work is hard, the juggling is hard – but every day I’m learning, loving what I’m doing and am hugely proud of the business I’m building.</p> <p><br /></p><p><em><b>Do you have kids and run a business from home? What were some of the misconceptions you had when you first started?</b></em></p> Corryn Barakat tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/15044 2015-03-26T07:30:00+11:00 2015-03-26T10:02:50+11:00 How to partner your way to a bigger business <p>Does a steady stream of pre-qualified new clients sound like a bit of a dream? It doesn’t have to be if you find the right referral partners.</p><p>Business can be a fun place, a lonely place, a happy place, a frustrating place, a rewarding place and most importantly … a place full of opportunities. However opportunities come to those who both look for them <em>and</em> have the mindset to accept them.</p> <p>To me, there are two ways to bring new opportunities into your life:&nbsp; the hard way and the easy way.</p> <p>The hard way includes searching for new opportunities by yourself, finding new prospects to fill the funnel, and working in isolation with very little help or collaboration.</p> <p>The easy way includes finding new opportunities through your network, having people passing you referrals consistently and partnering up with others who can lead you to new business.</p> <p>You’ve heard it before and I’ll say it again: people want to do business with those they <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-marketing/marketing-through-storytelling" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-marketing/marketing-through-storytelling">know, like and trust.</a><strong> </strong>Which means it’s<strong> </strong>time to build strategic partnerships to increase your referral capabilities and grow your network. How do we do this?</p> <p>First we need to know who to partner up with. I always suggest you consider the following questions in order to help you answer that:&nbsp;</p> <ol> <li>Who has the same sorts of clients that you have that you could partner with?</li> <li>Who has the right mindset and can work with you?</li> <li>Who has credibility with their clients and network so when they speak to them they listen?</li> <li>Who would you be excited to work with?</li> </ol> <p>Next we need to understand what we want from the partnership. Partnerships only work if you have a clear set of outcomes and goals that are mutually beneficial to both parties. So you need to think about:</p> <ol> <li>What you want to achieve from the partnership.</li> <li>What guidelines the partnership needs, if any.</li> <li>How the partnership will work.</li> </ol> <p>Finally you need to do two things.</p> <p>The first is to work on <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/attracting-new-business/increasing-sales-by-building-relationships" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/attracting-new-business/increasing-sales-by-building-relationships">building the relationship</a> and strengthening it. The people involved in the partnership need to spend time with one each other so they understand each other's goals, skills and interests. This will ensure the partnership works.</p> <p>Secondly, you need to meet regularly to plan how you can help one another. There is no point having a referral / business partnership if you don't actually do anything to help one another.</p> <p>What’s the end game if your partnership is a success?</p> <p>A steady stream of <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/sales-strategies/how-to-build-rapport-with-new-clients" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/sales-strategies/how-to-build-rapport-with-new-clients">new clients</a> who know you’re the right fit for them. Imagine the impact that could have on your business!</p> <p>Happy partnering!&nbsp;</p><p><em><b>Have you ever partnered with someone compatible for referrals? How did it work for you both?</b></em></p> Michael Griffiths tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/15039 2015-03-25T07:30:00+11:00 2015-03-25T10:05:28+11:00 Launch yourself, not your business <p>When you’re launching a new venture it’s easy to get caught up in the service offering and forget it’s you people are wanting to do business with.</p><p>I’ve just spent the afternoon with someone about to launch their first business (a creative consultancy.)</p> <p>After looking at their website, business plan and LinkedIn page, I made a suggestion:</p> <p><b><i>Instead of thinking you’re launching a business, focus on launching yourself.</i></b></p> <p>What do I mean by “launch yourself”?</p> <p>Well, this owner had a snappy site, a wonderful suite of services and a great story about why businesses needed them.</p> <p>There was also a beautifully written, highly personal, <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/technology/website-content/website-copy-tips-for-writing-your-about-us-page" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/technology/website-content/website-copy-tips-for-writing-your-about-us-page">biography</a> on the site.</p> <p>The problem was, there was no bridge between two; no link between what they’d done before, who they are now and what they’re offering.</p> <p>For people seeking to reinvent themselves and create a unique offering based on what they know and believe, the ability to build this bridge is ever-important.</p> <p>Here’s how you can make this happen:</p> <p><strong>1. Stay close to home</strong></p> <p>The person I mentioned above is a creative, yet they’d added business analysis and strategy work to their core offering. My advice? Stick to your core practice and experience. People need to know you for one thing, <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/growth/diversification-should-i-diversify-my-business" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/growth/diversification-should-i-diversify-my-business">not everything</a>.</p> <p><strong>2. Go deeper rather than wider</strong></p> <p>Now it may seem like I was trying to clip their wings by giving the advice above. But I prefer them to bring out more of who they are and what they were, rather than tagging on extra services they weren’t good at. Their desire to offer greater value to potential clients was admirable, but it was better to do this via a deeper creative offering. Follow your strengths to a better service.</p> <p><strong>3. Think about who you know already</strong></p> <p>When developing a new business, too often we create an imaginary client who is two arm’s length from reach. Our <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-marketing/customer-profiling" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-marketing/customer-profiling">actual clients</a> are usually much closer. Check your LinkedIn contacts and find five real people your service would work for.&nbsp; Write and pitch for them, not strangers.</p> <p>You might think, “I’ve moved on from that job or that company, those people aren’t relevant to my new journey.” Let me assure you, the people who already know and love you are your first and best cheer squad.</p> <p><strong>4. Be grounded and courageous when writing and speaking</strong></p> <p>We tend to undersell, understate and theorise. We speak as if the ideas and business are taking place elsewhere. Bring yourself into the present and punch your ideas out as knowingly and powerfully as you can. Today I even suggested my client use a soft Tai Chi like punch motion to activate that feeling and come into their body!</p> <p><strong>5. Speak and write from your gut not your mind or heart</strong></p> <p>Your mind will distract you, your heart will mislead you, but your gut will speak your truth. My motto is: plan strategically from your head, act courageously with heart but your gut is the true voice.</p> <h2>In summary</h2> <p>Don’t be afraid to bring more of yourself into the picture – a process I call embodiment.</p> <p>There is nothing more powerful than an embodied business owner. One who is in alignment, shows integrity, is authentic and in-service.</p> <p>Add courage to this and it’s a recipe for strong presence and constant evolution.<br /><br /></p><p><em><b>Have you launched a business in the last few years? Would you have benefited from the approach above?</b></em></p> Katie McMurray tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/15041 2015-03-25T07:30:00+11:00 2015-03-25T12:23:58+11:00 How more sales can cause cash-flow problems <p>A big boost in sales seems like a dream come true, but there can be a cash-flow sting in the tail. Here’s how to manage increased sales growth like a pro.</p><p>An age-old question accountants get asked by business clients is “How come I’ve made more profit but I <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/finance/financial-management/profitability-and-cash-flow-checklist" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/finance/financial-management/profitability-and-cash-flow-checklist">don’t have any more cash</a>?”</p> <p>The answer to this question can be found in the ‘Cash flow cycle’.&nbsp; The ‘Cash flow cycle’ is an issue often overlooked by small business owners until business starts to grow and they begin to experience ‘cash flow squeeze’.</p> <p>Let me explain how it works.&nbsp;</p> <p>In the diagram below you can see a timeline of 365 days.&nbsp;</p><p><img mce_src="/uploads/Marketing/cashflow cycle.thumbnail.500x307.jpg" src="/uploads/Marketing/cashflow cycle.thumbnail.500x307.jpg" width="500" height="307"><br /></p> <p>The diagram shows:</p> <ul> <li>Before you can sell anything you have to buy something. For example, stock or labour.</li> <li>Depending on your sales cycle i.e. how long the stock sits in store, you may hold onto stock for 60 days.</li> <li>Depending on the terms you get from suppliers you may have to pay for that stock after 30 days – which means you have 30 days negative cash flow.</li> <li>Depending on your <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/finance/financial-management/an-introduction-to-financial-reports" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/finance/financial-management/an-introduction-to-financial-reports">accounts receivable</a> management you could wait 60 days to get paid – which adds another 60 days negative cash flow.</li> <li>This adds up to 90 days negative cash flow.</li> </ul> <p>This means your money has been somewhere other than your bank account (ie the bank account of your supplier or customer) for 90 days.&nbsp; This is referred to as ‘funding the sale’.&nbsp; This is also known as ‘working capital’ which means you need to have a certain amount of money to fund sales all the time.&nbsp;</p> <p>It’s a tricky situation that causes a problem when growth occurs because the issue just gets bigger.&nbsp; If a business isn’t working to minimise the number of days stock is in store and the number of days customers are taking to pay, then the problem becomes exacerbated as sales grow. This is why growth can often kill what appears to be a good business.&nbsp;</p> <p>So before your business gets very focused on increasing sales, it’s important to ensure the issues of stock movement and accounts receivable are not ignored.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you operate a service-based business and think you’re immune from the above, think again. Having a large chunk of ‘<a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/processes/benefits-of-a-good-work-in-progress-system" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/processes/benefits-of-a-good-work-in-progress-system">work in progress</a>’ can cause cash flow squeeze if billing and payment terms are not well managed.&nbsp;</p> <p>It pays big time to calculate a billing and payment program with customers that takes into consideration the payment for materials and labour on a job. Ideally you’d ask for a decent deposit up front to cover as much of material costs as possible, then schedule regular, progressive payments to cover labour.</p> <p>A lot happens to cash on its journey from the sale to your bank account.&nbsp; If you are planning to grow your business it’s important to get an understanding of the cash-flow process ahead of time as it’s easier to avoid cash flow problems than it is to correct them!</p><p><em><b>Do you have a favourite technique for avoiding the cash flow squeeze?</b></em></p> Sue Hirst tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/15048 2015-03-24T07:30:00+11:00 2015-02-27T15:02:21+11:00 5 great tips for better Google AdWords campaigns <p>If you’re new to Google AdWords these five easily actionable tips will help you boost the performance of your ads and get more bang for your AdWords buck!</p><p>Online advertisements are a great way to build your brand awareness, expand your customer base, and <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/sales-strategies/six-strategies-for-sales-success" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/sales-strategies/six-strategies-for-sales-success">increase sales</a>. As with most things however, unless you want it to be a costly exercise in futility, a dedicated strategy must underpin your efforts.</p> <p>With that in mind, here are five very practical and immediately actionable suggestions that will help you with your Google AdWords advertising and see an improvement in your results:</p> <h2>1. Capitalise the first letter of every word in the headline</h2> <p>Although this is not good grammar, and while this little trick doesn’t work every time, this simple change can positively impact your results by up to 40% or more (so what have you got to lose?!).&nbsp; That means instead of the usual “Best tennis racquets online” you would use “Best Tennis Racquets Online”. Give it a try and make sure to measure the difference in results.</p> <h2>2. Change the URL at the bottom of the advertisement</h2> <p>It is well known that alternating the URL address at the end of an ad can positively impact the click through rate.&nbsp; Try developing some URLs that have the product name in them. For example, if you are selling tennis racquets, and your web URL is <a href="http://www.allsportsstore.com.au/" mce_href="http://www.allsportsstore.com.au/">www.allsportsstore.com.au</a> perhaps put the ad URL in as besttennisracquets.com.au</p> <h2>3. Don’t rely on a single advertisement</h2> <p>The biggest mistake people make when they are first getting started with <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/technology/sem-strategies/google-organic-versus-adwords" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/technology/sem-strategies/google-organic-versus-adwords">Google AdWords</a> is that they don’t create enough ads. Instead of relying on a single ineffectual headline, develop numerous ads relating to your products so you can choose the best of the bunch. An example of this is creating an ad for each product type e.g. ‘Buy The Best Tennis Racquets’ and ‘Fastest Running Shoes In Australia’ instead of ‘Online Sports Store’.</p> <h2>4. Keep pushing the envelope</h2> <p>Write a new ad every week to see if you can experience better results than what you did with the prior ad.&nbsp; When you continually focus on improving the quality of your copy, you’ll experience better results than if you keep running the same ad week after week.</p> <h2>5. Place your ads at the top of the webpage</h2> <p>Although the human eye has the tendency to look towards the right hand side of a page, advertisements placed along the top of the page receive more clicks.&nbsp; They do cost more at the top, but the increased clicks will more than compensate for the additional costs. To get your ad up the top – ensure your minimum bid meets the required bid for that keyword.</p> <p>Creating your ad variations and constantly tweaking them will ensure you get the best conversion rates, so when <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/technology/sem-strategies/google-adwords-campaign" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/technology/sem-strategies/google-adwords-campaign">creating Google ad content</a> make sure you take all of the above basic steps into consideration.</p> <p>&nbsp;<em>Do you use Google AdWords for your business?</em></p> <p><br /></p><p><em><b>Have you used any of the techniques above to good effect?</b></em></p> Samantha Hurst tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/15060 2015-03-24T07:30:00+11:00 2015-03-23T11:47:56+11:00 The customer is always right (but there’s a twist) <p>In our business life, our job is to ensure we’re putting a smile on the dials of the people we serve. But should we be doing the same for the people who are serving us too?</p><p>The other day I caught myself out doing something I do a lot (with my marketing hat on).</p> <p>I found myself critiquing the less-than-friendly guy serving me at the checkout and thinking “Hey, your job isn’t just to scan the items you know? It’s also to make me, your customer, happy.”</p> <h2>Yes, I was playing the customer card</h2> <p>When it comes to my own business, I take <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/customer-service/yes-you-do-work-in-customer-service" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/customer-service/yes-you-do-work-in-customer-service">customer service</a> very seriously. That’s because the benefits to my business are unequivocal and I happily take that responsibility.</p> <p>But when I’m a customer things get flipped (because the customer is always right, right?)</p> <p>I feel it’s up to the business serving me to step up to the mark and make sure there’s a smile on my face. It’s as if I have a licence to be surly simply because I’m paying money for something (and it’s up to the person servicing me to <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/customer-service/exceptional-customer-service-having-the-right-attitude" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/customer-service/exceptional-customer-service-having-the-right-attitude">turn my frown upside down</a>.)</p> <p>But is this really ok? Is it acceptable for my behaviour to change depending on which side of the checkout I’m on? Or should I behave the same way regardless of whether I’m serving or being served?</p> <h2>My blind spot</h2> <p>Here’s what I’d forgotten in the scenario described above: no matter which side of the transaction I am on, I’m always representing myself! My own <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-branding/your-personal-branding-checklist" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-branding/your-personal-branding-checklist">personal brand</a>.</p> <p>Good service in a business setting can make you money, but bringing that same level of ‘good service’ to all interactions throughout your day will bring opportunities, friendships, goodwill and quite simply - happiness.</p> <p>If smiling, enthusiasm, and showing I care are important in my business, then it’s got to be an important part of my everyday life too, right?</p> <p>Even if I’m just buying petrol.</p> <p>Even if <em>they</em> aren’t smiling back.</p> <p>Since we care about the success of our business, we pay close attention to every interaction – from the reception desk to email to Facebook.</p> <p>I think it’s time we showed the same care for ourselves too and took the time to pay attention to every personal interaction just as much. And yes, that includes strangers and sales people and even the telemarketer calling from another country.</p> <p>We need to represent ourselves in the same way we represent our businesses.</p> <h2>My new approach</h2> <p>I think it’s possible to embrace the <em>customer is always right</em> policy and still avoid the trap of playing the customer. <em>The trick is to see that you’re never the customer. </em>The trick is to remember<em> </em>you’re always representing yourself: &nbsp;your company of one.</p> <p>Any transaction is an opportunity to impress with a smile, enthusiasm, and show you care about the person.</p> <p>This is good, not just from a ‘personal branding’ point-of-view, but also from a ‘hey, let’s all do our bit to make this world a better place’ point-of-view too.</p> <p><strong>Do you pay more attention to your business brand than your own personal brand? And if so … why?</strong></p> Dave Gillen [FS Forum Support] tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/14589 2015-03-23T07:30:00+11:00 2015-03-22T21:11:58+11:00 Got questions? Get answers. Hit the forums. <p>If you've yet to dive into Flying Solo’s forums, now may be the time. Forumites are friendly, helpful and generous. Join the conversation.</p><p><br /></p><h4>Visit the forums and get chatting:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/forums" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/forums" target="_self">www.flyingsolo.com.au/forums</a></h4> FlyingSolo tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/15038 2015-03-22T07:30:00+11:00 2015-02-25T15:49:43+11:00 6 business blogs you should read every day <p>Business owners should never stop learning. But with so many great resources available, it’s hard to know where to start. Here are six sites I read every day.</p><p>I’m always interested in what other people in business have implemented to drive success. Whether it’s <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-writing/top-email-marketing-tips" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-writing/top-email-marketing-tips">sending an email campaign</a>, managing my database, or handling complex customer service tasks, ‘reading before doing’, has become a way of life for how I do things. (Nothing is impossible if you have the search bar in your tool kit!)</p> <p>With all this data at our fingertips, we can find precision answers to practically anything we need to solve in our day to day. But information overload can also quickly occur.</p> <p>So how do you decide where best to look first and who best to listen to? After years of trawling the internet there are a few sites I find myself referring to again and again.</p> <p>Here are six of the blogs I read daily:</p> <p><a href="http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/" mce_href="http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/"><strong>Social Media Examiner</strong></a><strong> </strong></p> <p>My personal favourite. For an industry that’s so vast and growing, Social Media Examiner provides clear examples of how to apply social media and content marketing best practice in your own marketing initiatives. Claiming to be the world’s largest online social media magazine, they have a large pool of writers from every facet of digital marketing. Each article provides detailed, step by step action points along with great case studies. So you can easily implement your learnings almost immediately.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://moz.com/blog" mce_href="http://moz.com/blog"><strong>Moz</strong></a><strong> </strong></p> <p>An excellent source for an in-depth and meticulous approach to <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/technology/seo-techniques/tips-for-improving-your-search-engine-optimisation-seo" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/technology/seo-techniques/tips-for-improving-your-search-engine-optimisation-seo">search engine optimisation</a> (SEO). Articles are sophisticated and technical and provide results from experiments, historical tracking data, ranking factors and content best practice. Whiteboard Friday is a particularly brilliant initiative by Moz co-founder Rand Fishkin, featuring weekly video tutorials that are certainly worth watching. And Moz isn’t just for hardcore SEO experts. It’s also a large resource of information for people looking to learn all about SEO from scratch.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/" mce_href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/"><strong>Econsultancy</strong></a><strong> </strong></p> <p>This blog contains a wealth of data driven posts, mostly from real world experiments. The posts are a great indicator of what is happening in the marketing industry (particularly from the UK) and provide guidance as to what other brands are implementing as their strategy. Econsultancy conduct their own online marketing research and publish results of their data, making it an infinitely resourceful blog.</p> <p><a href="https://blog.bufferapp.com/" mce_href="https://blog.bufferapp.com/"><strong>Buffer</strong></a><strong> </strong></p> <p>If you’re after complete transparency, that’s what you get with Buffer. This is a no-holds-barred approach to blogging, with Buffer company data being reported and commented on. The content is always deeply investigative, well-written and comprehensive. The Buffer blog covers everything you’d want to find out about social media, including real, actionable experiments.</p> <p><a href="http://rebekahradice.com/" mce_href="http://rebekahradice.com/"><strong>Rebekah Radice</strong></a><strong> </strong></p> <p>Rebekah is a Californian entrepreneur and blogger providing businesses with social media and <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-marketing/top-five-small-business-marketing-strategies-for-soloists" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-marketing/top-five-small-business-marketing-strategies-for-soloists">business strategy</a>. Her posts are personalised, extremely well written, and easy to read. She covers ways to save time and money building an online business and shows how to establish marketing best practices.</p> <p><a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/"><strong>Flying Solo</strong></a><a href="file:///C:/Users/Minnneth/Downloads/%20http:/www.flyingsolo.com.au/" mce_href="file:///C:/Users/Minnneth/Downloads/%20http:/www.flyingsolo.com.au/"><strong> </strong></a></p> <p>How could we ignore our very own Flying Solo? Flying Solo is Australia’s most comprehensive small business blog, powered by a community of small business owners from every walk of life. Regardless of whether you’re just starting a small business or already running a business, Flying Solo offers inspirational reads alongside a large collection of advice covering all aspects of running a business.&nbsp;</p> <h2>How to keep track of them all</h2> <p>Now, I get that keeping track of the content of six or more blogs each day sounds time consuming. So here are a few tips to make it much easier:</p> <ul> <li>Visit each blog you are referred to or stumble across and read through their historical articles to see if they suit your needs and the needs of your business.</li> <li>Create a shortlist of your essential daily blog reads.</li> <li>Subscribe to their newsletters (if they have one). Alternatively, sign up to a service like <a href="https://feedly.com/" mce_href="https://feedly.com/">Feedly</a>, which will serve you the latest articles of those favourite blogs in an easy to digest format.</li> <li>Set aside some time each day to review the latest articles in each of your shortlisted blogs. This could be first thing in the morning over a cup of tea or coffee, or at lunch, but not at night (as a sleep advocate, I would not encourage the use of a smart phone or tablet before bed as it disrupts your sleep cycle!)</li> <li>When you read something that can be applied to your current or future business self, take some notes and enter these in your <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/innovation/business-ideas-inspiration-write-your-own-business-bible" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/innovation/business-ideas-inspiration-write-your-own-business-bible">business bible</a>.</li> </ul> <p>It’s easy to take control of the vast amount of information out there that’s ready and willing to help you in your business and personal life. Make your down time productive and build on your knowledge to get ahead.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>What business related blogs do you find useful and regularly read?</em></strong></p> Matthew White tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/15059 2015-03-21T07:30:00+11:00 2015-03-20T11:34:14+11:00 Developing resilience in the face of disruption <p>If you're increasingly confronting change and feel the need to toughen up, social entrepreneur and spiritual journeywoman, Tania de Jong has tips to share.</p><p><span style="color: #000000; font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; line-height: 17px; background-color: #ffffff;" mce_style="color: #000000; font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; line-height: 17px; background-color: #ffffff;">To access all Flying Solo podcasts visit&nbsp;</span><a style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; outline-color: #000000; font-size: 12px; line-height: 17px; background-color: #ffffff;" mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; outline-color: #000000; font-size: 12px; line-height: 17px; background-color: #ffffff;" href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/podcast" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/podcast" target="_blank">http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/podcast</a></p> FlyingSolo tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/15003 2015-03-20T07:30:00+11:00 2015-03-20T09:26:14+11:00 Member must reads, part 6 <p>Bjorn Behrendt and John Christian share the books that have had the most influence on the way they run their business.</p><h2>John Christian</h2> <h2><span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; line-height: 17px;" mce_style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; line-height: 17px;">The book that has had the most influence on the way I run my business is <i><a href="http://www.booktopia.com.au/the-greatest-show-on-earth-richard-dawkins/prod9780552775243.html" mce_href="http://www.booktopia.com.au/the-greatest-show-on-earth-richard-dawkins/prod9780552775243.html" target="_blank">The Greatest Show on Earth </a></i>by Richard Dawkins.</span></h2> <p><span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif;" mce_style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif;">This book highlights the incredible journey of evolution over the ages. How we’ve come to be where we are as the human race and inhabitants of this planet. Is there a better analogy in the business world that the intricate journey of evolution? Business is all about evolution, survival of the fittest.&nbsp; Finding those symbiotic relationships, escaping the toxic mutations, finding groups to evolve with, and learning new paradigms and so on. It’s a wonderful analogy and one that has given me true inspiration in running my business. I’ve learned it’s ok not to be perfect, but there is also no excuse for not striving for perfection over time.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><em style="font-size: 12px;" mce_style="font-size: 12px;">Read more about <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/directory/39060/MailingLists-com-au" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/directory/39060/MailingLists-com-au" target="_self">Mailing Lists Online</a>'s John Christian in his&nbsp;<a style="font-size: 12px;" mce_style="font-size: 12px;" href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/spotlight/john-christian-mailing-lists-online" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/spotlight/john-christian-mailing-lists-online" target="_blank">Spotlight profile</a>.&nbsp;</em></p><h2>Bjorn Behrendt</h2> <p>Since I listen to so many audiobooks in my car every week, there are many books that have influenced me in business. The most important ones were <em>Delivering Happiness</em>, <em>Start with Why</em>, <em>Purple Cow,&nbsp;</em>Richard Branson’s biography and <i>Good to Great.</i></p> <p>Here's what has inspired me about each one of those:</p> <p><a href="http://www.booktopia.com.au/delivering-happiness-tony-hsieh/prod9781455508907.html" mce_href="http://www.booktopia.com.au/delivering-happiness-tony-hsieh/prod9781455508907.html" target="_blank" style="font-style: italic;" mce_style="font-style: italic;">Delivering Happiness </a>by Tony Hsieh<i>&nbsp;</i>– Zappos created an amazing culture that was not only highly focused on customer service and going the extra mile in order to wow your customer, but they also have a very strong internal culture making sure that employees come first. This internal harmony reflects and filters through – even into their social media channels. You’ll find some amazing random acts of kindness on Youtube.</p> <p><i><a href="http://www.booktopia.com.au/start-with-why-simon-sinek/prod9780241958223.html" mce_href="http://www.booktopia.com.au/start-with-why-simon-sinek/prod9780241958223.html" target="_blank">Start With Why</a> </i>by Simon Sinek drives you back to the fundamental questions of why you do things and why a product exists. This gives great guidance for marketing and culture. It also can define the core vision and strategy of a company. Marketers should stay away from addictive price or promotion strategies and rather focus on communicating why their products are unique. Employees should all want to use the product themselves, because it is so good.</p> <p><i><a href="http://www.booktopia.com.au/purple-cow-seth-godin/prod9780141016405.html" mce_href="http://www.booktopia.com.au/purple-cow-seth-godin/prod9780141016405.html" target="_blank">Purple Cow</a> </i>by Seth Godin<i>&nbsp;</i>provided inspiration around&nbsp;making a product really remarkable. To focus on the essentials that make customers happy and how to be genunely different to the competition. Viral effects and significant ROIs can be achieved from marketing if a product is made remarkable and if the whole organisation aligns to the core features. This will help you cross the chasm to win over those influencers and early adopters.</p> <p>Richard Branson is simply a fascinating individual and the way he approached all of his businesses is unique and inspiring. He was never afraid to break monopolies and to attack the Goliath as the David. He proved again and again how selecting the right people, having great customer focus and a great corporate culture can become the winning formular to disrupt an industry.</p> <p><i><a href="http://www.booktopia.com.au/good-to-great-jim-collins/prod9780712676090.html" mce_href="http://www.booktopia.com.au/good-to-great-jim-collins/prod9780712676090.html" target="_blank">Good to Great</a> </i>by Jim Collins&nbsp;gives interesting insights into why some companies went into hyper growth mode where other comparable companies barely grew with the market. It comes down to selecting the right people first, then figuring out the what and then creating a long-term culture and strategy around something that the company could be best and world-class at. The book includes tons of research and data. It inspires every business leader..</p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 15px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; color: #4d4d4c; line-height: 17px; background: transparent;" mce_style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 15px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; color: #4d4d4c; line-height: 17px; background: transparent;"><em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; background: transparent;" mce_style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; background: transparent;">Read more about&nbsp;<a style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #3e8a9a; text-decoration: none; background: transparent;" mce_style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #3e8a9a; text-decoration: none; background: transparent;" href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/directory/39035/Mint-Payments-Limited" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/directory/39035/Mint-Payments-Limited">Mint Payments Limited</a>'s Bjorn Behrendt in his&nbsp;<a style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #3e8a9a; text-decoration: none; background: transparent;" mce_style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #3e8a9a; text-decoration: none; background: transparent;" href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/spotlight/bjorn-behrendt-mint-payments-limited" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/spotlight/bjorn-behrendt-mint-payments-limited" target="_blank">Spotlight profile</a>.&nbsp;</em></p> <h2 style="font-size: 22px; margin: 0px; padding: 6px 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-weight: normal; color: #91b03e; line-height: 24px; background: transparent;" mce_style="font-size: 22px; margin: 0px; padding: 6px 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-weight: normal; color: #91b03e; line-height: 24px; background: transparent;">Want to share your must read?</h2> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 15px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; color: #4d4d4c; line-height: 17px; background: transparent;" mce_style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 15px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; color: #4d4d4c; line-height: 17px; background: transparent;">To participate in in the&nbsp;<em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; background: transparent;" mce_style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; background: transparent;">Member must reads</em>&nbsp;series you must be a member of Flying Solo Business Class.</p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 15px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; color: #4d4d4c; line-height: 17px; background: transparent;" mce_style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 15px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; color: #4d4d4c; line-height: 17px; background: transparent;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; background: transparent;" mce_style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; background: transparent;">Already a Business Class member?</strong>&nbsp;Simply send your 200 word or less summary to lisa(at)flyingsolo.com.au.</p> <p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 15px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; color: #4d4d4c; line-height: 17px; background: transparent;" mce_style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 15px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; color: #4d4d4c; line-height: 17px; background: transparent;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; background: transparent;" mce_style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; background: transparent;">Not yet a Business Class member?</strong>&nbsp;<a style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #3e8a9a; text-decoration: none; background: transparent;" mce_style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #3e8a9a; text-decoration: none; background: transparent;" href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/membership/my-account/business-class" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/membership/my-account/business-class" target="_self">Find out more</a>&nbsp;about the best value offering in town</p> FlyingSolo tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/15034 2015-03-19T07:30:00+11:00 2015-02-25T11:03:40+11:00 Five occasions where it’s ok to say ‘no’ in business <p>Part of growing a successful business means servicing your clients to the best of your ability. But does this mean doing everything they ask of you?</p><p>Launching a business is difficult. Growing your business is difficult. You want to make sure your clients are happy because their happiness is essential for business right?</p> <p>So you find yourself saying ‘yes’ to everything that’s asked of you, the consequences be damned!</p> <p>Unfortunately, those damned consequences are usually pretty dire: burnout, resentment, loss of love for your business … the list goes on!</p> <p>Which means, as heart wrenching as it is to say ‘no’, <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-relationships/saying-no-how-to-turn-away-difficult-clients" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-relationships/saying-no-how-to-turn-away-difficult-clients">sometimes you have to do to it</a> for the good of your business (and yourself). But how do you know where to draw the line?</p> <p>Today I offer up to you five occasions where it’s ok to say ‘no’ in business:</p> <h2>1. When you cannot safely or properly manage the timeframe available for the work/job&nbsp;</h2> <p>It seems in the age of the internet, everyone expects everything yesterday: faster, immediately and without delay! Worse, clients often operate under the misapprehension that their last minute non-planning should become your problem. <br /> <br /> This doesn’t mean you’re obliged to deliver on unreasonable expectations. If you’re unable to provide a quality project/product in the requested timeframe, say ‘No’ and discuss what you<em> can</em> manage.</p> <p>For example, a compromise might be to deliver part of the work to help your client with their immediate issue and offer the rest of the work in a manageable timeframe for both of you.</p> <h2>2. If a client or customer is demanding all your time and energy to the detriment of other clients or your business</h2> <p>You cannot be <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-marketing/five-easily-avoidable-marketing-mistakes" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-marketing/five-easily-avoidable-marketing-mistakes">everything to everyone</a> and you need to focus on the big picture. If all your time is being monopolised by one client, it means you’re providing sub-par service to all your other clients. This is not good for the long-term health of your business!</p> <p>In this situation I suggest quitting while you’re ahead. Suggest someone else that particular client might be better suited to working with and move back to servicing your other clients at the level you prefer.</p> <h2>3. When they ask for a discount</h2> <p>Does it seem like everyone is asking for a discount these days? It does to me! Due to geographic diversity and the ability to deliver goods and services for less, many businesses are doing just that and trying to compete on price. But is this sustainable? Most likely it’s not sustainable for <em>you</em>.</p> <p>So once you have worked out your pricing model for your business, stick to it.&nbsp; Offer the best possible price up front and don’t discount. People <em>will</em> pay for a quality service they trust and can rely on.</p> <h2>4. When it takes you off the path&nbsp;</h2> <p>If you’re being asked to do something that <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/performance/beware-the-trap-of-accidental-competence" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/performance/beware-the-trap-of-accidental-competence">takes you away from your core business</a> and other higher priority items, it’s not helping you or your business to say ‘yes’.</p> <p>The other day I was asked by both a former colleague and another client for some assistance in an area I used to work in. I looked at the new policy statements and new legislation and decided it would take some time to come up to speed on the recent legal updates. It would also take me away from my main business focus.</p> <p>Further, it was not part of my core business direction (helping startups, small, medium and online businesses). So I said ‘no’ and recommended someone else. It was a great decision (and incidentally both are now clients for their startup online businesses!).</p> <h2>5. When you don’t know the answer</h2> <p>Repeat after me: “I<strong> </strong>don’t have to know everything.”</p> <p>As much as I’d love to know the answer to every question my clients throw at me (and there are some great curly ones!), the idea that anyone knows everything related to their industry is not realistic.</p> <p>Instead, tell them “I’m not sure about the answer to that one, but I can certainly find out for you.” They will appreciate your honesty. And that honesty is more helpful to them than an answer filled with incorrect information.</p> <p>So as you can see, you don’t have to say ‘yes’ to every single thing your clients ask of you. Keep focused on your business direction, stay the course and stick to your goals and strategies.</p> <p>This is of benefit, not just to you, but to your clients too (even though they might not realise it at the time!)</p><p><em><b>Do you find it hard to say no to clients? Do you have a ‘saying no’ success story?</b></em></p> Vanessa Emilio tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/15036 2015-03-19T07:30:00+11:00 2015-03-19T10:45:30+11:00 Inbound marketing: should you try it? <p>Looking for an online marketing activity that allows you to stop paying to interrupt people? Then inbound marketing is probably for you! </p><p>Ever feel like the job of acquiring and keeping customers is like some form of ‘black art’ that only the privileged few seem to have mastered?</p> <p>You try committing both time and money to pay-per-click ads and <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/social-media/social-media-for-business-why-bother" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/social-media/social-media-for-business-why-bother">social media marketing</a>, but don’t see the results you’d like, nor do you get a return on the investment you’ve made.</p> <p>So you revert to what <em>used</em> to work - direct mail and print ads. And it appears these don’t get the traction they once used to.</p> <p>Then you start to wonder - how are you supposed to stand out and grow instead of just survive?</p> <p>You think it’s impossible, but it’s not. You just need to have a simple plan that's focused around one core strategy... inbound marketing.</p> <h2>What is inbound marketing?</h2> <p>Since 2006 <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-marketing/is-inbound-marketing-for-you" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-marketing/is-inbound-marketing-for-you">inbound marketing</a> has been the most effective way of doing business online<a href="http://www.hubspot.com/inbound-marketing" mce_href="http://www.hubspot.com/inbound-marketing"><sup>[1]</sup></a>.</p> <p>In short, it’s any online marketing tactic that earns your target audience’s interest, rather than interrupting them (usually you pay good money to interrupt people with your message). Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that people are already interested in and searching for. Providing this content brings leads to your site, leads you can hopefully turn into sales.</p> <p><strong>Here’s an overview of the inbound process:</strong></p> <ol> <li><strong>Get found</strong> - incorporating keywords on your website and link building in the form of inbound links and third party endorsements.</li> <li><strong>Convert</strong> - use of calls-to-action and landing pages to generate leads.</li> <li><strong>Nurture</strong> - using email marketing to build relationships, increase loyalty and drive sales.</li> <li><strong>Close</strong> - aligning sales and marketing around shared revenue goals.</li> </ol> <h2>Why inbound works well for bloggers, soloists and small businesses</h2> <p>There are many well-documented benefits of inbound marketing - gaining a measurable return from your activity, building online reach, competing against rivals and generating more qualified leads at a lower cost per leads than traditional marketing.</p> <p>But perhaps one of the biggest benefits is that it attracts customers based on how they search. By creating valuable content that directly answers pressing questions your audience is asking, you have a unique opportunity to pull people to your business, help them, provide value, demonstrate expertise and gain their trust.</p> <p>The best bit for you as a small business owner is your size means you are going to be closer to your customers and therefore better positioned to understand their needs.</p> <h2>What do you need to do to get started?</h2> <p>The good news is you don’t have to start by completely rebuilding your website right away. You can start with a small campaign and then test, adapt and grow your inbound marketing activity over time.</p> <p>If you do start small, you will need to make some changes to your website, to <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/technology/business-websites/five-ways-to-improve-your-website-conversions" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/technology/business-websites/five-ways-to-improve-your-website-conversions">capture user interest (leads)</a> through the use of functional forms and landing pages. But there are several easy-to-use affordable solutions that will get you started (hint, most email service providers offer these features).</p> <h2>In summary</h2> <p>The advantage of inbound marketing is that it follows a system, a step-by-step approach with content marketing at its core. It integrates all of your online marketing activity together so each has a place. You’ll know what to do when, who to do it with and how, thus delivering consistent online performance for your business.</p> <p>Another big plus about inbound marketing is it levels the playing field. You no longer need millions of dollars to compete in order to build your brand and best of all, most of the tools are free, so it’s really low barrier to entry.</p> <p>The very best thing about inbound marketing however?</p> <p>It actually works!</p><p><em><strong>Got questions? Drop them in the comments below - I promise to respond promptly.</strong></em></p> Stephen Mayall tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/15029 2015-03-18T07:30:00+11:00 2015-03-18T10:16:07+11:00 5 great tips for better Google AdWords campaigns <p>If you’re new to Google AdWords these five easily actionable tips will help you boost the performance of your ads and get more bang for your AdWords buck!</p><p>Online advertisements are a great way to build your brand awareness, expand your customer base, and <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/sales-strategies/six-strategies-for-sales-success" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/sales-strategies/six-strategies-for-sales-success">increase sales</a>. As with most things however, unless you want it to be a costly exercise in futility, a dedicated strategy must underpin your efforts.</p> <p>With that in mind, here are five very practical and immediately actionable suggestions that will help you with your Google AdWords advertising and see an improvement in your results:</p> <h2>1. Capitalise the first letter of every word in the headline</h2> <p>Although this is not good grammar, and while this little trick doesn’t work every time, this simple change can positively impact your results by up to 40% or more (so what have you got to lose?!).&nbsp; That means instead of the usual “Best tennis racquets online” you would use “Best Tennis Racquets Online”. Give it a try and make sure to measure the difference in results.&nbsp;</p> <h2>2. Change the URL at the bottom of the advertisement</h2> <p>It is well known that alternating the URL address at the end of an ad can positively impact the click through rate. Try developing some URLs that have the product name in them. For example, if you are selling tennis racquets, and your web URL is www.allsportsstore.com.au perhaps put the ad URL in as besttennisracquets.com.au</p> <h2>3. Don’t rely on a single advertisement</h2> <p>The biggest mistake people make when they are first getting started with <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/technology/sem-strategies/google-organic-versus-adwords" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/technology/sem-strategies/google-organic-versus-adwords">Google AdWords</a> is that they don’t create enough ads. Instead of relying on a single ineffectual headline, develop numerous ads relating to your products so you can choose the best of the bunch. An example of this is creating an ad for each product type e.g. ‘Buy The Best Tennis Racquets’ and ‘Fastest Running Shoes In Australia’ instead of ‘Online Sports Store’.</p> <h2>4. Keep pushing the envelope</h2> <p>Write a new ad every week to see if you can experience better results than what you did with the prior ad. When you continually focus on improving the quality of your copy, you’ll experience better results than if you keep running the same ad week after week.</p> <h2>5. Place your ads at the top of the webpage</h2> <p>Although the human eye has the tendency to look towards the right hand side of a page, advertisements placed along the top of the page receive more clicks. They do cost more at the top, but the increased clicks will more than compensate for the additional costs. To get your ad up the top – ensure your minimum bid meets the required bid for that keyword.</p> <p>Creating your ad variations and constantly tweaking them will ensure you get the best conversion rates, so when <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/technology/sem-strategies/google-adwords-campaign" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/technology/sem-strategies/google-adwords-campaign">creating Google ad content</a> make sure you take all of the above basic steps into consideration.</p> <p>&nbsp;<b><em>Do you use Google AdWords for your business?&nbsp;</em><em>Have you used any of the techniques above to good effect?</em></b></p> Samantha Hurst tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/15032 2015-03-18T07:30:00+11:00 2015-02-25T10:46:10+11:00 How to treat the empty as though it were full <p>The Zen proverb “Treat that which is empty as though it were full” can have many meanings; here’s how you can put it to work for your business.</p><p>East meets West more frequently these days as China grows in economic power, and even in the age of digital business and virtual reality, we find there are many practical principles for business that are taken from quite ancient <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/measuring-success/spiritual-success-and-the-microbiz-owner" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/measuring-success/spiritual-success-and-the-microbiz-owner">spiritual</a> teachings or Eastern philosophy.</p> <p>One such principle to practice is to “Treat that which is empty as though it were full”. This is an ancient Zen proverb which can have a multitude of meanings and applications.</p> <p>An everyday application of the “Empty ? Full” proverb is to carry an empty cup or plate with the amount of care you would use if it were full of food or drink. This is good advice from a safety perspective; consider how many times you’ve seen someone drop an empty glass because they carried it with slightly less reverence than a full one.</p> <p>How can this be extended to your workplace? Well you can apply the same respectful treatment to other things in the office: cups, plates, files, printer cartridges and so on. This will result in less waste and less accidents.</p> <p>Another application of the proverb is to treat an empty (or partially empty) room as if it were full. Applying this to business transactions means that we always speak respectfully of the clients, <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/growth/how-to-approach-overseas-suppliers" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/growth/how-to-approach-overseas-suppliers">suppliers</a> and employees, even when they are not present.</p> <p>You may consider it harmless to say “Damn that XXXX, he's always late. I should bill him for the 20 minutes he's kept me waiting”. It’s worth remembering, however, that words have an energy that affects both the speaker and any listener who is present.</p> <p>Further, there is the possibility that your words may be overheard by staff, clients or strangers and repeated in your absence (why wouldn't someone speak about you when you're not there, if you do the same to others?). Eventually these repeated, overheard words may make their way back to the absent person. That could kill your business.</p> <p>And then there is the possibility that your facial expression may still reflect the negative emotion after the client turns up, no matter how much you try to put on a smile.</p> <p><a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/sales-strategies/six-strategies-for-sales-success" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/sales-strategies/six-strategies-for-sales-success">Body language</a> experts tell us that 70% of communication is non-verbal, so if your lips smile but your eyes do not, or your feelings are not 100% genuine, this is not good for your business.</p> <p>Contrast this with treating the empty room as though it were full (i.e. imagining the client was present/could hear you). You’d likely change your language: “Oh, XXXX is late. I hope he's OK. Perhaps he’s had an accident, or is having some dramas at work or at home. When he gets here, I'll be sure to make him feel extra relaxed and welcome, or otherwise we will politely offer to reschedule.”</p> <p>So now that you’ve seen the “Empty ? Full” principle in action hopefully you can see ways of applying it to your day-to-day operations. Why not make a pact with yourself to try it for a month.</p> <p><b><em>Have you ever found yourself instinctively using the “Empty </em><em>?</em><em> Full</em><em>” principle? If not, can you see just one way you could employ it in your business? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!</em></b></p> Jeremy Britton tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/15033 2015-03-17T07:30:00+11:00 2015-02-25T10:36:15+11:00 10 content ideas to energise your blog <p>Out of blog article ideas? Think outside of the box and energise your blog with these 10 content ideas to refresh your digital marketing.</p><p>Without an entire marketing team at your disposal, maintaining a blog can be an exhaustive task, and coming up with the constant flow of content needed to feed it it can be a creative drain.<strong></strong></p> <p>However, varying your article formats and thinking differently about not only <em>what</em> you write about, but also <em>how</em> you write about it can quickly refresh a tired old blog – and its author.</p> <h2>Use these 10 content ideas to energise your blog: </h2><p><strong></strong></p> <p><strong>1. Present industry research</strong></p> <p>To become seen as a thought leader within your industry, you need to have your finger on the pulse of the latest industry research. Keep your eye on new university studies, white papers, survey results and developing trends that are relevant to your industry and your readers. Not only will this give you plenty of fodder for blog articles, it will also quickly set you up as key resource for your readers. <strong><br /> <br /> 2. Interview an expert</strong></p> <p>A nice twist on publishing a guest blog is to <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/podcast" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/podcast">interview an expert</a> in your field, or in a related discipline. The interview format allows you to tailor the questions you ask to the specific industry interests and concerns of your readers. This format also invites new voices onto your blog much like a guest post, but comes with added advantage of including you as part of the conversation.&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong><br /> <br /> 3. Share a personal anecdote</strong></p> <p>All work and no play makes a dull blog. Don’t be afraid to let your hair down now and then to <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/health-and-wellbeing/switching-off-is-anyone-else-awake-at-3am" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/health-and-wellbeing/switching-off-is-anyone-else-awake-at-3am">reveal a little personality</a>. Sharing a personal anecdote about a past failure and what you learned from it – done carefully – is a great way to help your readers relate to you and build your profile as an approachable mentor.&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong><br /> <br /> 4. Write a book review</strong></p> <p>Read a great book that relates to your industry? <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/professional-development/book-recommendations-1" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/professional-development/book-recommendations-1">Tell your blog followers about it.</a> Your opinion carries value as an industry insider, and commenting on the book gives you an opportunity to share your own thoughts on the same topic. However, always be sure to credit the author and don’t republish large sections of the book – that’s plagiarism. <strong><br /> <br /> 5. Produce a how-to guide</strong></p> <p>Address a common pain point in your industry with a step-by-step how-to guide. You might choose to write about general business issues such as managing employees or boosting personal productivity; or make your topic industry-specific to target a well-defined niche and improve your SEO.&nbsp; <strong><br /> <br /> 6. Reveal an industry insight</strong></p> <p>What do you want to be known for within your industry? Revealing specific industry insights in your blog article is an effective method to establish both your perspective and special area of expertise. Use these articles to express your point of difference from the pack and showcase the unique value or experience you bring to the table.</p> <p><strong>7. Offer a cheat sheet</strong></p> <p>Not all blog articles need to be text heavy. Consider providing a checklist your readers can download and refer to as they complete a common task, a questionnaire they can use to interview job candidates, or guidelines on a health and safety issue they can display in their workplace.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>8. Author an opinion column</strong></p> <p>Opinion columns are an excellent way to weigh in on trending issues that are important within your industry and get your voice heard on the topics that matter most to your readers. Don’t be controversial just for the sake of it, but sharing strong opinions can spark debates that draw more attention to your blog.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>9. Make a prediction</strong></p> <p>Embrace your inner Nostradamus and make some bold predictions. These blog articles are often good thought starters at the beginning of the calendar year as you predict the big industry trends you expect to see in the coming months. Get it right and you’ll be seen as a forward thinker.</p> <p><strong>10. Hold a reader Q&amp;A session</strong></p> <p>Get your readers involved in your blog and publish a call out to answer any questions they have. It will help build your profile as a go-to industry mentor, and is a valuable opportunity to gauge what’s concerning your readers. Use this knowledge to inform your future content to keep your blog relevant and on point.</p> <p>So there you go – no more excuses for not getting busy writing that next blog post now! You should have many ideas after reading the above!<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><b><em>Do you have a blog?&nbsp;</em><em>Do you find it hard to come up with topics to write about?</em></b></p> Shane Conroy tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/15056 2015-03-17T07:30:00+11:00 2015-03-17T10:38:45+11:00 A simple way to work on your business. Every day. <p>One of the things soloists find hardest is working on their business as opposed to in it. Is the solution for this problem as simple as creating a new habit? </p><p>I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the subject of habits in the past year and one of the things that’s most captured my imagination is the concept of keystone habits.</p> <p>What’s a keystone habit? It’s a habit that leads to a cascade of other actions.</p> <p><a href="https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0CB4QFjAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fjamesclear.com%2Fkeystone-habits&amp;ei=OwAAVYy4IoeK8QX1hoGgCw&amp;usg=AFQjCNFvfPX9pdVC4WDBDt3krvzgP9QYig&amp;bvm=bv.87611401,d.dGc" mce_href="https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0CB4QFjAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fjamesclear.com%2Fkeystone-habits&amp;ei=OwAAVYy4IoeK8QX1hoGgCw&amp;usg=AFQjCNFvfPX9pdVC4WDBDt3krvzgP9QYig&amp;bvm=bv.87611401,d.dGc">I’ll let James Clear explain</a>:</p> <p><em>A few months ago, I started to notice a funny thing.</em></p> <p><em>When I worked out, I wanted to eat better. Even though I could have rewarded myself with chocolate bars and ice cream, I felt like eating real, healthy foods.</em></p> <p><em>I also slept better. And when I was awake, I seemed more productive. Especially in the hour or two after working out, when my mind seemed to think clearer and my writing was crisper. Thoughts flowed easily.</em></p> <p><em>When I didn’t exercise, however, I was more prone to eating junk food. I would stay up later working on unimportant tasks. I started to feel tension in my back. I didn’t check it, but my guess is that my blood pressure raised as a result of additional stress and no place to release it.</em></p> <p><em>In other words, <strong>fitness is the keystone habit that puts the rest of my life in place</strong>. When I work out, other things naturally fall into place. I don’t have to think about eating better. I don’t have to force myself to focus on getting things done. Exercise naturally pushes me towards my best self.</em></p> <h2>Wow, so keystone habits can be pretty powerful right?</h2> <p>And it got me thinking, what would be a good keystone habit for someone with their own business?</p> <p>Well the thing I hear most from soloists is they never have time to work <strong>on</strong> their business because they’re so flat out working <strong>in</strong> it. We’re all so caught up dealing with the urgent + important stuff (like emails and phone calls and deadlines) that we never get the time to do the non-urgent + important stuff (like <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/processes/the-best-of-small-business-systems-processes" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/processes/the-best-of-small-business-systems-processes">setting up systems</a> and marketing our businesses).</p> <p>So is there a keystone habit we could develop that would have the cascade effect of growing our business (or even simply helping us be less reactive)?</p> <p>I think there is!</p> <h2>I’m calling this habit “Flying Solo Future Self”<strong>.</strong></h2> <p>What it involves is very simple. Every day (yes, every single day) I want you to do <em>something</em> your future business self will thank you for. And by future I don’t necessarily mean the distant future. Sometimes a midday action can dramatically simplify your afternoon (like when you take 15 minutes to eat lunch away from your desk – the mental break makes you more productive later.)</p> <p>Here’s an action I’ve undertaken in my role as Flying Solo Editor: instead of trying to edit a month’s worth of articles over the course of two days (like I did last month!) I now edit each one on the day it drops in my inbox. My future self is so grateful! Plus my brain appreciates this and so too does everyone who reads the site because it means each article is better edited.</p> <p>In my role as a business owner, my future self loves that instead of trying to set aside a day (that will never come) to create the fancy pants new briefing form we want to send to website design clients, I’ve been creating one section of that form a day for the past three weeks. Which means in another week, it’s actually going to be done.</p> <p>The task you do for your future business self each day need not be big, nor involve a lot of time. But do <em>some</em>thing and you’ll find all those little efforts are going to add up to something big pretty quickly.</p> <p>Here are some suggestions:</p> <ul> <li>Get to bed at an appropriate time. Your next day business self will appreciate the clear head.</li> <li>Write down the steps for a task you do every day. When your ‘next month self’ decides to hire an assistant, they’ll appreciate being able to hand that task straight to the assistant! </li> </ul> <p>Are you getting the picture? Here are some more thoughts:</p> <ul> <li>That e-book you’ve been wanting to write for ages but can’t find the time? Write one paragraph today.</li> <li>That great client meeting you just had? Write a summary of the key points from that meeting as soon as you get back to your desk.</li> <li>Did you just listen to a great podcast? <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/innovation/business-ideas-inspiration-write-your-own-business-bible" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/innovation/business-ideas-inspiration-write-your-own-business-bible">Write down your one big takeaway</a> in a notebook. Do this <em>every time</em> you listen to a great podcast.</li> <li>In the morning when you first get to your desk, write down on a post-it note the one thing you need to achieve that day. Stick it on the corner of your screen or desk.</li> </ul> <p>As you can see, there are myriad ways to help out your future business self. But in order to make this a habit, you’re probably going to need some <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/time-management-tips/business-accountability-whipping-time" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/time-management-tips/business-accountability-whipping-time">accountability</a>.</p> <h2>Here’s where we come in. </h2> <p>Each day this week, you’re going to post about the one thing you did for your future business self on Instagram or Facebook and you’re going to tag that post with the hashtag <strong>#fsfutureself</strong>.&nbsp;</p> <p>And that's it! (Why the hashtag? It's so we can<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 17px; background-color: #ffffff;" mce_style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 17px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;find you and give you a virtual high five.)</span></p> <p>I reckon it will only take a few weeks before the above becomes a very natural part of your day … at which point you can safely say you have developed a shiny new habit that’s going to have a very big impact on your business.</p> <p><b><em>Are you in? If so, leave a comment below and tell me the one thing you’re going to do for your future business self today. And feel free to follow us on </em><a href="http://instagram.com/flyingsoloau" mce_href="http://instagram.com/flyingsoloau"><em>Instagram</em></a><em> and </em><a href="https://www.facebook.com/FlyingSoloAU" mce_href="https://www.facebook.com/FlyingSoloAU"><em>Facebook</em></a><em> as we’ll post daily reminders there.</em></b></p> Kelly Exeter tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/14921 2015-03-16T06:52:00+11:00 2015-03-16T09:23:13+11:00 Save with our Premium Member Rewards Program <p>As a Premium Member of Flying Solo, you can now enjoy generous cashbacks, discounts and offers from some of Australia's favourite brands and retailers such as Apple, Sony, Dick Smith, Microsoft ... even Woolies and Dan Murphy's! Get with the program.</p><p><br /></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;" mce_style="line-height: 1.5em;">To find out more visit&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/rewards" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/rewards" target="_self" style="line-height: 1.5em;" mce_style="line-height: 1.5em;">www.flyingsolo.com.au/rewards</a></p> FlyingSolo tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/15030 2015-03-15T07:30:00+11:00 2015-03-16T13:41:30+11:00 Is a detour right for your business? <p>The road to solo-ship is seldom straight or smooth. So how do you know which detours to take … and which to push through?</p><p>One of the last times I was with you, life had thrown a <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/business-psychology/soloist-challenge-how-to-deal-with-advice" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/business-psychology/soloist-challenge-how-to-deal-with-advice">few curveballs</a>.</p> <p>Finding myself without much work, I happened to be talking to a mentor who knew someone crying out for a someone like me.</p> <p>I was so flattered they saw fit to recommend me, but there was a snag. It would mean returning to corporate land – a land that seemed far, far, <em>far</em> away – in part-time capacity.</p> <p>Given I’d just spent the last four years unshackling myself from 12 hour days and endless meetings, I found myself equal parts scared and ego-fuelled.</p> <h2>Here’s what was going through&nbsp; my head:</h2> <p>“Noooooo, don’t do it. Your dream is now going to take even longer”</p> <p>“You honestly think you’ve got what it takes to do both?”</p> <p>“You’re rapidly going to lose the identity you’ve worked so hard to create.”</p> <p>“What will those who follow your business think? You’re defecting, aren’t you?”</p> <p>“Can’t you just fix your business quickly without having to ‘sell out’ to the illusion of certainty?”</p> <p>Lord have mercy – could my brain just shut up for one minute? Please!</p> <p>One of the learnings on this journey of transition from corporate career to soloist has been telling the difference between head and heart. Knowing what is essentially ‘right’ for me and <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/decision-making/faster-decision-making-by-caring-less" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/working-smarter/decision-making/faster-decision-making-by-caring-less">what is just ‘noise’</a>.</p> <p>All of the head screw stuff above is exactly that – a <em>head</em> screw.</p> <h2>It’s not what my heart was saying.</h2> <p>How did I know? (And how will <em>you</em> know?)</p> <p>Because of the expansive feeling in my body when I was offered the role.</p> <p>Because of the warmth I felt when I walked into my new office.</p> <p>Because of the feeling of being ‘at home’ when I sat down with my potentially new colleagues.</p> <p>It was as though the deal was already sealed.</p> <p>And as it turns out, the role itself has exposed me to coaching and facilitation as part of a learning and development organisation. Hello! That would be <em>my</em> industry.&nbsp;</p> <h2>The lesson here? </h2> <p>Outsmarting your head is important when your heart is shouting at you.</p> <p>To do this, I’m a huge fan of reframing and find that it helps Every. Single. Time.</p> <p>When I <a href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/business-psychology/dealing-with-nerves-three-steps-to-reframe-your-nerves" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/business-psychology/dealing-with-nerves-three-steps-to-reframe-your-nerves">reframe</a> all my little fears above, I can gently sway my ego to my heart’s way of thinking; like this:</p> <p>“Dreams take a little time sometimes, and that’s ok. Perhaps with less time available to work on and in my business, I’ll be more productive, and more determined.”</p> <p>“You know a lot more then you did four short years ago. Have faith and believe you’re strong enough to do both.”</p> <p>“Your identity may indeed be called into question but you know as well as anyone – there is good and bad to every single situation.”</p> <p>“Those who follow your business realise this is one of those important lessons that tend to reveal themselves on the road to realising your dreams.”</p> <p>So what’s my message to anyone experiencing the same mental battle I’ve described above?</p> <p>Trust yourself.</p> <p>Give yourself space and trust yourself. And you’ll find that’s half the battle won.&nbsp;</p> <p><em><b>When ‘dream detours’ present themselves, how do you get your head around it?</b></em></p> Lynda Bayada tag:www.flyingsolo.com.au,2010:Media/15057 2015-03-14T07:30:00+11:00 2015-03-13T14:09:50+11:00 How to get your office organised <p>Narelle Todd helps people get organised and productive. Here she explains ways to get on top of stuff. Even if messy is your thing.</p><p><span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; line-height: 17px; background-color: #ffffff;" mce_style="font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; line-height: 17px; background-color: #ffffff;">To access all Flying Solo podcasts visit&nbsp;</span><a style="outline-color: #000000; font-size: 12px; line-height: 17px; background-color: #ffffff;" mce_style="outline-color: #000000; font-size: 12px; line-height: 17px; background-color: #ffffff;" href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/podcast" mce_href="http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/podcast" target="_blank">http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/podcast</a><br /></p> FlyingSolo