Overwhelmed, overworked, and not seeing a profit in your business yet?

Overwhelmed, overworked, and not seeing a profit in your business yet? This needs to change!

Hands up if you have tons of half-finished items are on your to-do list! I hear you.

I used to be in the exact same position. I didn’t have a strategic plan of action to implement and I was working 12 hour days on things I wasn’t even sure was helping my business. I was scatterbrained and tried a little of this, a little of that, and more, thinking it might help but not knowing for sure. After working 12 hours I couldn’t look back and pinpoint what exactly I was working toward other than just trying to keep my head above water.

Now, I work less, make way more, and work more efficiently! Woohoo!

What changed? I created a profit plan and my friend, Haley Burkhead, taught me exactly how to do just that.

I joined Haley in the Profit Planner Lounge and I found out which tasks bring me the most money. I also cut out everything that was draining my energy and automated what was driving profit! (This automation was HUGE for me!) The tools you work with Haley on alone are business-changing, but then you get so much more help from Haley and the awesome community.

So, what exactly is the Profit Planner Lounge?

It’s a place to automate your:

  • Profit
  • High Priority Tasks
  • To-Do List (on a color-coded, recurring calendar)

When you join, you’ll be able to break your income goals down into daily, actionable, color-coded tasks that make you more money, not migraines!

Click here to join me and learn more about the Profit Planner Lounge

Easy Pricing Strategies to Determine Your Rates

It might just be the most stressful decision you ever have to make: what to charge?

You’ve got the competition to consider, your own skill set, what you perceive to be your skills (yes, this is different from the former for most of us), what your market will pay, your location, and a host of other variables. Working it out can feel like a hurdle you can’t quite get past.

Of course, there are some strategies you can employ. These will quite quickly tell you what you need to be charging to reach your income goals, and they’re a great place to start.

Your Competition. This might take a little detective work, since a lot of coaches and service providers don’t publish rates. But if you pay attention to their websites and social media, ask a few discreet questions, and get on their mailing list, you can figure it out.

Be realistic about who, exactly, your competition is, though. Don’t undervalue or over-sell yourself. In other words, make sure you’re comparing yourself to another provider who shares the same skills, market, and track record, rather than simply looking at who you strive to become.

Your Skills. In some fields, this is easy. There are certifications and educational programs that allow you—by virtue of having achieved them—to charge a certain rate. If you’ve followed this path, then pricing will be easy for you. If not, take a solid look at what you can legitimately claim as a skill.

Look, too, at your track record. Have you proven yourself by helping former clients (and do you have the testimonials and case studies to show for it)? Have your former clients moved on to bigger and better coaches after working with you? (That’s a good thing!) These are all reasons to maybe consider a higher price range than you might have first thought.

Your Market. In the game of setting rates, it’s your market that has the final say. As any first year economy student can tell you, the price of anything lies where what the buyer is willing to pay meets what the seller is willing to accept.

If your goal is to give newbies a helping hand and lead them down the path to success, that unfortunately means you can look forward to low paying gigs. That’s not a bad thing—everyone has to begin somewhere—but it does need to be acknowledged. If, on the other hand, you’re target market is more established and economically stable, then a higher fee isn’t just warranted—it’s a must. They will expect a higher price, and will not find value in the lowest-cost provider of anything, whether it’s coffee beans or business coaching.

Finally, don’t forget that pricing is never set in stone. It’s flexible. If you find you’re attracting the wrong market (or no market at all) you can always change your rates. Working too hard for not enough return? Raise your rates.

It’s your business. You get to call the shots.

Common Sense – The Missing Link in Online Business

In today’s fast-paced world of SEO and SEM, its easy to overlook the one element that a lot of web design lacks—common sense! It is easy to become so obsessed with seducing traffic and boosting your search engine rankings that we overlook the simplest details.

I like to think that my approach to business is one part experience,one part research and two parts common sense. I know our business; that’s my experience. I read as much as I possibly can to strike a balance in my efforts between tried and true and newer methods of business planning and marketing. But to me, the most important, and often lacking in my opinion, is the common sense part of running any business, especially online.

In working on both our own business and our client’s, I have found that too often I can get too focused on the technical aspects of my website and business. We are constantly inundated with tips, tricks and techniques for getting more traffic and finding new leads. Please don’t think I’m discounting any of those or disparaging those giving advice. On the contrary, I think it is necessary to take in as much information as possible in determining your own strategies. The problem, in my eyes, lies in getting too involved in these “new” concepts and losing sight or doubt your innate sense of how to do things.

I am not suggesting any hot new modes of marketing, nor am I guaranteeing any way of making thousands of dollars a week! I am merely suggesting that before, during and after implementing any new techniques, you always take a look at your website and all your materials from your customer’s point of view. Better yet, have someone else take a look.

Make sure that you have had your site designed and written your copy in a way that is accessible to both ends of the spectrum: the techies and the technically challenged alike. In a perfect world, each visitor to your site would be very computer and internet savvy. Unfortunately, we all know it is not a perfect world. You must make your site as user-friendly as possible.

I spent a lot of time designing our website. I put a lot of thought into what we wanted to say, how we wanted to say it and how we wanted it to function. Those are all important things to consider and steps that must not be skipped. However, shortly after launching the site I discovered what we could improve.

The first thing I did when I uploaded our new website design was to inform all my friends and family. I knew within two days that I needed to make things a whole lot simpler! I had not taken into account that I have grown up in the internet age and things that I take for granted like knowing how to navigate a site via a site map or navigation bar are not second nature to everyone. I got the best feedback from my 91 year old grandfather who really wanted to see the whole site and know what it was all about. He tries so hard to keep up with the technology, but using the internet is not his cup of tea.

After speaking with him and a few other relatives, I sat down and took a hard look at our site. I tried to simplify things as much as possible. I didn’t change the copy because I had made a point to write copy that was inviting to potential clients from any background. I used my keywords as much as I felt comfortable doing without sounding like a broken record.

Albert Einstein once said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler.” In our excitement to boost our search engine rankings and generate traffic, I think it’s important to remember those words. The more people who can use your site and hear your message, the more customers you will have!

Work Smarter, Not Harder – 4 Keys to a Lower Maintenance and More Productive Online Business

Here’s something that most online business owners struggle with. Working too hard for not enough return. Even when the returns are good, the hours can be grueling.

As a wife and mom of three kids, I can’t afford to be sitting at my computer 24/7. I chose to run an online business because I want to be home with my kids, but being at home glued to a computer screen isn’t like being at home.

Even if you don’t have a kid or a spouse, a business should not become your entire life. It’s a recipe for burnout and a dismal life that revolves around a computer. At first, building your business and working really may seem exciting, but then you look up and realize there’s nothing else in your life.

So, how do you work smarter and not harder? In other words, how do you make more money with less personal time invested in your business?

To me, in comes down to 4 key points:

  1. Value your time and don’t undercharge
  2. Leverage the strengths and time of others
  3. Implement passive income models into your business
  4. Don’t be afraid of technology

Here’s some more thoughts on each of those:

1. Value Your Time and Don’t Undercharge

You need to set and limit your working hours. You probably run your business so you can stay home with your family and/or have more freedom. Well, being a prisoner to your computer doesn’t do either of those things for you. In addition, when you limit your work time, you are actually more productive. If you have only 3 hours to get work done, you’re more likely to stay focused and do what you need to do. If you have set aside the whole day to work, you’re more likely to slack off and find distractions.

The other part of valuing your time is by charging what your time is really worth to you. A common practice for new business owners is to not charge enough. Retail business owners discount their prices to be lower than their competitors, and those that provide services charge too little because they don’t feel they can charge more, or that they’re not worth it yet. If you’re running your business as a hobby, that’s fine I guess, but if you are trying to build a successful business and significant income, then that just won’t work.

Instead of decreasing your prices, increase the value of what you offer – whether it’s in superior customer service, personal shopping assistance, or other value-added offerings that will make you stand out from your competitors for the right reasons, not just because you’re cheap.

2. Leverage The Strength & Time of Others

Don’t think of yourself as a solo entrepreneur…think of yourself as a team. You can leverage the strength and time of others by:

  • Outsourcing: You don’t need to do it all yourself!
  • Partnering with others reaching the same target market as you: Your competition doesn’t need to be your enemy. Make them your partners instead.
  • Recruiting and training an affiliate force: Just setting up the script for your affiliate program isn’t enough…set up a stellar program that will motivate users to be part of.
  • Being part of mastermind group that shares business strategies and experiences.

3. Implement Passive Income Models Into Your Business

Outsourcing and having your own well-managed affiliate program are ways to generate passive income. Other ways to add more passive income to your online business are:

  • Join affiliate programs: You don’t have to fulfill the orders and provide customer support.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO): Search engine optimization is an excellent source of highly-targeted traffic for your website. Just think, people enter a keyword phrase for something they want and voila, they find you.
  • Implement pay-per-click strategies: Just like with search engines, you can get highly-targeted traffic to your website, but you have to pay for it. But setting up a cost-effective and profitable campaign can do wonders for your business. Try Adwords or Yahoo Search Marketing.
  • Use autoresponders: Effectively automate your follow-up process with your prospects and customers.
  • Backend Sales & Upsells: When someone is already going to buy from you once, they’re more likely to buy more. Make sure you make extra offers.

4. Embrace Technology

This one might be tough for some non-technical people. Some uses of technology can include:

  • Autoresponders
  • Membership sites
  • Automating content addition to your sites
  • Making customer/prospect management easier and more profitable by using a CRM
  • Customer feedback, comments, reviews
  • Affiliate program
  • Tracking advertising and A/B split testing

So please, stop doing so much work! Your business, family, and friends will thank you for it!

9 Ways to Build Credibility for a Successful Online Business

Credibility is one of the most critical factors that will affect your online business success. Being credible is simply the perception of being trustworthy and believable. Why do people buy brand name goods and services on the Internet and in the offline world? One of the key reasons is that the brand represents a level of quality that they know and trust.

1. Consistency is Key

So how can you build credibility on the Internet for your business? A key factor is being consistent. People are more likely to trust a business or person who acts in a similar manner most of the time. For example, if you publish a newsletter to your customers or potential clients, aim for similar quality in each issue. Also, be consistent in your style of writing. Publish on a regular basis because irregular publication schedules cause confusion in the minds of your readers.

2. Quality

Consistency applies to every aspect of your business. Don’t change your guarantee terms every couple of weeks. Ensure that all your products or services consistently meet the quality and value standards that you are promoting.

3. Free Offers & Trials

Credibility is something that is earned. Therefore, you need to give of yourself to get trust back in return. There are many ways to do this. If you can, offer free trial periods so the customer can try before they buy. This process enables the potential customer to check that your product will do the job you say that it will.

4. Share your Knowledge

Sharing your knowledge is a useful way to build your credibility. This can be done through monitoring discussion lists and boards that your potential customers frequent. Answer questions that they pose. Be a regular contributor to the list so that people come to know and respect your knowledge.

5. Be Honest

Making outlandish claims in advertisements or on your web site can harm your credibility. Telling the truth is always the best way. Ensure that your products or services provide more value than promised. Under promise and over deliver. Take the time to walk in your customers’ shoes before writing your ad copy or your web site promotional material. This will enable you to clearly state benefits that your potential customers are looking for in a way that they will find believable.

6. Testimonials

Testimonials can be a powerful way to generate trust in your product or service. Set up systems to gain unsolicited testimonials whenever you can. When you gather testimonials to publish on your site, ensure that you have permission to publish them. Also, never make up testimonials to boost your credibility as more often than not you will be caught and then discredited.

7. Provide Solutions

Don’t just state what your qualifications are on your web site or in your promotional material. Instead, state how your qualifications can benefit your potential customers and solve a problem they have. For example, state how your expertise will provide the solution your prospect needs in a way he or she will understand.

8. Be Available

Following sound business practices will help your credibility also. This includes ensure that your business address and phone numbers are clearly shown on your web site. Also, ensure that you are contactable via phone and email and respond promptly to each contact. Have you had phone messages or email that were never responded to? How did that influence your perception of the business?

9. Be Prompt

Prompt delivery of what has been ordered also helps build the right impression of your business. So too does quickly responding to claims on your guarantee. Efficient business procedures that are focused on providing customer satisfaction will always help your business image and credibility.

Strong credibility takes a long time and much effort to build. It can be destroyed quickly and sometimes can never be regained. For your business to achieve its full potential, it is important that you set standards and live by them so that you are constantly building your credibility. Remember that each thing you do in your business will affect the image of your business. Being focused on providing solutions to your customers, providing consistent quality and value for money, and being accessible will all help you achieve the credibility your business needs to succeed.

Questions?

Get in touch with us to discuss your project and answer your questions.

Easy Pricing Strategies to Determine Your Rates

It might just be the most stressful decision you ever have to make: what to charge? You’ve got the competition to consider, your own skill set, what you perceive to be your skills (yes, this is different from the former for most of us), what your market will pay, your...

Common Sense – The Missing Link in Online Business

In today's fast-paced world of SEO and SEM, its easy to overlook the one element that a lot of web design lacks---common sense! It is easy to become so obsessed with seducing traffic and boosting your search engine rankings that we overlook the simplest details. I...

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