How to effectively generate leads with Interact quizzes-Part 2

This is part 2 in the How to Generate Leads with Interact quizzes series. Click here to see the first post in this series.

How to effectively generate leads with interact quizzes

 

This is part 2 in the How to Generate Leads with Interact quizzes series. Click here to see the first post in this series.

 

If you’re looking for a quick, cost effective lead magnet, then I highly suggest you incorporate quizzes into your marketing campaign. It’s a free, subtle fun way to increase your mailing list. People love taking fun quizzes to see how accurate the quiz is and share there results with their friends.

In a previous post, I demonstrated all of the features that Interact’s free version has to offer. I was impressed with the free version, but the premium version is where it’s at people! I LOVE how Interact’s quizzes allow you the ability to increase your brand’s recognition while gaining insights about your consumers. 

Discover how Interact’s premium version quizzes will help you easily convert your leads to customers.

Check out the below video and sign up for your free account right here.

Video Key Markers

Intro 0 to 6minChoose a template 6 Create Optin Form 8:30Customize Resuts Field 10:47Customize Questions 13Branding your quiz 16:31Creating triggers for your quiz( connecting them to you email address 19:10Create a group in Mailerlite 19:47Create an automation 22Create a trigger to connect to Mailerlite Group 24:20Test integration 25:43Promote your quiz 27Install plugin 27:48

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Starengu’s Podcast Episode 2 – Nicole Butler, Budget Like a Lady

Starengu's Podcast Episode 2 - Nicole Butler, Budget Like a Lady

In today’s podcast, we have Nicole Butler from Budget Like A Lady. Her blog is dedicated to helping women balance their life and money.

Nicole has a degree in structural engineering and an MBA in finance. She decided to start her blog because she was getting a lot of financial questions from friends and family. Through her experiences and research, she discovered that there was a lack of financial literacy and it was her desire to educate the community.

Through her blog, Budget Like A Lady, Nicole desires to demystify and provide resources to help others in their quest to improve their finances.

Nicole wants her readers to know that she is just like them. “We are all in this together. I’m out here living my financial life just like [everyone] else. I’m out here making mistakes and figuring it out.”

Learn more about Nicole, her blog and get the motivation that you need to get out of debt.

LET’S CONNECT

Blog: BudgetLikeaLady

If you enjoyed this podcast, please be sure to listen and subscribe to Anchor, iTunes, Google Play and Pocket Casts.

Don’t let tech or having a 9 to 5 stop you from creating your blog. Download the FREE after 9 to 5 Thrive Guide Kit.

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Welcome to Starengu’s Podcast

Starengu's Podcast LaTosha Johnson Blog template

Starengu’s Podcast Transcript

Welcome to Starengu (pronounced starring you), I’m your host Tosha Johnson.

Thank you guys so much for tuning into our podcast. I want to take a moment to let you know why I started this podcast in the first place. So in case, you’re wondering what in the world is Starengu is  Starengu is a blog that I started. The reason I started this blog is that I wanted to finally take a moment to invest in myself. I’ve been in the marketing arena for 14 years.

I’ve always it supported large companies marketing endeavors. I’ve always been involved in marketing from a corporate standpoint. I am very passionate about digital marketing, technology and productivity so I decided to start a blog that allowed me to really hone in on my skills and to share my knowledge and expertise to help other people.

I’m a really creative person by nature and that’s one of the reasons why I decided to start my blog.  I really wanted to continue to invest in myself. Here’s the thing guys,  a lot of these companies out there will lay you off without any notice which is what happened to me. It’s okay because while I was working my nine-to-five I decided to start Starengu. Again, I decided to invest in myself.  I started my own blog that allowed me the ability to take on different projects, about different topics and subjects that I didn’t necessarily get a chance to do in my nine-to-five.  

I want you guys to think about the same thing. Regardless of what your profession is, you don’t have to like be constrained into that particular profession. Your degree does not define your potential. If you’re interested in website design but your background is an English teacher there’s nothing wrong with that! Start a blog that allows you the ability to see how much you’ve progressed in your desire to learn more about website design. Again, guys, I want to let you know one of the main reasons why I started this blog is because I wanted to help other people create their own outlet.

Some people allow technology to scare them, some people are afraid of you the design piece. Just an FYI, I’m not here trying to sell you anything but I do have a free blogging course available and I also have different courses that will help you get up to speed in your desire to create your own blog. If you get a chance, check that out but again my desire is to make sure everyone has that opportunity or feels inspired after listening to this podcast to start their own blog.

I started this podcast because I really do enjoy podcasts.  Guys, I am a podcast junkie!  I love listening to different people’s journeys and sometimes I’m like, “ Oh my goodness I wish they would have asked them this question or this question.” So I thought to myself, “You know why don’t you start your own podcast.”  

There are so many different bloggers that I follow and so many of them have interesting stories. Unfortunately, I’ve just never actually seen these bloggers get the attention that they deserve. I’m not quite sure why that’s the case, but it doesn’t matter. They’re getting that chance on this podcast.  Again, my desire is to highlight the journey of these bloggers in order to inspire more people to start, so I’m going to have a mix of bloggers. There’s going to be quite a few folks that you may or may not know and that’s great.

I can’t wait to introduce you to these people because the lineup that I have is so interesting. I think you guys are going to agree as well but most importantly I want this podcast is going to inspire you to start your own blog. Do not allow yourself to just rely solely on your nine-to-five. Let’s be honest guys, if you’re nine-to-five is not that fulfilling and let’s say you know that they decide to lay you off, What are you going to do? What are you going to do?”

I’m not saying that you have to start your blog as a plan B for additional income.  I’m telling you to view your blog as an opportunity to invest in yourself. If there’s something that you’ve always wanted to do and you’re not able to do so on your 9 to 5, then take the time after work, take your lunchtime, take the evenings or your weekends and really examine how you can make your life more fulfilling.

What other passions do you have yet to tap into? This is why you should start your blog start your blog. View it from the standpoint of your desire to see your progress from point A to point B. If nothing else, start it for that very reason.   I guarantee you it’s going to morph into something a lot bigger than what you may have anticipated.

To make a long story short, I actually started this blog while I was working my nine-to-five. I did it. To be quite honest with you,  I enjoyed my job but I really wanted to have a little bit more of a challenge. I wanted to be able to really share my expertise with other people and I’m not gonna lie, making a little additional income was not too shabby either.

However, if making money is your main idea in why you want to start a blog, then you know you might as well stop now. I hate to break it to you the ones that are like bringing over six figures are very rare. In my opinion, for that to really be the case for bloggers, especially if you’re working a nine-to-five or if you’re not as invested into learning more about monetizing your blog, then I hate to break this to you…this might not be the case for you guys.

I personally believe regardless of the fact of whether you’re able to monetize your blog, that should not be the sole purpose of blogging. The sole purpose is so you can really allow yourself an opportunity to have a creative outlet and to help other people. if that sounds corny so be it.

That’s the main reason why I decided to start blogging.  I would always get asked questions by people. If you find yourself repeating the same thing, you definitely need to start your own blog. If you find yourself wondering, “Man, I wonder if this could help out other people.”  I guarantee you it could. “ You may not think this, but you possess a wealth of knowledge. I’m not saying you have to give away everything for free but have a balance.  You’ll never know what that balance is if you don’t start.

I really want this podcast to encourage you to start your own blog. Again, please do not allow the tech or anything like that to get in the way of your desire to start your own blog. I have a free blogging course that you can find on my blog and additional courses that can help you out as well.

You just have to get started. Nike said it best. Just do it. You are not going to regret the journey that blogging will allow you to go on. I have met some amazing people that I have yet to meet in real life, but we’ve met through social media and I’ve even gotten to know some a little bit better by interviewing them for this podcast.

I really hope that today’s podcast has inspired you to start your own blog. I want you to get you ready for the podcasts that are coming down the pipeline because these are very, very interesting folks I feel so many more people need to be introduced to as well. I’m confident that they are going to inspire you.

Huge thanks to those of you listening to today’s podcasts. Remember,  if you’re everything to everyone then you risk being no one. Creating your blog is the first step to investing in yourself. It allows you the opportunity to connect with other people.  You never know who you may inspire.

See you in the next podcast!

If you enjoyed this podcast, please feel free to subscribe to it on Anchor, iTunes, Google Play  and PocketCasts.  You get extra Karma points if you write a review! 😉

Don’t let tech or having a 9 to 5 stop you from creating your blog. Download the FREE after 9 to 5 Thrive Guide Kit.

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Do you know the value of your work?

STARENGU'S DO YOU KNOW THE VALUE OF YOUR WORK

“ The best things in life are free.”

The majority of the time, I agree with this statement. However, lately, some people seem to be under the impression that this applies to business. If you don’t believe me, take a look at some of the requests that I have I received…

I would like you to develop 65 customized social media status updates. We were hoping we could have some videos included as a part of the status updates. You would need to create the videos as well. We would like to have all of this completed within two weeks. Can you do this on a $200 budget?

Even though I’ve seen my fair share of these requests, this is still my initial reaction whenever I receive one:

Why? I’m tired of people expecting me to price my services according to Fiverr’s rates. I do a great job and my rates are affordable. I feel like there seems to be a trend in people expecting those in the creative field to work either work for pennies or for free.

Neither option is my jam. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re in business you have two options. If you don’t have the money then be willing to invest the time. If you don’t have the time then be willing to invest the money. If you chose to contact me, then it’s safe to imply that you were seeking a shortcut.

I have been working in the corporate world in the marketing arena for 14 years. I’ve been told on numerous occasions that I’m a “well-rounded” marketer. I’ve worked on small and large accounts in “traditional” and digital marketing, category management, consumer insights, marketing analysis, content creation, and project management. I KNOW the importance of marketing. Without marketing, companies would remain unknown.

Regardless of this fact, there seems to be a dismissive attitude toward those who work in the creative positions. I’m not making this up either. I’ve actually heard folks from the accounting department refer to marketing as “overhead.” This attitude seems to have permeated into the freelance sector as well.  I’m guessing this is the reason why I have seen an increase in requests like the one mentioned in this post.

I’m big on education, so whenever I get these type of requests, I make sure to explain to the requestor that why I decline taking on projects for that price (especially with that tight of a deadline). Due to the fact that I’m big on creating systems and processes, it only takes me a minute to respond because I have templates for everything.

However, I know that when you compete on price it’s going to be a race to the bottom. Sadly, this is a race that way too many people are willing to participate in when they should really sit on the sidelines for the following reasons:

1.) You’re cheating yourself

What do you want to be known for within your industry? If you want people to take you seriously then you need to do your homework. Oftentimes, those new to freelancing do not realize that if the client has done their homework and your prices are too low, the majority of them will continue their search for another company. Why?

Many people still associate extremely cheap prices with low-quality products and services.  You want clients who are focused on quality. When your prices are too low, they are going to question your expertise. This could have easily been avoided if you had conducted market research. You will be able to learn what the average price is within your industry, expenses, etc. Don’t allow yourself to be your own worst enemy by failing to appropriately price your services.

Starengu's Master Your Niche

2.) People who hire solely on price aren’t interested in a relationship

If you plan on running a successful business, you must have repeat customers. The folks who have the something for nothing mentality aren’t interested in developing this type of relationship. The minute you raise your prices they are going to leave.

Even worse, if they decide to stay, these folks will go out of their way to find something wrong with the deliverable (i.e. product/service) so they can feel “justified” in asking for a discount which will bring them back to the price that they are accustomed to paying for or even less. Save yourself an unnecessary headache.

3.) You’re not going to be able to scale at those prices.

Your goal is to make money.  The higher you sell your products/service will enable you to reduce the time you spend on acquiring new clients. You can’t do this if you’re willing to work for peanuts. If you’re pricing your products/services too low, you have to make sure you constantly have a high volume of clients in order to make a living. You’re setting yourself up to be in a situation where you will be delivering a poor quality product due to the fact that you are overworked and underpaid.

Embrace your talent

If you have a talent you should not be afraid to charge what you are worth. You should be paid for the shortcut you provide. Just because someone says, “Your prices are too high,” doesn’t mean that it’s true.

It just means that they can’t afford it and they don’t see the value in your work. Regardless of what the reason may be, they aren’t the right client for you. Don’t fight for their business. Sooner or later they will end up at Fiverr. Let them continue their journey for the cheapest price.

The quicker you do this will enable you to have the bandwidth to grow a clientele that will support your endeavor to make a decent living without losing your sanity in the process.

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Did you enjoy this post? If so, can you do me a favor and share it with others? I would really appreciate it!

How to Repurpose Your Blog Content

Starengu's How to Repurpose Blog Content

I’ve got a love hate relationship with blogging. I love the ability to share what I know with others but the process of getting there…not so much. Regardless of how passionate you may be about a topic, writing a blog post can sometimes be stressful. Sometimes, I get tired just thinking about the work involved in writing a blog. Brainstorming evergreen content ideas, conducting keyword research, searching for images, etc. can all be a bit overwhelming.

After going through all that work, I want to make sure that post gets a chance to “shine” for as long as humanly possible. I definitely don’t want all that work to be in vain, so I always make sure to take time to schedule and create a repurposing game plan. I make sure to repurpose my blog content using several of the following methods:

1. Offer your blog post as a PDF version as a freebie

This is an idea that is incredibly easy that a lot of people overlook. If you thoroughly enjoyed a post and you want to print it out, often times when you do so the formatting is wrong (especially a long one). You end up printing extra pages.  If you’re particularly proud of that post and can’t think of a content upgrade to accompany that post, then offer it as a PDF version. Those of us who love to save trees will thank you. 😉

2. Social media status updates

Place yourself in your readers shoes audit your blog posts. Pull out key phrases, statistics, etc.  that you can use as social media status updates that your audience would find of interest. Craft each piece of content to that particular medium. Then create an image that will accompany that post. Share these updates across the social media platforms that your audience frequents the most.

3. Create an ebook and advertise it for free on kindle

Once you start blogging you’re going to generate enough content that will allow you to create an ebook. Once you create your ebook you can either sell it or you can give it away for free as a lead magnet.

4. Take advantage of syndicated networks like Medium  

Medium is an extremely popular website that can expose your content to an audience that you otherwise might not have reached. In case you’re concerned about Medium cannibalizing your traffic, you can stop worrying. Medium has already provided a way to ensure that your site will be viewed as the original source. Be sure to create a newsletter form using Upscribe so you can build up an email list.

Another great platform that you should consider using is LinkedIn Publisher. LinkedIn  is typically  viewed as the more “formal” of the social media networks. The majority of the articles are typically business related. It is an especially useful tool if you’re in between jobs.  It’s a great way to catch a recruiter’s eye or your client’s attention, so you can stand out from the competition.

5. Videos

Did you know that over 500 million hours of video are consumed on YouTube? They are an engaging way to repurpose your content. Research indicates 74% of people who watched an explainer video purchased the product. It’s a lot easier to foster trust and explain a difficult concept by video rather than print screens. If you would like to learn how to record and edit video, then check out our Cheers to Your Courcess course.

6. Livestream

When you conduct livestream video it allows you the ability to connect with your audience in real time. They can answer all of the questions that otherwise would have prevented them from purchasing your products or services.

7. Podcasts 

I LOVE podcasts! It’s one of the few mediums that can truly be considered passive. You can listen to them while you’re sitting in traffic (you’re trapped anyway!), exercising (my personal favorite), etc. Creating a podcast and cross promoting it on your blog, YouTube, Twitter, etc. is easier than ever using Anchor. I’ve been testing Anchor out and have found it to be incredibly  user-friendly. I plan on launching another blog soon and I will definitely be using this app for my podcasts.

Since my experience has gone well with the aforementioned podcast, my goal this year is to create one for Starengu. I want to start a podcast that highlights the journey of bloggers and entrepreneurs in order to inspire more people to start a blog as a creative outlet. Yes, you can make money blogging, but that shouldn’t be the main reason you choose to blog.  I  If you’re interested in becoming a guest, please complete this form. Don’t be shy. Share your story with us!

8. Slideshare 

I don’t care how design challenged you may be, everyone possesses the ability to create a slide deck presentation. Take the best parts of your blog post and create an intriguing story with visual images. If you do it right, your story is going to compel your audience to learn more about you. If you want to work on your design skills, feel free to check out our Brazen Brand & Design, so you can take your design skills to the next level.

9. Infographics

If your content has a lot of statistics, steps, lessons, etc. then take this as an opportunity to reinforce your point with images. Similar to Slideshare you are relying on the images to help you tell the story. However, if you were to print an infographic it would only take up one page (depending on the niche, it probably won’t fill the whole page). By the way, infographics make great pins on Pinterest. They tend to stand out more in the feed.

10. Create a course (video or email)

I am a HUGE advocate of creating email or traditional courses. Depending on your goal, topic, etc. can help you determine which route you want to take. Regardless of which choice you use, both enable you the opportunity to further help your audience know, like and trust you. 

11. Email challenges 

Just like the name indicates, based on the research you conducted (i.e. surveys, focus groups, online research, etc.) you will know what challenges your audience is facing. You can create a mini course specifically designed to answer of those challenges that you can quickly solve. You want to go for the quick win, anything longer needs to be a regular course.

For example, if you’re a digital marketer you could easily create an email challenge centered on ways to 3 ways to decrease blogging fatigue. Each day for 3 days you can provide quick tips that have a call to action which you would request your subscriber to perform. You can even make the challenge even more interactive by creating a private Facebook Group.

12. Expert Q & A interviews

Gather some folks who are considered experts within your industry and interview them. Interviews will take some of the pressure off of you when it comes to creating content. Your conversation with the expert(s), would be a great opportunity to create an audio version of that interview.

13. Updated version of your blog post

Conduct an audit of your blog. I’m sure there are blog posts that would be as good as new if you give it a little TLC. Completely revamp the blog post or add additional new  information to the old post, include additional opportunities to interlink your content to newer content and the repost your blog post.

14. Host a webinar 

Expand upon the blog post you wrote and create a webinar. This way people will get a chance to hear more about that topic and connect with other folks who enjoyed the content that you shared as well.

15. Roundup blog posts

Checkout your content calendar and do a complete audit of your blog. Using Google Analytics, check to see which blog posts were the most popular. Create a blog post literally called, “(Insert your blog name) Top 10 blog posts of (i.e. insert year, category, etc.).

16. Print on demand (T-shirts, mugs, etc.)

I’m embarrassed to say this, but I have an Amazon Merch and  Spreadshirt store that I’m not using to its fullest potential. I have A LOT of ideas, but I don’t have the time to execute designing many of them. I really want to take advantage of my accounts and scale up because print on demand *can* be a lucrative side hustle if you do it right.

17. Content upgrades (Checklists,Guides, etc.)

The best way to build your email list is to offer content upgrades (ahem like Starengu’s Repurposing Content Checklist …) that will reinforce your ability to assist them with the challenges they face. The more folks consume of your free content will ease their conscience when it comes to deciding whether to purchase your products.

18. Create a resource library 

Create a page on your website that enables your audience to see what type of content you have to offer. I personally place ALL of the content upgrades that I offer on my website as one BIG zip file that people will receive once they sign up for access to my content upgrades.

I know some people have a password protected page, but if your goal is to reduce the number of barriers to access your content, you may want to rethink this tactic for the following reasons (all of them based on my personal experience):

  1. The email with the password never arrived.
  2. Even if you do get the email, I’ve experienced the frustration of the password not working…
  3. When people experience the aforementioned issues, the odds of them contacting you are slim to none.

19. Share past content in your newsletter 

When you audit your blog posts with your content calendar, identify evergreen blog posts and incorporate them into your email campaigns.

20. Promote older posts using sites like Missinglettr, Revive Old Post or Recurpost

If you forget to schedule your content, then you can use services like Missinglettr, Revive Old Post and Recurpost to do it for you. After you set them up, let them work their magic.

21. Highlight your top performing blog posts on a start here page

Regardless of whether you have a static (i.e. specified home page) or dynamic (descending blog posts) homepage (I discuss the pros and cons of this more in our Slay with WordPress course)

22. Highlight your content on Quora 

You can incorporate your content into your profile. You also have the ability to search for questions where your blog post can serve as the perfect answer.

23. Best of (insert your blog name or category)

You should create a Pinterest Pin for every blog post that you create (I typically create 3 to 5). Then you need to make sure that you place them on a blog that highlights your blog. Make sure that the “Best of” boards that you create are towards the front.

Time to craft your repost game plan!

Before I create my blog posts, I literally work my way through this list to see which approaches will work best for that particular blog post. My content calendar helps me to quickly identify the blog posts that need another chance to “shine” again.  I work way too hard to allow my blog posts to disappear into a black hole and I’m sure you do as well. Using the above mentioned ideas will keep your blog posts forever young.

Did you enjoy this post? If so, please share it with others. It would be greatly appreciated!

Repurpose your blog content

How to make time to start an online business when you work a 9 to 5

                 This is last post in the two-part How to Pivot to Success Series.                Be sure to read part one How to Pivot to Success in Business.

How to Make Time to Start a Business When You Work a 9 to 5

“How in the world did you find time to start a business?”

This is a question that I’ve gotten on more than one occasion so I figured I would share my experience to hopefully motivate you. I come across a lot of articles about how people quit their job to start their business, but hardly any that encouraged people to start a business while they are working a 9 to 5. 

I’m not trying to throw any shade at the folks who quit their job, but that was definitely not an option for me. I’ve always been super cautious. To the point where sometimes I’m my own worst enemy.  I knew that regardless of what magical number folks recommended that you should save up before quitting your job (typically 6 months is what I’ve seen), would NEVER be okay with me. 

I’m single. I don’t come from a wealthy family. I have no one that I can go to for support in case things don’t work out with my business. Needless to say, if I quit my job and my business failed, I would be in a serious financial hot mess. This was an unnecessary gamble that I was not willing to take. If I end up in a financial hot mess, I want it to be due to circumstances beyond my control (i.e. laid off), not one that could have been avoided (i.e. quitting my job).

If my situation resonates with you, the first thing I want you to do is to read the previous post and to take this SWOT analysis. This is going to help you determine what type of business you should pursue. If you’re not sold on the idea of starting your own business, then get acclimated to the idea of freelancing on sites like Fiverr, Upwork, etc., selling your own products like T-shirts, etc. This way you can see if the services or products  you were thinking about offering are worth your time and effort.

If all of the aforementioned sounds like your jam, then let’s get started.

1. PLAN OUT YOUR RESOURCES

One of the first things that you need to do is count the costs of going into business. I started an online business (It’s Time to Launch Your Blog) because the costs to do so are relatively low. I knew for a fact that the majority of the products and services that I would offer were going to be online.Therefore, the bulk of my time and expenses were going to be allocated to content marketing.

When I first started Starengu, my main motto was not to go broke during the process.  Mapping out all of the expenses that you will need to get your endeavor off the ground is going to prevent this from happening to you. If there were costs that I did not have enough money for-gasp-I saved up for them. Starengu was literally started with money I saved from each of my paychecks. To each its own, but I’m not a fan of taking out loans or charging up unnecessary debt on my credit cards. That stuff can come back to haunt you…

2. BE WISE WITH YOUR SPARE TIME

One of the main things 9 to 5ers complain about is not having enough time to start a business. I hate to break it to you, but if you are truly serious about your endeavor, then your lunch time,  evenings and weekends are going to be your best friend. I totally understand that you would rather be watching The Walking Dead or some other popular TV show, but that’s not going to further your future.

Investing in yourself is going to require you to sacrifice your time, but the ROI will be worth it in the end. Are you willing to get your hands dirty? Obviously, not literally, but are you willing to roll up your sleeves so you can learn how to perform tasks that will help reduce your startup costs?

I’m a DIY kind of girl. If it’s something that interests me and I know that I would benefit from that knowledge in the future, depending on the task, I designate at least an hour during the week building up my knowledge to learn that task. One of the main reasons my start up costs were extremely low is because marketing is my background. Many moons ago, I realized that I eventually wanted to start my own business so I taught myself how to create websites, design content, create videos, etc. Heck, I even learned Spanish!

All of this was done while I was working a 9 to 5. I realize how tired you may be after work and if you have kids, take care of a sick parent, etc.finding time may be even harder to accomplish. Please do NOT beat yourself up! My journey is going to be different than yours. Do the best you can with the spare time that you have. Just remember, you have to be proactive when it comes to creating the time you need to invest in yourself.

Please note that I’m also not advocating that your spare time should be completely filled with work. Again, having a balance is the key. I read a study that stated that Americans watch close to 5 hours of TV a day. No one needs that much of an escape from their life! The majority of that time could be used to help you create your future. Once you get to the point where you feel successful, then feel free to reward yourself by binge watching The Walking Dead.

3. KNOW WHEN TO OUTSOURCE

Now even though I’m #TeamDIY, you have to know your limitations. If there is a task that you need to perform, but learning how to do so would take too much time away from the real reasons you went into business, then by all means outsource.

Outsourcing is even easier to do when you have a 9 to 5. You’re going to be able to easily identify areas where you can save money. Therefore, you can take the money you saved on  tasks that you can perform to pay for the tasks that you want to outsource.

Identifying which tasks you should outsource may be a bit more difficult. Again, my motto is not to go broke. Therefore, I learned a lot of tasks that typically fall outside of the marketing arena like building websites, video production, etc. Those tasks may have been outside my realm but they were also fun to me. It didn’t seem like a chore for me to learn how to create a website or create a YouTube tutorial.

Now let’s say that I decided to go into business offering video production services, but I absolutely hate to write. My true strength and joy lies in video production. If I need copy for my website, it’s going to be worth the investment to  hire a copywriter to create the content for my website.  I’m all for embracing the DIY approach, but if it’s going to cause me unnecessary stress then I leave it to the professionals.

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4. CREATE SHORTCUTS

I’m not a fan of repetitive tasks. If I find myself doing something more than 3 times a day, I’m looking for the quickest way to eliminate or reduce amount of times that particular task makes it onto my to do list.

For example, if you offer consultations you already know what information needs to be captured. There’s no need to unnecessarily send emails back and forth to a potential client. Take the time to create a template and an autoresponder that allows the template to be automatically sent to your potential client.

One of my favorite automation tools is Zapier. It is ridiculous how many tasks you can automate using this tool! A couple months ago, I made the decision to switch from MailChimp to Mailerlite. This was a pain. I manually swapped out MailChimp links on my site for the Mailerlite links (I technically didn’t have to do this, but again, I’m super cautious).

Seeing that I’m human, in the event that I missed swapping out one of the MailChimp links on my website for the Mailerlite link all I had to do was create a zap. If someone landed on the MailChimp link I forgot to swap out for the Mailerlite one, the zap would be triggered and that person would be automatically added to my Mailerlite list. Pretty cool, huh?

When you create shortcuts it allows you to spend more time focusing on tasks that will actually grow your business instead of working in your business.  

5. BATCH YOUR CONTENT

In case you couldn’t tell, I love to write. I enjoy writing for myself and for others. If you’re looking for a cost-effective, subtle way to promote your products or services without feeling sleazy then you should view content marketing as your best friend.

Although there are a ton of benefits to content marketing, you will still hear people complain about how time consuming it can be.  “When am I going to find time to write or create (insert desired type of content)?”  

You will never have time if you don’t have a process in place. I tend to batch my content. Meaning, I  I write 1 to 2 posts a month (a YouTube tutorial may accompany the post as well) along with a monthly newsletter. These are the three pieces of content that typically take the most time to create. I literally spend Saturday and Sunday typing and editing my posts because the majority of the work was done during the week.

In case you would like to steal my batch content creation routine, it goes a little something like this…

  • Monday: Brainstorm blog posts ideas
    • Brainstorm or create content upgrades (freebies I give away at the end of the post) A perfect example would be the After 9 to 5 Thrive Guide that is included in this post.
    • Brainstorm or create tripwires (this is a special landing page that can only be accessed once the person has decided to subscribe to the aforementioned freebie).  
  • Tuesday: Create an outline for the post
  • Wednesday: Gather the information
  • Thursday
    • Search for headlines
    • Create my intro
  • Friday: Search for images
  • Saturday
    • Type out the post
    • If I have not already done so, create the content upgrade & tripwire
  • Sunday
    • Edit the post
    • Add images
    • Do a little happy dance because you are done!

I even have my day broken into a specific routine as well. I cannot stress enough how important it is to establish a process and routine that will enable you to stay on track.

LATHER, RINSE, REPEAT

I wanted to share my routine with you so that you could see that it is possible. I’m fairly confident that this post along with the free the After 9 to 5 Thrive Guide will motivate you to invest in yourself and finally get your business off the ground.

StarenguStarengu's After 9 to 5 Thrive Guide Kit Photo

Did you enjoy this post? If so, can you do me a favor and share it with others? I would really appreciate it! 

How to Pivot to Success in Business

This is part one of our two-part Pivot to Success series.

How to Pivot to Success in BusinessThe last two weeks of the year is unofficially designated as a time for reflection.

When you look back on this year how does it make you feel?

Did you accomplish the goals you set out to achieve?

If you did, kudos to you. Dare I say that the majority of us mere mortals still have quite a few items on our list that we didn’t  tackle.

You probably have a ton of reasons why you weren’t able to cross those goals off of your list. I get it. Life gets in the way.

However, when you take a closer look at your list, are there outstanding goals that make an appearance every year? If so, it’s time to do some soul searching to find out why this is the case. Clearly, it’s something that you want to do, so what’s stopping you?

You may not want to admit it, but there’s a strong possibility that fear may be the culprit. You may not feel like you have enough knowledge, confidence, etc. to go after your goal. So instead, you settle for seeing that goal on your list year after year because it makes you feel hopeful that this may be your year.

I hate to burst your bubble, but you can’t keep doing the same thing and expecting different results. Speaking from experience, I know this is the case. In order to be successful in life, you have to learn how to pivot. When you see yourself going down the wrong road, don’t be afraid to turn around. Being prideful will always lead to a dead end.

Starting a business has been on my bucket list for a very long time. However, earlier this year I decided it was finally time for me to *truly* take my shot. I decided to start Starengu while I was working my full time job. I know there are a lot of people who quit their jobs to start their blogs/business, but I was not one of those people. I will go into much further detail in my next blog post as to how I was able to accomplish this feat. It wasn’t easy, but I’m so glad I did it this way because after being on my job for 6 years, I ended up getting laid off.

I took being laid off as an opportunity to revisit the path that I have always felt God was trying to lead me to throughout my life…to start my own business. I was done living my life like an ATM. Regardless of the fact that I deposited, hard work, patience, etc. I had to accept the fact that oftentimes you may not be able to immediately withdraw your goals.

One of my major goals for 2018, is to master the art of pivoting (it’s one of my theme words in my goal setting formula). In case you’re in the same boat as me, here are some of the ways that you can pivot your way to success:

How to Pivot to Success-SWOT Analaysis

1. Focus on creating your ideal lifestyle

What kind of lifestyle do you desire? One with structure and stability? Flexibility? If you’re someone who enjoys a strict 9 to 5 and stability then being an entrepreneur is probably not the best avenue to pursue. Although many people idolize the entrepreneurship lifestyle, but they aren’t ready to put in the work. There’s nothing passive about creating income as an entrepreneur (especially an online endeavor). This path isn’t meant for everyone.

Don’t let anyone “shame” you into thinking that there is something wrong with being an employee. There’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with having a 9 to 5 and a side hustle. In my opinion, if you can’t do both then you won’t be a great entrepreneur because you have to know how to manage your time.

If you decide to completely take the leap into entrepreneurship, then you will need to kick  instant gratification to the curb. There will be many times when you will need to put in numerous hours without receiving any pay, recognition, etc. When you start your business, you will to need to put in a lot of hours to get your endeavor off the ground. However, if you remain consistent in putting in the work, you will eventually reap the benefits.

2. Know Your Lane with SWOT

The main obstacle many entrepreneurs will encounter is doubt. Can I really accomplish (insert xyz)? The degree of success you can expect to experience is contingent on your answer. I’m a faith it ‘till you make it kind of girl, so my answer is always going to be ‘yes.’

What are your strengths and weaknesses? If you’re starting your business on a shoestring budget, many of the tasks that need to be completed will require a DIY approach. One of my favorite ways to approach a project (especially a new one) is to conduct a SWOT analysis (you can download your free SWOT analysis right here). If you’re not familiar with the approach, the main goal of a SWOT analysis is to assess your current situation.

A SWOT analysis allows you to uncover your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that you need to take into consideration before you start your project.  If you can easily identify the aforementioned, then this will reduce the time it takes for you to experience success. Based on your answers, you will be able to create a goal setting formula and routine that will help you achieve your goals.

For example, if I know that if I’m lacking in a particular skill then I go above and beyond to get the answer to my question by taking workshops, online courses, etc. This will keep costs down while allowing you the ability to gain a general idea of how the task should be completed. This will help prevent you from being taking advantage of as well as identifying tasks that you wish to outsource in the future. Making continuing education a priority, because it will allow you to quickly identify trends that you otherwise may not have noticed.

Technology is evolving everyday. Therefore, your current job may not necessarily be there tomorrow. The cannibalization of jobs is more evident in some industries than others. Therefore, you need to make sure that you have a back up plan in place.

For example, I’m a techie with a marketing degree. I have worked for very prestigious companies on some amazing accounts. Therefore, the transition into my “second act” will not be hard for me. Gain whatever concepts and skills you need to learn to ensure that your transition is just as smooth.

How to Pivot to Success

 

3. Make SMART Goals

Based on the information that you gain from your SWOT analysis, you can create SMART goals. Emphasis on SMART. The reason many people fail in achieving their dreams is because they aren’t able to effectively track their progress.  SMART goals define the actions that you are going to take along with the ability to effectively measure those actions.

It’s important to have a benchmark so you can identify your progress, create forecasts, etc. You can learn how to create your own SMART goals by clicking here.

4. Prioritize your time

There are a lot of different tasks that you need to consider when you decide to start your business. Many of them will need to be completed by you if you can’t afford to outsource them. If you don’t have money then you will need to invest your time. If you don’t have time then you will need to invest your money. Only you can determine which one of those scenarios fit your current situation.

Regardless of your choice, you have to master the ability to prioritize your time. We all have the same 24 hours. Those who experience the most success understand how important it is to reclaim your time and invest in yourself. This is a lot easier to achieve when your squad supports your dream of starting your own business. They can help you stay motivated during the ups and downs of your journey.

Even if you don’t have this type of support in your life, this doesn’t mean that you are doomed. You have the power to encourage yourself by changing the channel on negative thinking. Don’t allow yourself to be your own worst enemy. Your willingness to work hard towards your goals can serve as a reminder to the naysayers of all the dreams that they failed to pursue. Don’t allow the naysayers to get to you. Stay focused on achieving your goals so you can serve as an inspiration to others.How to Pivot to Success

5. Roll with the punches

You will encounter a lot of ups and downs during your journey. You may even discover you chose the wrong route. Everyone’s journey is going to be different, but the destination is the same…success. There are so many paths that you can take to get there. Yet, some routes are better than others.

Just because you took the route as a writer doesn’t mean that you can’t take a detour and become a website designer. The quicker you identify which route brings you the most joy, feel free to go through the aforementioned steps again to identify any obstacles that you may come across.

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Time to make it happen

Regardless of whether you are just starting your journey or a seasoned entrepreneur, a successful pivot begins with changing your mindset. These are the steps that have helped me in my endeavor to pivot to success. If you’re curious to see what type of entrepreneur you are then be sure to take the below quiz. Don’t forget to download the SWOT analysis that pushed helped me make to create Starengu. It’s time for YOUR year to start now!

In the next post, I will discuss how I created Starengu while working a 9 to 5. It wasn’t easy, but it’s definitely worth the investment.

Did you enjoy this post? If so, please spread the love by sharing this post with others. I would really appreciate it!

Don’t forget to join us in the Goal Slayers Facebook Group. Hope to see you there!

How to Pivot to Success

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