I never really intended to be a social media coach, but one day I just happened to crack a code on a social media platform. This simple equation allowed me to drive traffic with just a quick click of a button. Before I knew it I had completely reinvented myself and I had a wait-list of clients who were willing to pay me top dollar to share my secret with them.
The secret is that there really IS NO SECRET online or offline that you can’t figure out for yourself. The simplicity of what I discovered is no different than good old fashioned selling through authentic engagement and personal connection. Everything I know about increasing your bottom line in business through social media navigation is completely and totally visible.
These aren’t just numbers. These are people.
There is something that feels very artificial about easily driving traffic through interpersonal connections, and yet contrary to how it must sound, every message I broadcast is generated from my genuine passion. NOTHING is sly or fraudulent about how I’ve increased my following or how I’ve taught others how to increase theirs.
I am willing to bet that if you were to separate the successful moments in your business from the not-so-successful ones, the BANKABLE moments DID NOT come from the manufactured tech messages that were sent from your automated services. They came from real conversations that grew from real relationships based on an equal give and take.
Stay connected digitally, but separate yourself from the marketing hype and connect on a personal level
We’ve all had negative social media experiences and therefore we ourselves know what we will not tolerate when it comes to buying into someone else’s hype on the internet. Yet when increasing our own bottom line in business and turning a profit, there is a disconnect. We often find ourselves committing the same bad behaviors that we resent in others.
“Everyone is talking but no one is listening”
This is the way that my clients often describe their experience in social media and networking platforms. They feel bombarded and overwhelmed by the LOUD and confrontational messages they see from other small business entrepreneurs – which can and often does result in feeling small and invisible. The thunderous and overbearing business agendas on these crowded platforms can be downright deafening.
Do we really need to play that game to have a chance at success?
Selling on social media might feel a bit…unnatural
Small businesses don’t always mesh with high impact and aggressive sales tactics, so what you think might be an aversion to online selling might actually be an indication that you have what it takes to form everlasting and solid relationships with your clients.
Authenticity feels right. Artificiality doesn’t.
A good business cannot survive on passion and enthusiasm alone. Sales MUST BE part of the equation, but online selling does not need to be mass produced and manufactured. Even your automated processes should be authentic, organic and compelling. The trick is to adequately balance your online presence with a strategic system that keeps you engaged at a personal level.
Moms across the country are contributing to the family income from their kitchen tables and if you’ve thought about joining the movement there is no better time. The age of internet marketing has brought opportunities galore! Learn to be your own boss, how to maximize your impact and be seen as the amazing business women that you are, all from the virtual world. Creating a brilliant plan – with actual content and resources that you can use immediately – will help you increase the quality of paying customers. Developing an organized process is important because it allows you to ASK for what you are worth. Here are some hot tips that will help you to achieve amazing results as a first time business owner:
1. Marketing is the most important job you’ll do. As the CEO you’ll wear many hats, but the biggest job you’ll have is to market your business. How else will people know to find you?
2. Commit to 1 hour of marketing each and every day. If it’s easier, break it up into two 30 minute segments. Market in the morning before breakfast and again after dinner. But never miss a day, or you’ll fall behind.
3. Go Viral! Easier said than done, right? Not necessarily. If you are committed to staying engaged on a daily basis, it won’t take long at all for your conversations to get passed onto others. Plus, you will get better at the engagement with practice. Take time to build a marketing team of fans that will talk about you when you are not there.
4. Stand out. Engage your community and your fans with educational tips and tricks that will help you to be recognized as an expert in your field (as well as at your kitchen table!)
Okay, so life didn’t give you lemons, but it gave you something else.
The most common challenge I hear from the parents who are searching for a new avenue that will allow them to earn an income from home is this:
“I don’t know what I can do.”
The amount of times I hear that phrase is staggering.
It’s time that we dive into this common issue. Why is it we feel so inadequate and
unaccomplished? Are we still all searching for our purpose in life? Is it possible you were really branded with no such talent to offer the world?
Start with realizing what kind of lemons you were handed in this lifetime, and where you are under-utilizing yourself. Remember those career assessment tests they made us take in grade school? This is a little bit like that, only it isn’t so broad as to try and fit your square peg into a round hole. Start by making a list of your skills. What have people paid you to do in the past? Do you make a mean lasagna? Know a foreign language? Sew? Play an instrument? These are all gifts just waiting to be recognized by you.
It’s time for you to discover the gift life has given you, but more than that, it’s time for you to share your gift with the world.
The best way to get started is to do what I like to call a “brain dump”.
Get out a piece of paper and start to make a list of all the talents and skills you have to offer. Don’t think, just write. If you find yourself considering each item before you list it, remind yourself that this is not the time to judge the ideas. Just get them down on paper.
Some like to type out their answers on a word doc, but studies have shown that putting a pen to paper opens up different portals in the brain that you may not have accessed otherwise.
This will likely be challenging at first, but don’t give up. You should find that once you start, the momentum will build and ideas will come flooding in. Don’t stop until you can’t think of anything else.
Next, fine tune it.
Look at the list and cross off anything that seems ridiculous. (uh… you probably can’t become a professional sandcastle builder, but kudos to you for writing it down and acknowledging you have this gift!)
Wave a Magic Wand.
By now, ideas should be percolating. You should feel at least a little better about yourself and what makes you… YOU. Go with the flow of this improved mood. While in this space, imagine that your fairy godmother grants you one wish to do anything you want as a career, and with the wave of a magic wand, you will receive it. Don’t judge it, just wish it.
That is your answer.
Follow your passion. So many times we talk ourselves out of it because we lack the resources, or the education, or the time, or the support…. But ANYTHING can be done if you are passionate enough. You got this, Queen.
One of the biggest misconceptions that parents who want to quit their job make is in the financial preparations. If it takes at least a year to build a business from home, then logically that would mean you would need to save at least your full annual income to live off of in that year, right? WRONG.
No wonder so many people think it is impossible and remain STUCK in a less than desirable situation.
The good news is that you are NOT STUCK.
The bad news? There are still sacrifices to be made.
Before losing all hope, create a financial spreadsheet. Cut out all of the expenses that go along with working outside of the home, such as daycare expenses, house cleaning, commuting, etc. With your spouse’s income, you should only be in the negative $200-$500 a month. If you are higher than that, go back to the drawing board and see if you can’t cut something else out. Sacrifices will need to be made for a short time.
Once you have gotten your expenses down to no more than -$500, multiply THAT amount by 12 months.
For example: 500 x 12 = $6,000
Now isn’t that a more logical annual goal to save before you quit your job? $6,000 is much more attainable to have saved than $60,000, and should minimize the fear of jumping without that safety net.
Furthermore, this now gives you a new income goal as a first time business owner.
You have enough of a safety net for a year… and that is more than enough time to get your small business up and running. Remember, you don’t have to REPLACE your monthly income. The goal now is to earn $500/ month. Sure, it may take you a few months to get there, but when you do, you won’t have to dip into your safety net anymore… or if you have a down month, your safety net should still be there for you.
Don’t look now, but you are self-employed.
Before you know it, you’ll be thriving as a self-employed career parent. You may even get used to the less expensive way of life. Once business picks up, you’ll need to think about how to scale it up, hire some outsourcing support, or even scale it back for busier times of the year. You got this!
For families with young children, the winter months can seem like the most punishing time of the year: shortened days, cold temperatures, and snow days all drive kids indoors. How do we keep our kids happy, healthy, and active when we are already struggling to do the same for ourselves?
It can be done – use these tips to hold the winter blues at bay for your family:
Turn off the TV. It’s easy for our kids to weather the winter storms by enjoying all their favorite shows, but Jacob watching four straight hours of SpongeBob is doing him more harm than good. A little TV is fine, but other activities will be better in the long run to keep them mentally and physically fit. Set limits with your kids, then encourage other pursuits, from puppet shows to hallway bowling to creating masterpieces from dried pasta. Still stumped? Plenty of websites offer fun ideas for bored kids and their parents. If it’s too cold for outdoor time, schedule a visit to a local YMCA or play place to go swimming, shoot some hoops, or even just run around.
Remember Routines. With cold weather zapping everyone’s energy, and snow days throwing off our whole schedule, it’s easy to give in to laziness or chaos. Combat this by making it a point to stick to set routines each day—even when bad weather cancels school or quells activities. When the expectation exists that household chores and homework continue to be done daily, they’ll be no need for questioning or quarreling later.
Encourage Enthusiasm. Keep the winter blahs out of your home by maintaining a fun environment. Cold weather and shortened daylight hours often take away some of our kids’ favorite outdoor activities—which can be pretty disappointing to little ones. By encouraging any of your kids’ positive indoor pursuits, finding ways to get everyone active and staying upbeat yourself, you can make great strides in keeping your family happy and healthy, no matter how chilly it is outside. While most of us still won’t look forward to winter, it helps to find some ways to survive—and even thrive.
How do you manage winter with your kids? Visit our Facebook site and tell us about your favorite strategies and activities!
Editor’s note: The question had to be to be asked at least twice, because I’ve asked it at least a hundred times since I’ve had kids. I only have 2 boys- neither or even old enough to go to school full time- and they are both MASTER WHINERS!!! And the notion that girls whine more than boys is a complete and total MYTH.
If you have one of these whiners living in your house, this is not a post you’ll want to skip.
Here’s what my favorite Parenting Expert, Amy McCready of Positive Parenting Solutions has to offer on this common question (yea, just getting really repetitive now) WHY DO KIDS WHINE?:
Because we, as parents provide a PAYOFF! When kids whine – we DO SOMETHING and that something offers a payoff that makes the behavior continue.
When children whine, cling or display other annoying attention-seeking behaviors, they are trying to achieve a particular goal, or payoff. These irritating, frustrating, maddening behaviors are actually symptoms of a deeper issue.
All humans are hard-wired with two basic emotional needs – attention and power. The whining and attention-seeking behavior the whining child is displaying is intended to fulfill those two needs.
They get results
We also have to remember that children only continue behaviors that “work for them.” That is – they continue behaviors that get results. For a child who whines, clings and displays attention-seeking behaviors, she realizes that “Hey, this is a pretty effective way to get them to pay attention to me” or “Hey, this is a pretty effective tactic for me to get my way”…the child learns that whining provides a payoff. This behavior – if left unaddressed – will continue well into the teenage years.
Every time you pick up a whining child you’re providing a payoff for the behavior. He doesn’t hear your frustrated tone or your annoyed remark. He only knows that whining got him what he wanted. Parents essentially “train” their children that if the child is persistent with their whining, they will eventually get their way. This behavior “works” for the child and so she continues it. When this happens, the parent typically responds by picking up the child to make her stop, or, they respond with a reprimand such as “don’t hang on me”, “don’t be so whiny”, or even “I’ll give you something to cry about.”
Better than nothing
Whether the adult response was positive or negative, it fulfilled the child’s need for attention, and therefore the behavior resulted in a payoff. As the frequency of the whining and clinging increases, the parent’s response is almost always a negative reprimand. The child really wanted positive attention; but negative attention is better than none at all. And the cycle continues…whine/cling –> adult reprimand –> attention basket filled with negative attention –> child repeats (“maybe if I keep doing this, I’ll eventually get the positive attention I need) –> parent repeats with negative reprimand, etc.
Here’s the deal…children WILL have their needs for attention met – one way or another. If we don’t fill their attention baskets in positive ways – they will use negative attention-seeking behaviors. They know this works!
What kind of attention are you putting in YOUR kids’ basket?
Amy McCready is a wife and mom of two teenage boys. She founded Positive Parenting Solutions, Inc. in 2004 and developed the popular and successful Breakthrough Course that has changed the lives of thousands of parents through in-person seminars, speeches and online parenting training webinars. For more parenting articles and tips like the one above, visit Amy’s blog.