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Small Biz Life

YOU STARTED A BUSINESS! YOU ARE AMAZING AT WHAT YOU DO. But there is a lot more to running a successful business: accounting, marketing, IT, sales, management. You wear so many hats. Add family, friends, health, home…no wonder you are tired! WE GET IT! We have been small business owners for the past seven years and have worked with small business owners for the last fourteen years. We know the challenges of finding the right solutions and juggling all the responsibilities. We know how hard it is to put YOURSELF on the to-do-list. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. COME JOIN THE COMMUNITY. TOGETHER WE CAN GROW AND THRIVE.
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Now displaying: February, 2017
Feb 26, 2017

Whether you are planning your first day working full-time for your business or you had your first day ten years ago, this episode is for you. We discuss Jeff's plans for his first day working for Ingram Digital Media, Inc. and the three pillars of success for our business.

 

Your first day

If your first day in your business was tomorrow, what would that day look like? If you've been running your business for years, how would your first day and first week be different if you restarted today? 

Jeff has spent a lot of time working on his time budget and master schedule (get our Mastering your Time course free and try Small Biz HQ for 30 days for just $5 with coupon code MARCHFOR5) to ensure that he can hit the ground running. We've also spent a lot of time planning what we want the next few months to look like. 

You may not know this, but we actually have three active brands in our business: Small Biz Life, Accounting In Focus, and Gardul/Worldbuilder's Anvil. We've got a lot of ideas floating out there for each of these brands. We could sit down, plan for weeks, and still not get all of our ideas on paper. At some point, the long-range planning needs to be set aside and action needs to take over. 

All of this planning can cause overload. I'm sure you have felt this before and are maybe are in this place right now. Unless you have a focus on your priorities, the overwhelming feelings you have will stop your momentum. Jeff plans to focus on three pillars for success.

Our 3 pillars of success

We have said multiple times on the show that revenue generation and product development should be priorities in your business. Those are two of your pillars. The third is customer experience. 

Jeff is most excited about increasing his role in customer experience for our brands. He loves interacting with people and helping them achieve their goals. This is one thing he has not had much time to do because of his limited schedule. Customer experience creates raving fans and happy paying customers. How much time are you devoting to customer experience?

The second pillar Jeff will focus on is increased revenue generation from our existing offerings. Customer experience is an important part of this but we also know we must improve our sales funnels and marketing practices. Taking potential customers through a defined sales funnel will help increase our revenue. Do you have a defined sales funnel? What does your sales process look like? 

Our third pillar is product development. This includes a few new products and adding content to our existing products. It is our goal to add one new major product per brand per year. We could develop lots of new products but that would take time away from the other two pillars. If you are only developing new products, don't be surprised when those products don't sell as well as you hoped. Unless you spend time marketing, all the products in the world are not going to make you the kind of income you want. Are you spending too much time on product development? Are your products and services well defined?

It's not all lollipops and unicorns

Since we announced that Jeff was leaving his job, we have had many trials and tribulations. Every week, something popped up that made us question our decision. Every time, we recommitted to Jeff coming to work with the business full-time. We knew we were making the right decision even though there were many personal challenges.

We could really use some lollipops and unicorns in March, though. 

Other mentions

Ronei Harden - Jeff's book editor

Episode 75, where we discuss Recurpost

Episode 74, where we discuss priorities

Episode 69, where we discuss how we were able to have Jeff come work for the business full-time

Listen to the show on iTunesStitcherYouTubeGoogle Play MusiciHeart Radio, or with the player below

 Links

((((((((((((((((((((((((((( Visit Show notes )))))))))))))))))))))))))

https://www.smallbizlife.com/blog/episode-76-your-first-day

 

 

((((((((((((((((((((((((((( Mentions links )))))))))))))))))))))))))

https://www.facebook.com/RoneiHarden

https://www.smallbizlife.com/blog/episode-75-social-media-scheduling-update

https://www.smallbizlife.com/blog/episode-74-prioritizing-all-the-things

https://www.smallbizlife.com/blog/episode-69-making-the-leap

https://www.smallbizlife.com/store/5CQukiiy Small Biz HQ Car Crash Flash Sale code MARCHFOR5 expires on March 31, 2017.

https://www.smallbizlife.com/store/X5iVpMtD time budget and master schedule

http://gardul.com/

http://accountinginfocus.com/

 

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Feb 19, 2017

There are always new players in the social media marketing world. In this episode, Jeff and Kristin look at two new players in the market: Tailwind and Recurpost. We also discuss our requirements for social media scheduling apps.

Our social media scheduling requirements

There are a few key items we always look for in social media scheduling apps:

  1. Library building for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn - we want a social media scheduling tool that will allow us to build libraries of content which will automatically repost. We can load content to manually or via RSS feeds and reuse the content. 
  2. Ease of setup - we want something that is easy to setup and use.
  3. Ease of scheduling - scheduling your libraries should be easy.

Bonus items we look for are good analytics and finding the best times to post our content. 

This week, we look at two new players in the marketplace, Tailwind and Recurpost.

Tailwind

Tailwind is a social media scheduling app for Pinterest and Instagram. The software does allow you to repost content but not automatically. Frankly, this was not very important because we don't often recycle content on Pinterest and Instagram. Jeff found it easy to set up his account during the free trial although scheduling content was a bit confusing. We were disappointed that it does not automatically post to Instagram for you. It sends you a text message similar to the way Buffer handles Instagram. 

The navigation was a bit complicated if you are only using it for one or two accounts, but we could see the value for larger businesses. The small business market seems to be a bit of an afterthought with this app. The pricing confirmed this for us. There are two pricing options listed on the website: Plus and Professional. The Plus option is for one account (Pinterest or Instagram, but you can add more accounts. The pricing is $15 per month or approximately $120 per year if you pay annually. At $9.99 per month on an annual plan, it is a bit expensive for one social media platform; but if you are all in with Instagram or Pinterest, it might be worth looking at.

For Instagram, we will be sticking with Grum. It is very easy to use, automatically posts to Instagram and is $9.95 per month for up to two Instagram accounts. Plus, you don't have to pay annually to get that pricing.

If you are looking to schedule things to Pinterest, Buffer allows it for paid accounts. Plus, you can use Buffer for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Recurpost

Recurpost is a social media scheduling tool for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The creator states that they are also working to add Pinterest. The app allows you to build libraries and reuse the content. 

Recurpost is a strong competitor for Edgar. We loved how easy it was to schedule posts and the app will find the best times to post your content. You can bulk upload URLs or use an RSS feed to add posts. There is a hashtag insert tool to suggest replacing terms in your post with hashtags you set. 

The biggest advantage is the pricing. Edgar is $79 per month or $588 per year ($49 per month) for up to 25 accounts. Recurpost has a free option for three social media accounts and up to 100 scheduled posts. For $25 per month or $250 per year (two months free), you get up to 10 social media accounts and 1000 scheduled posts. For $49 per month or $490 per year, you get unlimited accounts and posts. 

We were very impressed with Recurpost and are looking into it for our own scheduling needs. We think it is a viable alternative to Edgar. 

Try Small Biz HQ for $5 and help us with some unexpected car expenses

On February 17th, Jeff and I were driving to an event and were hit by another driver. Luckily, we are both okay but there was extensive damage to my car. There is also some question about whether the other driver has car insurance. We will need to advance the deductible and pay for a rental car while our insurance figures everything out.

Therefore, we thought it would be a great time to offer a deal on your first month of Small Biz HQ. Use code MARCHFOR5 to get your first month of Small Biz HQ for only $5. This code expires on March 31, 2017.

Small Biz HQ is our monthly subscription experience. Each month we deliver content on a new topic. In March, we will be covering content creation options like video, podcasting, and blogging in order to get your message out to the world. You'll also get access to all of our previous content and our Mastering Your Time course.

Listen to the show on iTunesStitcherYouTubeGoogle Play MusiciHeart Radio, or with the player below.

 Links

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https://www.smallbizlife.com/blog/episode-75-social-media-scheduling-update

 

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https://www.tailwindapp.com/blogger-small-business

https://recurpost.com/

https://meetedgar.com/

https://www.smallbizlife.com/store/5CQukiiy Small Biz HQ Car Crash Flash Sale code MARCHFOR5 expires on March 31, 2017.

 

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Feb 12, 2017

We all have way too much on our to-do-lists. Trying to determine what takes priority can be difficult. In this episode, Jeff and Kristin discuss how to prioritize all the things you need to get done. 

Often, we try to get everything done at the same time and end up getting nothing meaningful done. Knowing your priorities is an important step to finding the meaningful tasks in your business. Your top priorities should always be products and people. 

Products include everything you sell. If you don't have something that will generate income, you won't be in business for long. 

People are those who will assist your business and those who will become customers. Focusing on relationship building is an important part of your business. How much time are you focusing on it?

Don't get caught up in perfection. Don't get caught up in the technology. There are always ways to simplify the process so you can get started easily. If you are getting bogged down in the details, tells us about it in the Facebook group. Jeff and I are always here to help. 

Mentioned in this episode

The Thank You Economy by Gary V

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

Episode 31 - Networking

Episode 50 - YouTube Basics

Dream Catcher Assessment

 

Listen to the show on iTunesStitcherYouTubeGoogle Play MusiciHeart Radio, or with the player below

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links

Use SmallBizLife.com/Amazon when shopping online to help support the show

Links

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https://www.smallbizlife.com/dreambig

https://www.smallbizlife.com/store/5CQukiiy

https://smallbizlife.com/dreambig Dream Catcher Assessment

https://smallbizlife.mykajabi.com/blog/episode-31-networking Episode 31 - Networking

https://smallbizlife.mykajabi.com/blog/episode-50-youtube-basics Episode 50 - YouTube Basics

 

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((((((((((((((((((((((((((( Affiliate Mentions links )))))))))))))))))))))))))

http://amzn.to/2kIkorb The Thank You Economy by Gary V

http://amzn.to/2kA1nVo Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

Feb 5, 2017

In this episode, Jeff and Kristin discuss the basics of affiliate marketing and how to get started if you wish to add affiliate income to your revenue sources.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is an arrangement between an online business and a website owner, that pays a commission to a website owner for traffic or sales referrals. The website owner can place links or ads on their website, social media, and in emails (depending on the terms and conditions with the online business). In simple terms as an affiliate, you promote other business's products and receive money from those businesses for doing so. 

Affiliate marketing is not just for bloggers anymore. Many businesses with an online presence are using it to supplement their income with products and services they do not provide or wish to provide to a larger audience. Affiliate marketing does not require you to place ads on your website. Many people just use links to the products in content, on resources pages, on social media, or in emails. Make sure you read the terms and conditions with each affiliate program to see how you can use your affiliate links. For example, Amazon's terms state that you cannot place affiliate links in emails because they are considered offline content. 

Who can participate?

Many states have passed affiliate tax laws aimed at large online retailers, like Amazon, which could limit some of the programs you can participate in. Currently, residents from Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont are not eligible for Amazon's affiliate program because Amazon does not have physical presence in those states. You may find that you will not be able to join other affiliate programs for the same reason. 

All affiliate programs have different requirements for acceptance. Some programs accept most applicants. Some are more selective, wanting to know current website or social media traffic. Others will ask you questions about how you plan to promote their products. 

Which companies should you work with?

When you use affiliate links, you are recommending products and services to your audience and customers. Just like any recommendations you make, you must be able to stand behind them. If you refer products you do not believe in, you are risking your reputation. 

Typically, we only refer products we use. In our business, we often look for affiliate programs after we have worked with a company and we have already determined that we will be recommending it to our audience and customers. 

How can you find out if a company has an affiliate program?

Most businesses use an affiliate network to host their affiliate program. An affiliate network is a website that allows you to apply for multiple affiliate programs within one site. You are also paid for all affiliate sales hosted by that network in one payment. Some popular networks are:

Amazon hosts its own affiliate program.

The best way to figure out if a brand has an affiliate program is to search for the name of the company and "affiliate program". This will help you find out if the company has a program and how to apply. 

Questions about affiliate marketing? Head over to the Facebook Group.

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Links

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((((((((((((((((((((((((((( Mentions links )))))))))))))))))))))))))

http://linkshare.com

http://cj.com

http://clickbank.com

http://shareasale.com

https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/

 

 

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