5 Must Haves For Your Website Copy

You know what drives me nuts? Putting a lot of effort into something and then not getting much to show for it. I hate that, and I try to avoid it as much as possible. But sometimes it happens anyway.

And I know I’m not the only one. I often hear the stories of business owners who are frustrated that their marketing isn’t getting the kind of results they want, despite the investment they put in.

For example, take your website. You make a significant investment of resources into your website because it’s the place everyone goes to find out who you are and what you do. It’s your number one sales tool. Shouldn’t your website be bringing you lots of clients? If it’s not, let’s fix that.

Check to see if any of these critical elements are missing from your website copy:

  1. Benefits – what’s in it for them

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in telling people what we do that we forget to talk about why that’s so valuable to our clients.

For example, I could tell you that I write website copy, blogs, social media posts, sales flyer copy, etc., etc., but maybe you don’t feel that you need any of those things. However, if I tell you that I can help you create content that makes your sales materials more effective at getting you customers, I bet you’ll perk up. You may not be ready to whip out your wallet just yet, but you’ll at least be open to hearing more about how I do that.

It’s a noisy world out there, and the first hurdle you face is simply having people stop to hear what you have to say. Clearly communicating your benefits gets the people who need you to listen up.

  1. Your Why

What are your company’s values? What beliefs guide how you serve your clients? The answer the these questions are what will set you apart from your competition and draw in the kinds of customers that you most enjoy serving and who most appreciate what you do.

People buy with their hearts and then rationalize it with their minds. Is your website copy tapping into this powerful persuasive technique? If not, really take some time to explore this question to identify your authentic why. I recommend checking out Simon Sinek’s TEDx talk on this topic for inspiration.

  1. A clear statement of what you do

Some people are well aware that they need to communicate the benefits of what they do and why they do it, and in the process something ironic can happen: They forget to say exactly what it is they do.

Have you ever been to a website where they tell you all about how they’re changing the world, touching lives, increasing sales for clients, making you more successful… but you’re not sure exactly how they do that or what their product or service is?

That happened to me recently. I couldn’t tell from their home page. Or their about page. Or anywhere on the site. Epic fail! But you’d be surprised how easily that can happen. You get caught up in one important aspect of what you’re writing and accidentally leave off something else that is also important. Use this blog post as a checklist so that doesn’t happen to you!

  1. Call to action (CTA)

Speaking of important things people often forget to include… a call to action is what tells website visitors what to do next. Call this phone number. Sign up for a free consultation. Subscribe here. Click this link to find out what the next step is. Etc.

Remember that you’re not just imparting information, you want people to DO something. Go through each major page of your website and check to see if it asks them to take an action. Even if you have a CTA in a sidebar, repeat the call to action in the body text because people often overlook what’s on the side of pages because that’s where ads typically appear.

  1. Specific examples

Another mistake that I often see in website copy is talking in terms that are too broad and generalized. Instead, use specific, concrete examples that paint a picture in people’s minds of what you do and how you do it. This helps them imagine you doing it for them, which can make a huge difference.

Let’s say you have outstanding customer service. Ok, great. But everyone says that. Ok, sure, you really do have the best customer service compared to any of your competitors. Instead of insisting that your customer service is awesome, tell the story of a customer of yours and what precisely you did for them and how it impacted them. Talk about the specific results they got. Share how it made them feel, what a difference it made. Tell a story about the experience of working with you so that people who read it will want that experience for themselves.

How your website looks matters. What you say is critical.

It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the logistics of creating a website – what layout to use, getting the colors right, making sure there are no glitches, etc. – that the content ends up being an afterthought.

Even people who are really good at writing struggle to write their own marketing and sales copy. (For example, me.) It’s essential to have an outside perspective, someone who can see what you can’t see and help you clearly communicate what makes you unique in the marketplace. A professional copywriter can be invaluable in this regard.

If you’d like me to take a look at your website and show you exactly where you can improve the copy on your website so that it attracts more of the right kinds of customers for you, contact me at WriteSmithAZ.com.

Sara Korn is a freelance copywriter at WriteSmith, where she creates brand messaging copy and marketing content designed to help businesses stand out from the crowd and attract their ideal target audience.

 

10 Productivity Tips to Make the Most of Your 1,440 Minutes


“Everyone on this planet is given the same 24 hours in the day. The question is: what do you choose to do with yours?” -Anno Sensei

Are you using your 1,440 minutes wisely?  You, me and Beyonce all have the same amount of time.  So, what makes someone more effective with their day?  The result of what they do every day.

There are a million time-saving life hacks, here are my top tips from my own experience.   Try out a couple for a week and see how it affects your productivity.

  1. Turn off notifications on your phone

There are countless studies being conducted on the negative impact of the myriad of distraction that fill our space from our constant companion.  This is not just affecting the teeny-boppers or Generation X. We are all falling victim to the ping and dings.  A recent study found that Fortune 500 CEO’s average 28 minutes of uninterrupted productive minutes a day!

According to neuroscientist Earl Miller, your brain must switch between the two tasks, especially if the two tasks are competing to utilize the same part of the brain. “Think about writing an e-mail and talking on the phone at the same time. Those things are nearly impossible to do at the same time,” he explains. “You cannot focus on one while doing the other.  That’s because of what’s called interference between the two tasks.  They both involve communicating via speech or the written word, and so there’s a lot of conflict between the two of them.”

  1. Delete social media from your phone

No, but really.  How much time are you really spending on social media? Track how much time you are logged on; you might be surprised.  Not only is it giving us a false sense of reality, it is also sucking our time.  There is nothing to lose and you will get loads more time in your life.  Try it out using one of many trackers like Forest.

  1. Set meeting end times

Don’t fall victim to an endless meeting that could be sucking your work and sunset-watching time.  Set up the expectation that there is a start time and also an end time.  Brevity is a beautiful thing.

  1. Encourage phone or Skype meetings

Cut the travel time, the rushing, the waiting, the distractions and the time spent getting settled.  Virtual meetings will slice the time and often lead to more concise and productive meetings.  There are many platforms available on your phone or computer, making it even more advantageous.  Some options to try are Zoom or Free Conference Call for audio-only conference calls.

  1. Say NO

No is a complete sentence.  No need to explain, just practice.  If saying “No” is foreign territory, start small. “Would you like room for cream?” No — all the way to, “Can you arrange the meeting for the group?” No.  Don’t worry, it will get easier.  Like anything else, practice.

  1. Take breaks and work in bursts

Your brain can only concentrate for 45 minutes.  Countless studies have shown that working endlessly without a break makes us less productive.  Clear distractions and maintain focus for 45 minutes followed by a sweet mental break.  Take a walk, call a friend, eat a cupcake, dance — anything that will give your mind time to rest.

  1. Don’t check emails until afternoon

Spend the morning addressing your own tasks instead of answering to people’s needs.  Checking email in the morning immediately pulls us into someone else’s agenda.  Start off slow, try waiting until 10 am, then 11 am and see your productivity skyrocket.

  1. Assign a date and time for your tasks

Perfectionist alert: Do you ever find yourself spending way more time on a given task?  Assign a time limit and due date.  Will it be perfect?  No, but better imperfectly complete than a never-ending pursuit for perfection.

  1. Drink more water

Have that bottle of water near you always.  Seems like a no-brainer, but studies have shown that even the slightest dehydration can decrease your mental acuity by as much as 30%.  Start to create the habit of drinking water continuously through the day.

  1. Post your goals where you will see them multiple times a day

Every time you re-read the goals creates “structural tension” philological term to close the gap from where we are and our goal.  Meaning you will be more motivated and have more momentum to act.  The more energy you have around your daily actions the more efficient you will become.

There are various ways to display your goals, you could simply stick post-it notes with your goals on your bathroom mirror or create a mind map or vision board and hang it up in your house.

About Kelly
Education, Certifications and business philosophies are all well and good. But there’s more to Kelly than work. If you want to get to know her a little better, keep reading. You can also check out one of her rants here: How To Not Get Ripped Off By A Coach.

When Kelly isn’t coaching and copywriting, she can be found delighting during ‘sombresa’ (the time spent connecting with family at the table after meals), hosting dinner parties and dabbling on her latest Pinterest craft. Here are a few other interesting tidbits:

She sends snail mail love notes weekly

She was once a river guide and survived a near death flash food

She went from working as a Washington D.C. government director to teaching yoga and managing yoga studios

She developed an urban beekeeping program in Washington DC where she started over 56 new community hives

She is a proud board member of the National Association of Female Business Owners & Women’s Center for Economic Opportunity

She is a dog person who is in love with a crazy Siamese cat

She lost her dad to suicide—silence killed him. She is now on a mission to help people have the courage to speak their truth and live fulfilled.

Visit: http://www.kellymelsted.com/

My Business Changes Lives, and NAWBO is Where I’m Meant to Be

Why did I join NAWBO Phoenix?  When I created my business in 2013, I was approached by a new BNI Chapter looking for 20 members to obtain a charter.  As a new business owner, my abundance in BNI was multifold: (1) Learning how to construct my 30-second commercial; (2) Reportability on the required scorecard requirements; and, (3) Leads-based referrals. Sadly, the men did not care about what I did nor understood what I did.  I made a conscious effort every week to do my 30-second commercial on men’s styling.  To no avail, I received no business from them.  After a year in BNI, I looked to join and connect with like-minded women.  I was seeking leadership and growth for my business.  Since I believe I have a business that changes women’s lives, I sought long-term relationships, support and referrals.

NAWBO Phoenix has always been known as that place, that group of entrepreneurs who understand that path I was traveling.  Upon joining I connected with so many NAWBO Sisters, who not only got me, but they got my business.  What I put into NAWBO, I certainly receive back.  My ROI has come in the form of:

  • Business threads of long-term relationships and support in the chapter’s culture.
  • Genuine women who share success and trials with their peers.
  • Increased my revenue potential and immediate cash flow/network.
  • A Graduate of the NAWBO Phoenix Business Mentoring Program, May, 2016.
  • A desire to be around successful, positive, strong women who believe in the potential in themselves and others.
  • My NAWBO Phoenix Sisters have provided referrals which consist of 40% of my business.

Entrepreneurship can be a lonely path at times.  You face unique highs and lows and challenges and opportunities that others do not understand unless they have gone down that path before you or are going down it alongside you.  It’s a special connection – a community – of leaders, visionaries, innovators and trailblazers that, when tapped into, can power your business, lifestyle and community in a way like no other.  Please JOIN NAWBO if you are interested in:

  • The Power of Connecting and building long-term relationships with other women entrepreneurs with businesses of all sizes and from all demographics and business sectors who can motivate and inspire you, share resources and best practices and more. It’s a community of support, advice, recognition and celebration – with a 40-year history of excellence and progress – that you won’t experience anywhere else but with NAWBO.
  • The Power of Learning NAWBO is a powerful resource for learning. Through our quarterly e-learning webinars, public policy calls, leadership development trainings and National Women’s Business Conferences, as well as local chapter events and meetings, we provide quality education on today’s most important topics that impact your business and its bottom line.
  • The Power of Building Your Business NAWBO is a powerful resource for everything you need to grow your business into something bigger than you perhaps every imagined, from ideas, to connections, to resources from both NAWBO and our extensive network of affiliate, affinity and corporate partners who offer exclusive opportunities, programs and savings to support your business growth.
  • The Power of One Voice NAWBO is a powerful resource for having your voice amplified and heard. That’s because we speak as one voice on behalf of women entrepreneurs and business owners to influence the system and stakeholders in our nation’s capital and state capitals that set the rules of the game for the business community.  Together, we can make a difference in communities, states, the nation and, ultimately, the world – because your voice matters.

Right now is the best time to JOIN.  NAWBO is currently holding their Spring Membership Drive, March 1 through April 30, 2017.  New Members and Former Members SAVE $25.  There are several levels of memberships, Premier, Introductory, Virtual and Supporting as well as options to pay annually or monthly.  Please go to www.NAWBOPhx.org and click the JOIN NOW tab. 

Joining NAWBO was one of the best business decisions I made.  I look forward to seeing you at our next meeting.  If you know of a woman business owner who would like to be part of our NAWBO Phoenix Chapter to grow and expand her business beyond her dreams, please share this opportunity with her to JOIN NAWBO NOW!

With Gratitude,

Clarisse Ringwald
Director of Membership
NAWBO Phoenix Chapter

 

 

 

Paid Sick Time is Coming. Are You Prepared?

Arizona has joined a handful of states in enacting a mandatory paid sick time law.  Under Arizona Proposition 206, nearly all employers in Arizona will be required to offer employees mandatory “paid sick time” (“PST”) by July 1, 2017.  Unlike Arizona’s minimum wage laws, which exempt “small businesses,” PST requirements apply to all businesses regardless of size.

The amount of required PST accrual varies depending on the number of employees in the employer’s workforce.  For employers with 15 or more employees, employees must accrue a minimum of one hour of earned PST for every 30 hours worked for a maximum of 40 PST hours per year.  Employers with fewer than 15 employees must still offer 1 hour PST for every 30 hours worked, but can cap the accrual and use of PST at 24 hours per year.

Part-time and temporary workers and salaried workers are also covered by the law. Salaried employees are presumed to work 40 hours in each work week for purposes of calculating PST accrual, unless their normal work week is less than 40 hours, in which case their earned PST will accrue based on actual hours worked.

Generally, unused earned PST must be carried forward to the following year consistent with the accrual limits of the Act. Employers may forego this requirement by following the requirements of the applicable statute, which includes paying out any unused PST.  The law does not require, however, that PST to be paid out upon termination of employment so long as an employer maintains clear written policies informing employees that it will not pay out accrued and unused PST upon termination of employment.

Employees can use their PST hours for a variety of reasons, including personal mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; the mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition of a family member; abuse, stalking, sexual violence, or domestic violence of either the employee or the employee’s family member; and/or, when a public health emergency causes either the employee’s workplace to close, or the employee’s child’s school or daycare to close.

The Act also imposes notice and recordkeeping requirements.  Employers are required to notify employees of their right to paid sick leave in English, Spanish, and any other language “deemed appropriate” by the Industrial Commission of Arizona.  In addition, employers must keep records of an employees’ accrual and use of PST for a period of four years.

Arizona employers should consult counsel to ensure its policies are appropriately updated to comply with new laws.  Employers should also note that the new law makes it unlawful for an employer to retaliate or discriminate against an employee for using accrued PST or exercising his or her rights under the Act.  Critically, if an employer takes any adverse action against an employee within 90 days of a person’s use of PST, the law provides a rebuttable presumption that the action was retaliatory.  Penalties for unlawful retaliation or discrimination are discretionary; however, the minimum penalty imposed will be $150 for each day the violation continued or until judgment is final.

Laura Pasqualone is an attorney at Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie. LLP. She ‎practices primarily in the areas of employment law and business litigation. She regularly advises ‎employers on compliance with a wide variety of federal, state and local employment laws. Her practice ‎also consists in litigating cases brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical ‎Leave Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination ‎in Employment Act. 

Reflections on the 2016 Women’s Business Conference

They say some are born leaders, and others become leaders…no matter the case, it was clear that every attendee at the National Women’s Business Conference hosted by NAWBO in Columbus, Ohio, exemplified leadership, which perfectly aligned with these year’s theme: Leading the Way.

Last month, women business owners from all over the country came together to gain insight and inspiration, to build powerful connections—both personal and professional—and to celebrate all the ways in which they are leading the way for women everywhere. From strong, empowering speakers to informational breakout sessions and local and national exhibitors, this year’s conference contained a multitude of channels for leading the way.

The busy and exciting exhibit hall was full of women business owners and corporate partners who have blazed the trails of business in fashion, technology, marketing, health, financial and more. Throughout the three days of exhibit hall exploration, these businesses led the way by sharing information, products and resources with attendees as well as with one another, forging new connections and expanding horizons.

Two keynote speakers embodied leadership and offered much insight and inspiration. Jenn Lim, Chief Happiness Officer and CEO of Delivering Happiness, led the first lunch session and lifted everyone up with her discussion of building a business based on the fundamentals that matter: “Happier employees = happier customers = more profitable company,” she says. Speaking about how many people feel disengaged from their jobs, she discovered that building up a comfortable and enjoyable company culture was the first step in increased profitability and higher overall success, and she shared this secret with avid listeners.

Conference goers were also treated to a truly unforgettable speech given by keynote speaker Dr. Tererai Trent, a trailblazer of social justice and beacon of light for women everywhere. From humble beginnings in rural Africa, she suffered due to cultural norms that kept her from pursuing an education. But due to her steadfast determination, hard work and sheer belief that anything is achievable, she has since earned multiple degrees and heads a global platform with world leaders, international businesses and audiences, where she advocates for universal access to quality education. All eyes were focused on Dr. Trent as she spoke of her past and the absolute importance of gaining freedom through education, the three powers of leadership and the power of mentorship, where she reminded everyone that real success is supporting and lifting each other up as women. “A successful woman is confident and empowered to see other women rise,” she says. “A successful woman knows that if another woman lights a candle, my light is not going to be diminished.”

This year, attendees also enjoyed an appropriate summation of the conference: A first-class Awards Gala, where NAWBO members from all walks of life were honored and recognized for their successes and for the ways in which they have led the way for all women business owners.

Mark your calendars and register now for WBC2017 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 15-17, 2017, featuring keynote speaker Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love and most recently Big Magic! https://www.nawbo.org/national-womens-business-conference-2017

ATTENDEES SHARE HOW THEY’RE LEADING THE WAY

Katherine Chrisman

Vice President, Park Lane Jewelry

“After 25 years in my industry, I’m really focused on who’s coming behind me in general and what I can do to support and encourage other women blazing the same trails I have. I strive to strengthen the importance of interpersonal connections in the workplace through coaching. I know this next generation is all absorbed in technology, so I want to help coach and mentor them to remember that while sending an e-mail is easy, tech will never replace interpersonal interactions.”

Anne Freedman

CEO, Speakout, Inc.

“I’m always involved in the community and always looking to recruit new NAWBO members. Professionally, I run a speech coaching company and very recently created a do-it-yourself public speaking program to help those lacking time or for those on-the-go to feel more confident when speaking. It’s a simple platform anyone can use as tools to build their confidence.”

Sheila Mixon

Executive Director, Ohio River Valley Women’s Business Council

“I feel I help aid as a resource to women business owners through helping to provide training to women-owned businesses. I advocate for their growth and success, because we really want to lift every woman up and help her follow her dreams.”

Susana Fonticoba

Marketing Specialist, Right Click Advantage

“I’ve started to get a lot more involved—I’m on the board of NAWBO-Central Jersey and I’ve taken a very active role. By doing so, I feel I’m helping other women work together to build each other up and act as a role model for my children, which is very important to me.”

Tina Greenbaum

LCSW Optimal Performance Coach, Mastery Under Pressure

“I teach a program (Mastery Under Pressure) to business owners in which they learn and practice how to manage their emotions in high-pressure situations. I feel I’m helping to lead the way because I’m helping others find how to be comfortable when performing under pressure, and this helps them to do and be their best.”

Ranjani Mohana

President & CEO, R Mo Business Solutions

“My business helps other women get certifications as business owners. I want to lift other women up and help them achieve their dreams and grow their business. I know they will benefit greatly from it, so I always discount NAWBO members because it isn’t about the funds but about helping other women to succeed.”

ATTENDEES SHARE THEIR MOST VALUABLE WBC TAKEAWAYS

Susana Fonticoba

“I will forever keep with me the leadership principles I learned this year. During the leadership sessions, we learned that any efforts, no matter how small, to help others in leading the way and through helping others will make a difference in the overall outcome. It’s a very powerful sentiment: If you help the other group up the hill first (help others first), you will achieve more together than we could alone.”

Ranjani Mohana

“Connecting with people from all over. I attended last year for my first time, and I was only a member for one month, so it really helped me see all of the great benefits of engagement and hearing the keynote speakers, so this year I knew how to be prepared. As a NAWBO board member, it truly helped me to see what information I can get from others through reaching out and networking. This year, during the leadership training, I learned how to better communicate and find good times to talk, and I was able to meet women from chapters all over. NAWBO is incredibly valuable as I travel—connecting with NAWBO members in the area that I’m in is a wonderful way to utilize the benefits of my membership. I love NAWBO, because it helps me be confident about who I am and where I’m going.”

Matina Zenios

President, Artina Promotional Products

“The fact that anything in achievable. Dr. Tererai Trent’s keynote speech this year was so powerful and inspiring, and it touched on the fact that anything is achievable. It was a really, really incredibly powerful speech, and I’ve seen a lot of speeches! She was uplifting, and many of us were tearing up.”

3 Keys to Building a Successful Business

Cindy GordonI’ve worked with a lot of small business owners over the year. I’ve seen businesses grow head over heels year after year and I’ve seen others struggle or completely fail. The statistics aren’t very encouraging. Only 4% of businesses survive past 10 years. I’ve wondered what makes one company thrive and another fail. Is it the industry? Is it the economy? Is it the level of risk the business owner is comfortable with? Yes – I believe these all play a factor; however, I believe the stronger factor is the level of buy-in an owner has for his or her business.

We don’t usually think of “buy-in” in terms of the business owners, but instead employees or investors. We know that every business owner has some level of buy-in. They have risked jobs, savings and personal time, but is that enough? I don’t think so.

Assess Your Buy-In

As I mentioned, there are certain traits that lead to different levels of buy-in. To assess your level of buy-in for your company, consider the following:

Are you completely to blame when your company does not achieve its goals?

Are you boldly telling people that your company provides the best service or product in your industry?

Do all your employees provide a minimum of 100% effort?

Do you give 200% effort and working evenly in and on your business?

Are you constantly learning new ways to work better and smarter in your company and be a more effective leader?

Do you regularly ask for customer feedback and refine your business model to improve?

Do you admit your weaknesses and hire specialists to help you in areas where you lack?

If you’ve quickly, confidently and honestly responded “yes” to these questions, then you have full buy-in to your business and your company is probably thriving because of it. If you had to think twice about any of your answers, then …. (you know where this is going).

The first question is a strong indicator. How many business owners do you know who are quick to blame others for the poor financial outcome of their business? They blame their employees; the economy, their competitors, but never themselves. The truth is, the outcome of your business is completely your responsibility. And that’s a heavy load to carry.

So, if you’re ready to admit you could be a bit more invested in your company, don’t worry – there’s hope for you. I know that you want your business to thrive and grow. You want to be known and revered in your industry – and you definitely want people to be calling you for business, instead of you having to chase them. So what’s your tipping point?

It’s not as hard as you might imagine. These three key elements will help you build a successful and sustainable business:

  • Don’t make the business about you. Think of your business as a separate entity from you. Market the products and services with confidence and pride. Tell people that you work for the greatest company in the world because you do. Many people aren’t comfortable tooting their own horn. They don’t want to come across egotistical or conceited. However, if you talk about your company as a separate entity, it’s easier to boast and rave about the amazing things it provides! (If you worked for an amazing company owned by someone else, raving about it would be easy. Why shouldn’t you do this for your own company. Don’t you believe it is the best?)
  • Know why you do your work. Simon Sinek’s powerful Ted Talk “Start with Why” is a fantastic way of looking at the meaningful reason for your business. Most people start a business because they believe in their concept – they have a deep belief that people need their service or product; They feel what they bring to the marketplace will help people in some fantastic way. As we build the business, we quickly get caught up in the day to day work. We lose touch with our “Why”. Ultimately it’s “Why” you are in your business that keeps you focused and driven.
  • Create accountability. One of the greatest challenges for small business owners is staying focused on the big picture. It’s so easy to get caught in the weeds of the daily business. This doesn’t help you get ahead! No one is going to call you out for not following through on your business plan or missing your goals. A strong accountability partner is the best resource to help you balance working in and on your business to guarantee your success. If you’re not held accountable, you’ll find lots of reasons why you are where you are (see how easy the blame game is?). This lackadaisical effort can snowball and turn you into one of the 96% that don’t make it.

Now I ask you – do these three steps feel like a stretch for you? Hopefully not. So, what are you going to doing next, what support do you need and how will I know? And that my friends, is accountability.

Cindy Gordon is the founder of Business Rescue Coaching (www.businessrescuecoaching.com) a coaching service boutique that provides a unique experience to small business owners who feel that they are not in control of their business. Cindy helps to build strong systems, processes and strategies that leads to higher profits, more cash in the bank and more autonomous employees. Her clients feel less stress while achieving more success. Contact Cindy at (602) 423-7670 or cindy@businessrescuecoaching.com.

Be Bold and Courageous

Superwoman

Photo credit: andyi via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Guest post by Susan F. Moody. Attend Susan’s workshop “Are You Out of Your Mind” at the 12th Annual Women Entrepreneurs’ Small Business Boot Camp on May 7.

“Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.” H. Jackson Brown

Most of us have something that we promised our self we would do in this lifetime that we haven’t done yet. We tell ourselves it is because we don’t have the money, we don’t have the time, and we don’t have the right support or resources to make “it” happen.

If you are holding off on starting your own business waiting for that perfect time when your    success is 100% guaranteed, then you may as well give up on that dream right now. Because, as Benjamin Franklin said “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

What you can do instead is minimize your risk of failure. Prepare yourself to the best of your ability, be sure you have a fall-back plan in place, consider the worst case scenario and decide if you can live with that outcome. If you can, then go for it!

If you can’t, re-explore your options. Perhaps instead of being a solopreneur, buying into a franchise on taking on a partner is a more comfortable choice for you. The thing I know for sure after having started over 10 small businesses is that it takes more than capital and a business plan to create a successful company.

To learn the character traits of a successful entrepreneur, join my breakout session “Are You Out of Your Mind?” at the Women Entrepreneurs Small Business Boot Camp on Saturday, May 7th. For more information go to http://www.womensbusinessbootcamp.com.

There is a big difference between wanting to do something and being able to make a living doing it. Join your NAWBO sisters and come to this Boot Camp breakout session to find out if you really have what it takes to be a bold and courageous entrepreneur.

Here’s to your success and happiness! – Susan

Hell in High Heels

LyndaBishop-webThis guest post includes an excerpt of a blog post by Lynda Bishop. Attend Lynda’s workshop “Hell in High Heels” at the 12th Annual Women Entrepreneurs’ Small Business Boot Camp on May 7.

Learning to be a great leader takes training. There are countless leadership training courses, classes, videos, books and even degrees available for people who truly want to be great leaders. Much of the training available is excellent; however, when you look at the majority of the great training out there, it was developed by men for men. Women can still use it, of course, but very little of it addresses the differences between male and female energy and how that changes leadership.

With all of the great training resources out there on leadership, why do we have to look so hard to identify and name great female leaders to learn from?

Women make great leaders. And women have been banding together with some very exceptional men to level the playing field and open the doors of opportunity into leadership for everyone for a very long time. Yet, progress has been slow. What in the world is truly in our way?

Being a person without a victim mentality (oh, I am sure I had one once, but I have long forgotten where I left it), the question I like to ask even more than what is stopping me is, “How am I stopping myself?”

So, since I am a woman, but am not ALL women, the question then becomes “How are we stopping us?”

One of the biggest blocks I have seen in my many years of working with women entrepreneurs and women executives (all of them leaders!), comes down to this:  We have been trained this way.

Since we were little girls, we have been getting messages that have created blocks to leadership not only for us, but for nearly all women. How do the messages do this? By pitting women against women. How do you stop the most powerful force there is? Get it to fight itself. We have been trained to do this and we all are affected.

From the time we were three years old, we started to learn the difference between boys and girls and what was expected of each. We were taught to be pretty (but not too pretty), to be smart (but not too smart), and to be polite so that others would think well of us. What other people thought of us was ingrained as more important than what we thought about ourselves. That’s just bad training, isn’t it? Let’s unlearn it.

To learn how to unlearn this training, read the full post here.

Lynda Bishop, MPC, CEC is an International Women’s Leadership Development specialist, trainer, speaker, and author. She is also the founder of Relationship Insurance, www.relationshipinsurance.guru, a boutique relationship focused coaching/counseling practice. Learn more about Lynda at www.lyndabishop.com

 

 

 

Why Video Should Be Part of Your Business Strategy

videoGuest post by Deborah Burris. Attend Deborah’s workshop “Educate, Automate and Dominate with Video” at the 12th Annual Women Entrepreneurs’ Small Business Boot Camp on May 7.

Despite the fact that most brands know they should be using video as a part of their business strategy, most aren’t. Here are some of the most important reasons why you should be using video, which will help give you the push you need to finally use this powerful technique for reaching your target customers.

Videos are More Compelling Than Other Forms of Content

We are hardwired to pay attention to faces and movement – the only way to incorporate both of those in your marketing is to use video. Feature real people in your videos to grab the attention of your audience.

Consider featuring yourself or another representative of your company in a video that allows you to share your brand’s message in a way that makes whoever is in the starring role likable. This will allow your audience to feel like they know you or your company rep in a way that they simply can’t through the written word, or even via audio alone. People tend to buy from people who they know and like, so conversions and profits tend to go up when you use this powerful tactic.

It’s the Perfect Way to Demonstrate Complicated Ideas

Show, don’t tell. If you have a complex product or service, the easiest way to explain to your audience exactly how it all works and how it can benefit them is via a well-thought-out video demonstration. Additionally, video demonstrations are far more interesting than a dull list of features and benefits, and are easier to understand.

Videos are Perfect for Sharing Testimonials

Not only are videos the best way to share a customer testimonial, but your audience is more likely to put their trust in it if they can actually see and hear the person who is giving you such a glowing recommendation.

Most people won’t say they love your company on camera for the whole world to see unless it’s true, and your customers know it. Use the increased believability that videos bring by asking satisfied customers to share any positive feedback about your company on camera. If you have the budget for it, have a pro help you put it together. Alternatively, if you want to make it easy for as many people as possible to share a video testimonial, ask your satisfied customers to post their reviews on YouTube, and send you the link so you can share it!

Videos are Great for Storytelling

Everyone loves a good story, and smart marketers are using stories to share their marketing message and build brand awareness. We all know movies are popular because it’s far more interesting to watch a story take place on screen then to simply read it and try to imagine how everything unfolds. The same principle applies to advertising.

Grab the attention of your audience by combining video with a compelling story built around your marketing message. This dynamite combination will make your message far more memorable and attention-getting compared to a bland list of features and benefits.

Use Video as Part of Your Business Strategy

Videos have many uses including getting the word out about your latest products, educating your audience about how your company can serve them, and spreading glowing testimonials from satisfied customers. Start thinking about how you’ll use video as part of your business strategy going forward. You’ll be glad you did!

 

Only 2 days left to save on boot camp registration!

BootCamp08_LogoAre you registered for the Women Entrepreneur’s Small Business Boot Camp yet? If not, get signed up now, because the registration price goes up after Friday, April 15th!

There are still a few exhibitor booths available as well, and those usually sell out, so if want an affordable way to get in front of hundreds of women business owners, don’t wait any longer to lock down your spot.

Here’s the link to sign up: http://womensbusinessbootcamp.com/

We look forward to seeing you there!