5 Book Recommendations to Grow Your Business

Books can be an adventurous or they can be learning tool. I am a book-lover and have found how reading is one of the easiest ways to grow your business. That’s because reading can help you see a problem from a different perspective, approach a customer complaint with wisdom, and provide you with the insight you need to do something new.

But picking a book to read is hard. There are thousands of books already out there and dozens are being published weekly. So what should you read next? How about trying one of these recommended books…

The Power of Moments by Dan & Chip Heath

In this gripping read, Dan and Chip Heath examine what makes some moments memorable while others seem to slip by entirely unnoticed. In the book, the authors describe the four elements that create a special moment—elevation, insight, pride, or connection.

You can use the insights from Dan and Chip to create special moments for your subscribers, clients, or customers. These moments can strengthen and deepen your business relationships in exciting, new ways.

Permission to Screw Up by Kristen Hadeed

Kristen Hadeed’s book on how to fail is not only laugh out loud funny, it’s also authentic and inspiring. In Permission to Screw Up, Kristen recounts how she began her business and the mistakes she made along the way.

But Kristen doesn’t just share her journey. She goes on to explain the mistake she made and what she should have done instead. This book will encourage entrepreneurs who are floundering in their business and give them insights into how to course-correct.

Ask by Ryan Levesque

Some entrepreneurs waste months or even years trying to guess what their community wants from their business. But with Ask by Ryan Levesque, you’ll be armed with the information you need to get real answers that can transform your business.

Ryan breaks down how to create surveys that give you valuable data about your customers and shows you how to create customized sales funnels that turn visitors into raving fans.

The ONE Thing by Gary Keller & Jay Papasan

The One Thing is a short and simple no-fluff guide. The idea behind it is that you can only focus on doing one thing well at a time. So, the authors recommend cutting out many modern-day distractions so you can get the work done that really matters.

But if you don’t know what those activities are, the book will help you sift through and identify the activities that will give you the biggest return on your time. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your business, this book is the essential guide you need to get back to basics.

Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller

One of the biggest challenges for an entrepreneur is defining their brand so that customers can understand it. With Building a Story Brand, you’ll discover how to clarify your brand and share it with your customers.

The author gives clear advice on how to share the message that you’ve been struggling to communicate. Plus, he devotes plenty of time to the seven story points that allow customers to truly connect with your brand. If you’re ready to level up your marketing, grab this book today.

Don’t put off learning from these fantastic authors. Pick one book and get started reading today!

Which book will your read? Leave a comment and let us know what your take away from the book was.

Webinar Magic: 3 Powerful Benefits Every Webinar Offers

Been on a webinar lately? I bet you have.

The fact is, webinars are one of today’s hottest marketing trends. Each and every week, you’ll find small business owners hosting webinars about book publishing, blogging, and even how to sell T-shirts online. No matter what your niche or industry, webinars are a great option for growing your market.

List Building

Perhaps the number one reason to host a webinar—especially if you partner with another business owner in a complementary niche—is to grow your list.

Here’s why it works so well.

As a business owner with resources and information to share, you’re in demand, and there are plenty of others out there looking to partner with you. Find a colleague in a related niche to host your event. Ask her to mail her list with an offer to join you both on the call. Collect emails in your mailing list system. Any sales you make from the event will pay your partner an affiliate commission. That way you both win: You build your mailing list, and she earns cash for her time.

Show Off Your Expertise

You’ve no doubt heard plenty of people talking about the “know, like and trust factor.” It’s a simple reminder that very few people will buy from you the first time they encounter your website or get an email from you. They need more info.

A webinar is a fantastic way to build up their trust. Because they can hear your voice, and maybe even see your face, there’s an instant connection. Not only that, but you get to impress them with your knowledge of the topic. Your audience will walk away not only knowing you better, but also with the impression that you are the go-to person in your niche.

Sell to a Captive Audience

Here’s a fact you may not have considered: Webinar attendees are primed to buy. Make them an irresistible offer, and you’ll be amazed at how effective “selling from the stage” can be.

What’s irresistible? Try these proven tactics:

  • Fast acting bonuses just for those who buy while on the call or shortly after it ends.
  • Deep discounts available only for a limited time—typically if they buy before midnight of the day of the event.

Both plans have worked for thousands of webinar presenters, and will work for you, too.

Whether you’ve never hosted a webinar before, or you’re already an old hand, there’s little doubt that this is a tool that really performs. The amount of time you spend preparing and promoting is minor compared to the potential returns, so get out there and start planning your next webinar event!

Why You Should Be Your #1 Client

Natasha was a service provider who built an online business by working for her clients. She helped her clients build amazing businesses. She was well-liked and respected in her industry. She earned top dollar and was often asked to share her systems.

After a few years, Natasha found herself dreading work. All of her client’s projects were boring and she wasn’t able to get in her groove. She still served her clients but her love for what she did was gone.

To help herself get back on track, Natasha reached out to her business coach. Her coach had Natasha track her work for a week and create a pie chart that showed how she divided up most of her time. When Natasha saw the results, she was stunned to realize she wasn’t spending time on her own projects.

Like many service providers, Natasha had let urgent client work slowly take over her business. She felt like she didn’t have time to do activities that she found creatively rewarding. She kept telling herself she would get back to her own projects after “the busy season” was over or after a certain project was completed. But that never happened.

Maybe you’ve found yourself where Natasha was. You’ve been pouring out all of your time and energy and giving to your clients. This leaves you feeling drained and maybe even a little bit resentful sometimes.

If you were asked to name your #1 client today, who would you pick? You’d probably choose the one that pays you the most. But what if you were #1? What if you put your projects first and tackled your clients’ work after your own?

Increase Your Productivity

When Natasha experimented with putting her projects first for a month, she quickly noticed an increase in her productivity. Now, she woke up each morning eager to get started and she found it was easier to complete work for her clients.

If your to-do list is filled only with client projects, you miss out on the satisfaction and joy that comes from growing your own business. Commit to working on your projects each day, even if it’s only for fifteen minutes.

Make Your Business Shine

You’ve worked hard as a service provider and you have a great reputation. You also have a full stable of clients. Now, it’s easy to spend time growing other businesses while you neglect your own.

Take some time to examine your business this week. Is your website looking shabby? When was the last time your about page was updated? Are your packages updated and relevant?

Are your available work hours published? Do you have recent examples of your work? Do you have testimonials and positive remarks on your website? If you have a podcast or blog, when was the last time you updated?

Make a list of anything that needs to be fixed or updated. Each week, challenge yourself to put one of these tasks on your to-do list (at the top, of course!).

Boost Your Confidence

When your website is up to date and you have a variety of projects on your plate, you’ll feel more confident. You’ll be more likely to try out that new social media trend or book a ticket to that conference you’ve always wanted to attend.

With more confidence, you’ll get choosier about the projects you work on. Before, you might have taken any client that came your way but now, you’ll have the courage to only choose projects that light you up and allow you to do your best work.

Making yourself your #1 client will be make your business healthier. It’ll also make you happier to focus on your projects, too.

Will you become your #1 client? What will you do today to become that #1 client?

3 Bright & Shiny Benefits of Building A Personal Brand

Do you have a personal brand?

Think of your favorite brands. They all stand out for one reason or another. For example, Apple is known for its sleek product designs and cutting-edge technology. Coca-Cola is branded as a fun, enjoyable beverage.

Just like businesses can become known for their brand, so can solopreneurs and small business owners. Developing your personal brand is a smart way to position yourself and stand out in the mind of your clients.

  1. Branding Makes You Memorable

But first, you’ll need to set aside time and energy to reflect on who you want to be and what you want to be known for. Doing this will save you energy in the long run since you’ll be able to focus on your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.

Another benefit of developing your personal brand is that it become easier to present yourself consistently, no matter where you go. Imagine being able to intentionally place pictures in potential clients’ minds so that they will remember you.

  1. Branding Makes You An Authority

Not only will potential clients remember you better, it’ll also be easier for them to tell others about you. Then you’ll be viewed as an authority in your field, all because you took the time to work on your branding.

But this is only the beginning. As you become more well-known, your ideal clients will become more attracted to you. You won’t have to spend as much time marketing because your customers will naturally flock to you.

3. Branding Makes You More Money

As a result of increasing demand for your services, you’ll also be able to raise your rates. Think of doing the same work you’re already doing but being able to double your rates. With smart branding, this is a real possibility.

Of course, higher rates aren’t the only reason to build your personal brand. You can also expect to get more attention from other solopreneurs and business owners that want to offer you high value partnerships. Imagine getting to work on projects that you love with other business owners that you’ve admired for years.

All of these things and more can happen when you’re willing to stand up and own your brand. You were made to shine, so embrace your personal brand with gusto.

Try this journal exercise as you think about your personal brand

  1. What are three business brands you admire? What makes you admire these brands?

 

  1. When it comes to your own personal brand, what do you want to be known for?

 

  1. What are your top three core values? How can you incorporate them into your brand?

 

Are You Thinking Strategically About Your Website?

Designing and laying out the pages of a website isn't just about what you think looks right, or about what everybody else does. It requires strategic thinking. If you strategically organize your website, you'll make it more effective and see better results.

Starting with the Goal in Mind

To strategically design a website, start with the end goal in mind. This should be the goal for your visitor. What specific action do you want your website visitor to take? Examples include:

  • Purchasing a product
  • Purchasing a service
  • Signing up for an email list
  • Spending time reading or learning
  • Applying for a job
  • Donating to charity or investing money
  • Entering your sales funnel
  • Contributing content or something creative

This specific action will guide all of the rest of your website planning.

Make It Focused

Strategic design involves making a website highly focused. You don't want pages and elements that get in the way or distract from the goal of the website. Each page or element needs to have a specific purpose in aiding you toward that goal.

For example, you may want to create a resources page for your website. However, this page is full of external links that lead the visitor off your site. If your goal is to provide content and keep the visitor reading on-site, this is an element you should get rid of.

If you want to understand what makes a focused webpage, look at a good landing page. A landing page has a single goal, which is usually to get the visitor to sign up for an email list. On a good landing page, there is no element that does not lead the visitor down the page to the sign-up form.

What Goes on in Your Visitor's Mind – Branding

Although you should be focused on the action you want your visitor to take on your site, you should also think about the impression you leave in their mind after they leave your site. Branding is an important consideration in strategically planning a website.

When someone first hits your site, it should be immediately clear who you are, what you do, and what your core values are. Everything on your website and each of its pages should be in harmony with this. If your website successfully does this, after the visitor leaves your site, they will have a clear idea of your brand.

One of the most important considerations is what pages to include or not include on your website. Plan out your website's pages and its navigation and structure with the end goal and branding in mind.

Click to download your 10 Key Questions to Ask When Designing Your Website Pages.

 

10.5 REASONS YOU’VE GOT TO JOIN THE EXTREME TRAFFIC ADVENTURE

Do you want more readers and traffic to your blog? A TRAFFIC JAM, maybe?

Let’s make it happen and kick 2017 off strong! Beginning January 1, 2017 the Extreme Traffic Adventure group will be taking one simple action daily to get more traffic – and you can join over 1,000 bloggers already signed up, free, at Extreme Traffic Adventure.

Not sure?

Here are 10.5 reasons you’ve got to join the Extreme Traffic Adventure…

10. BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE! IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS

Investing in your own skills and knowledge builds your value – and your confidence. When you know you understand how to achieve a result, and prove to yourself that you can do what you’ve set as a goal, your confidence skyrockets. Don’t try to figure it out on your own. Take one action a day, following a proven plan with tested strategies and tactics.

9. INSPIRE OTHERS! SET AN EXAMPLE

Do you teach others to market themselves online?

Let’s walk the talk! 😉

The more “in action” you are, and the more you understand about attracting the traffic, the more you can help your clients or team.

8. CREATE A CONSISTENT HABIT

Every day – do something to attract traffic to your blog and turn it into a community of fans, readers, clients or whatever your specific blogging goal is. What you focus on expands.

So let’s focus on smart traffic actions every single day.

7. TRANSFORM THE WAY YOU THINK

99% of the time when we don't see the traffic we want to our blogs… The real problem is our mindset, approach, and the way we’re thinking about traffic.

It's not that your topic is impossible to get readers, your skills or talents can’t be valuable and appreciated, or that you aren't “cut out” for a successful online business.

Most people just need a little help to think differently about how they create and share their content. One of the main things you’ll get from this free challenge is a new way of thinking about attracting readers to your blog.

6. CONNECT TO A SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY

Stop feeling like you’re alone in your struggles. Join a community that will encourage and support you – and celebrate your success!

As part of the challenge we’re all interacting on Facebook in a closed group, and you’re welcome.

5. MAKE VALUABLE CONNECTIONS

Every successful blogger and entrepreneur secretly knows that valuable connections are a BIG part of their success. Most of us aren’t born with those connections. So how do you create them? How do you get introduced to or noticed by the people who can help you? Get out there, connect, and network in the right places.

4. WIN COOL PRIZES

Jump into our contests! Right now through January 7th, the Challenge member who refers the most new members will win prizes including best business books of 2016 and a guest post spot on the host's blog… plus a few secret prizes, too.

Everyone who completes the Challenge will also receive prizes… and other contests will be happening throughout the Challenge.

3. GET THINGS DONE WITH ACCOUNTABILITY

Nothing like public accountability and daily pestering to help us get things done, right?

As part of this Challenge, you’ll receive daily emails with your action steps and checking in to be sure you’re on track. You’ll also find daily accountability threads in the Facebook group to help you publicly stay on track.

2. ACHIEVE YOUR 2017 GOALS

What are the goals you’ve set for yourself?

More clients? More sales? Bigger impact?

ALL of those require more traffic to your blog… learning the skills I’ll show you will lay a strong foundation for your 2017 and help catapult you to achieve your goals.

1. GET MORE TRAFFIC

Did I mention more traffic, yet?

Yep, that’s another reason to join the Extreme Traffic Adventure. Follow the daily steps, participate in the group, and watch your traffic grow.

Imagine what a great feeling that will be?

AND THAT EXTRA HALF-REASON?

Because it’s going to be a FUN adventure! I’m a believer that doing what you love and building a business online should be something you enjoy. Yeah, it’s hard work and takes effort. But if you’re doing work you love that helps you build a business around your purpose here on earth – that feels great!

SO COME ALONG WITH US, CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE EXTREME TRAFFIC ADVENTURE FREE!

ARE YOU IN? LEAVE A COMMENT AND LET ME KNOW!

Finding Your Ideal Niche

findyourniche

 

Finding your ideal niche can be a lengthy process. Rest assured it is well worth the effort. When you find a niche topic you’re interested in that can generate profits your business building dreams will come true.

Step One: Create a System to Organize Your Ideal Niche

One of the problems that will quickly pop up is organization. As you are brainstorming and researching you’re going to generate a lot of data and ideas. Tracking this information from the beginning will save you time and energy. You may want to consider using:

  • Spreadsheets
  • Mind maps
  • Three ring binders
  • Notebooks

To keep track of all of your information. It really doesn’t matter what system you set up as long as it supports you and you’re able to use it consistently.

Step Two: Brainstorming Your Ideal Niche

This is a step that you may come back to several times. Begin by creating four columns:

  1. Things I’m passionate about – For example, maybe you absolutely love Lemonade.
  2. Things I’m interested in learning about – For example, maybe you want to learn more about writing romance novels.
  3. Things I’m good at –For example, maybe you’re good at painting.
  4. Thinks I know – For example, you may know a lot about makeup.

Don’t censor yourself. Write down everything that you can think of. Have fun with this step and take your time. Sometimes you may think of a great idea while you’re driving or in the shower. This may be a several day process. That’s okay.

Step Three: Brainstorming some more

Chances are that your initial brainstorming phase just touched on basic ideas. Painting for example. That’s not a niche. Painting cats might be a niche or water color painting flowers might be a niche. So now it’s time to further brainstorm each potential idea.

Step Four: Research Your Ideal Niche

Once you have an exhaustive list of possibilities, and you may have 100 or more, it’s time to start the research phase. You’ll be using a keyword tool here like Google AdWords external or Wordtracker. Research each possibility based on supply, demand and profitability. You may also generate new niche ideas during this phase. For example if you type water color painting flowers you might get a list of keyword possibilities like water color, painting flowers for beginners, or books for water color, painting flowers. Research these niche ideas too.

As you research each niche possibility you’re going to be throwing away most of them. Hopefully, a few ideas will have good potential. If not, and this happens often, you’ll need to go back to step two and start the brainstormings process over.

Finding a good niche can take time and patience. Trust the process and know that when you find your ideal niche everything will start to come together. Your niche is the foundation of your online success.

Awesome Resources to Build your Virtual Assistant Business

The Bootstrap VA - 125 ButtonThe Bootstrap VA Final Edition Bundle Sale is all about celebrating the final edition of Lisa Morosky's popular eBook, The Bootstrap VA: The Go-Getter's Guide to Becoming a Virtual Assistant, Getting and Keeping Clients, and More!, and her time as a virtual assistant, as well as sharing excellent resources (at a great price) to bless and encourage you on your virtual assistant and work-at-home journey going forward. Lisa is also donating 10% of her personal earnings from this special sale to Compassion International.

From Tuesday, April 7, 2015 – Thursday, April 9, 2015, you can purchase an awesome bundle of virtual assistant and work-at-home resources for only $29.95. The bundle includes all three versions (PDF, Kindle, and Nook) of The Bootstrap VA, plus $218.95 of additional resources to help you start and grow your virtual assistant and work-at-home business. You'll also get another $173 of discounted resources that you'll only pay $33 for (if you choose to purchase them separately).

Here are all of the resources you'll receive as a part of the bundle:

And here are all of the resources with discounts you can redeem:

If starting or building your virtual assistant and work-at-home business is on your to-do list for this year, don't miss out on this special sale. You'll definitely be kicking yourself if you do.

Click here to learn more about The Bootstrap VA Final Edition Bundle Sale and to grab your bundle.

IN THE INTEREST OF PINTEREST: USING PINTEREST

I, for one, believe that social media is here to stay, the platforms may change, but the concept shall remain. That means that we need stay up-to-date within the social media world, if we use it. The challenge of staying informed also brings the how-to and what to use it for dilemma. One of the latest platforms to the social media world is Pinterest. You may be thinking that you could use Pinterest to connect with your market, but also realize that you don’t know how.

I love pin + interest

 

Continue reading

When Your Parent Becomes Your Child

This was a wonderful book to read, I was able to relate. My mother has been diagnosed with Dementia, and the short time that I have been taking care of her, frustration has set in. I was not aware of some of the things that I was seeing:  memory loss, physical decline, hygiene issues, paranoia, and uncharacteristic attitudes. Not my mother, the strong, independent woman that raised me. This book not only help me to see my mother and her illness in a different light, but it made me look at myself, what if….how would my children cope…what can I do to help them through this situation? Continue reading