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8 mindset matras to make you unbeatable

 

To be successful most of us will be in a constant battle with ourselves. Every day we will be having an internal dialogue with ourselves that determines what we think, what we feel and what we will achieve. Life is a rollercoaster, some days we are down on ourselves and others we are flying high, believing we can achieve anything. We can't be feeling up every day, but on the days we are down, we need to be reminded of these mantras and build ourselves back up. 

To be successful we have to have the right mindset. We need to be telling ourselves positive things more often than we are telling ourselves negative things.

According to James Clear, an entrepreneur and writer for the Huffington Post, research is beginning to reveal that positive thinking is about much more than just being happy or displaying an upbeat attitude. Positive thoughts can actually create real value in your life and help you build skills that last much longer than a smile.

Here is a list of eight successful mindset mantras that you should say to yourself every morning. Print them out and have them on your desk. Refer to them when you are having a crappy day.

1. Believe in yourself - {Stop doubting yourself}

Successful people believe in themselves. They believe that they can achieve anything. They have a go-getter attitude that empowers them to take on challenges. They enjoy the journey and believe that they will grow and learn from it, no matter the outcome.  Truly successful people are different to you. They just believed they could.

2. Think positive thoughts - {Stop thinking negative thoughts}

You get what you focus on. If all your focus on is the negative then that is what will eventuate. "It's like a needle in a groove," says Guy Winch, Ph.D., psychologist and author of Emotional First Aid: Practical Strategies for Treating Failure, Rejection, Guilt and Other Everyday Psychological Injuries. "As the groove gets deeper and deeper, the needle has a harder time getting out of the groove." What's more, rumination can actually make you more angry or upset than you were originally, because the issue becomes magnified in your mind.

So instead think positive thoughts. Get into the groove of thinking about and visualising yourself being happy first and then visualise what success means to you.

3. Believe there is no such thing as failure - {Stop having a fear of failure}

Fear of failure is when we allow fear to stop us doing the things that can move us forward to achieve our goals. We can choose to see failure as "the end of the world," or as proof of just how inadequate we are. Or, we can look at failure as the incredible learning experience that it often is.

So stop believing that everything is binary, that there is either success or failure. Instead believe that no matter the outcome you will learn from the process, develop new skills, meet new people, and have small wins along the way that should be acknowledged and embraced!

4. Accept responsibility - {Stop criticising others}

Don't play the blame game. Often when things aren't going well for us, we turn around and criticism others. Sometime we do this to make ourselves feel better expect that it doesn't actually make us feel better. There are lots of reasons why we criticise others. In the context of success it is often because we feel threatened by other people's competence, attractiveness, etc. so they are trying to level the playing field. We also criticise when we feel insecure and are overcompensating.

Before you criticise others, stop. Think about your motivation for criticising that person. Is there something that you need to accept responsibility for? Is there something you're not dealing with? Address with yourself first, why you have these thoughts and feelings and do something about them. Respect yourself by respecting others. Honor and love yourself and you will never dishonor or hate another.

5. Speak kind words to yourself - {Stop negative self-talk}

Excessive self-criticism tends to backfire, because it leads us to focus on our so-called failures instead of the “small ways that we could have improved,” says psychologist Tamar E. Chansky, PhD, author of Freeing Yourself From Anxiety.

Instead try speaking kind words to yourself. Speak to yourself like you would speak to your best friend. If you wouldn't say it to your best friend, don't say it to yourself. Another thing that can help is relaxing your standards. Don't be a perfectionist. Perfectionists never win, so stop holding yourself to unattainable standards.

If you are really prone to this one - see this article for some awesome tips on how to stop negative self-talk.

6. Stop procrastination - Get started

Stop procrastinating, start doing. Stop wondering and start experiencing. Don't live with regret. Get out there and do, do. This is sometimes easier said than done. So how do you actually start doing when all you want to do is put it off..again. Here are a few quick tips. Break the task into smaller, manageable bits. Change your environment. Find a new invigorating place to work. Create a detailed timeline and time block your calendar for it. Remove all the things that normally distract you, like your email or your phone.

Guess what - the sense of achievement you will feel when you actually complete it will be so awesome and worth the hard work!

7. Stop having fear of success - Embrace success

Some of us suffer from a fear of being successful. In an article by 99u.com, Hugh MacLeod points out, success is more complex than failure. For most of us its more comfortable to stay in a familiar situation, even if it doesn’t feel great. But achieving success (however you choose to define it) means you are entering uncharted territory.  It often means that we are putting ourselves out there to be scrutinized and criticized, and exposing ourselves to new pressures and demands. It’s only natural to wonder whether you’ll be up to the challenge. For some of us we become anxious and decide not to take on the risk.

The tips for how you overcome this fear is basically to remind yourself what success will bring you. It will bring you a sense of achievement, a feeling of reward, possibly extra money, a bigger network and freedom. These things are worth taking on the risk - don't you think?

8. Stop people pleasing - Please yourself first

This is a big one for most people. Now don't get me wrong, being a people pleaser can be a good, healthy thing. People pleasers tend to be:

  • great at resolving conflicts

  • great at making social connections

  • have attractive personalities

  • be great listeners

  • big givers

The key is to only please in moderation.  As psychologist Harriet Braiker says – 'to please is a disease' – and in excess it can become an addiction that eventually results in your neglecting your own needs and wants, and ironically losing the respect of the people you are trying to please. You need to take care of you. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating well and have a little relaxation time. If you are taking care of you this gives you the energy to give to others. Don't neglect yourself at others expense.

 

 

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The 5 most compelling reasons to get onto Snapchat now!

 

Snapchat is the new darling of social media. It is a platform that has been growing in popularity over the last few years and is now emerging as the new social platform for business.

For those of us in our mid 30's to 40's we know Snapchat as the platform that allowed teens to send racy pics to each other. It has now evolved beyond this and its time we got our heads around it, get on it and use it for our businesses.

 

1. Being a late adopter is never fun - don't make this mistake

The one lesson I have learned over the past 8 years of social media is that being late adopter is not fun. Coming to a platform late always makes it harder to get traction and build audience and it normally costs you more money. This is because by the time you get on the platform you can only access paid reach instead of organic reach. If you get on and start building your audience now - it will pay off, it will be easier and cheaper!

 

2. Growing user base and your customers ARE starting to use it

The one of most important questions to ask yourself. "Is my customer using Snapchat?". The answer is YES - some of them definitely are. Here are the latest stats from February 2016 - source Statistic.com

Here are some other interesting stats about this platform:

  • 100 million active users - 25/5/15
  • 10 billion video views a day - 26/5/16
  • 60% of users post something every day - 25/3/16
  • 9000 snaps per second - 26/1/16

The conclusions you can draw are that users of the platform are highly engage with it. They love using it.

 

3. Its so VERY fun to use and IT Makes you LOOK cool

Snapchat is so much fun to use. It takes only a few seconds to take a pic, add a graphic and text and off it goes. Its perfect for grab quick moments in time. People you are connected with will feel part of your world. The use of Snapchat at Fashion Week made consumers feel included in an exclusive world, and by doing so, they felt like they were part of the event. This is a great example.

You can share your pics two ways - via a direct message to a follower or via your story. If you share something directly with a follower they feel loved - because you thought enough about them to send them something.

The key is to have fun with. Show your personality - people like to connect with people. Don't go too crazy though and make sure you are still professional and PG!

If your brand uses snapshot it shows your customers that you are "cool". I know this sounds daggy but Snapchat is perceived to be a young, groovy persons platform. So if you are using it - you are too.

4. Naturally engaging

Snapchat is naturally engaging. Your story will automatically play when your follower checks out the latest updates of their friends. Snapchat automatically plays one story after the other. So there your brand will be - auto-playing without your follower even having to select your story to watch. This is really a cool feature.

 

5. It will bring you traffic

If you create great valuable content that is unique for Snapchat then it will bring you traffic just like the other platforms. Don't just copy content from the other platforms like Facebook and Twitter. You need to think of innovative ways to help your ideal customer in Snapchat.

Definitely use the video feature. We all know that video is the most engaging content so make sure you use it on Snapchat as well.

 

What are some ways you can use it for business?

  1. Send a coupon code that they have to screenshot and use within 24 hours

  2. Flash sale on a product - that can only be accessed within 25 hours

  3. Quick tips and advice relating to your product

  4. Behind the scenes photos and video

  5. Giveaways

  6. Daily happenings in your business

  7. Motivational or daily pep talks

  8. Give access to Live Events - snap videos through the event

  9. Give your customer private content that they can't access on the other platforms

  10. Team up with a snapchat influencers to get your brand greater awareness

  11. Tease fans with new products - build momentum

 

Snapchat tips!

  • Just like on the other platforms - be authentic
  • Snaps don't need to be staged - keep it real and raw
  • Promote the fact that you are now on Snapchat to your existing audiences - on social platforms and email your list!

 

Follow me on Snapchat!

I would love you to follow me on Snapchat - here is my user name sah.drysdale. Please comment below with yours and I will add you!

 

 

 

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The 2 best Shopify themes right now

 

One of the best things about my job is theme shopping. I love going through theme stores to find the perfect theme for my website or a clients website.

I am a big fan of using themes on new start up websites instead of a full custom design. There are a few reasons why:

  1. Themes are affordable. For less than $200AUD you can have a beautifully designed site.
  2. Themes are customisable. You are able to make the theme your own using the theme settings to change colours, fonts and images.
  3. Themes have been tested. The themes have already been thoroughly tested and are bug free.
  4. Get to market quicker. You can launch your new store or website much quicker with a theme because a lot of the hard work has already been done for you.
  5. You know exactly what you are getting. You can demo the theme before you use it so you have a clear idea of exactly what functionality your store will have before you launch it. There is no confusion.
  6. You get support. If you use a theme you get the support of the theme developer. They know the theme inside out and back to front and they can fix any issues quickly.

There are a few places that you can find Shopify themes. You can find them on the Shopify theme store. You can also find themes on site like Theme Forest. The main difference between the themes on the Shopify Theme store and the external sites like Theme Forest is the testing and code verification. The themes on the Shopify theme store have been more thoroughly tested and the coding work tends to be cleaner and tighter. The support from the approved Shopify theme developers tends to be better as well.

So here are my two favourite themes right now. Both these themes have great layouts particularly on the mobile. They are both available on the Shopify theme store.

Theme One: Canopy

Here are the 5 things that I like about the Canopy theme.

  1. Key usability feature such as accessing the main menu, login, account and the cart and visible as soon as you land on the homepage
  2. Large banner image that dominates the homepage and grabs the visitors attention
  3. I like the masonary layout for the collections under the main banner area. This gives you the space to communicate 6 key message about your product, brand and story
  4. Collection pages have large engaging header images and the sort feature has already been added
  5. The product pages have a neat and engaging layout that allows the product images to dominate.

Theme Two: District

 

Here are 7 things that I like about the

  1. Ability to add text overlay and call to action button on the main banner image
  2. Subtle movement on the two collection boxes under the banner
  3. Instagram integration with subtle hover over feature
  4. Announcement bar that can be activate to promote free shipping or new product arrivals
  5. The top header area contain the important elements for usability including cart, login etc
  6. Clean, effective product page layout with add to cart button high on the page above the fold
  7. Persistent menu on scroll to access the cart at all time

If you need help to select the right theme for you. Please contact me.

 

 

 

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5 steps to be more consistent everyday and it might not be what you expect..

 

The Consistency Struggle - how to be consistently consistent

Consistency is one of the keys to business success. Here is why:

  1. Being consistent helps you to feel organised, disciplined and efficient. It helps you to feel in control and reduces your stress. This is because you know exactly what you plan to work on and deliver on when.
  2. Consistency ensure that every time a customer interacts with you that they have the same experience. If they have the same experience - they come to rely on it and will select your company every time and spread the message via word of mouth. Think of McDonalds or Subway. We all know exactly what we are going to get when we visit their stores. Customers want to have confidence that we’ll deliver on our promises every time, not just when it’s convenient.
  3. Most things you do in your business take time to get traction. You need to stick at with consistency to see the results. For example you can't expect to post on Facebook every now and again and grow your audience to 5000 people. You can't expect to get sales from your newsletter if you don't send it out on a regular basis. You need to commit to a strategy and execute it consistently. Then you can measure whether its worked or not because you have given it your all and given it enough time to get traction.
  4. Consistency makes you look professional. For example if you send an email newsletter one week, then again 3 weeks later, then 3 months later - this doesn't look professional. They don't know when you will be sending out your awesome information so they won't think of you when they need help or want a similar product. You need to be front of mind and to do this you need to communicating regularly. Great companies do everything consistently. Its what helped to make them great. They systematise as much of their business as they can so it is repeatable.

"Trust it. Give it time, and keep being consistent. You’ll get it.”"

It's something so many of us struggle with - me included. It is something I have been thinking a lot about lately and something I have promised myself that I am going to work on.

I have made a commitment to myself not to take on anything unless I can be consistent with it and follow through. For example when I started this group - I asked myself - can I commit to posting and responding everyday? If I can't then - I shouldn't start it because that is what is required to grow a Facebook community. So far I have done - ok smile emoticon missing maybe only 1 or 2 days.

Do you struggle with consistency? Why do you think you struggle with consistency?

So how do we get consistent?

1. Keep your focus on your why

When you know why you are building your business, how it helps others and how it fulfills a need in you - its easier to stay on task.

Here is what I mean.

If you are a marriage celebrant, for example, your whole reason for existing is to give the engaged couple the best ceremony ever. You know that you can create the perfect day. You believe that your unique talents can help lots of newly engaged couples. However you can only help them if they know about your amazing celebrant service. The only way they can know about you - is if you get out there and market to them. To do this - you need to create a strategy and execute on it consistently. Your drive to reach as many couples as possible helps to keep you focused on marketing activities like posting on Facebook and blogging. If you don't, lots of wonderful couples will miss out on finding a truly incredible marriage celebrant. Now, that's not fair is it smile emoticon Keep your why front and centre.

2. Pick your battles

You are only human and despite our best intentions its hard for us to be consistent at everything. We tend to stay consistent at those things we make a habit of like showering in the morning.

As business owners we need to pick our battles. I touched on this when we did the time management training - when I spoke about "your one important thing". Once you decide what your one or two important things are - you need to make a habit of working on it.

Our businesses go through different seasons and our focus needs to change with the seasons. If you know an area of your business needs focus now - make a commitment to your self to focus on that and be consistent at it.

Don't pick 10 battles. Pick the number of battles you can handle. How do you know this number? That depends a little bit on your available time. If you haven't worked through the time management training - so back and do that now - it will really help.

3. Plan + Schedule It

We tend to stick to things when we plan it and we know our objectives. The best way to do this is to schedule it.

The time you set aside to work on your important tasks needs to be scared and non negotiable.

In the time management course we create a timetable. This is where you schedule the things you want to get consistent on. Once its in your schedule. Printed out and up on your wall you can focus on sticking to it. Each week when you sit down to plan out your week - make sure you prioritise the tasks you want to be consistent on.

4. Ignore how you feel

This is the one time we need to ignore how we are feeling and do it anyway.

Part of this process is acknowledging that feelings and thoughts are temporary and subjective.

So even if you are not feeling like it - please do it anyway. No matter if you feel stressed, sad, busy etc. Stick to your schedule - you will feel better it in the end because you will feel accomplishment and satisfaction. These feelings are awesome and so much better than how you were feeling before you started work.

Try to be disciplined in the moment. Help yourself to be disciplined by setting up an environment where you can work comfortably and without distraction. If you enjoy your environment - this is half the battle. Grab your favourite hot drink and get cracking.

5. Don't beat yourself up

There will be times when you don't stick to the schedule. Don't beat yourself up. Get back on the wagon and keep going. Keep reminding yourself why you have set the goal to be consistent and the rewards you will get from it. The reward is worth it, keep persevering. Do one thing at a time. Cross it off and move to the next.

I know that each of us has it within us to be consistent. Lets all take baby steps towards this goal. Make sure you have decided your "one important thing" and lets start working towards focusing on this over the next month.

Do you have any other techniques you have tried to make yourself consistent? I would love to hear about them.

 

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The 10 best podcasts. Number 4 will change your view of marketing forever

 

Today I thought I would share the 10 best podcasts I listen to. I have invested hundreds of hours of my time in listening to these incredible experts.

Before I get into the top 10 - actually its 13 - I thought I would explain how to listen to a podcast for those that have never listened to one before.

What are podcasts and how do you listen to them?

What is a podcast? Essentially it is an audio show similar to a radio station. Anyone can create a podcast and upload their audio files to iTunes or Android Play. Your audience can subscribe to your podcast channel and every time there is a new episode it is downloaded onto your phone and ready and waiting for you to listen.

There are a number of different ways you can listen to podcasts. The app you use to listen to them is called a podcatcher. Everyone with an iPhone has the podcast app already on them phone. However there are other apps that users rate such as: Pocket Casts, Overcasts, Stitcher Radio

To start listening - all you have to do is open the Podcast app of your choice. Select search and start looking for podcasts on the topics you are interested in. It is too easy.

You can listen to podcasts when you are driving, going for a walk, cleaning the house, lying in bed. Podcasts help you to claim back dead time. You can make use of this time by investing it into your own self development. My favourite times to learn to podcasts are when I am on long drives, doing the ironing or on my daily walk.

So here are the top 13 podcasts....

Number 1: Amy Porterfield

Amy shares about online marketing, content marketing, list building and more. Amy is my go to girl for all things online marketing. She is a Facebook ads, webinar and online course expert and always shares openly and honestly about her experience. I can't recommend this podcast highly enough. Access here in iTunes.

Number 2: School of Greatness

The School of Greatness podcaster is Lewis Howes. Lewis describes himself as a lifestyle entrepreneur. This podcast covers a huge range of topics that help improve you as a person and as an entrepreneur. Lewis is easy to listen to. You will come away from his podcast richer in knowledge and wiser in insights. Access here in iTunes.

Number 3: Foundr

Good old Nathan Chan - he is an Aussie from Melbourne. He has created a podcast that help start ups to get started and grow - especially if they want to get funding. He interviews great thought leaders and industry experts. Access here in iTunes.

Number 4: I Love Marketing

Joe Polish and Dean will open your mind to think about marketing in a whole new way. These guys are fun, informative and they really will change your view of marketing forever. Access here in iTunes.

Number 5: Smart Passive Income

Pat Flynn - is one of my favourite guys. He is open, honest and insightful. He share heaps of great tips on how you can build passive income streams in your business. Be sure to subscribe to this one. Access here in iTunes.

Number 6: Social Media Marketing with Michael Stelzner

I love this podcast. This podcast gives you an in depth insight into social media. Michael covers all the latest insights on social media in depth. This podcast helps you to stay abreast of all the latest tools, tips and techniques. You won't be left behind again. Access here in iTunes.

Number 7: The Art of Paid Traffic

The Art of Paid Traffic is Rick Mulready's podcast on Facebook Advertising. Rick is the absolute expert in Paid Traffic. Make sure you subscribe to this one if you are thinking of running Facebook Ads. Access here in iTunes.

Number 8: Screw the Nine to Five

Screw the Nine to Five is a podcast by married couple Jill and Josh. They teach you how to lead a successful location free, laptop lifestyle. Access here in iTunes.

Number 9: Start Up Camp

Dale is a serial entrepreneur. He shares his advice and tip for start ups. Access here in iTunes.

Number 10: This is your life with Michael Hyatt

Its a weekly podcast dedicated to intentional leadership. Michael shares his years of experience to help you live with more passion and focus. Access here in iTunes.

Number 11: The Tony Robbins Podcast

This one has only just launched. I haven't listened to it yet but its sure to be inspirational given how successful Tony Robbins is. Access here in iTunes

Number 12: Ask Gary Vee Show

This podcast is the audio recording from the Ask Gary Vee youtube show. However I like it because I don't have time to sit down and watch Youtube and I find Gary entertaining and challenging. Access here in iTunes.

Number 13: Chalene Johnson

I have only recently learned about Chalene and have just subscribed to her podcast. Chalene shares all about online marketing, social media and more. She might come across to us Aussies as a bit full on. Access here in iTunes.

Who do you listen to?

Do you have a favourite podcast? Who are you listening to at the moment? I would love for you to share as I am always looking for new inspiring people to learn from.

 

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The 5 things you can learn from Shopify Success Stories

 

Shopify loves to share success stories with its audience. Who wouldn't - its important for Shopify to show potential store owners how incredible their platform is and what better way they through success stories.

I have taken a look at some of the latest success stories and pulled out some key learnings for you. Hopefully these key learnings will help you to fast track your success.

1. Know how you plan to acquire your customers before you start

This is awesome advice. Don't invest all your time, effort and money in your product and website if you don't know how you plan to market to and acquire your customers. Business success involves much more than a great product and a great looking website.

Investing time in working out how you plan to get traction with your new business is vital. Your traction plan needs to be closely aligned to your ideal customer. You need to know who your ideal customer is and where you can reach them.

Its important to set aside budget for your traction plans. It will cost money to reach your target customer. In the case of Teaglad - the most successful customer acquisition channel for them was Facebook and Google Display ads.

I always advise my clients to start building an audience before your even launch your site. Launching to an active and engaged audience rapidly increases your likelihood for success. The owner of Devon Maryn, worked to build their presence on social media and gain followers in their target audience. They shared in-process product designs, asked for opinions, and even ran contests for people to name the products. This all contributed to an engaged fanbase who were ready to buy by the time they had inventory to sell in August 2014.

2. You can do everything yourself

The owner of Comfortable Boxes Co recently share his success story with Shopify. One of the key points he shared was that he is doing everything in his business. He is a brand new start up and he is handling all of these things himself - purchasing, procurement, graphics design, video editing, marketing, social media, systems, accounting, banking, payments, sales, quotes, wholesale, and customer service. He believes that you can do everything yourself.

I tend to agree with him. Here is why. Unlike when I started my online business over 7 years ago there are so many tools now that can help novices doing things well. If need graphic design for your business - then use Canva. If you need a video for your business - take it yourself with your iPhone. Your accounting system is now fully integrated with your website. Customer service is made easier with live chat and other customer service apps.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't want you spend ridiculously amounts of time trying to figure things out. But I do want you to invest time to empower yourself with knowledge. Then go and seek the advice or help from an expert.

I also believe that when you are starting out - you should play every role in your business. This gives you an unbelievable insight into what is required to make that function of your business successful. If you have a can do, growth mindset - you can take on anything. What you learn will be invaluable.

3. Customers are everything

Absolutely! We don't exist without customers. Your business's whole reason for existing is to help your customers solve a problem or fulfill a desire. You need to have your customer at the centre of absolutely everything you do in your business. You need to love your customer. You need to want them the best for them in sense. In very aspect of your business think about how you can make your customers lives easier, more rewarding, more joyful or more insightful. Seek to delight your customer at every point they touch your business. Try to impress them each time they interact with you. 

4. Connect with your customers

Knowing your customer intimately allows you to connect with your customers on a personal level. Forming a true human connection where you are able to speak in a way that resonates with your customer is vital. Do you know the language your customers use to talk about their problems and desires? Do you only talk about your products and the not the benefits of your products on your website. Do you demonstrate clearly to your customer how your offering will help change their lives?

It is important to give your most loyal customers everything they need to share your story for you. Building a fan base of loyal customers who can't stop talking about your company, will quickly turn to 100 customers and take off from there. There are a few thing you can do to make this happen. Do you have effective share tools on your website? What do you do to reward customers who support you? 

5. Word of Mouth

Two of Five the success stories cited Word of Mouth as insanely important for their business. And I couldn't agree more. The cheapest customers you can acquire in your business are ones referred by their friends (assuming you are not paying for the referrals). My family business has relied on word of mouth almost exclusively for the last 30 years.

Working hard on your customer experience - every single touch point you have with a customer will help to ensure that your customer has an incredible experience that they want to talk about and share with their friends. Your website has a part to play in this customer experience but its not everything. Too many Shopify store owners focus almost exclusively on the website. They forget about the before and after experience with their brand. What can you do before some purchases and after some purchases to create a lasting and unique experience that people will want to share with their friends?

Have you been in business for a while?

If so I would love to hear what you have learned. What are your 5 insights into success?

An on side note:

If you are a Shopify store owner - do you have a success story to share? Then make sure you submit it. Getting on the Shopify blog and in their success story email is great exposure for your business. Here is the link to submit your story.

 

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Looking for a breakthrough in your business?

 

Have you been plugging away at your business for a while? Do you feel like you have plateaued in your business and your personal growth?

If you are feeling this way then a new guide by Her Business - which was formerly the Australian Business Women's Network has anew guide which could help you experience a breakthrough.

In the guide you will learn the single most important habit that you need to have a breakthrough in your business. I am not going to spill the beans on the habit here. You need to read the guide. You can access the guide via the button at the bottom of this post.

However I will share some of the incredible quotes from the amazing women featured in the guide. I hope you find it inspirational.

“Those people who trailblaze must possess the strength and courage of heart to work against the norms and those who say it won’t work. Lean in or you may be leaned on.”
— Beverly Honig, Honeylight Enterprise
“My biggest fear is of being unable to front up to a
challenge. Taking on a big and intimidating venture
means being willing to accept the consequences if it doesn’t go to plan. But it’s where courage and daring combine that great things often happen.”
— Anna Hooper - Cape Jaffa Wines
“I feel like I have a healthy relationship with failure. For me, it’s all about the opportunity to learn. If I don’t take a risk (and therefore, risk failing), the opportunity for learning is much more difficult.”
— Amantha Imber - Inventium

Here is a bit more information about Her Business. Her Business is a place where you can network, find a mentor, learn skills, attend events and more. Find out more about Her Business now.

 

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Kicking off the Thrive Your Biz Facebook Group

 

I am super excited to announce that I have created a free Facebook mastermind group. This group will be a place where like minded business owners can come to connect with each other and received free training from me. 

I promise to go onto the group each day and answer any questions group members have.

I will be running free training sessions nearly every week. Its a fabulous opportunity to learn some incredible advice that could have a big impact on your business.

If you would like to join Thrive - simply click the link here to learn more.

Have you thought about creating a Facebook group for your business?

Here are some reasons why you should consider starting a Facebook group.

  1. The users in your group receive a notification when there are posts in the group. This helps to keep them engaged and active.
  2. Group posts have greater organic reach. What this means is that most group posts make it into the feed whereas Page posts - barely do now. This greatly increases the chance that users will see the posts.
  3. Any time you grow a large audience it is valulable to you and to others. The group can become an important part of your sales funnel. All the members in the group become very warm or hot leads to provide content to.

Here are a few tips for creating a successful group

  1. Ideally the groups should be created around the members so that the members feel like they can contribute. Its not meant to be just about you and your brand. It is important to create the right context around the group. In my case I am creating a place where members can connect and receive valuable content I am not sharing elsewhere.
  2. You need to keep the group active and engaged. This means that you need to post valuable content but its also means you need to post things to encourage engagement like questions, puzzles, polls, Q& A etc
  3. If you want your Group to be successful then you need to spend a decent amount of time nurturing it.
  4. You need to promote your groups so others can hear about. You can do this by adding the group to your website. You can create gated content so only those in the group can access the content or part of the content and then promote the content on Facebook and Instagram.

If you have any questions about creating a Facebook group then join my group and ask the question!

 

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Finally - I can be myself - why changing my biz name was so important

 

Yay! I can't control my excitement. Finally I can be myself in my business. I decided to change the name of my business from Boutique Business Consulting (BBC) to Sarah Drysdale. I have added the tag line Coach.Mentor.Trainer.

This name change has been a long time coming. Last year I sold the Shopify development arm of my business to The Hope Factory. Since then I have been a little quiet as I decided to go back to basics. During the years I was running BBC I was so busy delivering websites that I didn't have time to work on my business or on myself. I was constantly being pulled from one client demand to the next. I realised that in the busyness of delivering websites I was losing touch with what was happening in the business world, with internet marketing and all things digital.

So last year I put my head down and went back to school. I have invested hundreds of hours in learning from the best. I have listened to podcasts, read a hundred books, attended conferences and nearly completed the Marie Forelo Bschool course. I am now armed with all the latest business advice and I am ready to share this with my clients and the world.

I have learned a lot about myself in this process. I realised that I love learning. My passion is for learning and in turn teaching. I have a Graduate Certificate in Education that I have never used and now its time to use it. I realised a lot of my displeasure with my business in the past was because I had stopped learning and was only doing. This is a mistake I won't make again. I have rediscovered what my passions are and I will stay true to them. I have invested time thinking and changing my mindset. I now know how to change mindsets and how this can really help my clients.

It is really liberating for my business to be me and me to be my business. It enables me to inject my personality into my business. I can add the quirky things I like and stand true to what I believe. I am not hiding behind a brand. I am my brand.

I was never really happy with my old business name. When it can time to relaunch my business I knew it needed to change but I wasn't sure what too. This year as part of Bschool I listened to an amazing talk by Marie Forelo about how to choose the right name for your business. I encourage you to listen to this talk as well.

So now my business is Sarah Drysdale and I hope I can help you reach your goals in the same way others have helped me reach mine.

 

 

 

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Get inside the mind of a business genius

 

Every now and then - along comes a genius. In the business world they are normally the ones that act a bit different, are somewhat controversial, disrupt the status quo. They face the hard challenges and discuss the topics no one wants to talk about. They are crazy successful. They have 7 and 8 figure businesses that they have started themselves.

They are nearly always dynamic, they are true leaders. They create movements around what they believe in. They have huge hearts. They love the money but they love the challenge more. They will do anything for their customers. Their customers are at the heart of their business.

They work crazy hard. They hustle and hustle and don't stop. They make things happen for themselves - they don't sit back and wait for things to happen to them. They take chances, accept risks. They push through barriers. They try new things. They are always learning.

There is one such genius, that has all these qualities and more. It's Gary Vaynerchuk - or Gary Vee as he is more commonly know as now. Love him or hate him. He is crushing it right now. He is everywhere on social media. He has huge followings on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

Gary has just released his new book Ask Gary Vee. Its raw, compelling and thought provoking. In the book Gary discusses a huge range of topics. The book is essentially a collection of all the questions he gets asked from his audience across a range of business topics. As the title suggests it is his viewpoint on leadership, social media and self awareness and a whole raft of other topics.

Gary is a practioner. He practices what he preaches. He does exactly what he tells other people to do. He lives his works and he works harder than most people.

Here are some of the topics he covers in the book:

  1. Clouds and Dirt - your goals verus the hard grind it takes to achieve your goals
  2. Starting Out
  3. Education
  4. Family Business
  5. Parenting
  6. Hustle
  7. Content
  8. Jabs and Right Hooks
  9. etc

Here is one of my favourite concepts. He discussed Family Businesses. I have a family business and so do many of clients. People are often told not to pursue family business because of the potential risks it can have on your relationship. Gary Vee shares that this is the thing he is most grateful for "its the opportunity to work with the two of the people I love most in the world". He says that its not easy and that it does take a lot of emotional equity, empathy, self awareness and compassion. You really need to work on your communication skills. Gary shares that you need to work on the challenges that come up carefully. Your love for the other person needs to trump your pride and your own competitiveness. He recommends never to go to sleep angry and to settle the differences before the day is done. This is not new advice but its amazing how few people do it.

I really encourage you to read the book. It will open your eyes to a lot of new thinking. There are so many nuggets of gold that will change your thinking and reshape your life. Gary is a genius and a true hustler.

If you read this book I would love to hear what you think of it. What is your one take away?

 

 

 

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How to use Hastagify to find the perfect hashtags to rapidly grow your audience on Twitter

 

I am not sure if you are a bit like me. Have you had your head shoved under a pillow on the topic of hashtags. Do you know what they are you and how to use them? Well I am just learning to and today I want to share what hastags are and how you can use hastagify to find the right ones to use on Twitter for your business.

What are hashtags #

Hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages around a specific topic or category of interest. They are used heavily on Twitter and Instagram and to a lesser extent on Facebook. They basically allow you to search for similar content that has the same hashtag.

Anyone can create a hashtag at anytime simply by putting the # symbol in front of word.

With Twitter you need to enter the hashtag into the tweet itself. So you you are typing your tweet you need to think about how you can incorporate the hashtag into the words you are using. For example

#Entrepreneurs today need to have a #successmindset. Without it they will #fail

After a hashtag has been created, other Twitter users can use that hashtag in their own tweets to add to the larger conversation about that topic.

Here is an example of a post from Twitter. In the first post I used #mondatdreaming and #christmas

1. Hashtags get your content discovered

Hashtags are the way that your posts are discovered. This is how people search for topics that are interested in on social media. Its really not a new topic. We have been using categories and tags on blog posts for years. On social media there is only one way to search for interesting info and its via hashtags.

Hashtags give us the opportunity as small business owners to join conversations on topics that interest us and our customers. If you want your content, your conversation, your idea to be seen you need to use hashtags so it can be found.

2. Hashtags allow you to reach your ideal customer

So if you want your message to reach your audience of ideal customers you need to use hashtags. For example if you have an online pet store then you will want to find hashtags that are relevant to pet owners. For example #pets, #mypets or #petpic.

3. Hashtags allow you to hear what others are saying about you

You can monitor what others are saying about you from the hashtags about your business. This is a key point you should come up with a hashtag that is unique for your business. For example #yourbusinessname. In my case its #sarahdrysdale. It needs to be unique. Hopefully its all good!

4. Hashtags allow you to offer stella customer service

If you are following your hashtags you can watch for compliants or comments. Respond to this quickly and positively. This can have a very positive impact when other potential customers see the post.

5. Hashtags keep you up to date on your competitors and your industry

Keeping an eye on the hashtags used in your industry will keep you up to date on what your competitors are doing and the latest happenings in your industry. It means you can react and respond to this events, issues and news quickly. You can be part of the conversation by posting using the same hashtags.

How Hashtagify can help you discover the right hashtags for you

Hastagify is essentially a search engine for Twitter hashtags. It helps you to find the best and most used hashtags for the topics you want to post on. It will also show you who are the influencers for these hashtags. An influencer is someone who has a huge following.

Hashtagify shows you the top 10 hashtags related to the hashtag you entered. This is a free service. If you enter a tag with only a small number of uses it won't come up and you can try their paid service to find out more information.

Here is one of my search results in the image below.

So this with this tool you can:

  1. Find conversations to join
  2. See a visual representation of the relationship between the different tags
  3. See the most recent tweets for that tag in the right hand column
  4. Find out who the influencers are for that tag so you can connect with them.

Here are a couple of other tools you can use to help you with hashtags for Twitter:

  • Twitonomy
  • Hashtags.org
  • Tagboard

A few pointers

  1. Twitter's best practices suggest you not use more than two hashtags in the tweet. This can dilute their usefulness for other users, and makes the tweet really hard to read.

I would love to hear your tips on using Hashtags on twitter. What have your discovered?

Please note - I am not a social media guru. My goal is to share what I am learning as I learn it - so that it can help others learn and grow too.
 

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Never lose track of your to do list again

 

We all struggle with managing our to do lists. Before we realise it, the list is long and we feel totally out of control.

If you manage your to list on a piece of paper or in a notebook its easy to lose it. Or you spend time rewriting the same list out every week and nothing gets crossed off.

Or you there might be more than just you in your business. Do you share tasks via email? Do you have trouble keeping track of who is working on what. You also probably don't have a good handle on what tasks remain outstanding.

Enter the conquering hero - Asana. Asana helps you to move work forward. I use Asana to manage all the tasks and projects for sarahdrysdale.com and I use with my clients.

Here is how I use to with my clients

I use Asana when my premium coaching clients. At the end of each coaching call I add the tasks or projects we discussed and agreed on the call.

For example if the coaching call was about improving a clients website. We would discuss the changes that could be made to the site. We agree which ones we will move forward with. These either become a project - if its a bigger piece of work or its a tasks added to an existing project. I will go into Asana and add the task - who is responsible and when it needs to be done by.

The power of this tool is that it hold the clients and myself accountable. We can both see who is working on what and when it needs to be done by. This empowers my clients to act. This gives them the incentive to put everything they learn on a coaching call into practice.

The clients can then use this tool to ask me questions. For example if they aren't sure about a tasks or need more information they will add a comment to a task. I will receive that email and then reply. The reply is saved with the tasks so we have a track record of everything discussed on that topic.

My clients also use the tool to ask me to review deliverables. For example they may have created some Facebook ad graphics and copy. They can send me a tasks to review it and attach everything it need to review it. I can then comment back with improvements.

When you are working with multiple clients and on multiple projects this is a life saver. Each day I can log in and see the tasks I am supposed to be working on for the day. Once they are complete I can tick them off. There is so much satisfaction is ticking of those tasks!

Here are the key features

These are the key features of Asana:

  1. Keep track of projects from start to finish
  2. Assign tasks between team members
  3. Add and track tasks
  4. Get an overview using the dashboard
  5. See progress at a glance
  6. Track conversations and turn them into actions by adding tasks
  7. Your Asana inbox will track the emails you need to get
  8. You can use Asana to track bugs, projects, run meetings

The best thing is that it is free to join! You can use Asana for free up to 15 people.

Works for all businesses

You don't have to be a coach or a service based business to benefit from a tasks management system like Asana. Even if you have an online store or bricks and mortar business you still have tasks. You can create projects for each of core responsibilities and add your tasks there. You will always have projects or new things you want to implement in your business. You can use Asana to create the project, add the tasks and get other people involved to help.

Watch my Asana walk through now.

If you would like to see Asana in action - watch my walk through video now. I created this as a mini training video for my clients.

 

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How to make your business resilient

 

A resilient business is a business that can handle change and thrive from it. Its a business what is able to grow and adapt when the business conditions change. Its a business that will make it through tough time - its won't crumble and fail.

I recently attended a talk on how to raise resilient children. It was a fabulous, eye opening talk given by a very experienced physiologist. It got me thinking about how the same principles would apply in business. I think every entrepreneur and small business owner wants to think that their business can handle anything and can stand the test of time.

The three criteria that need to exist for a child to be resilient are:

  1. They have to believe in something greater than themselves
  2. They have to one other person who has said to them "I believe in you"
  3. They have to had encountered adversity

So in the case of a business this could mean:

Greater Purpose and Self Belief

1. As a business owner you need to believe in something greater than yourself. I think it also means that you have to have faith in your own ability and that you need to have a greater purpose that what you are doing in your business.

Reassurance

2. As business owners we all need support. I have had unwavering support from my husband. He has never doubted me or criticized me. He makes me believe that I can do anything. When I have faced challenges in the past we has walked beside as me I have tried to sort through the issues. Do you have someone who believes in you and gives you reassurance?

Adversity

Adversity is a business context would mean facing business challenges and overcoming them. So often entrepreneurs that are successful in their first business fail in their second when the going gets tough because they don't have the skills to deal with adversity. Knowing how to deal with adversity helps you to get up on difficult mornings. It gives you the confidence to know that you can deal with any situation.

Are you resilient? Is your business resilient?

 

 

 

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The Overnight Success Phenomenon

Take heart - we often look at other people's businesses and think "how did they become an overnight success?". But often what seems like overnight to us actually took 10 + years to build.

Over the last few weeks I have been listening to lots of amazing online marketers and successful online business owners. They nearly ALL same the same thing. Building a successful business takes lots of small consistent steps each and every day. It takes putting one foot in front of the other each day, consistently working towards your dream.

Smart Startup recently published an article about the founder of Australia's first online beauty store - Kate Morris of Adore Beauty. She now has an annual revenue of $14m and is considered by some to an overnight success. But in reality her business took 15 years to build.

It took Kate 10 years to reach $2million revenue. Her business plateau at this point. She then took some important steps in her business to grow it to $14million a year over the last 5 years.

Here is what she did:
1. Sort help - she consulted a business coach who recommended she write up a 10 year vision statement to herself. This process reminded Kate of where she wanted to go with her business and re-energised her to focus on what was important to her and her customers.
2. Purchased a larger warehouse
3. Moved her website onto a new platform
4. Introduced price matching policy
5. Offered free shipping on all Australian orders
6. Increased the inventory
7. Launched a marketing campaign

Looking at the Adore Beauty website there are lots of things that are being done well which help Kate to succeed. These include:
1. Being a Google Trusted Store
2. Having live chat that pops up and asks if you need help
3. Being an improved seller of leading brands and showing the authenticity badges
4. Adding free samples start the cart and a surprise free gift to your customers

Are you doing these things on your website?

So take heart....success for many is a gradual process. Don't hold out for the one big event that will skyrocket your business. Contact us if you need help aligning your business with your dreams.

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{FREE EBOOK} - Struggling with Instagram for your business?

Are you using Instagram? Are you struggling with it? Or are you doing ok but want to do better? Hubspot and Iconsquare have just released a free ebook on 'How to use Instagram for Business'. You can sign up to get a copy

This ebook is a collaboration between two companies that know a lot about Instagram. Hubspot -which is one of the latest inbound marketing platforms in the world and Iconsquare which helps to manage your Instagram account from your desktop or mobile.

Have you been toying with the idea of using Instagram? Here is why you should use it. It is the fastest growing social media platform. It has 93% month over month audience growth. Do you target millennials? If so this is one of their platforms of choice.

This detailed guide walks you through:

1. Determining your goals

  • What you will be using Instagram for

2. Determining you metrics

  • Using data to draw conclusions
  • Defining value to management

3.  Determining brand guidelines

  • Staying on brand
  • High quality images
  • Typography Rules

4.  Test, repeat, optimise

  • Posting Schedule

5. The Anatomy of the Perfect Profile and Post

  • 9 ways to optimise you profile and posts

6.  9 Types of posts every marketer should try on Instagram

Along with lots of creative inspiration. Its a great guide if you are starting out with Instagram for the first time or if you have dabbled a bit but never really embraced it.


YOUR TURN --->

Task 1: Learn more about Instagram

If you are still not really sure what Instagram is and why you should use it.  - Get more info here - this post is quick and easy to read and will help you see why you should be on Instagram. Once you are convinced come and complete task 2 to 4.

Task 2: Print out the ebook and read it

If your like me - you need to return to the old work and print things out and read it. If your good at reading online - please print just the checklist

Task 3: Complete the checklist on page 39

The ebook includes a great checklist for you to work through the ideas and advice in the ebook. Print this out and work through it.

Task 4: Assess whether you are meeting the goals you set Instagram

After a month review the goals and metrics you set. Are you meeting the goals and metrics? If not try tweaking your posts, experiment with other post ideas or take a look at this free guide from Foundr on how to supercharge your Instagram reach.


If you need more help with Instagram or just want someone to hold you accountable for following through the the tips and tasks in this ebook. Contact us now to book a coaching session.



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Integrate content marketing into your sales process for business success in 2016

In a recent Forbes article on The Top 10 Business Trends that will drive success in 2016, one of the top trends was integrating content marketing into your sale process. I personally love this tip and I hope all my clients adopt this trend. But what does this actually mean and how can you implement it in your business in 2016.

Content marketing is a term bandied around in the online world all the time. Put simply content marketing is when you create a digital asset and use it to promote your product or service. The content needs to valuable, relevant, and consistent and is designed to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience, normally your target audience. The digital asset can be a blog article, how to guide, video training series, ebooks, checklist and more. There are lots of large companies that have been doing this well for a long time. In 2015 we saw more and more smaller businesses create great bits of content as lead magnets in their business.

The new trend is to continue to use content marketing as part of your inbound marketing strategy but also throughout your sales process. Not just at the beginning of the funnel. So ask yourself a quick question. Are you using content throughout the sales process? If you aren't using it - you might be missing out on sales. Here's how. Many consumers now spend time researching products either before or during the sales process. Customers value impartial good quality input and advice about products and services. If your not providing the content to help them make the decision someone else probably is and that someone could be your competitor. If they give them the answers they need - more than likely they will buy from them because they have become the trusted advisor.

So the hot tip for 2016 is to find ways to integrate valuable impartial content to support customer buying decisions. The key here is that it must be impartial - you need to expound what you good at but also acknowledge what you are not good at. Being honest and authentic is key here.


YOUR TURN --->

So how would you actually implement this is your business this year.

Task 1: Beef up content on your product or sales pages to keep customers there

  • Look at your product and sales pages afresh. These pages play an important role in supporting customer buying decisions. Ideally if you can provide all the information or content the customer needs to make the buying decision on your page, they won't leave and go somewhere else to get it. They will stay, add the item to the cart and checkout.
  • Assess whether you have included honest information about your products or services. Its important to list all the good points and sometimes to helps to include a list of what the product or service isn't good at or shouldn't be used for.
  • Make sure your product or sales pages include reviews and quotes from real customers. This builds trust and helps the customer to feel confident about the purchase. We don't really want them leaving to go to a product review site to set the information. Once they are there a review of a customers product might attract them and they never come back.
  • Also consider adding a link to a PDF guide about the product or service that includes valuable, easy to read information about the product or service. In this guide include a comparison chart between you and your competitors - be honest. Make it visually easy for a customer to know if your product is a good fit for them.
  • Add a "I need help" pop up box that allows the user to request assistance which triggers a guide, 'how to' or more info about the product to their email account. This guide may actually answer their question and get them to convert right then and there.

Task 2: Drip feed content over the course of the sales cycle using auto-responders in your onboarding workflow

  • Do you have a lead magnet to a product or sales page? Review this lead magnet to see if more information can be added to assist customer buying decisions. Once you have captured their email address look at your auto responder emails in your onboarding series that move customers through your funnel. Does the content in the series provide the customers with progressively more information, answer more typically asked questions etc? This is what we are aiming for - we want customers to have have everything they need to buy the product or service. If you don't provide product comparisons on the product or sales pages consider sending it as an email during the onboarding series.

If you need more help with content marketing then please contact us for a coaching session.

 

 

 

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A new leaf

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A new leaf

I am turning over a new leaf at Boutique Business Consulting. It is exciting and always a bit daunting. Boutique Business Consulting initially started out in Hong Kong as a consulting firm - helping women to succeed in business. Because of my previous experience with the web the business soon morphed into a web development business. Boutique Business Consulting has developed over 115 websites in 2 years.

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Shopify's Latest Commerce Report - 2014

Today Shopify released their latest commerce report for 2014. There were two charts in this report that I thought I would share and draw some conclusions from.

The first relates to social media as a tool for attracting sales. In 2014 we saw the biggest increase in social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest and Instragram bringing sales to online store. These platforms are a viable channel for bringing traffic to your website that converts. Google Organic Search and Paid Search like Ad Words are still the biggest sources of traffic and sales. But social media is growing, especially Facebook which holds the lions share as the graph shows below.

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Choosing a Website Generator for your new website

Firstly what is a website generator? I personally hadn’t heard this term until 2015 but website generators are software either on your desktop or in the cloud that helps you to create websites.Some as designed for business owners and some are designed for web designers.

Website generators can be great for people who are a bit tech savvy, enjoy creating things and have a bit of design flair. Does this describe you? Then you are ready to create your own website using a website generator. If this doesn’t sound like you, you can still use these platforms but you might want to get some help. So many clients call me after they have spent hours and hours trying to get their site looking good only to find that there are loads of elements of the site that are still not right.

Lets have a look at some of the main website generators. Some of these I am looking at for the first time.  There are always new platforms emerging and now is a good time, at the start of 2015 to have a look at these.

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