Entrepreneurial Authorship Case Study

What happens when a client’s publisher doesn’t uphold their end of the bargain?

Sarah [not her real name] came to me for coaching to develop her consulting business, speaking career, and strategically use her new book to launch into both containers. Throughout our coaching period together, there was one problem after another with her publisher, and we were constantly working to pivot around the mistakes or misleading information that the publisher had provided.

The Moment of Panic

This came to a head as launch day neared.  The agreed upon plan was to print advanced reader copies on the 1st of December in order to give the sales team time to market the book to stores to receive orders before the holidays.  It would also give Sarah time to send advanced reader copies to reviewers and press.  We would then hit the ground running in early January with a book launch date in early February.

The print date came and went.  The distributor had not bought into that plan.  We’re not sure if the publisher did not communicate well with the distributor, or if the distributor was a bad choice and went rogue.  However, there were no books to begin the sales process at this critical juncture.

When my client contacted the distributor, they simply stated they had chosen to wait to print the advanced copies in mid January — only weeks before launch and not enough time for stores to make their orders.

This left a massive gap in the marketing plan for the book, especially due to the looming holiday season.  The book would launch to crickets if we didn’t do something fast.

Time to get Disruptive

We had to make a plan that would fill the marketing gap but not create excessive cost outside the original budget.  It also had to be something we could launch fast because we were a week into December and already behind.

What I created for this client was a postcard campaign.  The postcards would contain the book cover, a synopsis, and the contact info for the sales team.  This gave the sales team a physical showcase item to replace the physical books.

However, that created another problem.  If the postcards were used in different regions, that meant different a sales person’s information needed to be provided for each region.  We didn’t have time or the budget to develop small runs of postcards with unique contact information.

The solution was to create a universal postcard that forwarded interested parties to a sales team page on the book’s website.

Finally, my client was concerned the sales team either would not know about the book in time, or wouldn’t care about the postcard solution to make up for the lost time.  Each salesperson has several books that they are promoting at one time. We needed the sales team on our side and we needed them to be ready to help us when the advanced reader copies came out.

We decided to send them all holiday presents of bourbon-filled chocolate. Not only was the team happy to receive a gift, it also made my client memorable, so when they finally had the book in hand in January, they were invested in its success.

So what happened?

Not only did the postcard idea help bridge the gap in the marketing plan, it created an entirely new marketing plan. The distributor, the sales team, the publicist, and even the publisher were so enthused about the postcard idea that they all requested a batch of their own.  We bought a larger run of postcards, saving some money on the individual cost, and garnering the book greater attention than originally planned.

This client is both an author and consultant. We were building a marketing plan for both, and so the success of this book was critical. Knowing that I helped her to pivot as fast as possible and bring the book to success is exactly the work that I love to do.

If you have a book in the works and you’re not sure how to fit it into your business plan, or you need support to pivot a marketing plan fast, I’d be happy to talk to you.  Let’s schedule an intro call.

 


The Audacious List of Remote Work Job Boards

Hello Disrupters.

In this hectic time, many of us are at risk of losing income because in-person interactions are discouraged and our stores must close their doors.  I’ve created this list to offer you the option of making money online, and perhaps even create passive income for the future, while you are quarantining and social distancing.  I will be updating this list often with more details, categories, and sites.  I hope this helps you.

Feel free to share what you learn in our Facebook group, The Disruptive Entrepreneur Society.

General Job Boards | Digital Nomad Sites | Remote Tech Jobs | Freelancing Sites | Creatives | Writing & Editing | Marketing | Tutoring | Passive Income | Aggregate Boards | Newsletters

General Job Boards

 

  1. FlexJobs — freelance, part-time, and full-time opportunities.
  2. RemoteCo — remote positions in many industries.
  3. JustRemote — multi-discliplinary job board.
  4. Virtual Vocations — telecommuting opportunities.
  5. Pangian — international remote work opportunities.
  6. We Work Remotely — work-from-home and tech jobs.
  7. Remote Ok  — job board with tech and non-tech opportunities.
  8. Jobspresso — jobs in tech and customer support.
  9. Outsourcely — Freelance work.
  10. HubStaff — short and long term gigs
  11. The Muse — remote opportunities paired with personal career coaching for you
  12. Workew — general remote work board with great filters to find just what you want
  13. 100 Telecommute Jobs — true work from home opportunities
  14. Remotees — search for a specific company you’d like to work remotely for
  15. Werk — pre-negotiated jobs board
  16. GlassDoor — thousands of opportunities all over the world (make sure you select “remote” in your search filter)
  17. Business Talent Group — for consultants
  18. Global Career – jobs ranging in different markets
  19. Dynamite Jobs — general job board with intensive screening

For Digital Nomads

 

  1. NoDesk — for digital nomads
  2. Skip the Drive — jobs catering to digital nomads.
  3. EuropeRemotely — Work remotely in European time zones
  4. The Remote Work Summit — an online conference each April for remote workers
  5. Working Nomads — freelance opportunities in your inbox
  6. Remote Year — travel abroad while doing what you love

Remote Tech Opportunities

 

  1. Power To Fly  — for women in tech
  2. Authentic Jobs — for web professionals
  3. Dribble — remote creative and web opportunities
  4. AngelList — tech startup opportunities
  5. StackOverflow — for tech and web professionals
  6. GitHub Jobs — remote tech in all areas
  7. Ruby Now — work specifically for Ruby engineers
  8. Dice — remote back end work
  9. HitMarker — positions in gaming or esports
  10. WellPaid.io — higher paid positions for experienced tech roles
  11. TechLadies — a tech job board oriented toward women in tech and women owned businesses

Freelancing

 

  1. Fiverr — small gigs that can lead to big gigs
  2. Upwork — bid on gigs with companies
  3. Freelancer — similar to Upwork
  4. Coworks — remote work for creatives
  5. Gun.io — freelance website development
  6. Cloud Peeps — freelance online marketing (have a portfolio ready)
  7. Guru — direct connect with companies looking for you
  8. PeoplePerHour — direct company gigs
  9. SolidGigs — gig type jobs (paid membership)
  10. Fancy Hands — a Virtual Assistant network

Remote work for Creatives

 

  1. 99Designs — Web and Graphic Design

Writing and Editing

 

  1. Contena — copywriting, writing, and editing
  2. TextBroker — we used to use this at my former role as Director of Content Marketing
  3. Freelance Writing — write anything from PRs to content
  4. ProBlogger — copywriting at an advanced level
  5. TranslationCafe — outdated website but very current job postings
  6. VIPKId — teach English online

Marketing and Media

 

  1. MediaBistro — work for the big names from home

Sills Trade / Tutor / Training

 

  1. Wyzant — sign up to be a tutor on myriad topics
  2. Udemy — develop your own courses
  3. Thumbtack — work in areas you know

Passive Income

 

  1. iStock — sell stock photography
  2. Adobe Stock — sell stock photography
  3. YouTube — develop videos and receive revenue from ad placement
  4. Google AdSense — if you have a website you can place ads on it (but beware making your website look junky)
  5. Amazon Authors — write and sell your eBook
  6. Amazon — resell products on Amazon
  7. Prosper — offer a microloan
  8. High Yield Banking — make sure your bank pays you for the privilege of holding your money
  9. Turo — rent out your car
  10. Affiliate Marketing — sign up as an affiliate at websites you already recommend
  11. RedBubble — sell your art and photography for print on demand products
  12. Fine Art America — sell your photography for print on demand products
  13. HubPages — write blogs and receive income from them

Aggregate Job Boards

 

  1. Remotely Awesome Jobs — pulls from approx. 20 sites
  2. Rmeote4Me — tech job aggregate site

Remote Jobs Newsletters

 

  1. Remotive — a bi-monthly newsletter with remote job opportunities
  2. Remote Jobs Club — a bi-weekly newsletter

Overwhelmed?  Not sure what to do next?  Maybe you want to keep your current work alive but want to add passive income or other income streams that fit your dream?  Let’s hop on a no-strings call.

How I Launched a Six-Figure Company as a Queer Woman in Tech During the Recession

In 2012 the recession was still raging on.  I was working for an SEO firm and we had been bought out.  I could see the writing on the wall.  I was going to get laid off.  I had to do something.

Why I Started a Business

I didn’t start a business because it was a recession.  In fact, I was too stubborn to even consider that we were in the biggest bear economy since the Great Depression.

I started a business because I hated the feeling that someone else owned my time and livelihood.  Knowing I was about to be laid off due to no fault of my own felt like shit.  I never wanted to feel that again.

The Beginning of my Tech Company

So I took what I knew — content marketing, search engine optimization, and website development — and started bartering for these services around town.  This gave me the chance to learn to code, discover what messaging resonated with people who needed my services, and develop a portfolio.

Then I got laid off.

Not only did I get laid off.  My brother and my dad got laid off in the same week.

The first week of December.  Merry Christmas to all of us.

It was time to go pro.  It was do or die.  I had to start charging for my services.

The Moment I needed to Scale

That went alright for the first two years.  I made ends meet, got off unemployment pretty quickly, and started getting regular referrals for work.

The thing was, I hadn’t learned to market the company, and this meant I was working many more hours than a typical work week in order to hustle up clients from networking events and business gatherings.

I also was doing all the work myself.  I was thinking of myself as a freelancer instead of an entrepreneur, which left me running around like a chicken without a head (check out my video where I explain this in depth).

I had a choice — scale my business, or burn out and return to the workforce.

Well, the workforce just wasn’t an option in my mind.

So I started to learn about scaling.

A Rebrand and Business Model Shift

I didn’t want to scale a business that used my name as its brand.  I knew someday I would want to sell the company, and so I rebranded to GreenCup Digital.  I explained to our existing clients that we were poised to grow and bring them better services as a result, so the name was changed to encompass those new values, and they were on board.

Great.

The next major challenge was to stop the hectic schedule and shotgun approach.  I had been hustling for projects only.  This meant I never knew when the work would come in, and that was fuh-reaky.

So I revamped my packages to include ongoing maintenance.  It really was a no brainer, since getting clients to the front page of Google required upkeep since Google’s policies had changed.

Plus, clients just don’t want to have to mess with tech.  They wanted it handled at an expert level without the expense of hiring someone in-house.  So they hired us on retainer.

Hiring

At this point things were getting better.  Was I still dealing with sexism in the tech industry?  Yes.  But my stress was reduced by the changes I’d made and the new business model garnered me more respect.

The connections I was making were more serious and treated me better.  I had a business that was running like a clock, with replicatable systems.

That part was critical.

The systems had to be spot on before I could hire.  I didn’t realize this at the time, and my first hire and training was messy at best.

But I learned.

It was obvious that if I wanted to hire and have the team do better work than I could on my own, I had to be able to hand over the existing business systems without a whole lot of lag time.

Systemizing reduced training time.  It optimized my team.  It kept me in control without micromanaging.  Hiring was the moment in which I went from a 70-hour work week to a 10-hour work week, the perfect position to sell a business.  Which I did, in 2018, so I could teach clients the business systems I didn’t have so they grow faster, widen their impact, and escape the clutches of imposter syndrome once and for all.

Curious how I sold my company?  Join my free webinar where I explain more.

My book’s documentary selected into a Film Festival

This week I learned that my book’s documentary was selected for the Lift-Off Film Festival 2020.  This is very exciting for a number of reasons.  First, it will widen the awareness of my book and work, as the documentary will be screened in both the UK and Los Angeles.  Second, it gives much deserved distinction to David Astudillo, who took the footage I gathered during the interviews I conducted in my research and turned them into something marvelous.  Finally, it is a perfect demonstration of persistence paying off.

So much of entrepreneurship is about persistence.  One of the most prolific and awarded authors of our time, Jacob Appel, has been rejected by publishers 21,000 times, while having published 215 stories and won several awards.  Our work takes time and patience.

I conducted my research for Stories of Elders in 2015.  It took three years to write the book, finally publishing in 2018 through Identity Publications.  In between research and publishing, David approached me and stated he had interest in making my work into a documentary.  Lucky for us, I had recorded footage of the interviews I’d conducted.  The night of my book launch I didn’t read from the book — I screened his film, which brought the audience into my seat during interviews and told the story in an intimate manner.

Today that documentary is being used to prime the next wave of interviews with Generation Z.  Their reaction to the film creates a perfect compare / contrast between the last analogue generation and the first all-tech generation.

I applied to many more film festivals than will ever accept us.  That’s simply how it works.  But so many authors and entrepreneurs get discouraged after only a few no’s.  In April I’m teaching a free workshop in Long Beach on exactly this topic.  If you’d like to develop a plan around your book, you’d better be there (virtual replay to follow — join the newsletter to find out when it lands).

When Social Media Blocks You

Originally aired on my Podcast — Listen now >>

Social media has finally failed me.  And I know that it is said over and over, don’t depend on social media.  I even tell my clients this.

As a matter of fact, I had a client a couple of weeks ago working on marketing, and I asked what would you do if you didn’t have social media?  How do you think that people made money and made connections in the past, before social media (because obviously business has been around for a long time).

You’re not supposed to depend on social media, but a lot of us do because it’s free and the reach is wide. Or at least, potentially wide.  As a coach, I encourage my clients to not depend on social media.  Have your shit together there, but don’t depend on it because you don’t control it and it could go away in a moment.

Despite this, I haven’t actually had any problems with social media and continued to use it.  Here’s what I think happened.

I personally don’t love social media.  I’m an analog gal. I write books about technology at the intersection of anthropology.  I cook with cast iron.  I don’t own a Microwave, and I prefer records.  I’m kind of old school.  But I founded a tech company.  And I run an online business today as a coach.  So here I am sitting at this beautiful intersection between technology and analog.

Social media, in some ways, is so fun to me.  I’m able to stay in touch with loved ones abroad, build my network like a ninja, and learn about news fast.  But in other ways, it feels exhausting.  And that exhaustion is reflected by many people.

I tend to avoid it, and I know that may be hard to believe because my presence has been pretty solid.  That’s because I hired somebody.  One of my Three Pillars of Business Scaling™ is outsourcing, and I knew that I needed someone to do a better job than I was.

He did a really good job.  The thing is, I think that part of his work to post my website and what I have going on must have gotten flagged by Facebook, because it was during his tenure that my website stopped being allowed to be posted to Facebook.  I spent two hours fixing it — or so I thought.  It now seems that, once again, I cannot post my website links.

What’s really frustrating is that I have an upcoming webinar.  It’s my scaling webinar, “How to scale your business without losing your shit or your friends”.  It’s super fun, in depth, and helpful information that gets business people off the hamster wheel and into the success and freedom that they meant to have when they started a business. This isn’t spam. This is helpful, free information.

And Facebook’s like “no”.

Oh my god.  So frustrating.  I spent the first day of this just being mad and trying to figure out what the hell was going on.  I then resolved myself to get creative.

I recently published a really helpful blog that dovetails perfectly with the workshop.  I actually dispel some of the myths about scaling in the blog that I also dig deep on in the workshop.  I  reposted this to Medium where there’s a wider audience, and I also included the link to the webinar.  I know for sure that Facebook is not going to black list Medium, so I knew that I could post that Medium link to Facebook.

I then asked friends to share the Medium article, because everyone likes to try and beat Facebook in its own game.  So this is actually kind of fun, now, and I’m actually getting more traction, at least on the blog post.

I also created an Eventbrite listing, which automates with MailChimp, so everything that I need to send to people who sign up to the webinar will receive it when they sign up through Eventbrite.

I’ve told so many people don’t depend on social media, and now here I am.  Social media has blocked me or at least blocked some of the most important stuff that I do.  I mean, webinars are critical to the work that I do.  It’s all about sharing and I don’t get to share if I don’t get to do my webinars.

All that to say this week I am hosting my famous webinar on scaling you’re welcome to attend.  Don’t depend on social media.  And constantly think creatively, so before you get in trouble, you have a plan. Think about how you are not going to market your company without social media in order to diversify your promotions or whatever else you have going on.

Accounting vs. Budgeting

From my podcast Audacious Entrepreneur on the Move episode #010.  Listen now >>>

Let’s talk about the fun topic of money. I know y’all love this.

This is a really important topic, especially if you’re an entrepreneur.  Of course, a big part of our job is making money and making systems that work so that we can turn a profit and do what we love for the rest of our lives (or for however long we want to be doing them).  We want to lead a self determined life.

I see a lot of entrepreneurs who say that they budget and that they know what’s going on in their company, but what they’re actually doing is accounting.  If you are categorizing transactions from your company after-the-fact, you’re accounting.

Budgeting is forward thinking.  It is setting aside funds in order to purchase or create transactions for the future.  Accounting is what you have done in the past.  So if you are using software like QuickBooks or Wave, or even Mint, you’re accounting, and that is great.  You have to do accounting in your business, and I am not here to diminish the value of accounting.  It’s why we hire accountants.

So then, how do we budget?  What’s more, how do you start getting into the mindset of budgeting? 

Well, first of all, this is something that just is not taught to us.  I think we all can agree that the American education system largely overlooks the fact that we need to manage money in our lives.

This is amplified when you start a business.  Budgeting is even more critical when in business, and yet so many of us just never learned to do it.  It took me years of being in business, years of entrepreneurship, to realize the difference between accounting and budgeting.  And now that I do budget, my life and work is completely changed.

Okay, so then how do we budget well?

The system that has been around the longest is the envelope system.  But most of you will cringe because the envelope system exists completely in cash.  Another alternative is to budget manually by looking at your bank account and then allocate funds that way.  But if you’re anything like me, you’ve got a lot of shit going on.  So that’s going to be a pain in the ass.

There is an app I use, instead.  Now, let me be clear, I am completely unaffiliated with this software.  I use it, myself, and I love it.  I suggest it to friends and clients but I receive nothing in return.  In fact, they don’t even have an affiliate program at this time.  So this suggestion is purely because I have found that this has worked for me and for my clients, and I believe it will work for you.

It’s called YNAB, or You Need A Budget.  YNAB is an incredible app that is based on the original envelope system; setting aside certain amounts of cash into different categories for different different purchases in the future.  So what YNAB does is it forces you to categorize all of the money that you have right now.  Period.

As a reminder, accounting is categorizing past purchases.  Budgeting is categorizing the money you currently have for the future.  This means that one can spend confidently without the anxiety of wondering how a single purchase will affect the rest of the business.

Separation of Personal and Business

Now, if you have done your due diligence, setting up a budget (whether through YNAB or any other system) should be very straightforward because your business bank account should be separate from your personal.  If they aren’t separate bank accounts, then you need to contact me and we need to discuss how to make sure that you business is secure and set up properly.  This goes along with the concept of ‘piercing the veil’ — all liability needs to be owned by the business so that your personal assets are not at risk.

If you’re a younger entrepreneur, younger as in newer, it is likely that nobody has ever told you the difference between accounting and budgeting and you may not be doing it.  If you feel like you’re constantly on a hamster wheel, you’re constantly racing to try to make ends meet, or if you run your business card and you’re not sure how that’s going to affect your company’s profit margin, you’re probably not budgeting.  And it’s time.

The 5 Biggest Scaling Blunders

Business scaling is critical to the success of an enterprise.  It is the process of building the business so it is not dependent on any one person or concept.  That is, avoiding a bottle neck and enabling exponential growth.

Yet, over and over, I see entrepreneurs getting stuck in their businesses.  We start our businesses with a vision, and then get lost in the day-to-day minutiae.  Eventually, one’s mind gets trained to focus on these pressing needs, forgetting how to float back up to the 50,000 foot overview of the business’ direction and goals.  So often it is only at times like New Years Eve that one pauses to reflect, losing out on a precious year’s time.

Unfortunately, there are several myths floating around in the business world that reinforce this behavior.  Here are the five biggest mistakes and false beliefs that keep entrepreneurs in this exhausting cycle.

  1. Scaling is only for startups or six-figure-plus businesses
  2. I’m the only one who can do what I do
  3. Scaling is expensive
  4. To scale I must hire
  5. To succeed in business I must hustle / run around like a chicken without a head

Let’s dig in to these and discover how to break through and grow your business.

Scaling is only or startups or six-figure-plus businesses

Startup culture is very familiar with scaling.  In fact, it is critical for a startup to scale quickly in order to get the attention of and fulfill commitments to investors.  This driving force in startup culture is likely the reason that small businesses don’t believe scaling is for them.  While most early phase startups receive investments, most early phase small businesses do not.  If the idea of scaling is tied to conversations about investors, it is clear that the concept would skip over small business owners.

Yet, any business can scale.  If the core concept of business scaling is to simply get out of your own way, then scaling any business becomes possible (even coaching businesses!).  The biggest roadblock for small business owners at this point isn’t whether or not one can scale, but that they are the only person who can do what they do, which leads directly into our next point.

I’m the only one that can do what I do

Many business owners have “special snowflake syndrome“.  This comes out of the determination needed to become successful as a business leader.  One must believe in themselves fundamentally in order to weather the stresses inherent in business leadership.

However, that determination eventually runs its course and must be put aside in order to scale.  I believed for a long time that I was the only online marketer with an Anthropology background, that only I could see into target markets in the way I did.  This launched my business to early success, then held it back for two years.  It wasn’t until I stepped back from that belief and discovered that others in the field had their own unique strengths that I could let the business grow once more.  I eventually hired a developer that was better than I which took the company to new heights.  All I had to do was get out of my own way.

Scaling is expensive

This myth is the exact opposite of the truth.  NOT scaling is expensive.  To not scale means giving up thousands in potential revenue, hours of your time spent on non-optimized tasks, and the stress of the hamster wheel.  Luckily, today’s business leaders have access to myriad free tools online that can begin the scaling process without spending a dime.  Review your tasks and consider how much time (and thus money) they take.  Could tech do it faster, better, and cheaper?

To scale I must hire

I realize that, according to the path I spoke of above, it sounds like one must hire in order to scale.  Not true!  My trademark Three Pillars of Business Scaling™ (which I teach in my monthly webinar) start business leaders scaling WAY before hiring occurs.  In fact, some business never have to hire!  The foundation of scaling is getting out of your own way.  Getting your finite time an energy out of the business so it can grow exponentially.  Technology is a great resource for this.  If you have any recurring tasks in your business, look at them carefully.  Why are you still involved, and how can you get yourself out of them?

To succeed, I must hustle

If you are following me on Facebook you will have noticed several recent posts from the likes of Entrepreneur and Forbes business magazines that state just the opposite.  In fact, if you are hustling, there is likely something broken in your business.  Let me be clear, there is a difference between a hard push to roll out a new product or pivot the business and an ongoing grind.  A business pivot uses finite focused time.  If you find yourself regularly working eighty hours a week without making ends meet, it’s time to examine what is happening for your business.

I was able to get my hours down to ten per week before I sold my tech company, whereas previous to scaling I was working 70 hours a week.  This is a stark contrast that should tell you loud and clear that an ongoing hustle is like being a rocket stuck in Earth’s gravitational pull — you’ve got to get out of the atmosphere so you can turn those burners off!  Otherwise, you’ll burn out.  No one can push that hard forever, so if you’re feeling exhausted, get on my calendar and let’s get clear about what’s going on.

Share Your Work

From my podcast Audacious Entrepreneur on the Move

I’m coming to you from Bloomington, Indiana.  My book signing was yesterday, and it was utterly amazing. 40 people came, I sold so many books, the questions and conversation were incredible. It was just awesome.

I left Michigan yesterday morning, and as I was driving, I was recalling how I missed out on a golden opportunity four years ago when I was doing the research for my book, Stories of Elders. The research took place across 12,000 miles, but I completely missed the opportunity to take photos and share the experience with others. And because of that I lost out on followers, potential buyers, and massive networking opportunities.

I have been thinking a lot about that during this book tour and wanting to share that with you all. Even though it seems pretty small, it is actually a big deal. I know that we chalk up social media to being so fluffy and lacking substance.  We have so many reasons to avoid social media, I totally get it from a very personal standpoint.  But we also live in a time where has never been easier to take hundreds of photos and share experiences.  It is these experiences that people want to be shared.

I would much rather see your pictures of an experience or an adventure than just seeing you drink a cup of coffee.  Coffee is great, and I love it, but it’s just a cup of coffee.

So as I was driving this time for the book tour, I made sure to stop and take photos and take some video clips.  Right now it feels like I just need to get to the next place, but later on in this trip, it’s really going to matter.

I want to encourage you to do the same. All of you are here because you have a great idea. You’re doing something amazing either as an entrepreneur or an author, and all of these things, whatever they may be, have stories to tell.  When you travel or when you are doing something to support that incredible work, it’s really unique.  You’re doing something that no one else really does. The percentage of the population that is founding businesses and writing books is fairly small.  Even today, when entrepreneurship is really starting to get quite popular.

As for book writing, it’s much easier to publish today.  The barrier to entry to write a book is much lower because of Amazon and on demand printing. But even still, not a lot of people do this.

So it’s worth sharing.  You have a story.  You have an idea.  You have an experience.  Not only is it inspiring to others, but it also might teach or may elevate your brand and bring you new customers and clients. You never know how just simply sharing something that seems so mundane to you is actually totally changing lives.

If you want help planning your social shares and balancing them with your work / life balance, get on my calendar!

How to Deal with Another Business Stealing your IP

I know it’s not the comforting to hear, but this happens.  Ideas rub off onto others, and sometimes, whether they mean to or not, they begin using those ideas.  Nevertheless, it’s a shock to realize that a local competitor has taken your IP and copied it — sometimes unabashedly.

At GreenCup we had a direct local competitor that was very similar in pricing and in offerings.  I hated that I would be jealous when a potential client chose them over us.  But I’m sure they felt the same way about us, sometimes!  I have since seen other groups or coaches take my ideas and run with them.  Like I said, it happens.

One of the most important things to remember is that no one can duplicate YOU.  They can steal your ‘style’ and copy your content, but trust is built with clients in the actual work.  You have a special sauce that has clearly been working for you.  They can try to follow what you’re doing, but they didn’t create it, which means that there will always be something missing.

Please also remember that there are thousands of potential clients in your region, not to mention nationwide or internationally if you serve those markets.  Not to mention that we are seeing mass migrations across the country, meaning you have new potential clients and customers pouring into your area.  Only a cross section of those are your ideal client, of course, but you definitely have what it takes to attract them.

So focus on your work.  Focus on the invitation.  Focus on innovating to make things even better and keep your edge.  And consider how can you get in front of your ideal client first, or even after they’ve gone with the competitor to show that you are a lovely option should they ever be displeased?  Where are they looking?  The worst thing you can do is become distracted from growing your beautiful work because you’re concerned with another business.

Now, how do you protect your IP?  There’s trademarking and copywriting, sure, and they are fair options.  But ultimately there’s not a whole lot that can be done without spending a lot of money in lawsuits.  I’m happy to look over your online presence to make sure there are no leaks, but most likely they took what they could and guessed about the rest, which means your business still works better.

Keep it up,

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re worried about another business encroaching on your ideas, get on my calendar!

Why Podcasting is the Next Step to Building Your Empire

Building an empire (an audacious group of offerings developed by a single expert) isn’t something one simply completes and moves on from.  Empire building for entrepreneurs is an ongoing process, especially for thought leaders and serial entrepreneurs.  You have a lot to offer the world and each new addition to your business is a stepping stone to new heights.

Today I want to talk about podcasting and how it is the perfect next step to your empire building.  Podcasting is not new – if you haven’t heard of it, well, get on your phone and explore Apple Podcasts or Google Play — and its format really is just radio broadcasting for the 21st century.  So we’re not reinventing the wheel by starting a podcast.

Now, I’ve written an entire guide on the how-to in creating a podcast.  So we’re not going to spend a lot of time on that in this blog post.  Instead, I want you to truly understand WHY you need to add a podcast to your empire.

Your Authority Is Showing

The first and most important thing that a podcast does for a business is it shows your authority in your field.  Couldn’t you acheive this by getting interviewed on other podcasts and media outlets?  Well, sure… to an extent.  But it takes away your control, means you are always at the mercy of others, and it doesn’t create as much authority as owning your own podcast channel.  Here’s why.

By founding your own podcast channel, you are telling the world, “I am such an expert that I am able to create an entire channel around my knowledge.”  Sounds pretty audacious, doesn’t it?

Well, it is.  And that’s exactly the point.  Even as you squirm a little because that sounds pretty big, I know you have this.  You’ve been running your business long enough (and you’ve been in your field even longer) that you absolutely are an expert.

Feeling uncomfortable about creating all that content on your own?  Bring other experts onto your show to interview them, and your content will create itself!  This episode of my podcast gives great tips on how to do this really well right off the bat so your guests feel totally pampered and experience you as an expert colleague.

Holy Reach Batman!

The next thing that a podcast can do for your empire is reach new audiences.  The podcast apps use algorithms to recommend new and related podcasts to audiences, which means that you can get in front of people you otherwise wouldn’t have.

The critical thing is that you know this from the get-go so you can leverage this opportunity.  One of the biggest things I teach my clients is to always have a call to action prepared for any media exposure.  Don’t get me wrong — media exposure is awesome on its own, and absolutely helps elevate your authority, but if you have a ‘next step’ for readers or listeners to engage with you, you will build your followership and generate leads.

What does this mean for you as a podcast host?  Asking listeners to simply subscribe isn’t enough.  You need to welcome them into your empire in some way.  This may be by describing the exclusive show notes on your podcasting website where other offers are then made, or by inviting them to your empire’s Facebook group, or following on social media so you can speak to them about your latest offer when it comes.

Building an audience is fantastic, but you also need to consider how you’ll lead them from day one.

Network, network, network.

Finally, a podcast can build your network in a way that few other outlets can.  Why?  If you are hosting guests on your show (which I highly recommend), you have the opportunity to build your network with fellow experts.

This was the biggest mistake I made on my first podcast.  I go deeper into it in my podcasting guide, but, in short, I overlooked the opportunity I had to build my network by interviewing people who were fellow entrepreneurs.  Just as I expanded my reach to new audiences and followers, I also expanded my reach to other entrepreneurs who could have become colleagues and friends.

Luckily, we’re still connected on Facebook and LinkedIn, but I could have done so much more through the show.  Ask your guests if they need any help with current projects, invite them into your empire, and see if there is anything you can collaborate on.  You never know how these connections will amplify your work.

That’s it!  If you’re curious about starting your own podcast and want some help, sign up for my Audacious Podcasting Course.  Right now it’s only $17 (usually $97), so if you’ve had any notion you want to start a podcast, now is the time to explore it!