Episode #161 – If You Wait For Perfect… You’ll Never Start

Have you ever read one of my posts and found a typo?  How about a grammar error?  YES!  I put them there intentionally.  HAHAHAHA

Actually…

There are typos and grammar errors because if I waited for the post to be perfect you would never read it.  Now, I try to write, “as best I can”.  However, I’m not a writer.  I’m a marketer.  As a marketer I understand that a blog is important for developing a message and creating a following.  Therefore, I write.

I write as an example to you.  I write as a habit.  I do what I ask you to do!

You have a quest for a larger audience, more sales, and a better online presence.  At least this is my hope because that’s the audience I’m writing for!  I try to provide information to help reduce your learning curve in creating more sales by building your online following.  Your blog is one great way to make this happen.  It’s a time consuming passion that does create results… and yet, you resist writing.

If you don’t have time. Make time.

If you don’t think anyone will like what you write. Write anyway.

If you worry it’s not perfect. It is.

Did you catch that last one?  Hummm… I need a grammarian!  “It is” does it refer to the writing not being perfect and it is not perfect or is it referring to the writing not being perfect, but in fact the writing is perfect?  HAHA….  until I find a grammarian, I choose both.  Your writing is not perfect and at the same time it is perfect.

Focus on the information you provide your audience!  Give them yourself.  You have knowledge about your topic that no one else has.  You have stories that make it real, “relateable” and you have a perspective of “having done it”, therefore, it is perfect!

If you feel overwhelmed, start with a brainstorm session.  Come up with the three specialties you could talk to someone about for 10 minutes.  (you might have more than 3).  Next… brainstorm 50 topics for each of the three, when time stops and you find yourself completely engrossed in the topic you have found your blog theme.  Finally, write.  This is the best way to build your credibility as a subject matter expert.  Check out my article on becoming a subject matter expert, with the information society upon us, that “stuff between your ears” has become super important!

One quick reminder on your blog/subject matter expert status.  I attended a conference last March, Social Media Marketing World.  The presenter talked about her journey to creating a large podcast.  She started within her profession of pharmacy.  She joked that she bored herself with the show.  Next she loved African Art, but quickly realized that she appreciated the art but didn’t want to do an ongoing show about it.  Finally, she found her passion in helping Etsy store owners.  That’s quite a journey!   My biggest take away from her story was…

Don’t wait to be perfect, start now.

PS: if you love this post… make sure to “like” it… make sure to click the follow button!  AND… join my “week in review” newsletter

Action Steps
1- Blog. Vlog. or Podcast.  Pick one.
2- Create your topic!
3- Communicate one post.
3- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Question:
What topic makes you a Subject Matter Expert?

Podcast:
Listen to Episode #161 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

 

Love this inspirational quote?  View it on a 12″ x 12″ Canvas “Social Square” wall hanging!

Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com

Episode #131 – There’s a Point Where You Have to Run! Go Drink the Vegetable Stuff.

Are you ready?  In order to make a change you have to be willing to leave your comfort zone.

So I’ll ask again, “Are you ready?”

The reason we attend conferences and seminars is to make us feel good about “doing something”.  It’s the same reason we go to the store to buy healthy foods, like vegetable drinks, only to let them spoil.  Yes, you guess it… I open my fridge and see the vegetable drink sitting there!  So, we want to make a change, we do something, but we don’t actually do the right thing which is:  Use the information or drink the vegetable stuff.

It’s true!

Think about the last conference or seminar you attended… I’m guessing you have a packet of information from it, including a bunch of notes.  Are you using it?  How about reading things on the internet… Do you use the ideas you find?  I mean, after you read this post, will you decide to take action and run to second???  (I hope so…)

We live in such an exciting time.  I remember doing research papers for school and spending hours in a library looking up articles, first you had to start with a giant “topic” book that listed all sorts of articles by topic, then you had to pull microfiche or archives, then you had to actually find the article, then read the article… but now in minutes the answer is simply a Google away!   You can search for the solution to your problem and get the answer almost instantly… and yet, that’s where we leave it.  Yes, I’m guilty of it too.

I don’t even think it’s “analysis paralysis” anymore… I just think there’s an element of comfort, and dare I say laziness. I’m not being mean.  But when you’re comfortable you are lazy.  And although second base looks nice, stealing it is, well, risky.  If you just wait for the next batter you’ll most likely get there… so it’s comfortable to wait. It’s like the vegetable stuff you buy to drink, you bought it and it’s there in your fridge, but if you just wait until you’re hungry or thirsty or how ever is appropriate to consume it… you’ll most likely get there.

Why wait until “most likely” take your foot off first and run.  You went into business so you’ve got a risky side…

So what the heck?!?!  Today, right now, run.  Second is in front of you… go, drink the vegetable stuff.  Implement that idea you got from the conference you attended 6 months ago.

The reason I mention this is because two months ago I started implementing ideas from two conferences I attended earlier this spring (Icon and Social Media Marketing World) and here’s the unintended consequence, our business has received more positive reviews from customers in the last five weeks than we have received in the previous two years…  so, go though those notes and implement a few ideas. 🙂

PS: if you love my post, give it a “like”!

Action Step
1- Review your notes from the last conference you attended OR from a “think” you’ve been researching to improve your business…
2- GO.  START.  IMPLEMENT IT!
3- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Listen to Episode #131 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

Love this inspirational quote?  Buy it on a 12″ x 12″ Canvas “Social Square” wall hanging!

Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com

Episode #117 – Three Types of Customer Experiences… Advice from My Squiggle Notes.

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” M.Althsuler

Sometimes the quote I pick is about me, today is one of those days.  I realized this morning I’m about half way though the time line of a project I started two months ago.  I’m revamping the social media integration at our marina.  I attended two cool conferences this past spring (Social Media Marketing World and Icon) and although the timing was not ideal, I’m the pilot.  And there’s no time like the present for creating change.

I’ve got about 60 days left until Labor Day…

It’s an artificial deadline, because this project will continue to evolve long past that mark. But there has to be a deadline.

So what’s next… because time is flying…

Here’s what’s next. Planning!  (round two)

Two months ago I had a massive planning session with myself.  I reviewed my notes from both conferences and set out on a journey.  I’ve nearly completed everything from that planning session.  Last Sunday it was rainy so I had the perfect opportunity to once again review all of my notes from the two conferences and create one sheet of notes.  One of my crew members saw my paper and startled pointed to the paper and said, “what is that?” – I laughed.  The sheet looked chaotic and had lots of colored arrows, post it notes, stars, and squiggles… but it makes sense to me!

Reviewing notes from a conference is inspiring.  However, I’ve never done it twice and it’s crazy… I found even MORE ideas, this is one that just came to me (from the squiggle sheet).  There are three types of customer experiences you can create:
1) In person
2) Mail
3) Electronic.

Alright, you might not jump out of your chair at that one… but stop and think about it.  IF you switch your mindset to realize that mail is a customer experience, does it create a different value on the letter you send out?  IF mail is an experience, “unboxing” is not a “maybe” but it’s a “must”.  IF digital communication is an experience, then what experience are you creating with that post from yesterday?  Do you wish you could modify it (haha or take it back)???  And clearly our “in person” experience is the most obvious, but also is worth a “level up” action in regards to how you control it.

So there you go, profound inspiration from the squiggle notes… but I’ll let you in on a secret… even I’ll be interested to see where the second half of my project takes me!  The cool part is… I’m in the pilot seat.

PS: if you like my post … give it a “like” (thanks ahead of time)!

Action Step
1- Find your notes from the most recent conference you attended.  Re-Read them.  Keep one piece of paper with you and take notes. Create your own squiggle sheet with ideas!
2- Pick one In-Person, Mail, or Electronic and enhance the experience!  How can you create a vibe that is just YOU or your business using one of those three mediums.  (when you’ve accomplished that… attack the remaining two)
3- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Listen to Episode #117 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

Love this saying?  Buy it on a 12″ x 12″ Canvas “Social Square” wall hanging!

Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com

Days 10-16… Progress… yea

My journey is going awesome – today was day 16 since my return from Social Media Marketing World.  And now… I have a podcast!  Woo Hoo!  It’s ready for you to subscribe too!  Right now I’m creating one minute inspirations in the morning to help motivate your day.  The only thing I’m missing is a name… I need a title to the show.  I’m sure it will come to me.

Here’s the fun part that you can try for your business.  The technology makes it easy to record on your phone and upload to a podcast host.  I use Libsyn.  Once you create the audio track then you are able to repurpose the content in your social media channels.  For example, I repurpose my audio blog by creating a written blog post and linking back to the correct track.  It’s a neat way to help generate traffic… think about it for your business.

Finalizing the podcast was the biggest consumer of my time over the past six days. This includes the logistics of getting the podcast working, including graphics, descriptions and transferring feeds.  It also including the “doing” function of creating content.  I’m happy it’s working.  Next is to get my app done and BigFishIdeas.com ready to go…

This leads me to the mid-week check-in I completed.  Since most of ProfitCenterCoach.com was ready in skeleton form, it was time to look at BigFishIdeas.com.  Once again I needed to evaluate my content mission statement and determine what the main purpose is of the site.  My main purpose for BigFishIdeas.com is sharing tips that other small business have found successful… this means that I soon will be ready to recruit stories!  If you have one to share email me!

As for my App… oh, don’t ask.   Since Apple updated it’s terms of service, my App is caught is some strange vortex of waiting for approval.  Tick Tock – it will be worth the wait!

The photo of the envelopes is a small TBD success story.  I was sitting at work.  Remember, I work at our family marina.  I’m trying to increase members in our boat club.  I was trying to figure out how to reach this audience… then I had an “ah ha” moment.  I thought… hummm… what would I tell someone else.  Sure enough, I went to my list and segmented it down to a point where I have a giant pile of yellow envelopes going out in the mail tomorrow.  I’ll keep you posted on the success!

Action Steps:
1- Determine two topics you could talk about on a Podcast… AND start an audio blog.  Don’t worry about bringing it to a Podcast until you have 20 recordings.  Just start talking into your phone.  AudioCopy is a free app that you can install to start your 20 recordings!
2- How’s your list doing?  I created a mailing and I’m glad I had the information available to go to this resource.  Start with current customers then past customers.  Get their address and email information into one area, even it’s on paper in a shoebox (someone else can type it) – just start.

Time Flies – Days 7, 8, 9!

Let’s take a look at my week in review and a few more steps forward. I attended Social Media Marketing World and learned some incredible tactics to increase my following by strengthening my brand and content mission. I spent a great deal of time focusing my message and later in the week developed goals. Funny, I didn’t think I’d need goals, but it has helped me focus my time. It’s hard when you’re doing things online, I like to refer to it as “chicken and the egg” you update your blog at the same time you cultivate traffic, at the same time you need to think of the future path you’re on. I get it. But if you re-read my first week, I think it will help you get control of your messaging.

Now over the weekend I worked on slide share. It’s pretty easy to use, especially when you develop your slides in Power Point. Here’s the cool thing about slide share… it’s reusing content you’ve already created. It is a searchable site from Google. End result, let’s say you use a blog you’ve already written as an inspiration, you take the outline or bullet points and create slides, this then goes into Slide Share. Slide Share generates traffic back to your blog. It’s just a great upward spiral. In addition to the show, if you create a great bullet point slide, you can take just that slide and post in other places, your one slide show continues to create messaging opportunities for you!
Another thing I started working on is creating my podcast. I have an audio blog, infact, you can listen to it here… just flip pages. What I’m looking to do is create the actual podcast. But, I’m switching hosting companies and that’s a whole different learning curve. It is necessary and will be worth it, but that’s been taking up a great deal of my time. Can’t wait for it to be ready for me to say, “follow my Podcast” – soon enough.

Finally – over the past three days I’ve been working on my Instagram following. It’s been going well, it’s like learning a new foreign language. In fact, all social media platforms are like learning a foreign language! You need to understand who you are talking to (audience) and learn how they speak (shortcuts), including special courtesies (habits, trends, shortcuts). The way you frame a message on Snapchat is much different from Twitter. It’s due to how the platform has evolved and how the average user is. To communicate in 140 characters to middle-30 somethings is much different from photos that disappear in 10 seconds to high school students! Learn your audience and learn their language.

PS: I was also having fun with cover art for my upcoming podcast… that’s the visual for today’s blog… give me feedback! Email Me

Action Steps
1- How’s your plan? After a week, do you need to tweak it or add to it?
2- Try Slide Share! Make a simple 5 screen slide show about your business. Pick an aspect like a welcome slide show! Just the basics of what you offer. When you’re done, post to your website and Facebook page.
3- What is your best platform for communicating with your target audience? How are you using it, can you improve by taking an online class (Udemy is awesome) or reading a book?

Day Three… Spring Cleaning Your Brand!

I started my day by making an entry in my audio blog – right now, it’s short one minute inspirational quotes.  It is just a fun way to start your day, kind of like if someone left you a clever voice mail that made you think!  I’m glad to be doing them again.  The fun part about about an audio blog is that you don’t have any rules.  It doesn’t have to be 30 minutes, an hour, or even 12 minutes… whatever time frame works for your content is perfect.  I may change it in the future, but for now it’s awesome.  I will get it in podcast form soon.  You can find it on this blog – just flip to the audio blog page.

I also got caught up at work.  After being gone a week there were a few things that I needed to take care of, and that’s a good thing!  Otherwise, if I had nothing to get caught up on, well… what would be the point of paying me, someone else could do my job.  Keep that thought in the back of your head as you are working today.  If you own a business and someone is out of town, do you miss them? If yes… you made a good hire!  If no… well…

Keeping with my “catch up” theme I ordered the T shirts I needed from the Sparklesrock.com sales I had while I was at Social Media Marketing World.  They’ll arrive later this week… I’ll share the finished product with you later.

Continuing with my Social Marketing Content theme, I looked at my website, BigFishIdeas.com – I ran screaming from the room, then came back and looked at it again.  Yikes, there is some work needed there.  I started, but let’s just say part of my challenge to you is to look at your own website.  Then, when you pick yourself up from the floor laughing or wipe the tears away from the horror of what you see.  Regroup and make a list of all the things that need to be changed.  I’m sure your website is beautiful.  But, I’ll guarantee that it has some cringe worthy things too… OH if you’ve got a “really good” example – screen shot or take a pic and send to me!  This is a good exercise in both your online AND offline world.  Get up and walk around your retail or office space.  Look at it from the perspective of a customer… see it “new” for the first time.  Trust me, you’ll have plenty to do after this exercise, think of it like “Spring Cleaning” for your brand.  (I like that….)

Also… make sure to click follow and never miss a blog post!  If you have a friend with a small business and you think they’d enjoy this blog, help me spread the word! ProfitCenterCoach.com

Your Action Steps:

  • Would an audio blog be easier than a written blog… what topic would you focus on?
  • Give your website and store a “walk through” from a “new” customer’s eye… make a list and start updating!

Hashtag a Really Big Chair!

Last week, while attending Social Media Marketing World (#SMMW17),  I stayed at the Marriott Marquis in San Diego.  In addition to a nice marina, they gave a giant Adirondack chair.  It’s bright orange and in the middle of the courtyard landscaping near the pool bar.  It’s a fun area and even though it’s bright orange, it fits in well with the marina and pool atmosphere.

The giant chair is designed for group photos, I’m sure many a family photo has been taken here… only to end up on the following season’s Christmas card.  After all, the chair is painted with the words “Wish you were here” and you know that’s not true… it’s just more polite than saying “nanner nanner we’re in San Diego and you’re not” – But I’ll get back to my point.

The neat part about the location is that you have a walkway overhead so if you want to get photo from above you can do that!  Now the cool part about that is the hotel anticipates you’ll do that by placing their hashtag right on the top of the arm of the chair!  #MarriottMarquisSD It’s also a great reminder for the people sitting in the chair.  Obviously they want you to take photos in their giant chair, the hotel would love for you to post your photos online, but one step further… they want you to use their hashtag!

I thought I’d bring this up as a reminder.  Many times we forget that a hashtag is now a brand icon.  Start to develop one for your business.  Think about a hashtag, then search it… the reason you search for it is that you want a unique hashtag OR at least one that isn’t used for a negative reason.  Next, start using your hashtag!   Do you have a central photo area?  Do people visiting your business and use your product at a photo stop elsewhere?  For example, rental bikes or boats.  Another way to  use the hashtag is how colleges use it.  They send the hashtag as a sign in their welcome pack… they know their new admits will take a photo with the sign and post it online.  Finally, if you’re hosting an event, make sure to have a hashtag!  One common unifying hashtag is a valuable way to elevate your brand!

Action Step:  Come up with a hashtag and start using it!

PS: Like this post?  Follow me for more… don’t miss out!