List Building Tips: Don’t Focus On Numbers

List Building Tips: Don’t Focus On Numbers

List building can be frustrating. You’ve probably heard the expression, “the money is in the list.” That’s partially true, but not completely.

What do I mean? Well, let’s take a look at two scenarios.

Elizabeth runs an online business designing WordPress themes. She has a mailing list of over nine thousand people and she emails them regularly.

But she complains that she gets no feedback from her list and they rarely message her looking for tips on how to create and manage WordPress websites. So the money she’s making is not enough for a full time job.

Needless to say, she’s frustrated and stressed about this.

April also runs an online business designing WordPress themes. She has a mailing list of just over a thousand subscribers. Like Elizabeth, she emails her list regularly.

But the different outcome might be surprising.

April gets plenty of feedback from her list and she’s always answering emails and messages about WordPress.

More importantly, April is making money and next year she’ll be able to turn her side hustle into a full time business.

You may be wondering what the difference is between Elizabeth and April. Why is one solopreneur seeing so much success that she can afford to quit her job while the other continues to struggle with her profits?

Are Your Subscribers Engaging with Your Content?

The answer is simple Elizabeth focused on getting lots of people on her list. April took a different approach. She looked for subscribers that matched her ideal client profile. She carefully monitored the health of her list and removed subscribers that weren’t engaging with her content. The result is that she has a much smaller list than Elizabeth, but that list is far more engaged.

If you only measure the size of your email list and you’re not taking the engagement of your reach into account, then you’re making a big mistake. Low engagement can be a sign that you’re not connecting with your community.

Are Your Subscribers Buying Your Products?

After looking at your engagement level, you want to start looking at what types of content your list is taking action on. Of the subscribers who are opening your email messages and reading them, how many are taking action? How often do they go on to purchase your product or a product your promoted? If you offer a service like coaching or content creation, are they hiring you?

If you have a new list or a tiny list, then you may not see a lot of activity at first. But as your list grows into the hundreds, you should start seeing some of your subscribers taking action. If you don’t, it might be a sign that you’re promoting the wrong products or that your community isn’t connecting with your messages.

Are You Asking for Engagement?

It takes courage to include a Call to Action. A Call to Action (I capitalize this because it’s important) is the point in your content where you ask your reader to do something. For example, if you run a blog on home schooling, then email your list with a review of your favorite workbooks and ask them to try out the workbooks, too.

Remember that if you want engagement, you have to ask for it. It doesn’t always have to be in the form of asking subscribers to buy something. You might ask them to fill out a survey that will help you create your next blog challenge or you could ask them to leave a comment on your latest blog post.

When it comes to building your email list, make sure you’re filling it with subscribers that are genuinely interested in your content. This helps you grow a thriving community that loves your brand and engages with it regularly.

Keep on Soaring…

Oh, by the way, remember to check out the Christian Cache Bundle Sale. if you want to be a part of this, hurry. The deadline is soon!

 

Are You In A Dip?

Are You In A Dip?

Are you in a dip? And if so, what are you going to do about it?

“The Dip” became famous with Seth Godin’s book by that name. (I just love all of those Ah-ha moments he has brought us, don’t you)?

The dip is after you have launched your project and spent some time enjoying the challenge of the dream. You continue with enthusiasm and excitement

Then you hit a time when the newness wears off and the dream becomes dim. Suddenly the work seems hard. Monotonous. The dream seems dim and you feel that you are just slogging along.

So what do you do? You either slow down and quit –  or you push through.

Think of it as running a marathon. You plan to run 26 miles and you are pumped to do it. You begin with zeal and determination. But after 13 hot and thirsty miles, your zeal starts to wain, and you begin to question the decision. Is it worth it? Why did you make the commitment? And every step starts to seem like an impossible goal.

Our online businesses, our books, and really any worthwhile project has a similar pattern. There’s the middle we have to conquer. After the starting pistol and before the prize at the end, there is a middle. And that middle often includes a dip.

Well, back to Seth Godin’s book, the dip is what separates the true winners – champions – the overall best in any niche. Most people quit during the dip. or at least they become very mediochre.

Winners do something different.

Winners are determined to win. They dig in deeper during that long middle. They learn more, fine tune their methods, and tweak their objectives. And, most importantly, they keep going.

In the end, they push through the dip and wind up stronger and more productive than ever.

In the process, they even manage to shorten the dip.

These are the ones who finish strong – and on top.

So what does that mean for us?

The last year has put lots of people in the dip. The routine changes demanded by Covid-19 -as well as the pervasive anxiety – were enough to cause anyone to have a dip. Normal practices just seemed so hard. It was tough.

Well now let’s take a deep breath.

First of all, do we really want to accomplish this project? Are we satisfied that this is God’s will for us?

Try to find some time to get alone. Pray and listen. Is this really what we are supposed to do? Is it really what we want to do?

If so, let’s stand up, shake off the lethargy, and begin again.

With all of this settled,  we become determined to get through that dip.

Let’s increase our skill in the areas that are giving us trouble. That might mean taking some courses, talking with a coach. or networking with others in our niche.

Let’s assess our plans and our procedures. We can fine tune any methods which seem unsuccessful, and discontinue practices which no longer work.

Then, with head high let’s press forward with renewed determination.

We can do this.

In fact, we are going to do this.

Aren’t we?

 

 

Word to the Wise Solopreneur: Stay Healthy

Word to the Wise Solopreneur: Stay Healthy

Many of us have lofty goals of becoming solopreneurs. We might dream of starting a side-hustle and growing it into a business. Or maybe we’re already working solo, but dreaming of going bigger. Of scaling our business to heights that allow us to earn a fully passive income. So that we make money while we sleep!

Sounds terrific, doesn’t it?

Often though, these aspirations fall through and we don’t achieve quite the goals we set for ourselves. We start with good intentions, but eventually end up getting over tired or frustrated to the point of wanting to quit.

So what do we do?

The problem is often very simple. When challenges come, we often just try to work harder. Or purchase one more bit of software.  As a result, we might be adding hours of work to our already busy schedule when other factors need to be considered.

If we are trying to build this productive business while we are generally unhappy, overworked, or not eating correctly, we are wasting our time. If we really want to improve our productivity we need to be healthy, energetic and well organized – it’s all connected.

So let’s take a look at our lives as a whole. Every part of our daily routine influences other parts. Only a holistic approach to our lives and our work can bring the results we are looking for.

You know what I am going to say is first, don’t you?

Start your day with prayer and Bible study.

Even a few minutes of focused time with God can set you on the right path. There have been times when I have done this, and times when I haven’t. Believe me. I have learned how significant this is. Often while praying, new ideas will pop up. New contacts will emerge. And every time you follow this bit of advice, your confidence will increase.

If God is for you, who can be against you?

Early Morning is also a good time to exercise.

When you increase your circulation through your choice of activity, you increase your energy and your clarity. Whatever your goals, you need energy to accomplish them.

De-clutter. Clear the Space Around You.

All of those scraps of paper with insignificant notes need to be thrown away. Certainly yesterday’s coffee cup needs to be taken to the kitchen. Throw anything out that you don’t use regularly and that isn’t sentimental.

Likewise generally minimize your clutter by putting things in organized boxes and creating good systems to help you stay tidy. You’ll find you end up with a lot more mental space, a lot more time on your hands, and a lot more physical space for your productivity.

While de-cluttering, take a look at your computer. Your email account, your download files, and more. if you can manage to set up a plan for de-cluttering your computer, you will find more time and focus for your work.

Regulate Your Sleep/Wake Cycles

If you are currently all over the place in terms of your body clock then you should change that so that you have a stricter schedule on week days. Wake up early so you have time to work and come round in the morning and go to sleep with enough time to get a full eight hours so you’re refreshed tomorrow.

I realize that some people are more “hard-wired” in their sleep habits. If that’s you, try avoiding caffeine late in the day and drink some “sleepy tea” instead. Also, gear your end-of-day routine toward peaceful, calming endeavors.

As you take these steps, you can increase your chances of a good night’s sleep and an earlier bedtime.

Have Some ‘You’ Time: Schedule yourself in some time that is going to be ‘your’ time. This is important because otherwise you will end up distracted and wanting to do other things.

Develop Healthy Eating Habits

Healthy eating will give you more energy and help you stay fresher during the day.

Even a few changes , like removing the sugar from your tea and coffee, cutting down on salt in your cooking, drinking fewer fizzy drinks, and taking the butter off your toast.

Easy right? Now make sure you drink five pints of water a day, and eat lots of fiber.

Have Some ‘You’ Time:

Schedule yourself in some time that is going to be ‘your’ time. This is important because otherwise you will end up distracted and wanting to do other things.

One of the ‘You’ Time items could be to adopt an awards system for yourself. Any activity that isn’t work is a ‘reward’ and you’re only allowed one at the time. So after a particularly difficult task, reward yourself. You’ll look forward to the intermittent moments – and be motivated to do the hard tasks.

Small Changes can make a Big difference

These are all small changes to make but they address elements of your life across the board. You’ll find very soon that this starts to give you more energy and focus in every area of your life and that you start seeing returns which snowball over time.

Work/Life Balance: Tips for the Solopreneur

Work/Life Balance: Tips for the Solopreneur

Being a solopreneur means running a business that is entirely yours. You are the person providing the value, but also the marketer, the web designer, and the accountant.

Most likely, you manage all this from the comfort of a home office somewhere.

While this style of work creates many opportunities, it also presents a number of obstacles, as we have discussed earlier. In particular, it can weigh heavily on your mind.

EVERYTHING is your responsibility. And it’s always right there.

This is why it’s so important that you create strict rules for your work/life balance and that you think of the lifestyle you want to achieve before you even begin pursuing your dream career as a digital entrepreneur.

In other words: you need to think about how much work you’re willing to put in and what kind of work you’re willing to do. You need to build your work in a way that is sustainable and enjoyable, so that it will be able to hold together even as it reaches critical mass.

Some things to consider:

Create your ideal working environment. (As far as possible)

This might mean that you work from a well-crafted home office and keep that for work only.

Likewise, it might mean that you seek out coffee shops to work in in your local area. This can help to prevent cabin fever, ensure you get social interaction and remove the temptation to procrastinate by watching TV or repeatedly making yourself sandwiches (a common problem).

Go to networking events, work in shared offices and attend conferences and seminars.

More and more people work online and just like any other industry, a lot of success as a digital marketer comes from who you know. Rubbing shoulders with other successful people will make you feel more accomplished and it will open up doors. Moreover, it will help you to get some time out of the home office!

Create set work hours and be strict about working inside those.

Rest is just as important as work if you are going to be as productive and efficient as possible and there’s no point earning money if you never have a chance to enjoy it!

Know the lifestyle you want to lead.

Know what you want to accomplish and then work to achieve that – no less and no more. This is what ‘lifestyle design’ is.

Don’t let others dictate your goals. Your family time, your church involvement, and your recreation are to be included when you are designing your life.

Balance is the key.

Outsource the work that you don’t enjoy or that is too much for you.

When you are first starting, money may be too scarce for hiring others. However, eventually you may want to hire staff or freelancers.

You can also outsource to VAS (virtual assistant services) or to service providers procured on freelancer sites.

Remember: This is Your Business.

Design and work your business in a way that will bring value to you and your family. You are the boss, so you can set the parameters and live by them.

Work and live the life you want!

 

 

The Solopreneur Lifestyle: Overcoming the Challenges

The Solopreneur Lifestyle: Overcoming the Challenges

There are countless advantages to being a solopreneur. Not only do you get to work from home and generate all your own income, but you also get to create something you’ve poured your heart into and something which truly represents who you are.

You can be yourself!

Many Christians are finding this solopreneur lifestyle to be a wonderful way of blending their values with their work.

Yet there are some challenges to the solopreneur lifestyle. To truly enjoy this lifestyle and to have it be profitable, you need to face these challenges.

And overcome them, in order to thrive.

So let’s look at some tips to help you overcome the most common challenges of the solopreneur lifestyle.

Monotony:

A lot of people find that working from one room all day is very monotonous. But this challenge should not be an issue. One of the brilliant aspects of working from home is that when it’s a nice day you can sit in the garden. If you don’t mind the distraction you can even go and work in a coffee shop for variation. The world is your office, so get yourself out there!

I have an office area with a desktop, printer, etc. I work there much of the time.

However, I also have a laptop which I can use anytime, anywhere. I love this special tool which allows me to change the scene – and yet keep up with my mission.

Being Constantly “On.”

It is very important to make a distinction between work time and family time. That means that when it’s family time, you don’t take work phone calls or emails. You can get back to the people later.

Some solopreneurs even have separate phone numbers for their ‘personal’ time and their ‘work’ time. That way the phones can be turned on or off depending on whether they are “at work” or “at home.”

Loss of Structure:

As working from home can leave you without structure, you must take steps to overcome this. Planning your work is more important for a solopreneur than for an office worker.

Someone working in an office usually has others demanding work loads and time restraints. When you are your own boss, you have to play that boss’s role with yourself. You must set up a schedule with expectations and timelines.

Then reward yourself when your deadlines are met.

Feeling Disconnected:

One way to feel connected to the real world is to call friends and sort errands in your lunch break. It’s also a good idea to join groups or networks in your field.

Find ways to connect with others for companionship and motivation.

Which brings me to the final challenge: Staying Motivated.

When you are your boss, your counselor, and

your motivator, you need to be alert to slipping in these areas.

Networking is a great way to increase your motivation. Also, reading or taking courses from others in your field. You’ll not only stay motivated, but you will find new ideas to spark your energy.

As with any endeavor, we Christians realize the importance of prayer for our mental well-being and our success. Commit each day to God and ask for His direction. Also ask Him to open doors for you. Ask Him to bring the people across your path who need to hear what you have to say – or who need the benefit of your offers.

Oh, and when He brings that direction, do what He says. Reach out to the people He brings your way. Help them achieve their goals, and your success will come as a result.

As you lay that foundation of prayer, you’ll conquer the challenges.

You’ll stay motivated and energized for your mission. You’ll overcome monotony, disconnection, and the distractions of working from home.

And you’ll have greater success.

 

 

 

How To Be a Solopreneur Who Is Also a Great Parent

How To Be a Solopreneur Who Is Also a Great Parent

Being a successful solopreneur is an extremely challenging goal.

Being a great parent is likewise extremely challenging.

So can you be both? With careful thought and planning, yes you can!! Many have accomplished this.

Both of these ambitions will take up lots of time and thought. They both leave you with very little energy at the end of the day. And they both linger psychologically: meaning that it’s very hard to “switch off” in either case.

As you can imagine then, finding a way to do both these things at the same time is quite a challenge. So what are some secrets for doing this?

Let’s take a look.

Perhaps you are too focused on work, which leaves you stressed when spending time with your family. Your webinar didn’t go well and you realize that you made mistakes in your presentation.

Or maybe you are thinking about your new product launch.

Or your business stress has you in a bad mood.

Maybe the cash flow isn’t what you want and  you are struggling to pay your bills.

Then perhaps you’re too far the other way. Maybe you’re a great parent, but you let that interfere with your work-life. Maybe you can’t focus at work and you’re constantly taking holiday to spend time with your family.

Maybe you’re distracted by hearing the kids play downstairs and you just can’t focus on work.

These are definitely issues many stay-at-home Moms face when they start a business.

So, what do you do?

There’s no single answer to this. There are so many variables in this situation that one answer wouldn’t be relevant for everyone.

I would say to pray and ask God for guidance. He will help you to see how to maneuver this. How to plan and how to implement your plan.

But here’s a truth that is fairly universal: If you try to do both things simultaneously then you will do neither well.

This is why you need to be very strict and disciplined about what you consider to be “work time” and what you consider to be “home time.”

Some successful solopreneurs “dress” for work – just as if they were going to an office. No pajama days for them. This simple trick can help them and their families realize that office hours are important.

Set up a schedule for work, and stick to it. Focus on your work for these set periods of time, and afterwards, switch your attention to your family. Then focus on them!

You might feel as though that defeats many of the benefits of being self-employed in the first place. But there are ways to get the benefits AND still keep things separate.

For one: as long as you are able to focus hard and work fast, there is nothing to stop you from taking additional breaks throughout the day. As long as they are clearly defined and you go back to work afterward!

Sometimes you can try to focus on completing a certain amount of work, rather than working for a given amount of time. This incentivizes you to work quickly, and it means you often can take more time to be with your family!

One of the great benefits of being a solopreneur and a parent is that you are setting a good example. Your children see that you are working hard – and they want to emulate that behavior.

They also see that you are setting goals and accomplishing them. Children thrive when they see the success of their parents. They will even benefit from seeing you make mistakes and correct your course along the way.

Such examples are “caught” and you will see your children being more productive. They too will want to be visionaries and set goals. They too will want to put in the work necessary to achieve those goals.

So pray, plan, implement, and be a great role model for your children. They will gain much from having such a parent!

And you will flourish in your pursuits!