Rocking Your Visibility Interview – Kirsty Major

Today, I’m sharing a Rock Your Visibility Interview with you where I chat with Kirsty Major, of English With Kirsty,  all about how to be visible in your business. Kirsty’s got some great gems to share.

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I hope you enjoyed today’s interview and have some great ideas to get you moving forward on your visibility The call to action for the interview (in case you thought I’d forgotten) is to choose one action point that you’ve written down and do it. When you take the action to get more visible that’s when the magic happens, so go and do it now, or make a note in your diary to do it this coming week. No excuses!

If you’re ready to rock your visibility then grab my free Visibility Quiz.

Is Indecision Killing Your Business?

Choice can really stop us in being visible. In this blog post, I’m going to share a strategy to help you overcome your indecision.

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Choice is an amazing thing, we can order twenty different types of coffee when we go out, we can have pay as you go mobiles, or monthly contracts, we can have Webinar Jam or Google Hangout, or Fuze and Zoom to run our businesses online, but sometimes it’s just all too overwhelming.

When it comes to being visible, choices can give us yet another reason to take no action.

Do we need this camera or that camera for our video? Should we focus on Twitter or Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn? What about local networking meetings? Aaargh – so much to do, so little time and we’re just making it harder on ourselves by wanting to do everything and ending up doing nothing.

So what do you do? There IS amazing stuff out there, but as a business owner, we have SO many hats – marketing person, branding person, sales person, blog post writer, newsletter writer and soooo much more.

Well with regards to where to hang out on social media to attract your ideal clients, that’s quite simple. Go where your ideal clients are. I know that sounds super easy, but seriously if you don’t know who they are and where they hang out make it your goal to find out.

Focus on one place at a time too, that way you can test if your strategy is working. If it’s not you can try something different. It’s much easier to limit your choices when you have some kind of way to measure the outcomes. Test, test and test some more.

If you’re finding it difficult to limit yourself to just one thing then choose a list of 2-3 choices, and then you can pick from that list.

Choose One Area of Viz #Focus

It’s the same with our clients. We can offer way too many choices of packages and ways to work with us that it becomes overwhelming. I know I’m super guilty of this one and have to keep checking in with myself on it. I’m always looking at ways to streamline what I offer so that it doesn’t become confusing. (I’m a work in progress on that one).

When working with a client, instead of offering four ways to work with them offer 2 ways, 3 max. That way you aren’t creating overwhelm for them in the decision-making process and they then end up not working with you because they are confused as to what it is you actually do.

Figure out how you can measure the choices that you have in front of you. Perhaps one has a direct or indirect cost element to it in terms of time, energy or money for example.

The thing that I’ve learned recently is that having just ONE single thing to focus on at any one time is so much easier to manage than having twenty things. It makes sense, but we have to take the steps to get there, to eliminate so much choice and make a decision.

One thing that we work on in my Rock Your Visibility Bootcamp is figuring out what your business model is. If you’ve not done any work on business models then basically it covers 9 specific areas of business – including things like who your customers are, what you’re going to offer, what your key activities in your business will be etc. etc.Be Clear On Biz Direction #Vision

It’s much easier to make a decision when you are clear on the direction your business is going in. Some opportunities that come your way will take you nearer to where you want to be, and some will take you further away, down an unknown path or worse a rabbit hole! When you know your business model, it’s really easy to make informed decisions. You simply check in and ask yourself whether this particular piece of content/work/opportunity fits your business model. If it doesn’t, move on. If it does, go for it!

I used to be a terrible decision maker. I can still have my moments of indecision but with my business model in place, it’s much easier to keep my focus now. That and I have a fantastic group of business friends who help me figure things out.

One strategy I love that I learnt in my Coaching diploma was the IDA Formula – you can use it to help you whenever the self-doubt or uncertainty creeps in.

INTENTION – DECISION – ACTION

So let’s break it down,

INTENTION

What do you intend to happen?  What do you want to happen? Here’s an example;

  • ‘I want to get new clients’
DECISION

Once you’ve written down your answer decide how you will change your behaviour

  • Should I keep these current clients or is it time to work with a different group of people? ‘I know I keep telling myself to stay where I am but I’m not happy and just keep moaning about it, so I will stop telling myself that it’s paying the bills and go out and start to build my business that suits me’ (Great strategy by the way as there may be someone that is desperate for your current clients – give someone the opportunity to try it and you move on!)

ACTION

Now change your behaviour by acting differently

  • ‘I will sit down with pen and paper and think about what I do want to do and then start a marketing plan for attracting new clients

What happens if you make the wrong decision?  So what?!!  As some of my  clients will tell you one of my sayings is ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’  Keep asking yourself that question and you will realise that sometimes the hardest part is making the decision to make a decision!!

The more you make decisions, whether it’s just a choice of coffee when you’re out, or what webinar software to buy, the more you will kick your indecision into touch!

Call to action this week: Check your to do list for one thing you need to make a decision on and make that decision! Job done!

I’d love you to share what decisions you’re faced with / making.

Are The FBI Scrutinising You?

In this blog post, I’m going to talk about how sometimes inspiration strikes in the weirdest of ways but it can help you be visible in your biz.

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I had a dream…. (Are you singing Abba yet?!)

Seriously though, I had a dream the other night and it made me think about visibility (obviously – why wouldn’t it? I live and breathe visibility in real life so of course now I’m dreaming about it to0!)

So, let me tell you what happened. Are you sitting comfortably?

In the UK we have a show called Holby City. The CEO of Holby is a guy called Henrik Hansen. He’s portrayed as having OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and let’s just say he’s not a people person. It could be argued that he’s an introvert.

So I was in a a room full of people, a bit like a lecture theatre, and at the front of the room was a pyramid of steps, with the largest step at the bottom, and all steps getting narrower and narrower as you got to the top. Henrik Hansen was standing on the very top step delivering a talk to the room.

Two steps down from Henrik was one of my clients (I must tell that lovely client I had a dream about them!) Anyway, I was sitting on the right hand side of the room near the bottom step. My client was getting ready to step up on stage with Henrik, she was just two steps down from him.

I shouted out to my client, ‘Woohoo, X, look at you up there. You wouldn’t have even thought about doing something like this a few months ago. Now look at you rocking your visibility.’

I got a stern look from Henrik, with a slight smile as if to say, ‘Yes, thank you Ruby for your interjection, may I continue with my talk now?’

Across the aisle from me were three FBI agents sitting at tables with their laptops. I must stop watching Sky Atlantic!

Henrik started talking about how we’d recently run a survey. One of the FBI agents looked up at him, made him pause the talk and started tapping into his computer to check if it was acceptable for a survey to be held. After that I don’t remember any more but let me share a few of my learnings with you.

Before I do though, let’s just say my hubby was rolling his eyes at me, when it was about 2am and I’m grabbing my ideas notebook to capture content for a blog post!

So, here’s why this dream made me think.

Let’s just say for the purpose of argument that Henrik is an introvert. He still had to lead by standing on the top step, being visible, sharing his content with the room. Like us, if we want to be seen to be the go-to-expert we need to stand out from the crowd and be seen, sharing our content with the world, introvert or not. There are lots of ways in which we can do this, but ultimately we have to go out there and share our work.

Like my client you need to keep taking baby steps to boost your visibility. The more steps you take the higher up the pyramid you will go and people will start to notice you and what you do. With each step up you’ll also get braver, just like my client in the dream. You need to work on your mindset so that nothing holds you back.

With the FBI agents, you might feel like everything you’re doing is being scrutinised and analysed  when you share your content, but that’s not really the case. Everyone else is far too busy focusing on their own stuff. Like the FBI agent who stopped Hansen mid flow, they can stop you mid flow too but it’s your job to keep going no matter what, to keep showing up.

You need to be passionate about what you do in your business, because like me you might find yourself dreaming about your thing and you want it to be a pleasure to grab your notebook and scribe your latest creative ideas, not a chore! Even if your partner does roll his eyes in dismay at your quirkiness. Don’t worry, he’s used to me now!

Finally, you might find your creativity comes from anywhere. I never knew I was going to find a blog post gem in a dream. I’ve equally been inspired by hot water bottles, bubble bath, cushions and all sorts, so keep that notebook with you.

In summary, if you want to be visible you need to;

  • Stand out from the crowd 
  • Take baby steps to build your expert status
  • Ignore your naughty mind monkeys telling you that you’re being judged, and be visible anyway
  • Be passionate about what you do, so that you get excited when inspiration strikes
  • Keep a notebook with you at all times – you never know what might inspire you next.

A bit of a random post this week, but hey it’s a bit quirky, just like me! Here’s your call to action for this week;

Call To Action: Take some time to think about how you could create content for others from unusual places. The more quirky the more you’ll stand out and be visible.

Here’s to more fabulous dreams of inspiration!

What To Do When Someone Copies You In Your Biz

As you get more successful you might find people start copying you. In this episode, Ruby talks about what to do when someone copies you in your biz.

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I wasn’t sure whether to share this post or not, it might get copied, tee hee! OK, so I’ll be serious. One of the things that pushes my buttons is when people copy me in my business. I work super hard to come up with new and creative ideas to make my offerings more fun and relevant to service-based business owners, and copying isn’t what I’m about.

I don’t like taking credit for anything that isn’t mine, and go over the top not to copy. It smacks my authenticity value FULL.ON.18

Did you know I pulled a complete programme because I realised someone was doing something very similar, despite me not having read a single word about theirs before I’d created it? True story. It just wouldn’t have been right for me. We think in a very similar way, so I had to completely come away from her circles so that I now know, hand on heart, that I am not copying anything that she has on offer.

So copying… Now, I work with my clients on mindset and you don’t need me to tell you that logically it can be taken as a compliment, it shows that you’re being successful and others are inspired by you and want to emulate what you’re doing. Yada, yada, yada, but that doesn’t stop the feelings of meh, does it? Yes, we know the logical side of all of the reframing, but what if that just isn’t enough?

I get copied quite a lot now in my business, as do some of my business friends. Now I think a big part of the problem is that we are constantly bombarded with information in this information age and as such any ideas we come up with might not even come from us, they are often a great big puddle of stuff that then comes out from blog posts, books we read, conversations we have, social media and more. We might think we’re having a eureka moment when actually it wasn’t even our breakthrough, it was someone else’s.

I think there are people out there that blatantly copy you, maybe they are being inspired to use an element of what you do (I’m ok with that) and then there are some that just do full on copying, repurposing what you do as their own. That’s just plain mean and uncreative.1 (1)

There are people that love what you do and want to create the same or similar in their own businesses, especially if they consider you successful, but there might be those out there that don’t even realise they are doing it. They might be going about their own business and think that ideas have been generated from them when actually it’s a combo of ideas from everywhere.

Marianne Cantwell, who wrote Free Range Human, says that when someone copies you it will only be a 2d version of your stuff anyway. Good point. People do buy from people they know, like and trust so they might be using your material / ideas but they just aren’t you, no matter how hard they try.

Just because someone puts something out there that’s similar to you doesn’t mean that they will steal all of your clients. That’s the bigger thing here really, isn’t it? The fear – that we will lose our own clients to someone else. Well if that’s the case they aren’t our ideal clients, are they?

I take the view that there is no competition in this world, everyone has the right ideal client for them, and they will attract them at the right time. It removes all of that fear. Maybe they will go over to that other person because that other person is the right fit for them and that’s OK.

But what if this copying scenario stops you from being visible in your business? You’re worried that if you put something out there you will be copied. It could potentially cost you new business.

I know for me, when it happens, it can bring up lots of emotion at the time such as annoyance (like ‘Really, they’re copying me again’) to not wanting to share at all, but that’s just my little child throwing a tantrum. Once I’ve taken a moment to get over my nonsense I spend time reflecting on it, with curiosity as to why it triggers me – what’s really going on? I sleep on it (and check in with a friend). It saves me hitting the equivalent of a Ben and Jerry’s tub of ice-cream (in my case Deliciously Ella’s quinoa chocolate crispies)

Whatever the reason for copying you is, it really doesn’t matter. It doesn’t serve you to hold onto it. Here’s a few strategies I’ve tested, and still test, that work for me.

  1. Unfollow everything they do. If you are being triggered by them, why keep reading their stuff? You choose to stay on their mailing list, you choose to follow them on social media platforms, you choose to read their latest posts, their website, etc. You can also choose to unfollow all of that. If you don’t see it, then it won’t trigger you in the same way.
  1. If you’re brave enough, and I have done this a couple of times in the past, call the person out on it. You don’t have to do it in an unkind way. Often the person is as shocked as you were when you first read about something they’d copied of yours (it goes back to that big puddle of information they are absorbing again.)
  1. Work on your own mindset. Question what’s really going on. If it keeps showing up then you’ve got something to work on honey. That’s how this whole thing goes. So what are you doing to do about it?
  1. Don’t hide away, go bigger and better with your stuff, keep coming up with lots more fabulous ideas. Use it as a trigger for you to raise your game and be more visible. Remember, there’s only one of you. Go out there and share your fabulousness with the world.

 Your call to action this week: Notice where you might be triggered by someone, and work out what it really means for you. What can you put into place to take the sting out of it?

 I’d love to hear about your strategies for when someone copies your work. What do you do?

 

Get Over Your Fear Of Video So You Can Be More Visible

In this blog post, I’m going to be talking about how using you need to get over your fear of video, and a quick reframe to make it easier.

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I don’t know about you but I love to talk. Well more than that, I love to make connections. There are so many great ways to connect with people online now.

If you want to build great connections with your audience, getting over yourself with your fear of video is a brilliant way to start.

What’s great about any of these video mediums, i.e. Periscope, Facebook Live or good old YouTube is the connections you can build. The know-like-trust factor is built so much quicker and your personality can shine through for people to see.

I’ve shared with you before about how I don’t like how I speak. What I don’t share is I hate my photo being taken or being seen on video, but do you know what here’s a reframe for you if you feel like I did.

When people meet you, they are going to see you as you are right now. You are no different on video, so stop hiding away!

Now, I know I’m making it sound easy and the reality is it can make you feel sick to the pit of your stomach. You might be in that place of ‘when this happens I will do a video’, i.e. When I’ve lost weight I’ll do a video, when I’ve had my hair done, when I’ve re-decorated my office, when I’ve bought the latest video technology, when I’ve learnt the script perfectly etc. etc. etc.

I want to call you out on all of that. Just do it already. If I bumped into you in the street today and started chatting with you about your business, you wouldn’t run off and hide in the local shops because you hadn’t lost weight, had your hair done or learnt a script, so stop doing it because you’re going to be on video.

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Let’s get real – what’s the worst that could happen? Really? Your glasses are on crooked, or you fluff up your words, so what? Laugh at yourself and carry on! Will you feel scared and vulnerable? Maybe, but once you’ve done a video you will feel so proud of yourself for stepping up and being more visible. Plus the more you do videos the more relaxed you will become.

I have done some videos where my shoulders are up by my ears and I’m frowning, and looking like a statue. Now, I don’t worry about it. I umm and ahh and pull silly faces (unintentionally I add) but it’s ok. It’s real, authentic and helps me to connect with my audience. Realistically, I don’t have the time to keep re-recording 20 different takes, that’s costing me time which equal a potential money in my business so as I said in last week’s podcast it’s ok to be perfectly imperfect.

In my Rock Your Fabulous Biz Facebook group the welcome post encourages you to create a video. The rules are it doesn’t need to be perfect, it needs to be done in one take. It’s about being brave and knowing that it’s ok to do a quick video. Now I have a few personal rules – I will NEVER be on video with no make up so don’t hold your breath on that one. This girl has standards, you know, but despite how I feel about it I know that by not sharing the message I’m meant to share I’m doing a disservice to my clients and potential clients, and you are too.

You don’t need to have a super duper professional set up in order to share great content with people. They don’t care about all of that, and if they do, then that’s their stuff, not yours. You are in a service-based business so that you can help people with your services. How is hiding yourself away helping?

The best way to overcome fear is to take action

Feel the fear and do it anyway, as Susan Jeffers would say.

If you think you’d feel more comfortable chatting with someone, rather than just facing a camera, then Blabs might be good for you. Blab is a great online platform, where you can have live and interactive conversations. If you’ve heard of Periscope you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, then think of the news where you have a couple of people on the screen where the newsreader is interviewing a guest. It’s similar to that.

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So why would you want to Blab?  Well, funnily enough I’m doing a webinar about all of that. I’m going to be sharing the whats, whys and hows of Blabbing. There will be a pre-recorded webinar running all day and then you can join me for a live Q & A in the evening where you get to experience a Blab for yourself. Book your spot over at www.bit.ly/BlabPower (Awww, shucks, you missed the Blab, but don’t worry – you can still access some fabulous freebies here – http://bit.ly/FabResCtr.

So whether you choose to join me on the webinar or not, here’s your call to action this week…

Call to action: get over yourself and do a video already.

If you’re in my group, share the video link with me, or tag me on my Facebook page, I’d love to come and cheer you on with pom-poms!

Bye Bye Perfectionism – Hello Perfectly Imperfect

In this blog post, I’m going to be talking about how being perfectly imperfect in your business is actually OK.

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I’m a recovering perfectionist. Hmmm, not even sure I can get away with that one because there are certain things that I just can’t deal with. Dare I share?!

I HATE it when people put jars back in the cupboard with the labels the wrong way round.

It drives me crazy if I make a mistake on a piece of paper I’m writing on. I want to rip it out and start all over again. In the past I would have, now I have much more respect for the environment and my time too!

I hate unmatching china – I like my dinner service to match and my poor family gets plates whipped off them if they dare to do unmatching!

Being a perfectionist in business can be very interesting. It’s one of those things you gotta work on honey, if you want to get anywhere! I have had to work very hard at it, and still do.

Let me share a story around a webinar I was running. I’d decided to test out a recording of a webinar that would stay up on my page for 24 hours. I like to try out different things in my business and test the results. I set myself aside a week to get it done. The week I chose wasn’t the best one as I was back to back with clients, but that’s how I roll anyway so it was all good.

1Well, it was all good until I hit 1.30 on Wednesday afternoon realizing that my webinar was to go out at 12.01am Thursday, the very next day. I hadn’t written a word, never mind recorded, set up a landing page, set up my email messages. I honestly thought it was Tuesday. I’d scheduled out some time in my diary on the Wednesday to sort it all out. I had a plan. Ok so in most people’s worlds it’s not a great plan as people aren’t quite as last minute as me, but in Ruby’s world, there was still loads of time. As I’ve shared in the past, my creative muse always shows up last minute. Thanks for that, by the way, creative muse! (She needs a name – tag me on Facebook with some ideas – I love things having names)

Ok so in most people’s worlds it’s not a great plan as people aren’t quite as last minute as me, but in Ruby’s world, there was still loads of time. As I’ve shared in the past, my creative muse always shows up last minute. Thanks for that, by the way, creative muse! (She needs a name – tag me on Facebook with some ideas – I love things having names)

So, I dropped everything (no, don’t worry, not any clients – I’d finished by that point – luckily) and I started writing the webinar. I had a chat later on in the day with one of my business besties and she said there was no issue with me sending out an email, telling people what had happened. Everyone likes people being human, she said. She was right, they do BUT it didn’t sit right with me. How could I talk about being visible and then not show up? See my conundrum there. You’ve got to laugh really because for all of my introversion I chose to rebrand in an area that

How could I talk about being visible and then not show up? See my conundrum there. You’ve got to laugh really because for all of my introversion I chose to rebrand in an area that defies introversion by making me have to show up. It’s ok for all of you, you get to choose! I don’t, tee hee!

Anyway, I decided that I wasn’t going to do that. I was going to just get it done already. I knew about my topic, it wasn’t as if I had to come up with anything new in terms of content. I was just sharing what I thought people needed to hear.

The trouble was, my little fear monster was rearing its ugly head and doing that whole, yeah but what if…

‘What if you can’t pull it off in time?’, ‘What if the content isn’t good enough?’ ‘What if, what if, what if’. Well, you know what, it might not be perfect, but I’d committed to it and it WOULD be going out, imperfect or not.

So I shared a bit of this in a couple of my groups, I guess because I’d realised how far I’d come.

Because a year or so ago, you see, I’d have faffed and stressed and worried, and procrastinated, and got really super stuck BUT because I’ve worked so much on my mindset I now know that what I share will be perfect and what people need to hear, even if it’s imperfect.

I choose to know that I am exactly where I need to be right now and I have a message to share.

If I miss out an image or it’s too long or too short because I haven’t had time to refine it, then so be it. It’s better out there and imperfect than not being authentic and letting people down.7

So, if your imperfection is related to household stuff, like my tins and china, then good luck with that.

Your call to action this week: If you’ve got a piece of work that needs sharing, however, but you’re afraid of putting it out there for whatever reason, then I encourage you to kick your perfectionism into touch and share anyway

What’s the worst that could happen? You’ll make a mistake? So what? Mistakes. Are. Ok. You’re human. Don’t hide away what’s meant to be shared.

So you might ask, how did it turn out. It was imperfectly perfect in every single way! Yay, go me!

Go you too!

Do not let perfectionism stop you from sharing your message in the world. As my friend had rightly said, people love human.

It’s time to be human, be perfectly imperfect and to rock your visibility.

We’ve got this!

 

 

Bite The Bullet and Outsource a Piece of Work – I Dare You!

In this blog post, I’m going to be talking about how you can get started with outsourcing and one thing you need to consider.

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When you run your own business it can be a rollercoaster of ups and downs. You have to wear so many hats. When you’re working in a company you have a marketing department, sales department, customer services, finance, reception and more.

As solopreneurs we have SO many things to think about – we are the marketing department, the sales department, customer services, finance, and that’s on top of providing our actual service to our clients

I want to talk to you about outsourcing. It can be one of those things that’s really scary to do in your business, but it really can make a huge difference to reducing some of that overwhelm you might be facing.

I remember when I started out people would tell me to outsource what I can’t do, and while I thought that was a great idea I didn’t always have the budget to do so. They would tell you to think about the time invested in the smaller stuff where you could be bringing in clients. They are right, but it’s a big step to start with, especially when you’re working with low or non-existent budgets.

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What has this got to do with visibility? Well actually quite a lot. Firstly, when you’re overwhelmed with a million and one things on your mind it’s very difficult to know where to start so you end up doing all of the things you probably shouldn’t be doing, and none of the things that you should. Also, when you’re doing everything yourself you’re so busy doing things behind the scenes that there isn’t time to engage. It’s a bit like throwing a party for your favourite friends and spending all night in the kitchen slaving over the hob.

To build a successful business you need to build relationships, and they happen over time. If you’re spending time on the minute detail you could be missing out on lots of opportunities, and end up not being visible at all

I wanted to outsource but I didn’t have the funds, and I didn’t want to borrow money. Plus I was in the early days of learning and wanted to figure out everything for myself before getting someone else to do it. Now while this is a good idea, you don’t need to know everything about it, you just need to know enough to be able to explain what you need, and to manage the process.

I started outsourcing when I spent 5 days trying to figure out something techie for my first membership club. I am fairly techie minded so dug my heels in and wanted to figure it out for myself. I thought if it was taking me 5 days it might take someone 2 days or more, so didn’t outsource it. In the end it was the difference to my club launching and not launching. I asked for some techie VA help and my VA got me up and running in 2 hours. TWO.HOURS. £50 and I’d spent FIVE DAYS trying to do it on my own. Seriously!

If I’d have spent that five days working on bringing in new clients, or working with paying clients how much would that have brought me in?5

I learned a very big lesson and from there I slowly tested the waters. For me it was those initial 2 hours, then slowly over time I added more and more support. I currently work with a Techie VA for my website, another Techie VA who pulls together my podcasts, my social media right-hand girl and occasionally another VA on admin tasks. Each of them working on a specific area for a few hours at a time.

So what do you do when you know outsourcing makes sense, but a) it feels scary delegating work to someone else and b) you don’t have much money to throw at it?

Start on a micro level

Choose an area that would be easy to test out. Hire someone for 1 hour and trial how it works. Now you will find that you can get some good people that you’ll work with and some not so good. This is why testing things first can help you not feel so scared to part with your money! As you start to experience the freedom of releasing some of those mundane jobs you don’t enjoy, or those that you find challenging, you will start to build your confidence and trust that it’s ok to get support.

Your call to action this week:  Think about an area where you could outsource a piece of work. Check out someone on Fiverr.com* to do it for you and make the best use of your time when they do. Once you start outsourcing and using your time to bring in new clients you’ll know it makes sense too. Not heard of Fiverr? It’s an online marketplace where you can hire people to do what they call gigs for $5 a shot).

So go on, outsource a piece of work. I dare you. Remember: 5 DAYS – 2 HOURS – Just sayin’…

Are You Being Wishy Washy With Your Boundaries?

In this blog post, I’m going to be talking about how boundaries are vital when running your own business, for your sanity, and often for the sanity of people around you too.

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Click the play button below to listen, or scroll down and click ‘Read full transcript’ if you prefer to read the post.

Join my free FB community to connect with me and other fabulous solopreneurs to help you Rock Your Fabulous Biz.

Read Full Transcript below...

Are you being wishy-washy with your boundaries?

Boundaries are something I have to personally work on all of the time. I have people in my life that push them and I’m probably my worst enemy as I also push my own, all to the neglect of my health.

When we are in a job there are set times for when we should work, we can’t burn the midnight oil in the office as the caretaker will kick us out, that or the alarms will go off when we sneak down to make yet another coffee to get through the work we’re doing.

Yet, it’s ok for us to do that to ourselves when we work from home, isn’t it? No, it’s not. It can be very challenging finding the cut off point for when not to work when you’re a business owner. The paperwork sits there looking at you, or you hear the ping of your email account and have the urge to check ‘just this one message’. It’s so tough knowing how to stop sometimes.

How Know When To Set A BoundaryIf you’re not careful you can end up with yet another job, rather than that business where you get to be your own boss, set your own hours and come and go as you please. You know, that one you dreamed of when you started out?! How’s that working out for you?

It can be all you want it to be but you have to stop people pleasing, or feeling the need to be at everyone’s beck and call 24/7. You wouldn’t be able to speak to someone in your local department store in the middle of the night, so why would little old you running your business need to be there all day and all night working?

You need to set very clear boundaries in place so that people will know when you are/aren’t working, and if you’re like me, sometimes that other person is actually you! You’re the one pushing and pushing and not taking a break.

You have to in effect retrain people (including you) to respect your new boundaries once you set them too, because whether you want to admit it or not, if your clients are messaging you early morning or late into the evening (and you’re replying) and/or you’re thinking it’s ok to work all day and all night, then guess what, you’ve set that expectation.

The good news though is it’s such a very simple thing to change. Yes, it does feel uncomfortable to begin with, but over time it becomes your new norm. You become a much less tired, and let’s be honest, nicer business owner (and partner, friend, parent too).

So let’s do a mini audit.

  1. Are you answering emails at the crack of dawn or well into the evenings?
  2. Are you constantly checking your email notifications throughout the day?
  3. Do you see the Facebook Messenger little red icon pop up to tell you someone’s chatting with you and feel restless until you go in and find out who it is, and reply?
  4. Do you work with clients at times when you really don’t want to?
  5. Do you have set time off, whether it’s regular days each week or one particular day, but you cancel it anyway to help someone out?
  6. Do you avoid your self-care, putting everyone else first?
  7. Do you think that if you don’t work super hard you’ll have no business?

Recognise yourself in any of these? Yes? Then we need to talk boundaries! Obviously there are loads more things that will meanSay 'No' you’re not being clear with your time, these are just some of the common ones I get from my clients. Oh ok, and ones that I’m guilty of too!

What impact does all of this ‘jumping to the needs of others’ have on you – mentally, physically, emotionally? Maybe your family is starting to complain about the time you spend not being present? Maybe you know your work and personal life are constantly bleeding into each other, but you’re not sure how to fix it.

So let’s keep this really simple and start some boundary work, with these 3 steps;

  1. Notice where your time is going. You might want to keep a mental log or perhaps you will keep a journal/time log for a week so that you can be really clear on what’s working / what’s not
  1. Decide how you want things to be different and set clear boundaries. Think about how you want your working/personal life to be and then set that as your new norm. So for example, I don’t work Fridays or weekends. I also don’t answer emails after 6pm or before 10am and I let my clients know this. I rarely work evenings, unless I choose to. At first it felt awkward, but it doesn’t have to be. More importantly I thought I’d lose clients, but that didn’t happen either. Just say that you’re gifting yourself a day off, that you have set strong boundaries because you’re a workaholic. People do understand. I even encourage my clients to do the same.
  1. Stick to the boundaries you set – they are non-negotiable. Here’s a mini extract from my co-authored chapters of the book, Awaken Your True Potential;

“Now the number one problem with boundary setting is if you default back to your old ways. It’s completely normal but also frustrating. This makes it incredibly confusing for the other person as they are receiving mixed messages. You need to stand by your boundaries even if your brain is saying, ‘eek this feels really awkward’ or your stomach has butterflies as if you’re on the world’s most terrifying rollercoaster.

Once you’ve decided on your boundary you have to stick to it. No watering it down, no bending the rules, no giving in. If you’ve stated something and someone is challenging you, simply repeat the same sentence again if you need to, so that you don’t cave in. You will think you sound like a broken record but it’s an assertiveness trick that really works! Remember it’s about being assertive, not aggressive.”

There’s no room for buckling. Share your boundaries (with a smile) and stick to them!

Finally here’s a couple of tools to help you get refocused on your priorities;

  1. Close down all screens other than what you’re working on
  2. Log out of your email accounts (I know, I know – it’s like coming off drugs, but you will be thankful you did in the end)
  3. Set a ‘Do Not Disturb’ time on your phone, i.e. no notifications between 6pm and 10am
  4. Use an app to literally lock you out of programmes you don’t want to waste time on
  5. Get a Boundary Buddy, so that when you’re about to say yes to something you know you should be saying no on, they will remind you of why it’s important for you to respect your boundaries

Your call to action this week: Follow the 3 step process for boundaries and check in with me.

  1. Notice where your time is going
  2. Decide how you want things to be instead and set the boundaries
  3. Stick to your boundaries, using tools or perhaps bringing on a Boundaries Buddy to keep you in check.

I’d love to hear about your boundary setting, email me at ruby@rubymcguire.com to let me know what you’re going to do differently as a result of listening to this podcast. I reply personally to every email.

One Big Reason For Why You Need To Write In Your Own Voice

In this episode, I’m sharing how writing in your own voice can help you in business, and talking about how procrastination might be holding you back.

Link that Ruby mentions in this podcast: 7 Things To Try When You’ve Got Writer’s Block.

In this episode, Ruby shares how perception can teach you a message about being more visible in your business

Click the play button below to listen, or scroll down and click ‘Read full transcript’ if you prefer to read the post.

Join my free FB community to connect with me and other fabulous solopreneurs to help you Rock Your Fabulous Biz.

Read Full Transcript below...

When you start running your own business you want to become known for what you do. You want to attract clients and you have this vision of having a lifestyle of freedom that will work around your family or other life commitments/dreams.

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To become known for what you do though, you need to stand out from the crowd. There’s a lot of noise ‘out there’ so you need to set yourself apart somehow.

One of the things that I have done over the years is get into writing, whether it’s writing a blog post or newsletter or recently being a co-author of a personal development book. Writing has been a skill I’ve been working on and developing over time.

The problem is, that sometimes there’s a part of you that’s scared to share the real you, what will people think if you’re different? What if they don’t like what you put out there? What will your friends, peers, old work colleagues say/think about you when they read what you’re up to, or what you think about now that you’re running your own business? It can hold us back.

I write the majority of my own copy. I do work with copywriters from time to time, but what’s interesting when I do is that my good friends will notice it’s not my writing. They will tell me that it hasn’t got my ‘Ruby sparkle’ as one friend says.

Recently, I needed to write an article for a big coaching blog. The readership is high, the articles are fabulous and I had one word to work with in terms of inspiration. I had lots of different ideas about how I could approach this piece of work, with my usual little mind maps scoping out my ideas.

The trouble was I couldn’t start. I had it in my diary one day, and then it moved to the next day, and the next and the deadline was slowly approaching and I didn’t have a single word down on paper.

Now, let me explain, my natural writing style is that I write very last minute, that’s when my best ideas flow, but with other things needing to be done I wanted to get ahead of the game. I’ve had coaching and mentoring around my last-minute-itis but have come to the conclusion that it’s when I do my best work so I just need to factor in a bit of buffer time to make sure I have a contingency plan, but back to this article, where were the words? There were just no words.

As I work on procrastination with my clients, I had a few tricks up my sleeve on how to manage it, so firs7t I reached out for some support. I shared in my Rock Your Visibility Bootcamp that I had hit a block and that I was declaring this article would be written. (By the way, It’s ok to share your vulnerabilities with your clients/tribe – they like to know you’re human, and it makes them realise they’re not the only ones, plus it kicks your butt!) My Rock Your Visibility Bootcamp is all about being visible in your business too, so it was a great one to share.

So, my next strategy was to question what was really going on. Why was I so blocked on this article? Maybe it was because it was just one word that I had to work with, and I had too many directions I could go in. Maybe it was because I just needed to start, writing one word might have got my creative juices flowing. Maybe it was that I needed to write last minute and not so early.

So, having shared what needed to be done, and gathered some accountability, I decided to just write. I decided to write whatever came up and see where it took me.

I got a page written and then did what I call a harsh edit to get it nearer to where I wanted it to be and I messaged my friend to ask her to read it for me.

She said, “It’s a great article, but you need to ‘Ruby-fy’ it.”

Hmmm. Bingo, I realised what had been going on. I was trying to fit into what I thought the person wanted for their blog, to fit in with what everyone else was writing – their style. I was trying to be ‘professional’ and missed the point that I might have been asked to write because my style is different.

So the one big reason for writing in your own voice is this … It will help you to stand out from the crowd, to be more visible (plus there’s the bonus of it being soooo much easier when you do!)

So I went back to the article and the words starting flowing, the article got ‘Ruby’fied’ and I hit send on the email. What was interesting too, was that one of my top 3 values is authenticity, so of course if I wasn’t writing as just ‘little old me’ then I wasn’t being authentic either. No wonder I couldn’t get anything down on paper. I like to show up online in exactly the same way as I am offline, so there’s no mismatch.

As Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote Big Magic, says, ‘All procrastination is fear’. So what was I really afraid of? I was afraid that if I wrote in my own voice, and shared my quirky side that people would think I wasn’t professional enough, or worse I might not be asked to write again. Is that true? I don’t know, maybe I won’t be asked to write again. What I do know though is that my article felt so much better once I’d put my own spin on it, once I’d thrown out all of the perceptions around what it ‘should’ be and replaced it with what I wanted it to be. When I read it back it was definitely more me.

Writing is a fabulous way to build 5visibility, for you to be viewed as credible in what you do, and to become the go-to guy or gal for your particular field – whether it’s writing your blog posts, a script for your podcast, or guest articles. It’s especially great if you are one of those introverted solopreneurs that doesn’t want to do the whole face to face thing, like video, Periscope etc. Just because others run their business that way doesn’t mean you have to. It’s your business, run it your way. Find YOUR thing.

You can build your business through writing

Sharing your expertise with the world through your writing is a great way to build rapport with your ideal clients, plus you can educate them in areas they might not yet know.

If you’re finding it difficult to write that blog post or newsletter, or even a single LinkedIn or Facebook post then gather your troops, share your challenge and get support. Then ask yourself what’s really going on. Maybe, you’re trying to fit into a perceived mould, like I was, and once you start just writing authentically, just as you, the words will flow for you too.

Where are you procrastinating with your writing?

If you get writers’ block, you might like my article, 7 things to do when you get writers’ block. There’s a link in the show notes for you.

Your call to action this week is this – Find YOUR voice, forget what you think you should be sharing and share content that’s completely you. If it feels uncomfortable, start by just sharing one thing. As you start to step into that place of feeling more comfortable, you really will find things so much easier.

 

 

3 Lessons I Learned From Doing A Full Out Business Launch

In this episode, Ruby shares 3 key things she learned from doing a full out launch, and how she’d do it differently next time

Click the play button below to listen, or scroll down and click ‘Read full transcript’ if you prefer to read the post.

Read Full Transcript below...

If you’ve been following me on any of my social media platforms you’ll have noticed that I recently did a launch for my Rock Your Visibility Bootcamp. I did what I always do and pulled together a plan. I got my Moleskine notebook out and started brainstorming some ideas.

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With a full launch plan in the form of a mind map, I knew what I needed to do.

I decided that this time I should call in the heavies, and get myself some additional support, so I started working with my Online Project Manager to help with the overall project, a marketing expert to help with the Facebook ads and some additional VA support to deal with other admin tasks while I focused on the big launch.

My plan started to go a bit wonky pretty early on, as my Facebook ad wasn’t converting as well as I’d have liked (I do have a bit of a pet hate for Facebook ads) so there was an awful lot of tweaking going on, from changing blog post content to adding different pictures, to changing audiences, to adding new interests, to redirecting to my Visiblity Quiz sign up page and more. If you’ve not done Facebook ads before then some of what I’ve just said will be jargon to you. It was to me and some of it still confuses me but I’m slowly learning. It’s not my strength, hence the outsourcing bit.

I worked really hard focusing on lots of different ways to promote my Bootcamp, through adding additional social media posts, setting up an affiliate programme, and more. All the things you think you should do for a launch were done.

#1 Learning – Build relationships

I talk all the time about building relationships and how important it is to engage with your ideal clients, and to build that know, like, trust factor over time. In my usual style, I reached out to previous clients and some connections, explained that I was launching my new programme, and asked them if they’d be willing to spread the word, and said that if they were interested they could jump on a call with me to find out more.

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What happened was quite interesting, those people that I talked to, that I already had a connection with, were far more engaged and wanted to either sign up now or later. Whereas what I was doing with the FB ad was trying to take them from a blog post to signup to my list to then get them to join my programme. It was destined to fail really. It didn’t fail, as I got some people signing up but not the dream number I’d hoped for.

So, as I already knew instinctively, relationship building was what mattered. I was trying to skip out way too many steps and expecting people to sign up without even having got to know anything about me first. Now, yes occasionally this can work, and actually has with one of my older Bootcamps, but it’s not the best way to go about things. It’s much better to build a relationship over time. I kinda proved my own theory of what I teach. Says she as she slaps her forehead!

Key Takeway: Build relationships. Connecting with people consistently is so important, it truly is your lifeblood of your business. As I do with my clients, I encourage you to be constantly connecting with people and not in a pushy sales way, but to build a connection that over time may lead to future business, or perhaps referrals. If nothing else, it makes running your business way more fun as you learn lots of new things and you also get some feedback on what your ideal clients need – it’s a bit of market research.

So what was my next big learning?

#2 learning – People do a lot of reading from their mobile phones

So the next big thing that I learned is that a high proportion of your audience, about 75-80% (of my audience at least) are working from a mobile phone, so my wordy text blog post looked awful on a mobile device, it was just a wall of text.

I went back into my initial blog post that I was sending people to and added a few images to break up the text, something I need to remember for future blog posts.

Key Takeaway: Think about how your posts will be viewed on a mobile device. Adapt your content accordingly.

#3 learning – I started way too late

I started way too late. If I was doing it again, I would have a longer term campaign, about 3-6 montSocial Mediahs where I’m doing lots of little strategies to lead into the big launch and I’d create a slow burning buzz around it. I would do some mini list building strategies, do more joint venture work perhaps. I’d outsource more of the work – especially the FB ads so I could be completely hands off on that. I’d also do more webinars as I love them and it’s a way to share your expertise without hassling!

 

Right now, I’ve sworn not to do any more full launches, it’s just way too exhausting being in all out promo mode. I may do some soft launches, but I don’t like running my business in a high hustle way – it’s not me. I’m an introvert, and I’m sure some of you can identify with that. I much prefer connecting with people, and that’s the way ideal clients mostly come my way.

Key Takeaway: Start early. Build a slow buzz and take your time. That way you can enjoy the journey, not push yourself to burnout and you’ll get better results.

So, to recap, build relationships, think mobile devices and start early.

Call To Action: Consider how you can best build your business without the hustle. I know I love my business way more when I do this, so hope my learnings will help you.

Grab your copy of my free Visibility Quiz – work out where you could be more visible in your business – http://www.bit.ly/VisQuiz

Join my free FB community to connect with me and other fabulous solopreneurs to help you Rock Your Fabulous Biz – http://bit.ly/RockYrFabBiz

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