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.

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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.

 

 

Rocking Your Visibility Interview With Rachel Smith

In today’s post, I’m sharing a recording of a Rocking Your Visibility Interview that I was part of recently. It was hosted by Rachel Smith of The Business Grower. I share lots of actionable tips for being more visible in your business, things that you can implement in your business today. Scroll down to listen, just click the play button.

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The funny background story on this is that Rachel and I had held the Blab the previous day, but it didn’t get recorded so we had to do it again. On the day we went to re-record my camera went down, so you couldn’t see me. Oh the irony – when I’m all about being more visible in business!

If you have used Blab yet (Awww, shucks, you missed, but don’t worry – you can still access some fabulous freebies here), I highly recommend it. I’m planning to do lots of Blab interviews with people over the coming months, to help you Rock Your Visibility, so watch this space.

Grab your copy of my free Visibility Quiz – work out where you could be more visible in your business

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

 

 

What I Learnt When A Client Told Me They Take Me To Bed At Night

In this episode, I’m sharing what I learnt when a client told me they take me to bed at night, and how perception can teach you a message about being more visible in your business.

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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.

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I was having a lovely chat with one of my clients the other day. We were talking about an ideal client visualisation that I have as part of my Rock Your Visibility Bootcamp, and she was telling me that she loves the sound of my voice, and has listened to it a few times. She’s even said she thinks I should record meditations etc. She then went on to tell me that she loves to listen to my podcast shows and often listens to them in bed. So much so, that her husband now jokes and asks if they are taking Ruby to bed tonight!

Ok, so firstly, let me tell you my client is not a stalker!! She just said that she finds my voice calm, relaxing and it helps her to get really focused and take baby steps.

So, what’s all this got to do with visibility? Well, as I’ve shared in the past I don’t like the sound of my voice. I often get asked where I come from, and what my accent is and for some reason I have a mental block about it. It makes me feel judged. They might not be thinking that but that’s my perception of their question. It doesn’t matter to me how anybody else speaks, but it does matter to me how I speak.

My client takes me to bed! It’s all about perception. She likes my voice but I hate it.

A limiting belief? It could be limiting me, IF I let it. 5

I’ve considered elocution lessons but a part of me can’t work out if that’s the right thing because it doesn’t feel authentic to me somehow.

I remember going out for a meal with friends many years ago and we were chatting away, and then one of the girls started laughing and said, ‘Yeah, innit’. This girl was normally really eloquently spoken, so it was a complete surprise to everyone and when we teased her about where that came from – she told us she’d had elocution lessons, so I guess a part of me is worried that my true accent would come out anyway so maybe it’s not the right thing to do.

Conversely, one person I spoke to about this told me that getting elocution is no different to getting any other kind of personal development, you’re just improving yourself.

It’s all about perception

Now, what I realised a couple of years ago is that to build your business you need to get yourself out there somehow, and the quickest way to do that is to let people see you, hear you, get to know you, and start to get a feeling for what you’re like as a person. I knew that I needed to get brave and do video back then so I enrolled in a little 15-day video challenge and started to do my videos. I absolutely hated doing them but with the support of the group they became more natural, and I started to relax into them.

So, why does someone that hates her voice run her own podcast show? Trust me, I’ve asked that one myself.

Simply because when you meet me this is the version of me that you’re going to get, plus I do love to talk!

I talk about showing up authentically on and offline.

Let people get to know the real you

It doesn’t mean you have to share every single thing about you that’s personal, keep some stories just for you. It just means that when people meet you face to face, or on a call, you’re the same person they have seen, heard, got to know online.

The other side of that though is that to be visible in your business, you have to step up.

You can’t keep hiding yourself away waiting for your ideal clients to find you

18You have to be the one that shouts out about your business, and by shouting out I don’t mean shouting, ‘buy my services’, ‘work with me’. I mean to build relationships with people by sharing great content, talking passionately about what you do, helping through being of service to others. We all want to earn money from running our own businesses, for sure. That’s why we call them businesses, not hobbies, but we need to build those relationships with people so that they know, like and trust us enough to want to work with us.

What happens though is that we have this perception that people will look down on us somehow, we’re afraid of being judged, we’re full of self-doubt and worried we’ll say or do the wrong thing when we do get brave enough to take those steps.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve had clients and friends put themselves down, they just don’t see the fabulous people they are. We’re all guilty of it.

So, what if they do judge you? Well let’s get real here, they might! But that mustn’t stop you. You will find your crowd of people that will love you for you, when you show up authentically and just have conversations, share and do your best work.

There will be people that hate my voice and won’t want to listen to me, and definitely don’t want to take me to bed! Hey, I don’t want to listen to my voice, so why should anyone else, but the reality is if I don’t shout out about my business then nobody else will, and you don’t get anywhere business by taking no action.

So, if something is really holding you back, and it’s something you can fix – go fix it

Maybe, you don’t believe you’re good enough at what you do. Get the training, read the books, put in the practice hours and hard work.

Maybe it’s a limiting belief you need to work on, so that you stop getting into a spiral of self-sabotage.

Maybe, like me, you need to accept that this quirk of yours is who you are, and go out there and be brave anyway.

Whatever it is, if it’s holding back your business, get it sorted. Don’t let your blocks stop you from creating that life and business you love.

So, will I ever get those elocution lessons? Maybe. You’ll be the first to hear about it!

Your call to action this week: Check in on where you’re holding yourself back, and then get to work fixing it.

If you really want to work on both your mindset and your business, and get more visible come and join my Rock Your Visibility Bootcamp – I’ll get the kettle on!

Why I’m Adding An Affiliate Scheme To My Business

In this post, I’m going to be sharing with you why I’ve added an affiliate scheme to my business, what the benefits are, and I’ll give you a simple overview of how to set one up for yourself.

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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.

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What Is An Affiliate Scheme?

An affiliate scheme in its basic form is like a referral fee. You have information that you share about someone’s product or service, and if someone signs up for that particular thing you get a referral fee.

The process is simple, your affiliate member shares a specific affiliate link on their site, social media platforms, via email etc.

The person being referred visits the site and the techie magic happens in the background where it tracks the IP address from where they have come from. This means that once the person orders, it will be registered as a sale and the affiliate member will receive commission for that sale. As the person running the scheme you can set any length of time for the tracking to allow for commission, for example you might set one year from the day they first click on your page, which means if they don’t sign up there and then, but come back later your affiliate will still earn a fee.

What Are The Benefits Of Having An Affiliate Scheme?

For the business running the scheme – It’s a way of getting in front of a wider audience, and through word of mouth, rather than promoting through ads etc. Yes, you’ll lose money through the commission fee you’re paying out, but you may never had come across that new client without the affiliation.

For the affiliate – They are getting a reward for recommending people to you. This might be something they’ve been doing for you already – but now they get a reward for doing so.

How Do You Set It Up?

I used a WordPress Affiliate Plugin for mine – you simply add the plugin to your website, choose what affiliation fee you’re offering, add in some links to where you want people to click through too. Set up a page on your website to focus on your Affiliate Centre. This will explain to your potential affiliates how the programme works, and you’re pretty much done on the techie side.

The next step is to share your links with people. What I find helps is to explain in monetary terms what an affiliate fee might mean based on each of my programmes, so they know what the referral fee is, and they then understand what that means to them. It makes it more real and better than saying, “You’ll be getting x% of that programme.”

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I have a document that explains how my scheme works. What I’ll need to keep track of is letting my affiliates know of any new programmes I set up as I go, updating them on any price changes, any special offers that I might run etc.

You can also build elaborate affiliate programmes, where you have a Facebook group to support your affiliates, set a leader board to show who’s doing the most sales and more, you might offer additional rewards etc. That’s not for me, not yet anyway. I might change my mind in the future.

There are lots of ways that you can build your affiliate programme, one of my friends spends lots of time developing different ways in which to make her affiliate programme a success. For now I’m happy to just KISS, with mine (Keep It Simple Sweetie) and offer the link to my clients and subscribers to share if they believe they have received great value from me and my programmes, and believe it would be worth referring to someone else. I’ve given a couple of examples in the Affiliate Centre of what people could share, but I’d much rather it be in their own language than mine. That’s more authentic.

Is An Affiliate Programme The Right Thing For You?

So, I wondered if an affiliate programme was the right thing for me. Well, the way I see it is this… I have some clients that absolutely love what I do and I think it’s only fair that they get some kind of ‘gift’ if you like, for referring business my way. It’s a way of me rewarding their loyalty somehow.

I often get offered the chance to be on affiliate programmes with people. For me, it’s really important that I only promote what I’ve personally used. I might promote one product from someone but not another, and that’s purely because I haven’t personally used it. I don’t want to vouch for anything I’m not personally familiar with.

Be very careful who you decide to promote as it can damage your credibility

The same applies to when doing joint ventures with people. As I’ve said in the past, they can be a great way to build your visibility and get in front of a wider audience, but you need to be strategic in who you choose to work with.

I am currently an affiliate with a few people and have personally used their products. I’m in the position in business where people trust what I s27hare, so it’s important to keep that credibility intact by only recommending people/companies that are of high value and great content.

So, should you have an affiliate programme or not? I can’t answer that one for you. I guess there will be another blog post from me once I’ve figured out whether I like it or not, but for now, it’s the right thing for me and my business. My only hope for it is that people only share if they are genuinely interested in what I do and how my programmes might help someone they know. It’s free to join, so pop on over and sign up with me.

Your call to action this week: Consider if an affiliate programme might be a good fit for you, either now or as part of your business plan going forward.

Are You Building Your Business By Being Vain?

In today’s post, I’m talking about some of the things you should be measuring in your business, instead of those that aren’t really a true reflection of what’s going on.

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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.

Grab your copy of my free Visibility Quiz – work out where you could be more visible in your business –

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

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Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who’s the fairest of them all?

Why you are, of course, but not because of the number of Facebook page likes that you have.

We all have those things in business that make us feel good – maybe it’s the size of your newsletter list, or perhaps it’s the number of likes you have on Facebook.

Honestly, these are just vanity stats.

Vanity stats aren’t giving you a true and accurate reflection of what’s really going on in your business

What you have to be constantly thinking about is whether those people are actually your ideal clients. At the time of recording I’ve got an ok 1,000 plus likes on my Facebook page, but that doesn’t mean those people are my ideal clients, it doesn’t mean they will ever buy anything from me, and it doesn’t mean that they will engage in my content either.

I hear people spending money on boosting their Facebook page likes and wonder why? Is it because it makes us look good, raises our visibility, gives us credibility? Well I guess there is an element of that, but wouldn’t it be much more exciting to be engaging with people that totally get and love you and what you do, rather than those that are a bit meh, they can take or leave you? That would feel so much better, don’t you think?

I’d know I’d rather have 200 likes on my page that love what I do than loads of people on there that aren’t my ideal clients. So, if you’re someone paying for them, I’d say don’t. Let your page grow organically like I have.

Despite growing my page organically though I still don’t know if they are my ideal clients. So what to do? Keep encouraging them to visit your website, through a little PS call to action at the bottom of your posts, or sharing some blog posts etc. Invite them to sign up to your mailing list by giving away some valuable freebie that showcases your work. The people on your list are interested in what you do, they’ve given you their email addresses – which is actually a very big thing these days with the amount of noise in our inboxes.

Look after those people on your list

give them additional information that you aren’t sharing elsewhere, or perhaps let them see it before others do.

What about those newsletters? Are you worrying about your numbers dropping off? Are people unsubscribing? Let them! If they aren’t staying on your list there may be lots of good reasons for that – the biggest one being – I’m sure you can answer this one for me – they aren’t your ideal clients. If they had any intention of being your client at any point then they would be staying on your list, so let them go, with love.

What about open rates – again they don’t mean much because some people have selected to have images turned off. What that means is that it’s possible that for your stats to count an email as opened, the images will have to have been loaded. Use the stats as a guide, but focus on engagement, new clients. How many people talk about your newsletter? Who replies?

I have people tell me that they love getting my newsletters, they save them but don’t always get around to reading them that week. I could get depressed about that, but I like to take the view that everything happens in its own sweet time and if they were meant to read what I’d written they’d have had the time to read it.

Another one that people get hung up on is website hits. Again, the numbers mean nothing if the visitor doesn’t end up becoming a subscriber or client. Instead of that, measure the number of people that sign up to receive your blog posts using your RSS feed, or the types of posts that are being shared. This kind of information is much more useful to you, it tells you where people are engaged.

I have over 8.5k followers over on Pinterest, which is great. Now most of my followers are interested in my creative boards, I have 1.5k on my coaching specific board, but how many of those have converted to paying clients? Well, I have actually had a few new clients from it, but definitely nothing along the lines of 8.5K, or even 1.5k!

Yes, it might be nice to have a few thousand Twitter followers, but you have to measure those things that really make a difference to your business

Focus on how many people are engaging in your content, what time of day do they engage, what do they share? All of those pieces of information are much more valuable to you.

If you focus too much on the numbers that don’t matter you can drive yourself nuts. Each time someone unsubscribes you start to wonder what you’re doing wrong. The answer is probably nothing, your list is simply streamlining itself perfectly for you, so that those that are on it love what you do.

Yes, all of these things are a way to boost your visibility but they can also impact on your mindset, which is one of the big areas we focus on in my Rock Your Visibility Bootcamp. You have to be kind to yourself.

So, while you are the fairest of them all, don’t let those stats be a reflection of you

They are just a measure, and actually, you want to be focusing on those things that make a difference.

Your call to action this week: Think about where you’re focusing purely on vanity stats and come up with a better way to measure how well you’re doing in your business

If you want to check out how visible you are being in your business grab your free copy of my Visibility Quiz.

Why Should I Buy From You?

In today’s episode, I’m sharing a story of a businesswoman, how her business was getting her down, and what she could do about it, and asking, ‘Why should I buy from you?’

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

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I’m going to tell you a little story about a lady called Sally.

Sally was feeling inspired and invigorated. She was finally following her passion and was enjoying running her own business. That was until she read her bank statement, and realised that she wasn’t going to meet the bills again this month.

Sally sat down and started to think about what the problem might be. ‘I’m really good at what I do. I know I get fantastic transformation with my clients. Nobody told me it would be this hard. If I’d have known I wouldn’t have signed up. I definitely didn’t sign up for THIS.’ She hissed the word, ‘this’ and felt contempt for all of the stories she’d read online about how running your own business was so amazing.

Her demeanour softened slightly as she reminded herself that actually it was amazing, it just wasn’t paying the bills right now. She’d been online and heard all about how she needed to niche. That was all well and good but how was that going to pay the bills? Each time someone mentioned they needed help she simply said ‘yes’ because she needed the money. She then resented working with them where they didn’t take action or responsibility for their lives, or they were bad payers. They weren’t the right fit.

She started questioning herself, ‘Am I really going to be any good at this or should I just go back and get a ‘proper job’? My friends all think I’m mad anyway and John isn’t that pleased he’s having to help out with my bills.’

She knew deep down that something needed to change. She was working with any client that came along and had no idea who her ideal clients were, what to offer them or where to find them. Working every hour under the sun just to keep on top of things wasn’t working. Things were slipping, she was forgetting things, the house was being taken over by washing and she had no family time. ‘Not what I’ve signed up for at all’, she muttered again.

Are you like Sally?

Maybe you’re a guy that’s finding you’re so busy being out there that you don’t have time to meet your friends down the pub any more, or even the funds, or maybe you’re working so hard that you don’t even see your family, other than on Skype.

You need to get really clear on who your ideal clients are, pull together a plan of what to offer and where to market to those people. You can still attract clients that are outside of your niche, but you will save so much time, energy and money focusing on the right people; people that want what you offer.

My husband was sharing a story with me about how years ago he did some temp work for a telesales company. He had an enormous list of people to cold-call (shuddering at the thought of that one) and he had to ask them about their multi-platformed servers and how they might want this particular service the company was offering. His list consisted of solicitors, lawyers, small business owners, who wouldn’t know what a multi-platformed server was if it fell from the sky. A complete waste of time for everyone, and not great for the company concerned in terms of reputation and credibility either. They weren’t clear on their target market, their ideal clients.

You have to get clear on this. Getting that clarity will build your business. You become the expert, the go-to person in your field. Result = clearer marketing messages – blog posts, newsletters, articles, social media posts and conversations, and most importantly more clients.

How clear is your message?

I get asked so often to review websites and check in with people about what they should be saying about what they do, and I will always go back to asking who they want to work with. It sounds simple, but if you’re like me when I started I would say I’m a coach – I can coach anyone. That’s what my skills give me.

Yes, but saying you can coach everyone isn’t going to get you in front of the people you need to be in front of.

Let’s get blunt here – why should I buy from you as opposed to any other million and one business owners offering the same service that you offer? Whether you’re a beautician, graphic designer, coach, nutritionist, spiritual healer – it doesn’t matter. You’ve got to sell it to me baby! Telling me in a fluffy way what you do isn’t going to make me understand why I should choose you over others.

The reality is if you’re not getting your message clear there will be one of your competitors out there that is, and those lovely clients that you so long for will be banging down their door instead of yours.

You have to stand out from the crowd. Now, yes, part of that can be through your personality but there needs to be more than that. If you’re saying you can be all things to all people you are never going to be seen as that go-to-expert that we all know we need to be.

In my Rock Your Visibility Bootcamp we work on getting this really clear – yes it hurts your brain – no it doesn’t mean you can’t have variety in your business, it just gives you focus, and focus my dahlinks is one of the key ingredients for growing your business.

When people think of you, they should be able to say what you do quite quickly, at least have an idea of the kind of thing you do, rather than you just saying you help the world and his dog. How can people refer you if they don’t know what you do? Since getting really clear on my messages, I get loads more referrals because it’s clear what I do and who I help. I still get to have lots of variety under that umbrella, thank goodness or I’d go nuts to be honest.

When you know this stuff it really helps you – it makes it SO much easier to make decisions in your business – because you know immediately if someone is going to be a good fit for you or not, and not even just someone but projects that come your way because they fit your business model.

 So, I ask you again – why should I work with you and not one of your competitors?

If you’re feeling like Sally then start to get clarity and turn that around. You can have a business that you love that also brings in money. You just need to do it differently!

Call to action: Get really clear on what you want from your business, who you want to work with, and in what capacity. If you really don’t know, write down what you don’t want, and then flip that list into the opposite. You may find some hidden gems.

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The Big Squeal (how to wow your clients)

In today’s post, I’m talking about the big squeal and how you need to wow your potential clients so that they are excited and want to work with you.

 

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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.

Grab your copy of my free Visibility Quiz – work out where you could be more visible in your business –

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I was walking up the stairs last week, with a cappuccino in hand (naturally!) and heard a big squeal from my teenage daughter’s bedroom. I thought perhaps there was a spider we’d need to call my hubby to save us from, but it turned out to be her squealing because she’d just seen some nail varnishes she wanted to buy go into the sale.

It got me thinking how, as service-based solopreneurs we can wow our customers so they squeal when they learn about something we’ve created or are offering. Truthfully, she loves this particular brand so much I don’t think it would have mattered whether they’d have been in the sale or not, she usually wants everything they release.

Isn’t that we all want for our businesses?

We all have those clients that love each and every single thing we do. It’s brilliant when we ‘get’ a client that we connect with, where we understand what they need, and are able to help them.

So what do we need to do if we want to start wowing our clients? Here are 3 top things to work on to make it all come together;

  1. Ask your ideal client what they need

So often we can go about our own sweet business, coming up with lots of creative new ideas for sharing as programmes/content/packages for our clients, but what if we’ve got it wrong?

I spend a lot of time talking to my clients/potential clients about what they need support with. I want to understand what their drivers are, what they struggle with, what their ideal day would be like and how I can help. This gives me valuable information on what to create for them.

I have stopped creating two programmes now, purely because they just weren’t right. I wouldn’t have known that had I not had those conversations.

Think of ways that you can connect with people to figure out what they need. What market research could you do? I’ve got a freebie over on my website, called A Strategy To Get Paying Clients which you can download. Click here for your copy.

2. Know the benefits of working with you

Why should people work with you? I know when I get asked this question I find it incredibly difficult to answer. I recently did a fantastic course with Adrienne Dorison, called Simplified Sales, and one of the things she asked us to do as an exercise was list 100 benefits of working with you. I got super stuck. It’s just one of those things I find difficult to articulate – I know I help my clients feel more confident, to step up and be more visible, to keep taking steps on building their businesses, to be consistent but 100 – seriously?! She told me to keep digging and I got there. If you can’t share what your benefits are to others, how will they be able to know whether you’re the one to work with or not?

      3. Work on getting your message across clearly

I was reading a little snippet on the front of Natasha’s ‘I Love…’ Pink Marshmallow bubble bath.

Which one do you prefer – Pink bubble bath or what ‘I Love…’ put… ‘Feel scrumptious with a sweet burst of delicious pink marshmallows’. I prefer the second one, it gets into how I will feel when I use that bubble bath.

Personally, I don’t do pink bubbles though, I’m more of a Molton Brown, Oudh Accord & Gold myself (which my hubby is allergic to by the way! I can only use it in the shower when he’s out – typical!) Sorry, I digress – if I did like pink it might help me to make a decision more quickly, just by the wording they’ve used.

I often say to my clients, that it doesn’t matter what you do to help your client, as in what accounting system you might use to help them, what hair product, what coaching tool you use. What matters is how you make them feel. How will working with you make them feel? Will they feel they have more clarity, feel more relaxed, healthier, confident? That’s what you need to get across in your marketing messages.

Bonus tip: You obviously need to be good at what you do too!

So a quick recap to wow and excite your ideal clients:

  1. Ask your ideal client what they need
  2. Know the benefits of working with you
  3. Work on getting your message across clearly

Your call to action this week is to choose one of the three areas and take one action step on it. Ping me an email if you want me to hold you accountable – at ruby@rubymcguire.com. I just love kicking butt!

Time Is Running Out – Really?

In today’s post, I want you to think about how you might be overwhelming yourself when you think about what you have to do to be more visible in your business. Are you saying that time is running out – really?

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Over the past week, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed. I’ve been in the place that I need some more support as my business grows, but haven’t had much time to get it sorted. With lots of different projects going on, and ok hands up sometimes not so great choices, I’ve pushed myself into overwhelm.

Interestingly, a few of my clients have also been in the same place. Maybe part of it is that looming tax return, maybe just the thought of setting goals, or like me sometimes making the wrong choices – they can all make us feel stressed out.

The same applies to when you’re trying to be more visible in your business.

There are so many ways that you can be more visible in our businesses that it can start to feel insurmountable. We have this enormous to-do list that can feel a bit daunting

It’s not just things we need to do practically, but there’s also that emotional side where we know we need to step up a bit with our confidence and start to take brave action.

When I opened my inbox this week I had received an email from HMRC (tax office) with a reminder saying my tax return was due in 10 days and ‘time was running out’. Immediately, my body tightened up at the thought of running out of time. Wouldn’t that email have been SO much nicer if it had said something like this instead… “Your tax return is due in 10 days, you’ve still got plenty of time, but drop what you’re doing, go and make yourself a cuppa and get started now. No more procrastinating!”

The same message would have been conveyed, but it would have been kinder. We might think of ways that we could make the whole experience more pleasurable perhaps. Maybe, light a candle, listen to some nice music, schedule out some time to do it, snuggled up under a blanket or something.

Now back to visibility.

What are you telling yourself about your business when it comes to spreading the word about what you do?

Are you saying that time is running out? That if you don’t get x, y, z done then you’re a failure? That you’re never going to pull this whole business thing off because you’re just so behind. How can you be kinder to yourself?  Yes – you still need to get all of that stuff on your to-do list worked through, but how is saying you’re running out of time really helping?

Give yourself a break. There may be a lot to do, but you don’t have to do it all today

There is only one of you after all.

Choose one area of visibility to focus on and do that one well

Review what’s worked and what hasn’t, tweak and adapt. If it’s working, keep doing it, if you hate it, choose a different way to be more visible in your business. There are just so many ways to raise your visibility, which is what makes this whole area of running your own business so much more fun.

Wait, did I just tell you that you can be more visible in your business AND have fun?! Well, yes I did, because you can.

Your call to action this week: Choose to focus on one area of visibility that you enjoy this week, and bring some fun into it, AND be nicer to yourself!

So that’s it from me today, I’ve got loads to do and my coffee machine and candles are calling me to make it all a lovely experience.

I’m not running out of time. I’m choosing to use it effectively, and have fun along the way!

What about you?

7 Top Tips To Being More Visible In Your Business

Contrary to what you might think because you might ‘see’ me everywhere, being visible in my business has been a challenge for me. I knew that if I wanted to get my name out there I was the only one that could do it, but truthfully I would much rather be at home, hiding behind my computer.

I’m an introvert – I’m quietly confident but I’d much rather observe from the sidelines than put myself out there for everyone to see. I felt that people would be judging what I said, thinking I was a fraud. What did I have to say that others hadn’t already said? Who was I to call myself an expert in anything? I’m normally a fairly confident person but all of a sudden I realised I’d hit this whole new world of self-promotion and my introverted side was kicking and screaming. Fear, procrastination, overwhelm and self-doubt all started to bubble up.

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Prefer to listen? Scroll down and click the player at the bottom of the post.

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If you don’t know me, I’ve been running my own coaching business for 3 years now, more recently as a Visibility Coach for service-based Solopreneurs. Prior to coaching, I was Head of HR of a jewellery company. To cut a very long story short I suffered a back injury, I was unable to walk more than a hundred yards without being in extreme pain and wanting to cry. Unable to work for about 18 months, I spent a lot of time reflecting on where my life was heading and decided to retrain as a Coach and run my own business.

Working in the corporate world is very different to running your own business 

As a Solopreneur, each new area I go into with regards to visibility still freaks me out. Last year it was hosting my own Telesummit, co-authoring chapters of a personal development book and setting up my own podcast show. I won’t let that stop me though – I want my business to be a roaring success, it’s my passion. It’s in my bones! If you’re a passionate Solopreneur running your own business you’ll know what I mean.

Being more visible in your business is scary. We know we’re running a business and need to get out there and shout about it, but the gap between knowing what we need to do and actually doing it can be really massive. I know I let all sorts of things get in the way. I didn’t want to be judged, what if I didn’t have the right thing to say, what about all of those other people being so much better than me, so much further ahead with a lot more to say?

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We know we need to ‘sell’ our services, but we worry that we will come across as pushy or salesy, or that people won’t engage with us when we make the effort and do put ourselves out there.

Sometimes we have to step into areas we would never normally have even considered as part of being a business owner

Hey, I’m an introvert, remember, so understand what it’s like when you know you are the only one that can spread the message. It’s not completely comfortable. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like doing all of that ‘hustle’. I just know I can help people, and that’s the bit I’m passionate about.

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Here’s what someone said about it;

“Wow! Just downloaded to my phone. It’s incredibly thorough. A fantastic free download. It’s given me an idea for a blog post and download for my business.” Kevin Oubridge – Director – Blue Chip Coaching.

So, what are my top tips for boosting visibility? There are so many, it was a challenge just coming up with 7, but here are some of the key things that helped me to raise my profile.

1. Make the decision to be more visible

I had to choose to make the decision to get more visible TODAY. Less talk, more action! I found that surrounding myself with great support and then declaring my intention to others really helped, it’s amazing what accountability can do when it comes to pushing through new comfort zones. I wouldn’t have done half of what I’ve done if it hadn’t been for declaring it.

2. Work on your mindset

In my Rock Your Visibility Bootcamp, we work on both business and mindset simultaneously because it’s so important. I realised quite quickly that if you don’t work on your mindset as a business owner everything will be so much more challenging. You need to push through your comfort zones and it’s tough doing that when your mindset isn’t in the right place. The more you push through those comfort zones though the braver you become. Build your confidence, work on those limiting beliefs and get a strong mindset that serves you well.

3. Get to know who your ideal client is

You don’t want to work with everyone – ‘Yeah, yeah’, was my usual response to this. ‘It’s alright for them to say that, they have a stream of clients coming their way.’ Despite folding my arms and stamping my feet, resisting this one on every level, it actually turned out to be true.  To be more visible you want to stand out from the crowd, to be different. When you get really clear on who your ideal client is you can start to tailor your services/content to be relevant to them. You have clarity. All of your marketing messages are clearer, your ideal client knows you get them and they are much more likely to want to stay connected with you. Everything is SO much easier.

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4. Be consistent with your marketing

Once you’ve cracked who you want to work with, and then what your messages are, be consistent. There’s no point just showing up one month every day and then nobody hears from you for a few months. Whatever method you choose keep showing up. I just kept showing up and showing up. Even in those times when I felt like giving up and now I have that steady client base, people connecting with me that have been following my work for a while. That took time and consistent marketing.

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5. Build relationships

Relationship building is VITAL.  Business happens when people connect with you, when they can relate to you. When you start to connect with people, both on and offline you enjoy it more, and you get more clients. Make it your priority to engage with people on a daily basis; in online groups, face to face, via social media, email etc.

Don’t expect overnight success with this though – relationships take time to build. I wish someone had told me how long it might take in the early days. I maybe wouldn’t have felt like giving up on occasion. I would have trusted that the results  come when you keep going.

6. Pull together a visibility plan

Think about the areas you’d like to get more visible in and start to work out how you could uplevel your business. You might already be doing lots of great things, so think about what might be the next step up for you. Could it be going along to more networking meetings, setting up a podcast show, maybe doing some chats on Periscope or doing some YouTube videos?

Try out my free Visibility Quiz– it’s a great way to help you identify what you are / aren’t doing. Focus on one or two areas to start with and do them well.

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7. Become the Go-To Expert

If you had problems with your sight, would you prefer to go to your GP, who can give you generic advice or would you prefer to go to an Ophthalmologist, an eye specialist who’s an expert in that field? I know which I’d prefer. The same applies to being an expert in business.

Ooh, this pushed my buttons when I first heard this – an expert – me? Yeah, right! How could I call myself an expert when I’ve only just started out? My mentors and coaches reminded me that it wasn’t just about the business I’m in now, but my life and work experiences.

I spend time perfecting my skills, through books, coaching and mentoring, training. If you don’t feel ready to call yourself an expert yet, start to really perfect your trade, put in the work to become that expert. You want people to automatically think of you when they want to work with someone because you’re that go-to guy or gal.

So a quick recap of the 7 top tips to being more visible in your business;

  1. Make the decision to be more visible
  2. Work on your mindset
  3. Get to know who your ideal client is
  4. Be consistent with your marketing
  5. Build relationships
  6. Pull together a visibility plan
  7. Become the go-to expert

So what action are you going to take NOW to boost visibility in your business?

It’s your time to stop hiding your fabulousness now too and Rock Your Visibility!

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The world needs what you have to share!

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

 

PS. Like motivational quotes? Check this post out over on All Happy Quotes – https://www.allhappyquotes.com/best-motivational-quotes/

Are You Telling Your Story?

Storytelling – you have probably noticed that more and more people are sharing their stories in their marketing. People are writing books about it, niching as experts in it and teaching it as part of their programmes.

There’s a reason for this – storytelling helps to build a connection with your ideal clients, but it can be difficult sometimes to know what or how much to share, don’t you think? Are you telling your story?

Storytelling

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You don’t necessarily want everyone to know every single thing about you, but with the whole piece around people buying from people they know, like and trust, it’s something that you might want to consider.

I hurt my back many years ago, and as a result was not  able to work for around 18 months, and ended up leaving my Head of HR role and pursuing coaching. I used to burst into tears if I tried to walk any short distance and literally had to time the traffic lights so that when they turned red I would start crossing the road, only to make it to the other side just as the light turned green. Speedy I was not! I can remember feeling as though I was in slow motion and the world was rushing around me, it was surreal.

I was told I’d just have to get on with it, I had a prolapsed disc and mechanical back pain, and I could have an operation, but there were serious consequences if it went wrong. ‘Just getting on with it’ is never really an option for me. I am one determined woman! I attended a residential pain management clinic for 3 weeks as part of my recovery and put together a strategy.

I had one big goal – to wear my high heels again.

Now, that might sound crazy to you, but for me it was part of my identity. So, with a timer in hand we put together a plan of getting me back into my high heels. I could only sit for short periods of time before my back would spasm so the timer was my new best friend. I started off at 5 seconds of sitting and worked my way up to 1 minute, 2 minutes and eventually 5 minutes.

The same applied to my heels – each day another 5-10 seconds of time being added.

It took time, probably about 6 months as I worked through the pain of taking on such a task but I managed it and now can wear heels for short periods of time, not without pain but the pain is worth it. After a couple of years of spinal injections and a lot of painful walking, I’m now mostly ok. I can’t sit for extended periods of time, I can’t do too much walking or standing in one position for very long, but I can have a normal life, which back then didn’t seem possible. I’ve learned how to manage the pain and figured out what I can’t do – like jumping on a trampette (definite no-no, and salsa dancing – sadly another thing that is no longer on the list) but there are loads of things I can do and running my own business has given me the flexibility I need that a corporate job couldn’t. I can work my own hours, take time out if I need to, without asking for permission.

I’m often asked why I don’t share my story more. I guess for many reasons, one I don’t want to bore people. You may think your story is boring too, but to others it might not be boring. It allows them to see another part of you. When you’re the one in pain it turns your world upside down, but honestly you get sick of thinking about it, you want to talk about other things, normal things. One of my coaching friends challenged me on it the other day saying that I should share my story, that it’s about me overcoming adversity and I guess it is. If my story helps just one person to know that with a positive mindset, a belief that they can overcome a big issue, and forge a new path in life, then that’s a good job done really.

Storytelling doesn’t have to mean that you do a share warts and all

Honestly, people probably don’t want to know about your love life, or lack of it, or sharing your habits, but by sharing your story you can start to identify with your people and that is important. It helps them to know that you’re a real person, that you haven’t just opened up a business and everything has always fallen into your lap. It helps them identify with you, that can build rapport and over time that might lead to a working relationship with you.

So where do you begin? Think about whether there are boundaries that you wouldn’t want to cross. What things are too personal for you to share?

It’s your business, you get to choose those stories that you are comfortable talking about.

Think about how your story might help them. I’ve shared my story today as an example of using a story in your messages. What might help you to identify with your clients?

Don’t overshare all the time. People don’t want to constantly know about the dinner you just ate or as we tease in our house, the ‘Oh it’s all about you again’ moments. Your focus needs to be on your clients, and how best you can serve them, but if a story from you helps them then consider sharing it, allow your personal side to come through.

There are obviously other ways that stories can be told. In Seth Godin’s book, All Marketers Are Liars, he talks about how a story can sell a product. Whether it’s a company saying a particular glass is going to make your wine taste better, or a particular teabag is going to change your whole tea drinking experience, we all know that stories sell and that’s where marketing can be really powerful.

In my post today I’m talking more about you.

What can you be sharing with your clients to build a better rapport with them?

Perhaps you’ve been in their shoes so can talk about it from their perspective, maybe you have had a big life experience where you learned some big lessons and you can share them with others so that they don’t make the same mistakes. Just remember it’s not all about you! It’s about them!

Call To Action: Your call to action this week is to figure out what your boundaries are on the kind of personal information you share and then think of a couple of ways you could share more of the fabulous you with your ideal audience, then go out there and share it!

Do you want a place where you can share this kind of thing in a non-judgemental environment? Check out my free Rock Your Fabulous Biz group on Facebook.

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