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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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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Collaboration – A Quicker Way To Build Your Visibility

Collaboration – A Quicker Way to Build Your Visibility – In today’s post I’m going to be discussing how working with other people can really help to raise your visibility. I’m going to be sharing some of the benefits of collaboration, the types of things you can use it for and some tips around etiquette. When it comes to raising your visibility, collaborative relationships can really help boost your business and help you to get noticed.

Collaboration

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Running your own business as a Solopreneur can be lonely. It can take time doing it all on your own. We have to do everything ourselves. We’re the marketing person, the Bookkeeper, the sales person, the admin person etc., and don’t have the luxury of being able to bounce ideas around with a team of people. Or do we?

It’s really important to surround yourself with a tribe of business people that you can connect with, both on and offline. We don’t want you turning into a hermit. As humans we need human connection. So before you do anything on this, start to surround yourself with some fabulous people that you can brainstorm ideas with. People with whom you can talk openly with, about your challenges, fears and successes. You don’t need to run your business all on your own.

Now, what’s great about those connections is they can, over time, turn into lovely business collaborations.

So what’s a collaboration?

Business Dictionary.com defines it as “a co-operative arrangement where two or more parties work jointly toward a common goal.”

One thing I love to do is connect people with people, I encourage my clients and Facebook group members to connect with each other so that they can form some collaborations. It can be as simple as agreeing to share each other’s blog and social media posts. Or it can be as involved as hosting a telesummit like I did last year. I collaborated with 11 amazing women, all running their own independent businesses, and invited them to share their business hints and tips with our audience.

Why collaborate?

It can help you to grow your business – through collaborative projects, word of mouth referrals, affiliate schemes etc. etc.

Collaboration can be amazing, they can be fun for you where you get to brainstorm with someone else and try out new ways of working, and they can be great for helping you to grow your business too, plus you can learn loads of new things along the way.
How do you get started?

There are loads of ways you can start to build up collaborations. You might start with your local networking group – you could arrange to meet up 121 for a cuppa outside of the meeting to get to know more about the other person’s business. You could join online groups and start to connect outside of the group, again to learn more about each other.

Make sure the people you choose to work with are people you like

You don’t want to be too similar or there might be clashes. Often the differences between you make for a good collaboration.

There ideally needs to be a link between what you do– so let’s say if one of you works with clients on confidence and the other works in hair and beauty there could be a great collaboration there.

You can work with people that have complementary skills, or perhaps people you might think are competitors but you both have your own unique way of doing things. With competitors your ideal clients might be the same so it can work to your advantage. Anyway, I believe there is room enough for everyone in this world, so competition doesn’t even need to apply.

Now, you may have had a bad experience with collaboration, but that doesn’t mean that all collaborative partnerships will go the same way. Get really clear on your boundaries and go out there and build your businesses together.

You don’t have to have contracts necessarily, it depends how formal you want the relationship to be but it helps to get terms of reference at the beginning of your relationship – clear terms of who is responsible for what and when. That could be a simple private message saying, I’ll do this if you do that, or you could go a more formal route. This helps to set the boundaries from the beginning.

There are good ways and bad ways to approach someone to collaborate with you

I’ve been on the receiving end of both, and I’ve made lots of mistakes myself along the way, so let’s just check out a bit of etiquette before we move on.

Get to know the other person first, don’t just contact someone out of the blue

and get them to share about your business

You’ve probably had it yourself where someone has direct messaged you on LinkedIn or Facebook etc., asking you to spread the word for them. That’s a no-no, UNLESS you’ve already got a good relationship together. When you have something to launch they will be much more willing to help you if the relationship has been a mutual one. Bombarding someone with information expecting them to share your latest offering isn’t fair, unless again you’ve created that great relationship with them in the first place.

If you’re just asking them to share something for you, then offer a way that you can help in return. I know I’ve messed this up myself in the past. I know that when I ask for help I will always help that person in return at some point, I never forget when a person has helped, but if they don’t know that the message might be received as being quite rude.

I’ve asked for market research in groups in the past, where I get people to jump on a call with me, and that’s fine if you have the connection, but I could have been anybody asking for help. Going forward now, I offer them something in return, whether that’s a share on my post, to help connect them with someone or jumping on a call with me. The level depends on how much time I have available and what my request has been.

We all have things we need to launch from time to time in our business, like a new programme or a book, telesummit etc. Don’t just contact someone asking them to become an affiliate with you for their book/programme though. For me, I won’t be an affiliate for anything I haven’t personally tried myself, whether I know the person or not. I might know that person has fabulous content, but if I haven’t experienced that one thing first hand then I won’t become an affiliate for them, full stop. I choose my affiliates very carefully. I don’t want to vouch for something that I’m not familiar with.

If you want someone to be an affiliate for your programme or book/package etc. then give them a copy of your book, or access to your programme, or at least a taster of what it is that you offer. You wouldn’t promote a film you’ve never seen. So, why would you go all out and promote someone else’s programme or product if you’ve never even seen a copy, or have an idea of what it’s about.

So this all sounds great, but what do you do together?

Here are a few ideas, but the list is as limitless as your imagination!

• Interviews of each other, asking questions that are relevant to your ideal clients
• Write a book together
• Run an event together – perhaps create a training programme, online or face to face
• Cross-promote in social media, newsletter, blog posts etc.
• Engage with each other’s posts on social media
• Do guest posts
• Become an affiliate
• Hire some help – You could even hire in someone to add value to a programme you’re running if it’s not within your skill set – that way you don’t need to know everything, but can provide a great service to your clients. I did that when I first launched my Bootcamp as I knew very little about selling and got in a Sales Coach to support me in that module. Phew, what a relief!)

In today’s podcast we’ve talked about what collaboration is, some of the benefits in boosting visibility in your business, the types of things you can do, how to get started and the etiquette of collaboration – we can all get it wrong – it’s a continuous improvement process. So now I’m going to leave you with a call to action.

Time For Action: Your action this week is to connect with one person that you’d love to know more about, and find out whether longer term there might be opportunities for you to work together.

Want some group support? Come and join my free Rock Your Fabulous Biz group on Facebook.

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