Right now you’re in DIY mode. You’ve got a lot on your plate and you’re barely handling it all.

Plates are a’ spinnin’ and man are they fuuu-ulllll. If they come tumbling down, there’s going to be quite a mess–but you know there will come a time when you need to take that step and get some help. But, how do you know you’re ready? Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Let’s play Do, Dump, or Delegate!

In this little game, I’m going to present you with 3 situations. Then, I’m going to ask you to assign Do, Dump, or Delegate to each. ‘Do’ means you would do the tasks yourself. ‘Dump’ means you would dump some tasks off your plate. ‘Delegate’ means you would hire someone to take care of some tasks for you. Let’s get started.

Situation 1: You’re chest-deep in your business. Things are starting to get off the ground, but you aren’t quite earning a steady profit yet. You’ve got a lot of things to do and a lot of opportunities you can take advantage of. Some things are clicking, while others are falling through. Traction is just around the corner, but you’re still feeling overwhelmed by shiny objects.

Do, dump, or delegate?

Situation 2: You’re just starting out and you’ve learned a lot in a small amount of time. You know you still have a lot to learn, but your enthusiasm keeps you busy and you want to make money sooner rather than later. Shiny objects are everywhere, but you’re willing to experiment if it means finding the right strategy. You’re not overwhelmed yet, but you know you can’t continue on in the same way you’re doing things now–not for long anyway.

Do, dump, or delegate?

Situation 3: You’re starting to get more focused on the things that actually work in your business. There’s money coming in and you’re regularly investing in your business. You have a lot on your plate, but most of it is necessary to keep your business running. You’d really love some time away from your business or more time to do the important things in your business.

Do, dump, or delegate?

What were your answers? Which situation made you say “do?” Which made you say “dump?” What about “delegate?”

If you answered “dump” to situation #1, you were right. In this situation, it’s best to dump some of the tasks on your plate by prioritizing and focusing on the strategies that are working the best so you can bring in the money you need to hire someone in the near future. You might consider hiring out just a few things if you can afford to.

If you answered “do” to situation #2, you were right. When you’re just starting out and you aren’t quite sure which direction you’re heading in yet, it’s best to hold off on hiring. You need to have a little time to experiment with your business to make sure it’s really what you want. It’s also important to take some time to learn the ropes before hiring someone so you don’t end up hiring someone for the wrong reasons. The time to delegate will come when you’ve figured out how to structure your business.

If you answered “delegate” to situation #3, you were right. It’s important to be able to pay whoever you’re going to hire, so bringing in a steady income is crucial. You also need to have some idea as to what strategies to focus on so you’re not wasting money hiring someone to do something that doesn’t make an impact on your business.

What’s your situation like? Maybe you’ve already hired someone. Maybe you’re thinking about hiring someone very soon. Compare your situation to the ones above and you might get a better idea of whether or not you’re ready to delegate.

Before you do take that step and hire someone, you will want to make sure you’ve got certain things in place–communication, access to the tools and resources they’ll need, a clear list of tasks and responsibilities for them, and your expectations for what they’ll help you do.

Here’s some quick tips for all those:

  • Communication – Slack.com (Look it up! It’s awesome!)
  • Access – Dropbox.com or Google Drive (For sharing files)
  • Access (Part 2) – LastPass (For sharing your passwords securely. Comes in handy when you hire someone to post to your social media.)
  • Task Management – Airtable.com or Trello.com (I prefer Airtable and use it to organize most of my business.)
  • Expectations – Contract (Provided by you or the person you hire. Make sure you both agree to all the terms.)

Okay, now get out there and prepare to delegate. Whether you’re ready now or not, you can take some steps toward preparing for it right away. Just worry about prioritizing and streamlining your business to make things easier for you and your new team member.

IMG_20160622_160356Bio: Kayla Curry is a coach who focuses on productivity, setting goals, starting habits, and boosting confidence. She loves figuring out creative ways to overcome problems. To find out more about Kayla and how she can help you reach your dreams, visit courses.kaylacurry.com

All too often I hear from both clients and friends,

“I have a website, but it is just not me” or, “I have a website, but I am embarrassed to tell people to go to it.”

Sound familiar?

If you have thought this, or know someone who has, you are not alone. A website is often an afterthought to many starter businesses.

More often than not,  people almost always think.

“I can do it myself, how hard can it be. ” or “I saw a, Create your website fast, easy and free ad”

Though, those options are always OK, they are usually not really your business a lot of  options and end up being more like a personal one pager.

Websites should be considered your tool for communication. They are there to talk to every person in the world about what you do, sell or offer when you are not available. It is a method of giving your future clients, or your current clients access to you 24 hours a day.

Did you know that the majority of the people in the world spend less than 15 seconds on the average website searching for potential information of interest? Even less on sites that they happen upon, or click ads to get to your website.

So that it is important to to get someone’s attention withing that 15 seconds.

Now if you were talking to people on the phone, you could only speak to 1 person every 15 seconds, but with a website, you could potentially speak to hundreds at a time, every 15 seconds.

So you might be thinking, “that’s easy” no? So allow me to ask you a couple questions.

  1. Are You a Graphic Designer?
  2. Ever configured hosting services?
  3. Do you have html and css knowledge?
  4. Do you know php?
  5. Ever set up an ecommerce site or membership site?
  6. Do you have knowledge of joomla or wordpress?
  7. Do you have a branding package?
  8. Do you know how to setup security for a web?
  9. Do you understand how SEO works?

These are just a few of the pieces of knowledge or expertise needed to create a truly captivating site. Although not every site requires all of that, and many can be done by installing simple plug and play WordPress plugins, so no big deal right?

Well I won’t tell you, you can’t or shouldn’t build your own site. I will say that if you want a site that really delivers you need to do a few things first.

  1. Talk to a Coach

Talk to a Coach if you have not already. This will help you get a true understanding of the direction your business needs to go. It does not matter if you are a coach or an entrepreneur, having an outside perspective who works to help you get your business going is not only a smart move. It helps with separating your personal feelings out of the way and keeping your website goals in focus.  We all think to ourselves “I know what I like.”

Of course you do, we all do, however what we might like, may turn off another person. Often people like things that do not really work or are not in the best interest of the business.

For example, your favorites colors are Bright Neon Green and Hot Pink.

To you this sounds really good, and you want your branded colors to be that, however your business is Coaching Executives to look more professional. These colors most likely wouldn’t really work. I know, I know, if you were a Professional Coach for Executives you would not be thinking in those colors, however you would be surprised the ideas people have for branded colors that do not understand the finer points of branding.

  1. Talk to a Designer

A designer can really help you.  They can take your branded colors and your information and organize them into a truly captivating site. You may consider yourself a designer, or may even be one, however if you are not, now is not the time to try to become an artist. Visually captivating does not mean Van Gogh or Jackson Pollack on a website.

Clean and beautiful are the keys of a great website. A designer will lay out your web ideas entailing use of color, ease of navigation, simplification of information, and know how to squeeze everything you want to say and the images you want to show into your website, in a way people can easily see.  A well designed site will know what makes people want to stay on your site and to want to learn more.

  1. Know your Targets

You should know always your target audience, this will help the designer. This is another thing a coach can help you out with, if you do not know who your audience is. A site that is visually captivating for a millennial may not work for the baby boomers. Knowing whom you are wanting to target will make sure your site is built to stand out.

  1. SEO

Yes that’s right SEO  (Search Engine Optimization), if you are unfamiliar with this, then you have some more research to do. It is the key to making sure that when people go searching Yahoo, Google or Bing or whatever search engine they may choose, they will find you.

This is accomplished by seeing that your content, use of words, traffic and Social Media, site architecture, trackers and more are organized in a way that makes it easy for the search engines to find and list you.

Back in the early days it was as simple as a couple lines of code that had your keywords and key phrases. But this system was abused by people using the alphabet as keywords and would type in keywords that had nothing to do with the actual content of their site. And of course this lead our searches ending in mountains and mountains of porn, sales pages, spam or just plain junk.

Now the system is refined. It is made to work for business like yours and ranking them, instead of the porn site first. With a designer who knows how to set those systems up in your favor, you can get listed near the top of the categories pertinent to your website.

  1. Someone to talk to.

Some designers just want your info, badda bing, badda boom, they build a website. Your input is not necessary, they just want to cookie cut the sites. In and Out and they are done.

After they are done, it is like you sat down at a busy restaurant, was served a meal and the Waiter is hovering around your table waiting for you to leave so he can reset your table for the next. You are mow left not knowing even how to use this website you just paid for, how to update it or even how to post your own blogs.

It is important to find a designer you can talk to. Someone who is not just emails, but will get on the phone, will screen share, and will be there to show you all about your site. One who will teach you how to manage and control the site as a tool in your business. You want to be able to know how it all works so if you need to, you can maintain it, or tell another you hire to maintain it the way you want.

No different than any device you own, you may not care how it was built, and every part that went in it, but you do want to know how the remote control works, in full.

One last and final thought.

Many people believe once a site is built that’s it. It is done no need to worry about it anymore. Here is my web address go check it out and have a nice day.

Wrong, so wrong. Your website, as I stated earlier, is a tool in your business. What I did not say then, is that it is a living breathing part of your business and should be as flexible as you are. It should be capable of changing quickly without the need for a full redesign. Your business is constantly moving, you have new programs or products, webinars, seminars, retreats and all the great things you all do.

So your website should also reflect that, a site that is a living and breathing part of your business will continue to get visitors, both new and repeat. No one is going to go to a site over and over that never changes nor offers anything new. They have been there, seen it, have the t shirt to prove it, and no need to go back.

Your website should be more like. “Oh Wow, there is a new video on SOandSo.com about “This Guy is a Website Superstar” (see how I did that?)

That is what makes people come back over and over, and they want to know what you have to say or offer. They tell their friends who tell their friends, who tell their social media channel, who like your page and retweet your message of the day. And so, your audience is buzzing and a “Star is Born” on the good old interwebs.

Thank you for reading. (Tips his hat)

One of the many way coaches can increase their income is via membership sites. This can be very profitable and can used as your signature program or just as an add-on.
Here are a few items to consider before you create your next membership site.
1) Platform: There are many plug-ins that allow you to create a membership site. One of the most common one is Wishlist. This has been trusted for years by many coaches and is one of the first ones that was created. Another great plug in is WP e-Member. If you are already an Infusionsoft user, you may want to consider using their add-on iMember360.
2) Levels: Make sure you pre-plan how many membership levels you want as well as what each level will have access to. This will making the set up a lot quicker.
3) Free vs Paid: A good way to entice people to your membership site is to either offer a limited time discount. Another idea is to offer a few pages to “free” members. This will allow them to savor what you have to offer and want to upgrade.
4) Content type: It will be important to know what content you will be sharing. Are you allowing them to view the content or download the content? Are you adding videos or PDFs? If so, make sure that they are the right size and formats. Also consider if you want to “host” the items on your website server or if you are going to use outside hosting options (You Tube, AWS, Vimeo)
5) Payment: Next you need to decide on how you are going to accept payment for your membership if you are charging. Also you will need to decide if this will be an on-going monthly price or a X-time payment.
6) Timing: Another item you will need to consider is if you want all of the access available at one time or if you want to “drip” the content. Another variation is that it is you want to move the members from one page to another. This is common for “classroom” formats. Many will have the next class “open” once the member has completed all of the steps from the previous class.
7) Branding: Most coaches will have new colors, new logos and banners for their membership site. If you are thinking about this, make sure you ask your website designer what dimensions you need to give to your graphic designer
8) Domain: Here you have the option to make a sub-domain to your main domain. This is a free option and would look like (members.yourdomainname.com). You may also want to consider purchasing a separate domain for your membership site. If you plan on buying a domain, make sure you send all the log in info to your web designer.
9) Security: This will be important now days with all of the hackers. Make sure that you have one of the many free security plug in installed or consider purchasing our favorite- iThemes Security.
10) Expiration: Lastly, you will need to consider is whether or not the content or access to the site will have an expiration date. Many programs are 3, 6 or 12 month programs allowing people to log in only during these times. Others will create a lifetime site. If do a lifetime site, you need to also decide if you are going to continually add new stuff or will it be a one-time set up and members can access the material forever.

With the proper plan and guide, you can have a membership site up and running in a few hours. The key is to have all you need in advance before you send off to your web designer. Also we would suggest talking over all of the above with them beforehand and make sure that they are needing anything else before you begin to start your site. If you are thinking about doing a membership site, we would love to assist you. Schedule your call today and let’s talk.

Business relationships are going virtual and the demand for virtual assistants is growing gradually day by day. Professionals and business owners are struggling to balance their career and personal life. This causes them to feel overwhelmed and constantly stressed out because their work pile has become a complete hassle. These everyday tasks really can be a pain when trying to find time for yourself. Scenarios such as this is what leads professionals and business owners to find a quick, inexpensive alternative to relieve them of the chaos they are experiencing.

Virtual Assistants Are Versatile
Virtual Assistants are definitely considered “on-call” for a reason. They will work around the clock, if needed, to keep their clients happy. (This includes weekends and holidays.) As independent contractors, virtual assistants take their work seriously and put their best effort forth at all times. Here’s a look at the many valuable skills VAs possess, manage on a daily basis:

1. Newsletter Maintenance
Keeping in contact with your loyal clients is vital to keep your business afloat, this we do understand. Newsletters are a great way to reach out to your clients weekly or daily. This is also a great way to grow your target marketing audience.

2. Social Media Marketing
Social media is a great way to promote your products or services to the public. It is definitely an inexpensive option if you are on a budget.

3. Website Design & Maintenance
Websites are necessary for a growing, successful business. Many consumers have gone virtual, so you are more likely to keep a steady flow of sales with a running website. Your Virtual Assistants offers domains for as low as $9! If you already have a website, it can still be maintained but sometimes changes are good for business.

4. Graphic & Video Design Creation
Visuals are VERY important in the rise of technology. Consumers frequently share graphics and videos through social media networks. This is a great way to reach new people. Graphics and videos are also used when building or reconstructing a website.

5. Shopping Cart Maintenance
When selling through your website, you will need to set up a shopping cart like Shopify, WooCommerce, InfusionSoft, etc. Shopping carts can be a hassle to set up if you are not sure of what you are doing.

6. SEO
Complete optimization of your website means you will generate more traffic and gain more exposure.

This is just a brief summary of what a virtual assistant can do for you and your business. (To view a complete list of services provided by Your Virtual Assistants — click here.)

Virtual Assistants Can Also Save You Money
Believe it or not, hiring a virtual assistant can save yourself a good chunk of change by reducing labor and hiring costs.

1. Virtual Assistants are independent contractors and pay their own taxes.
2. You will not be required to provide worker’s compensation or employee benefits.
3. Virtual Assistants will only charge for their time spent on tasks that are assigned.
4. Office space & equipment does not have to be furnished because VAs already come equipped.
5. Training costs are pretty much thrown out the window once you hire the right VA. Many of them already have experience needed. Just be prepared to send thorough instructions and have plenty of work ready.

If you are ready for more personal time without worrying about your business declining, it may be time to consider a reliable VA to handle all your dirty work while you focus on more important things (like golfing).

11298757724_897e461d43_mSometimes I think that the internet marketing gurus make the information marketing model confusing so that they can sell you a solution.

Seriously, the more confusing you can make something, then the more you can charge for the solution, right?
And I’ve been thinking lately about how really easy it is to create a fully-functioning, profitable, information business. Then a friend of mine sent me a 9,800 word ebook he wrote in his niche, and he wanted my thoughts on it. And my response was that he could just turn it into a business!

This is what I told him:

Just create a new website, put some excerpts of that on your blog, make that your free download, then create a 3 hour audio course teaching EXACTLY what is in that report, sell for $97

Then have a blogging coaching program for $97 a month

That’s it.

That’s the model.

Nothing more.

Then just write an email a day.

Drive traffic to your blogging free giveaway page.

Then each week, record one hour of new training, sell it on the warrior forum each week.

Put warrior forum leads into your automated funnel selling your $97 blogging book and your $97 a month coaching program.

That’s it.

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social-network_110002839-012814-intThe last couple of days have been beautiful, the weather near perfect and some of us are suffering from spring fever while others are simply struggling with the pollen levels. This time of the year reminds me that summer is coming and things are about to slow down – in networking. I would like to take just a moment and discuss this trend and what I believe may be the cause of it.

Let’s begin in the fall. At this time of the year we are working feverishly trying to procure new business because we realize that around the holidays things will slow down. As December draws near, some of us become preoccupied with things like parties and shopping and our attention turns from building our business. Others find it increasingly difficult to make contact as people begin long vacations.

Then the holidays pass. We put our marketing and networking efforts into high gear, going to several meetings a week, trying to get things cranked up again. The result is increased business and increased profits. Have you ever noticed that in the early part of February that things begin to pick up almost at a maddening pace? When this occurs, unless we are prepared for growth, we start to back off on our promotions as we scramble to complete the work that has been generated by our marketing efforts.

In effect, we stop networking. We lose contact with those we have been making and asking for referrals, and they begin to feel as if we are not interested in them any longer. When this happens, they may look for someone else to refer when that target prospect comes along.

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tg_logo_bigVideo Marketing is a very powerful marketing platform for increasing leads and sales. Video is the only medium that communicates emotion. Therefore, it gives you the ability to leverage on the enthusiasm of your customers and staff as no other form of marketing is better at capturing attention than video.

It also introduces your company or business in a very irresistibly entertaining and compelling way. While it takes many touch points before one can achieve a sale, video marketing works to reduce the hustle and bustle of marketing, increasing conversions and sales at much reduced costs.

Videos build very engaging and memorable connections to your business or company brand. Research shows that video messaging is several hundred times more engaging that plain text only. It is proposed that companies can offer both video and text for the targeted audience to decide which suits them best.

However, for High Return on Investment businesses, video is the preferable way to go. This is because people prefer to watch rather than read long prose. With video, you can turn your static text sales pages to engaging pieces of video content. Some decent video marketing software can easily catapult your business to the next level.

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Video 1Videos have taken content marketing by storm. The power of video making for small businesses is far greater than what any other medium holds. Marketing via video has increasingly become very popular since it is far reaching and has yielded very good results in many marketing campaigns.

Future statistics and expectations.

According statistics carried out by Cisco, Video will account for 69% of consumer internet traffic by 2017. This means that Video-on-demand traffic will have trebled by that time. This is a fine indicator of its rapid growth.

Online video is becoming a very popular means for people to quench their thirst for information and entertainment. Small businesses that may fail to include it as an important element in their internet marketing strategies will most probably be phased out of the market very soon.

Various studies have shown that more than half of the companies in operation today are already employing this medium. A figure that can only predict the endless possibilities this type of marketing holds.

Nielsen Media Research claims that 64% of all marketers are expecting video to dominate their strategies in the near future.

Human behavior when it comes to video.

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When you hear the term social networking, there are some websites that may immediately come to mind. Although there are hundreds of social media, social bookmarking and social networking websites out there, the top social networking sites dominate a much larger part of the internet than all the others combined.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the top social networking sites and what they have to offer their users.

 – Facebook

Millions of people use Facebook everyday to keep up with friends, share photos, links, videos, and to learn more about the people they meet. It provides many different avenues of communication allowing members to connect in a way that is unique to their own personality.

Facebook provides its members with a sense of community by offering groups, pages, applications and games that make networking with friends, family and business associates easy and enjoyable, making Facebook one of the top social networking sites online to date.

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Pinterest 1Pinterest presents yet another new way to enjoy social media marketing online. However, it operates a little different from the social networking sites that people are used to – sites like Facebook, Twitter, or even Instagram. As such, the do’s and don’ts for observing proper etiquette when pinning and repinning can get a little quirky. Here are a few essential rules to get you started and prevent you from stepping on other people’s toes when using Pinterest for marketing.

Do link back to your source.
Otherwise, your pins can easily be considered as actual theft or a copyright violation. Someone else did all the hard work for creating such a beautiful photo. The least you can do is to give credit where it’s due, don’t you think?

Don’t pin photos that you’ve been expressly warned not to use.
There are bloggers and site owners who are pretty protective about their rights to the photos they have up on their pages. They even have explicit warnings posted about copyright and privacy policies. In such cases, it’s better to play it safe and ask permission directly about pinning.

Do thank your sources.
This goes as well for photos you have seen in other boards and repinned to yours. A little thanks won’t cost you anything but it will go a long way in fostering positive relationships between you and other users.

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