SUCK at setting goals? Try this…

3Sooo, as I’m writing this it’s officially 25 days into 2016. Is it just me, or does that seem totally crazy? It feels like just yesterday I was clinking my champagne glass against the (shot) glass of my one of my oldest friends to toast the new year. But alas, time flies when you’re doing remarkable work in the world. ūüėČ

Anywho, I wanted to share a little message with you, because honestly, there’s been SO much chatter about goals! and milestones! and resolutions! and THIS YEAR IS GONNA BE YOUR YEAR!

But honestly, when it came¬†to setting my goals for 2016…well, I just, uh, didn’t.

I don’t have an (official) income goal.
I don’t know (exactly) which products + services I’m going to launch this year.
And hell if I know when I’m actually taking a (beautiful, preferable tropical) vacation.

This isn’t really TOO crazy for me. I¬†often like to leave a little wiggle room in my “list of goals” anyway, for unexpected surprises, opportunities + cash flow. BUT totally not setting any real tangible goals yet? It feels a little scary.

Or it would, if I hadn’t done something that might be even more beneficial for me. (Girl can’t just head out into the world without ANY plan for world domination, now can she?)

Instead of goals, I’ve decided to choose a few guiding principles – words, if you will – to nudge me along this year, and circle back to anytime I’m wondering, “Should I book this client/write this article/say yes to this invite/buy this pair of shoes?”

And I wanted to share this concept ‚Äď and my specific principles just for #inspo ‚Ästwith you in case you, too, are a bit of a “fly-by-the-seat-of-your-sevens” kinda gal. ūüôā

So what words/principles did I pick to propel me this year?

Word 1: SIMPLIFY. 
Okay, sooo I¬†admittedly¬†got a bit obsessed with the¬†whole minimalism thing at the end of 2015 (as evidenced by my Pinterest boards…), after eating up¬†Greg McKeown’s book, Essentialism¬†in one sitting. I’m no stranger to minimalism, but what I¬†LOVED about Greg’s¬†book is that he doesn’t just¬†focus on material things (we’ve ALL read, The Magic Art of Tidying Up by now, haven’t we?), but rather on simplifying¬†our commitments. He asks all of us to answer¬†the question,”What do you REALLY want more time for in your life?” Seriously though: What DO¬†you? And please, don’t feel guilty if what you really crave isn’t a six figure business or a fat client docket. Maybe (like me), you want more flow + ease in your days. Maybe you want LESS commitments to LESS people but MORE QUALITY inside those commitments. Call me biased, but¬†I honestly think in this day + age of “MORE AND BETTER AND FASTER, PLEASE!”¬†simplifying is a great guiding word for pretty much anybody.

How I’m Practicing “Simplifying” in 2016: Less yes’s, more let-me-think-about-it’s (and actually thinking about it). Less juggling clients, and more hyper-focusing on 1-2 at a time.¬†

Word 2: LOVE.
To be totally honest with you, I’m slowly¬†sashaying my way into my¬†third year in business and just now¬†understanding¬†the true value of loving up whoever is around to be loved up in business. (Guess I’m not quite as gifted as my elementary school teachers thought. ūüėČ )¬†For real though:¬†I’m an introvert and I have¬†social anxiety disorder (and trust you’ll be hearing a lot more from me this year on how I’ve maybe not-so-gracefully handled this over the years), so spending heaps of time around/talking to others has NEVER been my thing. I prefer small, intimate groups and cozy little chats with 1 or 2 people over loud, roaring parties any day. But what I didn’t realize my first few years of business was HOW DANG TRUE the¬†old adage about how 80% of your business will come from 20% of your people is. I went into business thinking I didn’t want anybody to “own” me or my time ever again, but the truth is, maintaining ongoing (positive!)¬†relationships is SO necessary. If this is an area you struggle with (professionally or personally), it’s WORTH looking into + focusing on.¬†Don’t be like me and miss out on some wonderful opportunities for friendship and collaboration because you¬†don’t put in the effort to get to know your colleagues + clients.

How I’m Practicing “Love”¬†In 2016: Reaching out instead of shutting down when things go bonkers. Attempting to mend old, burnt bridges with a whole lotta love. Reading up on intimacy issues, and anxiety issues, and doing my best to heal all of the above.¬†Actively seeking out (and contacting) people¬†I admire. Oh, and focusing way more on this blog¬†than reaching out to randos on whatever social media platform is the new craze this week. ūüėȬ†

Word 3: AUTOMATE.
My last guiding word of the year is automate, and while that sounds kinda, um, tech-y, it’s actually a really fascinating thing. I’ve been¬†learning a LOT about sales funnels lately, which sound SO un-sexy, but turns out they’re¬†actually just super fun (and simple) ways to automate your sales processes. Okay, that still doesn’t sound sexy, but the things sales funnels can do for you? TOTALLY SEXY. I’m talking: Less time on “discovery calls” that don’t pan out. Less feast or famine and freaking out over where the next dollar’s coming from. And more consistent leads and prospects in your (gorgeous, mahogany,¬†French) doors. ūüôā Who doesn’t want all that?

How I’m Practicing Automation in¬†2016:¬†Implementing several sexy sales funnels in my own business to help people get to know me better. (I’m also working on a service to help you write the copy to do the same!)¬†Getting my finances automated (finally!) – I’m talking automatically paying bills and saving for all sorts of adventures¬†(I’m already using a fun little program called Digit that squirrels away tiny pockets of money you’ll never even miss – so rad!). And finally, having my VA handle pretty much any + everything I can’t or don’t want to. It’s not entirely automatic, but I’d love to know that I can take that tropical vacation¬†this year and my business won’t totally shutdown because of it. ūüôā

And that’s it, loves! Three big ass words to guide me (and my decision-making) for all of 2016. BOOM.

Moral of my story? Don’t sweat it if you’re still unsure what your goals should be for 2016. You can always¬†tear a page out of my playbook and¬†try to think in terms of guiding principles for the year, and make your goals from there.

To a much simpler, automated + relationship-filled new year…if that’s what you’re into. ūüėČ

 

E

P.S. If you do something similar, I’d love to hear what your guiding words are. Just leave a comment + let me know. ūüôā

P.P.S. Speaking of what’s gonna happen in 2016, I was recently featured in a fun article about marketing predictions for 2016 alongside some kick ass entrepreneurs like Kimra Luna + Denise Duffield-Thomas. You can check out what I¬†and 32 other luminaries had to say about the future of marketing right here. (Spoiler alert: It’s lookin’ pretty bright!)

Don’t Be a Knockoff Brand (aka the dangers of premium pricing)

chargepremiumprices

LET ME JUST OPEN WITH THIS: I LOVE premium things.

I’m that girl. You know, the one who will gleefully dole out $30 a pop for a tube of Dior mascara. The girl who won’t bat a (Dior-coated) eyelash droppin’ a couple hundo on a hot Kate Spade bag. And the girl who will always ‚Äď well, almost always ‚Äď say, “Top shelf, please.”

I think premium is delicious. Premium makes me feel, well, like a freakin’ badass. And I swear, premium makes me a better human being because when I’m rocking (or experiencing) something premium, I’m happier, more confident and overall, more “together.” And when I feel that way? I create bigger and better stuff…leading to more money….leading to more premium experiences. It’s an awesome spiral, really.

But premium also comes with a price…and I don’t just mean the one on the tag.

There’s a lotta chatter in the online sphere (especially for women entrepreneurs) about “charging what you’re worth” and “busting your money blocks” and really GOING FOR it in the price department. Now, don’t get it twisted: I believe there’s a lot of merit to this concept. I don’t think anybody should work for pennies. HELL to the NO.

I believe in abundance and that the universe will always deliver (on a silver platter) what we need, no matter what.

But I still don’t think that every. single. business. should charge premium prices.

QUICK STORY:
When I raised my prices a few months back, some MAJOR shifts happened in my business. Shifts I wasn’t expecting (it was “only” a $200 price raise, after all) and shifts that frankly, I wasn’t prepared for.

And so what happened after? Was kiiiinda sucky.

I raised my prices, but I didn’t “raise” anything else. I was now charging people MORE, but I was still running my business at the same frenetic pace. I was still overbooking and over-promising. I was still doling out half-assed assignments to my (sweet and patient) VA without having a clear client management structure in place. I was still binging on The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt to numb out the fact that I was ALWAYS. BEHIND.

Obvs, I dove into every fresh client relationship with the very best intentions, like I always do. But I was drowning in work (and let’s be real, wine) and up to my neck in responsibilities (which doesn’t sound like a lot considering I’m only 4’10″…but I promise, IT WAS).

And not in just any work and responsibilities ‚Ästbut in work that was supposed to be premium, for clients who were PAYING premium.

And let me tell you:

PREMIUM CLIENTS EXPECT PREMIUM RESULTS.

The ladies who are cool with shelling out $1299 on a website are NOT the same ladies barraging through the dollar bin at Target, or hitting up T.J. Maxx over Nordstrom’s.

Unfortch, because this was my first time dabbling in premium pricing…I had NO idea what I was in for.

My (more) premium prices not only put more pressure on me as a writer to deliver, THEY also SIGNIFICANTLY raised the stakes for my clients, too.

In my case, this didn’t just meaning delivering on-point copy. It meant providing an amazing experience from beginning to end.

And given the sheer volume of clients I was trying to serve at the time, I simply wasn’t able to do that last bit to the best of my ability. Sure, the final product was delicious and luscious and awesome-as-always ‚Äď but the journey there was bumpy and jagged and awkward. (Luckily, I’ve sparkled up my act quite a bit since then, although I know there’s always more room for improvement.)

But here’s what I want you to know, so you can avoid doing what I did:

Premium pricing comes with its own unique set of challenges ‚Äď and it’s not a decision to be taken likely.

Business coaches who tell you to charge premium know what they’re talking about. But a lot of them are they are leaving out a significant part of the conversation: Raising your prices might mean MAJOR CHANGES in both the way your business operates and the way your clients perceive you ‚Äď and what they expect from you.

If you want people to make a big investment in you and avoid looking like a knockoff brand, you’ve gotta consider A FEW ¬†KEY THINGS:

:: DO YOU HAVE A STELLAR SERVICE/OFFER TO BACK UP YOUR PRICE? // Is your offer something your clients actually want? (Have you surveyed them? No? Get on it, girl!)
:: ARE YOU PREPARED TO UPGRADE YOUR CLIENT EXPERIENCE (INCLUDING SETTING UP ELEGANT SYSTEMS AND/OR HIRING A VA) SO YOUR CUSTOMERS FEEL TAKEN CARE OF FROM START-TO-FINISH? //  Are you willing to sit down and evaluate your processes and systems and shell out that cash to uplevel them if necessary?
:: ARE YOU CONFIDENT YOU/YOUR PRODUCT CAN PRODUCE HIGH-QUALITY RESULTS FOR YOUR CLIENTS? // If you’re a service-based biz owner, do you actually have the experience and acumen and smarts to charge what you’re charging? Are you creating original products and services? Are you actually doing what YOU are MEANT TO BE DOING in this world?¬†
:: LAST BUT NOT LEAST; DO YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO BE A PREMIUM BRAND FOR THE LONG HAUL? // 
Do your prices “feel” right ‚Äď or are you being influenced by outside sources (like biz coaches, gurus in your space and/or a lust for a new pair of Manolos)? And are you willing to give up what you might need to give up ¬†‚Äď be it time, money, resources ‚Äď in order to get what you want (i.e. your position as a premium brand)?

If you can answer all the above questions honestly, you’ll know IMMEDIATELY whether premium prices are right for you and your business. If they are – hell yes! And if not? I want you to know it is OK to NOT charge premium prices at all ‚Äď or to wait until you’re ready. You can still make a LOVELY living selling your stuff at affordable prices. Businesses are out there doing it everyday.

¬†In short, this is my lesson: If you can’t or don’t want to¬†deliver Gucci quality, don’t charge Gucci prices.

‘Cause ‚Äď don’t act like you don’t know ‚Ästnobody likes a knockoff. ūüôā

 

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12 Days of Systems Challenge: Manage Your Content Creation Like a Girl Boss

[This post is part of the 12 Days of Systems Challenge brought to you by Val Geisler of aspire&grow. If you want to get a handle on your systems and processes in 2015, get signed up for¬†Systems Finishing School¬†today. If you‚Äôre just getting started, scope out Brittany’s post from yesterday.]

Here’s a not-so-shocker for ya: copywriters write¬†a lot.

I’m talking: (Brilliant) blog posts. Pristinely polished client work. Cute social media snippets. And (sometimes, if I’ve consumed a lot of caffeine), the occasional newsletter or sales email.¬†(Seriously guys, if you could see my RescueTime summary + witness yourself just how much time I spend creating content, you might cry. Ugly style.)

Now don’t get me wrong. I loooove writing (obvs). That’s why I have, you know, decided to make it my livelihood.

BUT.

(Yep, that’s one BIG but, and I cannot lie.)

The fact that my day-to-day requires soooo much content creation means I’ve had to get really intentional and serious about how I organize my content ideas AND structure my time so I can get it all done (without wanting to rip my hair out). (I paid a lot for this hyper-blonde ‘do.)

Enter, Trello and Google Calendar.

Okay, so here’s the thing:¬†As a copywriter, I’m equally left- and right-brained, so any system I follow in my biz has to work for both my super logical, organized side and my creative-go-with-the-flow side. And for this particular system, I also needed a way to track¬†myriad content types ‚Äď my client projects, my blog posts and the other premium content I create (e-books, worksheets, you name it) ‚Äď and their deadlines.

I’ve experimented with¬†tons¬†of different systems for content creation (I’m a total app junkie – kinda like an adrenaline junkie but way dorkier. I’ll try anything once!), but I’ve never found one “thing” that could “do it all.”

Luckily, I’m hella resourceful and over time,¬†I’ve been able to create and refine a system that works juuuust perfectly for me.

Today, I’m going to peel back the curtain + share the self-created system I use to maintain my hectic content creation schedule, complete with¬†action steps you can take to create your own.¬†

I know not everyone’s business requires¬†creating content for clients and your own biz, but most (if not all) online entrepreneurs put together some kind of content on the regular, so I think everybody can glean something from this. (And BTW, content is totally not limited to blogs or client work. It can really mean anything from vlogs to social media posts – whatever your unique business requires.)

Ready for a peek at how I wrangle my content creation with trello and google calendar?

First of all, I¬†keep my editorial calendar on Trello.¬†If you don’t know about/haven’t tried Trello, oooh girl, you’re in for a treat! This visually appealing little app is amazing ‚Äď and it’s my absolute favorite way to keep track of content I’m creating for my own business.

Here’s how it works:¬†Trello’s entire interface is made up of various “Boards.”¬†You can create a fresh Board for whatever project you’re working on. And then, within each board, you create various Lists with “Cards” (essentially, To Do’s/Tasks) underneath each list. Each “Card” can then include things like a due date, a colored “label” and other information, such as links to Google Drive (if that’s where you happen to draft your blog posts, for example).

Here’s what my Content Creation Editorial Calendar Board looks like behind-the-scenes:

Screenshot 2014-12-02 16.02.05

In case you can’t see the image or it’s not clear, I have the following lists on my board:

  • Blog Post Writing – This list includes posts I’m currently writing. (Which, at the moment, is this one.)
  • Guest Post Writing – Same idea as the first category, except for guest posts
  • Coming Up – This list is reserved for blog ideas that I know I want to write in the next month. (I try to blog twice a month, so I usually keep this list topped up with at least two ideas ready-to-roll.)
  • Premium Content – Similar to “Coming Up,” this is where I list any premium content I want to create over the next month.
  • Blog Ideas – This is the end-all, be-all of my blog idea collection. I think it’s super important to keep all of your ideas in one place. And thanks to Trello’s easy drag-n-drop, I can arrange them in any way that makes sense to me. (Higher priority posts on top, lower priority posts on bottom, lumped by category – you name it!)
  • Premium Content Ideas (not pictured) – This list didn’t make the shot, but this is my master list for premium content. I brain dump everything here I want to create – even if I’m not sure if I’ll ever get to it.

Here’s why I love Trello for my ed calendar and you should, too:

  • Prettiness:¬†It’s nice to look at. (And that makes my right brain all kindsa happy.)
  • Drag-and-Drop Feature:¬†One of the main reasons I got into biz was to have more freedom in how I work, so I love that you can easily¬†drag¬†“Cards”from list to list. If I decide I don’t want to write a particular blog post that month, I can send it back to the “Ideas” List and pull another one into the “Coming Soon” list. No biggie!
  • Due Dates + Labels:¬†Each “Card” (or piece of content) can include Notes, Due Dates and Labels that easily tell you where you are in the process for each project. (I often use colored labels like, “Draft,” “Ready to Publish,” etc.)
  • Calendar feature:¬†Wanna see all your blog post due dates in one spot? Trello’s “Monthly View” allows you to see your entire month at-a-glance – which is awesome if you need that visual. (I know I do!) You can also drag-and-drop them and move them around to suit your fancy.

Action Step 1: Create An Editorial Calendar on Trello

  • Sign up for a free account over at Trello.com. It should take like, 30 seconds.
  • Create a new board called “Editorial Calendar” (or whatever you like!)
  • Create lists for each category of content you create in your business. Feel free to swipe my lists above as a starting point. You might also want to add categories like: Vlog Outlines, Promotional Emails/Newsletters, etc.
  • Create appropriate cards under each list to house your tasks and ideas for that category.
  • Color code your cards as applicable – Maybe a Draft post is blue, and a Ready-to-Schedule post is red. You get the idea.
  • Watch your life transform. (And save yourself some serious stress!)

Now this is where it gets fun: I also have an “ideal schedule” set up in Google Calendar that allows me to “insert” items from my Editorial Calendar onto my actual calendar so that I, you know, actually get them done.¬†Honestly guys, I keep everything in my Google Calendar ‚Äď mani/pedis and business meetings alike. It’s easiest for me to not compartmentalize things and I feel like keeping alla my “To Do’s” In one place gives me a better sense of the overall picture of my life ‚Äď so I know when I’m overbooking or stretching myself too thin.

Here’s a look at my ideal schedule, if you’re curious:

Screenshot 2014-12-02 12.10.00

 

My ideal schedule is the same every week and has “chunks” of time blocked off for specific must-do activities in my business ‚Äď all content creation included. I update this bad boy every Sunday with the specific projects I need to work on that week.¬†When I’m ready to do this, I’ll pop open both Trello and Google Calendar and decide when I’m going to write each piece of content. Usually this means pulling 1 blog post idea and 1 premium content idea into that week’s schedule.

For example: ¬†The “Share Daily Message” and “Content Creation + Blog Posts” time slots are¬†specifically¬†for working on items from my Editorial Calendar. On Sunday, I’ll check whatever is in the “Coming Up” column and insert the name of that blog post into the Event Name for that day (i.e., “Content Creation + Blog Posts” becomes “Blog Post: 5 Sexy Sales Page Strategies” or “Content Creation: Newsletter”). I don’t include the due dates for these posts on my Google Calendar – that’s what Trello’s calendar is for.¬†“Client Work” is filled in (usually weeks in advance) with the name of the particular client(s) I’m working with that week.

I love this because it means that at any point during the week, I can just glance at my Google Calendar to see everything I need to create that day.

But the best part for me – once again – is¬†Google Calendar’s ability to drag-n-drop different events. This makes swapping things around easy breezy. If I decide I don’t feel like writing that blog post on Tuesday, I can easily drag it over to Friday and trade spots with Friday’s Client Work. Ta-da!

Action Step 2: Schedule Content Creation Time in Google Calendar

  • Create an Ideal Schedule: I created mine¬†with the help of my business mentor and it’s fucking fabulous. We took into account my energy levels and natural creative ebbs and flows. Of course, since this is an “ideal” schedule, it changes some weeks, depending on what is actually going on in my business, but I start with this baseline schedule each week. (This could probably be a post of its own, so don’t fret if it feels overwhelming. Start with a general outline and you can work it out organically from there.)
  • Move items from your Editorial Calendar to your Google Calendar each week:¬†I’ve dedicated Sunday afternoons to scheduling social media and creating my content schedule for the following week.
  • Revel in the flexibility.¬†Like I said, you can also move items around on Google Calendar simply by clicking and dragging. If I decide to move tasks, I’ll keep the amount of hours allotted the same so everything still gets done – just not necessarily during it’s¬†“ideal schedule” time slot.

Will this work for everybody?

I think the thing about any “system” is that they must be personal. There’s no one tool or app that will work flawlessly for every business model or every business owner’s personality. But I do think that experimenting with a system like this and then making tweaks over time to make it your own is a wonderful place to start!

Your Turn! //

Okay ladies, I’ve shared my secret content creation system and now I’m turning it over to you. Do you have a particular system, tool or app you use to manage the content you create for your business? Do us all a solid and share your systems in the comments! If not, go ahead + give this one a try and tell us about your experiences. Curious minds wanna know!

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How to get clear on your message in one suuuuuper simple step

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Let me be reeeeallly honest with you ladies: Consistency has always been rough for me.

Sure, I can be consistently 30 minutes early for everything, always. Or consistently choosing the wrong guy (workin’ on it!). Or, y’know, consistently being um, inconsistent. (Case-in-point: This blog hasn’t been updated in over a month…even though there are many [many, maaaaany] draft posts that are almost-kinda-sorta-but-only-really-just-halfway-there.) I’m simply more of a spontaneous, write-when-inspiration-hits-me kinda girl…and I’ve (mostly) come to terms with my off-the-cuff nature.

Unfortunately? Consistency is hella important to online business. Not in the rigid, must-blog-every-week-or-I-will-totally-end-up-broke-and-alone-and-existing-on-mac-n-cheese or I-only-send-my-newsletters-on-Tuesdays-because-some-guru-said-so kinda way, but in the my-brand-is-cohesive-and-people-know-what-the-heck-I-stand-for kinda way.

And double unfortunately? I’m not fantastic at either of those. (Cue the tiny violin.)

But I’m not here to talk about my flaws (that just aint a good look), but rather to clue you in on a little bit of advice that I heard from a mentor recently that has totally and radically changed the way I think about consistency, my message and having a killer brand. ūüôā

Ya’ll ready for this?

Kat Loterzo recently shared in one of her many amazing business trainings this idea that there are very few things you must do everyday in your business. Like, just two, actually.

And my favorite of those two? You MUST share your message everyday. Like 7/365, yo.

While anything that requires a daily effort terrifies my little panties off, what’s great about this idea is that this truly doesn’t haven’t to be anything major.

It doesn’t necessarily mean writing a 500+ word blog post all about why you are so head-over-heels obsessed with what you do and how it’s going to change the planet (although it can).
It doesn’t mean creating a new e-course every week and hoping it’ll sell out.

Instead, it really just means sharing (without fear) whatever juicy morsel you’ve been marinatin’ in your brain (and heart)¬†that day about what you believe about life + the world (and of course, somehow tie that back into your business).

This can be a standalone sentiment on your biz’s Facebook page. Or a delectable comment in a Facebook group or forum. Or even just a loving note to one of your prospects.

The medium doesn’t matter. It’s the sharing that counts.

And the reason I love this yummy bit of advice is twofold:

1.) It makes sure you’re putting yourself out there for prospects to see ‚Äď every single day. Even in a teeny, tiny way.
2.) It forces you to refine your message. To get super, sparkling clear on what it is you truly stand for. To whittle down your ideas. To take a stand. To make a statement (that may or may not be as outrageous as the one hanging around your neck).

I’m especially in love with that second part. In fact, one of the draft posts I have saved (which may or may not make it’s debut on the Interwebz – I’m still undecided) talked about how to find your message by asking yourself specific questions. Okay, one specific question.

Which is awesome. And a fabulous way to get in touch with your message to begin with.

But when I heard Kat speak about the daily message-sharing, it hit me that really…you can ask yourself all the profound questions in the world, but if you don’t start trying to articulate the answers in a way that makes sense to you and connects with your potential clients, it won’t mean squat.

The only way we ever truly learn or change or evolve is through action, and sharing your message everyday is probably one of the most powerful actions you can take to figure out what the hell you truly stand for and what makes you different.

ENTER, THE 14-DAY MESSAGE MAKEOVER CHALLENGE.

Yes, I was sooo inspired by Kat’s advice that I decided to create an easy, breezy little challenge for you guys. I’m hereby declaring that for the next 14 days, I will unabashedly share my message in one form or another, on the Internet, where others can see. (This counts as day one, BTW.)

I’m calling it the 14-Day Message Makeover Challenge. I’m not doing any sort of fancy email list or Facebook group (for realz – I can barely keep up with that ish as it is), but I do want to hear from you + find out if you’re game.

Aaaand, if you’re anything like me, I know you absolutely MUST have a way to keep track of this or it won’t happen. You can go ahead + click here to pick up a cute lil’ spreadsheet I created to help you track your progress during the challenge. Just make sure you create a copy for yourself!

So, if getting clear on your message is important to you (and yasss, it should be) + you’d like to officially pledge to share your message for the next two weeks, simply pop a comment below + let us know who you are, what you do + what you believe your message is right now. I’ll check back in with you in 14 days!

Over to You, Beautytown!

Signature

P.S. The 14-Day Message Makeover Challenge starts….NOW! It’s go time, ladies. I can’t wait to hear all about your brilliant businesses! (And don’t forget to download your worksheet here!)

P.P.S. If you’d like me to personally help you nail down your business message (in sexy, seductive syntax), check out Mini Message Makeover.

#RealTalk Tuesday: Why “What You Do” Doesn’t Matter

Screenshot 2014-10-14 12.43.15

A lot of business owners freak out about what to offer.

They go back-n-forth for months over whether their coaching packages should include four sessions or (gasp!) five.

They have minor heart palpitations over whether to offer health coaching to women one-on-one or cook up meal plans for the masses. (Or, y’know,¬†write entire websites for clients¬†or¬†just help them discover what they¬†should¬†write about. [Just me?])

They journal, meditate, pray to whomever and eat loads of dark chocolate, pondering if it makes more sense to serve up exclusive, done-for-you services or focus on creating some crazy-pants signature program they can run like twice a year.

And they might even wake up in the middle of the night for years ’cause they’re so damn multi-passionate they can’t decide whether they should focus their business on their obsession with social media, their obsession with health or their obsession with fashion.

Uggghhh. Even writing all that down is frustrating and annoying and gives me a total almost-migraine.

The good news? If that sounds like you (or someone you know *ahem* your bizbesties *ahem*), I’m about to end that struggle for you, forever.

Here’s a lil’¬†#realtalk for ya (which might actually come as a relief):
What you “do” doesn’t matter!

Okay. Lemme pause just a sec. OBVS what you do matters. That’s why I encourage you to do it and spend hours upon hours of my time helping you bring these brilliant little businesses into the world.

By “doesn’t matter,” what I really mean is that the modality that you use to provide your clients with transformation – whether that’s Reiki, hot yoga or style coaching ‚Äď is not the important part.

The only thing that truly (madly, deeply) matters is that your product/service gets your clients results. Your only job is to create (and offer) SOMETHING that enables your dream(y) clients to BE, DO, FEEL, HAVE something better.

And in¬†the end, it doesn’t matter how you get your peeps those results.

This is fab, because it means that if at different points in your business, different things start to strike your little fancy ‚Äď that’s okay.

Explore them. Offer something totally wacky and original and something nobody else has ever thought about before.

Mash up 800 of your silliest interests into one premium offer. Pivot in a totally fresh direction – offer health coaching. Offer EFT sessions. Offer fucking online yoga classes.

As long as it relates to your unique message, is hella fun for you and helps people get what you want to give them, ¬†you can “DO” whatever.¬†Because as long as you get your clients what they want ‚Äď the dream body (read: confidence), the clutter-free closet (read: empowerment), the zillion Twitter followers (read: belonging and influence) ‚Äď you’ve done your job.

So get creative with it. Get wild. Quit talking yourself out of offering what you TRULY want to.

Cause for real, it doesn’t matter anyway…at least not enough to keep you up at night. ūüôā

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P.S. If you are reeeeallly bumping up against some major resistance trying to come up with an offer (and get the sales copy out into the world so peeps can actually buy it), you might wanna check out my new BETA service, Red Carpet Ready. I’ll help you create your offer based on who you are and how you work best and then bang out all your launch copy. You don’t have to do a thing but show up and show me who you are. Click here and learn more and you can nab that BETA price, too.

Got Blog Terror? My Failproof 4-Step Process for Creating Deeeelicious Content…Even if Writing Terrifies You

foolproof

Confession: I’ve had this blog post in my “Drafts” folder for over a month.

Yes, a month. That’s 4 entire weeks, 30 full days and who-the-heck-knows how many hours.

And yes, I’m a writer…who makes a living pumping out content.

But despite that, it still took me an exorbitant amount of time to pump out the bulk of this blog post.

Why, my friends?

Because of a little something I called “Blog Terror.”

Okay, so “Blog Terror” really isn’t as horrible as it sounds. It doesn’t mean you hate blogs, or break out in hives when you read them. (And if that does happen to you, well, lady, that sounds like a personal problem. That needs taken care of. ASAP.)

Blog Terror is more about that terrifying, gut-tickling feeling you get right before you sit down to write a blog post that makes you feel like you have absolutely NO RIGHT to be writing on insert-topic-of-choice. Y’know, that whole “Who the fuck do you think you are?” and “What the hell do YOU know about anything?” thing that happens & kinda-sorta takes over your entire body.

And honestly? That is still freaking happening to me as I write this post and proooobably won’t let up until I finally hit Publish – and then read it a month later and wonder (happily),” Damn! Did I really write that?”

But I digress.

So, the bad news? Blog Terror is pretty freakin’ real – for most of us – and it stems from that oh-so-human (and usually unavoidable) fear of “not being good enough.”¬†It derives from our natural instinct to doubt ourselves – especially when we’re about to do something “outside the norm.”

But there is some good news!¬†Blog Terror truly has little to do with the fact that we’re “terrible writers” or “don’t know what to say.”¬†It’s not¬†because you don’t have amazing ideas (you’ve got loads!). And it’s surely not because you’re devoid of any opinions on your industry, or not able to articulate helpful things to your audience.

YOU CAN DO ALL THAT.

The only thing that’s stopping is you a FEELING, INSIDE YOUR HEAD.

It’s¬†just that damn “not good enough” voice getting the best of you ‚Äď and causing you to spend an entire afternoon binging on Pretty Little Liars & justifying ice cream for dinner. (It’s dairy! That’s gotta count for something, right?)

Luckily, there are a few ways to beat the Blog Terror monster down to size.

Here’s how to tackle Blog Terror + create kick ass content even when you’re scared shitless:

1. Quit giving a flying you-know-what about what you think everybody else wants.

I know, I know. This goes against every morsel of marketing advice that you’ve ever read about writing online ever. You’re supposed to focus on your prospects and their needs and wants and desires and the questions they’re asking. And yes – that is amazing advice and 99.9% of the time you should follow it. But when the real issue isn’t a lack of ideas but rather a lack of actually-getting-shit-done? Sometimes you just have to simply write from your heart.

You have my permission to write a blog about whatever the fuck you want. And once you get into the mood (and you will, trust me!) go on to tackling the more prospect-centric subjects. There.

2. Remind yourself you know soooo much more than you’re giving yourself credit for.¬†

Yes, it feels like everything you could ever wanna say has always been said a million times before by somebody a million times more eloquent than you. And yeah, that may be true. In fact, it probably is true. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have a right to say what you wanna say. Only YOU can express your viewpoint in the way YOU express it.

Plus, you’re actually hella smart and probably know a ton of different things ‚Äď things that that mentor/guru/ridiculously entertaining blogger simply can’t know because they aren’t you and haven’t experienced life through your lens.

3. Just start.

You totally hate that one, don’t you? I used to, too. Until I realized that that’s the only way anything gets done – ever. Sometimes you just have to set the damn Pomodoro timer and try to write. It won’t always be easy. In fact, it won’t be – for the first ten minutes or so. But just like when it comes to working out getting to the gym is half the battle, half the battle of writing a blog post is opening the damn browser window and typing the first few words. After that, it gets easier!

4. Write like SHIT. 

Once you’ve started creating, challenge yourself NOT to use the backspace or delete buttons until you’ve written an entire draft. Don’t search deep in the recesses of your brain for a “cool” or “magnetic” word. Don’t take a break to read other blogs (worst. idea. ever.). Don’t even make the mistake of reading what you’ve already written. Just write. And expect it to sound like shit.

Because the important part of creating anything is actually creating it. The ONLY THING that matters is getting it all out of you. (And don’t let the pros fool you, either: ALL the magic and the beauty and the “awesomeness” that is writing happens in the editing process!)

First drafts are always shit. Prepare for it and don’t worry about it. It’s normal!

Over to you, beautytown! //

Do you have your own “foolproof” process for writing content? I’d love to know any tips-n-tricks you’ve picked up over the years for churning our compelling content….even when you’d rather watch 24 hours of the Golf Channel.