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  • 10 Essential Steps for Building a Solid Internal Structure for Your Business

    Laptop and bouquet of pink flowers with text overlay of 10 Essential Steps for Buildling A Solid Interal Structure

    Starting a new business is exciting and it is easy to be passionate about creating your product or your offers, developing your brand, and then telling everyone about your new venture and riding that wave is fun.

    Meanwhile, “building your internal structure” sounds like the most boring task EVER so you skip it and move along merrily. And you can get away with that for a while BUT…

    Building a solid internal structure for your business is crucial for several reasons:

    If, as you were skimming through that list, you found yourself thinking, “Yes! That’s exactly what I want to create!” or “Oh my gosh, is that really possible because that’s what I am missing!” then you are in the right place.

    10 Essential Steps for Building a Solid Internal Structure for Your Business

    (click on each step for more information)

    You need to streamline your operational procedures to minimize bottlenecks. Grab a pencil and piece of paper and map out a flow chart of your customer/client journey.

    What is happening and in what order is it happening? Look for gaps where you are missing a key component that is preventing sales or repeat buyers. 

    Be honest about where you are getting caught up and wasting time.

    While this may feel daunting, it is this first essential internal step to increasing productivity for you, and your team, allowing you to grow your business externally.

    Looking at your workflow, determine which activities are repeated over and over.

    Document these key processes by creating standard operating procedures (SOPs) that become guidelines for others to use to maintain consistent performance.

    While one-on-one training is great, providing SOPs in either written form or as short videos is highly effective because they can be referenced as often as necessary. 

    TIP: Don’t get caught in the weeds! Create the SOP, test it, tweak it, and test it again. Start with the basic information needed and add to it as you go.

    Your time is the most valuable commodity you have. Money comes and goes, but your time flows in only one direction so consider what activities you can automate.

    This will be unique to every business based on how much personal touch is required, but you’d be surprised at how much people prefer faster responses over personal ones.

    Once you decide what you want to automate, choose software to invest in that best meets those needs.

     

    There are a ton of project management tools that can help you effectively plan, execute and track projects. Getting started on one when you are still a solopreneur is a great way to lay the foundation for building your team later, but it is never too late.

    Develop a habit of using the project management system to help you manage all the “ToDos” that need to be done for your own business and for clients (if you have them).

    It’s also a great place to write your SOPs, track your automation tools, brain dump your marketing ideas, and manage your content.

    TIP: My personal fav is Trello! You can get started with a FREE account and stay that way as long as you want.

    Now it’s time to build your team and hiring someone to join you is so much easier when you have already completed the first 4 steps.

    Why? Because there is so much less confusion about what needs to be done means you are wasting less time and $ on your new hires and you can focus on clarifying roles and responsibilities within your business instead!

    When defining roles and responsibilities, be sure to create and share yours just as much as your new team members’ so that they have a better understanding of how they can support you. This documentation should be available to everyone on the team for transparency and accountability. 

    Implement effective communication guidelines that foster collaboration and information flow and establish appropriate boundaries from the beginning.

    When is the team expected to be available for communication? 

    How often and to whom should the team be checking in to report progress on a project or objective?

    In a nutshell: Who should be talking to who about what and when?

    TIP: Choose a form of communication that is easy to track and stick to as few as possible. The more places you chat with your team, the easier it is for important details to get lost and miscommunication to occur.

    Provide ongoing training and professional development opportunities to enhance the skills and knowledge of yourself and your team and incentivize them to want to learn.

    This may look like you training your team personally, inviting someone to do a group training for you, OR paying for access to a course for them to take.

    When your team is better equipped for the job you hired them to do, your business grows!

    Cultivate a work environment that values teamwork, innovation, and continuous improvement.

    This doesn’t need to be hard or extravagant. Simply sharing “Monday Motivation” quotes or “Funny Friday” memes is a simple way to encourage an enjoyable working environment.

    Start each team meeting by asking everyone to share 1 thing that is going on in their life outside of work. If this feels awkward at first, use fun “This or That” questions and have everyone give their reason for their preference.

    Helping your team see you and each other as actual people and not just coworkers can increase loyalty and promote a more supportive environment.

    While you should have already established regular check-ins with your team, it’s also helpful to have quarterly reviews to evaluate predetermined performance metrics and provide feedback to drive accountability and improvement.

    This isn’t always “easy” which is why having clearly defined roles and responsibilities as well as effective communication is so important from the beginning. 

    Referencing back to the project management tool for tracking progress is also helpful for assessing progress made on assigned jobs as well as timeliness.

    Make these meetings a 2-way street, allowing for your team member to voice frustrations or point out broken links in the chain. Ask them to offer suggestions to improve issues they see or are experiencing or just give them the opportunity to share new ideas they may have.

    Remember, multi 6-figure and 7-figure businesses didn’t get that way because they all started with the perfect internal structure.

    They reach that level because they continuously evaluated and refined their internal systems to align with evolving business needs and goals.

    And you should do the same!

     

    laptop with words "Take Action Workshop"

    Clarity doesn't come with time - it comes when you

    MAKE A PLAN. TAKE ACTION.

    But not just ANY action…STATEGIC ACTION! 
    And that is exactly what this FREE workshop is designed to help you do! 

    If you liked this article, check out these next!

  • 8 Marketing Strategies You Need to Grow Your Business

    Laptop and bouquet of pink flowers with text overlay of 8 Marketing Strategies in Order of Importance

    There is no “one way” to grow a business. 

    There isn’t even a “best way” to grow your business.

    Why?

    Because EVERY business is unique!

    Even businesses that solve similar problems do it with different versions of a “same product.” Those aimed at the same target market use different messaging to address different pain points. 

    And let’s not forget that every business is made up of a different team with different leadership which results in an entirely different business culture!

    There are so many different paths to success that it seems almost dangerous to suggest there is an “order of importance” when it comes to marketing strategy, and yet here I am, writing this exact thing in a blog post because do I believe there is most logical order that is highly effective regardless of your business.

    So take my list and it’s order with a grain of salt, but also knowing that this isn’t my first rodeo. I have helped many others grow their businesses with these strategies, including my own.

    8 Marketing Strategies You Need to Grow Your Business

    *in order of importance

    (click on each strategy to learn more)

    I know what you are thinking…THIS is a marketing strategy?

    Yes. Yes, it is.

    And it is the MOST important one by far!

    It is crucial to identify and understand your target audience because this will help you tailor your marketing efforts effectively and ensure you’re reaching the right people.

    And while you could spend your time doing one of those detailed avatar exercises (I can’t help but start twitching when I even consider that), I prefer to start super simple by answering these 2 questions: 

    1 – What problem do I solve?

    2 – Who has that problem?

    Target market defined. 💥BOOM 💥 

     

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    WANT TO GO DEEPER?

    Of course you do because you know that the problem you are solving isn’t the problem they understand they actually have.

    Think about the surface level pain points your audience is experiencing that are caused by the underlying root problem you solve. 

    Ask yourself, “What is keeping my ideal customer/client awake at night?”

    Focus your marketing on solving those surface level problems and give your audience “quick wins.” This will build your authority in your area of expertise and open the door for you to address the real stuggle they are facing.

    Once you know WHO you are talking to and WHAT you are saying to them, find out WHERE they are hanging out and meet them there!

    Which social media platforms do they use? What podcasts are they listening to? Where are the looking for solutions to the problems they are dealing with?

    Go find them and “introduce yourself.”

    Establishing a strong online presence is essential and ALL social media is rented space.

    You need a place where you can send people, as well as where they can discover you, that isn’t full of other people’s content competing for your ideal customer or client’s attention and isn’t at the mercy of some alusive algorithm that nobody actually knows how to beat.

    Create a professional website that showcases your online service, highlights its key features and benefits, and provides a seamless user experience.

    Optimize your website for search engines (SEO) to improve its visibility in search results (more on this strategy below).

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    PERSONAL RECCOMENDATIONS:

    1 – Purchase your DOMAIN name.

    While there are loads of places you can do this, I recommend purchasing through whoever is going to be hosting your website because then you don’t have to worry about redirecting anything. This cost you less than $25.

    *Choose a “.com: if possible. If the one you want is not available, you can try a “.org” version instead. 

    2 – Choose where you will HOST your website. 

    Again, there are TONS of options out there but I recommend  wordpress.com  over everything (NOT to be confused with wordpress.org). Their customer support simply cannot be beaten and their live chat feature means you can often get an answer immediately. 

    *When you sign up for a business account ($300/year), you get your domain name for FREE for the first year.

    3 – Choose a THEME/TEMPLATE to build your site.

    Unless you have mad skills at website building, do yourself a huge favor and use a template that gives you a place to start from.

    On WordPress, I recommend the free or paid version of Astra. Both come with the Elementor page builder (which I LOVE) and are very versatile. If you want to get fancy, BlueChic WordPress themes are gorgeous (I am currently using their ChicRadient theme for my website). 

     

    The main objective of content marketing is to provide value to your audience, establish your brand as a thought leader, build trust, and ultimately drive conversions.

    This can include blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, and more. Share your expertise, solve your audience’s problems, and establish yourself as a trusted authority in your industry.

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    THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN CREATING YOUR CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY:

    1 – Create valuable source content: No matter how you choose to deliver the content (written, video, or a combination of both), offer information, insights, and solutions that are valuable and relevant to your target audience. Solve a problem and give them a small win or important takeaway.

    2 – Distribute your content on an owned media channel: You have control over the content and distribution channels, such as your website, blog, or email newsletters. While social media has its place (and we will talk about that next), you have NO control over it.

    3 – This is a long-term strategy: Content marketing often takes time to yield results but can have a lasting impact on brand awareness, authority, and organic traffic. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day! 

    4 – Use SEO (search engine optimization): Content is often optimized for search engines (like Google) to improve visibility and organic rankings in search results. But this doesn’t mean you should just stuff your blog post with keywords and call it a day! Take the time to learn how to use SEO properly and then be patient while it works for you while you sleep.

    5 – Build thought leadership: The point is to position yourself and your brand as an industry expert and trusted source of information. (Avoid imposter syndrome by creating content around what you know you know!) Whether this knowledge comes from your education, experience, or both, remember that you don’t have to be an expert in everything. Share what you are absolutely sure about and take your audience on the journey with you as you keep learning and improving your skills with rest.

    Social media marketing is different from Content Marketing in that it involves leveraging social media platforms to promote your brand, engage with your audience, and drive traffic to your website or online service. 

    The main objective of Social Media Marketing is to increase brand visibility, foster audience engagement, and drive conversions. Repurpose your source content into smaller, bitesize pieces and send people back to your website or email list for the full meal!

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    THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN CREATING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING STRATEGY

    Create platform-specific content: Social media marketing requires adapting your content to fit the specific characteristics and requirements of each platform. This can be time-consuming and feel overwhelming! I recommend focusing on 2 main platforms that your target market is using to actively search for a solution.

    Aim for amplification and engagement: The intent of social media is to reach a broader audience by generating buzz that fosters direct engagement with your audience and encourages them to share your message with their audience. Create content that is a mixture of education, entertainment, and encouragement.

    Consider using paid advertising options: Organic growth takes time so social media platforms offer paid advertising opportunities to boost reach and target specific audience segments. This is a good option ONLY IF you have money to put towards it that you can afford to lose. Don’t start here! 

    Set boundaries for yourself: While social media allows for immediate feedback through likes, shares, and comments, don’t get sucked into allowing your value to depend on your followers’ engagement (or lack thereof). Schedule social media breaks. Plan ahead how you will handle negative feedback. 

     

    Building an email list of interested prospects and existing customers is an important part of growing your business and should provide valuable content, offer exclusive promotions, and include personalized messages to maximize engagement.

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    THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN CREATING YOUR EMAIL MARKETING STRATEGY:

    1 – Create a Free Resource: Inbox real estate is valuable so what can you provide in exchange for an email address? This can be anything that your potential customer/client will find valuable AND will actually use.

    2 – Choose an Email Service Provider: There are a ton of options out there and all come at different price points. Here are my personal favs – ConvertKit, Active Campaign, Flodesk, and Mailchimp. Do a quick comparison and see which one works best to meet your business needs.

    3 – Write a Welcome Sequence: Think of your email marketing campaign like going on a date. You wouldn’t propose right off the back, would you? Of course not! It takes some time to get to know each other and that’s the purpose of your Welcome sequence. Use 3-5 emails that tell a story and compel your subscriber to open the next email to get to know you better.

    4 – Create a weekly/monthly newsletter: In order to stay “top-of-mind,” you should send out consistent emails that continually offer value along with sales/promotions.

    Optimize your website and content for search engines to improve organic visibility. While building your website you may have been so focused on getting it done that you didn’t invest a lot of time into using (or even understanding how to use) SEO.

    But implementing an effective SEO strategy is crucial for improving your website’s visibility in search engine results and attracting organic traffic so make sure you circle back around!

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    5 WAYS TO OPTIMIZE YOUR WEBSITE 

    1. 1 – Conduct Keyword Research: Keyword research is the foundation of SEO. Identify relevant keywords and phrases that your target audience is likely to use when searching for products, services, or information related to your business. Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, or SEMrush to find high-traffic and low-competition keywords. Consider long-tail keywords (more specific phrases) as they often have better conversion potential.

    2. 2 – Optimize On-Page Elements: Optimize your website’s on-page elements to make it search engine friendly. This includes:

    3.      🌺Title Tags: Use relevant keywords in your page titles to accurately describe the content.
    4.     🌺Meta Descriptions: Craft compelling meta descriptions that entice users to click through to your website.
    5.     🌺Heading Tags: Organize content using H1, H2, H3, etc., heading tags with appropriate keywords.
    6.     🌺URL Structure: Create clean and descriptive URLs that include targeted keywords (I use the free WordPress   
    7.        plugin Prettylinks for this).
    8.     🌺Image Alt Text: Use descriptive alt text for images to improve accessibility and provide context to search 
    9.       engines.
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    • 3 – Create High-Quality Backlinks: Backlinks (links from other websites to your site) are a critical factor in SEO. Focus on acquiring high-quality backlinks from reputable and relevant websites in your industry. Guest posting on authoritative blogs, building relationships with other businesses for link exchanges, and creating valuable content that others naturally link to are effective ways to earn quality backlinks but be sure to avoid spammy link-building practices, as they can harm your SEO efforts.
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    1. 4 – Ensure Mobile-Friendly and Fast Website: Mobile-friendliness and page loading speed are crucial for SEO. With the increasing use of mobile devices, search engines prioritize mobile-friendly websites. Make sure your website is responsive and displays well on various screen sizes. Additionally, optimize your website’s loading speed by compressing images, using browser caching, and minimizing server response time. You can check your website’s mobile-friendliness and speed using tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and PageSpeed Insights.

    2. Search engines frequently update their algorithms to deliver the most relevant and user-friendly search results. The algorithm doesn’t “hate you” so much as it cares more about the user than the creator! Keep your website’s content fresh, relevant, and engaging to appeal to both users and search engines. 

    This is another strategy that I mentioned earlier but will elaborate on here.

    Once you have a solid foundation with your organic marketing efforts, you can consider investing in paid advertising. 

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    THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN STARTING WITH ADS

    1 – Where to advertise: Consider where your audience is searching for solutions and then learn more about advertising on those platforms specifically. Google Ads (search and display), social media advertising (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest), or other relevant advertising networks or printed mailers are all options to consider.

    2 – Set clear goals: Target specific audience segments, define your budget (consider this “expendable money” that you can afford to lose). 

    3 – Start experimenting: Test different images and copy for your ads to see which ones are getting the results you want and monitor your campaigns closely to optimize performance as you discover what is working and what isn’t.

    Ads are great when they work and a money pit when they don’t. It’s worth investing in learning about how to use ads on your chosen platfroms effectively before actually starting a campaign.

    Regularly monitor your website’s performance to identify areas for improvement and track the impact of your SEO efforts.

    Implement analytics tools like Google Analytics, Google Console, and installing a Facebook Pixel to track and measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. 

    Analyze data, monitor key metrics, and gain insights into your audience’s behavior, campaign performance, and conversions. Then, use this data to make informed decisions and optimize your marketing strategy.

    You can’t analyze data that doesn’t exist so this last strategy is effective only after you have put in the time with several the others and that’s why it is at the bottom of my list. While I reccomend setting up Google Analytics and your Facebook Pixel right way, “forget about them” for a short time while you implement the other strategies above.

    (Check out Google Analytics Academy to learn more about how to use this A-MA-ZING free tool.)

    laptop with words "Take Action Workshop"

    Clarity doesn't come with time - it comes when you

    MAKE A PLAN. TAKE ACTION.

    But not just ANY action…STATEGIC ACTION! 
    And that is exactly what this FREE workshop is designed to help you do! 

    If you liked this article, check out these next!