I decided to write this (A Business Building Tool Kit for Entrepreneurs and Side Hustle Peeps) because I continually meet really nice entrepreneurs who don’t yet have all the tools they need to build business. Maybe you already have everything you need for your own business-building tool kit in your office right now and just need some guidance so you know how to most effectively and efficiently use the tools. Here are the parts of your tool kit you should have:
- Your brain, your “gut” and your heart
- A planner (Franklin Covey or another paper planning tool. If digital works best for you, then use your digital calendar. I like having to write things down with my pencil.)
- A timer
- A spreadsheet or, if you like to handwrite: 30-day desktop calendar.
- A whiteboard with your top personal goal of 2013 (or for all four quarters of the year); top professional goal; and weekly, monthly and yearly profit goal.
- A picture of your family or someone or something else extremely important to you: this picture represents the reason you are operating your business and making lots of money. Your reason has to resonate for you.
- Add on your vision board (a.k.a. dream board) and tape it near your desk.
- A calendar filled with face-to-face networking events and online networking events, like Tweet Chats, LinkedIn group discussions and Facebook and Google+ discussions.
- Add any other tools, pictures, symbols and books that have meaning to you and remind you of your true self and your true path.
Here’s how to use those tools to build your business
Use your intuition plus your brain plus your heart. Your brain, gut and heart are consulted throughout the day as you decide what to do next. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t proceed with it. Gather all the facts before making a decision.
Your planner is your command center. Use your planner to write down things you used to write on sticky notes and other scraps of paper. Those were scattered and unorganized, which made YOU scattered and unorganized. Your planner is your command center. I like to use a mechanical pencil. Write down appointments, promises you made to people with end dates (deadlines), jot down ideas and anything else important or that you think you might forget. Also use your planner to record successful things that happened during the day. At the end of the work day or by 4 p.m. close out your day – as explained in the next paragraph.
Closing out your day simply means to write a to-do list for the next day. Prioritize everything on it so tomorrow, you hit the ground running. Use “A1, A2, A3; B1, B2, B3; C1, C2, C3” to prioritize each item and stick to it. That’s nine tasks. Use your timer to set a “race” time for each task and race to get your task finished before the timer goes off. Do your work thoroughly but try to be quick about it. You can grow your business relatively quickly simply by following this one tip. Imagine finishing nine things every day. Wouldn’t that be great?
Don’t check your email until two hours after you begin working. If you check it first thing, you’ll be starting out the day unorganized. Always communicate to your clients that your mobile phone is the best and fastest way to reach you for urgent matters. But if you’re in a service-type of business, such as a virtual assistant, then you’d better check your email first thing in the morning. But, again: prioritize things.
Spend 2 hours once per week, planning your business
Go to a quiet place, like the library. (I LOVE the library!). Work on your goals. Create realistic action steps and schedule time to complete those steps. Some things you write down will need to be delegated to other capable people. Do it. You will make more money when you spend two hours a week working on your business instead of cleaning your house.
Exchange the phrase: “social media marketing” for “relationship building”
Throw out that phrase: “social media marketing” because what you’re really doing is building relationships. Yeah, once in a while, you have to learn a little technology in order to connect with your community but that’s the world we live in now. Use technology to connect you to your like-minded groups. Connect and start a conversation. Find out how you can truly help them. Your wisdom is the fabric they’ve been yearning to sew into their own lives so they can quickly achieve their goals. Build the relationship – truly become a servant of the person, even for a brief amount of time – long enough to pass along a helpful book or referral or resource to solve a problem or promote an event for them. When you concentrate on service first, your business will start to grow. Be realistic, though. Don’t give away all your time.
Grasp the concept of “The Tribe”
Your tribe is your community of fans, friends and followers who love you and listen to your advice and share you with their friends and colleagues. Your tribe shares your blog posts, videos, events and products with THEIR social networks. Marie Forleo has a huge and fast-growing tribe of women entrepreneurs and a few men. Local networking queens have their own tribes, too, like these ladies in Colorado: Kristi Helzer’s NorCOwib. Ann Clarke’s CWOI. Tobi Hunt’s Group. Gretta Adams, owner, of LeftHand Graphics, has her tribe of fans who love working with her because she’s so gosh darn sweet, as well as being a talented graphic artist. You have a tribe, too! Right now, maybe they don’t know you exist yet but once you get clear on who you serve and what results you get for those clients, you’ll start attracting them, especially when you utilize the power of social media – that will REALLY amplify your signal. But before you start sending “social smoke signals” to your tribe, you have to get clear on who they are, what their problems are and what they most need right now.
What exactly do you DO for your clients?
Who do you serve? What service do you provide and what result(s) do you achieve? Fill in the blanks to this statement: I help __________ by increasing/improving/providing/creating/connecting _______________ that gets/grows/ _______________ result(s). I help heart-centered entrepreneurs by increasing online visibility that grows credibility and increases profit. Now you’ll recognize your ideal client when you meet her or him. And you’ll also recognize when you meet someone who is NOT your ideal client and be prepared to walk away or tell them you’re not a good fit. But when your website, blog posts, video, and other content and all branding clearly resonates who you work with, they will start to come to you.
Just starting out in Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+? Use my 1-1-1 rule
Start with 1 social network for 1 month and show up at least 1 time per day. You can handle this! Get comfortable with 1. Then move on to 1-2-3: in your second month: you’re still in 1 social network for 2 months but now you’re showing up 3 times a day. Or you can come up with your own formula. The point is use a system that works for you.
Spend 1 hour a week, mapping out your content
Or invest three hours once a month. Use Feedly to contain all your favorite blogs and websites. Write down all your Tweets, Facebook posts or at least the topics you’ll talk about, in your Editorial Calendar (or write it on your paper calendar or whiteboard.) I like using a spreadsheet with days of the week across the top and all my social networks listed in the far left column, row-by-row. The most important thing you can schedule and do is to create content. Content can be blog posts, your weekly eZine and a weekly video. Your content is what is REALLY going to attract new clients. Once you invest a chunk of time in doing this you’ll thank yourself.
Use your timer to free your time
Set your timer for 15 minutes and get in and get out of Facebook like this: Refer to your editorial calendar and add your post on your personal profile and business profile (Facebook Fan Page). Quickly review your notifications and respond. Quickly review your Timeline and “Like” and/or comment on your VIP list of fans and friends, on your fan page and personal profile. Bam! You’re done in 15 minutes. All you have to do the rest of the day is respond when someone interacts with you. You can adapt a somewhat similar routine for each of your social networks.
What’s your biggest fear? Work through it.
Learn about the privacy settings in Facebook and all your social media sites. Whatever your biggest fear is: get enlightenment and get past it. You’re smart. You can do this.
Attend 1-2 Weekly Face-to-Face Networking Events Where Your Peeps Hang Out
Attend one or two per week in order to build TOMA (Top Of Mind Awareness). When people see you a lot and have brief conversations with you, they begin to trust you. Here’s the key thing: be sure to follow up as soon as you get home by sending a brief emailed message. You should also connect via LinkedIn. Online, I highly recommend Tweet Chats. You can quickly build relationships with like-minded people when you choose the Tweet Chat that’s right for you. Search in Twitter for these Tweet Chats (with their hashtags) and see which one resonates with you: #linkedinchat #blogchat #getrealchat There are tons of chats listed on this website: http://tweetreports.com/twitter-chat-schedule/
I could go on and on about this topic but these tips should be enough to get you going and potentially attract new clients. Let me know what YOU think in the comments section below or send me a Tweet.