So far in this series, I've discussed 3 traps all business owners can find themselves in over time that prevent them from moving forward and growing as fast as it took to get where they are today.
Today I want to show you the trap almost everyone falls into. And you typically have no idea how bad it's gotten until it blows your mind when you see it!
Trap #4: The Hoarder
The more successful you become, the more stuff that comes at you. And the trick is, it all looks like a great opportunity to gain more leverage in your business when you snatch it up. You open up the ability to use your resources for more training, more automation tools, and more tactics and strategies you incorporate into your marketing and fulfillment over time.
I'm not saying you are filling your house or office with physical stuff you don't need. But I am saying you (and everyone in business, to some degree) fill up your time and systems with a lot of stuff you don't need.
And here's the kicker: Today I'm going to have you take a look at what you've got going on and get ruthless about eliminating the dead weight. Depending on how long you've been out of the initial growth phase of your business, you're going to notice some damned serious clutter!
I'm talking about things that are weighing your business down by not doing what you'd hoped for your business when you implemented them.
Every time you add on a new thing, like a new funnel page builder or other SAAS solution, it takes regular care and feeding...
...or it begins to flounder. And it can also be dragging a big weight behind your business, slowing you down.
Each new bobble you add to your business can either save you time, give you more true leverage, or it can be another knot in the noose around your neck.
All the tactics you have in the air right now, including all the stuff you use to drive leads, build relationships with prospective customers, and all the little tools you pay monthly fees for that you've picked up along the way...
All of those things become another weight. Or they don't. It depends on whether they are performing for you today the way they were pitched in the beginning. In any case, each "thing" wants it's maintenance, attention, and money, whether its working for you or not.
Have you ever reminisced about how much easier, leaner, and cleaner it all felt in the beginning of your business?
Yes you were likely working twice as hard, but there weren't as many moving parts to your business then as there are now.
Some of those parts are still working for you. Don't mess with those. But take a look around your business today and check for dead weight.
Look at all the monthly subscriptions for software, training, tools and conveniences you've picked up over all this time.
Are you using it all? Or are you holding onto things you're hoping to get to and fix up later?
OR are you finding things you didn't even know you were still paying for?
Next take a look at your system for bringing in and working with leads for your business.
From Facebook ads to search engine optimization tools, to regular content (your editorial calendar for putting out content on your site and social media), to your product funnels.
Do you know, out of all of that stuff, what's really working for you? Or, like most busy entrepreneurs, are you afraid to mess with anything because you DON'T know which of the pieces is actually doing the job of bringing you new business?
In this scenario, many people have mini-panic attacks as they begin to realize just how out of control all the "stuff" in their business has gotten.
Do you see the connection now?
When your business was really taking off you were lean, mean, and in fighting (Warrior) shape. You were bootstrapping and it was hard, yes, but you knew where everything was and how it worked because you were on top your business.
Now it can feel like your business is on top of YOU. And it's an elephant. And it has no plans to move any time soon.
Time to get Zen. Go minimalist. Ruthlessly make everything in your business PROVE itself to you that it deserves to stay and get rid of whatever is left.
There was a reason your business took off like it did before growth started slowing down. You're probably starting to see it has a lot to do with the things that you've piled on, because you could, and because you remember what it was like not to have the resources you do now to make the beginning a lot easier.
Except you'd have moved slowly then too, if you'd been able to pile on all the gadgets and gizmos you have today. It would have been a curse, not a blessing!
One of the things I love doing right off the bat for my clients is give their businesses a Shake Down. When I'd do it for backpackers who weren't going to make the whole hike bcause of their heavy packs, I saved them from getting off the trail earlier and ruining their "trip of a lifetime."
With entrepreneurs, I help them save their businesses from languishing and getting passed up by competition by ripping out all the unnecessary heavy junk they've accumulated, mostly without really noticing it.
Then we pile all the junk up and have a nice digital bonfire. I love getting people back to their lean, mean, high-performance version of themselves.
Only experience can make the call on some of these things. If you don't know what you can dump to get moving faster again, it's going to stay in your backpack and keep its foot on the brakes of your business.
Let's talk and I can show you just how fleet of foot and fancy free your business can be again. And that will lead you to your next big growth spurt!
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Welcome back to my mini-series "5 Ways to Grow Your Business Faster!" Today I'm going to cover a big trap that most business owners fall into at one point or another. In your case, that point might be right now.
Trap #3: Isolation
As you've been cruising along and building your business, you've naturally become very focused. It is an achievement and something you should take pride in. You wouldn't be where you are today if you weren't organized and focused on growth.
Here's the problem we all face after a period of keeping our heads down and building our businesses:
We Become Isolated And Run Low On Connections.
This is a problem because we end up being the entire engine that powers our businesses. Take a day off and everything grinds to a halt. Take a vacation, and you come back to a massive drop in momentum, sales, and even traffic to your site.
Connections aren't really just partners, affiliates, and people bragging about your products or services on podcasts, blogs, and social.
Connections are Leverage.
One of the biggest problems my clients have when they've hit a wall with their businesses is that they are isolated and haven't poked their heads up for a long enough period that they've dropped off other key players' radars.
This can give you a sense of loneliness and disconnect that is quite disturbing. Sales and traffic suffer, and you find yourself needing to work harder and harder to do things that came easily in the beginning.
If people aren't talking about your business, or rather, if you are the only one talking about your business, everything gets to be really hard.
Solution: Create Some Easy Buzz!
Come up with something interesting and engaging to talk about that relates to your product or service, and turn it into a campaign to get more attention from influencers and potential clients / customers..
Note: I recently found myself in this very trap you are reading about!
Can you guess, then, why I am writing this series? This is an example of what I'm asking you to do for your business. It works! And I've used it to reinvigorate my connection and meet new influencers, partners, and clients on several occasions in my 20 years of doing business on the web.
I always appreciate finding an expert who is doing what they advise their clients and prospects to do. In this case, you're reading about my trap. I've been working with clients and spending a lot of time behind the scenes in my business.
And now I'm creating buzz by helping with a few of the issues that my potential clients are interested in fixing. This 5-part series gives me something to talk about "out there" on social, to my subscribers, on podcast interviews, and in Facebook and LinkedIn groups.
You Can Easily Do This Too - And You Should!
You aren't totally isolated from the friends, associates, and fans as you would be if your were starting out from scratch. Old relationships can be renewed easily just by popping your head up and saying "hi" with some new content. A new message. Something relevant to talk about.
All you need to do is focus on something your clients or customers care about, create an idea for the series, and write, video, or create an audio out of it. (Or all 3!)
What A Mini-Buzz Campaign Does
There are many more ways creating a series of pieces (like 5 Ways To Grow Your Business Faster) or one big authority article, video, training, or demonstration will help you meet new influencers, partners, affiliates, and potential clients or customers.
It opens a Pandora's Box of opportunities.
And it is why I always fall back on this strategy when I need to reinvigorate my presence and gain new attention for my business.
This strategy is deeper than an article like this can cover, and there's a ton on nuance and tactics within it that make it really powerful. Remember that you have to syndicate on social effectively, email your lists, and get the word out about your new content to make any of it worthwhile. But that's another topic for another day.
In any case, you could take this tip today and, without any of the rest of what I do with it personally, get immediate rewards from it.
Just this week my subscriber count and my consulting leads have gone up considerably. Yours will to if you just copy what I'm doing here.
If you want to really take this and make it something even more powerful, drop me a line and I will show you everything else that can be done with this De-Isolation Strategy to grow your business faster.
Don't miss the next solution in this series!
In order to figure out why you're stuck, it's mighty helpful to know what trap(s) you've fallen into in order to get out and get your business moving forward, faster.
Every business owner falls into one of 5 main "traps" that keeps them from getting to that next big goal. If this is you, you're probably wondering what happened to all the momentum leading up to this point.
Well, it might just be...
Trap #2: Tunnel Vision
Your ability to focus has gotten you this far in your business. Congratulations! But did you know that same laser focus can derail your growth after a certain point?
Things are different now than when you started your business. Externally, there are all kinds of new ways to get attention, and myriad micro-tweaks to things like Facebook advertising, for example.
On the topic of email marketing, there's new regulations like the "General Data Protection Regulation" (GDPR) out of the European Union. And deliverability tricks and tactics change with the wind. (Have you even checked your deliverability, open rates, and clicks lately?)
On top of all that, what worked to get you here might not work the same way to get you where you want to go. And if you still have your head down, working your business the same way that got you here, there might be a problem.
Solution to Tunnel Vision: Take a day off, or at least a few hours, and look around a bit.
If you are subscribed to newsletters and blogs that help with marketing and getting attention online, skim through some and check out what people in your industry are doing to get attention today.
You're already doing it! No matter what prompted you to arrive here today, reading this blog post probably wasn't scheduled. That's good. Keep going.
Business owners, whether you are a coach, consultant, ecommerce pro, affiliate marketer, or a local business, simply must take time every so often to figure out what's going on with the channels you use to get attention.
It also help to find out what you're missing since you last popped your head above ground to get a feel for what's happening.
There are, of course, many more resources. But you're not here do get a bunch of research dumped in your lap, right?
The fastest way to get up to speed is to talk to someone who already is. Let an expert keep up with all the latest news and subscribe to all the right blogs and lists. Then simply pick their brain.
If you find the right expert, they will bring both the resources and the experience to give guidance tailored for your situation. All without having to luck upon the answers yourself.
Now might be a good time to schedule a "Jam Session" with me, if you're inclined to leverage this last tip. You'll find I'm one of the rare "share-y" marketing and business leverage experts in the business!
Slowing down to take a look around and assess your current marketing strategy for adjustments can seem counter intuitive.
Yet, seasoned growth-masters understand that stopping to smell what's cookin' in their market yields really big returns.
Need to grow your business faster?
It's a thought running through the minds of most business owners on a daily basis. If your business isn't growing fast enough and you feel like you are stuck on a plateau, read on. I've got excellent tips on how to grow your business faster!
To understand why your business isn't growing fast enough, it's helpful to look at the traps most business owners fall into to find the one you're in right now. Once you know what's stopping your business from growing, you can easily fix the problem and finally move forward again.
(I promise, you are in at least one of the growth-killing traps listed here, and I'll show you how to get out of it.)
You're a badass. You've gotten your business this far, you're making money, and you are proud. As you should be.
Here's the problem: You know lots of stuff. A lot of which got you where you are today. Maybe it's not more learning or discovering that you need to do. Instead of looking externally for solutions for you business growth problem, you should look that what you've already learned and master it.
For example: When you started out, you had to be crafty in getting attention for your business. In some ways, near the beginning, you were in even better shape than you are today. Things happened, you became profitable, and then you got a little soft. No judgement!
Happens to all of us. It's like those pounds most people put on after they've gotten married. Once you're off the market, you lose a little bit of that Warrior that was constantly counting calories and working out to attract a mate.
Same thing in business. You've put on a few pounds. You're a little slower. You're enjoying your success a bit.
Tip: Get back in touch with that Warrior that built your business. Try to feel that burning desire you first had for your business and spend a it of time getting to know them again.
Then take a look at the things you were doing then that you should maybe revisit and master now. You have so much more leverage now than you did then. Imagine going back in time and handing your lean and hungry self all the resources and know-how you have now!
You'd have freaked OUT if that had happened. And you would have gotten where you are today a LOT faster.
Getting back to the basics that served you so well in the beginning to drive your business to where it is today is crucial. You might think that you're still putting in the kind of work in the places that got you where you are now. But if you really examine what you do today compared to what you did in the beginning, and how you did it, you'll be surprised how different the two scenarios really are.
We all float away from the things most responsible for our success, thinking we're doing more important things now.
Or we've gotten enamored with some shiny objects along the way that seemed like they'd be more powerful business growth tactics or tools than they've obviously turned out to be.
The secret to removing yourself from this trap is easily unlocked by assessing the difference between what you're doing today compared to what you did to get here. And then adjusting. Trim the fat. Re-focus on the things that matter and be ruthless in eliminating the stuff that's wasting your time.
It doesn't matter how much you like the things you're doing now. What matters is the bottom line. And leverage. And whether or not you are living a life while growing your business.
Grow your business faster by getting lean again. Bring back that fire. Use the leverage you didn't have when you started and watch how much faster you grow in the next phase of your business!
*Make sure you follow me on Facebook to keep up on my latest shares on this topic!
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Unless you’ve been lost in the Amazon rainforest for the last several years, you’ve probably heard about guest blogging and guest “experting” on podcasts and the benefits they have provided those who use them as a marketing tool. In fact, I encourage my clients to guest blog as much as possible while replacing a lot of lesser marketing tactics with it.
The first thing everyone needs to know about guest blogging is that, no matter how calm, cool, and collected a big content site looks on the outside, the people behind it are always scrambling for great content. Always.
So, if you’re dreaming about blogging on a site that you’d love to show up on, but are worried about whether you will get accepted as a guest blogger, don’t. This is the number one reason most people never apply for a guest blogging gig on sites they need to get into. And it’s a shame, because the people running these sites would like to hear from anyone willing and able to produce great, original content for them.
But if you haven’t written for an equal sized site or larger before, how are you going to impress the one you are targeting? You do it by building a strong portfolio of other places where you’ve already been published. The sum total of your work will add up to someone who is worthy of consideration on bigger, higher-traffic sites.
Start with guest posting on sites that are more accepting of outside content like Medium.com. Then search for “community blogs” or “guest post -your main keyword-” on Google to find blogs that are largely driven by guest blogger content in or related to your industry.
If the sites you find don’t necessarily focus 100% on your particular industry, find out if they at least have a category you’d fit into. The main point here is that you don’t want to fit a square peg into a round hole. There should be readers on each of the sites where you guest blog that would be ideal readers of your site. Otherwise, the only thing you get out of posting there is a link. (Not bad, but you want direct traffic along with SEO benefits from your guest posts.)
Each time you get something published, go back to your site and link to your new post from a page specifically labeled something like “Portfolio” or “Publications.” This will be the page you send editors so they can check out who has already vetted and accepted you as a guest blogger. Here’s my latest version of my “Portfolio of Authority.” Notice it includes all kinds of stuff I’ve done, be it podcasts, guest posts, and famous people I interview myself on podcasts.
Often, a few posts on respected sites, even if they are smaller than the sites you’re going after, will be enough to get accepted as a guest blogger on the bigger ones. People just want to see you’re dedicated and for real. They get a lot of junk submitted everyday and are very happy to come across a serious guest blogger application.
So, don’t fret about your preconcieved notions of how hard it is to become a guest blogger on healthy, high-traffic sites in, or related to, your market. Start your guest bogger portfolio page on your site by picking the low hanging fruit and leverage that to move onto sites that will be glad to have another serious contributor of content that they so desperately need.