How many times have you read that consistent content will get you clients? It’s 1000% true but what does it really mean? What is consistency for YOUR audience and YOUR brand? How much content does your audience want from you? Learning the answers to these questions is the key to digital domination and in this post, you’ll learn what it takes to create a brand that converts.
Consistency is Queen… Content is King
In today’s 24/7 digital world, content IS king. Consistency is, as I said in this interview in 2017 with Jessi and Marie of North Star Messaging and Strategy, Queen. The best part about considering your content and consistency as a pair? YOU set the stage for consistency. You decide how consistent you want to be. If you’re looking for a place to start, download my freebie post cadence guide (available here) for some key data points related to how often and at what times you need to post in order to get the results you crave.
Digital Domination is a State of Mind… and FOMO is NOT For You
It can seem like everyone you know is rocking everything on their plate — they’re the badass boss (with a good ass; my favorite of the #VixDoesMantras series), the marvelous momma and the #winning wife who seems to get everything done without breaking a nail or shedding a tear. That’s absolute and total BS. It’s an Insta-Filtered version of life and as part of my CREATE mantra for 2018, I’m also focused on more transparency and less tightropes — FOMO (fear of missing out) is a direct result of our digital domination efforts. We want to be the one to dominate the conversation in our niche and in our network but, at times, we’re actually not offering anything insightful.
How do you avoid that? By considering your audience. DIY-ing your digital empire does not have to break the bank. Dominating Digital Media does not have to dominate your life. Small tweaks — like sharing Instagram Stories 1-2 days a week or committing to one Facebook live per month — will make a difference… if you do it consistently. It will take time, but it IS possible.
Patience is Your Purpose
It may seem like people build six figure businesses overnight but the truth of the matter is that the groundwork took a lot of time. I built The Company by securing 6-figures of contracts in six weeks but that didn’t mean I had six figures in my bank account (and I still don’t… that’s a conversation for another blog) — it meant I secured the contracts I needed to have an income that made ME comfortable and confident enough to turn my Side Hustle into a full-time hustle. That number? That milestone? That goal? It is and — totally — should be different for all of us. Patience in achieving all of your goals is key to your purpose. One way to be patient? Pick ONE network to focus on. For me, 2017 was all about Instagram, and focusing on that network made a HUGE difference (a 10K in 6 months difference!). Block out the networks and platforms YOU want to focus on by month and watch your business grow.
It’s a new year but you’re the same person you were yesterday and that is a gift. Too often in January, we get caught up in the newness of it all — which can sometimes make us forget just how lucky we are and how much we’ve learned in the last year. This January, I’m going to share tips, tricks and strategies to help you look back to move forward and use an abundance mindset to create your biggest year, ever.
Abundance is my word for January. My word for the year is CREATE — Courage. Respect. Empath. Advocate. Tenacity. Enough. It’s a mouthful but it is totally one that resonates with me. I tried the word on for a bit, I picked it in October, and it just stuck. As I began to create my content themes and strategies for 2018, I realized every month also has its own word and feeling. For me, in January, it’s abundance.
Now, that might seem counterintuitive as the holiday bills start hitting and you’re getting back into the swing of new business meetings and lead generation but stay with me — if we remember allllll the work we’ve done in the year past, we may just find that we’ve actually laid a strong foundation, one we can use to keep the momentum going instead of seeing it as a restart.
This January, I want to encourage you to ask for what you want to use past lessons to propel yourself forward. Here are three ways to do this in a strategic way to build your business AND your bank account.
Case Study Coffee Tawk
When I host connection calls with colleagues and collaborators, I call them “Coffee Tawk” sessions. I’m a New Yorker through and through and Coffee Tawk is my way to sharing my personality with my brand persona. At the end of last year, I talked about the Titanic Syndrome and how that can help you when you’re first starting out — by allowing you to separate the real you from the digital you — but how it can also stall you by allowing you to wallow in your comfort zone. Case Study Coffee Tawk accomplishes two things — 1) It allows you to shake things up and strut your stuff by promoting your successes from the past year and 2) It allows you to meet new people and share your mission in new places and with new audiences.
Action Item: Join 3 new Facebook groups (like mine, DIY Your Digital Empire) and focus on sharing content in those groups at least 3 days a week. The other groups you’re a part of? Share content in there once a week for 3 weeks. This allows you to expand your network without forcing you to create (too) much new content.
To the Archives!
If you’re anything like me, you spent A LOT of time writing and creating in 2017. Even if you don’t create content as a main function of your business, chances are you’ve got some past content that can be recirculated this year. Map out a plan and stick to it! Having a plan in place will allow you to quickly and easily see any holes you might have AND identify opportunities to promote new programs and offerings.
Action Item: Look back through old documents — digital and physical — review your journal and see if there are any content topics or ideas that you might have missed. Commit to writing up at least one of the ideas this week. You can do it and if you need some support, check out my 90-minute program, The Strategic Intensive, which helps you get it done with 3-30-minute sessions designed to maximize support while you execute.
Disconnect to Reconnect
If you didn’t take a dark week over the holiday, consider taking a mental health date this week to give yourself time to ease back into your normal work schedule — with the holidays, it may seem like you’re in catch-up mode but use these mental health dates to slowly reconnect to your purpose, your why and your mission in order to monetize your business and brand.
Action Item: Set up time each day to be device-free. I know this is a hard one and I am committing to it myself! In 2018, I commit to taking a full, real lunch break at least 2x a week. I know if I commit to all five days, I’ll set myself up to fail so I’m going to start small and encourage you to do the same.
What do the words “seasonal marketing” mean to you? Do they conjure up visions of sugar plums and dancing bears? Maybe your favorite season is apple and pumpkin spice season, scarves and hats galore.
Seasonal Marketing not only refers to the holidays and actual seasons, it also refers to the dates on the calendar and those national days of X that align with your business.
Right now, for example, I’m running a 15% off all packages booked by midnight on Friday as a tax refund special. And I’ll bet your inbox is full of offers from big box retailers with the same marketing messaging.
Why does this work?
It works because we are all programmed, in one way or another, to be guided by a calendar. Monthly, seasonal or quarterly, our calendars define periods of growth, success and opportunity.
And it is vitally important, especially for online entrepreneurs and e-commerce companies, to stay connected to these trends and be ready for new ones that may pop up at any given time.
I know you’re probably rolling your eyes right now. Because you’re already trying to stay connected to so many daily trends, and thinking about one more may just put you over the edge, right?
There are two ways to tackle managing these seasonal trends:
- Editorial Calendar: If you don’t have an editorial calendar for your social media marketing, blogs, videos and brand promotions, you are missing out on a massive opportunity. Creating content ahead of time is great, but how do you know exactly what to DO with it once you’ve got it if you’re not planning it out?
- US Holidays: If you’re not based in the US, use a calendar that represents the area where you live OR, better yet, the area where your largest audience resides. Another thing to consider is religious holidays and observations which may not be ideal for every audience. Some audiences may be more receptive to religious trends than others or, if your audience is made up of people who practice a different religion than the one you do, you may want to consider adding some additional religious holidays into the mix.
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Ever see a video, hear a podcast or see an Instagram feed and feel a little jealous? Comparison can be toxic, but the inspiration for elevation with an aesthetic that really and truly resonates with you? THAT is one of the best ways to move your brand and business forward. In this post, I’ll share some hacks for creating content that is #InstaGoals for less!
Do you ever feel like everyone else has it figured out while you’re still playing dress-up in your mom’s suits?
As someone who – quite literally – played dress-up for hours and hours in her mother’s suits from the 80s and 90s (shoulder pads and all), I can tell you this is part of the practice of becoming an expert in your zone of genius. It is part of the practice of advancing in your career and it is part of the practice of finding your voice in an oversaturated and fatigued marketplace.
It can be downright exhausting — and detrimental if you don’t take some time to get clear on your mantras, your goals and your content buckets to hone in on the area(s) that YOU want to own.
This is challenging, no doubt about it. In a world where everyone’s life, business, marriage, motherhood and workouts are #InstaFiltered, it can seem like you’re the only one going through this phase of life-acne, but I promise you’re not alone.
I promise you.
In my mission to be transparent, I will say that I once felt this way. I often felt not good enough when I worked at some of the biggest names in the business… and then, when I went off on my own, I realized that those titles reinforced that belief in me and once I let go of expectations, I was truly able to soar and work with even bigger names and create massive success for my clients and myself.
How Did I Do It? Practice.
Practice is a word that has resonated with me since my days of daily hot yoga sessions before sunrise — as a little girl, I imagined the woman I wanted to be. I’m a very visual person, my memories and dreams play like film clips in my mind, like a kaleidoscope of a highlight reel I once hope to share. So my image of me as an adult has always played out this way in my mind. And from an early age — 8 at least — I kept looking in the mirror searching for her, willing her into existence.
Two decades later, she is here, she is fierce and she ain’t even halfway done.
But that was a practice. It was the practice of figuring out what truly fit my style, my mission and my personality as I went through the runway of work and life, trying on new titles like last season’s t-shirts and collecting case studies like Ariel’s baubles.
Next year, I’ll enter my third decade and I firmly believe in the power of three (that’s a story for another post; it will come so stay tuned) — for me, this is when my practice has hit one of it’s most aligned moments. And that’s where I pick up the title of this post, the power of a staged space.
My new apartment is great, it works for what I need it to way more than any other space but it’s definitely not “ideal.” It doesn’t have the perfect clean light that I need and the windows don’t look out into the majestic city like the windows I someday know I will have (hoping and wishing and praying) but that shouldn’t matter, right? It’s my home and I love it and it should be good enough for all of my content needs.
Should — that word can be such a B.
The reason I’m writing this post today is because of an episode of Happy Thoughts Show run by two girl bosses and friends, Sara Wiles and Lacey Sites. Last night’s episode featured comparisonitis and how to deal/what it is. I was so intrigued by the responses that so many of the ladies had because I do, as I explained above, DEFINITELY remember being there myself professionally. And while I don’t always struggle with this as a CEO, as women, there are always ways in which we judge ourselves too harshly and this comes up for us.
So many of these things, however, can be quickly fixed with a little zuzsh — as I like to say. Basically, a little quick fix solution to turn the space you have into the space you want to have someday in some way. Working with what you’ve got to create what you desire — THAT is key to this practice. As I shared today “See it. Believe it. Think it. Be it.” because you’ve already got everything you need, you just gotta make it #werk.
In times when you wish your brand looked a little more Kardashian and less Kitchy, there are spaces that you can use to stage your content collection.
Breather is a great app featuring workspaces AND photo/video spaces in several major cities (Canada too!). You can rent the spaces by the hour (and you’ll get a discount if you use my code) or by the day. I did a photoshoot in one of these spaces last fall and it was GREAT. It allowed me to get all the shots I needed without having to worry if my apartment was clean enough.
My favorite photo series, ever (for my brand) was taken in my 450 sq ft apartment, the one I had before where I live now. Yes, really. I got some green screen from a friend who purchased it wholesale at a production house in Brooklyn and then we used two massive lights to turn my apartment into the kind of “#lit” #InstaGoals are made of. I’ve also purchased my own lighting kit since this shoot, for $70 from Jet.com. Even if you think your space is drab, lighting can make a HUGE difference.
Flowers can completely change a shot. Placing flowers over your right or left shoulder just beyond the shot can open up a room and make it feel like you’re in a totally different space. This can be accomplished by shooting from different angles too.
If you’re ready for a big project, Peerspace is one to investigate. They also have spaces in cities all over the world that can be used for events, photo and video shoots, fashion shows, intimate dinners and more. What I love most about Peerspace is that some of the photo/video shoot spaces even come with lights — which totally beats trekking around Manhattan with your gear.
I hope these tips help you create your #InstaGoals photoshoot for your brand and business — and if you’re not resonating with that type of photography and brand representation? Find the five brands that fit YOUR idea of what YOU want to be and create your own #InstaGoals — because you deserve to write your success story on your terms, not on someone else’s.
Quarter four is upon us!! This is the home stretch of the year — and it’s not just about business goals to finish this year strong, it’s about setting up a foundation for the following year so you can hit the ground running as soon as the holidays are over… and maybe, accomplish a few goals before it even begins.
For the past six years, I’ve started counting down to the new year in October. It may seem like I’m not “in the moment” but I can promise you that by doing my 10 Weeks to whatever the next year is, I’m actually more present, strategic and mindful of my goals.
The best part? I usually knock a few off before we even hit the holidays.
Why am I telling you this? Well, last year, I used this time to get serious about my brand focus for 2017. And it worked. It worked so well that my company earned multiple six figures this year — our second full year in business. It worked so well that I brought on two new team members, managed dozens of projects and still found time to get a little press along the way. It worked so well that I cleared 10K on Instagram and continue to grow an engaged following that ACTUALLY converts. It worked so well that I found the love (of self), sweat (of hard #werk) and tears (of joy) mantra and ACTUALLY felt what that means for me.
It worked so well that beyond all those tangible success items, I found myself in a whole new way.
This next year, 2018, is a big one for me. It’s my third full year in business and the start of my third decade on this earth. I’ve recently gotten more into the Woo (more on that on my lifestyle blog) and I’ve found that it has helped me burn old stories and break the cassette tapes that no longer served me.
And I found that in the 10 weeks leading up to 2017 last fall.
That’s why I am so passionate about making this quarter count. It may seem like a slower time period — with family, holiday and travel chaos — but that means there are more pockets for YOU to find time to just be. To allow your mind to really go there when it comes to the possibilities that you may have denied yourself in the past.
Here are four things I’ve done in the last quarter of the year to create MASSIVE success in the next year — they may not all be for you but they may be something you can “vix” for yourself and that? THAT is the most powerful thing of all.
The List of 100 Dreams
In 2011, I was 23 years old a little lost. I knew I wanted to change the world — I’ve known that my whole life — but the path to doing that seemed foggy. I purchased the book “What Color is Your Parachute?” I read about one-third of it and then decided I had what I needed and could move on. The most important part for me, at that moment in my life? The List of 100 Dreams. I wrote down everything I wanted to do in this life — including (most importantly) things I’d already accomplished. It helped me put my path into perspective. And best of all? Three months after I did that? I got the biggest job of my career and forged a new path in uncharted territory that led me here. Write the list this fall. Take the time to do it — in a place that makes YOU happiest — and think about what goals you can tackle in 2018. You’ll be surprised by what you’ve done already and how far you’ve come… I know it.
Calm in the Chaos
Meditation is something I committed to at the end of 2016 as well and as we circle back around on this ride we call life, I can tell you I haven’t kept up the practice as I thought I would BUT I did keep the intention. I live in NYC, it is a chaotic city — full of energy, motion and go-go-go. And I love every second of it. The entrepreneur guilt can often feel like that too — am I doing enough — and so meditation was one way I decided to calm my mind. I thought it meant that I had to sit, cross-legged on my couch, clearing my mind of all thoughts. That was not what worked for me — Instead, it’s a daily listen to freevibeoftheday.com, checking my horoscope and walking to my morning workout class without any expectation of what thoughts will pop into my head. Finding the calm in the chaos of my routine helped me stay the course. My advice for you? Find three things that calm you. Learn three new tools in this season to help you stay calm in the chaos and block time to do them every, single week of the first quarter of the new year. Knowing that you have a plan to tackle anything that comes your way IS half of the battle and this is one of the most powerful things you can do.
Healthy Body, Healthy Mind
I’ve had a regular, stable, consistent workout schedule since I’m 17. It has been a constant in my life through ALL of the changes in this defining decade and it is one I am eternally grateful for. I also went gluten- and dairy- free in my 20s. Trying a new food or workout routine is not easy during the holidays but the holidays are a few weeks away — take October to really consider what your “normal” eating habits are and how you can clean them up (or open them up) to give yourself more energy throughout the day. Find small tweaks that work for you. This isn’t something that I can really advise you on BUT I can tell you that paying attention to this — especially in my solopreneur days — helped me through a LOT of ups and downs.
I set goals, a lot. Quarterly goals, daily goals, weekly goals. I am #goalsongoalsongoals all damn day! Goals help me stay grounded and they help ME make the decisions I need to move forward. Each week of the next three months, write down three goals you want to accomplish that week. I find a hybrid of business and personal goals really makes me feel fulfilled so try that to see if it helps for you too. Write them on a post-it and tape them to your laptop or desktop each Sunday. On the following Sunday, block 15-20 minutes to evaluate your accomplishments and another 15-20 to set new goals for the following week. This intention setting allowed me to not only hit my financial goals for this year, but it actually allowed me to surpass them without even thinking about it. Powerful. Stuff.
No matter what practices, tactics and tools you use, setting yourself up for success in Quarter Four IS a crucial part of making the BOSS moves you need to succeed in the year ahead. The simplest thing to do? Get a handle on your expenses, write-offs and tax deductions for April — that is one way to understand your accomplishments this year AND how to maximize your success next year.