A Million Dollar Launch Probably Has a Million and One Problems: Setting Realistic Expectations for Your Business

A Million Dollar Launch Probably Has a Million and One Problems: Setting Realistic Expectations for Your Business

Do you have visions of a Million Dollar launch dancing in your head? It is possible but there are dozens of things to consider when launching a product, service or course and it is important to go in expecting glitches and being prepared for them.

How many times have you read an ad about having a Million Dollar Launch? Or a news story where the headline details the most incredible online course roll-out, ever?

And how many times do those stories talk about the tech that didn’t work, the money spent on advertising, the affiliate payouts?

How many times do you get to see the behind-the-scenes story of what REALLY happened?

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Get the Receipts
I really wish people would TALK about the dollars and cents of launches. It doesn’t have to be down to the per-hour price or per-sale price but I do think we’d all benefit from more budget discussions. There’s nothing wrong about talking about how much you made, how much you spent and how much you sold. Being a successful entrepreneur, to me, means making it easy for others to take the leap. And what better way to do that than to let them understand that these things are possible… with a few caveats along the way?

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Understand the Investment
Affiliate campaigns are AHMAZING. Seriously. The investment is important to consider BEFORE you decide to build your campaign. Think about ways to use social currency — mention for mention or feature for feature — as part of the payout to reduce the dollars spent on this portion of the campaign.

Set Realistic Goals
If you want to make 100K on a launch, you might have to spend 30K-50K. Are you prepared to do that? If you’re not, think about what your business CAN support as you build your bank account and your brand. Understand the average costs for Facebook ads and other marketing tactics before setting your goals and measures of success.

Get Creative!
Can’t afford Facebook ads? Try an affiliate campaign. Can’t afford a 50% payout to affiliates? Try 10-15% (which is what I think is MORE than reasonable). Figure out what works for YOUR business and be creative about the tactics you use.

At the end of the day, every launch has a lot going on behind the scenes — lift the curtain, lift the pressure and build a brand that you’re proud of claiming as your own.

Success looks different for everyone and owning that IS half the battle. Once you accomplish that, you’re well on your way to a Million Dollar Brand.

PS: Did you know I launched a Podcast? The Get is designed to give you the interviews, inspiration, connections and advice you need to get the life you want. Click here to Get Informed, Get Connected, Get Hired and Get Inspired by subscribing on iTunes

Want to continue the conversation? Connect with me on Facebook,Twitter or Instagram and join my FREE Facebook group, The Get Set, for real-talk on all things digital marketing, brand building and life balance to help you design a life you love. 
Want to learn more about coaching with Vix? Check out her website and packages.
Looking for support in your digital marketing, content and strategy efforts? The Team at CreatiVix Media supports companies, brands and entrepreneurs of all sizes and at all stages. Learn more about our done for you social media management and Facebook ads management packages. 
Use the Right Resources, Not What You Have: How to Structure Your Business

Use the Right Resources, Not What You Have: How to Structure Your Business

Connecting with Entrepreneurs is an interesting experience. Everyone has a different way to run their business and each way can be successful on its own, but is it sustainable? Curating the right resources for your project and scale is the best way to create a business that can stand the test of time AND build your bank account at the same time.

A few weeks ago, I had a very interesting meeting. In the meeting, the prospective client made the comment that they wouldn’t pay someone to do video because an intern could just do video for free.

And that, my friends, is effing bullshit.

Interns are brilliant. I was managing This Old House’s Facebook groups and content syndication as an intern. Interns are very, very capable BUT they are NOT the same as hiring someone with 2, 5, 7 or 10 years of experience.

My response in the meeting? You could, but I can tell you right now it won’t be the same quality. I can tell you that because as an intern, I created good content. And now, a decade later? I create great content.

And a decade from now? It will be even better.

We are constantly evolving… we should be getting better and better at what we do, at the services we sell, at the content create (we all create content… seriously, but that’s a post for another day).

If we didn’t, what the hell is the point of all of this?

How Do You Build the Right Team?

By actually acknowledging that the investment is needed to scale. Investment IS needed to build your business. Investment in time or money. If you don’t want to spend the money, you need to take the time to learn the skills.

Know What You Don’t Know

I taught myself to code because I wanted to be a Digital Producer. I upped my abilities in video production too. At the same time, I applied for a Digital Production Masters… and four short months later, I got the job as a Digital Producer without the Masters.

Know what you don’t know and tell the Universe you’re ready to receive opportunities in this zone of genius.

By opening yourself up to LEARNING, you open new doors to your business and future. You don’t have to be GREAT at everything, but you SHOULD know what you don’t know. You need to understand the things you’re outsourcing before you outsource them. You can, of course, ask the expert, but you should also have a general understanding so that you can make decisions for yourself.

Know What an Expert Looks Like

I love when I see people on Instagram who offer to manage Instagram accounts for $100 a month. That’s not a reasonable price for anyone, even an intern. Minimum wage is $15 an hour — you cannot effectively do EVERYTHING for an Instagram account in 6.66666 hours per month. You can’t even do it in 7.

An expert knows how to explain their services, understands the actual time it takes, and is upfront with the realistic expectations you can have for a campaign. They are also honest with you when it comes to scope — if they can do it for less, they will.

Know What You Need to Invest in Most

If you’re trying to create an online business and don’t have a website (or even just a landing page), that’s the first area to invest in. It does not have to be something fancy (in fact, our most expensive website package is $6500) and it does not have to be something you do in 24-hours but it should be something that allows you to build your business AND scale. This is where a strategy session would be the best investment you can make.

If you’re going to go it your own way, find the right resources and find several of them. Form your own conclusions about what you NEED to do, instead of allowing others to “should” you. You “should” do a lot of things but you NEED to do few things to be successful online; know the difference.

Overall, building a business that scales involves finding the right experts to do the job you need OR becoming proficient enough in the services you need to create them for yourself. It takes time, effort and energy but the investment is well worth it.

PS: Did you know I launched a Podcast? The Get is designed to give you the interviews, inspiration, connections and advice you need to get the life you want. Click here to Get Informed, Get Connected, Get Hired and Get Inspired by subscribing on iTunes.

Want to continue the conversation? Connect with me on Facebook,Twitter or Instagram and join my FREE Facebook group, The Get Set, for real-talk on all things digital marketing, brand building and life balance to help you design a life you love. 
Want to learn more about coaching with Vix? Check out her website and packages.
Looking for support in your digital marketing, content and strategy efforts? The Team at CreatiVix Media supports companies, brands and entrepreneurs of all sizes and at all stages. Learn more about our done for you social media management and Facebook ads management packages. 
The #1 Reason Why Your VA Should NOT Be Your Social Media Manager

The #1 Reason Why Your VA Should NOT Be Your Social Media Manager

Virtual Assistants, known in the online entrepreneur community as VAs, are an amazing resource. They are talented self-starters who can help build your business with the general administration tasks that always take so much time. But should they be your social media manager? It is my expert opinion that the answer is no. And it has nothing to do with VAs or their abilities, it’s all about the zone of genius.

Zone of Genius. This is one of those buzzwords that makes me gag a little when I type it. I, Vix Reitano, do not have ONE zone of genius. And you, dear reader, probably do not have ONE zone of genius either.

Of course, there’s zone of excellence as well (and you can learn all about it in The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks; I did not read this book, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good resource for you!) and then there are dozens of other ways to describe why you excel at the services you provide.

Do I believe that a VA can also have a zone of genius/excellence in Social Media Marketing?

Yes, absolutely.

Do I believe that it is wise to allow a Virtual Assistant to be solely responsible for your Social Media Marketing strategy?

Absolutely not.

Social Media Marketing is NOT something anyone can do. In the beginning, a decade ago, that WAS true. The platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) were new, evolving and didn’t have the billions of users (yes, billion, with a B) that they have today.

In case you’re wondering, as of Q2 2017 — Facebook has 1.15 BILLION daily users and Instagram has 200 million daily users.

That’s a hell of a lot of opportunity.

I like to say that “followers are clients you haven’t signed yet” [click to tweet]. And do I mean that you should expect that every, single followers will, at some point, become a client? That is NOT what I am saying.

What I am saying is that your followers can connect you to the right people, at the right time. That is a great responsibility and it is one that must be evaluated strategically.

Virtual Assistants have a keen eye for detail — they can spot a typo a mile away. They’re organized, efficient and can help you with scheduling, follow-ups and coordination. I have VAs in my business and love them. They have freed up my mind to work on bigger projects and long-range plans… and I will be eternally thankful that I did invest in this key part of scaling an online business.

But I do not expect them to tell me when it is time to run social media advertising, change up my blogging strategy OR change the way I’m speaking to my community.

That comes from strategy.

Imagine this:

Having someone who can write general copy and who does it for a dozen other entrepreneurs write YOUR copy

OR

Having someone who is trained to take others’ words and turn them into business prospects, sales and PR opportunities

Which would you choose?

The number one reason why you don’t want a VA to be your social media manager? Most VAs have not had the offline experience needed to compete in today’s always-on, uber-connected world.

The offline experience is what can make or break a digital business AND it is the ability to repurpose (or Vix, as I like to say) tactics used in traditional media, traditional offline experiences and migrate them to social FOR you.

THAT level of coaching and support? That’s something you can only get with a social media strategist.

And that is why your VA should not be your social media manager.

 

PS: Did you know I launched a Podcast? The Get is designed to give you the interviews, inspiration, connections and advice you need to get the life you want. Click here to Get Informed, Get Connected, Get Hired and Get Inspired by subscribing on iTunes.

Want to continue the conversation? Connect with me on Facebook,Twitter or Instagram and join my FREE Facebook group, The Get Set, for real-talk on all things digital marketing, brand building and life balance to help you design a life you love. 
Want to learn more about coaching with Vix? Check out her website and packages.
Looking for support in your digital marketing, content and strategy efforts? The Team at CreatiVix Media supports companies, brands and entrepreneurs of all sizes and at all stages. Learn more about our done for you social media management and Facebook ads management packages. 
3 Steps to Become a Wildly Successful Millennial Entrepreneur

3 Steps to Become a Wildly Successful Millennial Entrepreneur

Being a Millennial Entrepreneur isn’t easy — it requires hard work, sacrifice and hustle. It also requires A LOT of patience.

In order to be wildly successful, there are a few steps you must take before you get started on this journey.

Step 1: Never Stop Learning

Being your own boss is amazing. Truly amazing. There are no words to describe the ability to call the shots, decide when you work and how you work, and figure out what success means to you. But it also comes with a hunger for information. As entrepreneurs, we wear a lot of hats. There are ways to invest in the right help to get you going, but when you’re first starting out, much of the work will fall to you. And that’s a great thing. That’s what you got into this for. Take the time — BLOCK the time to learn about the business of your business. From taxes to contracts and billing, the more you know about the business of running a business, the better.

Step 2: Network

Networking is great for finding clients and for finding contractors or collaborators. It also helps you refine your message and showcase exactly why you do what you do on the fly. Elevator pitch not your thing? Dip your toe into online networking with Facebook and LinkedIn groups to get started. Every time you try something out of your comfort zone, you grow and being an entrepreneur means you have to grow every day to truly succeed.

Step 3: Never Say Never

As you expand your services, you’ll learn that there are things you like and things you don’t like. Try taking a course for the things you don’t like and see if that changes your perspective. Or, find someone to outsource those tasks to. Either way, be open to the possibilities that you may have placed in the “never” bucket when you started your business. You may find that those tasks and to-dos are things you enjoy or things that you were afraid of and with a little training and a flipped perspective, they can become things you truly enjoy.

And patience? You need a hell of a lot of patience. You’ll need to find a good group of people who have your back and who understand what you’re going through to truly make all of this work. And when you do? You’ll be grateful and so excited for whatever the world has in store for you and your business.

Want to continue the conversation? Connect with me on Facebook,Twitter or Instagram and join my FREE Facebook group, The Get Set, for real-talk on all things digital marketing, brand building and life balance to help you design a life you love. 
Want to learn more about coaching with Vix? Check out her website and packages.
Looking for support in your digital marketing, content and strategy efforts? The Team at CreatiVix Media supports companies, brands and entrepreneurs of all sizes and at all stages. Learn more about our done for you social media management and Facebook ads management packages. 
The Digital Integrity Crisis.

The Digital Integrity Crisis.

Integrity: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.

This post is going to piss people off. This post is going to make you think. This post is going to, I hope, change the way you do business.

Are you ready?

Even if you’re not, I am going to write this because YOU need to hear it and you need to understand why we’re currently in a crisis, a digital integrity crisis.

As a journalist, ethics and integrity matter to me — even if I haven’t actually written or served (because it is a service) as a journalist for over 5 years.

Integrity is the quality of being honest. It means that the story behind the headline is just as important as the headline. It means the sources are true and there is no “fudging of figures or facts.” It means everyone working on the project was paid a fair wage, worked a fair amount of time, boundaries were respected and creativity flourished.

Because that’s the issue, right?

Creativity cannot flourish in an environment that is… for lack of a better word, shady.

Let’s think of creativity like beautiful, robust roses. They will die after a few days, but what if you preserved the integrity of their environment? If you gave them new water, protected their boundaries and made sure they weren’t near any fans or pets or too much sunlight, what do you think would happen?

I can tell you — they would last another week.

But if you just leave them, festering in the old water, in direct sunlight, on top of a heater? They’re dead in 5 days or less.

The beauty of roses is that you can choose, as their partner in beautification, if you want to protect and respect them or if you’re going to just take their beauty without giving anything back.

Creativity is the same thing.

Creative individuals need to do a variety of things to stay creative, especially as their businesses and responsibilities grow. Many creatives — think designers, artists and craftswomen — create their products BEFORE they even sell them! (This is why their commission-based work is better… or work they never intend to sell. #thinkaboutit)

To be a creative with a business mind, it means you’ve got to protect yourself. In an agency — which, truly, is what my company is, we are a one-stop-shop for all of your needs… and, as we close Q1, I do actually have a WE instead of the royal “we,” I have contractors and collaborators who believe and trust in ME — the account lead corresponded with clients.

Now, you, especially if you’re a solopreneur, girl boss, hustler, probably think this is weird.

Why would someone else to talk to the client FOR me when I am doing the work?

I wholeheartedly agreed with you… until I saw how nice it could be!

After years of being the client, working in-house, being the questioner, being the source, being the advocate, being the creator… I suddenly had an advocate protecting MY creative genius.

And boy did that baby flourish.

I fired off ideas like a machine gun, loved every project I touched, learned how to be a better advocate for MYSELF when it came to my side-hustles and, finally? Finally, I learned the skills I needed to use to launch my own business TWO MONTHS after deciding that was something I wanted to pursue.

Once I launched the business, I learned to literally separate my brain… my best tip? Separate email inboxes!! (More on this in another blog).

I separated my brain and then a good friend of mine, also, a millennial entrepreneur, said this:

Your business isn’t you. It’s someone else. It’s someone YOU answer to.

And as I laid on that waxing table (because yes, she’s my waxer), I realized what a freakin’ genius she was?!

That was the day the seed for THIS blog was born.

At the end of the day, in order to flourish, creativity must be respected and protected.

In a digital business world, too many people expect work for free, refuse to honor boundaries and try to convince you all will be well if you just do XYZ on their terms.

Even someone like me, of the highest integrity, with ethics in her core and a very, very, VERY strong sense of self, is susceptible.

But, what about those of us who are not fierce?

What about the mommas, undergrads and struggling artists? What about the people who create for the pure joy of creating?

It is OUR job, those of us with a fierce, strong, fearless voice, to stand up and say “NOT TODAY.” Pay your people well, pay yourself well; fight to determine YOUR worth, on YOUR terms.

This isn’t a problem isolated to the internet but it IS a problem that has resulted from the nature of the internet and it being the way brands, individuals and companies do business and, interact with businesses.

It is a problem of digital integrity.

The golden rules still apply — be who you are, be true to your voice, honor agreements, honor the talent that is shared with you, respect boundaries and understand that if someone is doing you a favor, it must be really and truly cherished.

And at the end of the day?

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Want to continue the conversation? Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and join my FREE Facebook group, The Get Set, for real-talk on all things digital marketing, brand building and life balance to help you design a life you love. 
Want to learn more about coaching with Vix? Check out her website and packages.
Looking for support in your digital marketing, content and strategy efforts? The Team at CreatiVix Media supports companies, brands and entrepreneurs of all sizes and at all stages. Learn more about our done for you social media management and Facebook ads management packages. 

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