Managing Your Biz

  • Enjoy the summer AND keep your biz running smooth!

    It’s Fourth of July weekend – and that means summer is in full swing! If you’re having a hard time keeping up with your biz, you’re not alone!

    It’s hard to focus on your business when it’s hot out, the kids are home, AND your calendar full of graduation parties, weddings, family reunions, baseball games, pool parties, not to mention your day job, cleaning, cooking, etc.

    Well, I have an answer for you…. The Summer Business Survival Kit.

    This has everything you need to keep your biz running smoothly, including:

    • A three month blogging calendar AND 50+ blog post ideas
    • A sample four week promotional plan
    • 10+ promotion ideas
    • A press release template
    • A mini-workbook and Mp3 recording of a class teaching you summer time management tips!

     

  • Are You Using Email Marketing? You Should Be!

    Are you using email to market your business? You should be! This is one of the most cost-effective ways to market your products and services. And not only is it cost-effective – it’s effective in general. If you don’t currently have an email list, just wait and see how many more sales you bring in with one!

    The biggest reasons people stall on building an email list are:

    – They are totally confused by all the options and what software to use.
    – They don’t know how to get an email form on their website.
    – And, if they manage to get past those first two hurdles they don’t know
    what to write to their email list!

    Well, I have a great solution for you. Angela Wills is a friend of mine, and I’ve partnered with her on many projects. Believe me, I respect her as a business owner. She knows online marketing and she’s offering a workshop that will help move past those
    three ‘stopping’ points.

    This course is going to walk you through, step by step, how to set up your email list with Aweber. Then, you’re going to learn
    everything you need to know about adding the code and setting your list up with WordPress.

    It’s called Email List Mojo. The quick details are:

    What: Live webinar workshop that teaches you how to set up your first Aweber list and add it to WordPress.
    When: July 26th, 28th and August 5th
    Who: Small business owners, service providers and virtual assistants.
    How Much: Only $97

    If you’ve heard enough then you can grab your spot here and save $20 as a special discount I’ve arranged with Angela:
    Click Here – and use Coupon Code: email

    Want to see an example of what you can do with Aweber and WordPress? Check out Angela’s blog where she’s got an Aweber
    form on her WordPress installation – scroll down until you see the form that says ‘Lost Your Mojo?….’ (you’ll learn how to do this):
    https://www.marketersmojo.com/blog

    A bit more about Angela and why you’d be a smart cookie to learn from her:

    Angela has a true ‘laptop lifestyle’, meaning she is a full time entrepreneur who does’t even own a PC or anything that can tie her to her desk. She’s made a full time living online since 2007, when she quit her J.O.B. to work her Virtual Assistant business from home.

    I hope you’ll join the workshop and I’m sure you’ll learn a lot if you do.

    Here’s how to sign up and grab a $20 discount while you’re at it:
    Simply Click Here To Register & use Coupon Code: email

  • Upcoming #indiebizchat Twitter Parties!

    I have several upcoming #indiebizchat Twitter Parties coming up, and I wanted to give you some advance notice! I hope you attend all of these great sessions! (all times listed in Eastern)

    July 8 – 11am   Sell More With Your Blog
    July 12 – 9pm   Big Crafty Talk-A-Thon
    July 14 – 3pm   Finding Summer Motivation
    July 19 – 9pm   The Pros & Cons Of Working Solo
    July 21 – 3pm   Time Management Tricks & Tips
    July 26 – 9pm  Making Affiliate Sales

    I will be posting more info about each party, such as the special guests and info on how to join the Twitter party as each party date draws closer.

    Hope you can make it!

  • What Can You Do In 42 Days? Well, You Can Create Your Info Product!

    If you have never heard of the term “info product,” the title of this post probably has you very confused! An info product is any type of product that provides information. Common types are ebooks, workbooks, seminars, Mp3 recordings, and so forth.

    My friend Kelly McCausey is offering her 42 Day Launch Incubator program, and if you are thinking about creating an info product, I highly suggest you take this course! I took it myself several years ago!

    Working with Kelly was a great experience. She gave me some great feedback on my own seminar and ebook. You can think up a lot of things on your own, but having someone else look it over and give you their opinion can really help! It can help you get ideas you might not have thought of, and make your final product better than if you were working alone!

    To learn more about the 42 Day Launch Incubator, click here!

  • Save $26 On DIY Business Association Conference Registration

    In case you haven’t heard, Amy Schroeder of Venus Zine fame, is now heading up the DIY Business Association.  The first DIY Business Association Conference will be taking place in Brooklyn this weekend, and I have a special code that can save you $26 off the regular registration price.

    The event will be held on Sunday, June 26 from 10:45 am – 6:30 pm at the DUMBO Loft and Etsy Labs. Breakfast, lunch and evening cocktails are included. A regular full day pass is $125, but if you use the code “indiebizchick” during the last step of the registration check-out, you will only pay $99.

    For a schedule of events, and to register, click here.

  • NSD – Get Inspired!

    Today is National Scrapbooking Day! I was a scrapbooker long before I created IndieBizChicks. In fact, when I did start learning how to design a site and get it onto the internet, when people asked me how I liked it, I would say “Oh, I love it – it’s a lot like scrapbooking!”

    Scrapbooking and blogging really do go very well together. Both of them are all about telling stories. Some blogs are very personal and are actually digital scrapbooks on steroids. They have the same photo and story telling element, but they also are interactive and constantly evolving.

    And then there are blogs that are more focused on a particular subject, such as this one. So, while it isn’t a scrapbook of my personal life, it is still a scrapbook in it’s own way. It’s a collection of information about how we, as hip and modern women, are doing business, using social media, etc. In twenty five years, a lot of the information will be out dated. People who read the posts I am writing right now will be thinking “Twitter? Are you serious? They were using Twitter back then? They might as well have been using a telegram!” And that kind of reminds of looking at old photos, and thinking “Yeah, that feathered hair and neon checker shirt must have really awesome in 1982!” See – it really is just like a scrapbook!

    And in honor of the day, I am going to share three of my favorite “scrapbook queens” with you. Looking over their blogs, and their layouts, will definitely inspire. It may come in the form of an idea for a new blog design, a new blog post – or help you choose colors for your next craft project. Whatever the case may be, these blogs are full of great ideas, great photos, and great design!

  • Okay, a reader makes a big difference

    I’ll admit it. I was never a ‘reader” person. (I am talking about things such as Google Reader, that keep track of blog posts and allow you to login and read the posts from the blogs you have selected).

    Yes, I have been reading blogs for quite a while, but I always just went to the blog I wanted to read and looked at the latest posts.  I have had this discussion with my friend, Beth, who is a big proponent of Google Reader.  And, so, I finally started using the damn thing. And, oh, what a difference it makes!

    Here are a few posts I thought you might like:

    • Recipe For Success – Solid, simple advice for making your business dreams reality
    • If you’re a freelancer (or aspire to be one), you will want to check out these five online communities
    • Speaking of freelancing, or any type of client work, to be successful, you’re going to need to learn how to network
    • Home office clutter? Learn to banish it!
    • The theory that women are less tolerant of the bullshit that comes with success could explain why the progress of women in the workplace has fallen backwards…
    • Need a snack while you work? Check out these homemade Cheezits
    • Okay, this peek inside a French bakery is pretty neat. If you’re into that kind of stuff.
    • And from my aforementioned friend, Beth, all I have to say is that I’ve been totally digging her weekly “diary” type posts of her pregnancy. We live about an hour apart so I don’t get to see her as much as I’d like, but through these posts, I feel like I’ve been there every step of the way through her pregnancy!
  • How Vlogging Changed My Business (guest post by Audrey McClelland)

    I started vlogging on October 13, 2008. It changed the life of my blog instantly.

    Let me start at the beginning. I started blogging in January of 2007 with my mom and sister. I really only wrote about 3 things – 1) Fashion 2) Being the mom of boys 3) Moving from NYC to Rhode Island. I loved blogging from the very beginning. I finally had a place online to be me. I finally had a place online to meet other moms and engage and connect with them. I finally had a place to be.

    Then something happened… my friends and family in “real” life started to tell me that they didn’t feel like my true personality was coming across well enough in my blogs. Part of that was true, at the very beginning of my blogging journey, I didn’t reveal much. I told the story, but missed many details. I remember sitting with my husband one night and saying to him, I just wish I could do videos and then I could totally be myself. My looked at me and said, “Why can’t you just do that?” He was right. I could just do that. And that’s what I started to do.

    To date I have done over 400 videos. They have ranged from fashion advice for moms to changing a diaper blind folded to toy reviews to watching my sons lib our walls. In my life, anything goes… nothing is now off limits, and I’m OK with that. I feel that by adding more and more videos, my readers truly get to see ME. They are hearing my voice. They are seeing my facial expressions. They are hearing my laughter. They are seeing me, the real me.

    Here are 6 ways Vlogging has helped change my Business:

    1. Brands and companies have another way to engage with readers. For example, instead of just talking about a product, I can physically show it. If I’m talking about a stroller, it’s easy to show all the features via a video than it is in a written post.

    2. Videos are more fun to watch. Every time I upload a video, my traffic is usually higher on that particular day.

    3. It’s another extension of who I am. Most of us are active on twitter, Facebook and blogs… vlogging gives me another way to expand my platform.

    4. If you can’t get on the news, make your own news segments! I tried forever to get on the local news in Providence with some of my blogging tips, but it just never happened. After trying for 2 years, I thought… why do I need them? I can make my own segments, create the content and edit the videos anyway I please. This was exactly what I did… and it was great! I had the ability to pump out anything and everything I wanted.

    5. When you start vlogging on a regular basis, you become more and more comfortable in front of the camera. Anytime I need to do some TV segments now, I feel prepared and relaxed, there aren’t any nerves anymore. It’s GREAT practice for everyone, and allows you to keep honing your PR skills for your blog.

    6. People get to know the REAL Audrey… which is something that they didn’t 100% get from my written posts.
    Vlogging is my favorite thing to do. It’s so funny now, when the camera comes out… my sons get ready! I straggly recommend you bringing some vlogging into your blogging life!

    About The Author: Audrey McClelland is the founder of Mom Generations, and you can also find her at Lifetime Moms, where she serves as the Beauty/Style Editor.

  • Creativity And Daily Writing (guest post by Jessica Alvarado)

    For most of my life I have struggled with finding a balance between my creative life and all of my other responsibilities. Last year I hit a rut. I was working hard to balance a creative business and a still have life but I was overwhelmed. Whenever I tried to sit in my studio and create I couldn’t actually make anything.

    Since I couldn’t be productive I would spend my time surfing for inspiration. I kept folders and sketchbooks filled with photos, drawings, quotes, artists to reference later. On the outside, these books made me look like I was productive, and that my art was my life. Inside however i was a wreck. I couldn’t actually do any art. Inspiration was all I had – but never enough to actually make anything.

    a month of morning pages

    Last year my mother, a lifelong artist, bought me a copy of Julia Cameron’s “The Artist Way” and chapter one rocked my world. Julia recommends morning pages – three hand written pages of whatever crosses your mind as a surefire way to get beyond our fears, negativity, moods and most importantly to get beyond our inner critic and back to creating.

    I was at rock bottom, not producing any work. I was desperate and decided to commit to one month of morning pages. At worst, i would still be stuck and at best I would be able to work again.

    Within a few days my head felt clearer. I had found a place to voice all of my worries and fears. Rather than making the fears stronger, writing them down helped me see what was stopping me so i could work around the negativity and start creating again.

    my take on morning pages

    Now, every morning i wake up and while i drink my coffee I write 750 words, the typed equivalent of three hand written pages, of absolute drivel. I aim to write them in under 20 minutes and without thinking or editing what i write.

    I have two rules:

    1. I must write at least 750 words – this pushes me past my comfort zone and ensures I have time to access some subconscious thoughts.

    2. I don’t reread the morning pages. Ever. If a good idea has come up during a session, when I’m done I’ll make a note in my idea sketchbook where i have access to it with out all of the other drivel that my have come out of my head that day.

    Morning pages are not about journaling. I don’t sit down and write a dear diary entry, thoughtfully examining the previous days events – mostly I write crap. I can’t count the number of days I start out complaining about the fact that I am making myself write. More days than not the entries start with “I have nothing to say today.” Yet every day I push through and talk about anything from laundry and chores to art projects and blogging. I write on good days and bad. I am my own biggest cheerleader and worst critic.

    In the end though it’s worth it. When I write I have clarity. A quiet in my head that lets me focus on my day – my inner critic has had a chance to speak his piece and now I can move on and create.

    For More Information:

    You can download the first chapter of The Artist Way here:

    If you don’t have journaling software you should check out 750words.com – a free, completely private online service made specifically for a morning pages style brain dump.

    About The Author: Jessica Alvarado is one of the creative forces behind C. Johannesen Jewelry .  She is a passionate maker, who loves pottery, film photography and being a mom.

    You can connect with her on twitter or via facebook