How I’m Starting My Online Ecommerce Business Today! – MIHM112

How I’m Starting My Online Ecommerce Business Today! – MIHM112

Listen Here

Subscribe & listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Sticher or your platform of choice. Click Here to access all links.

Links Mentioned in This Weeks Episode

Customer Avatar Worksheet – Digital Marketer

Shopify

99 Designs

Your Lifestyle Business Facebook Group

Read Here

Back in 2015 my partner & I started a business selling products on Amazon. Kitchen products to be precise.

Within one year we had grossed over a million bucks with just one product.

In the following years we grew our product line and our revenues so much so that I packed up work for a couple of years to focus on my health & my daughter.

However after two years of lunching & brunching I realized this was not my destiny and earlier this year relaunched my Jo Barnes Online brand as Your Lifestyle Business.

My mission is to arm action taker with the tools, strategies and inspiration to build a business you can run from anywhere in the world whether that be your kitchen table or a beach in Fiji.

For those of you listening who have been part of my journey for the last 10 years you’ll know this isn’t my first rodeo.

I made a very nice living between 2010 & 2016 which is when I stopped working from video courses, ebooks, membership sites, affiliate sales etc.

But when I relaunched this year I wanted to do something different. I didn’t want to charge for the education part of my business. I really believe that information on it’s own is readily available for us now everywhere we turn.

Just search up ‘How to Start an Ecommerce Business’ and a gazillion free posts & videos will pop up.

My goal instead is to utilize my education as my audience building tool and make money via ecommerce pursuits, books (I really want to become an author), possibly retreats in the future and along the way some well researched, well positioned and very valuable referral offers.

So, I’m about to launch my first experimental ecommerce store using Shopify. The goal being to build my own store and educate the members of my FB group as I go with over the shoulder videos, posts, and lots of discussion.

If you’re not a part of the FB group then do come and join is. It’s free!

Join Here – https://yourlifestylebusiness.com/fbcommunity

I’m not going to launch on Amazon because even though it’s a cracking site to start a business, it’s not very exciting, you have limited control and I want to play with print on demand & drop shipping.

And having built the Shopify store for our kitchen products brand I know my way around the platform a bit and it’s a lot of fun!

So here is my 12 step plan for launching my new ecommerce brand! Exciting!

Step 1 – Choose your business / niche.

Whether you choose to sell on Shopify or Amazon picking a niche is so important.

If I could go back to 2015 when we started on Amazon, the one thing I would change would be to have picked a niche that we were passionate about, that we could have built an audience around, that we could have created content about and that we could have talked about all day long.

The mistake is just to go for a niche because it’s popular. That will get you so far, possibly even 7 figures far on Amazon, but the landscape is becoming so competitive, the more passionate you are about a niche and the more you build an entire brand around it the better an advantage you have.

I honestly believe that micro brands are the future.

Amazon has completely cornered the market for the one stop shop where you can find everything you need.

My personal recommendation would be to get very specific with your niche and start a store in one narrow area, such as yoga pants or a specific type of sunglasses or a particular type of water bottle etc.

Some great examples are;

https://www.blissworld.com/
https://www.dick-moby.com/
https://esqido.com
https://www.totallylashedup.com/
https://mahabis.com/
https://getrest.co/

My brand is an outlet for my ‘female empowerment’ passion. It’s called Legends Not Ladies, quote by Stevie Nicks and is a hat tip towards feminism I guess (am not a feminist per say). But I do have a desire to be apart of the female empowerment movement and thought his would be a great outlet to support women everywhere.

It’s also an experimental brand as I want to have a play with print on demand and drop shipping, neither of which are ideal long term options for me.

Print on demand suits creatives and artists more as the profit margins are tight so if you are the designer your outlays are less.

Drop shipping has long delays between ordering and receiving and you cannot always test the quality of a product. Plus there is no uniqueness. You are simply advertising someone else’s product and saying it’s your brand.

For a long term sustainable ecommerce business you want to be private labelling products and branding them with your own brand and even better, creating products which are completely unique to you.

However both of those require purchasing and holding large quantities of inventory and so to begin with we’re just going to pick the low hanging fruit to get a hang of the business model without too much risk.

Step 2 – Purchase domain

Ok so now you know your niche you can do steps 2, 3, 4 & 5 in tandem or in any order.

Step 2 is to decide your name and purchase the domain.

The name of my brand is ‘Legends Not Ladies’ based on a quote by Stevie Nicks. I love it!

It’s created mixed emotions in my community with comments such as the ’not’ part is negative and ‘why can’t we be both’, but this is where you have to go with your own gut instincts.

I believe if I named my site Legends & Ladies or something similar it would just be another vanilla brand in a sea of vanilla brands.

Legends NOT Ladies has a bit of oomph about it. It’s a bit contentious and has an air of feminism which I’m not particularly affiliated with, but I do like the connotation so I’m sticking with it.

Don’t spend too long here. You could spend months trying to think of the perfect name and domain. Just pick something you think could work, not too complicated, fairly easy to type and go for it, even if you can only get the .co or .net version.

People find websites via links these days so .com is nowhere near as important as it used to be.

Step 3 – Create brand outline – avatar, colours, feeling etc

Pretty important step is to decide who you’re selling too.

I talk a lot about customer avatars and truly there is no better explanation online that Digital Marketers customer avatar worksheet I recommended in last weeks podcast.

Just go to digitalmarketer.com and search for Customer Avatar worksheet or see the link directly under the podcast.

Once you know who you’re selling to, you can start to think about your brand colors, the feeling you want to portray on your site, how you want your site to look.

The best thing to do at this stage is to have a look through other ecommerce websites and make a list of ideas for your brand.

Just google ecommerce website examples or head over to the Shopify blog for loads of ideas.

Step 3 – Decide what you want to sell.

What products will you sell?

This will depend largely on the niche you have chosen.

For example if you have chosen the jewelry niche because you make it, then you’ve decided the product before the niche.

Let’s say you decide to go into the pet niche, there are so many ways you could go; outfits for dogs, pet food, safety products, training products, grooming products.

I would say start small and scale.

So for instance my brand is about female empowerment so my growth strategy is as follows;

1. Print on demand – T-shirts, pillows, bags, shoes, mugs, journals etc with empowerment quotes
2. Drop shipping – Jewelry / Stationary
3. Private Label / Own products – Journals, diaries, stationary, bags
4. Affiliations – books, other people’s products
5. Not for Profit – Ideally the end goal is to use the site as a vehicle to sell products made by women in developing countries funded by micro loans.

If we take the pet example, you could start with outfits for small dogs, then move into say harnesses, then maybe add safety products, then training products, then grooming products etc.

Or you could stay with just outfits and become a dog fashion store.

The choice is yours, go where your passion lies. (Hence my brand leans towards stationary, I love it!)

Step 4 – Choose how you’re going to obtain your products.

As I said in Step 1, you have a choice between Print on Demand, Drop Shipping, Affiliation, Private Label, Manufacturing Your Own Goods.

Only you can decide which business model suits you right now.

Print on Demand means that you just need to design the artwork and all the products will be printed and shipped directly from the manufacturing company.

Drop shipping means that you advertise the product, the buyer purchases it and you them purchase it from the manufacturer who then sends it directly to the buyer.

Arbitrage means you buy things cheaply and sell them for a profit. So you may head down to your local stores at sale time and stock up just to sell at a higher price later from your own site.

Affiliation means that you advertise other peoples products and get a commission for every sale you make. Be careful with this one as profit margins will be low.

Private Label is where you source products in bulk, usually 5,000 or more and brand the product with your own brand name either directly on the product or on the packaging.

Manufacturing your own goods says what it does on the tin. You would design and then find a manufacturer to make your own unique branded products. To be truly unique you’d need to go down the route of patents etc or the manufacturer can just sell your design to someone else by the way.

I know it’s a crooked world!

Step 5 – Decide where you’re going to sell.

Locally? Internationally? In just one specific country?

Again this greatly depends on the niche you’re in and the business model you choose.

I have a friend I’m working with who wants to open a clothing store and she has all the clothes in her home which she had designed and made a while ago for another project she was working on and once she’s sold those she has a manufacturer she knows who she will continue to source clothes from.

She will wrap and ship the products herself so she will start her site selling only locally to ensure the system of shipping etc works, that she’s profitable and then we’ll look at expanding her reach.

You may find that print on demand is too expensive to ship internationally. I’ll tell you more when I’ve had a play.

Drop shipping most products will probably come from China so you should be ok to sell all over the world but to start with you might say just in your home country to test the waters.

If you’re arbitraging it usually means you’ll be shipping it yourself, so you’ll need to bear that in mind.

If you’re private labeling & / or manufacturing it will all depend on profit margins and where you’re shipping from.

We’ll cover this in more detail as we go and grow, but just bear this step in mind.

Step 6 – Create logo & site designs

Alright so with all decisions made it’s time for the fun stuff!

Get your logo designed! (Or design it yourself)

I’m a terrible designer so I paid $299 to 99 designs and started a design competition.

It’s still running at the moment but I’m pretty sure we have a winner. Plus it’s given me some great design and color ideas for the site.

Shopify comes with lots of great free themes so once you’re signed up you can select a theme and then decide the images and colors you want for that theme.

Don’t spend too long here. You could spend months building the perfect site only to sell nothing!

Focus on the products and the sales process, you can tweak and improve the site as you go.

Step 7 – Sign up for Shopify or your ecommerce store of choice.

For my store I will be using Shopify because it’s super easy to use, built specifically for you to sell products & has lots of apps & bells and whistles that connect it to print on demand services, drop shipping services & social media for easy promotions & sales.

Other ecommerce options are;

Woocommerce
Bigcommerce
Magento

and various others.

You need to research the platforms & decide which is best for you.

Right now though I’m signing up to Shopify’s basic plan at $29 / month with a 14 day trial.

Step 8 – Add theme / designs / products / payment vehicles

Depending on the platform you choose you now need to add your site customisations such as logo, colours, images, payment vehicles (PayPal, stripe etc) & of course your products.

Make sure you’re in my FB group to watch over the shoulder videos of me adding products & setting up my store!

Step 9 – Go Live!

Yippeee! It’s time to go live.

You can let out a huge sigh of relief, your site is live & now people can come flooding to your gates…..

Wouldn’t that be nice!

Step 10 – Create IG / FB / Pin – pick one as your main one

Nope. Now the site is live it’s time for the hard work to start.

Here are 3 steps to get you started but I’ll discuss launch strategy & promotion in another podcast.

Firstly create a social media account / page, whether that be Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, you choose.

Pick just one as your main account.

You can setup apps that copy your content across to the other accounts just for when you get started. You can employ a team later to really start to cover all angles.

I’m starting with IG.

I’ve found a name & created an account & bio – you can check it out & follow if you like. The link is in the show notes.

Step 11 – Populate with cool content pertaining to brand

Start posting valuable content!

My strategy is to gather together lots of awesome quotes from lady legends across the eras, add them to nice backgrounds or photos & start posting.

I’ll also start to recommend books, websites, articles & podcasts created by legends!

Plus of course I’ll gradually be feeding in images & links to the products on the site.

Step 12 – Begin building your audience

Here’s we start to get super juicy.

With our valuable content we will start to build an audience of people who resonate with our brand.

Then we’ll create a freebie or two to encourage people to join our email list.

Maybe it’ll be a discount or a digital product that complements our products.

But the goal will be to begin building our community of potential buyers.

Then we’ll up the ante with more content, co promotions, influencer marketing and paid ads.

But that’s enough for now!

Summary

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s episode & it’s given you the steps & the impetus to get going.

If it all sounds too scary just start with baby steps.

Step 1, Step 2 etc.

Bite it off in small manageable chunks.

And remember be sure to join my FB Community to watch my over the shoulder training videos as I post them.

In the meantime, Live Life on Purpose and of course as always Make It Happen.

Thanks for listening, speak again next week.

Jo :)

10 Steps to Building Your Freedom Lifestyle Business

10 Steps to Building Your Freedom Lifestyle Business

Listen Here

Subscribe & listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Sticher or your platform of choice. Click Here to access all links.

Links Mentioned in This Weeks Episode

Ep110 – What Business Should I Start

Customer Avatar Worksheet – Digital Marketer

How to Hire an Awesome VA

Your Lifestyle Business Facebook Group

Read Here

Over the last 10 years we have had the fortune to live in or visit over 30 different countries.

We have traveled with wild abandon dragging our little daughter with us for the most part, slowing only when it was clear that school agreed with her & she should stay in one place for a while to make the best of it.

We still go away every holiday & I continue to travel at other times through the year.

This has only been possible because we started a business back in 2010 which we could build & manage completely online. Since then we have gone on to create two life changing businesses and have plans for many more.

In last weeks episode – ‘What Business Should I Start?’ I shared with you the different types of lifestyle businesses & how to decide what business you should start if you’re currently unsure in which direction to go.

Today we’re going to explore the 10 steps to building your lifestyle business no matter the model you choose.

Let’s begin.

Step 1.

Know the business you are in.

Too many people start with ‘I want to make money online’

‘Doing what?’ I say.

‘Making money online!’

There is no such thing really. The internet is a tool to help you reach a much larger audience with your product / service / brand.

So you have to have a business idea to start.

As an example I’m currently launching two businesses.

One as an author, in that I’m building an audience who will hopefully buy my books I have yet to write.

Secondly an ecommerce business selling physical products.

Both require roughly the same 10 steps I’m sharing with you today, starting with the fact that I know what my business is.

If you’re not sure what your business is then listen to last weeks episode.

Step 2

Know who your business is for.

Who do you want to serve? Who do you want to work with? Who is your ideal client / customer?

The online world is incredibly competitive and so to stand out from the crowd we need to be speaking directly to our audience and if you don’t know who that is you can’t talk directly to them.

I know this is scary as you feel by targeting one group of people you’re eliminating or alienating another, but it won’t actually work like that in practice.

You will begin to attract the very audience you desire plus people you never thought you’d resonate with because you’ll be found easier.

You’ll cut through the competition far easier and do you’ll automatically have a lot more exposure.

I highly recommend ‘The Customer Avatar Worksheet’ on the Digital Marketer Blog.

The post gives a detailed explanation of creating your ideal customer avatar along with an accompanying worksheet.

Step 3

Start building your audience.

You know there’s really no hard & fast order for some of these steps.

You can start with a product or not.
You can start with an attractive email list building offer or not.

The key is to start whether you have anything to start with or not. Which is why I start content.

Choose your platform. Don’t try to be everywhere all at once, you will burn yourself out.

Do you want to be a blogger, a YouTube, a podcaster?

Perhaps you want to be an Instagram influencer or an expert on FB lives.

Go where you think your audience might be.

If through doing your avatar you think my audience watches YouTube vids & browses Pinterest then vow to master YouTube then Pinterest.

If you think your audience prefer blogs & Facebook then master blogging then FB.

I tend to pick a platform so moving forward for me it’s podcasting & a social media outlet to promote my platform so I’m liking Instagram at the moment, so that’s where you’ll find me!

Start to create quality content consistently and getting it out in front of your potential audience and you will start to gather an audience.

Please note quality trumps quantity. Take it from me.

I have tried quantity but unless you have your own digital marketing agency & a 24/7 videographer it’s tough so go for quality.

The secret to quality? Be valuable.

With every content piece you create ask how you can add maximum value.

Step 4

Create a community.

So rather than just relying on organic shares of your content, begin to grow an engaged community by building an email list and / or inviting people into a Facebook Group.

Your community are your feedback mechanism, your marketing army, your core buyers & a lot of the time become your friends! 😀

Sure you can run ads to the new yoga pants you’ve just launched on your site but imagine you had an email list of 50,000 people all receiving your free yoga vids in their email every week and discussing / chatting with other community members in the group!

How likely is it that a large percentage of community members will order your new yoga pants?

Pretty high I would say!

Plus they’ll tell you how well they fit, can you add another colour, another size, another style. In fact could you also offer tees & socks etc.

They are walking talking market research!

The best way to build a community is to offer something of value for free.

So for example I’m about to start posting ecommerce training videos in my FB community for free, you just have to join to access them.

I will then at some point ask you to sign up to my email list to get notifications of new videos, worksheets & extras etc.

One of the fastest ways I built my email list in the early days was through webinars, so don’t be surprised if a few webinar invites don’t come your way in the future.

There are a multitude of ways to build your community each one deserving of an episode all on its own. More to come.

Step 5

Build Your Asset Base

Simply put nows the time if you haven’t already to add whatever it is you’re selling.

So if you’re selling information products you might sell a video course, an ebook, a book, a membership site etc.

If you’re a coach you’ll be selling your coaching services.

Ecommerce – your products.

Influencer – your audience, your sponsorship deals.

SAAS – your software etc.

As I said in Step 3, there’s no hard & fast rule as to the order of these things.

Perhaps you had a product all along & then began to build your audience. It’s entirely up to you.

For my new ecommerce brand I will be promoting products & building my audience at the same time.

For my book, I won’t launch it until I have a bit of an audience to launch too.

It really depends on your goals and end objectives.

But all I can tell you is the stronger & more engaged your community, which by the way is directly correlated to how much value they feel they receive from you, the easier you will find it to promote & sell your product / service / brand.

So even if you start with a product, it’s important to be offering that value & building an engaged community at the same time.

One of the things that makes selling on Amazon so much easier than your own ecommerce store is that they’ve already done all that community building for you.

So you now just need to put your product in front of their audience.

(Quick note, to be continuously successful on Amazon though it would do you well to build your own audience. It’s a very competitive marketplace and you can easily get knocked out if the way by someone with more money than you!)

Step 6

Master Marketing!

The quickest and easiest way to get your products / services / brand & content out into the marketplace is to use promotional techniques to do so.

Whether that be SEO, gaming social media algorithms, co promotions with other marketers, paid ads etc.

You need to be promoting even more than you’re creating.

If you publish a video on YouTube other than getting the tags right, your title, description etc you need to be adding a segment on your social media channel of choice, sending out to your community, trying to get other people to promote it for you or running ads & promotions to it.

The same for your podcasts or blog and / or your products & funnels.

The best content & products in the world are no good if they’re not seen.

So almost from the getgo you need to be looking at creative ways to get your brand / content in front of your target audience.

The first step is in knowing where your audience is which we touched on in Step 2.

The second step is being uber valuable as that will attract people to you & encourage word of mouth.

Then it’s using all the resources available to spread your message.

Once again this section is both long and wide so we will hone in on some great marketing & promotion techniques in various future episodes.

Step 7

Add systems & a power team.

By now you will likely be exhausted!

You’re creating a podcast a week, trying to encourage people to join your community & nurturing them with valuable & consistent content, building out products and utilising marketing & promotion techniques.

You just don’t have the time or the energy to do it all!!!

Now is the time, if you haven’t already to put in place your power team.

To start with you might only have one other person on your team.

I grew my digital marketing business to a very healthy high six figure business with only 2 other full timers & some freelance contractors and we built our Amazon business to 7 figures with only 1 virtual assistant.

So you don’t need hundreds of staff to make it much easier on you to do what you must do.

I say what you must do because it’s important you hold on to the tasks that really only you can do, unless your long term goal is to exit out of the business completely which is a different discussion.

But most of my audience are building smaller lifestyle businesses and turning passion into profits so I imagine there’s a part of the business that’s yours and yours alone.

For me that’s content creation. Writing, recording, posting.

That’s not to say it won’t change in the future but you must ensure you start by delegating the lower level tasks out to your team freeing you up to do the important money making tasks.

Not sure how to get started hiring a VA? Here’s a post I wrote a while back complete with a job description and a robust hiring process – How to Hire an Awesome VA

Step 8

Continue building & nurturing your audience & community.

This is one of the greatest mistakes I’ve seen online entrepreneurs do & I myself have made this mistake in the past.

Just because you’ve had a few sales or a success launch or your ad strategy is working doesn’t mean you should neglect your community & current audience. They are the core of your business and as such demand your best attention.

But like all of us they have a multitude of things happening in their lives vying for their attention at all times.

Neglect them and they will neglect you.

I don’t know about you but I hate the promotions I see banks do all the time.

X% off for new customers. Then you call up having been a loyal customer for years, ask for a similar discount and get told it’s only for new customers!

There’s something distinctly wrong with that picture!

Nurture your community. Keep adding value where you can. Listen and act on their feedback and acknowledge their importance in and too your business.

The more you look after your community the faster you will organically grow as they will be recommending you left right & centre to everyone they meet!

Plus it just makes you feel really good yourself to be a part of such a positive & friendly community.

Step 9

Add further income streams.

Be super careful with this one as you don’t want to grow too fast.

I know that sounds counter intuitive but if you don’t have the systems or resources in place & suddenly catapult your business into high growth you could find yourself unable to meet commitments, dissatisfactory customer support & a reputational crisis on your hands.

Once you are satisfied that your business is running well and you want to up the ante you can begin to add alternate streams of income.

So if you sell stand alone video course, you could wrap them all up into a membership site.

Or you could start as an affiliate marketer & add your own courses as you go.

You could add more product lines to your store or more stores.

Perhaps you add a backend educational product to your front end product store.

There’s a whole stream of ways you can begin to add different revenue streams it will depend on your business & model.

But in all my years of doing this I have always found unless you’re starting with a solid team and plenty of financial resources it’s best to start small and grow as you go.

As I said in Step 7, we built our Amazon business to 7 figures with just one product and over the following two years grew that to 50 products but the sudden growth in product lines actually caught us out and we had to quickly scale back of risk losing growth in our whole brand.

Sometimes less is more!

So analyse your business as you grow. Listen to the feedback from your community so that you can provide what they’re asking for and grow slowly but surely.

Seth Godin said ‘The shortcut is usually the longest route’. Meaning that 9 times out of 10 when you try to shortcut something it usually takes you far longer. I wholeheartedly agree!

Trust the system & stack your income streams one by one.

Step 10

Have fun!

This is meant to be fun!

I know business can be stressful. Learning something new can be stressful. Stepping out of our comfort zone etc etc.

But at the end of the day why do it if it doesn’t bring enjoyment to your life?

There are so many ways these days with the emerging ‘gig’ economy to make a bit of extra money to supplement your income so if you’re in this just to make money then starting & growing a business may not be for you.

But if you have a hobby or a passion that you’d love to share & monetise then building a lifestyle business is the way to do it.

The end result is doing what you love every day, and earning enough to do it from wherever you want whenever you want.

Summary

So there you have my 10 steps to building your Freedom Lifestyle Business.

I do hope they’ve proven useful.

Thanks for listening and if you get a moment I would so appreciate it if you could rate & review the podcast on iTunes.

Have an amazing week, life life on purpose and of course Make It Happen!

Jo 🙂

What Business Should I Start?

What Business Should I Start?

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Read Here

Do you know you want to start a lifestyle business but are stuck for ideas? Perhaps you’re low on cash, time, self belief?

Whatever it is one of the issues facing you is the sheer amount of opportunities now available to us.

Where do we start?

In todays episode of Make It Happen Monday, I’m answering an email I received from a lady called Sarah who asked this very question – ‘What business should I start?’

Here are my top 3 tips for hacking away the jungle of information surrounding you and making your way out into a sunshine filled clearing with decision and precision in mind!

Enjoy!

Hello! Welcome to Make It Happen Monday.

I had a great email a couple of weeks ago from a lady called Sarah who said;

‘I’ve been following you for a couple of years and everything you put out is fantastic.

I’ve been looking at different online businesses, but find it challenging on which to start.

I have very little disposable cash to invest. Can you advise me what you think would be good to start.

I need to be doing something that brings me the lifestyle like yours.’

Great question Sarah, but a toughie for me to answer as it really depends on your time, resources, passions, skills, interests etc.

But I thought I could give some suggestions that might help you in the decision making process.

There are literally hundreds of lifestyle business ideas you could start tomorrow ranging from dog walking to ghost writing to digital marketing, selling on Etsy, building websites etc etc.

But almost all of them can be categorised into the following areas;

1. Freelance Services – virtual assistant, marketing agency services, building websites, etc.
2. Information Marketing – online courses, ebooks, affiliate marketing, books
3. Coaching / Consulting – one to one, one to many coaching services
4. Ecommerce – selling physical products online – Shopify, Etsy, Amazon, Ebay etc
5. Influencer Model – Sponsorship / product endorsements etc
6. SAAS – Software as a service – Software, apps etc

There may be the odd outlier but most fall under one or more of these 6 categories which helps when thinking about which model suits you the most.

So here are three steps you can take to really hone in on the the type of business you’d like to start and what that business might be.

Step 1.

Focus on the process not the result.

Your objective might be to create an amazing lifestyle where you travel the world and work your own hours as and when you want to, but focusing on that will only take you down scammy rabbit holes following people and programs who sell you the dream, not the reality.

Your lifestyle will be a direct result of the effort you put in and the value you bring to the table.

So what are you interested in or passionate about?

What hobbies or interests do you have which could be translated into a business opportunity?

Do you love entrepreneurship in general (like me) and want to help businesses grow?

Do you make beautiful jewelry or clothes in your spare time which you’d love to sell online?

Are you a natural cook and would love to teach people how to make cakes, or vegan food, or Indian food or healthy meals for kids etc.

Do you love Yoga and believe perhaps you could become an online Yoga instructor.

It all starts with what you love to do, what are your hobbies and do they correlate with a gap in the market or an area that you believe you could really add value.

Step 2

If you’re still not sure and can’t think of something that really floats your boat, then look at the available business models as laid out at the beginning of this podcast and in the show notes accompanying this episode.

What business model excites you; blogging, being an influencer, offering a service, selling physical products, building a brand etc. If there’s a model that excites you then you can learn a new skill to adapt to that model.

For example, you could immerse yourself in Facebook Ads and become a FB ads coach.

You could immerse yourself in graphic design and become a graphic designer.

You could immerse yourself in ecommerce and start an online store in a popular niche as I have done.

You could become a podcaster and interview people in a specific niche, build an audience and make money from sponsorship.

The ways to build a business are endless, you just have to decide on something (even if it’s not quite the right thing for you just yet) and go for it.

Have a look at my Make It Happen Monday Episode 84 – What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do

It’s the story of how I got going even though I wasn’t entirely on the right path at the time. It’s better to be moving and switch lanes than to do nothing and just think about your goals.

Step 3

If by this stage you are still undecided – although I would hope you might have one or two potential ideas by now – focus on who you’d love to serve.

Sometimes deciding on ‘who’ we’d love to attract / impact / serve with our business can help us decide what business to get into.

Foe example perhaps you’d love to inspire Dads who work too hard to manage their time better and focus on their health & families more.

Perhaps you’ve just navigated your way through your kids teenage years and feel you’re well placed to help parents with teenage kids survive the onslaught! (I’m speaking as a Mother of a new 13 year old here)

Maybe you’ve just had a baby and suffered with postpartum depression and would love to help other new Mums cope.

The opportunities are endless my friend, so you have to decide on something and then go for it.

Next week I’m going to run through the 10 Steps to Building Your Lifestyle Freedom Business from the Ground Up which pretty much applies to all of these business models so between now and then jot down some business ideas going through the 3 steps I’ve shared today and then after the next episode you will be able to formulate a plan and the one that gets you the most excited to follow the plan is the winner!

Yippeee!

I do hope todays episode has helped.

Thanks for listening and if you get a moment I would so appreciate it if you could rate & review the podcast on iTunes.

Have an amazing week, live life on purpose and of course Make It Happen!

Jo 🙂
 

Why You’re Never Too Old – Make It Happen Monday Episode 109

Why You’re Never Too Old – Make It Happen Monday Episode 109

Do you ever find yourself thinking that you’re just too old for all the change in the world and that the online world particularly is for the ‘young’uns’ nowadays?

I’m not going to lie, as someone hurtling towards 50, I have my own moments of doubt.

But this morning a beautiful quote popped up on my computer screen & I wanted to share out with you.

Enjoy, I hope it inspires you to take action today!

Watch Episode 109 Here

Listen to Episode 109 Here

Download the Transcript Here

Links Mentioned in the Video

Your Lifestyle Business FB Community

Your Turn

Never leave the scene of learning without taking massive action! What will you start doing today to live the life of your dreams?

Go for it my friend! 😀

Please share with your friends if you think this Make It Happen Monday episode has been useful and of course have an amazing week, live life on purpose and Make It Happen.

Thanks for watching!

How to Deal With Crippling Self Doubt – Make It Happen Monday Episode 108

How to Deal With Crippling Self Doubt – Make It Happen Monday Episode 108

So what do you do if you suffer with crippling self doubt?

So much so, that it’s stopping you in your tracks. Stopping you from getting out there and truly being who you want to be and doing what you want to do?

That was the question in an email I recently received from a member of the YLB Community.

In this weeks episode I’m giving you three tips you can start to practice today to eradicate or at least minimize your self doubt and start taking action on your dreams.

Watch Episode 108 Here

Listen to Episode 108 Here

Download the Transcript Here

Links Mentioned in the Video

Your Lifestyle Business FB Community

Your Turn

Never leave the scene of learning without taking massive action! What action can you take today to start moving forward towards your dreams?

Remember YOU CAN!

Go for it my friend! 😀

Please share with your friends if you think this Make It Happen Monday episode has been useful and of course have an amazing week, live life on purpose and Make It Happen.

Thanks for watching!

How to Generate an Endless Supply of Content Ideas – Make It Happen Monday Episode 107

How to Generate an Endless Supply of Content Ideas – Make It Happen Monday Episode 107

Watch Episode 107 Here

Listen to Episode 107 Here

Links Mentioned in the Video

Your Lifestyle Business FB Community

Episode 105 – How to Create a Super Simple Content Strategy

Are you stuck for content ideas for your service based business?

Perhaps you’re a social media manager, run FB Ads, build websites or manage email marketing and communications for clients like the lovely Helen who asked – ‘do you have any tips on creating content for those of us in a service based business.?’

‘E.g, I do email marketing for small businesses but they don’t want to know about email platforms they want to hand that over (hopefully to me) so what kind of content could I create for them?’

Great question Helen and in todays episode I’m going to give you my top 7 ways to generate an endless supply of content ideas, regardless your business type, niche or target market! 🙂

Without a doubt one of the most important things we need to do as online business owners is to build an audience no matter what business you are in.

Whether you sell services, products, courses, books, sponsorship. I haven’t come across an online business model yet that does not require you to build an audience of some kind.

And the best way to build your audience is through super valuable content.

By valuable I mean either; educational, entertaining, inspiring or solving a problem (or all of the above). Most content falls under one or a mix of those categories.

But how do we keep coming up with valuable content ideas day after day, week after week?

Well my friend you do not have to do it alone!

In this generation of big data, all the inspiration you need is at your fingertips.

Here are my 7 awesome ways to help you generate an endless supply of content ideas no matter your niche or target market!

1. Head to Quora.com

The internets biggest Q & A site, simply type your keyword into the search box and see what questions pop up.

When I typed ‘email marketing’ here’s what came up;

Do you think email marketing is important for your business?
When is the best time of the day to send out e-mails for maximum response rate and visability?
What is a successful cold email marketing strategy?
What is the biggest nonsense in email marketing?
Email Marketing: What are some free alternatives to mailchimp or Aweber?

A constant supply of interesting questions, you can answer via your content, asked by real people!

2. Join Groups

There are so many specific interests groups on FB with people engaging and asking questions everyday.

When I type in ‘email marketing’ to FB and hit ‘groups’, there are communities with anything from a few hundred to tens of thousands of members.

You can bet your bottom dollar there are interesting discussions and questions being asked in some of those that you can use for inspiration.

3. YouTube

An endless supply of content inspiration, type your keyword into the search bar and see what pops up!

Email Marketing Secrets
Email Marketing for Beginners
Best Email Marketing Software

And the list goes on and on.

If you add some more keywords such as ’strategy’ or ‘tips’ you get even more results;

Email Marketing Strategies With Copying
Email Marketing Best Practices & Tips 2019.

So many titles you can tweak and make your own for your blog posts, podcasts, FB Lives etc.

4. Google is Your Friend

Type your keywords in Google and see what comes up.

The term ‘email marketing’ brings up thousands of pages of ideas, instantly showing you what makes the SEO grade also, which is handy.

All you have to do is work out how you can make your content better and tweak then title to make it relevant to your business and your audience.

For example, the top ’non paid for’ result for email marketing is;

‘Email Marketing Made Simple’

So your post might be;

‘Email Marketing Made Simple for Online Coaches’ or
‘Email Marketing Made Simple for Fitness Professionals’

Depending of course on your target market.

5. Make a list of competitor & collaborator blogs / sites

Who do you admire in your niche?

Which site / brand would you most like to emulate (in your own unique style of course)?

Make a list of sites you enjoy visiting and use these as a content source of inspiration when your ideas have run dry.

Don’t ever be a copy cat of someone else, but there’s no harm in getting ideas from the content they’re creating.

Also look at the comments from their community. What questions are they asking? What is it your target market want to know?

6. Listen to Podcasts

Type your search term into Apple Podcasts and you’re guaranteed to find a plethora of podcasts pertaining to your niche.

You only need to subscribe to one good one to generate hundreds of potential ideas. (Although feel free to subscribe to more)

You can look at their titles, or listen to the episodes and create a few ideas per episode depending on the subject matter etc.

7. Use a blog post title generator

By now you should have hundreds of ideas, but if the well has really run dry, then use one of the sites below to help you come up with some super groovy titles.

Just type in your main keywords and let the site do the work for you!

https://tweakyourbiz.com/title-generator
https://www.inboundnow.com/apps/kill-writers-block/
https://www.hubspot.com/blog-topic-generator
https://www.portent.com/tools/title-maker

Summary

So there you have 7 practical ways for generating content ideas no matter your business type, niche or target market.

By now you should have hundreds of ideas for interesting and valuable content.

You may even be overwhelmed with ideas!

If that’s the case my bonus tip is to create your content ideas in topics clusters.

So for example you may have clusters such as;

Getting started with email marketing (for beginners)
Email marketing platforms (technical info)
Email Marketing strategies, tips, practices
Case Studies / examples

Then group your titles & ideas into the different clusters, to keep you organized and focused.

Lastly now you have your list of content ideas go back and watch ‘Episode 105 – Creating a Super Simple Content Strategy’ to see how to now create an ongoing strategy of creating and publishing your content in order to grow a huge audience of raving fans!

I do hope this weeks episode has been super useful.

I love receiving your questions, so do please let me know if you have anything you’d like me to cover in a future episode in the comments below!

Have an amazing week, Live Life on Purpose and of course – Make It Happen! 😀

Your Turn

Never leave the scene of learning without taking massive action! What can you do today to start generating content ideas for your business?

Just utilise one of these tips today and create a list of 3 blog posts, videos or podcast ideas for your niche / target market. Decide your deadline to create and get cracking!

Go for it my friend! 😀

Please share with your friends if you think this Make It Happen Monday episode has been useful and of course have an amazing week, live life on purpose and Make It Happen.

Thanks for watching!

Maui, Turtles & 2000 Views!

Welcome to another ‘week in the life of a travelling entrepreneur’!

This week we’ve been in Maui and it’s been a busy one!

A 12 hour day exploring the road to Hana, a sunrise hike, a submarine experience, a snorkel trip, a Luau & surfing lessons!

And we still had time to enjoy some beers on the beach watching the sun go down!

We may have been active but I tell you, I don’t want to be going near any weighing scales anytime soon!

Tacos, fajitas, fish & chips, nachos! Come on America, even the salads are 1000 calories each!

As I write this we’re off to the big island & I’ve decided to become a carbarian for the rest of the trip.

Step away from the carbs Jo!!! 😂

Turtles 🐢

So Hawaii is definitely the land of the turtles. I have never seen so many, on the beaches, swimming past in the sea, while snorkelling etc.

What’s amazing is their complete nonchalance for humans.

They just seem to go about their business and completely ignore the fact we’re there!

I was quite nervous snorkelling close to a beach which was home to an entire group of pretty big green sea turtles.

I didn’t want to swim into one, but believe me they’re much more agile than us in the water and just swim round you!

Beautiful creatures!

Make It Happen Monday

So I had a very exciting experience this week when my latest MIHM episode saw over 2.2k views!

Thank you so much to everyone in the FB group for your comments & support.

Unfortunately after checking the analytics, it seems the video was shown as a ‘suggested video’ to people watching a ‘vivo phone ad’. Therefore on average about 2k views only watched 45secs of the video. Booo 🙁

They don’t know what they’re missing out on! 😂

Not to worry, this time next year it’ll be a million views! (Get it people from the UK!) 😂

However it has made me think about my MIHM vids.

Last week I talked about reducing the quantity of my content to focus more on quality & promotion and moving forward I really want to work on providing super valuable MIHM vids.

I already have a list of great topics to cover in the coming weeks / months but if you have any burning questions you’d like me to cover in a future episode do please let me know in the comments below or at anytime in the group.

Instagram

No updates this week other than to let you know (if you don’t know already), IGTV’s max video limit is 10 minutes.

If you don’t know IGTV is a separate app to IG but connects directly with your IG account by automatically publishing a preview of your video plus your captions & hashtags to your IG feed.

You can upload a video directly to your IG feed but that limit is 60secs & if you want to upload a video to your story the limit is 15secs. Although if you have a longer video you can use an app called ‘Long Story’ to splice a longer vid into short 15 sec clips.

So IGTV is like YouTube for IG but as I said max limit is 10 mins. Don’t sit there uploading and getting rejected all day only to discover your vid is too long! 😜

Summary

That’s it for this week. Have just arrived on the big Island for 9 days, so looking forward to exploring the volcano! 🌋

In the meantime…

Fave Quote

“Don’t let the fear of striking out, hold you back” Babe Ruth

Fave Joke told to me by my 12 Year Old

What’s big, grey & doesn’t matter?

An irrelephant! 😂😂😂

Have a great weekend 😁

How to Feel Super Comfy on Camera (No matter your age) – Make It Happen Monday Episode 106

How to Feel Super Comfy on Camera (No matter your age) – Make It Happen Monday Episode 106

Are you a little (or a lot) intimidated by video?

Does the thought of getting in front of the video camera leave your palms sweating & your pulse racing?

I’m fairly confident when I say you’re not alone in this. The No 1 fear above death is public speaking so it makes sense that video (which in it’s own way is a bit like public speaking) would move even the most confident person a little out of their comfort zone.

And when the face staring back at you on the video is not representative of the 22 year old inside your head, that’s when it can get really tricky.

In todays episode I’m going to walk you through 6 steps to make getting in front of the video camera easier & more comfortable even if you’re not feeling like a spring chicken anymore!

Watch Episode 106 Here

Download Transcription Here

Links Mentioned in the Video

Your Lifestyle Business FB Community

Your Turn

What’s stopping you from getting on camera? How can you get over that and just do it? Let me know via a video if you’re feeling brave, in the comments below.

Please share with your friends if you think this Make It Happen Monday episode has been useful and of course have an amazing week, live life on purpose and Make It Happen.

Thanks for watching!

Shark Cove, What Freedom Means to You & Getting Productive!

Shark Cove, What Freedom Means to You & Getting Productive!

Welcome my friends to another “Week in the Life of a Traveling Entrepreneur’ post!

What a week it’s been!

Happy Birthday Honey!

We started the week last Sunday with Rhetts birthday.

Here’s a little known fact, did you know he is in fact my toy boy?

Yep 4 years younger than I, the lovely Rhett turned just 43 years old on Sunday and for just two months he’s only 3 years younger than me! 😁

We had a lovely day and it was great to celebrate it in Hawaii! 🌺

Presents!

Enjoying a beer in the ocean 😎

Happy Birthday! 🍰

Pillbox Hike & Shark Cove

Mon / Tues was spent exploring & hiking!

It’s amazing how my daughter comes alive when we get her out from behind her iPhone. She loved the Lanikai Pillbox Hike which was a challenging upward, almost rock climbing at points, hike (great fun) and a bit of snorkeling and playing in the rocks at shark cove.

I have absolutely no idea why it’s called Shark Cove by the way. There were no sharks (thank god).

We also saw where they filmed parts of Jurassic Park, the hotel where Forgetting Sarah Marshall (romcom) was filmed & a huge Banyan tree which was used for Pirates of the Caribbean! 😀

Having fun at the top of Pillbox Hike

What a view!

Turtle Bay Resort (Forgetting Sarah Marshall)

Banyan Tree (Pirates of the Caribbean)

Freedom Navigators

So the lovely Tina Sibley is doing an online summit with her business partner Debbie Peck and I was honored to be interviewed by Tina this week for the summit.

She asked me a great opening question;

What does freedom mean for you?

For me it literally means being able to jump on a plane whenever I want to and go anywhere in the world. No ties, nothing to hold me down. As free as a bird.

But it means different things to different people, so I ask you – what does freedom mean to you?

If you’re willing too, please share your answer in the comments below…

In the meantime, look out for announcements from Tina or myself about the summit later in the year. 😀

Productivity & Time

So I had to make a decision this week.

I had to ask myself, is what I’m doing now having the most impact on the growth of my business?

Have you asked that of yourself lately?

Are you spending 80% of your time on the 20% which will have the greatest impact?

Do you even know what that 20% is?

You have to start by knowing what your outcome is.

So first identify your next immediate goals. For me that looks like;

1. Build my audience – objective to grow the FB Group & my email list to 50k combined.
2. Get my ecommerce store off the ground
3. Write a book (already planned and underway)

What I mean by immediate goals, is that these are the first things I want to do before I move on to other goals.

Then once you have these clearly defined, you know you need to do something every day to work towards these goals.

Right now, all of my ‘working time’ which I don’t have as much of as I did when I started out back in 2010 (too busy having fun!), is being spent trying to maintain my daily blogs & weekly MIHM videos.

In fact so much time is being spent in the production of these content pieces, I’m spending no time on the promotion, which is a bit of a waste of solid content!

So for me moving forward, I need to spend more time on creating faster or evergreen content I can promote and that leads to people joining my group or email list, launch my store (already planned for Sept) and use the time I’m currently writing daily blog posts to write my book instead.

Practically that means after 6 months of experimenting with Daily Blogs, I’m reverting to better quality but less frequent blog posts with a call to action. (Probably 3 a week including MIHM, a week in the life & one other ‘How To’ post).

Like I always say, you’ll never know what works and what doesn’t until you get out there and just do it.

Take a moment this weekend to ask yourself, are you spending 80% of your time doing the 20% that will have the biggest impact. Clearly define your immediate goals and then Make It Happen! 😀

Instagram Update

So I’ve finally settled on ‘Planoly’ as my app of choice for Instagram.

I’ve used Later, which really doesn’t have much going for it as an app. It’s great on desktop, but mobile is poor, although their blog has some awesome Instagram tips.

I tried out Plann, which is great on mobile, has stats including best hashtags, activity, followers, time to post etc, but right now does not ‘autopost’. So I have to create the post in Plann and then copy & paste into IG, add location, tags etc, which is just a waste of time in my eyes.

So Planoly wins for now. It looks great on mobile, is easy to use, allows you to create custom hashtag groups and auto posts, so happy days.

One thing I am going to try though. My last couple of posts have been ‘auto posts’ and I have noticed they haven’t quite reached as many people or attracted as much engagement as previous posts.

That could be down to timing, the photos themselves, inconsistency of posting. Who knows. But I will be testing & measuring all of this stuff over the coming weeks.

I have begun to engage a bit more this week on the platform which has definitely resulted in a few more follows and it’s so easy to do! Although you can easily get lost in your feed & stories so be careful of over consumption!!! 😂

Summary

So that’s it for this week. We’re having a chill day at the hotel today and then off to Maui tomorrow!

We’ve had an awesome time here in O’ahu and I would definitely recommend here for a visit if you get the chance.

Look out for Make It Happen Monday on Monday, it’s all about feeling super comfy on camera!

Have a fab weekend.

Jo 😀

How to Create a Super Simple Content Strategy – Make It Happen Monday Episode 105

How to Create a Super Simple Content Strategy – Make It Happen Monday Episode 105

Do you ever find yourself sitting in front of a blank screen or scrolling through Instagram, Facebook or YouTube doing ‘research’ trying to get inspiration for the content you’re going to create?

Perhaps you’re so unclear about what you should be posting, you don’t post anything at all?

In todays video we’re going to knock that out of the ball park. No more listless scrolling or whiling away the hours watching videos and getting ideas but never actually creating anything yourself.

Today I’m going to walk you through 6 steps to a super simple content strategy. 🙂

Watch Episode 105 Here

Download Transcription Here

Links Mentioned in the Video

How to Stand Out From the Crowd When Everyone Else is Crushing It

How to Create Multiple Pieces of Content in One Sitting

Duct Tape Marketing

Your Lifestyle Business FB Community

Your Turn

What do you feel might be holding you back from creating & publishing content? Let me know in the comments below.

Please share with your friends if you think this Make It Happen Monday episode has been useful and of course have an amazing week, live life on purpose and Make It Happen.

Thanks for watching!

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