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If Time is Money, How are You Spending Yours?

This blog post comes as a result of a networking meeting I went to where the facilitator asked – What are the most pressing issues in your business? With each answer to this question there was some discussion and when one person answered that she struggles with time management – we all jumped in asking questions and providing some solutions to our own time management issues.  We were off to discover how we each could benefit from the tools and techniques that the other people in the group had to offer because time management is a big problem for all of us.

This plan works great for someone who has a virtual office if you stay on task. Working from a home office can be a little distracting if you are used to being in a regular office setting, but hang in there and you will conquer this change. You might even find it to be your new norm.

What is the solution to this problem?

As I began contemplating writing about this topic I thought ” I’m such a fraud, what do I know about time management?” I can be so easily be distracted by incoming emails and phone calls that by the end of the day I look at my to do list and wonder what did I really accomplish and where my day went. So, with that fraud mentality in mind I set out to do my research and discover…. “What is time management and How can it be Managed?”

I read articles and listened to webinars and podcasts, good time management is obviously a system of organizing one’s time. Because of the depth of this subject I will break the information into three blogs:

Blog #1 How my research changed the way I now successfully manage my time.

Blog #2 A deep dive into productivity tips and the tools that can help manage our time effectively.

Blog #3 How successful businesspeople manage their time and how we can use these tips in our business

Developing a Personal Time Management System

  1. Determine how I was spending each day from the time I got up to the time I went to bed. This took some thought considering each day I have different responsibilities:
    • Monday: Office day, plan the week.
    • Tuesday and Thursday afternoons: Pick up my grandchildren from school spend the afternoons and evenings with them.
    • Wednesday: Client 1-1 and client calls
    • Thursday: Attend weekly Neighborhood NAWBO meetings as Board Chair.
    • Friday: Reviewing the week – replying to emails and following
  2. After I took a deep dive into how I spend my time I decided to identify the MIT’s (Most Important Tasks) or (Most Important Times) in the schedule each week. The MIT’s were suggested by one of the people at the meeting as her way of accomplishing her tasks. I turn off all distractions, yes all electronics, emails, music, etc., for 60 to 90 minutes in order to research blog topics, create an outline to teach a class, video content, client presentations, etc. It’s amazing how much I can get done in that period of time.
  3. Mindset: I decided to change my attitude, my current behavior, my current way of thinking about how I manage my time or let my time manage Yes that’s critical, I had to embrace this new way of dealing with time and accepting it as my new life if I was going to accomplish my goals (goal setting is another story to be left for a different blog).

My New Life Planner

I opened my Google Calendar and set to work creating a schedule for myself that I call my New Life Planner. This is it!

  1. Add the tasks that are the most important to me each week like Picking up my Grandchildren from school and meeting with clients.
  2. Add commitments I have made – the days and times of meetings and networking events and follow up calls and emails.
  3. Schedule time to connect with current clients and identify which ones on which days.
  4. Develop new clients through Digital Marketing.
  5. Time for writing blog posts and continuing to learn by listening to podcasts and webinars.
  6. Time to read and respond to email each day.
  7. The MIT’s for each day need to cover how I want and need to spend each day from morning to evening: time to get up, exercise, be at my desk, eat, meditate, listen to webinars/podcasts, blogging, weekly business meeting, etc. I plugged in all of the things that I would do daily including how much time I would allow for each task. Time blocking.
  8. Set aside time to add new projects.
  9. Allow buffer time for things like haircuts, Dr. appt., dentist, picking up the mail, etc.
  10. Review daily to do list against priorities and allow only 3 – 5 items a day, at most or I’ll be back to the same old behavior.

As of this writing, My New Life Planner is going well. I’m finding I’m getting more done with less stress. I’ll send an update as time goes on. In the meantime, I’ll be working on my time management blog post #2 and the tools that I find most effective.

Let me know what you are doing to keep your time manageable and what tools you are using, I’d love to share them with our readers. This plan works great for someone who has a virtual office, as working from a home office can be a little distracting. Hang in there and you will conquer this change. You might even find it to be your new norm.

I’d love to hear from you.
~Julie

Is your digital marketing in check?

Have you taken the time to review your digital marketing strategy for 2020? Do you even have a strategy? If so, is it on auto-pilot? Be honest! So many businesses get their digital marketing in focus and then leave it like it’s going to live and breath on it’s own. That’s not the best policy and it won’t get you very far.

Did you optimize your website pages? You rock! Got your social media profiles looking good? Awesome. Google My Business set-up? Yes, ok perfect. Got that automated email campaign triggered? Way to go! Google Ads on auto-pilot? Woo-hoo! 

The problem with setting your plan then walking away is this will only get your business so far online. Initially you will be killing it, but soon your competitors will chase you up the rankings and pass you right on by. Your digital marketing needs to be tended to regularly, just like your garden. When you leave it alone you miss out on opportunities to engage with your customers, show them your latest offerings, and stay in front of the likes of Google, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Without regular engagement, all of the algorithms will filter your content out and your profile(s) will drop off the face of the internet. 

To help you out with this common problem, we put together this handy checklist for you to go review at your next marketing meeting.

  • On Page Keyword Optimization:  Have you reviewed your pages? What about the new ones? Have they been optimized to target specific keywords? What are the latest keyword phrases your ideal customer is searching for?
  • Website Errors:  Do you know if/where there are errors on your site? This is common. Broken links, blank pages, expired SSL certificate, and duplicate content pops-up regularly and is more common the larger your website is.
  • Incoming Links:  Are you keeping on top of your incoming links? Did you know that there is such thing as bad incoming links? Yep, bad sites linking to you can really send a bad message to Google and will cause your rankings to decrease.
  • Google Apps:  Have you checked in on your Google business page? Considering that most people use Google to find businesses online and locally, it’s so important that your business is up to date. Search Console, Analytics, My Business, and Ads all need to be reviewed monthly. 
  • Social Media:  Are your profiles up to date? Have you responded to all of your messages? Are you posting several times a week? Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. all need regular attention or your content will not be showing up on anyone’s feeds. 
  • Blogging:  Are you adding new, interesting, and relevant content to your site regularly? Not only do your customers want to see that you are the experts in your industry, but search engines want to see it too! When you stop adding new and relevant content, you will surely see your rankings drop quickly while your competitors’ (who ARE blogging) rankings are climbing up right on past yours.
  • Email Marketing: Are you engaging with your customers? Sending them a message tailored to their needs? Email marketing is the perfect way to stay in front of your customers and keep the conversation flowing. Stop email communication and your customers will soon forget about you and will quickly find what they need from your competitors. 
  • Photography & Video: Have you spent some time creating new visual content? YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest are soooo popular right now. Why? Visual content! Customers want to see current and relevant photos – especially non-stock photography. Invest in visual content and your customers will LOVE you for it!

Hopefully this helps you stay on track with your digital marketing strategy in 2020. Keeping all the balls in the air is a tricky process, but so very important for you to be found online. Contact us if you have any questions or need any assistance with the checklist above. 

 

2019 Year in Review

Welcome to 2020! A new decade. How exciting!

Have you reviewed 2019? What successes did you celebrate? What were the big takeaways from your marketing efforts? How did you stay on track? What did you cut?

We’d love to hear about your big wins and what didn’t work as well as you’d hoped – we are always looking at ways to improve our services and how to improve digital marketing for our clients.

And the biggest question… What digital marketing tools will you be focusing on in 2020?

When planning for the year ahead, it’s important to stay on top of current and upcoming trends. Experts across the globe are all talking about the trends listed below. Let’s get the conversation started & see which of these would be best to grow your company!

Looking forward & trends to follow in 2020:

  • Authenticity
    Getting found on social media is becoming more and more difficult since competition is fierce and channels are requiring businesses to “pay to play”. To get yourself noticed, being authentic is key. Consumers are wise to fake content (ie. “fake news”) and want to learn the real story about a business when doing their research. Let’s discuss your ideal customer and how you can be most authentic in their preferred social spaces. 
  • Google is still #1
    Yep, Google is still King. Surprise, surprise. People love using Google and it will be a long time before Google isn’t a daily household name and a consumer tool. That means that you need to work hard to make sure Google notices your online content. Showing yourself as an expert on your website is your 1st priority. After that, let’s figure out where your online presence can be improved and make it happen.
  • Faster Website = Better Placement
    Search engines AND consumers LOVE fast websites. Computers and internet connectivity are faster than ever and consumers don’t have time to wait. If your website takes any time at all to load, you will be lost in the dust. Your customer has a very short attention span and you need to cut through the internet clutter with a fast loading website + Google will award your handsomely. We have the tools and tricks to speed up your website, let’s work together to get you up to speed.
  • Targeted Email Marketing 
    Are you talking directly to your customer? Targeted email marketing is the best way to get in front of your customer and engage them in conversation about your products and services. Implementing it takes strategy and skill. Let’s get the ball rolling on your 2020 email marketing campaigns.
  • LinkedIn is a Good Place to Be
    LinkedIn is a perfect place for you to connect with business professionals. It is an under-utilized social space where you can easily stand out and get noticed. Connect with referral partners, find employees, and have a discussion with your ideal customers. Let’s take a look at how LinkedIn can work for your business. 
  • People LOVE 😍 Videos
    YouTube is growing by leaps and bounds. Consumers are watching more and more video content on social media channels. Videos are smaller, allowing them to easily be shared by peers on phones and in apps. Video content is huge! Connect with consumers by showing your real, authentic self, and showcasing your products and services. Let’s take a look at your business and see how video would work best for your brand – we can show you how to do it easily!
  • Podcasts Build Credibility
    Become internet famous! Being interviewed on a podcast shows your customer that you are the real deal and an expert in your industry. This is also a great way to show your authenticity (see above!). Use a podcast to shout your brand from the rooftops and engage your ideal customer on another form of digital media. 
  • Facebook Messenger Chatbot
    Looking for a way to stand apart from your competition on Facebook? Trying to engage in conversation with your prospective customer? Chatbots are all the rage. Engage with consumers right from Facebook and have a real conversation with them about your products and services, while using it to build your email list. Let’s set one up and keep the conversation flowing!

We hope this list helps you zone in on your digital marketing strategy in 2020. Staying on top of these trends will be important in the months to come – you can be sure your competitors will be!

Best Wishes & Happy New Year,
Julie & Britta

Have a website to redesign?

Website Designs are very personal.

Your website is the face of your company to the world.

If your website is done correctly it can be an equalizer, a way you and your competition can appear on the same playing field and it allows you to send any message to your customer. This is an opportunity to provide a look into your business that is not even available with a brick and mortar store.

Website redesign is also very personal considering this is not your first website design rodeo. A website redesign is done for a variety of reasons, but often it is as simple as bringing an old website current with a design and content that fits your current business model.

Designing or redesigning a website is not rocket science but it is very close to it even if the process is quite different from each other. However, the most important part of the process is communicating with the client. Communicating is the difference between success and failure in website designing.

We always begin our process of website designing and/or redesigning by Listening! We listen to the client and remember to incorporate our education and experience into the process because it is really important we help our clients by bringing the client needs to showcase their products/services.

After the first steps of listening to our client, we then move forward with the project and keep our client informed along the way as we make forward progress.

The most important part of the Design/Redesign of a website is that we work together on the project at hand so all parties are ultimately satisfied with the end result.

What is Digital Marketing?

What it is and why your business needs it.

Digital Marketing is the catch phrase for all of it – Internet Marketing and Social Media Marketing and Search Marketing. 

Have you ever gone on the internet to search for a business only to discover that you have to wade through pages of listings and then you come up empty? Your customers are going through the same issue that you are – think of your customers as you. There are ways of fixing this and it’s called Digital Marketing.

We provide the solutions for you to connect to your customers and isn’t that what you’re looking for? You want to be able to run your business without trying to figure out to market it.

However, before you start marketing your business on the internet or other channels, you need to make sure your website is setup with all of the correct content and backend linking for proper functionality. Your ideal clients are just waiting to connect with you but in order to do that they have to find you first and that’s where we come in – from how your website is built to the content on it so the search engines are able to index it. Once that’s done it’s time to let your customers exist through the digital marketing channels.

We are here to help make your business life easier – No stress. No fuss. Let’s work together to end your stress with digital marketing.

The 4th Quarter is HERE!

Where are you with your marketing goals?

Have you stayed on the path you started in January?
OR… Did you sway?

What can you squeeze out of these last 90 days?

Can you make some new goals?

What have you learned about your company? What about your customers?

Roadrunner Remodeling Construction

Roadrunner Remodeling Construction – Located and doing business in Fountain Hills and Scottsdale

We built them a responsive, expandable, mobile friendly website which we host and maintain. Creating and implementing Social Media Marketing to drive engagement and reach their ideal clients. Ongoing website optimization for the best ranking factors.

Phoenix Precast Products

Phoenix Precast Products – Located in the North Valley.

We built them an e-Commerce, responsive, expandable, mobile friendly website with a shopping cart for the purpose of online shopping and being ranked by the search engines and found by their clients.

Imagine Architectural Concrete

Imagine Architectural Concrete – Located in the East Valley

We created and are implementing Social Media Marketing to drive engagement and build a community around the company. Writing blogs and adding them to their website linking to interior pages. Ongoing Search Engine Optimization for the best ranking factors.

Booth Built Patio Products

Booth Built Patio Products – Located in the West Valley.

We built them a responsive, expandable, mobile friendly website for the purpose of being ranked by the search engines and found by their clients. Designed, wrote, and implemented e-Newsletters. Wrote and added blogs to their website. Updated their website photo gallery. Managed their Social Media Marketing to drive engagement.