Sunday Society Giveaway Winners Announced!

Sunday Society Giveaway Winners

Thank you to everyone who entered this giveaway. Your comments made me happier than an Anthropologie shopping spree (and for those of you who know me well, you know that’s big).

As I read your comments, I made notes so that I could pick the winners. As I finished reading the last comment, I realized that I practically wrote every single name down. I wanted to give everyone a three-month membership to Sunday Society. And, if this wasn’t how I pay my bills, I probably would.

I realized two things pretty quickly: 1) I had to give it away to more than three people so I upped it to five winners. 2) There was no way I could pick so I put everyone’s name in a hat and picked the winners randomly.

If you’re not one of the five winners, I truly hope to see you inside of Sunday Society at some point.

In many of your comments, you talked about feeling lonely, having the Sunday night blues and wishing for regular support and encouragement.

Give Sunday Society a test run (you can cancel your membership anytime), because it’s a program that will help you stay accountable to your goals and connect you with other creatives who are striving for similar things. And, we’re ready to welcome you to the club.

Now for what you’re here for…the winners…

  1. Richelle S.
  2. Fanny
  3. Rebecca Nash
  4. Lucy Newton
  5. Trish from Jewels by Trish

Congrats!

***If your name is on this list and you aren’t currently a member of Sunday Society, please check your email inbox. You’ll receive an email from me by 5:30pm EST today. Welcome to the family! If your name is on this list and you’re a member of Sunday Society, I’ll email you to let you know that I’m cancelling your payments for three months.

Thanks again to everyone who entered!

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Sunday Society Giveaway!

Sunday Society Giveaway

Does this feel at all familiar?

It’s Sunday night and you’re relaxing with your spouse watching some television, but you’re not actually relaxing. Your mind wanders to that icky place.

“Tomorrow morning is going to suuuuuuuck. I’ve got that meeting with Kevin who always seems to have bits of egg yolk stuck in his beard and Emilia who sounds like a squeaking bird whenever she speaks. Then, I’ve got hours of paperwork and emails to go through. I’m gonna need 18 gallons of coffee. Is that pain in my side related to how much coffee I drink? Side note to self: google coffee and kidney problems.”

or

“I wonder if I’ve gotten any sales since I checked 17 minutes ago. If I don’t have at least five sales this week, I’m going to have to cancel my cable but how am I expected to live without Game of Thrones? That’s paramount to torture. Hey…I just used the word paramount on a Sunday night. I’m pretty smart. Wait a second…what does paramount mean? Google here I come…”

or

“I’m actually going to do it this week. I’m going to wake up an hour early each day so that I can write a blog post and add five new items to my shop. I’m not going to hit the snooze button 12 times before realizing that I’ve overslept, which means I don’t have time to eat breakfast or iron my wrinkled top or meditate. Okay…who am I kidding? I don’t ever meditate. I wish I was the type of person who liked meditating. I wonder if I could ever be the type of person who likes meditating…”

If that sounds familiar, you’ve got a case of the Sunday night blues.

Instead of enjoying your night and looking forward to the next morning, you’re worrying about the upcoming week either because you aren’t making enough money or you’re working a day job you desperately want to leave or you need some motivation to get things done each day.

Let me introduce you to Sunday Society: Chats, Tea and Fishtail Braids.

I created a membership program for creatives who are looking to connect with other girl bosses building their own signature empires.

If you’re in need of accountability, we spend time every Monday sharing goals for the week and every Friday checking back in to say if we reached them or not. If you’re in need of people to bounce ideas off of, we have regular live calls where you can hop on with me to get feedback (from myself and the other members). If you’re in need of a mentor who’s consistently hanging around and answering questions, I’m in the Facebook group every weekday and answering questions on the Q&A calls.

Want an opportunity to check it out for free? You’re in luck. I’m running a giveaway for a 3-month membership to Sunday Society.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below on why you want to join or how you think being a member of Sunday Society will help you. The giveaway closes on July 26th at 1pm EST so make sure you leave your comment below before then.

(If you’re already a member, you can also enter the giveaway. I’ll just stop your payments for three months! YAY!)

I’m going to pick three winners and announce them next week on July 27th right here at Blacksburg Belle in next week’s blog post.

***Make sure you use a valid email address when leaving your comment so I can contact you if you win. The winners I choose are final and non-negotiable.

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FAQ Sunday Society Style

10 Most Frequently Asked Question Sunday Society Style

You’ve got questions. I’ve got answers.

Here are most common questions I’ve gotten since opening the doors to Sunday Society: Chats, Tea and Fishtail Braids yesterday.

I hope these answers help you make the right decision.

1. Why should I join now instead of in a couple of months when I know I’ll have more time?

Over 30 women have already joined and they’re getting to know each other in the private Facebook group. Wouldn’t it be nice to join in the beginning instead of joining once it’s grown and you feel kinda like an outsider?

There have been a couple of times that I’ve really regretted not signing up for something sooner, because I could’ve gotten even more out of it if I had started in the beginning. I just want to give you that opportunity.

Of course, you’re welcome anytime. This is not the kind of thing where registration is going to close in two weeks. That doesn’t mean that YOU should wait.

The other big reason you should join now is that this membership program includes monthly challenges and they build on one another—meaning that you’ll get more out of them if you start with month one instead joining when everybody else has completed six of them.

Don’t get me wrong, you’ll be able to jump in and start the monthly challenges at anytime without having to do the previous ones BUT you’ll get more out of them if you start with the first month.

And, if that doesn’t push you into joining, if you join within the first 30 days, you get access to my 365 writing and blogging prompts ($47 value) for free.

Yes, I’m definitely pulling out all the stops. You can’t blame me when it’s because I want you in there! Every single person brings more to the table in something like this.

2. I’ve taken a bunch of online business courses. How is this any different?

This isn’t a course. Some months will include mini courses (20-90 minutes) but this isn’t a marketing or blogging or business course.

The purpose of Sunday Society is to give you a place to hang out with other creative entrepreneurs, to attend live calls and ask specific questions to help you move forward on stuff that’s keeping you stuck, and to get consistent support and encouragement from me and other members.

3. What happens if I join and want to cancel my membership?

I’ll record myself ugly crying and send it to you via email. No, really, it’s not a big deal. You can cancel your membership anytime with a simple email. I mean it. If you realize it’s not the right fit for you, I’m not going to make you prove you’ve watched every video or attended live calls or jump through any other hoop.

That makes this super easy for you to join. If you don’t like it, you can leave but at least you tried it out instead of wondering.

4. How does the monthly payment plan work?

Once you register, you’ll be billed monthly, on that same date each following month (unless you cancel your account). You will be billed from the same source you used to pay the first time–so if you pay via PayPal, your monthly charge will come out of PayPal and if you pay with a credit card, your monthly charge will be billed to your credit card each month.

5. Should I join if my business doesn’t fall into the traditional “creative business” category?

There aren’t any rules. If you write for your business or take photos for your business or anything else that calls for creativity, you have a creative business in my mind. I consider my business a creative business and I’m a business consultant. But, I write and take photos and paint watercolors and design worksheets. I’m creative and I bet if you take away the stereotypes, you are, too.

6. Should I join if I’m in the very beginning stages of my business—like haven’t even started yet?

YES! We’ve got members who haven’t started their businesses yet to members who’ve been in business for years.

If this were a super expensive program that was time-sensitive, I would tell you to hold off but this is a budget-friendly membership program that can help you despite where you’re at in your business. But, sometimes, hearing and seeing other people doing the kinds of things you want to do can inspire you to finally take action on your dream.

And, if you get in there and three months go by and you don’t use the material, cancel your account and come back when you will use the material.

7. How will I access the live calls?

For now, the live calls are on platform called Crowdcast. Because it’s live streaming video, the faster your internet, the better quality you’ll receive. If you have high speed internet and close out other programs while watching, you shouldn’t have any problems joining and participating in the chat.

8. What happens if I can’t attend a live call at the time it’s scheduled?

All the live calls will be recorded, so you can watch them anytime at your convenience.

If it’s an Ask April call and you have a question or multiple questions (even better, my friend!), you can submit them ahead of time.

9. Can I pay for a full year at one time?

This isn’t a current option, mainly because I want everyone to test it out to make sure it’s right for them. Those kinds of lump payments are harder to refund once a couple months pass. However, I might offer this to current members after a few months in case they’d like to pay for a year at a time and they know they want to stick around.

10. Why should I join your membership program over others out there?

Is there anybody else out there running a membership site who can quote almost any line from Gilmore Girls because she’s watched it so many times, creates pretty worksheets that feature her watercolors and can produce the perfect fishtail braid? I didn’t think so.

But, for a more serious answer, you should join my membership program over others out there if:

  1.  You like my style. Read a few of my blog posts, watch one of the free clips on CreativeLive to see my teaching style, and check out my YouTube channel. Do you think we’d get along? You want to learn from someone that you like (and someone who’s knowledgeable and built successful businesses) and if I’m that girl, join Sunday Society. If my voice is the most annoying sound you’ve ever heard, join another program.
  2. You want to learn how to build an online business (I definitely don’t specialize in brick in mortar businesses) and believe that blogging and email marketing are two important pieces for doing so. If you’re anti-blogs and anti-email marketing, we probably wouldn’t work well together.
  3. You’re looking for a budget-friendly option that doesn’t feel budget-friendly. A lot of inexpensive membership programs don’t include as many live calls or a mentor that actually checks in every weekday. In fact, I can’t name one. If you’re looking for hands on help, you’ll probably really enjoy Sunday Society.

If you didn’t find your question in this list, email me at blacksburgbelle@gmail.com and I’ll answer it.

If you’re already inside, I’d love for you to leave a comment below on your first impressions.

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How to Start Your Week with Energy and Inspiration

How to Start Your Week with Energy and Inspiration

It’s just another manic Monday. I wish it were Sunday…

It’s the beginning of the week.

Your alarm clock blares. You hit the snooze button and crawl further under your warm sheets, pretending for 10 more minutes that it’s the weekend. Maybe you’re exhausted because you partied all weekend (you’re definitely too cool for me if you fit into that category) or your kid threw up in the middle of the night and it was your turn to change the sheets and cuddle him back to sleep or you couldn’t put down that thriller you started reading and stayed up till 3am to find out whodunit (does that happen to anyone else?).

Or maybe…you start out strong. You woke up 60 minutes earlier than normal to get in a 30-minute run. You listened to Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin while doing laps around your neighborhood and you’re excited about what you have planned for the week. But once you flop down at your computer, you get sucked into emails and social media and before you know it, Monday is almost over and you didn’t write 1,000 words or take new product photos or write copy for your upcoming product launch like you had planned.

Or if you’re one of the lucky ones, you wake up on Monday ready to tackle the week, because you love your work, you’ve mastered work/life balance and you’re so motivated you always get your to-dos done plus some. (If you fall into this crazy awesome category, you can skip this post.)

For the rest of us who sometimes struggle with motivation and inspiration, I’ve started a new series of videos called Monday Motivation.

Over the past five weeks, I’ve uploaded short videos to my YouTube channel at the start of the week with the purpose of giving you a boost of energy and motivation.

If you’ve missed them, you can catch up by watching the videos below and make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel so you get notified each time a new video gets published, because I’m continuing this series until at least the end of the year.

Monday Motivation Episode 1: Intro

Monday Motivation Episode 2: Importance of Calendars

Monday Motivation Episode 3: Back to Basics

Monday Motivation Episode 4: How to Get Motivated

Monday Motivation Episode 5: Detrimental Stories

If there are any specific topics you’d like me to cover in this video series, leave them in the comments below.

And, if you’ve been following along with the video series so far, I’d love to know if it’s been helping.

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18 Smart Ways to Use Your Business Downtime

18 Smart Ways to Use Business Downtime

You open your email for the 157th time today, hoping that a new ‘you’ve got a sale’ email is waiting in your inbox.

Nothing.

You wait five more minutes, sipping your peach iced tea and scrolling through your Instagram feed. You press refresh again.

The only new email is from ‘I don’t know how to market my business’ company asking you to place an ad on your life coaching website for recliner chairs.

It’s obviously spam, but you’re a bit desperate for money so you wonder if there’s any way you could accept the offer.

Maybe writing a blog post on how recliner chairs make you happier because they’re so comfortable?

Probably not the best idea.

What about a post on why television really isn’t that bad in moderation?

Yep. Nope. Horrible idea.

You delete the email and pick your iPhone back up. There are 12 new photos in your Instagram feed. YAY!

Many creative entrepreneurs hit a slow patch in the summer.

People are hanging out by the pool, going on vacations, eating dinner on their patios, and barbequing with their neighbors.

Because of that, you’ve got less sales, less blog comments, and less interaction.

It happens to the best of us.

Instead of wasting this valuable downtime, I suggest that you get something done that will make a difference to your business and bottom line.

How to Use Business Downtime

Here are 18 better ways to use your downtime than stalking your frenemies from high school on Facebook and refreshing your email every five minutes:

1. Create extra blog content.

There comes a time in every business when there isn’t enough time in the day to do everything. When that time comes, you don’t want to have to give up doing something that helps market your business. Instead, prep for those overwhelming time periods.

You’re also going to have weeks where you don’t feel like blogging. You don’t have any original ideas. You’ve got a migraine. You want to get a pedicure for your upcoming vacation, so you don’t shock your husband with your overgrown toenails. You’re going for sexy—not scary.

When that happens, you’ll be glad that you’ve banked a handful of blog posts that you can pull from.

Instead of just not publishing something that week (and looking unreliable and inconsistent to your readers), you can pick one of the blog posts you’ve saved for a rainy day.

2. Prep for the holidays.

If you run a business that picks up during the holidays, you should absolutely prep for it during your slow months.

Create extras of the products you sell the most of during the holiday season. Make sure your holiday packaging is ready to go. Get all of your holiday marketing prepped and done in July. (Then, reward yourself with a refreshing mojito. You’ve earned it.)

You’ll thank yourself when December hits and you’ve got enough time to make sugar cookies with your kiddos, because you did a bunch of the hard work in the summer.

3. Create a batch of visuals.

Use this time to set up a bunch of photo shoots. Edit your photos and categorize them so they’re easy to find over the next six months.

If you use other types of visuals within your business (like infographics), create some of those, too.

4. Fill up your social media timelines.

Use those photos from above to plan out your Instagram and Facebook feeds for the next few months.

Then take a day to fill up your Twitter queue with a bunch of content.

That way you can check in each day to reply to comments and to engage others, but your content is already created and scheduled.

5. Create the content for your next launch.

How many times have you launched a product or service and wished that you’d done a bit more?

Maybe you wanted to create a handful of videos for your launch but never got around to it. Or, maybe you wanted to send out a few more emails to your list.

Now’s the time to prep for the next one. Create the content for a launch this fall that will blow your customers away.

6. Plan out the next six months of marketing.

Marketing is one of those things that too many entrepreneurs say they’ll pay attention to ‘later’ but later never comes. If you’ve got a bit of extra time, plan out your marketing for the next six months and get started on it. Go go go!

Day Designer

7. Film and edit a bunch of videos.

If you use videos in your content and marketing, spend a week filming and editing a whole batch of them. It’s just like having extra blog content—you’ll be able to pull from these videos for months, consistently uploading to YouTube or social media.

8. Collect testimonials.

Spend a couple of days collecting testimonials from past customers and inserting them into your product descriptions and autoresponder emails.

People want what other people want and have. Using testimonials might give potential customers that little push to buy from you now instead of later. You never know—this might help you get out of your slow period.

9. Finally put together your sales funnel.

You know you should have a sales funnel, but they’re time consuming to create. Use this time to finally get your sales funnel up and running.

10. Get organized.

Now’s the time to finally organize all your photos into neat categorized folders. Label and group your supplies. Categorize your blog posts. Add keywords to all your YouTube videos. Start a new planner/calendar system.

Figure out what you need to systemize and do it.

11. Re-write old website copy.

If you’ve got website copy shame, you can fix it during your slow season. Work through all the main pages of your website, rewriting them one by one over the course of a couple months.

Look at your older product descriptions and sales pages. Could they use a revamp? Do it now, so that those products sell more when things pick back up.

12. Talk to some of your ideal customers.

When I tell creative entrepreneurs that they need to actually talk to some of their ideal customers to get to know them better, I can tell they want to say, “Who’s got time for that?”

First, if you want to run a successful business, you should make time for that. Second, downtime is the perfect time to do this dreaded task.

If you’re a wedding photographer, attend a local bridal event and talk to as many brides as possible. If you’re a jewelry designer, ask your top five customers if they wouldn’t mind chatting for 10 minutes on Skype or Google Hangouts. If you’re a copywriter, contact some entrepreneurs and ask them if they have a few minutes to chat and in exchange, you’ll give them some personalized copywriting tips.

Don’t put this off any longer. It’s one of those things like going to the dentist–you aren’t thrilled about going but you’re glad once you’ve done it.

How to Use Business Downtime

13. Go through your payment process, paying attention to each detail.

Buy one of your own products so that you can see exactly what your customer sees at each step.

If it’s too complicated, simplify the checkout process. If there’s a grammatical error or two, fix it. If the receipt that’s emailed to customers after checkout sounds robotic because you never personalized it, do that now.

Details matter when it comes to branding, and this is your chance to make sure each detail works with your brand.

14. Survey your customers.

Put together a short survey and send it to your email list. Ask what they love about your brand (so that you can do more of it) and ask what they don’t love (so you can change it).

15. Host a yearly sale.

If you’re running low on sales and you need some income quick, this is a great time to host a yearly sale. Offer your email subscribers a really good discount—one that they can’t pass up and sit back as the sales roll in.

I wouldn’t recommend doing this more than twice a year (and really, I think it’s better as an annual thing), because your customers will wait for a sale instead of buying your products at full price if you have regular sales.

If it’s an annual thing, they’ll probably treat themselves a bit more during that time and still buy your products during the rest of the year.

16. Take a class to improve your skills.

Sign up for the product photography course you’ve been eyeing for the past few months. Tackle that blogging course you’ve put off, because you didn’t have the time until now. Learn some advanced skills in your niche through a local course.

Improving your skills whether in your niche or in business will help your bottom line in the long run.

17. Network with other creatives.

Go to a conference for creative entrepreneurs. Attend local events for your business community. Ask another entrepreneur to go to lunch with you so you can get to know each other’s businesses. Get an accountability partner. Schedule some ‘Skype dates’ each week with other entrepreneurs in and out of your niche.

18. Give yourself a challenge.

If you’re an artist, share a sketch a day on Instagram for 30 days. If you’re a business coach, upload a video a day to YouTube for a month. If you’re a writer, challenge yourself to write 2,000 words a day for the next 60 days.

This will help you stretch your skills and possibly gain more followers if you’re sharing your work daily.

Know that slow periods are totally normal. Everyone has them!

If you’ve currently hit a slow cycle, what are you doing to make the most of it? Did I leave anything off the list? Leave it in the comments below.

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Behind the Scenes: My Website Redesign

My Website Redesign

Website redesign.

Normally that’s a phrase that makes my stomach contract with nausea.

I’ve been putting it off for well over a year. Mainly because I hadn’t connected with the right person for the job. Thankfully, I found her. (YAY Amanda Creek!)

Another reason I’ve been putting it waaaaaay back on the furthest burner of them all is because I despise technical stuff.

Really and truly it’s the part I hate the most (well, second to accounting…ack!) about running an online business.

When I first launched Blacksburg Belle, I did everything myself–the design, setting up the hosting and domain, figuring out the backend of WordPress. That included 23 meltdowns, 19 shots of tequila, and 7 sleepless nights.

After about a year, a website designer contacted me. She was building her portfolio and wanted the chance to redesign Blacksburg Belle. We hit it off and she created my current design.

While I loved it for years, I’ve outgrown it.

Not only that, but website design has changed a ton since 2011. I need a reboot–an updated look.

I’ve known this for about a year and a half, but it’s terrifying to hand over the design reigns to someone you don’t know. There isn’t any trust. Like many of you running your own businesses, trust is huge to me.

I’ve already found myself working with the wrong people in the past. I’ve hired a photographer that wasn’t quite right. I’ve hired a website designer that turned out to be a nightmare. I’ve worked with a makeup artist and hairstylist that did not understand my look at all which ended up with me sobbing for over an hour (ruining the horrid makeup) and having to put off a video team that we were paying thousands of dollars to for a couple of hours and losing that time completely. (Thank you Mayi for hanging in with me during those couple of awful hours. Love you to bits!)

I didn’t want to find myself in that same situation, so even though I’ve wanted to update my website for a while, I’ve waited patiently (most of the time) to find the right person.

I’m sharing this with you, because I want you to know that it’s not always rainbows and big red balloons here at the Blacksburg Belle headquarters.

I struggle just like you–to find the right person to work with, through moments of doubt, to make everything appear as if it comes naturally.

We often blog about the magical moments (and I love those reading about those!) and skip over the rainstorms.

These behind-the-scenes posts give me a chance to talk about all of it: the good, the bad and the nightmares.

When I hired Amanda Creek to redesign my site, I was literally like a five-year-old giddy with excitement. And, don’t get me wrong, I still am!

But, for the past few weeks, I’ve been slogging through the mud to make this redesign the BEST it can possibly be.

I’ve spent waaaaaaay too much time on photo shoots. They took over my life for two weeks. I spent at least 60 hours getting ready, picking out the perfect outfits, taking the photos, figuring out that one of the outfits didn’t flatter me at all, retaking photos, editing the photos, uploading them for Amanda to access, and picking out my favorites. And, I’ve probably spent just as much time on watercolors for my upcoming website–brainstorming, sketching, painting, scanning, and editing.

We started in a direction that didn’t feel quite right so I had to redo all the watercolors I’d already done. (This one was totally on me–not Amanda. And, she’s been great to roll with it.)

Throughout the past month, I’ve also been battling my insurance company. To make a long story short, they don’t want to pay for the only treatment plan any of my doctors have been able to come up with in over five years because it’s very expensive. They’re coming up with every excuse they can think of (short of having me killed) to not pay for it. That’s been really draining. But don’t you worry about me, I’m married to one of the top 100 trial attorneys in the United States (yes…he really did win an award as one of the top 100 trial attorneys in the United States–I’m not just making up crap as a proud wifie even though I’m very much the proud wifie–go hubby go!) and they won’t get away that easy. They better be prepared for war, because we are.

Okay…let’s get back to the happy parts.

Now that I’ve leaped over a bunch of hurdles, I’ve got photos that I’m thrilled with and watercolors that I can’t wait to show you.

The best lesson I can share with you so far is that when something doesn’t feel exactly right, stop right then and adjust. If I said to myself, “Hey self. You’ve already spent hours and hours on these watercolors and editing them in Illustrator and turning them into your new logo. Don’t throw all that away because it doesn’t feel on brand,” then I wouldn’t be happy with the outcome. I know myself too well to know that just because I’ve put in tons of time into something doesn’t mean it gets published.

You would probably be shocked to know how many things I’ve done that have never made it in front of you–blog posts I’ve fired, watercolors I’ve thrown in the trash, photos I’ve deleted, courses I’ve stopped mid-way through production.

When you’re in charge, you can’t get romantic about your projects.

You’ve got learn to be lethal–canning everything that you know in your gut shouldn’t make it in the final edit.

It’s not easy. But, it makes you one heck of a girl boss (yes, I love this term and will continue to use it so #hatersgetlost) when you learn this lesson. It means that the world only sees your best and that is something to be proud of.

Alright…alright…I’ll come down off my inspirational soapbox and show you some behind-the-scenes moments from my website redesign:

First, here are some photos that I adore and am so excited about using:

Website Redesign Photo Shoot

Website Redesign Photo Shoot

Website Redesign Photo Shoot

Website Redesign Photo Shoot

It is taking every ounce of willpower I have not to share more photos. I’ve gotta save something for the website launch but oh my goodness, it’s hard to hold back.

And, this unfortunately, is what happens when you get a little carried away with photo ideas. This will never make it to the final project but I thought you might need a giggle today:

Website Redesign Photo Shoot Fail

Yes, that is silver glitter all over my lips. I must’ve ingested at least a teaspoon of glitter for this shot. Face palm!

But, hey…you never know until you give it a go, right?

Next, here’s one of the watercolors I’ve created specifically for the redesign:

This is it mid-project:

image2

And, here it is almost finished (I haven’t scanned it in and taken off the background yet):

Watercolor for Website Redesign

I hope you love it! I do.

Now, I’ve got to get back to my watercolors if Amanda and I hope to get the website launched anytime soon.

Thanks for all the support you’ve given to me as I’ve shared bits and pieces on Instagram. You have no idea how much motivation it’s given me to get this right. Virtual hugs and kisses!

Comments { 39 }

Tips for Creating a Successful Sales Funnel

17-2

Creating a successful sales funnel isn’t a piece of chocolate cake.

It takes a good chunk of time and effort. But, if you do it right, it can make a huge difference to your income and business.

If the marketing term ‘sales funnel’ is new to you, check out last week’s blog post where I explain the basics, show you an example of a sales funnel and provide you with a workbook to brainstorm one for your business.

If you’ve already read last week’s blog post, play the video below to get more tips and advice for creating a sales funnel that will help grow your piggy bank:

If you still have questions after watching today’s video, leave them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Have you created a sales funnel for your business? If so, please share your experience in the comments. What worked? What didn’t? What tips would you give to someone who’s working to create a sales funnel?

Comments { 9 }

A Sales Funnel Example and Workbook

Sales Funnel Example and Workbook

A sales funnel is not just another marketing term you can ignore.

I know you’d like to, but once you find out how it can help you be less “salesy” in your day-to-day marketing, you might love me for helping you create one for your business.

(Keep in mind that I hate chocolate but love young adult novels when you want to send me a gift when this completely changes your marketing game.)

A sales funnel is a way to collect leads (people who might be interested in buying your products) and turn some of them into customers.

It’s all about getting the right people (aka, the ones who might buy your stuff) onto your email list and getting them to open and read your emails.

If you can do that, you can set up a sales funnel that works for you in the background of things.

Instead of having to work so hard for each individual sale, you’re working hard to get people onto your list (by giving them something for free that they really want) and then your emails do the work for you.

You set up your emails as autorepsonders once and then each person who signs up for your emails gets them.

A sales funnel can work for any type of business from a life coach to a watercolor artist to a candle maker.

It’s easier to show you what a sales funnel might look like then try to explain it further than that, so I’ve created a sales funnel for a jewelry designer.

SAMPLE SALES FUNNEL:

Sales Funnel Examples

Business Overview of Indigo and Silver (which is a made up brand for the purposes of this post):

A minimalist jewelry designer who focuses on creating high-quality pieces that can enhance any outfit. Her pieces are more expensive than a lot of handmade jewelry sold on Etsy but her customers see them as an investment and don’t mind spending more because they only buy a couple new pieces a year. Her customers would rather spend more money on one necklace they love, can wear with most of their outfits and will keep for many years than five trendy necklaces that they might not wear again next year.

Sales Funnel:

Opt-in Freebie: Your Capsule Wardrobe Guide

This guide is a free downloadable PDF that’ll help subscribers design their own capsule wardrobe. Even though this doesn’t revolve around jewelry, it works because it grabs her ideal customer’s attention and she can include her jewelry in it.

1st Email: Free Capsule Wardrobe Guide Inside (sent immediately upon opting in)

In this email, she welcomes new subscribers to her list and provides the link to download the capsule wardrobe guide.

2nd Email: How to Avoid the Top 3 Mistakes When Building a Capsule Wardrobe (sent three days after first email)

In this email, she reminds subscribers to download the guide and goes over the top three mistakes women make when building a capsule wardrobe. One of the mistakes is buying pieces that don’t work with most everything else in the person’s wardrobe. Within that tip, she discusses why it’s better to invest in jewelry that can be worn with most outfits and that lasts for years (aka, her jewelry).

3rd Email: The Truth Revealed: What Retailers Don’t Want You to Know (sent five days after second email)

In this email, the jewelry designer gives subscribers a budget breakdown of someone who buys cheap trendy jewelry versus someone who buys one or two quality pieces per year. It reveals that the person who buys cheap jewelry actually spends more or just as much as the person who buys high-quality jewelry on a yearly basis. The difference is that the person who buys high-quality jewelry keeps her for years and years.

This email reinforces the minimalist mindset which tells subscribers that they’re in the right place.

4th Email: The Story Behind Indigo and Silver (sent one week after third email)

In this email, she talks about why she started Indigo and Silver and the main principles of the brand.

People are more likely to buy from brands that they know, like and trust. This emails helps subscribers get to know the brand better.

At the end of this email, she includes three testimonials she’s received from past customers along with a link to find additional reviews.

5th Email: My Summer Capsule Wardrobe (sent one week after fourth email)

She shares pictures of 10 outfits she can create with her capsule wardrobe for that season, and each season, she switches out the content so that it works for whatever season we’re currently in.

She includes one of her necklaces, a pair of earrings and two bracelets with the outfits to show how her minimalistic jewelry goes with it all.

6th Email: Free Shipping Code for Indigo and Silver Inside (sent one week after fifth email)

Now that subscribers have received a handful of emails and have grown more familiar with the brand, they’re more likely to buy something, especially if given a reason to purchase now. The free shipping code gives them the reason to buy now.

Within the email, she includes three testimonials from past customers.

7th Email: Quiz: Are you an Audrey, Marilyn, Brigitte or Kate? (sent one week after sixth email)

Because people love quizzes and she wanted a fun way to talk about jewelry, she put together a quiz that will tell you whether you’re most like Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot or Kate Middleton when it comes to fashion. And, at the end of the quiz, she links to jewelry (including her own pieces) that best matches those personalities.

8th Email: Top 3 Best-Selling Pieces of Indigo and Silver (sent one week after seventh email)

One of the reasons people procrastinate buying is because they don’t know what to choose. If subscribers have gone this long without buying, showing them the top three best-selling pieces might help them choose what to buy.

This helps them focus on three choices as opposed to the thirty-five choices in her online shop.

As you can see from this example sales funnel, it’s not all about selling.

You want to mix helpful, entertaining content that your ideal customer will love with sales copy, testimonials and reasons to buy now.

I’ve created a mini workbook (hip hip hooray for workbooks!) for you that gives you a few more notes on this example sales funnel and will help you to brainstorm ideas for your own sales funnel.

Sales Funnel Workbook

Download your workbook right here.

Have questions? Ask them in the comments below.

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My Paris Geller Inspired Rant (Get Your Kick in the Pants Right Here)

My Paris Geller Inspired Rant

I woke up this morning in a Paris Geller (from Gilmore Girls) kind of mood.

And, I scrapped the blog post I was going to publish in order to film a rant.

Here’s the thing: I’m sick of all the excuses and complaining. I’m over the ‘I can’t ________’ before you even try it.

We’re blessed to live at a time where we can (pretty easily with all things considered) set up our own websites and sell our products and services to people all over the world. And yet, people still find things to complain about: Instagram changed it’s algorithm. Blogging is hard. This tofu tastes like chunky paste. (Is that last one only me?)

You guys…we’ve got it good.

We’ve got the opportunity to literally make our dreams come true with a lot of hard work, a bit of luck and 27,064 cups of coffee.

If you’re feeling sorry for yourself or coming up with excuses on why you can’t start your business or need a push in a positive direction, watch today’s video:

Mentioned in the video:

  1. Last week’s blog post
  2. Gary Vaynerchuk’s YouTube Channel
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Target Market Basics: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

Your Target Market

Raise your hand if you don’t know the definition of target market.

Raise it high. No need for shyness. We’re all friends here and I don’t know about you but target market wasn’t one of the phrases my parents taught me when I was trying to grasp the English language.

If you’re in the midst of starting a business or learning about marketing, it’s important to take a few minutes to learn the basics about what a target market is and how it can impact your business success. I tried to make it easy on you with this 5-minute video:

I hope that clears some things up for you.

Now that you understand the basics, you need to apply it to your business. Here’s a free worksheet you can download to get you started.

I’ve included some creative ways to think about your target market and ideal customer in that worksheet. It’ll get you thinking in new directions.

Still have questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to my best to answer or include them in an upcoming blog post.

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