5 Small Business Productivity Hacks

Wanna say goodbye to free time, juggle multiple irons in the fire, and wear waaaaay more than 17 hats? All you have to do is own a small business. For most of us, small business ownership is a one-woman-show in the early stages. That means you need to put systems in place that help you function as efficiently as possible. These five productivity hacks will help.

Use Technology To Your Advantage
Be on the lookout for software and apps that help you stay organized, time-conscious, focused, and productive. My preference is always for tools that let me schedule tasks like social media ahead of time and ones that give me plenty of set-it-and-forget-it options. That includes autoresponders that send emails out in a drip series and eBooks that generate sales and download automatically.

Tackle Simple Tasks ASAP
It’s easy to ignore no-brainer tasks when they come across your desk, but ignoring them can lead to an alarming build-up in simple tasks. Take care of simple tasks as soon as they land in your inbox. That can give you a quick break from more intensive tasks and help avoid that dreaded overwhelm when they all add up and send simple out the window.

Outsource. Outsource. Outsource.
Play to your strengths, do the things you’re a natural at, and outsource all the rest. Think outsourcing is expensive? Look at it this way. Outsourcing accounting and tax management to a pro can save you not only time, but also aggravation if the IRS starts picking on you. Outsourcing content creation has the same effect, but without the potential tax penalties.

Work In One Central Location
I learned the hard way that a billiondy client emails and requests per day can drive you absolutely mad – especially if there’s more than one team member working on a project or with a particular client. Try all-in-one team workspaces and project management tools, like Basecamp or Huddle.

Make A Preemptive To Do List
I’m a list girl. I LOVE lists and I live by them. I have a trick, though, for keeping my day organized – I create my to do list the night before. That lets me focus on the day ahead, do a little future casting, and still have some semblance of a life. Try it!

Those are my five favorite productivity hacks. What Jedi mind tricks and awesome apps and software do you use to keep yourself organized and on track? Share them in the comments. You might just inspire a fellow business owner.

10 Ways To Find The Right Freelance Copywriter For Your Small Business Blog

Running a small business, joining the ranks of burgeoning entrepreneurs, and launching a startup are challenging yet amazingly rewarding undertakings. Small business ownership is not for the faint of heart! In fact, it’s a surefire way to wear far more than seventeen hats.

One of the ways entrepreneurs juggle all the balls they have in the air is by outsourcing a variety of tasks, including their blogs. Here are ten reasons you should outsource yours, too.

  1. Outsourcing your blog frees up time to let you focus on the core competencies you bring to your business.
  2. Choosing a freelance copywriter to create your blog posts is an affordable way to work with an expert writer.
  3. Using a wordsmith to tell your brand story is a powerful way to grab the attention of your target market.
  4. Having a small business blog is absolutely essential in the digital and Internet age. Your target market looks to your blog for witty, engaging, valuable content and resources.
  5. Outsourcing your blog can be a short-term or long-term commitment – whatever fits your needs.
  6. Professional copywriters can strategically insert your keywords into your copy and improve your SEO rankings.
  7. Content helps establish your expertise, build brand recognition, and drive customers to your blog or website.
  8. Content is too important, and drives too much market share, to ignore.
  9. Content pros usually have a faster turnaround time because they have skills and expertise that let them get your content created quickly.
  10. Outsourcing offers an amazing return on a worthwhile investment.

Whatever you decide to do to keep your readers regularly engaged with your brand, you’ll love the affordability of using a blog as a compelling marketing tool.

 

Why Great Business Minds Should NOT Think Alike

Great minds don’t think alike – and that’s a good thing. A collection of great minds thinking differently, about the same subject, committed to a productive outcome is better than a group of people yes-ing similar ineffective thoughts and unproductive actions.

I love being an entrepreneur. Owning my own business allows me to manage my time effectively while maximizing my income. I love it. Until it’s time to market.

Marketing is a challenging, taxing everyday component of doing business. It’s unavoidable. Doing it strategically and successfully is paramount toMarketing strategically and successfully is paramount to staying top of mind with your target market. Click To Tweet staying top of mind with your target market. Here’s the thing – because it’s an everyday activity, it can quickly become boring, staid and unproductive. What do you, as a small business owner, do when you hit a marketing snag?

Turn to other business owners.

When I’m in the room with a dozen fellow business owners and they’re all putting their collective years of skill and experience along with a fresh perspective – fantastic combination – to work on marketing and sales strategies to grow my business, I feel energized and encouraged. I’ve been amazed at some of the simple marketing ideas and outlets I’d overlooked. I’ve also been impressed by sophisticated strategies I didn’t know I could implement on my own. Effective marketing is a team effort. So many minds looking for the same successful outcome from differing perspectives and stages of life and business is what makes marketing truly sing.

The best part is that, conversely, I get to do the same thing for them. Initiating marketing ideas, assisting in event creation and scheduling, refining a target market and providing a compassionate, listening ear for fellow entrepreneurs on the road to success is a win-win-win situation.

Call it what you will – Mastermind, Think Tank, Meetup – these groups foster accountability, facilitate growth, spark imagination, foster creativity and harness the power of connectivity. Can your business use marketing help or advice? Consider joining The Women’s Business Mastermind Exchange for our upcoming meeting.

Happy Business!!

5 Totally Free Online Tools That Will Supercharge Your Blog Posts & Web Content

1. Dictionary.com
This cool tool lets you check pronunciation, spelling and more. You can even use it to correctly spell the word misspell.

2. Thesaurus.com
I’m a word junkie and I love this tool that lets me find words with similar meanings without making my writing sound redundant.

3. Grammarly.com
Grammar snobs (I admit to being one of them) won’t have a thing on you with this helpful editing app. It finds – and corrects – up to ten times as many grammar errors as traditional spell check.

4. Bib.me
This is one of the best bibliography creators around. It creates bibliographies in multiple formats. If you’re writing anything from academic papers to books to magazine articles, this is the tool for you.

5. LitLift.com
This powerhouse app lets you write, edit, organize and store your work online. It offers writing guides and a great community of writers to keep you motivated.

So, there you have it. My five favorite online tools that help get my writing juices flowing. You’re all out of excuses now, so get crackin’ and let me know in the comments section if you have other online tools of our trade.

Happy Blogging!

3 Reasons Freelance Writers Should Blog

I make my living as a freelance copywriter, blogger, and web content writer. For years, I didn’t blog. Once I did start blogging, it was with a very hit-or-miss tempo. Don’t do that. Blog in a way that suits you. For instance, while I have a blog site, I also blog right here on LinkedIn Pulse once a week. Here are my top three reasons freelance writers should blog somewhere and on a regular basis.

1. Blogging Builds Your Brand
Blogging is an excellent opportunity to reach readers, writers and influential people in your chosen genre. Click To TweetA blog also provides you with a plethora of writing samples (see point 3) which will be requested every time you go after an assignment. A blog is also an excellent way to give readers a sample of what you can do.

2. Blogging Showcases Your Genre(s) And Style(s) Of Writing
If you follow my blog on LinkedIn (the one you’re reading right now), you’ve surely noticed that my preferred blog writing style is lists with short paragraphs and solid content. Selecting and perfecting your niche will help you connect with your ideal audience, position yourself as an expert in your field and increase awareness of your skills and know-how.

3. Blogging Builds Your Stash Of Writing Samples
Writing samples are the meat of every freelance writer’s resume. This is easier to do if you choose a writing niche and stick to it. Doing so not only allows you to go after the right assignments, it also lets you tailor your blog posts to the specific needs of potential clients.

There you have it. Three good reasons blogging can enhance your freelance career and increase your income. Here’s a bonus reason: At the end of a year of blogging, you can compile your posts into a book or ebook. Stay tuned!

Happy Writing!!