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Hey Partner

I get that it’s hard to trust someone with  something as close to your heart as your business is.

Especially when you feel so grey as to how to direct them so they can possibly understand your message…your brand.

You’re not creative.
You have no idea what your website should look like.
All you really know is how you feel about what you do, what you offer, what you’ve got going on.

FRICKIN AWESOME!

I don’t see all those points as a strike against creating a site that sells you and that represents YOU. At all. So long as you know what your business looks like, how you want your potential clients to feel about it…that’s what we need.

Because that’s the heart and I so dig that. All I need is for you to tell me – NO SHAME – what you’d love your business to be. The why you started. It may not be there yet, that doesn’t matter. Build it and they will come? Ya, that. Click To Tweet

Don’t be intimated that you don’t have a clue about web design. You don’t have to. Just like I don’t need to be able to create your product or service. That’s what this whole deal is about.

Consider me a partner. In a total non-John-Wayne-kind-of-way.

I promise we’ll get there. I’ll ask you a million questions, some may make you uncomfortable, but we’ll get there.

wait…uncomfortable??! Forget it, I’m out!

Hold up. Uncomfortable almost always means growth and getting to where you want to be, so let's embrace it. Click To Tweet All I mean is that I’m going to ask you to really think about why you want a website. Things like this…

How do you want your potential client/customer to feel?

excited?

calm?

educated?

motivated?

What voice are you using?

professional?

personable?

funny?

dry as shit?  (<—we’re going to need to talk about that one)

Ok…so I’ll cut the awkward feel-y BS…just know that I get it. Starting is hard. Reaching out for help in your solo venture is hard.

I KNOW IT. 

But what have you got to lose, let’s do this partner 🙂

 

Trying to get out there in your community? VOLUNTEER!

I believe wholeheartedly that a small business or entrepreneur needs it’s community to survive.

You have to be involved in something. Anything. Big or small, popular or not…getting involved in your community is SO KEY.

Why?

Because you look good if you volunteer.

That’s part of it, let’s be real here. But it’s WAY more than that.

It’s…

Connections

Perspectives

Struggles

Celebrations

Friendships

Peers

The situations volunteering in your community will put you in can teach you a million lessons for your business IF you are paying attention.

So pay attention…

What are some struggles? Can you help? Can you alleviate those struggles in some small way?

DO THAT.

What is your community jacked up about? What’s fun and makes them feel a part of something?

DO THAT.

What messages are groups in your community trying to share? Can you get behind that cause? Lend your time or talent to back it?

DO THAT.

Are you a home based business and are hermitting up? Haven’t washed your hair in a week because you don’t REALLY need to see anyone to do your job?

Here’s the straight truth…

You are probably losing touch with your community and your work (and personal hygiene!) is going to suffer.

Get out there. Get involved. Meet all the people. Embrace the awkward. Click To TweetI guarantee your business will benefit. People hire people. And they can only hire people they know are there.

So get there.

24/7 isn’t working for you.

Here’s the thing about being a solo entrepreneur.

IT’S ALL YOU.

Ever go to bed feeling spent? So frickin spent. Not just tired, but spent. Because you are stretched between work – attaining new clients, servicing old ones, learning new ways to market and life – momming, dadding, wifeing. You want adult time…but then shit. Who’s got energy for that??!

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the I WILL KEEP EVERYONE HAPPY IMMEDIATELY AND AS CONSISTENTLY AS I CAN. Because I am woman, hear me roar! Click To Tweet

Or whatever.

I kind of just wanted to say that hear me roar deal…

But really? You suck. Because all the things are suffering. Because your mind and actions are interrupted, sporadic, and crazed.

So stop it. Serious.

Set regular hours for when your clients can contact you. Don’t be available 24/7. Just don’t, unless lives depend on it.

You have to be connected to other things besides work, to do good work. Whatever “connected” means to you…

… connected to your family

… connected to your social life

… connected to your volunteer work

… connected to your cat

It really doesn’t matter what it is, just don’t let those connections be sacrificed for work. No one is good at giving 24/7 of themselves to their work. Click To Tweet (I actually have no statistical facts to back that up…but it’s got to be true.)

Put it away.

It’s not always urgent.

Go connect.

Instagram & Small Business

I signed up for Instagram because a client of mine wanted it on their website so I figured I’d better check it out. My intention was to use it strictly for business.

ALL BUSINESS ALL THE TIME.

Here’s the thing.

I can’t do that.

Truly, I can’t. And I totally understand why as a small business owner you might be overwhelmed to think HOW am I going to come up with content for that every day without it being a total YAWN? How many images of my product can people take?

I’m with ya. 100%

No thanks.

So I stuggled with that. I locked up my account for a while because I was posting a lot of pictures of my son…which is so unprofessional…right?

Screw that definition of professional.

That may work for some, but not all. And certainly not me if that’s the box I have to be in.

I opened it back up, still feeling like “I wasn’t doing Instagram right”.

Then I started to really think about what I love seeing from other small business (and even big business!) people.  I like seeing their work, their space, their behind the scenes and I love, love, LOVE seeing what they are doing in the community! It makes me feel connected to them. And that’s how I do business.

If you’re struggling with Instagram as a small business owner, here’s what I like to see on there, for what it’s worth…

You…your people…enjoying this community, exploring this city, this province. It makes me interested in you and truthfully inspires me to get out and try different things, to visit businesses I haven’t, and to share with others so they can do the same.

Think of the repercussions of that...if we were all advertising for our city? Click To Tweet

Win win.

Now, go post what you ate today and tag me in it 😉

 

Follow Unlimited BS on Instagram

Customer Service MATTERS!

Last week I was feeling meh. Solution? Shopping.

I started at muse clothing. If you haven’t been…go. Like RIGHT NOW. Awesome selection of clothes that aren’t the same old stuff you see in every second store. The owner, Michelle was there and was super helpful and friendly.

I wanted to give her my money. I felt connected, even a little invested.

Next…I went to Best Buy to purchase a new laptop. I won’t go in to details, but within minutes I had told my salesman I had to walk away because he was irritating the shit out of me…mature, I know, but I was fuming. The new guy sent to help me was fabulous and within minutes, we had decided what fit my needs and I purchased it AND a warranty.

He gave me the interest, the knowledge, and the connection I needed.

Next…GAP at the mall. I had 2 bags in my hands and about 4 items on hangers. I asked the girl for a change room so I could look more. She looked at me…my full hands and responded “They’re at the back”. Geez, thanks. I later heard her tell another shopper that she was actually going on lunch so she couldn’t help her. BRUTAL. Luckily the other girl was super sweet there and smoothed things over.

Customer Service MATTERS.

If you don’t give it, someone else will. We are inundated with options these days…we don’t NEED you. You should feel like you need us…because don’t you?

I think that is where a lot of small businesses rise to the top. A lot of the time, it’s the owner behind the counter or wiping the table. They care.

They cared enough to venture into this crazy world of starting or running a small business, they certainly care whether or not what they have risked so much to bring you…is delivering.

Social Media doesn’t rule the City…or I’d have a cape

Soooooo, now that the Red Deer election is over I’m going to comment. I kept my mouth shut and bit my tongue a LOT which if you know me at all, you know I struggle with that. I’m not a resident of the City of Red Deer (I’m Red Deer County) so here is an outside looking in perspective of what I saw go down.

Twitter and facebook were insane. Good gawd people, I’m ALLLLLL about social media, love it (most days) but would it really be a deciding factor for who would make the best leaders for a community? Ya, ya, I get it, it’s a great way to communicate to the people but let’s remember our Red Deer twitter community is not full representation of the entire city. You can tell me there are 1,000 Red Deer tweeps, but how many of those are active? How many of those interact with candidates or even follow them? Not enough to win an election. Not yet anyway. We are still a small crew in the grand scheme of things.

Being on social media does not mean that person is transparent. FAR from it. You can be whoever you want to be on twitter! I’ve seen it…it sometimes makes me sick to see the phoniness of some trying to come across as kind do-gooders when what they do behind the computer is far, far different.

I saw tweets of people calling out candidates because they hadn’t responded to a tweet within 24 hours of them sending it. Really?? REALLY? Come on. And candidates being cut down for not participating on a facebook group page. Maybe they are out in your community actually DOING things. Or maybe their child is sick and they could care less about twitter or a facebook post at that moment. Or maybe their internet crashed. Using that to discredit them is unfair and immature.

I love the twitter and yes, even facebook…but let’s get real here people. It’s not face-to-face, eye contact, connection and honesty. It is whatever the user chooses to make it.

Perspective. Our small community doesn’t rule the City. But if we did…we might want to consider group capes.

 

Sharing the Road with Cyclists. Teach me.

Do NOT rip me a new one for posting this.

I hate cyclists on the streets.

WHY? Because I have no freakin clue how to treat them! I took Drivers Ed a bazillion years ago and I grew up in the country. No one was riding their bikes in the city and if they were, they were on the side walks.
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The Right Way to Market

I had an experience a week or so ago that I HAVE to share. Why? Because it’s IMPRESSIVE, and smart, and should be shared.

I saw a tweet from Dan Ouwehand…I can’t remember what it was now (sorry Dan!) but it had something about Laebon Homes in it. I didn’t hesitate to tweet that Laebon built my first home & the experience was great. I was a young single girl, no idea what the hell I was doing or what I wanted, just knew I wanted a home that looked good and wasn’t going to require maintenance that I couldn’t afford.

From the Sales Guy to my Project Manager, every one of them treated me with respect, like I was as equal as a family of 10 walking in the door. I think that’s huge, and over the past 11 years, I’ve shared that story a million times.

Point of my story…not even 10 minutes after I tweeted that? An email from Laebon’s marketing department, thanking me and asking me to come by and pick up an Earl’s GC they had for me in thanks for my ongoing support.

AWESOME.

There is nothing unawesome about that. THAT people is how it’s done. What review would you rather hear? Which review would you trust? One that was prompted or paid for, or a genuine unprompted one?

I know which one I’d choose. Lesson here? Reward those who promote you because they love your product. Those people are your billboards.

Thank you once again Laebon Homes for being awesome.

What I Know This Week

  • Sometimes, SOMETIMES, my husband is right. I need more Vitamin D, being outside all day was a refreshing kickstart for my brain.
  • Getting more and more opportunities to work with non-profits makes me giddy. GIDDY.
  • I want someone to ask me about Ghana so I can relive it in stories.
  • I spent last night learning a LOT about Google Analytics & Google in general. That seriously excites this nerd.
  • It’s important to teach your child the correct name for their genitalia from Day 1 or hotdog eating is traumatic.
  • right before I’m finished a website, I get stumped on something and it makes me crazytown, then WHAM, there’s the answer. EVERY TIME.
  • I love Red Deer.

So, what do you got? Learn anything?