Tracking your time for clients is a good practice for service providers. But don’t stop by just tracking it for clients. You should also be evaluating and tracking time for your own personal use, too. When you do this, you’ll discover important insights about your business that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
Here are a few questions you’ll want to ask after you’ve been tracking your time for a week or two…
Where Is My Time Really Going?
You’ve been working on launching your e-course for two months and you’re still nowhere near ready. But when you open up your time tracking app, you can quickly see that you spent 14 hours on Facebook or 9 hours tweaking the design of your website.
It’s easy to procrastinate when you don’t have any form of accountability. But a time tracker forces you to look at how you’ve been spending your time. This isn’t about shaming yourself. It’s about evaluating how you’re spending your time.
Instead, focus on being positive. You might say, “I spent ten hours on Facebook last week. What projects would I like to invest those ten hours into this week?”
Are These Tasks Giving Me a BIG Return?
You had a business coach tell you to make 10 Instagram posts each day and you’ve been following that advice faithfully. But when you stop and look at how you’ve spent this time, ask yourself, “Is this task giving me a BIG return?”
If you aren’t getting a good return on the time you’re investing, consider moving your attention to a project that will grow your business, like launching a course or hosting a webinar.
Do These Tasks Have to Be Done by Me?
Some digital business owners get bogged down in doing non-essential tasks that keep them from their important work. For example, if you’re a best-selling author then your most important work is writing that next book. But instead, you’re spending hours every week managing your Facebook group.
But what if you could outsource your community management? You could still pop in daily to stay connected to the group but you could focus all of your energy on that one thing you do well—writing your book. This is the right way you should be evaluating your time.
Is This Task Draining Me?
As you’re reviewing your time tracking, think about how you feel after you’ve completed each task. Did you feel energized and motivated after filming that Facebook Live broadcast? Did you feel frustrated and drained after working on your sales copy?
Pay special attention to tasks that take your energy. Try to find a way to avoid doing them. For example, you could hire a copywriter to handle your sales page or if your budget is tight, consider bartering with another service provider. Then you’ll both get to work in areas where you shine!
If you want to create more of what you want in your business and your life, tracking your time is important. The more you track your time, the better you’ll be able to manage it.
As in any business, you’ll spend a certain amount of time on clients who will never pay you. Really? Gasp!! Not in my business ever! What you say? You mean clients always pay you? Yup, that’s what I’m saying. So, here’s the situation.
Do you realize that…
Website designers quote jobs that never come to fruition? Yes, it happens every day!
Car dealers spend hours chatting up customers who will never buy? Yup, I’ve seen it happen!
Book agents read countless manuscripts they will never be able to sell? Can you imagine this?
And coaches spend time giving out free advice to clients who cannot or will not hire them. Oh, my!
Truthfully, it can be frustrating when you’re in this situation. And it’s definitely a drain on your time and energy, right? But there are some things you can do to eliminate those who will never become clients without having to spend time with them first.
1) Someone that trusts you 2) They receive value from you 3) A person who will pay you
OK…here are my magical ideas!
Post Your Prices
One of the most hotly debated topics among coaches and service providers is whether or not you should post your prices on your website. There are pros and cons on both sides of the fence, but the biggest advantage to posting your prices is that it immediately eliminates those who cannot afford you. Yes, this is true! If you are not comfortable doing this, then put “starts at”.
Of course, you don’t have to list prices for everything to achieve the same effect. If you offer private coaching and self-directed training packages, having a price tag of $1000 on your “entry level” course makes things pretty clear. Your private coaching is going to be at the high end. And that will eliminate all the clients that are looking for a less expensive option.
And that will eliminate all the clients that are looking for a less expensive option.
If you prefer to quote packages individually, a line that states, “Coaching packages start at $XXX” is a simple way to state your prices while still giving you some flexibility. Right? I mean if you’re going to provide this as a service you need to market it correctly.
Before you get on the phone with anyone, require that they do a little groundwork first. A client intake form should tell you everything you need to know about a potential client. So long before you pick up the phone, do a little digging. What it tells you the most, is how much work they’re willing to do. Freebie seekers aren’t likely to do the work required. They won’t even answer a simple questionnaire, so those who do fill out your form are better prospects.
So long before you pick up the phone, do a little digging. What it tells you the most, is how much work they’re willing to do. Freebie seekers aren’t likely to do the work required. They won’t even answer a simple questionnaire, so those who do fill out your form are better prospects.
Freebie seekers aren’t likely to do the work required. They won’t even answer a simple questionnaire, so those who do fill out your form are better prospects.
Not only that, but you can include in your form a question about pricing. Such as “What’s your budget for coaching?” Use a pre-defined list of answers that start with “$1,000 and up” rather than letting your potential client fill in her own amount.
And, I guarantee you that those with smaller budgets won’t bother to complete it.
Change Your Language
You know that words have power! If the words you use on your website and other marketing material are speaking to newbies or those just getting started in business, you’ll never attract the audience you’re seeking. Instead of using words like “step by step plan,” say, “advanced techniques.” Rather than talking about “easy systems,” mention high-end, complex software by name. Simple changes can help you to automatically attract the right audience.
Rather than talking about “easy systems,” mention high-end, complex software by name. Simple changes can help you to automatically attract the right audience.
You’ll still spend some time and energy on those who ultimately won’t hire you. But by making these simple edits to your website, marketing materials, and other business systems, you’ll begin to see more high-end clients.
So try it, maybe see if this method works for you. And, as a result, you may just save yourself some time.
I bet fewer of those types of clients you no longer wish to work with will disappear, just like magic! It’s as simple as that! Try it and see if this method works for you.
Remember, if you need help with your business, I’m always available for a FREE 15-minute chat. Just contact me here…I know…it’s a form! What did you expect?? Yes, you are finally finished reading this post. BUT…
Most entrepreneurs realize the enormous amount of efforts to put ahead for their ventures while thinking about their limited financial resources. In my own case, I must admit it stressed me out, especially because I would have to do all by myself. Yes, and most of us start out this way.
At the beginning of any entrepreneurs journey, you can rely on key digital marketing tools that make your life easier. I can attest to that. It’s what makes ya or breaks ya!
And, you can do this without investing a single cent. There are plenty of online tools out there in the virtual world. Do your due diligence and do some research to find the ones that suit you best.
Below is a list of some useful tools that some entrepreneurs use
This by no means is a complete list of the excellent ones on the market these days. But they allow me to keep up with my own lifestyle while keeping my business at the top of the wave. So to speak!
This is one of my favorite entrepreneur’s tool when it comes to Social Media management. The free version allows you to sync three accounts.
Hootsuite allows you to execute your social media marketing strategy literally from your smartphone. You develop posts and schedule them as needed, and interact with others directly from their app or website.
I really like the fact that the tool helps you out to determine the best times for postings according to how active your audience is. In simple words, I don’t need to wake up at 3 am to post on Twitter to target a market that is active on the other side of the world while I am sleeping.
Or when I’m at the beach soaking in some much-needed rays of sunshine!
This one I absolutely love! The Grammarly tool, allows you to improve email writing and keeps you focused on writing your blog posts without the constant hassle of knowing if you’re using the right word in your content.
Great when you’re on a time crunch and for when working on your website. The free version has a plugin that can be installed in Chrome and you can also use it in all your applications you use like Word, Excel, and others. You should really check this one out.
Imagine yourself receiving 50 messages from prospective clients at a time, when you are a solo business entrepreneur. Chattypeople is an excellent solution to that problem, as it will answer queries automatically.
It allows you to intervene, via Facebook Messenger to push customers through the sales funnel. Such a great idea to automate some of the simplest of tasks so this would be a great service to investigate.
Someone once said: “Your life will begin changing the moment you decide that you want it to.” And so it is with organizing too!
I’ve found that the same is true for growing your business. If you want to see different results than what you’ve seen in the past, you must make a heartfelt decision to do things differently. You need to start with making over your mindset and start organizing.
Mental blocks can hold you back and keep you from achieving your goals. When you sit down to work on your business are you clear and focused, or is your mind cluttered with ideas, client requests, overdue items and more?
The FIRST step to achieving your goals is de-cluttering and organizing your mind. When you do this, you’ll be able to clearly define what you want to accomplish and start taking the necessary action to achieve your goals.
It’s a long to do lists. Right? Too many ideas for marketing your business, missed opportunities and a constant state of overwhelm that’s running your life. Don’t you think it’s time to clear out the old and get organized? When you do this, you’ll find that it’s easier to focus on marketing your business consistently and effectively.
Here are seven simple practices that you can use NOW to help you with your organizating:
1- The first thing to do is to document EVERYTHING! Yes, you heard me right…
When your brain is busy trying to keep track of the many details that are floating around your head, you begin to feel stressed out and overwhelmed. Write down everything! Get a notebook if you prefer the pen and paper type of note taking, or use Evernote. No matter how you do it – start documenting every aspect of how you run and market your business. Getting it all out of your head and onto paper is going to relieve a tremendous amount of stress.
Apart from your procedures and to do list notebook, you should create a space where you can write down all of your new ideas. Entrepreneurs have no problem generating great new ideas – but it’s far too easy to forget about them or allow them to distract you from your profit plan. Keeping your ideas in one spot will make it easy for you to refer back to those ideas often so you can actually implement them. Imagine how you can increase your profits when you start taking action on your great ideas?
If your daily task list is in 7 different spots, you’re going to feel distracted and scattered. Keep everything in one list – there are countless options, so just choose one and stick with it! Once you’ve picked the best option for you, commit to using this one system for your tasks and projects. Using a web based system will make it easy to delegate tasks to other people and help you organize an effective system.
4- Plan ahead with your content
Many entrepreneurs feel stuck with marketing because they aren’t sure what to do. Just start with one month – plan out what you’ll be doing in the upcoming month. Pick a date to publish each piece, plan out the theme for your content and jot down some ideas for your newsletter, blog posts or social media updates. When you sit down to write your marketing materials you’ll crank out your content quickly and easily. This will also help you to stay organized.
5- Create a Master Schedule Template
If you find yourself looking back at the end of the week and wondering where the time went, you need to implement this right away! Using a weekly calendar, you can designate blocks of time where you’ll work on certain aspects of your business. For example, reserve Monday from 9 am to 12 pm for marketing, 1 pm to 3 pm for writing, 3 pm to 5 pm for email management and so on. Start by inserting recurring tasks (like client meetings, marketing times, meeting with your coach, etc) and then designate other blocks of time for your other activities. Don’t leave your essential tasks to chance! Make a plan for when you’ll do them and you’ll boost your productivity. Daily Plan Sample [Click to Download]
6- Set clear boundaries
Once you get this support system into place, you need to follow through and stick with it! Commit to yourself that you’ll honor what you’ve set out to do. Turn off email notifications and other distractions. Make sure that friends and family know when you’re available to chat. You can also create accountability for yourself by working with a coach or mentor to help you.
Marketing and growing your business isn’t impossible – but it does require planning and consistency to work. When you de-clutter your mind and organize your materials, you will be able to see the results you’ve been looking for and fully enjoy a successful business.
So, which organizing tip will you implement first? Please share your thoughts with me on the blog!
YOUR “TAKE ACTION” PLAN FOR THIS WEEK:
1. Plan a “brain dump” – Take time this week to get everything out on paper – all of your “to dos,” all of your big ideas for growing your business, all of your client projects – everything. When you write it all down you’ll be able to get it off your mind and develop a plan for getting things done.
2. Get organized – Create digital files on your computer for all your important documents. Also, anything you deem important, such as graphics, articles you need to write, backup files for your website, just to mention a few. I’m sure you can think of others as you go through your computer. You’ll save time each day and boost your productivity just by knowing where everything is located.
3. Master your schedule – Set time aside each week in hourly blocks for all of the things you need to do – including marketing your business. You’ll be more productive, waste less time and get more done.
4. Plan ahead – Write down your content focus for the next month and brainstorm ideas for blog topics, social media conversations and newsletter articles. Then sit down to write at your designated time and get your content into the hands of the people who need you!
5. Set boundaries – Let friends and family know when you’ll be available to chat and commit to sticking with your master schedule. You’ll eliminate distractions and increase your profitability.
GO…Do it NOW! You will be so thankful that you did this for your growing business.
Remember to contact me if I can help in any way. Your business really needs organization and I can provide that service to you.
At the beginning, you start your own business. And you absolutely love it! It doesn’t feel like work when it’s your passion, right!? I know just what you’re thinking…because I thought the same thing. Going into business for myself was the completely what I wanted to do. And I had no thoughts of the big QUIT word!
And then…your passion-based business takes over your entire life and now your business controls you. Isn’t that the truth? I mean, business is supposed to create some freedom into your life. No more boss, the corporate world is gone…life is a JOY once again. So…what the heck happened? I’ll tell you, right here in this post.
The #1 Secret to build and grow and business that aligns with your lifestyle….
Quit doing everything!
That’s right! Did your heart skip a beat just now when I said that? Yeah, I thought so…and I totally understand.
Are you worried that if you stop doing all the to-do’s…your business will shrivel up and die? Ha…I’m rolling on the floor laughing right now. NO, it’s not.
Does the idea of only doing some specific work make you feel like you’re missing out? What the heck are you missing out on? Work you DON’T want to be doing because you’d rather GO TO THE BEACH?
If you are an early entrepreneur, wouldn’t you like to build your business and lifestyle together from the get go? AND… still make a ton of money? I know if I was just starting out in my business I would. I may not know it all, but having your own business and creating a great lifestyle is critical in your decision making.
What if I told you that I can identify the tasks that are the best ones to do first…and the right ones to be done by only you.
When you are working through the process of where you are now and where you want to be, here are some questions to start asking yourself. You’re going to love this! I promise…
What are your values?– You can determine your values by your former actions when confronted with a problem or decision that you had to overcome or make. These are the times that your real values emerge, not just the ones you say you believe in. Look back on your own choices and determine your real values. If you have made mistakes and gone against your core values, identify those times and determine how you can make a different choice.
What are your skills? – Even if you’re not currently an entrepreneur, you already have skills that you can put to use as an entrepreneur. Focus on the deliverables and tasks that you provide your employer without too much help from others. These are the skills that you have that should be the basis of your entrepreneurial venture.
What are your strengths? – You’ve heard the idea that you need to leverage your strengths but how do you even know what they are? Using a self-assessment, you can find out what your strengths are. When you know them, try to be honest so that your results come out realistic. Take off your rose colored glasses so that you can determine your real strengths.
What are your weaknesses? – While you can improve upon your weaknesses, you should first leverage your strengths, but it’s important to know your weaknesses and accept them. If you know for example that you’re always five minutes late, accept it, instead focus on something positive. That doesn’t mean you don’t work on this habit, but don’t focus on it instead of your strengths.
Only when you know who you really are, the good and the bad, will you be able to truly know yourself. And this will help you to create a business and lifestyle you desire. ARE YOU READY?
I know you aren’t going to quit!
Now you know how important it is to Identify your “Uniqueness”so that you can focus on the right tasks and quit doing all the tasks. Because this will only lead to exhaustion and probably failure. That is one of the reasons you really need to hire a Virtual Assistant.