MIH 046:5 Ways to Set Yourself Up as an Expert

Are you an expert? If not, what’s stopping you?

Mompreneurs: How to set yourself up as an expert online.

Setting yourself up as an expert online isn’t rocket science, but I admit it takes some leg work.  Running an online business might seem pretty intimidating if you’re unsure of your digital marketing strategy– or how you plan to get known online.  It’s one thing to own a website, another thing to keep it updated, and an entirely different program to use your blog as a platform to display your expertise.

So, what’s stopping you from  setting up yourself as an expert?  Is it fear of the unknown?  Lack of information on how to go about doing it exactly? Fear that maybe you’re not actually an expert?

Let me calm your fears a bit- you don’t have to do much to be an expert. You just need to know yourself.  Know your business. Know what you bring to the table.  And most of all, be confident in your field and in your expertise.

If you’ve done any of the initial groundwork and the laid the foundation for your business it won’t be so difficult to know what your expertise is.  This groundwork includes discovering your passions, setting up your online presence, developing your pricing model, discovering your customer avatar, and maintaining relationships with your tribe. You can find out more in my book. The first step is to acknowledge that you are, indeed, an expert. Then you’ll be ready for the following steps.

1. Crank out awesome content!

Developing an online presence that matters means cranking out awesome content, and on a regular basis. I shared about batch scheduling a few months ago, and it’s one way I manage to keep content rolling at my three blogs.

You’ll need to do a bit of research and find out what your audience likes. You want to give them the kind of content they’re looking for, so keep their questions answered and keep them happy and looking for more from you. There are more ways than one to deliver content (as you’ll see in my following points), but blogging is definitely a great way to start building your expertise online.

There are a few steps to creating a great blog post and it’s necessary to make sure you follow a decent format so that your audience knows what to expect when they read your blog. After a while, once you start getting pretty comfortable with blogging, you might even feel confident enough to reach out to sponsors for support and partnerships which can definitely further your brand a do a lot for your business!

2. Give your audience good visuals.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to maintain consistency with branding and to create visuals that flow well with your brand. I haven’t always done this and I’m guilty of brand conflict.

What do I mean by this?

Well, typically it’s a good idea to have your social media profiles all match with your business brand being the same throughout. I haven’t always stayed on top of this in my own social media profiles and just so you know, it is confusing to viewers who come to my Twitter page and see an entirely different logo than the one they see on Facebook.  So, I’ve gone through a cleaning spree this year to ensure that I get a lot of this brand mix-matching cleaned up.

Another important thing about visuals to note is that when you are blogging you have an important opportunity to capture an audience of image lovers- right there on Pinterest! So, including a Pinterest-friendly image with each post you write is going to be of paramount importance if you plan to incorporate Pinterest into your digital media strategy.  (By Pinterest-friendly, I just mean images that are the best size for Pinterest so that they are more likely to be re-pinned and give you that extra boost of traffic to your blog.) I can affirm that Pinterest works for traffic-building and good visuals make the difference. Your images definitely connect your audience to your brand and help them to connect to you as an expert in your field.

3. Consider public speaking, podcasting, or both!

Public speaking in front of a live audience isn’t my thing, but it might be yours- in which case, you should start booking some speaking engagements! This is probably one of the best ways to establish your expertise.  You’ll have an audience at your fingertips who want to hear from you and they are eager to hear your words.  This makes you an expert.

Since I don’t currently do live speaking, I decided that my best ways to connect with an audience on a more personal level was through podcasting and vlogging.  These two forms of public speaking behind a camera and a microphone have been my way of connecting to moms and entrepreneurs for the past 10 years and it has worked for me. My kids were young and I couldn’t get out and travel so I made the decision to build my business from my laptop.

I LOVE podcasting and vlogging because it’s a significant way to connect to my audience, hear from them, and establish relationships with them (some of whom I enjoy phone chats with or get to see in real life).

4. Take advantage of social media.

I get it- social media takes time. But if you can, carve out a little time to batch schedule your social media posts, using nifty tools like Post Planner or Meet Edgar. With Post Planner I’m able to plan out weeks in advance of Facebook posts and tweets. I use Tailwind for Pinterest sharing also and that has been major for me in driving traffic to my site from Pinterest.

Other social media platforms that have been proven beneficial to me are YouTube (mainly for my homeschool platform) and I use Google Plus for SEO benefits only. The key is to find the social media platforms that work for you and work them.  I don’t especially like Twitter much, so I don’t use Twitter often. I only use what I love and what works for me. Using social media will help to draw your tribe and help you establish your expertise across many platforms.

5. Leverage the power of search engine optimization.

Last, but not least, is the power of SEO.

You don’t have to do it every time you write a blog post (although it’s optimal) but if you have strong search engine optimization habits you’ll land your blog in a better position of getting noticed in Google.

Remember your titles and header tags and to include pertinent keywords in each. Add your keywords in your blog post description and in your images as well. If you need a little help figuring this out, simply installing the Yoast SEO plugin can help you navigate through these steps.

You have an awesome piece of content- so why not ensure Google finds your blog post one of the relevant ones on the topic and rank your site high for it? Just doing a little extra prep work in advance and learning how to use your keywords effectively throughout your blog posts can be extra helpful and go a long way in helping you establish your expertise online.

That’s it guys! I loved sharing this podcast (and blog post) with you and hope that this episode helps you to see yourself as an expert in your field. Leave comments below if you’d like to add to this conversation! I always like hearing from my listeners 🙂

MIH 045:Three Things a Successful Mompreneur Will Do In Her Business

We know how important it is to set goals for our business. Mompreneurs, we know what to do.  We just oftentimes have trouble following through on the “do” part of the equation (myself included!)

3 things successful mompreneurs will do in her business

There are 3 things I’ve noticed that successful people in their businesses overall.

  1. Successful people set goals.
  2. Successful people are consistent
  3. Successful people are relentless

So, in the spirit of hopping right into things, the let’s talk about what each of these three things mean:

Successful people set goals.

It’s not enough to have a dream or a desire.  We have to go after it and actually chase it.  We have to set a goal, then figure out a path to get us where we want to be.  Success is a process and it takes planning.

For me, that means planning out my block scheduling for the week. It means overcoming mom overwhelm and creating systems in order to work around my family.

Successful people are consistent.

In order to be successful at our goals, however, we can’t just stop shy of planning.  Now comes the hard part: getting to work!

Grinding is hard work, my friend.  And the hardest part of all is remaining consistent. If I start a new project, then quit, I’m not consistent.  This will, of course, show up in the lack of fruit of my labors. No labor, no fruit.  No labor, no pay. (Preaching to myself here!)

When we show up for the task, we’ve eliminated half the hard work already.  Simply showing up again and again with consistency proves that we are on the way to succeeding at our goals.

I know this is hard for mompreneurs because we just are so busy. We can’t help it- we wear all the hats (and shoes!) and it’s so easy to drop the ball on what’s not right in front of us. But if we can develop systems to remain consistent we’ll be helped tremendously.

Successful people are relentless

Don’t give up, ladies!  Be relentless by not caving in to the fears of not succeeding.  Being relentless means you sink your teeth into your project and you don’t give up until you see results.

Be fearless!  You can do this. Are you on your way to success?  Do you feel like you’re moving in the right direction with your business goals, consistency, and relentlessness?   Leave a note and let me know how you feel. Resources mentioned in this podcast:

MIH 044:Mompreneur Spotlight: Andrea Thorpe

This was one of my favorite interviews because Andrea and I share something in common as mompreneurs: we both homeschool!

andrea thorpe

Who is Andrea Thorpe?

Why she began her blog

  • She began her blog because  it was only natural to write about her current lifestyle of homeschooling
  • She was having a hard time finding homeschool materials and resources specifically for African American students and wanted to reach out to other moms who were looking for similar resources
  • It started with 12 moms and grew to over 2,000 people in just a few years

What she enjoys most about her blog

  • She loves being able to help and encourage people with topics on marriage, parenting, and homeschooling.  She feels it is important to give back to others and provide assistance to her audience in taking some of the guess work out of the research they are doing on homeschooling.
  • She also enjoys networking: meeting people and developing in-real-life friendships through her Facebook group.

About Andrea’s kids and a snapshot in her life as a mompreneur

  • Andrea has 3 girls: ages 12, 10, and 5.  She will be homeschooling 8th grade, 5th grade and 1st grade during her upcoming school year.
  • Her oldest daughter is an athlete and plays soccer and also plays piano.  Her middle daughter is artistic and enjoys sewing, art, and dance.  Her youngest stays busy!
  • In order to balance her day, she starts planning the night before with a decent bedtime. She strives for an earlier wake-up time and each morning she starts the day with prayer, devotions, and planning time.  Her next goal is to plan for her blog posts and graphics.
  • On a good day she can accomplish about 2 hours of private work time before the kids arise.  This is the time that most of her work is accomplished.
  • She also garners the support of her husband during his early day off from work to help with the children while she gets a bit of work done.

Additional advice for mompreneurs and work at home moms:

  • Write things down and look at your schedule. Be realistic about when you can really work.
  • Fit your blogging and work life around your kids’ schedule.
  • Keep your family priorities aligned.
  • Exercise discipline and stick to the schedule.
  • Limit your distractions from the computer. Keep social media and email for a separate time.

Ways to reach Andrea

EmbracingHim.com

AfricanAmericanHomeschoolMoms.com

African American Homeschool Moms Facebook Group

Instagram: andrea.thorpe

 

I enjoyed this chat with Andrea Thorpe- this week’s Spotlight Mompreneur!  What are some of your takeaways from this podcast?  

MIH 043:Why you should quit undercharging in your business

Over the years, I’ve learned why it’s so important to quit undercharging in my business.  Many of you who’ve followed me over the years have seen my prices fluctuate.  I’ll be honest with you, the prices change right along with my self-view.  I’ve found that my confidence level is directly correlated to my pricing strategy.I’ve learned that when I quit undercharging, and I charge premium prices, I get the results I’m looking for in business.  I want to help mompreneurs understand how important it is to change your mindset and allow yourself the option of charging more. Here are three steps to help you…

undercharging in your business

Honor your offerings and stop undercharging.

Others will treat you the way you treat yourself. Be sure to value yourself- your services and products. Believe that what you offer is valuable and needed.  If you don’t believe in what you offer, neither will your clients. What this means is that if your prices are too low, now’s the time to stop undercharging.  Whatever your pricing model was six months ago, consider raising those prices. Recently my husband challenged me to seriously consider my bottom line when I had planned to help a few folks with tech consulting services for either free or extremely discounted.  I don’t do pro bono often, but on occasion I will pitch in and help someone out who just needs the service and can’t afford it.  This habit, however, has trained me in some way to let down my guard and be more willing to give a “yes” to discounted services- even when the client could actually afford to pay full price.  I think what my husband wanted to protect me from is the habit of helping and giving and pouring out so much that I lose focus on why I started my business in the first place: to make money. It’s important to have boundaries in business, and we start forming boundaries by respecting our offerings and insisting that clients honor them as well.

Discounts don’t necessarily mean business.

If there’s anything I’ve learned is that you don’t always get the best business just because you’re offering a sale.   For example, when I run extremely steep discounts on my tech services, I often end up attracting clients that are either unclear on their goals or don’t respect the results of their coaching with me.  What this results in is an end product that isn’t worth my time.  In cases like this, sometimes the customer will completely discount the project altogether, backing out off before a project is complete (in which case you would need clear stipulations in place about what happens in situations like these). It’s worth evaluating whether or not you want to risk a steep discount if you’re unsure whether your time and energy will be compensated properly.  Remember, this all goes back to honoring your offerings. Also, this also just goes to prove that it’s equally important to know your boundaries and to keep it in writing.

Attract premium clients

If you want to sustain a profitable service-based business that you actually enjoy working every day, then attracting premium clients should be at the top of your to-do list.  You’ll want to make sure that your business attracts those who are able to afford your fees and are willing to have a conversation about your services without freaking out over your pricing model. Premium clients will not only pay what you charge, but they’re your best clients because they respect your work, are committed to taking action and seeing results on their actions, they usually pay on time, and will be happy to refer you to others. We can safely conclude that undercharging gets you nowhere in business, and attracting premium clients will give you the business success you’re going after.  So, I encourage you to start charging what you believe you’re worth!

MIH 042:Branding, Life, & Business with Stephanie Ciccarelli of Voices.com

Listen to “042:Branding, Life, & Business with Stephanie Ciccarelli of Voices.com” on Spreaker.
On this podcast I am super excited to bring to you an awesome guest and mompreneur, Stephanie Ciccarelli!

Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-founder and Chief Brand Officer of Voices.com and has contributed content to such publications as The Huffington Post, Backstage Magazine, and Upvoted, and her company has been written about in the LA Times, New York Times, Forbes Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. Stephanie is also the author of Voice Acting for Dummies and has been listed on the PROFIT Magazine’s 2013, 2015, and 2016 W100 lists, a ranking of Canada’s top female entrepreneurs.

What is Voices.com?

Voices.com is an online marketplace that connects people who need to get a voiceover recorded with talent that can record for them.  Over 200,000 clients and 200,000 talent are connected on their platform.

Just a bit about her background: Stephanie grew up surrounded by music- involved in world-renowned choirs, and attended a school that was music-focused.  She found her career path through finding her voice.

What does the voiceover talent landscape look like today?

People come from various backgrounds and industries and are bringing their voices to the platform.  If you are a voice artist who has a background in a niche area, you could record projects related to your industry.

What are some ways actors can transition into voiceover more smoothly and to break into the market?

The answer is pretty simple: it really boils down to your ability to read well aloud and picture an audience of one (rather than many), then delivering your message as a believable expert.

How can women begin the process of branding their own business?

Get to know yourself before you start developing the brand.  You are the brand since the business is an extension of yourself.

Also, finding out your personality type can be helpful in building your brand.  You can use a number of different tests tools such as Myers-Briggs,  The Disc Method,  and Social Styles to discover your unique personality type. It’s important to understand how you are a part of your brand and getting to know your own personality can be quite helpful in this process.

Some other key factors you should know when developing your brand are:

  • what drives you
  • what your values are
  • and how you want others to perceive you

On family life and business balance…

Stephanie Ciccarelli agrees that it’s important to keep family first. Within her company, her husband is the CEO and she is the Chief Brand Officer.  They have found ways to keep family life afloat even amidst her travels, by securing needed help and building business around family obligations.

In the beginning, Stephanie was working from home and as her business evolved and the kids grew older she found herself in a different season.  Important points to note are:

  • We should acknowledge that there are seasons in life when we won’t be able to focus so much on business.
  • There are also seasons when we need to push a little more energy into our business to get things moving.

Stephanie talks about the three different circles we tend to live in and how it’s a balancing act to keep those circles from touching each other so that we don’t allow different aspects of our lives to spill into one another.

An example: keeping business separate from family life and remembering that home is home, not the boardroom.

How does Stephanie see her business as part of her purpose?

Voices.com is way to give people a chance to create their own stories and to have a voice. She believes she was meant to use her voice, and she took the guided steps necessary to get where she is today.  By stepping in faith, Stephanie is able to use Voices.com as a connecting tool to bring people together all over the world.

You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.  Zig Ziglar

A business essentially exists to solve a problem. Voices.com gives people tools to help them deliver their message. 

How to reach Stephanie:

Twitter: @stephciccarelli

Stephanie’s Instagram

Purchase her book: Voice Acting for Dummies

Voices.com on Facebook

Voices.com on LinkedIn

Voices.com on YouTube

Voices.com on Instagram

And, of course, visit: Voices.com


I truly enjoyed speaking with Stephanie today!  Thanks for listening in and let me know your thoughts. How are you branding your business as an extension of yourself?  How are you balancing family and business?

MIH 041:Is it really possible to make money online?

Listen to “041:Is it really possible to make money online?” on Spreaker.Many mompreneurs and stay at home moms ask me if it is really possible to make money online.  The answer is- emphatically- yes! There are a myriad of ways to make money online- and if you want to turn your profit to cash, operating a web based business as a professional blogger can help you accomplish this goal.  Here is a brief overview of different ways you can make money online with your blog.

Make money online in a variety of ways!

The sky is the limit, really.  You can’t (or shouldn’t) limit yourself when it comes to ideas on how to generate an income online.  If you believe it, you can have it.  Below I am listing just a few ideas you can use to help you generate an online income.

Create your own digital products

Info products, or digital products, are the ultimate passive-income makers for most online marketers and internet entrepreneurs. If you create one digital product: an ebook, a webinar, a video, or audio for example, it has the ultimate money-making potential if you play your cards just right. Find out what your audience needs and give it to them. That’s the key, and that’s all you really need to do when creating your info products. You also have to put your product through the continuous cycle of getting seen in front of your readers- through opt-in opportunities in various placements on your page. These opt-ins result in more subscribers and more potential customer base for you so that you can have the opportunity to sell your digital products to a tribe who loves your content.

Ads

Once you’ve built up enough organic traffic, I always recommend adding additional streams of income.  Ads is one of these.  Ads are simple to bring into your blog.  You can use Google Adwords, or Bing Ads-for example, to make an additional stream of revenue.  The more traffic you have coming in, the greater your chances of receiving clicks on the targeted ads and making money. Currently I am using Bing Ads on one of my sites but I don’t have a lot of experience with it yet. I know of many bloggers who have been successful with placing ads this way and making good money through Adwords. One way I like to use ads is through joint ventures with brands. The client pays me a flat fee per project and I run their ads for consecutive weeks on my website.  I enjoy working directly with clients this way- for quicker turnaround in pay and sometimes at a higher rate.

Joint ventures

Partnering with larger brands as well as smaller businesses through joint partnerships has proven to be beneficial- especially as a small brand.  You’ll find that there is power in numbers and the more connections you can make with influencers in your niche, the easier it will be for you to progress and grow. Joint ventures can be formed through different types of relationships: guest blogging, being a guest on someone’s podcast (or having guests on yours), and co-hosting webinars together for examples. Figure out which type of partnerships will work out in your favor and go for it.

Coaching and consulting

Coaching and consulting services are a wonderful way to make money online.  If you’re a health and fitness coach, an attorney, or a web designer, for example, you have great potential for making money online by offering a service you’re already pretty comfortable with. There are plenty of people ready to learn from you! You just have to let them know what you offer and how you offer it. So, there you have it.  These are a few and some of the most popular ways of making money online. Here are a few more ways to make money online that I mentioned on the podcast. Professional Services on Fiverr or Upwork Ebay and Amazon Selling Photos (like with iStockPhoto.com) Build a YouTube channel Sell courses on Udemy or Teachable Become a tutor : Verbal Planet, iTalki Did you enjoy this podcast?  Leave a review in Itunes!

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