Planning, Producing and Imperfect Action WPCP: 121
I’ve been thinking a lot about processes.
My new-found love of the daily email practice (even when my emails aren’t daily), has ignited a small fondness for discipline.
I say small because the thought of structuring and scheduling my life to the point where everything requires a discipline makes my head hurt (and makes me go into immediate resistance…. don’t MAKE me do anything). I’m finding little ways that I can apply this in all areas of my life. For the sake of the podcast though we’ll stick with business.
Like most entrepreneurs, I enjoy the process of planning and getting excited about the possibilities of what I can do with my business. Taking the time away from the daily tasks often gives us the perspective we need get re-inspired or even clarity on something we’ve felt stuck on. There’s something about changing the routine that feels better (even when we feel like we ‘should’ be at our desks taking care of the tasks).
As much as I like my time to myself, this can be most helpful when doing it with other people (mentor, peers, parters… your dog. Whatever works for you). The extra energy of someone else’s excitement and enthusiasm is contagious. They see things you might have missed or can point something out from a totally different perspective that makes you take a second look at something.
Then of course there’s all the ‘stuff’ that goes along with planning… pens, calendars, markers (or is that just me), white boards, ideas… lunch with a friend.
Kind of like the whipped cream on the sundae, right? Not necessary, but makes it that much sweeter.
Here’s the problem with planning…
You can get STUCK there!
(I wish I had some southern phrase or saying about being stuck… somehow it seems like it would just ‘fit’ here).
I’ve been here myself.
Many, many times.
I’ve mapped everything out (I love me some outlines and Gliffy diagrams. I’m not really a mind mapper), created the first few steps then get caught back up in the tasks. Or better yet… I don’t get past the first step and get caught back up in the tasks.
I’m actually way better at following through on things than I used to be (not a lot of people who know me would say I don’t ‘get things done’, but I make it way more of a chore than it needs to be), but at the end of the day what should get the most attention are the things that can make me MONEY.
I’m running a BUSINESS.
This isn’t a hobby. As much as I love creating content, there needs to be an endpoint, right? (don’t go all sideways on me with an altruistic opinion on this… you know what I’m talking about here).
I’m going to give you two very specific examples so you can feel like you’re getting something tangible and not just joining me for a self-help session (although that could be fun too).
Let’s look at The WP Chick first.
When I decided to change my theme I knew without a shadow of a doubt that my messaging needed to be CLEAR (notice I didn’t say clearer, because I can honestly say it wasn’t clear at all before). I wanted people to know that when they got to my site they could learn about WordPress and Marketing. I have some re-structuring to do of my content model, but that’s more of a ‘moving forward’ as opposed to going backwards. Meaning, new content that I create should support this model. There are some content pieces I am creating that will be more like cornerstone content (full post on getting started with WordPress, installation, theme, etc. … because ‘duh’… I should have done this years ago) as well as some really in-depth tutorials on certain products (ex: CoSchedule).
Then it’s a matter of the navigation supporting that direction and having a very detailed ‘Start Here’ page, clear paths for my visitors and products and services that support that.
Oh. And a new, well thought out plan for lead generation (and execution of that plan).
Here are the ways I’ll be monetizing my brand:
- Affiliate sales (part of my content strategy)
- Coaching: multiple ways people can work with me (because c’mon, one size doesn’t fit all)
- Courses: I’m re-working a podcasting course (using Troy Dean’s Rockstar Empires training) and will offer that a few times
- Recurring revenue: this will be done in conjunction with Hustle Free (because that will completely support the content and strategy of this site)
- Premium events: In 2017 I will be offering small, intimate retreats for maybe 10 people. We’ll go somewhere cool (first spot will be Lake Tahoe), rent a great house, deep dive into everyone’s business, share some great meals and build lasting, supportive friendships.
- Podcast Sponsorship: This is kind of a no-brainer
Will I try other things along the way?
But at the end of the day, can I tell you that I’ve been thinking about a lot of this and doing some planning while I’ve been working on the new theme but honestly? That’s the clearest I’ve written it out.
In this post.
And that’s the power of writing things down.
Let’s look at Hustle Free now.
Talk about a learning lesson.
After launching under Freedom Papers, offering a paid physical newsletter (that fell flat) and realizing we needed to focus on building our audience…. we took a step back and did a massive re-branding.
SIDE NOTE: We wouldn’t have done all that had we not taken imperfect action!
We knew we were on the right path with the podcast and pretty much jumped in with both feet from day one. It was definitely something that took a hold of us (I don’t think we could have slowed that momentum if we wanted to).
Where we’re at now:
- We’ve relaunched the podcast and website under the new brand (which we LOVE)
- We’re finalizing the #FtheHustle merchandise using WooCommerce & ThePrintful
- We’re focusing on growing the audience
- Creating more content
- Monetizing after the first of the year
Without a doubt we know we have something here.
We’ve tested two different formats for the show (deep dive on one topic or do more of a freestyle on online marketing). Fortunately we have some awesome listeners who have told us they prefer the deep dive. They were actually looking forward to that model and were a little disappointed when we switched it up.
I also asked in mastermind I’m in and got the same feedback.
We’ve gone back to the deep dive on one topic per month (think a mini-series on a subject) and will make a decision after the first of the year on how we’re going to monetize that.
Build brand awareness, provide value and grow our audience (subscribers).
Remember, at the end of the day all businesses come down to three things: Offers, leads and sales.[divider top=”no” divider_color=”#bcbcbc” size=”1″][divider top=”no” size=”2″ margin=”30″][/divider]
Let’s talk a little bit about producing since we’ve kind of covered the planning and imperfect action part.
I had a call this afternoon with Jack over at Vyper.io because I won their giveaway contest (I came across their content upgrades tool that was coming out, entered the contest, saw the grand prize and sort of went on a sharing spree to win the prize since it included some consultation in addition to lifetime access to their products).
We covered a LOT in the call (lead generation, facebook ads, SEO, using the podcast to drive more leads, using my YouTube channel to drive more leads… see what I mean? A LOT) but the one of the things I took away from the call was the value in leveraging what you create (err… produce).
Clearly I’m a fan of repurposing and leveraging what you create (ex: daily emails as posts or my lead magnet that is a 1 pg. PDF download which I then recorded an audio to accompany it).
The magic with this happens when you do it consistently (man… none of these things seem very sexy, do they?).
I swear they start to feel sexy when you start getting results.
Do they take time?
But when you’re in this for the long haul… i.e., you want to truly build a real business online as opposed to just make money, then taking the time today will pay off tomorrow.
Aaah….so many cliche’s, so little time.
Take this podcast post as an example:
- First I’m writing the written post
- Next I’ll record the podcast episode
- Then I can transcribe the episode and add it to the post
- Then I can take some bullet points or key takeaways and put them into a PDF and offer it as a content upgrade
- I can also create Clammr’s with the post (totally dropped the ball on this months ago)
- I will also submit the podcast to YouTube as a video, with links back to a landing page
From one piece of content I can create 6 ADDITIONAL pieces of content, also providing me with 4 additional platforms to post the content on (oh… and wait until I start live streaming some of this. More content, another platform).
Here’s the thing with producing…
You have to work your way to the point where it becomes second nature. Just like anything else.
Once you start producing content once a week it makes it that much easier to produce it twice a week… and so on.
The goal is to get as much leverage from one piece of content as you can.
That’s it for this week my friends!