The 30-Minutes-a-Day Habit That's Changed My Business (& My Life)
I often say I don’t regret the things I’ve done.
I only regret the things I didn’t do.
Looking back over the last 8 years in my business (getting close to the 9 year mark) I realize my fear (and hopes), completely got in the way of creating the business I wanted.
I’ve since course corrected and don’t really spend time thinking about ‘what could be’ had I done some of these things earlier, but I’m human.
I do wonder.
Then I get back to business.
When I started my business I had heard of WordPress, but that was about it. I think I had played with WordPress.com but had no clue what I wanted to write about so didn’t go beyond the initial set-up or selecting a theme (which was super limited in 2008).
My goal was to be an information marketer, not a web developer (which I’m not. I have programmers and a designer. My expertise is WordPress and marketing). But somehow I fell into that.
I found WordPress, fell in love and before long I was creating my first website for a client (in exchange for some tile done in my house). At the time it felt like a win-win. But, as they say, hindsight is 20-20, right?
Next thing I knew I was creating (cheap) WordPress websites for clients (by this time I had the domain name for TheWordPressChick.com, which became TheWPChick.com after WordPress contacted me and very politely told me I couldn’t use WordPress in the domain name).
For the first 5 years of my business I did WordPress websites, hired a team, did a few courses here and there and felt ‘stuck’ in the time for money trap. The courses did O.K., but I can honestly say that I didn’t give any of them the attention they needed. Not in terms of quality, in terms of marketing and promotion.
If something didn’t do as much as I had hoped it would when I released it, I felt like it was a failure.
Based on internet marketing standards, I decided it wasn’t a successful ‘launch’ because I wasn’t putting a quick 5 figures in the bank in one week (forget the fact that I DID have people purchase, tell me how much it had helped them and it was profitable).
I was comparing myself to standards I didn’t really understand.
Things starting changing at the 5 year mark.
That’s when I launched my podcast and found my voice.
I had hit a wall, was frustrated with where I was in my business and wanted to have more fun. That was literally the primary reason I started my podcast. What’s come from launching the podcast has completely blown any expectations I had out of the water.
It’s without a doubt one of the very best things I’ve done for my business.
But that’s not the 30-Minutes-a-Day Habit that’s Changed My Business.
I’ve gone back to basics.
The fundamentals of direct response marketing.
Novel idea, huh?
This all started in December of 2015 when I hired a Facebook Ad Agency (Jason Hornung Agency) to help me scale my Facebook ads for a podcast service I had (done-for-you podcasting). Not only did I get a massive education on Facebook ads (and made money… I did make my investment back), but through Jason’s understanding of copywriting, advertising, content and measurable strategies, I shifted the way I looked at my business.
I wanted to go back and master the fundamentals.
Fundamentals like email marketing, copywriting, conversions, and persuasion.
I used to hate copywriting.
While I wouldn’t say I love it, I’m enjoying studying it and implementing what I’m learning.
Which is where my 30 minutes a day habit came in.
I’ve never really had an issue creating content. It’s something I continue to work on and truly enjoy the process.
Email marketing on the other hand?
Not so fun and certainly nothing I was ever very consistent with.
That all changed when I subscribed to BenSettle.com.
Ben Settle uses and teaches a daily email marketing strategy. I know there are other marketers who teach this and have great results as well, but it’s the style of Ben’s writing that appealed to me.
I subscribed to him for about a year before I became a customer. I watched what he did, how he did it and paid attention to what resonated with me.
It August of this year (2016), I started implementing this style of email marketing.
It’s not a boring newsletter (not all newsletters are boring… but you know the ones I’m talking about right? The ones that are typical, template style newsletters that are all about the person sending it, not the subscriber).
I call it the ‘almost daily’ email since I haven’t hit 7 days a week… yet. I’m pretty good at hitting a 5 or 6 days a week. I’m about to launch a new theme on my site and have a slightly different strategy that should make this a no-brainer (to hit the 7 days a week).
Taking the 30 minutes a day to write these emails has completely changed my business.
Not simply because I’m getting results, but because of what it’s taught me in the process.
My email stats have all improved (open rate, click through rate and engagement) as well as affiliate sales and coaching inquiries (which isn’t something I’ve promoted at all through any of these emails).
The relationship with my list has improved along with the quality of my subscribers. Do I have people opt-ing out? Absolutely. And that’s a good thing. My business shifted quite a bit since I started and not everyone is a good fit anymore. No biggie. I’m adding new subscribers every day so I’m still ahead of the game.
What I’ve Learned
It’s the small, consistent action you take in your business that will help you get where you want to be.
The best analogy I can relate this to is dieting and exercise. You don’t get a fit, healthy body overnight. You reach that goal through consistent practice and commitment.
I was talking to a friend the other day and she was sharing her frustration in herself for not finishing things. She’ shifting directions in her business and is creating a new strategy.
The challenge (opportunity) with statements like this is that all you’re doing is reaffirming the negative belief about yourself.
It’s a lot easier to make a decision that you’ll do something small, every day.
Make it something that you enjoy that gets you closer to your goal.
You’ll be surprised at how quickly these small actions create massive changes.