Things to do in your down time to inspire you for the coming year - video transcript, links and resources

inspire yourself for a great year

One of the key lessons that I learnt over the past year was the importance of continuing ‘input’ to keep my ideas flowing as I continue to grow my business.

I make my living from bringing together lots of different things into great ideas for the people that I work with. The thing about being creative, having ideas and being inspired on a regular basis is both hard work (in a very nice way) and something that can be learnt.

So, I thought I would talk through some things that you can do over your downtime during the festive season to help inspire you with lots of creative ideas for the coming 2018.

  1. The first thing to do is say yes to the next thing that you might normally say no to. I have to school myself often on this one, as I’m a natural introvert, I’m happy to spend time alone and I always sway towards no when it comes to invitations and doing things that means spending time with lots of other people. But making the effort to overcome this inclination always results in inspiration from a new environment, new experience and new people.

    Shonda Rhimes (the creator of Greys Anatomy, Scandal and How to get away with murder) wrote a book about her year of saying yes. She is a woman who makes her living from idea generation and creativity. You can get the general gist by viewing her TedTalk
  2. Watch a random TedTalk through their discovery piece. Deliberately choose something that is completely outside anything that you know. My favourite discovery was about crows and how incredibly clever they are.
  3. Listen to podcasts on things that are completely different from what you do every day. I love Planet Money which is about all the crazy things that work in our world like the economy of zoos and how they exchange and barter animals. Other great podcasts are Science Vs – which takes on controversial topics and steps through all the facts that are proven, and not proven and Wow in the world which is a pod cast for kids on science and explaining the Why of things.
  4. Strike up a conversation with a random stranger. The very act of stretching to engage with someone you know nothing about, pushes your comfort levels and thus helps you think on your feet and really listen to what they have to say. It also has the added benefit of occasionally allowing you to walk away with new knowledge and a feel good story.
  5. Choose a non-fiction book on a topic you want to know more about and read just 5 minutes per day on it. I do this over coffee. I get through a few pages and while it takes a long time to finish the book, I find that reading it slowly allows me to better digest and connect up the new content to my existing knowledge.
  6. Allow yourself to be bored. There are a lot of studies that show that the downtime allows your mind to go places it can’t when you’re constantly ‘on’. You can watch Manoush Zomorodi who wrote a book on the topic of bored and brilliant ideas and you can get the general gist here in her TedTalk

Want somewhere to capture your brilliant ideas during your down time over the break?

Check out my 2018 Planner, I’ve built this Planner so I could have everything in one neat package. Diary, Action plan and a place to capture all my notes and thoughts for my business.



Reality check on your goals – reverse engineering your targets  for 2018 - video transcript, links and resources

reality check your goals

Yep, Christmas is almost here. Bring on 2018. If you are anything like me, you just want to get on with it. Let’s move on from here and let’s get to there!

But how do you know you are being realistic and practical about ‘THERE’?

  1. Over the last few weeks I’ve been outlining how to set your goals and action plan for the coming year. We’ve talked about doing an audit and knowing what you need to know so that you can understand what’s working, what’s not so you can do a bit of a keep, stop and change list.
  2. Then we talked about setting goals and the actions to achieve these goals.
  3. This week, I want to show you a simple way to test your goals by reverse engineering them.
  4. I do this as a quick exercise when I work one-on-one with clients in the Online Fix Package. I want to make sure that the actions and goals we’ve set are realistic and achievable, and within the budget and resources of my client.
  5. It’s a simple process that allows a quick reality check.
  6. You need to list out:
    a.       Where the lead/sale source will come from (you should have listed these as part of your goal setting activity)
    b.       The estimated audience size for each of these lead/sale sources
    c.       What you believe the click through rate will be for the source
    d.       The number of leads from this source  – which is just the click through rate (%) multiplied by the estimated audience size.
    e.       The cost of the click if you are paying for it
    f.        Then you can work out the total cost (number of leads x cost per click/lead).
    g.       From here, determine what you think the conversion rate will be so that you can work out the number of sales and your revenue figure.
    h.       You can see if it matches with your goal figure.
    i.         If it doesn’t, then you can work out if you are targeting enough people, having ot pay to much for make the sales and whether you need to add some sources or rethink your current approach.
  7. If you don’t know the conversion rates and cost per click amounts based on existing sales/ activity, then you will need to estimate.
  8. These figures will give you benchmarks to track against so you can see a) if you are tracking to make your goals b) needing to make adjustments as you go along to make your goals.
  9. Below is a table what it should look like, and some examples. I’ve taken this from my 2018 Planner, which you can read more about here.  

Reverse engineering your goals.jpg

Check out my 2018 Planner, I’ve built this template into the planner as part of the planning section in my Planner. I created this planner because the templates I use all the time for both my own business and for my clients. I got sick of having papers and key information in lots of different places so I’ built it all into one planner that you can carry with you -planning, goals, diary and action plan. All in one neat package!




Setting good goals for 2018 - video transcript and useful links


Goals are necessary for you to understand what actions you need to take to get where you want to be. 

Even if you end up changing tact mid way through, you wouldn't know that you needed to make a change if you didn't have an idea of what looked like success and what didn't. 

This week, I want to talk about the actual act of setting goals and laying out a plan of action to achieve them. 


Last week I talked about reviewing your website analytics and understanding what activity is driving sales for your business. This is great information to help you understand what goals to set for your business for the coming year.

  1. When I set goals for my business, I always focus on what generates the sales – ie where the money is coming from. I learnt this in my early days in business. It may sound odd, but when I first started, money wasn’t the focus it was more what I was doing. But without the context of whether these were the right actions to generate income, I quickly was not doing things that helped me grow my business.
  2. It may sound mercenary but understanding where and how the money will be generated is kind of the point of a business – even if you don’t want to earn a lot of it, even if you have other goals around lifestyle or socially minded goals, money is what makes your business sustainable.
  3. Therefore, my goals are always set in the context of revenue or income that I want to earn.
  4. If you are not sure how to set your goals, then set them based on what you earnt the previous year. You might want to increase it by a certain percentage or maintain it, but make improvements that are more about your quality, ease or hours of work.
  5. Once you’ve set this goal, you need to start working out how to achieve them.
  6. The first thing to do once you know what you want to achieve, is to list out your sources of income.
  7. For each of these sources, there are activities or things that need to be done to make each source work well. List all of these, at a high level is fine at this planning stage.  
  8. From here, now break down the actions you need to achieve each of these.
  9. I make a list of the key things that need to be done to make the source work, then I plot them out based on any dependencies or order of things that need to be done eg. I can’t generate sales for a product on my website, until I’ve updated and put a shopping cart on the site.
  10. Then I take all of these, and I plot these out across the year, including what is the ‘success’ indicator for each at 3 months, 6 months, 9 and 12 months.
  11. If you follow these steps, it means you will have created SMART goals. That means that you have created a Specific target, that is Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound. It's a simple process that makes sure you don't end up with open ended ideas of what you want to do. 
  12. This next step is optional. I then print it out this out and stick it to the inside of my bathroom cabinet. Every morning when I’m getting ready for the day, I am looking at it and reflecting on whether I am still on track and where I should put my time for that day. It’s a great way to keep my self in check and keep the focus on what matters.
  13. I also break my to do list into things I WANT to do and things I NEED to do. What I want and what I need to do are often two very different things and when I throw in the filter of whether it’s a goal related activity, I see really quickly where time is being taken away from what I want to achieve.

I’ve built all of the planning steps into a weekly planner for 2018. It includes a weekly spread that allows out to priorities your weekly tasks based on wants versus needs as well as your income goals with actions.

If you are looking for a planner that is built specifically for people in business for themselves, then take a peak. You may like what you see.


Before you set goals - know what you need to know - Video transcription, links & templates

knowwhat you need ot know.png

Can you believe it, the end of the year is almost upon us. The end of the year is always so hectic, that often planning and reflection from a business perspective doesn't realistically happen till January.

Then before you know it, February is here and you've already lost a month or so on getting things bumping along for the  new year. So for the next few weeks, I'm going to lay out a weekly planning task for your online marketing program so that you can hit 2018 running.

  1. New year is almost here – who has time to really put their mind to these things? But in fact, if you break it down into a series of individual steps, which also gives you the benefit of having time to think and explore your thinking, you can hit 2018 ready to go.
  2. Next week I'll cover setting the goals and actions to create a marketing plan and to hit January 2018 with big, critical thinking about your business (at least from a digital perspective) done.
  3. The first thing you need to do is know what you need to know.
  4. Get onto your Google Analytics and really get your head around what is working and what is not. These are the key questions to ask.
    - Is what you are doing working and sending traffic to your website? All important. Remember your website is an important digital asset and it should be delivering value in the form of leads or sales for your business.
    - Which channels is sending traffic to your website? – you want to know where to double down, make more effort or walk away from.
    - Are you converting that traffic into leads or sales? – if you can see that you are getting the traffic but not the sales, then you need to know why. So, if not, why not? Is it a technical issue? Is it missing content?
    - Are you just sending the wrong people to your website?
    - If yes, which channel is sending the most profitable customers to you?
  5. Get your head around the answers to these questions. They should feed into your 2018 plan. Which channels to be focusing on, or if you’re getting traffic but not converting – where do you need to focus attention to fix the ‘barrier’??
  6. This exercise takes less than hour.
  7. Download my Guide to Google Analytics for the Numerically Challenged – it will step you through answering these five key business questions in order to start forming a picture of where you need to focus your attention in the new year.
  8. As a next step as a broader view of your business that incorporates all of your activities, map out a simple table that allows you to list your channels or activities that you do to generate new business. For example, Facebook posting, networking events, cold calling.
  9. Beside this column you now want to list the dollar figure of sales from each of these activities and beside that the number of sales.
  10. This simple exercise allows you to see which where your business is coming from and as a simple high level audit on your business it allows you to understand what to stop, what to keep doing and what to change or improve.


Scheduling for a break - Video transcription, links & templates


Christmas is coming! That means for most of us we will try and sneak in some down time. But for many business owners, getting downtime is really hard, particularly if you are in business for yourself without a large staff.

I recently took a break to the UK for my nieces wedding. I told my clients, pared my to do down to the bare minimum during my time away but I still struggled to actually get to the work between the time difference etc. It was one of the most stressful holidays I’ve ever had and it was no break for me at all.

So based on my mistakes and my hopeless optimism, I decided that I would look for solutions to how to schedule a break when you are in business for yourself.

  1. Put an out of office on your inbox and let people know you are on a break and not available.
  2. If you have client based business, then let them know you will be away and what you have done on their account to make sure things won’t be let go in your absence. For example, I run social media for a few clients and I prescheduled content so that there was no disruption to their account.
  3. I should also have brought some some other activities forward to get ahead and make sure they didn't crop up as issues while I was away. Lesson learnt, particularly as it would have made the return much less of a jolt with pressing actions needed from the moment I stepped off the plane.
  4. When you are in your own business, taking a break often means no more new business development. However, if you have things humming along with regular enquiries coming through, and no one else can take care of them, then write an email auto responder for them that:
    a) explains your are on holidays for x days and
    b) prepare a flyer with additional information that you can also provide while they wait for your response
    c) be really clear on when you will respond to them.
  5. Get ahead of your social media / publishing and preschedule everything. There are lots of tools that can used to make this happen automagically while you are away. You might be on holidays but you don’t want to completely shut down and lose what ground you’ve gained.
  6. Make use of my batching process from last week. My batching all up takes me 7 hours for 4 weeks of content.
  7. If you have a business where there are things that just can’t wait till you get back, then put in place an escalation process for urgent matters that can’t wait. Make sure you articulate or know what constitutes an urgent matter. You don’t want to be deciding this on your break. There are two ways to tackle this:
    a.       Ask for very urgent matters to be emailed to you with “Urgent – can’t wait till your return” in the subject line, advising you will check in once a day for anything that needs attention immediately. Then schedule just 10 minutes per day on your break to do a scan for any of these emails.
    b. Ask for very urgent matters to complete a form (via SurveyMonkey for free) to provide you with as much detail as possible on the issue. Then have the response go to a dedicated ‘problems only’ inbox which you check once a day. This keeps you out of your everyday inbox so you don’t accidentally get sucked into the non-urgent stuff.
  8. Quarantine any time ‘on’ for your business to a finite time – no more than 30 minutes or say two hours in a mid week checkin. Schedule it and stick to it so you are not losing your ‘down’ time.
  9. Make a list of all of the things that happen on a routine basis in your business and work out if you can possibly do them ahead of time. Then schedule time before your break to get them done.
  10. While you may not have staff usually, you might consider a VA for a short term contract that can operate to set of agreed steps and processes, in particular in relation to taking phone calls, emails or orders.
  11. If you are getting someone to step in or up, then make sure you make really detailed notes on what needs to happen and what the common problems are that you come across.
  12. Know that down time is very important for your health – both mental and physical and increases productivity.

Batching your content for your socials - Video transcription, links & templates


Generating content on an ongoing basis to help generate awareness of your business has become a given. But it's not your main job, you run a business and this content thing for the social media can be such a drain. 

The key to taking away the pain and feeling of constantly having to be 'doing' content can be managed if you start batching your content and producing it in blocks. 

I use this process to get a month ahead so I’m not thinking about content all the time / every week. It also gives me a ‘creative’ break to go away and get news ideas.

First step is to write down what content you are going to produce. I do this in my monthly view of my planner. It let’s me see the flow and continuity of the topics.

Plan out your content for a minimum of 4 weeks so you end up with a ‘flow’ logical progressions etc. You also likely end up with topics slotted in for the months ahead making your job even easier the longer you follow this process.

This stage usually take me about 30-40 minutes. I make it easy by have a running list of ideas that I’ve been collecting over the days. You can also try my tried and tested 30 ideas in 30 minutes approach – which will help you come up with heaps of ideas in a very short amount of time.

As the month goes by you should also capture those random ideas and thoughts somewhere for future reference. A note pad or note on your phone. I use Asana.

Second step - produce content outlines – detailed piece of what you will write about – writing template (depending on volumes and how much – you may need half a day or a complete day – format and length etc. 

I do two formats – a video with transcript and download and a quick tip video, so I do the outline for each of these before actually writing them.

Third step – set aside the time to actually write and create the content. This is usually a full day for me.  

Fourth step is creating your ‘promotional assets’. This is your images for any blogs or posts or anything you are going to use to post to social media or help get the word out about your content.

Fifth step – leave some distance in time to allow for review and editing your content. It’s hard to edit your own work and if you don’t have the luxury of someone else doing this for you then the best thing is to allow time to give you a fresh perspective and eyes on looking for how on point the content is, whether there are grammar and spelling edits required etc.

Finally – schedule your content into a social media monitoring tool so you don’t have to think about it on a daily basis.




Content writing – how to make it an easy process - Video transcription, links & templates


Many of us run our own business. That means' you become a jack of all trades. Somethings you are great at and other's take a little more effort and thought to get right. 

For many of us, using online, particularly social media means producing content from time to time or regularly depending on your business. Many businesses benefit from generating content on a routine basis to help get the message out about their business. 

It may be part of an ongoing content program every week or month or maybe it’s the occasional or seminal piece of content that is key to helping people. But unless you are a copy writer, then chances are, writing is not a skill that you have in your tool kit. 

I wanted to provide some helpful tools and tips on how to make the process of writing easier. 

  1. Writing can be challenging if it’s not part of your day job.
  2. Writing is all about the upfront thinking about what you need to say, and then structuring it into a compelling flow of information that people can’t help but want to read and finish
  3. You can hire someone to do this for you – but the reality is that you still need to do the upfront thinking.
  4. A process to bring logic and flow will allow the content to literally write itself and it then becomes just a series of steps.
  5. The first is be clear on the idea or problem that you are conveying. Starting with a problem is usually a sure-fire way to ensure that you are writing something that people want to read because you are providing a solution to a problem that they have
  6. From this idea or problem, write a heading to your article or content. Guaranteed this won’t be the final heading, but this process of Idea/problem then the heading helps you really get to the heart of whether you are have nailed the problem. Just know that you can come back at any time and refine this as you get into the writing process.
  7. A good tool help you with your headline is
  8. Do some research. Do a combination of keyword research and knowing what other articles/writings are already out there. By doing this research you will be able to know:
    a.       the language that is used by your audience
    b.       whether it's a topic that people are interested in?
    c.       the way to best frame it so you have the best chance of ranking in the search engine and/or being shared in the social media space
  9. Use and to research.
  10. Note down the way they talk about the topic - words and language, the keywords you should be using, any articles that have ranked well, any influencers or sources that you can either use in your writing or will be useful to know in the ‘promotion’ of your content.
  11. Be clear on what you want people to do with the content. What is your call to action or 'Ask'.
  12. Now do a content outline of bullet points so that you can see the flow and completeness of the entire article (BEFORE you’ve even written it).
  13. From this pull out what you believe is the key message or take away from the content – this is introduction and summary.
  14. Once you’ve done these things, you can sit down and write it.
  15. It should now literally write itself.
  16. I've got a template that will allow you to step through this on a repeatable basis. Plus bonus second page to help you 'promote' your content. 


Are you getting people to your website? Video transcription, links & templates

I am always surprised by someone who has no idea if they are getting traffic to their website or not.

Are you getting people to your website?

They will have spent quite a bit of money on it, but not look at it as an important business asset that should be working hard for them. 





Video notes/ transcript

1. So many people don’t know the answer to this question - but it answers many questions: 
a. If you don’t – then how do you know if all the things you are doing on Instagram, FB/ LinkedIn/ Email/ Paid promotion etc actually working??
b. How are you getting the value from the money and time you spent on creating a website in the first instance? 

2. It’s a 5 minute job to tell if you have traffic

3. Logon to your Google Analytics account > From the left hand menu select Acquisition > Overview

  • You can see the channels that drive traffic to your web site
  • You can see whether they are converting (if you have goals setup)
  • You can see bounce rates and time on page. 
Google Acquisition

5. A lot of information in one screen.

6. If you are encouraged to know more, then Google Analytics an answer the If you want to know the five most useful questions to answer with your analytics – download my guide to analytics. 

7. It helps you answer these five important questions about your business and how you are doing online. 
          1. Is what you are doing working and sending traffic to your website? 
          2. Which channels is sending traffic to your website? 
          3. Are you converting that traffic into leads or sales? 
          4. If not, why not? Is it a technical issue? Is it missing content? 
              Are you just sending the wrong people to your website? 
          5. If yes, which channel is sending the most profitable customers to you? 

8. If you want to see how you are going compare dot your competitors use – but if you have very little traffic then you won’t even register on them. 

9. If you don’t even know if you have Google Analytics, then install the Google tag assistant – and then go to your website – it will tell you.

10. Depending on your website, you might need your developer to install the code, but if you’re on Squarespace or similar it is just a 1 minute job to add your account code!

11. If you want help to set it up correctly, then see the pages 8-10 in my Google Analytics For The Numerically Challenged – simple explanations with the focus on what matters. 



30 content ideas in 30 minutes - video transcription, links & templates

Great content is how you make it into the Facebook feed


Buffer recently published a very comprehensive article on the Facebook Algorithm.

The summary and key highlights from the article is if you're content is popular, then it will get into the news feed - without having to pay! 

So that means making GREAT content. So slow down, take the time to do less but great content. 

Ideas ideas ideas 

We can't start to make great content until you have the ideas. The following are tips on how to come up with ideas to generate great content. 

Follow the below to come up with 30 ideas (in 30 minutes) - sign up to get the template I created to help you make it happen!

  1. Write down 5 questions that you’ve been asked in the last month by your client or customer 
  2. Do a search on your topic and see what ‘news – trends, changes, problems’ come up in the press that is popular – write down 5 topics. Research on Google, Buzzsumo, and for hashtags
  3. Write down 5 personal anecdotes of your or your customers that your product or service has helped 
  4. Look at the seasonal and events and ‘days’ calendar and work out the relationship between your business eg. Changing from spring to summer, Halloween, day of the dead, Melbourne cup, Football finals, the day of the blah blah For a HR company - Melbourne Cup and tips on drinking or at work functions or – write down 5 topics
  5. Think about your office and daily routine – people you are meeting with, places you are going, then pick 5 activities that you can post on
  6. Think of someone you can interview in relation to your business? Eg. A customer, or industry leader – write down 5 questions for them to answer
  7. Tools that will help you come up with topics and ideas are:

    You should be able to get far more than 5 ideas from these.
  8. You should have MORE than 30 just doing these few thing. 
  9. Download my template to help you generate your 30 ideas in 30 minutes 
  10. MAKE IT HAPPEN - Block out some quiet time where you know you can zone IN in your diary - go to the 'IN the zone place'.  I like coffee shops – the white noise is what does it for me – if necessary turn off you phone or put a do not disturb on these for the 30 minutes. 



​​​​​​​The Website dilemma - video transcription, links & resources


Understanding whether or not you need a website, what kind of website do you need, how do you get a website and how much should you pay for a website.

This week I am talking about a client that I worked with recently that needed a website. It raised all sorts of questions and I am going to share this with you here.

Business example

The business I was working with was brand new, just opening up their doors.

They are in the finance advice compliance area and are selling to other businesses, corporate professional services and they needed to answer these questions. Do they need a website? What kind of website do they need?

They were very sensitive to one, being flexible and the fact that their business is going to grow quite quickly, they hope and so, their services and what they do will probably evolve as they get new clients

They were sensitive to budget. Didn't want to throw all of their budget after a website when they knew they needed to be spending money also on driving traffic to their website and generating awareness and new leads for their new business.

Do they actually need a website?

  • As a new start up, they needed to put their best foot forward in terms of the impression that they’re making to their potential customers or clients, so they needed something that was a professional calling card, so to speak, something that would make them look like they’re a business of substance. A website would help them to achieve that.
  • The other thing was the website needed to also play a role in helping them be discovered. If you're in a position where you have people actively searching for you in the search engine such as Google or Bing, then actually, having a website is essential in order to be found. You need content on a website in order to be indexed by the search engines.

What kind of website do they need?

  • They need to be able to have content that can be indexed by the search engines to help them be discovered and they needed to look good to give people a good professional impression of their business. No shopping cart, no lead magnet/ email integration, no forms (just yet).
  • This is a website that doesn’t need complex functionality.
  • The focus needs to be on looking good. It needs to be on being able to create content easily and
  • The ability to be flexible and add new pages of content as you evolve and add new services, being able to easily tweak and change the content on your own without having to constantly refer back to a web developer which is going to cost you money is actually a really good thing to think about in terms of your requirements for a new website.
  • Forward thinking by allowing future integration with a range of third party services such as email providers, code insertions (eg. For remarketing) etc.

How do you get a website?

  • If you have sophisticated technical requirements, you need a web developer and you need to go through a process of working out what you need and having professionals build it for you
  • If you don’t have technically ‘different or sophisticated’ needs, particularly as a start up then consider a web builder. These are hosted services that allow you to easily build a website without any kind of technical know how at all, services like Squarespace and Wix and Weebly allow you to literally create a website without having to go the expense of hiring a web developer.

How much will it cost?

  • If you are hiring a web developer, then I would say you're typically going to get a WordPress site and that’s going to be anywhere from $800 up, most typically, somewhere between $1,500 to $3,000 depending on how many pages you have. For my client they could have gotten a site done for around $1000 (Aus)
  • You need to be very clear up front on what you want as a lot of people endup paying much more as they make changes to the original scope which ends up costing more than originally quoted with extra hours being charged each time you change your mind or add something extra.
  • Alternatively, a web builder is literally going to cost your time that it takes to create it using their platform and the subscription cost which typically is going to be somewhere between, $100 to $200 per annum.



What are the pros for going with a web builder?

  • Cost, to start with, particularly on an ongoing basis. It means that you're not having to pay a developer in terms of keeping the site up to date with security patches etc.
  • It means that you're not having to worry about when things go wrong or if your site gets hacked – it will all be taken care of and covered in your subscription fee.
  • You don’t have to go and employ your web developer again on an hourly basis to fix these types of things.
  • You are getting a system that, generally speaking, will come with really good, well-designed, out of the box templates so you can create a site that looks great without having to go through a lot of design or developer expense.
  • Easy to keep up to date without that additional expense.
  • Quick to set up.

What are the cons for a web builder

  • Less flexibility and ability to tailor to any custom requirements.
  • SEO is acceptable but not best practice.

Other things to consider

  • If you don’t feel comfortable with design, you can find a graphic designer that can literally help you work out how to make the site look good if you're not comfortable with what you're going to pull together when you build the site.
  • A web or graphic designer can put together what we call a web style guide which will show you fonts, colours, general layout of the site, maybe help you with some imagery and really give you a sense of what this actually looks like and you can follow that as your template.
  • The other issue I come across quite often which I think is not really a con or something negative relating to just web builders. It actually relates to any website, is that people don’t feel comfortable or they don’t know what content they need to create.
  • In fact, it doesn’t matter if you're hiring a web developer or if you're building this yourself, you need to have good copy because that is the very thing that is going to sell this website, remembering there is no one thing that is going to make a website work. It’s going to be how it looks and feels as people go through how well the pages flow and the information comes together, if you've got all of the information there.
  • Investing in a copywriter might be a good way to go. It means that you're going to have someone who’s really practised in thinking about how to pull together content relating to a business, all of the types of information you should pull and include on your website and in a way, help you refine how best to talk about your business.
  • If you don't have the time or inclination to learn how to build it yourself there are people out there that can whip together these web builder websites for you for not a lot of money.
  • For example, my client was able to hire someone for less than $500 and they were able to get all rolled into that price design piece of how the website should look, they were able to have the site built for them. They provided the copy so that was one thing that didn't need to be done, but the person that built it for them also put in Google Analytics for them. They registered them with Google on the webmaster account so they were instantly indexed by the search engines, and they also threw in an hour’s worth of training so that these people, while they didn't want to build it from scratch, they were happy to do minor content updates and adding new pages as they needed and as they grow in to go along.

Resources to get your started


How to talk about your business for cut through online


Getting the heart of how to talk about your product and service AND what information you need to provide is key to converting leads into sales for your business.

Your business is your everything every day. It’s hard to have perspective on something that you are super close too. How do you know what to say that will ring true and really convince your buyers to commit to you? 

The most common disconnect I see when working with clients is a focus on their own business and what they offer. This sounds like common sense. It’s natural. You have something to sell, whether it’s a product or a service, so of course you need to talk about it and what it can do!

But few people want to be sold to. They are interested in what is their problem or need. 
Such a nuanced point, but when you unpack it, it’s full of a lot of hidden opportunities to get to the heart of how to really appeal and woo your buyers into your world. 

It’s all about perspective 

Taking time to look at things from your customers perspective yields insights on exactly how to talk about your offering. 

When you talk about their problem and what they are experiencing and needing, the relevancy for them goes through the roof. This is particularly important, so that you can reach those people who are not even aware that there is a solution to their problem. 

With the right kind of information and relate-ability, you can explain nuclear fission to a primary school child. 

This is your challenge.

Position your product and service directly in response to what they personally are feeling or thinking. 

So how do you do this? 

All it takes is a simple exercise in perspective 

Taking time to sit in your customer’s seat and really understand their point of view will give you the words to write that will resonate and gain their attention. This is an exercise I use with my clients when they are not clear on their target audience.

Step 1 - What’s their problem or need? 

Digging down and really understanding the problem for your customer or client provides you with the ability to talk in their language and to empathise with them. You can describe what they are experiencing and feeling. In the context of how they are feeling or what they are experiencing you can show them how you can directly help with the issue. 

It gives you their language – not yours. It tells you what their focus is, not yours. 

To start with, write down the problem as you know it. 

  • Reflect on the conversations that you have or feedback you receive from your customers or clients. 
  • For every closed sale that you have, try and see what are the recurring themes behind the sale – what drove it, and what was the final point that made them act and sign up. 
  • Express the emotions that you see with your clients and customers and describe the impact that it has on them – in either a personal or professional perspective. 

Step 2 - What’s the solution they want? 

Next, you need to understand what they want, as a result of this interest or problem. What they want may not actually be what they need. However, being able to acknowledge and incorporate these things into how you talk about your product is important. 

It will also tell you the types of outcomes that they will expect from doing business with you so addressing these directly is essential as part of how you talk about your product or service. 

This point speaks to what they are wanting, but also allows you to move to the next point, talking about exactly what they need. 

Step 3 - What do you deliver? 

With your understanding of what they are feeling and experiencing and what they want, you are now well armed to talk about what you offer, as it relates to them. This is where you can express how you can take away their pain and deliver what they want and need. 

You can use the knowledge you’ve gained in the first two steps to frame what you deliver in direct response to what they are feeling and wanting. 

Step 4 - The outcome and benefit 

Expressing the outcome and benefit allows you to paint a picture, that helps them understand, how doing business with you will give them a new state of being, how your product or service will improve their state of being. 

As long as this relates directly back to their problem, feelings and what they want, it becomes a powerful way to differentiate yourself from your competitors and make yourself irresistible to your target audience. 

Look at the examples that follow and see how each provides a focus on their problem – not your product or service. A small nuance but so important. 


For a chiropractor. 

Your client’s interest /problem or problem is: 

  • They have pain – neck, back, foot, shoulder 
  • Chronic pain that results in mood and sleep difficulties 
  • They can’t do what they used to do
  • They are exasperated with their body and want to fix it 
  • They feel exhausted and fed up.

What they want

•    Pain to go away immediately
•    To move better
•    To feel better

What’s delivered

  • Relief and immediate action 
  • Knowledge & THE Why this is happening
  • A plan to move forward and take control 
  • A management program tailored to them
  • A plan to feel better & actively manage how they feel going forward
Notice how what’s delivered is so much more than what they want? 

Benefits/ outcomes

  • Feeling better, stronger and younger
  • Control 
  • Get moving again
  • Learn how to self-manage going forward 
See how the benefits offer them a benefit that is much bigger than what they wanted? 

HR consultant 

Interest /problem

  • Staff under performing
  • Line management not effectively addressing issues 
  • What they want
  • Effective high performing staff
  • Confidence that all risks are managed and the business is protected

What’s delivered

  • Tailored programs to address staffing and management issues 
  • A way to engage and empower staff that gives your staff buy in and belief in their role in your business 
  • Processes and plans to ensure the changes continue and don’t become a problem again 
  • Structured program that directly manages the risks.  
See how so much more is delivered - more than they realised they needed  

Benefits/ outcomes

  • Peace of mind
  • Confidence in board reporting 
  • Direct correlation to bottom line impact (positive)
The benefits deliver far more value than they were looking for yet still directly deliver on what they wanted, and directly speaks to how they were feeling - and removing their feelings of angst.

These four steps will literally write a sales page or landing page for you. They will indicate that lead magnets, freebies or offers you should provide, and tell you how to pitch your product and develop campaigns and key messages to help you to raise awareness of your product or service to those people that will gain their attention. 

The benefit of this exercise takes you from simply selling to relating and engaging with your audience. In the digital world there is so much noise and competition, this simple exercise can give you the cut through you need to reach your target audience. 


What do you talk about on your social media?

What to talk about.jpg

A repeated problem I see with people trying to start an effective social media program is they struggle to work out what they should be talking and posting about on their social media.

Once you know which are the right social media channels to be using to reach your target buyers, you need the right content. Otherwise you will be talking to crickets.

On social media, you need to work out what it is that will be of most interest, or solve the problem of the people you are targeting.

The most common mistake I see, is people talking about their business, and their service or product. People don’t want to talk about you. They want to talk about their problem and what they are interested.

While you might have what is of interest to them or what will solve their problem, it’s the fine nuance of talking about it in the context of THEM.

A simple technique to get it right  

A great way to work out what to talk about is to list all of the things that you talk about – then beside this, list all the things you know that your potential customers or clients talk about. Just list the topics, questions, problems and things that you know they are interested in, in relation to your business.

Looking at these side by side, you can then start to understand where you intersect in what you talk about and what they are interested in hearing about from you.

The intersection or overlap is your sweet spot. It’s where you both have common ground and allows you to frame your content in a way that is relevant and interesting to your intended audience.

Let me show you some examples:

My own business – The Online Fix which offers digital strategy consulting, mentoring and online crash course


An interior designer that styles homes ready to be put on the market


A builder who specialises in renovations



Next question – But I don’t know what they talk about

Sometimes you might struggle to really understand what it is that your target audience talk about. But I’ve a few simple tools to help you work it out for yourself. You can also use these to test your ‘knowledge’.

  1. Look at your competitors. It’s not about copying them. You want to look at competitors that are getting great social traction from their content and work out the ‘conversation’. You can get great insights from what’s working for them.
  2. Buzzsumo is great to discover what topics relating to your business are doing well across different social media channels. Simply put in keywords relating to your business and see what comes back. Follow the links and investigate. Make notes on what seems to be working for the content that is being shared.
  3. Talk to them. Such a simple approach but super effective. Have a conversation with some of your customers or simply follow them and see what kind of things they engage with on their social channels.

Using social media effectively for your business relies on getting your content right. Knowing what to talk about is what will gain you the attention of your target audience.

It’s a simple process of finding the intersection between what you talk about and they CARE about.

If you don’t know what they care about, then do the research. Social media works best when you engage and get to know your audience. Don’t talk to an empty room. Engage and have a conversation that they want to know about.


How to use video to promote your business (without spending a fortune).


In the good old days, we would watch TV, happy to watch the scheduled programmed shows, or record them for later. 

But now we're seeing a huge shift away from TV to digital video, preferring our own choice of content to watch anywhere at any time we want. 

The good old days are not 50 years ago. These are emerging trends from the last five years. There are statistics that indicate that from 2014, on average we are watching about 3.6 hours of digital video per week. In 2017, this has jumped to 12 hours per week. 

 Edelman Digital Trends 2017 report

 Edelman Digital Trends 2017 report

They are predicting that by 2020, this will be almost 20 hours per week. Twenty hours a week indicates we're no longer sitting down in front of the TV, we're in fact, watching online in some way shape or form. 

What do we mean by digital viewing

When we talk about digital video we are talking about streaming services like Netflix, Stan, Apple TV, Amazon and YouTube. All of these feed the trend of people wanting to self-program, watch what they want, when they want it. 

It also includes other types of video content, such as live videos from Facebook, YouTube or Periscope. 360-degree video, augmented, and virtual reality are also additional options for digital video viewing. 

These last few might seem like peripheral trends, however, if you can recall how a few months ago, the Pokemon trend that swept the world? That is augmented reality. If you have played with the face filters in Snapchat, this is facial recognition and augmented reality as well. 


The graph from the CISCO VNI report shows how big this shift is, with the majority of data use on the internet being for video and audio. 

This is, to some extent, a shift that is driven by cheaper data plans, faster download speeds and better devices to watch on. 

But we can also see that Facebook and Google, are actively pushing this trend as well. 

This graph is indicating the amount of contracts in dollars that Facebook are paying to organisations to produce and put content onto Facebook Live. 

Top of the list is a $3 million contract for BuzzFeed, followed closely by New York Times and CNN. This indicates that Facebook is looking to take on the traditional broadcasting industry and disrupt it. It is also positioning itself for a share of the market against the other behemonth in this market, Youtube (Google).

It’s also interesting that it’s not all traditional media outlets in this mix of paid to generate content. There is a shift in what we want to watch, and indicates the power of the creator market. Anyone producing interesting content can build an audience with traditional barriers to entry to producing video removed. This is particularly true when you consider how popular many Youtube channel owners are, the fact that YouTube, has launched its own paid channel called YouTube Red for $10 a month and Facebook has also just launched their own Video channel. 

We also know that video content is favoured by platforms such as Facebook, so it provides another reason to use video in your digital marketing mix.


How can use video for your own business

The following are some ideas and apps to show you how you can apply video to your business without having to go to the expense of hiring a videographer, along with the budget that goes with that.

1.    Talking head - Facebook / Periscope

Facebook Live and Periscope, which is also live, is a great place for you to start. The barrier to entry for a Facebook Live session is low. All you need is your mobile phone, open up your Facebook app, and start a Facebook Live session. 

Some of you are probably thinking, "I just don't want my head on camera." If you don't want to be recorded talking to an audience, then just turn the camera around, film and talk about what it is that you're seeing and doing. 

When doing a 'live broadcast' you need to watch your upload data speed to ensure the video is not choppy or cuts out. Also, you have the flexibility of doing this from both your desktop or mobile. If you're doing it with your mobile, make sure that you're keeping steady, and do think about your sound. 

The quality of sound is really important as you want people to be able to easily hear what you are saying. The microphone from your smart phone may not be sufficient, so do test before you go live. Also, be careful of the noise around you. You don't want to be infringing on copyright with any music that is back ground noise, but in fact will be an infringement of copyright rules. 

2.    Interviewing 

This is a really easy way to make your Facebook Live sessions even better. Instead of just you talking, you can interview people or have a chat session with other people as part of your live video. Facebook allows you to invite people in to your live session, so that you can have a conversation as part of your live video session. Not a lot of people are doing this at the moment, and it does add an extra dimension to your story, with more entertainment value, than just as a talking head. In order to invite someone in to your Facebook Live session, all you need to do when you are live, is to swipe left on your screen. You can see who is live at that point in time, and you can tap on the icon and invite one of your viewers to your live session. 

3.    Broadcast events

If you're in a business where you get out and about a lot, doing on the spot reporting at events is a really great way to generate content. Again, doing either videos for editing later on, or doing a live session. It's great to make comments, and provide in the moment sharing of what you are seeing. The other thing that's really powerful about this idea is that for others that are also viewing or interested in this event, using hashtags and sharing to that community helps, you get in front of a much broader audience than you might otherwise. 

4.    Image + augmentation

A great way to produce images that are a little bit special, with a bit of movement is with the app Lumyer. This allows you to add special effects to still images or to video. The example I've included here is a still image, but I've added a palm tree which is fluttering in the breeze, and some reflection from the sunlight. Whilst this isn't effectively a story being told, it does add movement and a bit of interest to what might be otherwise a very boring image. This app provides you with lots of different special effects, mostly on the fun side, and with a little bit of imagination can bring a bit of extra oophm to your content. 

5.    Add moving words and images

Another easy app to help you generate great video content is Lumen5.  This is a desktop app, but what's so powerful about this is it can take a page of content from your website, or you can copy and paste the content that you want to produce into a video as your words and images, and it will automatically generate a set of slides as moving text and images. You can, of course, search for different images or upload your own, and video can also be used as well. 

You can add copyright free music as a bonus and the interface for editing is very simple. You can pull together a video in a very short amount of time – minutes, not hours! The example I've included here took me about 10 minutes. 

6.    Combining images, words and video

Similar to the above, taking it to the next level, this app, called Animoto, is more flexible with more control over the design element of the final video. 

This is a desktop and smartphone app, which means that you can not only work on your desktop, but that same video can be picked up and continue to work on your mobile, or vice versa.  

Similar to Lumen5, this allows you to combine images and video together, but what is powerful about this particular app is that it has a heap of templates that you can tailor and guide you, if you're not very good on the design of your video for a professional look and feel. 

It also offers a voice over feature for each of the frames, or to select from a range of copyright-free music. 

For format, you can choose between either a landscape or square format. Landscape being important for Facebook, but in fact, square being important if you want to post to Instagram, or in fact, just get better capture in your feeds.


Additional things to think about   

When producing video, there are a few things to think about. 

  1. Storyboard what you want to be in the video
    Creating a video on the fly with no plan is difficult and you can spend more time producing a video than you really need to. I've provided a simple storyboard planner for your video as a template that you can download from my portal to help you plan out what you want in your video.
  2. Know what images/scenes/ locations you need
    The next thing to do is know what images, scenes, or locations you need in order to produce your entire video. Writing down the text and the content for each of the frames will make for a much more cohesive video. It will also save you time when it comes to putting it all together. 
  3. Framing
    Make sure you film in landscape or square, except if you're doing an Instastory, which you should do vertically. Landscape or square is important to avoid the black lines down either side of your video when it's posted.
  4. Stability when you're filming
    Make sure that you film with both hands, use a selfie stick, or tripod, or even consider purchasing a gimble. A gimble is a device that you'll mount your phone on and allows you to be stead as you move about. 
  5. Lighting
    Natural light is always best. You should face the light, particularly, if you're filming a face. Be careful of shadows, and don't put the light behind you unless you've been trying to be artistic and not show your face.
  6. Audio
    Be careful to avoid  any kind of TV, radio, or music in the background that may present copyright issues for you. Facebook can detect music and check on copyright as you upload video.

    Having good quality of sound in your audio is also very important. So consider buying a microphone of some kind. You can buy good quality ones between $50-100. 

Digital video as a trend is here to stay. Working out how to leverage it for your business is key to making sure you are staying on trend and taking advantage of where the sweet spots are giving you the most benefit, or offering up the most exposure, in terms of their algorithms.

These ideas that I've given you here today can be applied to many different types of businesses. Best of luck with your video making efforts. Don't forget to download the video storyboard template to help you create great videos to promote your message and business.