Spring Cleaning Your Small Business in 4 Easy Steps

Spring is here! If you're sprucing up your house with a little spring cleaning, it's also a great time for spring cleaning your small business.
Spring Cleaning Your Small Business in 4 Easy Steps
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Table of contents

Summary: Spring Cleaning You Small Business

Spring is here! If you're sprucing up your house with a little spring cleaning, it's also a great time for spring cleaning your small business.

We cover the 4 key areas you need to clean up to make your business shine:

  1. Review your website (what to look for and why)
  2. Check-in on your business goals (how's it going and what's changed)
  3. Adjust marketing strategies (especially if your goals changed)
  4. Clean out that inbox!

We also recommend listening to this earlier episode, spring clean your business, and avoid project fatigue.

Words of Wisdom

We just finished the first quarter of the year, If you keep track of that. We're at the beginning of the second quarter now. Do you need to adjust your goals? — Jen
We've been interviewing digital marketing experts, and we took quotes from the six people we have spoken with and found a theme. The theme was having authentic conversations within your content to attract an audience and to make them feel like they belong. Give them ownership of what your content is all about. We decided we need to have more conversations where we're giving people a chance to give us feedback and to talk about what they want to talk about. We looked at our marketing strategies. We said how could we make it better? — Shelley

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Transcript: Spring Cleaning Your Small Business

[00:00:00] Jen McFarland: The Women Conquer Business show is an educational, how to, women in business podcast that features stories, marketing news and real life experiences from fun and friendly hosts, Jen McFarland and Shelley Carney. Join us as we dive into the details so you can slay marketing overwhelm, streamline processes, and amplify your impact.

You'll learn strategies and tactics, leadership skills, and practical advice from successful women entrepreneurs to help you grow, nurture, and sustain your business.

Welcome to Women Conquer Business. I'm Jen McFarland joined by Shelley Carney. And this week we are talking about spring cleaning your small business in four easy steps. And if you are a long time listener of this show, You will know that there was an episode in the Wayback machine of spring clean your business and avoid project fatigue.

That one was more about how to manage all of the projects that you have going on in your business and picking and choosing and tidying up around that. This one is more about looking at some different things within your business to help you clear the clutter so that you can be cleaning your business.

Just like you probably are going around maybe with a feather duster or something like that right now and cleaning up your house. So we want to clean the business house. Hi, Shelley.

[00:01:23] Shelley Carney: I'm doing pretty well. This week I did two podcast interviews to talk about what's going on and my business and my life.

What else is going on? My mom is improving. She's still in the hospital, but she's getting better. And they're starting physical therapy with her this week. So that's going on. My husband is halfway through his cancer treatment, so that's going well. We have all kinds of medical issues in our lives right now.

Yesterday on our show, Toby and I talked about our new feature coming up. We're going to do Saturday night conversations and it's going to be an open conversation where people can show up and just talk about whatever in the chat room with us. Toby and I will be having a conversation to spark more conversations.

So we're looking forward to starting that tomorrow. Saturday night, it's only Thursday. It's not Friday, yet. Yeah.

[00:02:14] Jen McFarland: That's excellent. I think that we should acknowledge that we weren't on last week. That was for multiple reasons. I am also having some health issues and the concussion has turned into a bigger deal than I thought. That's the thing it's so important when you have a small business to take care of yourself.

I can honestly say that my roller skating career is now It was never an Olympic endeavor, so it's not like I was a pro. But it has made it very difficult for me to work with clients and having the ring light on and video and things like It's been a challenge. So I also didn't feel up to it.

Shelley had a lot of stuff going on and so we took a break. I want to just acknowledge that we did that and we're back. Also for you who are out there watching or listening, it's okay to take those breaks when you're not feeling super great.

[00:03:09] Shelley Carney: That's right.

[00:03:10] Jen McFarland: Of course in typical Jen style, because it's like, I have to do all of the things.

I do have an updated website and I'm very excited about it. I'm still putting on a lot of the finishing touches on it. It's not really an official launch of the new website. But I'm excited because I was telling Shelley before the show, I feel like it finally puts all of this content I've been creating for the last five years in a place where it's a little bit easier to navigate and it's easier to find out about me.

It's got a little bit more information. It's got more of my personality in it with things like some of the different emojis and stuff like that. So you can go there. It is lightning fast and it really shows off the podcast episodes a lot better. So if you go to women conquer biz.com I also included some of my favorite tools.

People are always asking me what software I use. So there's just a lot in there and I'm hoping it's easier for people who find it or who have enjoyed reading the content in the past for you to engage with it. Very excited about that. The other thing that I'm really excited about that probably nobody else is that today is opening day.

It is major league baseball opening day. I am a huge baseball fan. When I lived in Arizona, my husband and I would go to spring training games. We went to all kinds of Arizona Diamondbacks games. I'm a lifelong Mariners fan, which means I have suffered and never seen them even go to the world series in their entire existence.

I'm excited. Tomorrow we're having our baseball party with our friends Ann and Robert. Which is really awesome. So happy new year to all of you baseball fans out there. This is the day I, this is the day I celebrate because the Mariners are in first place. My husband's celebrates because the Orioles are in first place.

And typically this is the only day they're in first place. Everybody's in first place because there have been no games yet. Breaking news. Shelley?

[00:05:06] Shelley Carney: Breaking news. You know what? Toby changed the board on here, so I don't have my breaking news noise.

[00:05:14] Jen McFarland: That's fine. Lucky to be here today.

[00:05:17] Shelley Carney: Yeah. I gave you the DJ air horn and that was as much as I could. Breaking news. Ta-da! We have a new book out this week called Livecast Life, the Content Creator Lifestyle that Toby and I put together, and you can see me and Toby on the cover. And there's Toby now wonderful in my music on this site. So this came out on Amazon this week. It's 17, 18 chapters about how to live stream podcast and blog at the same time every week, and then get your content out and among the world and doing it in a way that is streamlined.

Simple and scheduled so that you can continue to do it every week. You feel more motivated. You keep consistent with it. This is available on Amazon and you can go to book.livecast.life and find it very simply and easily. If you would like to get this book for free, we do offer it on Kindle unlimited for a free read or this Sunday and Monday, the 10th and 11th. I think that is this weekend on Sunday and Monday, you can get it for free as a Kindle download. Please do go ahead and grab that for free as our gift to you. If you do please leave us a review on Amazon and let us know what you thought about it.

[00:06:45] Jen McFarland: That's awesome. And again, this is so amazing to me, how you do video series on YouTube and then shortly create a book then to put on Amazon. I think this is just a wonderful thing and to tail onto that, because we both create content to sell in different ways. Of course, as I've talked about before, and now what I did with that course is I took the audio from it and it's an audio book that will be live shortly.

And that's a neat thing. I used a software called Publish Drive, which if you've never heard of that is software that you can use for getting your Amazon books up, but you can also use it for audio books as well. So using my nifty little podcasting skills, I was able to separate things out into chapters, upload the chapters into Publish Drive, and then they are doing all the coordination with all of the book companies.

That should be coming out soon. But they say it could be like a three week wait, so we're in like week two or three. So who knows. Yeah, who knows when it'll come out, but it's very exciting. It's a cool thing now that all of us can do those things, just like the big guys. And I think that's, what's so great about you creating books and publishing them, and then being able to like make audio books and things.

[00:08:02] Shelley Carney: There's no gatekeeper. You can do it. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. When you're ready to do it, you just do it.

[00:08:07] Jen McFarland: That's right. So what else is going on? It looks here there's something going on LinkedIn.

[00:08:12] Shelley Carney: Oh let's see. LinkedIn is building new analytics.

[00:08:17] Jen McFarland: Analytics and video features for creators,

[00:08:20] Shelley Carney: for creators and increasing the visibility of their content.

Now this is an article that LinkedIn is building new analytics and video features for creators. Basically they have updated and upgraded how you could put a little video where your profile picture is and that wasn't working very well. Apparently they've updated it, made it easier for people to use and it works better now. So we'll give that another try. They're giving us more analytics about who's reading and engaging with our content. I'm loving the LinkedIn newsletter because it sends it out to people and they get an email about it and I can share it in groups and every week my subscribers base goes up just a little bit more on that newsletter because of the visibility I'm getting there. I recommend using LinkedIn, if you haven't used it in a while, or haven't used it at all, or haven't really done content on LinkedIn, sharing your content, then really try that out because it's going to help you reach new people that you haven't reached before.

[00:09:20] Jen McFarland: Absolutely. I'm guessing so by, these new creator tools, if you're not using creator mode on LinkedIn and you are a creator, I highly suggest that you turn on creator mode in LinkedIn. The main difference that you will see immediately is instead of having a connection request button, it turns into follow so people can follow you. But it also changes some of the ways the content is presented on your homepage and LinkedIn profile page. That is a pretty exciting thing. It makes it a little bit easier for people to engage with you in that way. One of the people that I follow on LinkedIn, who is a pretty great resource, who is just an expert and he's helped me out with my LinkedIn, his name is Andy Foote. His last name is spelled F O O T E. He's a real thought leader on LinkedIn. He's always talking about things like creator mode and how to extend the use and how to use LinkedIn, right? There are a lot of people who are saying, oh, go in and have a pod. And that's one of the worst things you can do.

A pod means you and a group of people. And it's usually a large group of people. Go in on boosting each other's content in a very artificial way. It's one thing, if you see a story that somebody has written and you share it, it's another thing when it's this coordinated attack of boosting each other's stuff.

It's one of the quickest ways to get not so much banned, but penalized on LinkedIn and things. That are happening out in that community that LinkedIn is aware of. And then Andy talks a lot too about some of the other features out there. So I'll have to check and see if he's talked about this. Cause this is pretty exciting.

And what is this? LinkedIn debuts its own podcast network?

[00:11:03] Shelley Carney: Right? You've heard of networks for podcasts. Basically you belong to a group of podcasters who is sponsored by a particular corporation like LinkedIn. And they have started doing this with some bigger names bigger people like The Start-up of You, Hello Monday and other things that are going on.

And that's just a little thing that they're getting started with and they're building out. So just something to be aware of.

[00:11:30] Jen McFarland: I think that's fantastic. We're seeing it, you can upload your podcasts now into Facebook and all of these different social media platforms. I haven't done that with Facebook.

It is just interesting to me how big podcasting has become even when I started back in 2018, it just, wasn't what it is today. It's just been this huge explosion. My big concern with it is what does that mean for indie podcasters like us? I think it means it's harder and harder to get a foothold, but because so many different areas, the gatekeepers are gone, you don't know if that's really the case or not. There's been a lot of people who are saying that it's harder to get a foothold, but the average podcast still only lasts like seven episodes because of podfade. People don't realize how hard it actually is to get a show out, no matter how easy we say it is. It's a lack of planning.

[00:12:22] Shelley Carney: Not having a system.

[00:12:23] Jen McFarland: I think all these tools are exciting and who knows LinkedIn sometimes surprises me where it seems like they're totally corporate. Then they send out tools that are not corporate at all. I love seeing all these platforms becoming more creator focused.

I think it's great. I think LinkedIn

[00:12:39] Shelley Carney: They are even beta testing a creator fund on LinkedIn.

[00:12:44] Jen McFarland: Oh, that's great. Yeah. I need to become more engaged. I actually was accepted into a program with Facebook business leaders program. That's put out by, I guess it's Meta now, but I was interviewed by people from Facebook and vetted, and I'm a part of this group and I need to engage with it more because it would make me more of an expert in Facebook.

But I'm personally

[00:13:08] Shelley Carney: It's hard to be that because it changes so

[00:13:11] Jen McFarland: changes so much and it's actually for small business owners to really help them understand how to use the tools better. I need to do that. I haven't really been engaging on Facebook much. I feel like more of my people are on LinkedIn. But I could speak to things, on this show and stuff a little bit more, become a little more engaged with it. So it's interesting. I'm excited. I'm very excited with a lot of things going on with LinkedIn. And I feel like this evolution, LinkedIn is better positioned. We've talked about Amazon before and their creator tools. I feel like LinkedIn is better positioned for it.

Mostly because it's more concentrated in one area. And as we've talked about, Amazon's more. Spread out spread thin and it's really hard to be everything to everybody. Do we have anything else you've really taken the lead on things like breaking news and tweaks of the week because I've been not working much.

[00:14:04] Shelley Carney: When you have it put it in there, when you don't, you don't.

[00:14:06] Jen McFarland: That's right. So are we ready to get into the spring cleaning? I'm a little excited. Yeah. Powering up. That's good. I even brought my feather duster.

[00:14:17] Shelley Carney: I see that. You're not wearing your French maid. Let's tell the podcast listeners she's even wearing a French maid costume.

[00:14:24] Jen McFarland: I am not wearing a French maid costume. Although that is interesting. I could, we could put something in the show notes. When I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Kazakhstan and there would be like special days, like International Women's Day or holidays. Or graduation. The girls and young women in the school would dress in what I thought looked like French chamber maid costumes, but it's the traditional dress for when they dress up to school.

When you said that I immediately went to two Loma knows of a school in Targin, Kazakhstan, and thought about all these adorable kids running around in their French chambermaid costumes. So anyway, a sidebar, Jen just went back to Peace Corps. Cool. I am not wearing a costume like that. I did bring a few

[00:15:09] Shelley Carney: They don't know that. They can only hear.

Ooh la la!.

Next time, tune in and see if she really did wear it. Yes,

[00:15:21] Jen McFarland: no, I won't be wearing that, but you come in and watch us and ask us live questions.

[00:15:27] Shelley Carney: Yeah. Contribute to the conversation. Today we're going to talk about four key areas you need to clean up to make your business shine. I like that. So what is the first thing you have here? Take a look at your website. We just looked at your website.

[00:15:45] Jen McFarland: We don't have to look at my website, but as a business owner, one of the first things that you could be working on, if you clean out your closet, you clean out your kitchen, you can clean up your website. And it doesn't mean that you personally have to do the editing, but a lot of times people set and forget the website.

Unless you're a creator. You really just let it go.

[00:16:08] Shelley Carney: I'm raising my hand. I do that,

[00:16:10] Jen McFarland: You set and forget. One of the things that I've found in a lot of the presentations and the research and working with clients that I do is because so many people are looking for you online as this versus pre pandemic, people are really relying on that information being accurate. And if, for example, you have a phone number and it's old, or your address is old, or the services you offer are not correct, people just bail. They're not going to keep trying to figure it out. If your hours are wrong on your Google business profile they're not going to engage with you. It's not worthwhile for them.

[00:16:48] Shelley Carney: You've messed up that chance at that first impression.

[00:16:51] Jen McFarland: You've lost that potential customer. So it's really a good time. This is one of the low hanging fruit, if you will, that you can go through, read your website and look at it and say, man, this is accurate. This is great. I think people should do it more than once a year, but Hey, once a year, if you haven't done it and they could look, is it accurate? And if you can look at it through your potential customer's eyes, and this is a little hard sometimes because we get really close to the content and things like that.

I know that with my website, I sent it to Shelley and she was like you've got like an error here. I was like, what? Because it was just a little typographical thing, but it's I'm so close to it. I can't even see it anymore. So I was like, keep it coming, just keep telling me what's going on. So if it's possible for you to look at it through your customer's eyes, look at it and say, is it easy to navigate? Is it easy for people to find what I do? Is it easy for people to understand why they should engage with me or how. And those are some of the things that you can be doing. And then you just make little tweaks.

This isn't a big overhaul or anything. This is just, oh, I could make this a little bit easier. And that's the first thing I think that you can do to make your business shine a little bit.

[00:18:12] Shelley Carney: Yeah. And I did that too today, in fact, because I was on the podcast interview this morning at seven am and I told them about the book and I sent them to the website agkmedia.studio.

And I was like, this book better be on there. So I made sure to add it in and a couple of different pages, in links and buttons to push, to get there. So yeah, you definitely, whenever you're doing something new in your business, you put out a book or you started a new show or something's happening definitely immediately go and get that onto your website so that people will know about it.

[00:18:47] Jen McFarland: Absolutely. Again, this is something relatively simple, probably just a few things that you might find. If you look at your website, you might have to be like, oh, okay, I just need to change a handful of things. Then I can move on to the next thing. But yes, make sure that everything is accurate that's up there and your products are up there. I do the same thing. I forget. And then I talk about something and then I'm hustling after the podcast interview.

[00:19:11] Shelley Carney: That's another good reason to do things like that. It reminds you, oh, I better get my website straightened out because I just gave that link out or I better make sure that this is correct, because I just gave that link or I'm going to give that link out at the next time.

[00:19:22] Jen McFarland: Is it going to work?

[00:19:24] Shelley Carney: That's right.

[00:19:24] Jen McFarland: Absolutely. So then the second thing. This goes a little bit deeper under the hood, but I think that this is really important and it takes me back to an interview I did with Tim McCain. It was one of the first interviews I did on the show is you need to review your business goals.

And the reason is if you're not touching base with your business goals and saying like, how are we doing? Like we just finished the first quarter of the year. If you keep track of that we're at the beginning of the second quarter now. What were your first quarter goals? How are you looking toward that?

How has, how are you tracking? Are you getting close to that? Do you need to adjust your goals? And I remember what he said on that show, which was that they had set a goal of a million dollars in revenue and they hit it and they never adjusted the goal. So they never really got beyond the million dollar revenue until they went back and they looked and they were like we can do better than this.

We've already proven that we can meet that goal, but because they hadn't been consistently reviewing it, they weren't really stretching themselves into doing it, doing more, and how they can improve even more. Then they said that once they adjusted for that, then they were able to achieve more.

So one of the reasons that you look at those goals is you can be like, whoa, I am way off from my goals. Or I have exceeded those goals. In either case you needed adjust what your thinking is and what it is that you're working on

[00:20:57] Shelley Carney: Tracking and adjusting. Yeah. Yeah,

[00:21:00] Jen McFarland: Do you do that?

[00:21:01] Shelley Carney: It's not a sit down and look at it and check numbers as much as it is Toby and I sit and we'll have a talk. Is this working for us? Okay. We had some bad news last week, we lost a client. He passed away. Are we going to keep on this track? And if so, we need to get some new clients and what are we going to do to make that happen?

So when things happen that Hey, wake up, is this still a viable goal? What do we need to be doing to get back on track with this? So we don't have a set time when we do it, but when stuff happens and we take another look at what are we doing? What should it be? What should we be doing?

[00:21:41] Jen McFarland: Yeah, I totally understand. I do the same thing with Gail for Epiphany Courses. And then I have, I need to update it. It still has my Q1 goals of which I did some and then some were really outlandish and I'm realizing that I need to adjust. I need to scale back to be a little more reasonable on some of my goals.

And then the part about it, the reason that you do the goal review, even if it is a high-level feeling into it, or you're touching base with your co-founders or other people, or even your customers, the reason that you really review those business goals really goes into step number three, which is, are your marketing strategies aligned with those goals?

So if you go and you adjust your business goals, then the next thing that you need to adjust is your. And your budget and anything else that's related to those goals, but this is a marketing show. So we're gonna talk about marketing. You don't want me talking about budgets? That's not my lane.

But I will say that when you shift your goals, then you're probably shifting what it is that you're doing to achieve them. You're probably, you may have some new initiatives, some new projects. You may have some things that's going on that you may be shifting, you may be changing some things.

So have you also adjusted your marketing strategies to fit? Your goals. It's a good time to go. Okay. So what is working with my marketing? Am I getting out to the people that I want to, are they responding? Is my market, has my marketing been effective? What parts of my marketing were helping me achieve my goals?

What parts are myth, and it's not really doing as much as I had hoped. And how. How can we adjust that? Our, my marketing campaigns effective and that's actually, we haven't mentioned that yet. That's really what we're going to be talking about for the balance of the month, our marketing campaigns, and how to get your marketing campaigns.

Going, and getting started with that. If you have a smattering of things that you're doing, I like to call it the the, a lot of people call it spray and pray other people. I like to call it throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks, if that's your strategy right now, it's a good time to circle the wagons a little bit and.

Be a little bit more strategic and use tactics that are really think of your marketing as a support system for your goals. Like how is it helping you in a direct way achieve those goals, especially since you've adjusted. Based on your spring cleaning.

[00:24:17] Shelley Carney: That's right. What Toby and I did is we've been interviewing digital marketing experts as because you're one of them.

And we took quotes from the six people we have spoken with thus far and found a theme that they were telling us. We decided the theme was having authentic conversations within your content to attract audience and to make them feel like they belong. Give them some ownership of what your content is all about. Just have them be a part of your community. So we discussed that. And then from there we decided, okay, we need to start doing more conversations where we're just having it more open, where we're giving people a chance to give us feedback and to talk about what they want to talk about.

So just listening to us, give presentations. So we decided to do a Saturday night show based on that. So I think we did do what you're suggesting here. We looked at our marketing strategies. We said how could we make it better? And we took the advice of those experts we've been speaking with and said, okay, how can we take their advice and put it within our business model? And how can we use that to make those connections happen?

[00:25:26] Jen McFarland: I think that's great. And I love this concept. I need to check my newsletter again and see what time that is on Saturday and see if I can get in there. And Pacific 6:00 PM. Pacific. Yes. That'd be fun.

And I, and that's the thing. It is community is important and it's a big part of it. So I have I'm not surprised that's a theme or a thread that kind of came through and I like it because it's a lot more authentic. One of the other things that is a big trend right now is the influencer marketing stuff.

I'm reading, I'm listening to this book right now called Hype. And it talks about it's a lot about influencer marketing, but it's about the scams that kind of come out of it and that, that bro marketing and. It's not as authentic, a lot of people can use things like influencer marketing to really promote something that isn't real, but you can't fake community.

That's the thing. You can't fake community. You can't fake the questions and answers and that interaction that you get from people. And that's what makes it so much more effective is reaching out to people and saying, Hey, what, how can I help you? And do the live Q and a.

[00:26:42] Shelley Carney: That's right. You do it within the parameters of your own business model so that you do what works best for you. Like I said, we're doing this conversations because that's what's going to work within our business model. But you can do a back and forth in any way that you can. You want to send out an email and please write back and whatever it is that you can do to get that feedback from people. If you're way off base or if you're speaking to the heart of the matter or not.

[00:27:09] Jen McFarland: Absolutely. And in the marketing model that I use to go through with my clients, feedback is actually a big part of it. People. Most of the time, people look for reviews and testimonials. You're asking the people who are already happy.

Like most of the time, if you have a client that is not happy with you, you're not going to be like, oh, Hey, can I get a review? That's not who you're asking. And that's why. It's much more effective, say on your website to have those reviews sprinkled throughout your website than to just have a review page, because everybody knows that's a praise page.

Like it's just, people are just saying great stuff about you, but what makes marketing much more authentic and more real is when you have feedback. So you're getting feedback from people that may not be your all-star clients. Maybe it went well, but it wasn't like the best that they can give you honest feedback.

And if, and a lot of small business owners, a lot of people I talked to you or fearful of that, and I'm like, but that's how you improve. So anything that you can do to not just get the praise, but get the feedback about what could be. And then you take that in you and you integrate it into your business processes.

Then that is a marketing improvement. And people don't necessarily look at that as part of their marketing, but it is for some businesses that can be like the linchpin toward something greater. If you're willing to take that risk and get feedback from people.

[00:28:34] Shelley Carney: Yeah. Yeah. So if you're interested in all of our thoughts on that, you can watch our show that we did yesterday on Messages and Methods or listen to the podcast.

I found it very interesting, but then I created the presentations. But it gets into the whole content marketing and Content Inc. And that model of build an audience first and then listen to what they want and then give them that. Yeah it's really.

[00:29:01] Jen McFarland: Oh, I forgot to tell you. So we talked about Content, Inc.

This was an off air conversation that we had that because Shelley's been reading it and then I went and found Content, Inc. And I think I have a newer edition than you. I got the second edition and I've been reading it and it's fascinating. It's a really great read. So we'll have to put a copy of that in the show notes so that if you're interested in reading and learning more about that, Content about Content, Inc.

And then also looking at, look at how Shelley is applying it. That is a fascinating thing. And I love the idea of creating the audience and then selling the products. I think that it's a great thing and I love, I want to get all of your insights on that. So I'll go back and listen to the show. I haven't been.

Haven't been as with it, I guess it, this concussion, it's making me a little bit goofy.

[00:29:55] Shelley Carney: You're doing good.

[00:29:57] Jen McFarland: But, what else did you get from that book? That's just a quick

[00:30:00] Shelley Carney: I think that was the most important thing was that whole concept of first you build an audience. And then you come up with a product.

And that was like, to me, it was like, oh, interesting. Now that is what we do as, and especially as a media company. But what you also want to do is you want to be the leading authority in your niche industry so that people are going to come to you whenever they think about for instance, if they are like, I want to start live streaming and podcasting and blogging all at the same time every week, who's going to talk to me about that?

Me, I do that. I don't know anyone else who does that, in fact. So I have a niche industry, where I am the premier thought leader. So come to me. As I grow that audience, then they can tell me, here's what I need to buy from you. I want this book, I want this course. I want this. And then I can start producing exactly what they need.

[00:31:01] Jen McFarland: Absolutely. And I think that the other thing that you'll likely learn, because it happens to me cause I'm on the technical side too. One of the great things about feedback and growing that audience first is that they will tell you you say that this is super easy.

I don't think that this part is super easy. So I think that it's also an opportunity when you open yourself up to these Q and A's that you're getting that you're technical and I'm not, this is easy and it's not, and that's how we can adjust to and get better. And that's the beauty of growing the audience for.

Is that you're learning as you go, like what obstacles people have, and then you take that. And then, because you're the expert, it's relatively easy for you to take that building block that you get and just go, oh, okay. I'm going to add this because what I've been hearing is that it's not. X it's actually X plus Y and that's what my people need in order to really get ahead.

And that's what that's, what's so great about it because oftentimes I think, and it's the old way, right? Of doing things that you make a product and you sell that, and then you find out nobody needs that. And you've wasted a lot of time,

[00:32:13] Shelley Carney: Unless you're Apple, and then you just convince everybody they need.

[00:32:17] Jen McFarland: They have a lot more money than we do.

So that's a lot different.

So I love this. I think that this is great and that's actually something that you can do to spring clean your business. As part of the marketing strategy is to look at how you can bring in things and tidy some of that up. Are they in alignment? Are you creating content that really speaks to your people?

Because sometimes that's where that disconnect is. Sometimes that disconnect is that you haven't been getting the feedback from people or they're telling you, and you're not listening to what it is that's happening. And because the marketing is one of the ways that you like. Boost people into that conversion place, where they're buying.

That's one of the reasons why it's really important that you make sure that your marketing strategies are in alignment. And a lot of times, we do a lot with content, both you and I that's really what we do. So we tend to lean toward the content side, but this could be, if you rely heavily on social media or you rely on, some of the different areas, the different dimensions of marketing, you may need to be making some.

[00:33:25] Shelley Carney: That's right. You might want to think about, am I utilizing my referral network at all, or effectively, and that's something that we have that's there that we sometimes forget to use. Yeah.

[00:33:39] Jen McFarland: I think that, my, my thing about that is. I was meeting with a client a few days ago and they were already going into Facebook groups and all kinds of stuff.

And I'm like, Hey let's get your word of mouth and referrals. Let's get that flywheel going. Before we start, like worrying about a lot of people, we don't know let's work on the people that we do know and build community and content and everything around that. I think that's a really big part of.

The business growth model is like, how do you bring other people that you already know into the discussion? To really help you out.

[00:34:11] Shelley Carney: That's right. Because if I look at who our clients have been, and they have been people that we already knew and had worked with in the past in other areas of our lives and then they decided to work with us because they already have that know, like, trust factor with us. It's that much easier just to have them on in a new capacity and a new business model.

[00:34:31] Jen McFarland: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Oh, it looks like somebody. How neat. Yeah. On content marketing. Thank you so much.

[00:34:41] Shelley Carney: Thank you.

[00:34:42] Jen McFarland: Yeah. Thank you for tuning in. So are we ready to move on to number four way? Okay. So the last way that you can be spring cleaning your business. Okay. So let's be honest.

Let's take a pause. My guess is if I were to wager a guess, Shelley, your inbox is pristine. Is that right?

[00:35:02] Shelley Carney: No.

[00:35:02] Jen McFarland: I think we know the answer, email inbox.

[00:35:06] Shelley Carney: I did go through and unsubscribed from a lot of things this last weekend. Yeah. So that of course helps, if I find myself going through and just mass deleting stuff, it's okay, it's time to go through and unsubscribe from things that I'm no longer interested in.

I also told myself, I have way too much going on in my life this month to sign up for any more free webinars or courses or anything else like that. So I immediately delete that stuff too. And don't even look at that. And yeah, I think it, it's a honing process. It's okay, what do I need to get rid of?

Because we collect clutter in our inboxes. And so I've been working on it. But it's not quite there yet.

[00:35:50] Jen McFarland: Wow. That's surprises me. I thought you'd be one of those zero inbox people. So if you are a zero inbox person, I know my friend Elizabeth Case is a zero inbox person. This is not for you.

But if you are the, probably the majority of people have inboxes to get a little out of control. This is a good time to really take a look at your inbox and see if there's some easier ways of managing. I think I've talked about it on the show before that I'm not a huge I don't really like email that much.

It's a necessary evil as part of a business owner. I use both maelstrom and SaneBox use them for different reasons. SaneBox has gotten me into some trouble because it's a filtering system, but sometimes people get filtered and it's typically business owners who use their personal business. Email.

So it'd be like jen@womenconquerbiz.com. If that's what my daily email was, then. If I use that as my email marketing that goes out from active campaign, then when people email me SaneBox will assume that it's email marketing and it puts it in there. So I don't have to worry about unsubscribing and stuff.

Cause all of the email newsletters end up in a place SaneBox does that where it's it, it knows if it's email marketing, it knows if it's something that is later. So it seems to know if it's like product updates. I subscribed to a lot of stuff that a lot of software product updates in that.

So SaneBox does a lot to save me time in terms of filtering things into different places. And like I said, though, sometimes it's you have to train it so that it won't auto filter everything. And so that same box, the other one that I use that I absolutely love is called maelstrom. Now, maelstrom, I think I could probably get to do some of the things that SaneBox does.

I use Maelstrom to just mass delete and clean up things. Gmail account that is not a work account. And I use maelstrom to really go through and delete a lot of stuff and clean out the inbox quickly. But if you are, and there are all different kinds of programs out there. I think one of them is called superhuman.

There are a few other. Inbox zero things that you can do, take a look at your email situation. And if it's stressing you out, if you are like my aunt, who I don't think is listening to the show and you have 40,000 emails that you haven't read I looked at her phone, her iPhone, and I was like, is this for real?

Just seeing that many emails like stressed me out. So if you have an email situation that is stressing you out, Spring clean that find a tool, whether it's maelstrom, SaneBox superhuman anything that can help you organize and manage it. It may even be as simple as creating folders for your clients and like sticking those emails in the client folders and keeping up with it.

It can really save you sanity. Time. I think, I don't know. Maybe, and I did a whole article on this, like years ago that like some people don't even get stressed out about email at all.

[00:39:06] Shelley Carney: My daughter got to where she would never even look at her email inbox and any more. And I think she just eventually just closed that one and then opened a new one.

It's oh my gosh, really? She never opened anything or looked at anything. I was like, oh boy. Yeah, if you're interested Toby and I did do a we have a playlist that is, that goes along with our book and it's a bunch of videos and a playlist called Livecast Life. It's on our Messages and Methods YouTube channel.

If you look at this one here, Gmail is a great tool, so learn to use it. Toby goes through a lot of his things that he does with Gmail in order to filter to forward. And all of the things that you can do just within Gmail without getting any additional tools it's all, the Gmail thing is free and it gives you some ideas on some things that you can do to help you keep your inbox under control.

So we found that one of our first clients we had just didn't even understand Gmail. Didn't understand, forwarding, didn't understand how to find something. We sent you an email. I can't find it. Okay. Well go to all mail. What's that? So we went through step-by-step in this video because the client that we had needed that. So we thought there's probably other people out there.

[00:40:28] Jen McFarland: A

[00:40:28] Shelley Carney: lot of

[00:40:28] Jen McFarland: people out there.

[00:40:30] Shelley Carney: Check that out. If that's something that you need to understand a little bit better and it's right there on our YouTube channel. So

[00:40:38] Jen McFarland: we'll put it in the show notes. If we remember,

[00:40:43] Shelley Carney: we'll try to remember.

[00:40:44] Jen McFarland: I'll try to remember. I'm the one who usually does the show notes and now I have to look up and it's we're 45 minutes in and I've done nothing. Good luck.

[00:40:51] Shelley Carney: I got a lot of it in the chat,

[00:40:53] Jen McFarland: But it'll be okay. We'll help you. We won't put it in there right now. So I think that we've covered a lot of the major areas. If you think that we have forgotten something, then please let us know what you would do to spring clean your business and help it shine. We're trying to hit things that we've seen and that we can talk about. I would say that the first three were definitely in the marketing arena and that is taking a look at your website, reviewing your business goals, and you're reviewing your business goals so that you can make some marketing adjustments.

I would say probably the inbox stuff isn't so much a marketing thing only if you're not replying to people that could possibly be bad marketing if you're not responding to emails. So take a look at your inbox, especially if it stresses you out. I think that these four areas will really help you heading into this next quarter, or I guess it started seven days ago, and I really hope that those help you make your business shine.

So we're rounding. Third. How funny is that? That I use a baseball analogy. I hope, happy opening day again to everybody. It is also if you are stressed out by social media, this may also be a good time to check out the seven days. Social media detox. We have a link to that in the show notes it's a seven day, a free seven day journal that can help you process how you are interacting and engaging with social media.

If social media is the thing that you need to spring clean in your business, this might be a good option for you. And it's absolutely free. And I believe that Shelley also has something.

[00:42:35] Shelley Carney: I just, once again, bring up the book Livecast Life, the Content Creator Lifestyle, and this has got the system in there for you to do every week you can do your live stream, your podcast and your blog, and it's all very simplified in that way.

It's going to keep your life a little bit more organized. And when you have a system like that.

[00:42:57] Jen McFarland: Love it. I love it. I'm excited. I'm definitely grabbing that. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:43:02] Shelley Carney: And again, grab it on Sunday or Monday of this coming week and it's going to be a free download for the Kindle and you can then review it when you're done.

[00:43:13] Jen McFarland: Ah, that's awesome. Yeah. So tweaks of the week.

[00:43:18] Shelley Carney: Tweaks of the week.

[00:43:24] Jen McFarland: It just makes me so happy. Oh, LinkedIn live stream event. Add to calendar. What is

[00:43:30] Shelley Carney: Let me tell you what happened. I saw when we scheduled this show, On LinkedIn today. I saw it there as a post and it said attend and I clicked that button. And then it said, add to your calendar. And I was like, oh, and it sent me an email that said you are attending this event at this time.

Do you want to add it to your calendar? So it asked me twice if I wanted to add it to my calendar. And I was just like, Whoa!

[00:43:58] Jen McFarland: That's phenomenal. That's fantastic.

[00:44:00] Shelley Carney: And we didn't have to do anything extra other than schedule it.

[00:44:05] Jen McFarland: That's a pretty royal we, since you scheduled it, but.

[00:44:09] Shelley Carney: Yeah, but you gave me the information and then I just put it on Streamyard.

So yeah, we do it as a team.

[00:44:14] Jen McFarland: That's fabulous. I just look at us. High five. It's lovely because they really seem to be embracing more of the creative thing, like getting into what it is we have to do and helping it, helping people remember. If they really want to engage and they're really learning something, then it's good for them to have a way that they can add it to their calendar.

[00:44:36] Shelley Carney: Yes.

[00:44:37] Jen McFarland: I love it. That's a phenomenal, I didn't know that. So I'm going to have to go

[00:44:41] Shelley Carney: It's the first time I've seen it. So I think it's new. Yeah,

[00:44:45] Jen McFarland: That's awesome. What is the Wisdom app?

[00:44:47] Shelley Carney: Wisdom app. Okay. I got an email from the people at Wisdom and they said we would like you to claim your podcast. And I was like, oh, I don't even know what this is about. Okay, let me check it out. So Wisdom app is an app that it combines a place to find podcasts, a place to meet people who are also podcasters and possibly have them on your show. And it combines it with a Clubhouse type of an app, a social audio app. So you can just go on yourself or just talk or show up and then people will show up with you and then you create a clubhouse type room. Or you can find people on there who might be guests on your podcast and it's new.

So it's still building. Yeah. Yeah. It's very different in that it combines, it seemed to me to combine all the things that people liked about Clubhouse. But without some of the things they didn't like. You can record the room that you're doing. And then you can use it on your podcast.

So if you have had a really good session on the app, then you can take that and put it on your podcast.

[00:45:56] Jen McFarland: How interesting, because that sounds like Fireside also, so that's how that's fascinating. Yeah. I'll have to look. I'll have to go look at that. Claim my podcast. Yeah. And that sounds so that before we move into, because is Vote Frenzy also podcast related?

[00:46:12] Shelley Carney: A little bit.

[00:46:13] Jen McFarland: So let me slip in my app for that. I was going to use last week that then we didn't have a show and it's called air A I R R. And I learned about it from the YouTuber who was talking about, he has a concept called second brain and he uses air a I R as a way to capture quotes that he really likes from podcasts.

So what air does is it's a way for you to listen to podcasts. So it would be like, instead of say, Spotify or apple podcasts or whatever, and then as you're listening, if you find a, something like a quote. Really great that you want to capture, you can actually highlight it. And it actually makes like audio clips of that, so I'm like looking at it through the podcast or lens and I'm like, oh, so could I make like audio clips to share? And yes, you can do that, but it's also, if you want to share things either with your audience or you've found something enlightening, and then you wanted to put that like in a blog post or something like that.

And that's. And that was a pretty interesting thing. It seems like if you don't, if you are listening to big name, podcasts, transcripts are already there. If you're listening to indie podcasts, you need to generate the transcript and it will help you get through it. So that's air and then you also had vote frenzy.

What's that?

[00:47:32] Shelley Carney: All right. I met one of the creators on LinkedIn of vote frenzy and he told me all about it last week. So I checked into it a little bit and it's basically, you can put out a poll, a quiz kind of a game that you can use on your phone. So like a little app phone game thing. And then when you answer the question what's your biggest obstacle as a digital marketer? And you can have four or five different choices.

And then after you answer, it gives you what other people have answered. So percentage wise, 5% said this, 20% said that, so you know what their answers were and then you keep scrolling down and then you get a coupon for something. So it could be a coupon for a percentage off of merchandise that company puts out, or it could be a freebie or it could be any kind of a coupon that you decided on.

So it is a way to gather audience and give them things that are of interest to them. So if you were to say, do you prefer vegetarian pizza or meat pizza, or no pizza or whatever. And when they answer vegetarian pizza, then you can give them a coupon for veggie pizza, so that they're telling you what they like.

So then you can hone that coupon just for what they said that they wanted.

[00:48:52] Jen McFarland: That's fun. I'll have to check that out. Yeah, that's cool. We're just, what is it? Are we at the, what is the radio? Are we at the bottom of the hour or

[00:49:01] Shelley Carney: We're getting at the top of the hour here I think.

[00:49:03] Jen McFarland: At the top of the hour here. So what inspirational nugget do you have to share?

[00:49:09] Shelley Carney: I have this here, build and use your support system to grow closer to your family and friends. And the reason this came up is because my mom's in the hospital and I've been getting a phone call from my brother almost every day. This is the most I've talked to my brother on the phone in my entire life. And it's not that we don't like each other or anything else. It's just that we've never really been close. I have, we have a lot of respect for each other. But it isn't something that we ever did was just to call each other on the phone, but now we're calling each other, he's calling on the phone, he's giving me updates.

I'm supporting him because he's, it's rough, he's gotta be in there in the hospital and see her go through these things. And it's rough. So I can support him as he gives me. That conversation about what happened today and here's where she's at and here's what's happening. Then I can tell him, you're doing great. Hang in there. I really appreciate you. We can support each other. Make sure that you do stay in contact and do have that support system so that when you do need it, it is there for you. I have been very lucky to have a very strong support system. It's not big, but it's deep. It's not shallow and wide, it's narrow and deep. So I have those people that I know I can rely on and they've told me again and again in the past month or so, I'm here. If you need me, if you want to call me, let me know, whatever you need. So I think that sometimes when we don't need that support system, we forget. It's a good time to build one up, maybe to reach out and make some new friends and to grow that community so that it's there when you need it.

[00:50:48] Jen McFarland: Exactly. Or we forget that the people are there

[00:50:52] Shelley Carney: or we don't reach out because we're like I'm okay. I don't need anything.

[00:50:58] Jen McFarland: Yeah. I know that when, when my dad died, About a year and a half ago, it was a real time of like you realize who is and isn't in your support system. And I would say that it's good to know before then. Yeah. So it's good to, I totally agree with everything that you're saying. And hug the people you love, make sure that they know,

[00:51:23] Shelley Carney: Life is short. Make these connections every time you can.

That's right. Ah, that's all I had inspirational music here that doesn't use.

[00:51:37] Jen McFarland: So yeah, I just want to send out a lot of love to everybody. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you so much for listening and we will be back next week and we'll be talking about marketing campaigns. I believe next week is marketing campaigns 101.

Is that what we decided, at least that's what I'm prepping. So anyway have a great week. Everyone. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out. Otherwise we'll be talking to you next week.

[00:52:09] Shelley Carney: Get that spring cleaning started and we will see you next week.

Thank you for joining the women conquer business podcast posted by Shelley Carney and Jen McFarland, please subscribe and leave a comment or question regarding your most challenging content creation or business problem.

Then share this podcast with family and friends so they can find the support they need to expand their brand and share their message with the. Check the show notes for links to valuable resources and come

Show Notes

Breaking News

  1. LinkedIn is building new analytics and video features for creators and increasing the visibility of their content. https://www.engadget.com/linkedin-new-creator-tools-020031694.html

4 key areas you need to clean up to make your business shine

  • Take a look at your website
    • Is it accurate?
    • Is it easy to navigate?
  • Review your business goals
    • How are you tracking toward your goals?
    • Do you need to adjust
  • …. And are your marketing strategies aligned?
    • Effective marketing campaigns need to be aligned with your business goals
  • Let’s look at that inbox!

Tweaks of the Week

Gmail Deep-Dive Training We Discussed

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Jen McFarland

Obsessed with creating solutions that help businesses make exceptional decisions faster. Marketing pro. Leadership nerd. Project innovator. CoFounder, Epiphany Courses. Women Conquer Business Founder.

Shelley Carney

Livestream host, coach, and author. Podcaster and blogger for Messages and Methods and Women Conquer Business.


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