Top Tips for Business & Blogging – Recap of Problogger Day 1

As Day 2 of Problogger commences, I thought I’d write down all the great tips & tricks I picked up yesterday before I forget them!

From Little Things Big Things Grow

“Build a workflow around small tasks and make them a habit.”
“Have goals to filter opportunities”
“Look for sparks! What gives YOU energy? What are your readers responding to? Where is momentum gathering? Then act quickly before the spark goes cold.” – Darren Rowse @Problogger

Finding Your Voice: Building Your Brand

“Use what you’ve already got when building your brand.”
“What you tell people your brand is will be different to what each individual thinks of your brand.”
“We are whatever people tell us we are – we can’t tell people our brand.”
“A brand is a gut feeling you get when you think of something/someone.”
“Determine what you stand for : what is your unique voice? Be consistent.”
“Don’t be something you’re not.” – Stan Johnson @BrandDNA

How to get brands knocking on your door:

– Brands want stats –> Google Analytics
– Look out for Pinterest!
– $ don’t come from PR agencies, but they can be the conduit for $ from brands marketing departments
– Seek out brands who are already active in social media, don’t waste time educating other brands about blogging
– Use twitter to build relationships and “flirt” with brands
(Thanks to the amazing panel: Lorraine Murphy, Nikki Parkinson, Eden Riley and Mrs Woog)

Marketing Your Products

10. Practice makes perfect – practice on other products
9. Set a date
8. Lock up your product – even if it feels unfinished
7. Know your angle
6. Make a plan – split it into pre-launch, launch month & post-launch
5. Ready your audience – share the prep experience
4. Make it sellable
3. Active tracking – be ready beforehand
2. put the writing on the wall
1. Get the green light from someone else before launch – soft launch first
– Shayne Tilley @ShayneT

Making Money & Changing the World

“Find role models – like minded individuals, but in different areas”
“pay attention to the questions Pete are asking”
“Emotional connections/needs stronger than educational connections/needs”
“Share a genuine agenda”
“Treat work as important part of life & make time for it”
– Chris Guillebeau @chrisguillebeau

 

Great day, fantastic material presented and amazing people to connect with.

 

For anyone keen to get in on the action, get your virtual ticket now and join in on twitter:

 

p.s. Thanks to the Problogger team for organizing an event with such a great atmosphere for meeting and connecting with people & still being able to feed my 4 month old boy – who is loving exploring Melbourne with Mr Mum 🙂

Six Reasons Why I’m Looking Forward to Attending ProBlogger!

Note: this post contains affiliate links.

Six Reasons Why I’m Looking Forward to Attending ProBlogger! - Zest e-biz

 

Only three days until I fly to Melbourne to attend the ProBlogger Training Event! Getting very excited now. Not looking forward to the long day traveling via Perth with our 4 month old bub, but what is waiting in Melbourne will be worth it.

In the last couple of posts I’ve done some thinking about my Zest e-Biz blog developing a mission statement and goals. The other area I’ve been thinking about in preparation for ProBlogger is what I want to get out of the event.

Six Reasons for Attending ProBlogger:

1. To meet other bloggers who are at various levels of experience with their blogs so I can learn what worked and what didn’t for them. Already I’ve joined a facebook group called Aussie Bloggers that one of the ProBlogger attendees set-up which has been great to get to know people prior to the event, as well as being an excellent knowledge sharing space. For anyone interested in blogging, or planning to purchase a virtual ticket to ProBlogger, I’m sure you would be able to request to join the group.

2. Tips and ideas of how to build my blog so that I can work towards the goals I developed in my last post, including:

  • Building my blog’s brand
  • How to monetize my blog
  • How to market my products
  • How to make the most from visitors to my site, i.e. “turn them into raving fans”
  • How to get paid to write, and
  • Media and blogging

3. Validation that my blog is worth pursuing as more than just a hobby, building my confidence to stick at it and promote it accordingly.

4. To meet Darren Rowse in person who has an amazing work ethic and is so passionate about delivering value to his readers via blogging.

5. To listen to Chris Guillebeau’s story about how he blogged his way around 150+ countries, and how he monetized that blog to support his travel.

6. To go to Melbourne and indulge in great food and great culture!

ProBlogger Virtual Ticket

If you are unable to attend the ProBlogger Training Event in Melbourne, but you are interested in getting all the material from the event – good news…

They’re just released virtual tickets!

You can hear from speakers like Darren Rowse, Chris Guillebeau, Shayne Tilley (the web marketing ninja) and some of Australia’s top bloggers and learn how to build a profitable blog.

Best of all – you can do it all from the comfort of your own home – with full access to over 21 hours of teaching for you to listen to again and again wherever and whenever it suits you.

If you’d like to purchase a virtual ticket I’d love you to use my affiliate link below, however you are more than welcome to purchase one directly via the ProBlogger website.

Register for a Virtual Pass to PROBLOGGER’S TRAINING EVENT

Look out for future posts about my experiences at ProBlogger.

Yes Coach! 7 Reasons You Should Have a Business Coach.

Yes Coach 7 Reasons You Should Have a Business Coach - Zest e-Biz

Currently I have a life coach I chat to monthly, a business coach that I speak to fortnightly while I’m getting Zest e-Biz up and running, and I also have a mentor at work.

Coaches and mentors come in many different forms and you’ll find that not all of them are suitable for every situation.

In 4 ½ months I’ll be commencing my journey of motherhood… pretty exciting for both my partner and I! He is more that willing to come to the birth and help me through the life changing event. However, when I learnt about the services of a Doula – effectively a birthing coach, I started to think about the benefits of a coach rather than relying 100% on a family or friends.

7 Reasons You Should Have a Business Coach

Whether it is a paid coach, or an informal arrangement with a colleague or someone you respect within your industry, they all provide similar benefits to you on your business journey:

  1. They have usually been there done that.  Or at least they have been through similar issues that you are facing, so they can provide guidance based on their experience.
  2. They usually provide an objective point of view.  Without knowing all your day to day issues, that perhaps your colleagues or families hear about till the cows come home, a business coach or mentor is usually a fresh set of eyes to give some perspective.
  3. They are there to provide pep talks.  Like a traditional sports coach, a business coach, watches you grow and develop so they know when you can dig a little deeper and deliver that extra bit of effort that will help you on your path to success.
  4. They are also there when you need a pick-me-up.  A good coach or mentor always seems to know the right time to flick you an email, send you a motivating link, or touch base just when you need that reminder that you are on the right track.
  5. They help you develop clarity around your vision.  A business coach is a great sounding board. They will listen to you (ramble at times) and then repeat back to you the key points or themes you described.
  6. They are also there to remind you to be patient.  It’s so easy to get carried away in grand ideas and forget to focus on the basics. A business coach or mentor is there to remind you to take small steps towards that BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal.
  7. Most importantly, they keep you accountable.  If you are like me, finding the motivation to stick to a routine is very difficult if you don’t have milestones, or some incentive to keep you accountable.

Do you currently have a coach, or mentor?

If not, do you have an idea of the type of person you think would be great to talk to? Yes? Then what are you waiting for! Make contact today. You’ll be amazed at how approachable people are and how valuable you find the experience.

Image sourced from www.sportscoachingbrain.com

 

 

Business Twenty-First Century Style

Business Twenty-First Century Style - Zest e-Biz

At work last week it struck me that there are two different kinds of workers today… those who aim to protect their jobs and those who know that working together will ultimately lead to success for everyone.

Two Types of Workers

The first type of people generally specializes in their job, but hold onto information and protect skills they have learnt by not sharing with others. They believe knowledge is power.

Then there are the people who are enablers. Confident in their abilities, they understand that knowledge transfer, process optimization and working together are key to everyone’s success – including their own, even it if means working themselves out of their current role if it becomes obsolete in its current form.

Business in the Twenty-First Century

Peter Sheahan states in his great book called “FL!P” that:

We are fast exiting the Knowledge Age and entering the Relationship Era.

He states:

In the years ahead, two things will count the most:

  1. Your ability to unlearn the things that are losing relevance… and to learn the things that are gaining relevance; and
  2. Whether people come to know and trust you as they struggle to bring their own learning forward. That is do you really care about and respect them?

In his book called “Screw Work, Let’s Play” John Williams reiterates a similar message when he summarises American author Daniel Pink by saying:

Back in the nineteenth century the Industrial Revolution gave us massive factories and efficient assembly lines. The factory worker needed physical strength and manual skills to thrive.

The twentieth century ushered in the Information Age with the knowledge worker who needed analytical and logical skills.

Today in the twenty-first century we find ourselves in the Conceptual Age. The skills we need now… are what you might call right brain functions such as design, empathy, and big picture capabilities.

Logical Information Age skills are still necessary but they will no longer be sufficient. Work that can be easily defined and reproduced is likely to be either automated or outsourced. To survive, you must develop skills that computers [or other businesses or countries] can’t do better, faster, or cheaper.

What type of worker are you? If you are a business owner, what are you doing to improve knowledge transfer and relationship building in order to help others?

Image sourced from daffodildesign.com via Talia on Pinterest

How to Network Your Success

How to Network Your Success - Zest e-bIz

In the chapter I have recently had published in the Adventures in Manifesting book series, I wrote a section titled “Network and Prosper”. In the last couple of weeks I have seen the benefits of networking reveal themselves yet again.

I attended a networking seminar presented by Robyn Henderson from Networking to Win. It was a fantastic session to review the basics of networking and then put them into practice that night to meet new people. I found a great yoga class up here that I never knew existed, set up my first paying client and added another two very interesting people to my network.

Look for The WOW!

The most important lesson I took away from the networking session was to look for the WOW when you meet new people. People are not just what they do for work. It is far more interesting, and easier to remember people (I’ve now found out), when you know their WOW.

What is someone’s WOW? It’s their passions, interests or hobbies. The WOW is what makes an interesting conversation, or it’s an easy conversation starter when you see that person again.

My WOW is business excellence and organizational culture, which sounds rather businesslike, but that is what I’m passionate about. I also love to travel and paint. Some people’s WOW will be related to their line of work and others will not. That evening there was everything from gardening, cooking, singing, yoga (which is how I met my new yoga teacher), wine appreciation, golf, traveling… and the list went on.

Connect Consistently

The second lesson reinforced for me that night was the importance of consistently maintaining your network. Making connections with people is only the first step. Like healthy eating and regular exercise, it takes commitment to maintain a good network.

Often I will find, usually when things are going great, that I forget to spend that small amount of time each day (or week) to reconnect with people in my network. To overcome this, I now have a calendar reminder to email or call a few key people regularly. I also try to email or txt someone when I come across something that makes me think about them.

Master Networkers

To use Robyn’s words:

“Great networkers make heart to heart connections”

Universal Laws of Master Networkers

I also learnt from Robyn that “Master Networkers” understand and live by the following laws:

–        Law of reciprocity

–        Law of abundance

–        Law of giving without expectation

I think these three laws explain networking at its best. When we are not so worried about our competition that we don’t open up, or when we give without expectation or pay it forward, networking becomes fun! The more I connect with new people the more I realise that every individual is unique and interesting, bringing a different element to my network as a whole.

How Do You Maintain Your Network?

I’d love to hear how others maintain and grow their networks.

 

Image sourced from Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

Finding Flow – Guest Blogging

Finding flow - guest blogging - Zest e-BizMy first guest blog ever is being published TODAY at the Älska Publishing blog

I wrote an article called Finding Flow, Finding Peace, which is about a journey I’m taking to identify activities in my life that lead to a feeling of happiness and contentment.

What is Flow?

According to Csikszentmihalyi, Flow is defined as

“The state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it”

What I’ve Found So Far

Having just had one week back in New Zealand at home visiting friends and family, I noticed a number of unusual “Flow” experiences. Contrary to my original belief that these types of experiences mainly occur when you are challenged intellectually, I noticed that I was experiencing flow in everyday activities. Just catching up with friends, indulging in family banter, and brainstorming ideas for my sister’s wedding next year all resulted in “Flow”.

Perhaps this was because the intrinsic motivation and my perceived security in these situations were higher than in situations at work, or with friends and interactions in the community where I currently live?

Benefits of Guest Blogging

As I mentioned this will be my first guest blog. Guest blogging can be a powerful way to increase awareness about the work you do based on the size of the database and readership of the website you are blogging for.

As always you need to ensure your websites are aligned. I’m very grateful that Sarah Prout & Sean Patrick Simpson have chosen to post my blog post, as www.zestebiz.com is a result of the Adventures in Manifesting eCourse.

Have you ever guest blogged? I’d love to hear from anyone who has had their blogs published as guest blogs and what they gained from the experience.

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