Things Go Wrong… 5 Tips to Still Rock It Out

OMG! NOT AGAIN!

How can this be happening… AGAIN?

Are you kidding me?

WTF?

I know I am not the only one who has ever said these… repeatedly… sometimes it seems like I say them every day. Please tell me I am not the only one. You have had these moments… right? Shew! I feel so much better now. Actually, I am gonna let you in on a little secret about me… when I have THESE days I feel so much better after a long cry. (OOOHHH it’s not taboo to talk about crying now I hope).

Anyway… recently I had a fuckin meltdown because NOTHING was going right in my personal or professional life. I was feeling inadequate all the way around. NOT GOOD! I do believe that if you are trying to run a household, juggle two jobs AND two kids, something is bound to go wrong at least once a day. Well, mine hit several at a time and all within 24 hours.

End of the school year. ‘Won’t work worth a damn’ internet service. Can’t watch videos for B&A Book Club because of said crappy internet. Causing your boss more work. Starting a part time job. Not getting client work done faster. House looking like a tornado came through weeks ago and still is trashed. Ok I think you get the picture… or do you need more? No, I am done… for now ;).

If you feel me Tweet: Got #99Problems but does anyone really care?

Ok let me get to the fuckin’ point… we all have these days. Sometimes they are completely out of our control and there is NOTHING you can do about it at the time. But, what you do is what will define you. You can either go sulk in the corner and complain about it on Facebook, Twitter and to your friends for days on end or you can just roll with it (Tip #1). I tend to just let it all pile up and then have a meltdown (don’t ever knock the healing power of a good cry). I swear I feel 90% better after a good long cry (Tip #2) and then all you have left to do is just roll with what has been dealt to you at that particular time. You pick yourself back up, blow a kiss at your reflection in the mirror and go get shit done!

Business won’t get done while you bitch and whine and complain about it. Put your big girl panties on and OWN IT (Tip #3)! If you caused more work for said boss (ahem… Sorry Ronii!), just apologize and move on to the next item on your to-do-list and ROCK IT. Client work doesn’t wait for you to keep beating yourself up. And, yes, electronics suck and don’t always work when you are expecting them to so you take a break. Go sit out on the deck with a glass of wine to calm the stress that is building up and adding to your breaking point (Tip #4). Go talk to your best friend (you know she always makes you feel better because of her quirky attitude and AWESOME personality…ahem…again Ronii that’s you – five). Just walk away from the problem for a few and come back renewed and ready to take on the world!

Don’t ever let your feelings of inadequacy or technology crappin’ out be what defines you. MAKE the actions on how you deal with these little hiccups in life and business be what defines you! So are you going to continue to beat yourself up…OR… roll with the punches? Tell me your ‘shit hits the fan’ story. I bet we can relate and pull together, together (wait, that looks weird but oh well I’m rolling with it).

Facebook Engagement Down? Our Tip for Getting Your Brand Loyalists to see You

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Social media marketing (big sigh). This segment of the marketing industry stands alone in its enormity. There is so much information out there that it’s overwhelming for a marketer. And it changes so much that it’s hard to keep up with. And Facebook is the elephant in the room (haha, get it? Elephant? Don’t judge.). It is the one that businesses are either totally rocking it or getting an #epicfail. Recently, Ad Age published an article where Facebook has admitted that business pages are its redheaded stepchild.

Reaching Brand Loyalist on Facebook Pages

Social media is here to stay, whether you’re into it or over it. Honestly, I’m kinda over it. A little insight into the mind of Ronii is that I’m a social butterfly and I love interacting with people but I’m a terrible networker because I hate to just walk up to someone and say, “Hey, I’m Ronii. Let’s try and get to know each other in this awkward situation.” And I’m the same way with my online presence. I just find it weird that you pick random people to start conversations with. I realize that social media is all about engagement and conversations but it’s just odd to me. As extroverted as I am it’s really easy for me to be an introvert when it comes to meeting strangers on or off line. So there. Now, you know. I’m totally fucked up. I don’t deny this. But if I’m going to favor one platform over another I still prefer Facebook. It doesn’t overwhelm me like Twitter and some of the others. But lately the engagement on our B&A Facebook Page has consisted of me and Jenn just talking to each other with no one else paying any attention. And that doesn’t help my business.

Organic engagement on Facebook business pages has decreased and small businesses are finding it hard to justify buying ‘views’. Click to Tweet

1 Facebook Trick that will Increase Engagement

As soon as Facebook changed the newsfeed algorithm for business pages I noticed our views decrease by 90%. That’s right. Where we were getting 100 views on a post, now we are getting 10. While Facebook has never been a great marketing tool for us now it’s totally a waste of time (which is money). Even I wasn’t getting our updates in my newsfeed and I own the damn company. Jenn would be like, “How was yesterday’s Facebook post?” And my response usually was, “What post?” It’s as though now to get in people’s newsfeed you need to pay for it and for a small business unless you’re getting ROI or can directly relate that cost to a sale, the budget just isn’t there.

Anyway, I’m goofing around one day getting sucked into the time vortex that is Facebook and I’m adding some people to my friends’ list. I find I have to use lists to keep up with everyone I want to keep up with and I’m sure I’m not the only one out there that does this. And I start typing someone’s name in the ‘add to list’ block and guess what pops up as a suggestion when I put the letter B. Ha! You guessed it. Bartles & Associates. I can add business pages to lists! Mind blown!

Do you know what this means? Other people can do this too. So I figured out a way to combat the ‘you have to pay to play’ on Facebook. Ask your fans to add your business page to one of their lists. Preferably their friends list. Your loyal fans will definitely do it and then you will be getting to the people that matter the most, that you want to see your posts. Behold, the power of the Facebook list.

How is your Facebook engagement? What tips and tricks are you using for the new Facebook newsfeed? Are you budgeting for Facebook advertising or trying to get organic engagement?

Strategorize Your Business

Strategorize Your Small Business

Strategorize? WTH? I get a look and a giggle. “You are making up words again!” Well I thought I would be able to prove the Chief Rockstar wrong… again, but it looks like… yeah, I am making up words again. LOL!

What exactly is strategorize?

Well the thing is… I have a habit of running two words together when I am talking, especially when I am drinking. AND because this word came out of our previous Champagne Thursday Mastermind Session… wait… WHAT?... you haven’t heard of our infamous Champagne Thursday Mastermind Sessions before? Well you really need to go check it out -> HERE!

Ok, where was I? Oh yeah making up words especially when drinking, Champagne something… blah blah blah. So anyway, we were discussing the plans for our Champagne Thursday Mastermind Sessions and POOF… strategorize just came out. This led to some giggling and laughing and “WTH does that mean?” and “You are making up words again” and some more laughing… So what was I trying to say?

Strategically Organize The Shit!

Yeah that’s right…strategically organize turned into…STRATEGORIZE!

So what does it mean? It means to strategically organize. LOL! Sorry I had to state the obvious. Really what it means is that we will be organizing our mastermind sessions to fit the targets participating. DUH! Really that is a no-brainer. But really we are gearing the lessons to those in the need. We will strategically organize or… strategorize the aspects of running a business and operations marketing to fit your needs. We find out what your strengths and weaknesses are, and compose the mastermind session around it. We strategorize your needs so you better benefit from our lessons. It really is a WIN WIN for all involved. And let’s be honest…strategorizing can be used in all aspects of your daily day-to-day life and your day-to-day business operations. Don’t let important dates go by the wayside. Keep your budget on track. Don’t get overwhelmed with your kids activities and your work schedule. Keep important documents in a safe place. Keep your projects tracked and on task. Keep your to-do list manageable. And the list is endless. Simply…Strategorize That Shit!

So…how did you strategorize today?

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2014 Planning: Here's to a Uber Successful New Year

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Can you believe that 2014 will be here in 2 weeks? Yeah, me either. And I'm sure by now you have seen/read approximately 2,521,470 blog posts on how everyone is setting goals and planning how to be uber successful in 2014.

Well, here's another one. Joking (kinda)... not really.

Uber success in 2014

This time last year B&A was humming on all cylinders. We had made plans for 2013 to be the best year ever. Then, summer came along and things changed because people change, economies change... we change. And Jenn would hate to hear this but it is what it is. Whether it was out of my control or I totally just fucked it all up, it left me feeling defeated because I didn't make the big yearly goal happen. I didn't get that trip to the Caribbean I wanted. So this year I'm doing my planning and goal setting a little different. I'm making it more like a to-do list.

I work well with to-dos and deadlines so this approach is perfect for those that like to get things done in small more digestible tasks. I get really overwhelmed when the sheet of paper says, 'Make more money.' What? How do I just make more money? I can't do that. And when I get overwhelmed, I don't do anything. Then I completely stress out. And when I get stressed my ear hurts and my whole body gets achy. And guess what? That just isn't working for me anymore.

How to get more stuff done in 2014

  • Use my products: For 2 and half years I have been saying I want to create a product suite because that is the easiest way to scale and monetize a consulting business. I have in my mind what I want to create so I'm going to use those tools for myself this year and Voila! new B&A products. Done and done.
    • Big 2014 Goal: Create products and make more money.
  • Simple, simple, simple: I tend to over think and over complicate everything. So this year I'm really going to KISS (Keep it simple stupid) and concentrate on making things simple. My attention span is that of flea anymore. So, when I create those products above I'm going to make them 1 page (2 max).
    • Big 2014 Goal: Create more freedom, more money and more love.
  • Plan more: Evernote is totally gonna save my ass this year. I tend to be a go with the flow kinda girl. But I love a good plan. A SIMPLE ONE. And we are going to use online collaboration tools this year to get those plans out of our heads and into action.
    • Big 2014 Goal: See above about creating stuff.
  • Join a support group: Or mastermind. Whatever you want to call it. I'm a weird mix of introvert and extrovert and I thrive on interaction with people but it is very easy for me to be a hermit. So I need a group of biz peeps with a structured format to get my ideas flowing and worked out.
    • Big 2014 Goal: Again with the creating.
  • Show some love: To my family, to my friends, to my personal brand site, to B&A products, to myself. I need to be better about appreciating what I have and letting the people that matter know how much I love and appreciate them.
    • Big 2014 Goal: Be a nicer person (That's totally stupid, I know, but trust me on this one)
  • Eat better: And lose 10 lbs (isn't this on everyone's list?)

What are your goals this year? How are you planning to be uber successful in 2014? What are some of your best tips and tricks for planning and setting goals?

To Post, Or Not to Post: The Social Media Conundrum

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Ever wonder if your friends actually read your social media posts? Do the people that you associate with on a daily basis know what you do for a living?

Over the past several months I have pondered on these questions a lot. It could be because some of my friends will ask me “What is Bartles & Associates?” “Are you in sales?” “What type of marketing do you do?” “Why couldn’t you come to lunch on Friday?” “Who is Ronii?” and the list goes on and on and on…. Sometimes I want to just look at them and say “REALY?!?!?! HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT? ARE YOU LIVING UNDER A ROCK?”

I am pretty sure the answer to all those questions is somewhere on my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn page. #Justsaying…

It makes me wonder, do people get on social media just to post what they are doing and don’t care to see what their network is up too? Are people really that self-centered that they want you to know what they are doing but don’t care about what is going with you?

And then I have those friends, that are like…”Didn’t you see her status this morning?” Or “How could you not know what B&A is, just look at the post from yesterday?” This makes me feel better. Because obviously someone did read what I took the time to write and let the world know. You guys ROCK!!!!

In today’s society, we post everything from what we had for dinner, to who we ran into at the store, to how our job is going, to…. (you fill in the blank here) as a status on our social media pages. So you would think that everyone around you knows what is going or what you do. Right? Or is this just my thinking? Because working for B&A, selling Premier Designs Jewelry, being a Mom and just being me… I post A LOT about my day, from pics of my boys to what is going on at B&A and my life, on FB, Instagram and Twitter, and I have many friends that do that same thing.

I mean come on… running a business and working for a business I need to get my information out there, right? Plus as a Mom, I need to vent and know that I am not the only one dealing with the crap my 4 and 6 year olds do. It’s a way of being heard and understood. So it only makes sense that my peeps should know what B&A is and what I do there. (Cause really I talk about it ALL THE DAMNED time). Or why I couldn’t make lunch on Friday… because I was reading to my son’s class and tutoring a child that needs some extra help. If you read my FB post you would know that. Thank you to my peeps that know and call everyone else out on it. ;)

Being a business owner, I am sure you have similar concerns whether or not people are reading your posts on your social media pages. We have that same concern at B&A too. My advice is to not give up and keep telling people about your business and about yourself. Eventually it will catch on. That’s what we do at B&A because someone somewhere is reading them and passing on our content. Today’s life revolves around social media. Your information is out there and is being read by someone (probably us, we read a lot). Everyone else will catch on. Be yourself and it will pay off!

What are some of your social media concerns? Or how have you combated the social media battles of do they see/read it? What are some of your best social media tips or tricks to spread the word about that great thing you do?

xoxo,

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Taa Daa - New Website! Why We Switched

So if you haven't noticed... we have a new website. If you didn't notice, you must be living under a rock or something. You may have also noticed that in this re-design we changed things up a bit (I really mean a lot). Not only do we have a new look but we have some new offerings and a new flow to our business. And I'm sure that many people are totally confused because I preach consistency, consistency, consistency. But I have a business case for why we are changing things.

Even though I love research and data, I'm a creative at heart. And as a creative I get bored easily. But that definitely was not the driving factor of this re-design. While our old website was beautiful, it didn't reflect who we are today. Our style has evolved and changed over the years as well as the direction and service offerings of the company. Creatively, the old website was a conglomerate of several team members that are no longer with the organization and the impression it was making was starting to pull away from who we are now and where we want the brand to go. That was actually reason #2.

Reason #1: The bigger reason for the switch is a platform version change. I'm a huge fan of Squarespace. I have been on SQSP5 for a long time and fell in love with it the moment I signed up but it just wasn't functioning the way I wanted it too. As you may recall in a previous post that we had a rough summer. Over the past 6 months we have been working away in our Champagne Thursdays on the strategic direction of the company. I have made no secret about how I'm tired of the consulting business model and exchanging minutes for dollars. It just isn't scalable, hence making it hard to monetize. I have been working on a product line up for years and have been dragging my feet partly because I couldn't figure out how to sell downloadable products on the SQSP5 platform and it seemed like a daunting task to figure it out (I'm not an html expert and I don't really want to be). In the past year, I have put a couple of my clients on the SQSP6 version of the platform and fell even more in love. And guess what, e-commerce are already built in.  Even for digital products and services! Wha, wha!

I actually started talking about a new website in the spring and drug my feet on that too because I spent so much money building the old website. I wanted to get as much out of that site as I could because I was so invested in it, monetarily. But it just wasn't functioning the way I wanted it too. I couldn't sell products. I couldn't make changes easily. The blog layout wasn't the most optimized. But I had invested so much time and money in it! And it was pretty and people loved it. I had people all the time tell me how much they loved our website. It has been a struggle for me for a long time letting it go and deciding it was time for a change. It was time for a functionality, design and business model change.  Functionality being the main driver.

I played with the idea of a brand refresh too. That was a different business decisions that I made and will talk about more in the future. But in the meantime, I hope that you love our new look as much as we do. We are so excited to have a refreshed look and flow to the site. Throughout the whole process the motto was 'simple and authentic' and I feel that we achieved that. We want people to understand what we do and how we can help your business and I hope this new site gets that message across. There will be lots more coming over the next 6 months as we develop all the tools and trainings and we will keep you posted when those are available. 

Until next time, be cool man, 

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