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Get Started Online

Focus On The Audience

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focus-on-the-audience

The biggest mistake we can make as online business owners is to be so focused on what we’re doing that we forget about our audience. And just to narrow it down further, we forget the one person in our audience.

It can be daunting to focus on this major audience. I mean even if you have, 250 people following you on Twitter and 500 on Facebook, if you imagined them all sitting in the room now the pressure is on.

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Luke 16:10 (NIV)

Let’s put this in perspective of social media, better yet digital marketing, including: social media, your blog, ebooks, audios, videos, pdfs

When’s the last time you looked at your numbers. If you’re comparing yourself to the ‘big boys and girls’ these numbers may look small. When people refer to having a small email list and they use a number in the thousands, when you’ve got a list that’s still in the hundreds, you think small? I’d love to have that many.

Well, let’s imagine everyone on your email list, social media, and anywhere else where you can quantify who’s there, is in one large banquet room at a local hotel.

First, go to google.com/analytics and look at how many people visited your website yesterday. Write that number down.

Head to your Twitter account. Write down how many times you were mentioned in the last week. If you’re using Hootsuite or SproutSocial, take a look at the analytics or just go to your notifications and manually count them. 

Now, go to Facebook. Your Facebook business page. Head to your insights and write down how many people engaged with you in the last week. Engagments include- likes, clicks, shares, and comments.

If you’re currently collecting names and email addresses on your website and also sending out newsletters, go to AWeber, MailChimp, iContact, whichever system you’re currently using for email marketing. Write down either how many people opened your last three email newsletters OR how many people are currently subscribed to your list, if you haven’t sent an email out in the last few weeks.

Total all of your numbers________

Going back to the initial thought, imagine every single one of them in a large banquet hall ready and waiting to hear from you.

Does this make you see the realness of each person behind the number? It should make you realize whether you’re working with smaller numbers or not, you have an audience that’s waiting to hear from you.

When you honor them by providing useful information, tips, or entertainment, whatever they’re coming to you for, then you are serving your audience. Each time you post on social media, send out an email, or create an online event, think of them. Ask yourself: Is this something that’s helpful for them or a feel good moment for you?

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you which is best, however the former is better than the latter. Your feel good moment comes in the giving. 

Make it FABULOUS!

Tiffany Johnson - Virtual Hired Hand

When Your Heart’s Desire Clashes With The Norm: From Sickness to Success the Rise of a Virtual Worklife

By | Get Started Online, Inspiration and Encouragement | 4 Comments

Virtual Hired Hand - Virtual Service Provider

When Your Heart’s Desire Clashes With The Norm: From Sickness to Success the Rise of a Virtual Worklife

By: Tiffany Johnson

In January 2007 I was fired from my job as a program manager. I was prepared, yet devastated and in shock. However, I was also grateful. If this had not of happened to me, I might still be there 4 years later desperately wanting to work from home.

As I was walked to the main entrance by the director of human resources, I knew in my heart I would never return to a corporate job again. While I had no idea what was to come this was one thing I knew for sure.

The following month I got a part-time job at a local gym giving tours and selling membership packages. Later I got certified to teach group fitness classes, something I’d been wanting to do but I had no time due to my job. By the summer I began to get antsy and wonder if I needed to start looking for a job again. I said I wasn’t going back to a corporate job, but the art consulting business wasn’t working out.

Eventually I got a part-time corporate job and told myself it was different because it wasn’t “full-time.” As soon as I walked onto the floor, saw the hundreds of gray cubicles and heard little noise except for a phone ringing in the background, I knew I’d made a mistake. I landed right back to cubicle nation after being away for 11 months.

It wasn’t long before I got extremely sick. After having every test under the sun completed with little findings, I was diagnosed by my neurologist with Tolosa-Hunt syndrome, thanks to Mystery Diagnosis on the Discovery Channel. Apparently the good doctor and I had been watching the same episode the Saturday before my appointment. There was a case very similar to mine with the exact symptoms and everything.

Can you believe he charged me extra for that visit because our consultation went over time? I stopped going to him after that.

Looking back on it now, I believe I got sick because I wasn’t supposed to be working in that environment. I was created for more. To be more creative, more alive, FREE. What it did do was spark something in me that had been snuffed out after being laid-off twice as a computer programmer.

Back then, after 9/11, the jobs in my field were drying up and certain skills were no longer in demand. This job involved creating extensive reports, and formulas, and coding bringing me back to what I loved. Programming is like playing with jigsaw puzzles all day or solving the latest Sudoku puzzle. Some are easy, some medium, and some hard, but when you get it solved, it’s exciting!

I had started working different projects online and was getting great results. It got to a point where my job was interfering with my online work. Sounds funny I know. It was really because I’d accepted too many projects at once. However, it made a great line-up of clients for when I’d make my big exit.

I contacted the consulting agency I worked for to find out how far in advance I needed to give a resignation notice. I was told 30 days. On August 19, 2008, the same day I made the phone call, I turned in my 30 day notice.

I had not planned to quit my job that day, but had no problems thinking of the write words to say in my goodby email. I had 30 days to get even more projects and would no longer be limited because of my 9-5 schedule.

It was a very long 30 days. Fortunately my manager allowed me to have Thursday instead of that Friday as my last day.

On September 18, 2008, my father’s birthday, I spent my last 7 hours I’d ever work in a cube. The timing is even more special now than it was back then. My dad passed away August 28, 2010. He owned a funeral home business and also worked full-time. He had only been retired for 4 years when he passed away. If you look up workaholic in the dictionary you’ll see my dad’s picture along with many other people that have a hard time letting the work go and have some fun.

My burning desire to own my own business comes from him. I knew after working in the corporate world for 2 years it wasn’t for me. I remember my mother saying I hadn’t pulled my time yet and I shouldn’t even think about leaving a job yet. I was only 22 for goodness sake. I’ve always wanted to work for myself, but didn’t know how without a building and office space.

Fast forward to today. I have been working online full-time for over 3 years and it has been a true blessing. This time of year I no longer wonder whether I’ll get the additional days off for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s. I’m not concerned if the company will give out bonus checks in time for black Friday.

Instead I have the pleasure of working with my clients to get them prepared for black Friday and any other special holiday promotions on their websites. The freedom of working virtual from home is far beyond what I could have ever imagined. And I’m meeting people I never would have had the pleasure of meeting. People from all over the world.

I’m able to work from the comforts of my home, car, hotel, backyard, park, wherever I so choose. While this life is not for everyone, it is ideal for those who are looking for an opportunity to set their own schedule and pay rate.

As a single business owner with no children, I am laying the foundation now for my future family.

If my future husband is relocated because of his job, my business goes with me. If there’s a family emergency and I have to be at the hospital, my business goes with me. And when my future children have school field trips, games, or plays at school, I’ll be right there, without having to get anyone’s permission to do so.

There are enough challenges in life, why should the way we earn money be one of them? I believe the majority of the time work should be fun. The flexibility of working online far out ways anything I could have ever imagined.

There are so many possibilities for virtual service providers. My desire is to to develop people who will provide the ultimate service to their clients and stay on top of their game when it comes to serving, skill, and technology.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a skilled and qualified virtual team member as your “go to girl” or “go to guy” to give you more time to work on money making projects and the things you do best? Or to be the virtual “go to girl” or “go to guy” on the team?

In the coming weeks, we’re making that dream come alive with our new training program.

Now it’s your turn. Please share how working or doing business online has impacted your family life. What would your life look like if you didn’t work online?

From Idea to Hobby to Online Business: Extreme Couponing for Beginners

By | Get Started Online | 4 Comments

Virtual Hired Hand - I Know I Should Be Online

From Idea to Hobby to Online Business: Extreme Couponing for Beginners

I’m writing this blog post for Danielle and anyone else struggling with how they can start an online business with something they enjoy and something that other people are seeking. She has no earthly idea I’m doing this and we’ve only met through a Facebook Group.

If you’ve seen my previous blog post about the coupon divas, she’s the founder of that group. I’ve been wanting to reach out to her for a while now
and got the nerve the other day to send her a private message on Facebook.

This was my message:

Hi Danielle!

You do such an awesome job with the Coupon group. Ever thought of making it a business? It seems there’s always someone new looking to learn the steps of how to get started with coupons, including myself:)

Warmly!

Tiffany

And this was her response:

Yes – I do need to – any suggestions???

I could sense the excitement in her message and wanted to provide suggestions, but wasn’t sure exactly how. I’m working on not being overly excited for the possibilities of someone else, however I do embrace the fact that I want everyone to succeed in what they’ve been called to.

I’ve found many people don’t even realize their feet are planted exactly where they should be, where they should create and where the rivers of abundance will flow if they take notice.

Danielle is a guru couponer. I’ve been a not so visible presence in this group and pop in on the weekends and some days to see what everyone has saved on their latest excursion to the grocery store.

One thing I noticed that continually happens in this group is that each time a new couponer joins they ask the same questions. What do I need to do to get started couponing? Where should I store my coupons? Do you take your coupons every where you go?

And many more questions like this. Right now the group has over 750 members and growing each day. I’ve even had a few people ask me to invite them to the group after reading the blog post on what I learned when I first joined the group.

Being me, I immediately saw the potential in the development of this group and the desire for people to save money at the grocery store and most recently the gas station. Danielle took a picture showing a receipt where her husband earned $24.91 towards his next gas purchase thanks to the partnership between certain grocery stores and gas stations.

I bet you didn’t know you can now swipe your grocery store savings card and get credit based on your gas purchase;)

So back to Danielle and how she can channel her savings hobby into a successful business online.

Please note I make no guarantees or promises on this. I just see potential and my philosophy is go for it! She’s already providing the information and is sitting in the midst of her ideal clients without even realizing it. These are women from all over the United States in this group, not just in her local area.

If you do something similiar that is in high demand, replace what is listed for couponing with what you do.

Here are some options:

  • Write a How To Get Started Ebook and sell it online.
  • Create videos each time you go shopping with your coupons showing us exactly how it’s done.
  • Upload those videos to YouTube and optimize them for search engines.
  • It’s an absolute must that you create a WordPress.org website.
  • Host paid webinars taking newbies like myself through the process of how to get started with coupons.

Truth be told you’ve got everything you need already at your fingertips. It’s just a matter of what you’ll do to move forward and see what happens when you go for it!

Now it’s your turn:

In the comments below, please share your experience as an online business owner and if coupons have made a difference for you, your family, and your business.

P.S – I get all kinds of ideas for people to get started online. My specialty is pointing you in the right direction and then being your in house assistant virtually for what you’ll do online. If you’re struggling on how teleclasses or digital products can help your business note that in the comments below. You may be featured next…

Failure to Launch

By | Get Started Online | No Comments

Something very interested happened recently. I signed up for a free report. After confirming the opt-in I got a message explaining the report was not ready. That it was still being proofed. Now this was a blog post that went out to thousands and thousands of people. Not being prepared can make or break your launch.

Being the understanding person I am, I’m going to wait it out and see what’s in the report because I do want the information. However, I just wonder what else is not ready. Could it be they are not ready to service or don’t have the time just yet to really deliver on their promotion pitch?

What’s the solution?

Don’t try to give a report if you don’t have a report. This is why I chose to go with an emini course. It basically bought me some time to put everything together.

When I first started I had 2 emails for the course. Although I needed a total of 9 with the introduction. By sending the emini course out each week I had time to develop it. And each week I’d add more emails to the autoresponder system. I learned early on that you don’t have to have everything in order to get started. You just need a plan and a little something to start you off.

No excuses! So, what’s holding you back from launching?