In my last blog post I was talking about the mistakes you need to avoid when interviewing an influencer, this blog post is going to help you to find the influencers to interview. You may have some already in your network but the chances are you are going to want to find some more.
Here are some ideas on how you can find the influencers that you want to interview and do it without being a pain.
Look for authors of trade magazines articles or industry blogs. Since anyone can and should start and write a blog, look for blogs that are widely read and trusted in your industry. It’s even better if the author has an established reputation offline in the media as well. You can do a Google search for blogs using keywords in your niche, take the results with the highest page rank, and look at their authors.
Another great way to find influential authors is by searching on Amazon, all of the authors will have an authors page so you can see exactly how influential they are with what they are doing on Amazon. You can see the books they have written or contributed to along with the feedback /reviews they have received, nothing says influencer more than a stream of people saying how great their work is.
Use hashtag searches to find influencers on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The great thing about social media is that it delivers stats about influencers directly through their number of followers. However, you shouldn’t just go by followers alone (of course nobody in the history of Twitter has ever bought followers have they?). See how much actual activity there is on their profile and the kinds of conversations they’re having. You can also search on social media to see who people are mentioning, Facebook is great for tagging and sharing and if you know who is being tagged to give advice or contribute to a topic you have a good place to start when searching for those in the know.
Use your own followers to find out who else they follow. You can sometimes glean this information by simply looking at their social media profiles and the other content that they share. Social media sites like Facebook allow you to see who your friends and followers like providing the accounts are set that way within their privacy settings. You’ll also see their shared content. Another great way is to simply ask or put up a poll, you may be surprised at just how helpful your own network can be. Remember as a business you have been growing your email list. Reach out in your emails ask there as well, the chances of your request being seen are higher and it helps to keep your list engaged.
A great place to look is offline. Look at trade shows, events, and seminars. Who’s hosting them or presenting at them? What are the biggest names? This is a great way to find local influencers in a specific geographical area. An advantage of finding influencers offline is that it gives you a good chance to start building an authentic relationship with them in person, which is much easier than connecting only online.You can search for Facebook events and see which events are being held and where and who you know is going, another great resource for this is Meetup where you can search by industry or location. Again ask your network for referrals for events.
There are also tools you can use that are specifically designed for finding key influencers. These include Klout, Traackr, Kred, Twellow and more. These tools measure the influence of a person using internet, social media, and search data. Some of them offer very detailed profiles that can help you get a good start on your research.
Once you find an influencer somewhere, you should look for them everywhere else as well. For example, if you attend a trade show and come out with a list of potential influencers, check out each through Google search, social media, tools, and so on. Cross-check to get a big-picture view of just how influential the person is and to which audience.
Let me know how you found influencers to interview as iI’msure there will be some more great ideas out there
To your Success
When it comes to starting a small business it’s always an exciting challenge. Getting your feet off the ground and establishing yourself and your business is no easy task, but the great news is it’s never been easier than it is right now . In order to get some attention in the business world you need to think differently and find a way to set your business apart from the rest of the pack. There are some simple things you can do to achieve this, and we’re going to take a look at some ideas that will help find you and recognise you for what you and you new company does.
First and foremost you have to know who your audience is. You don’t want to be talking about car parts to someone that’s looking for gardening help. Identify your audience. What are they looking for? What do they need? What other things besides what you’re offering are they interested in? Build your avatars using in-depth research and talk to them and their needs.
So often when starting out this crucial part of the process gets overlooked by the desire to ‘get some business’ by talking to everyone you are talking to no one so get this bit right and all of your marketing will be so much easier and give you the results you are looking for.
So much emphasis has been put on internet marketing recently that businesses often forget to follow through with conventional marketing. A great way to set yourself apart from the rest is to get involved in your community. support a local charity. Dedicate some time to promoting your business at a local event. Small businesses need a dedicated local following and the best way to build that up is to get involved with your community.
In my transport business we were really well known online, we had a massive digital footprint bigger than the household names however locally people didn’t know who we were, Our decision to go networking locally and get involved in business shows escalated our business not only in recognition but in referals and business from local companies
The online presence of your business will always be hugely important when it comes to building your small business. Be interactive. Get people involved. Find out where your avatars are hanging out, that means look at Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google Plus and any other social network you can think of. It will serve you well to set up profiles and company pages on as many social networking sites as possible and focus your attention on those that have your particular audience… btw it won’t be them all nor will it be the same as your mates who has a totally different business to you. Measure and test and scale up or down your activity on these as is necessary.
Social media presence is a must but a lot of businesses sacrifice a presence on their own website in order to keep up with their social networks. Don’t be that person. Your website is an should always be the number 1 place you focus your attention online, why? because its the ONLY thing you have complete control over online and its the only thing you will ever own . The power of a well built and maintained website/blog is astronomica and s often vastly underrated Create or hire someone to create a website which is unique and interactive. Social media is a great way to get people involved but your website should be a direct portal to your business.
I hear all the time ‘well i have a facebook business page which does well for me’ here’s a question what if FB decides to throw you off for no reason, what if FB goes bust and shuts the site down with no warning? what if FB changes the rules and suddenly charge you for a FB business page? all of this is out of your control. By all means, use the social media platforms to your advantage but don’t build your marketing in it’s entirety on just one platform that’s like giving the keys to your business to someone you have never met complete insanity. Create or hire someone to create a website which is unique and interactive. Social media is a great way to get people involved but your website should be a direct portal to your business.
If you don’t have a website or blog then Create or hire someone to build one which is unique and interactive. Social media is a great way to get people involved but your website should be a direct portal to your business.
A press release is something so simple that could help you see big results. Putting out a press release about your newest product or service and distributing it to local newspapers and other forms of media can build hype and get you attention. This is your chance to talk up your business and get some eyes on what you’re doing.
These nlocal outlets are crying out for content, positive things to shout about so remember you are more than welcome to approach them with news of your latest business award or your latest launch product, maybe you’ve just moved into a new office or hired your first member of staff the list goes on so take the opportunity to get the word out there.
Video is a hot thing at the moment, the social media channels love it , the search engine adore it and places like youtube are built for it. Video has two options a pre-recorded video or a live stream video both are incredibly powerful in connecting with your audience.
Mobile phones now can produce stunning results with video these are more than adequate to give you a professional image whilst keeping your costs as a small business right down. All that will hold you back is your imagination.
When it comes to marketing your business, the sky is the limit. Don’t make the same mistakes that others do. Make sure you distinguish your business by covering all aspects of marketing – both conventional and unconventional. Give these a try and don’t be afraid to experiment.
To your success
With 6 burgers, 4 slices of mature cheddar cheese, 6 rashers of bacon, topped with pulled pork in a lightly toasted brioche bun, you might think the Devastator Burger is too big to eat.
At first glance, it seems massive. There’s just so much food, and it’s all the wrong foods together, stacked up and what looked tempting when you ordered looks like there’s enough food to feed a family of 10.
Business can seem the same too. There can seem so much to do, and so much that needs doing. Where do you start? How do you get to the end? What do you do along the way?
Eating a huge burger, and business have many things in common. Without a strategy, you won’t be able to eat the burger, and the same goes for business. Without a strategy, you won’t complete the goals that you need in order to live the life of your dreams.
You’ll also have regrets… Remember that huge burger that I couldn’t eat? Remember when I started a business?
And your friends will remind you about it all the time – remember that huge burger you got that time? Why didn’t you finish it? Eyes too big for your belly! Remember that business you started? How did that work out again? You won’t enjoy barbecues or get-togethers ever again if you don’t have a plan.
It can seem that people only remember the struggle, or the failings and not the successes. Human beings are wired to recall things this way, but let’s give them very little to remember about 😉
List what you have. All this burger consists of is 6 burgers, a bit of cheese, a bit of bacon, pulled pork and a brioche bun. Why a brioche bun? Well, this gives you the advantage – no sesame seeds to get caught in your teeth. This type of bun is rich in taste as it’s made with eggs and butter, and even when lightly toasted it has a shiny exterior glaze. A normal burger bun would soak up the juices and become soggy. This type of bun holds the burger in burger shape for longer…
The same with any business related task – break it down into components. Business is always overwhelming when you don’t know what to do or where to start. This isn’t where you want to be. You don’t want to fixate on the size of the job or you’ll never start.
Break your tasks into smaller items. When I have a burger this size after admiring it and taking a photo for Instagram, I take it to pieces. All I have now is a plate full of food. Do this with your business strategy – create smaller pieces that can be separated from the end outcome, but when combined achieve your goals.
When Sarah shared the photo on Facebook, there were a lot of comments about the size of the burger. If you’re surrounded by people reminding you of the enormity of your commitment, put them from your mind. They’re speaking from their own point of view, and that’s not your view is it? They don’t know your strategy.
Now I have a plate full of meat and I cut it into smaller pieces, and then I eat fast. When you eat fast you don’t listen to your body signaling its full. If you drink water or coffee with your food you will find that you can eat more. Now, I don’t recommend you eat this way often. It’s not a healthy way to eat at all. I have a burger like this once every 18-24 months. I could not sustain eating this way more frequently, and it would permanently damage my health. Know that you can do something like this a few times in your lifetime, but the goal is worth it.
Implementing your strategy is the same. There will be things you do that are not good for you – like pulling an all-nighter to get something done. These happen when there’s no other alternative (like outsourcing, sub-contracting etc). Like swotting for an exam, it’s something you do for a small amount of time to achieve a specific goal. Know and understand this. If you’re pulling too many all-nighters then you need to get assistance. If you find your relationships are deteriorating then you need to get support in. If there are skills you lack, you have the option to learn them or the option to buy them in. You do not have the luxury of complaining about what you lack.
In the case of my burger, I had two daughters eyeing it up, waiting for a signal that they could have a bite. That signal didn’t come, but it was reassuring to know the burger could be devoured in a heartbeat if I’d sat back let my assistants help.
I ate this enormous burger in my own time. There’s a devastator burger challenge, where if you eat the burger in 10 minutes you get a t-shirt. I’ve plenty of tee shirts and plenty of time. For me, eating this burger at my own pace was more important than the thought of something else cluttering my wardrobe.
Yes and no. I left a bite of the brioche bun, about an inch in diameter. They’re not my burger bun of choice. Purists will say technically I didn’t finish the burger. This is very easy to say when you’ve not eaten 6+ burgers. For them, the task wasn’t completed, but for me it was.
The same applies to your business strategy. You may have 99% of it in place, and you’re growing at a pace you can handle without too many all-nighters, staffing issues, or cashflow problems, then you’re in a great place. Most people don’t achieve this level of success. They quit as soon as they see the depth of what they need to do. Don’t let the 1% missing make you feel like a failure. Don’t let other people make you feel bad for achieving something that they haven’t done themselves.
What’s next on my food challenge? Well, I have my eye on a huge steak…
To your success
Yesterday we talked a bit about setting goals and why it’s important to set meaningful and specific goals that are measurable. I hope you’ve spent a little time thinking about what some of your own goals may be. That’s because today it’s time to put the theory to practice and use writing down goals and checking them off as a confidence hack.
This isn’t going to be as hard or as complicated as you may think at first glance. Yesterday we talked about some pretty big, long-term goals. While those are great to have, there are also much smaller, daily goals we can use to get a boost in confidence. These are the small goals you want to write down and check off. Sometimes they are part of your bigger goals, sometimes they aren’t.
Think about what you want to get done today. Maybe this includes making a meal plan for the week, finding some time to read a book, or taking an hour for yourself to play a video game. Maybe it’s weeding the garden. Maybe it’s replacing the windshield wiper fluid in your car. It doesn’t matter how large or small, write those goals down on a small notepad that you can carry with you or leave at your desk or kitchen counter. Then, as you accomplish each small goal, check it off. You can put a check mark next to it or cross it out. Try them both and see which one feels better.
It’s very satisfying to check items off your goals or to-do list. Each time you check something off, you get a mini boost of confidence that will help motivate you to tackle the next task, and the next one. Mix and match goals or tasks that are very easy to accomplish, and those that take a little longer or require a little more will power on your part.
Play around with how much you put on your list to check off. If you find yourself overwhelmed with too many tasks and goals, limit it to no more than five things. If you find that you can’t possibly make it through your entire list and that not finishing gets you down, make sure you add no more than what you can comfortably finish. If on the other hand having quite a few extra items on that list motivates you to see how much you can check off before bedtime, load up that goals list. Make it work for you and see what system gives you the biggest boost in confidence and courage.
So far, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about theory, concepts, and creating habits that encourage confidence. That’s great and if you take what I’ve shared to heart, it will benefit you greatly over time.
But consider that these ideas and strategies take time to implement and time to see results. Sometimes you need a little “quick fix” that makes you feel more courageous and gives you an instant boost in confidence.
That’s what the confidence hacks I’ll be sharing with you throughout the rest of the challenge are about. We’ll start today with something that only takes a minute or two to work – the Power Pose.
What Is A Power Pose?
A power pose is a particular way to stand or sit that gives you an instant boost in confidence and courage. Research done on power poses even suggests that your body language or the pose you strike influences your hormones. In particular the poses I’m about to share with you give you a boost of testosterone if you hold them for about two minutes.
You can strike these poses standing up or sitting down, and use them anytime you need that little extra confidence boost.
How To Strike A Power Pose
The easiest power pose in my mind is the “Wonder Woman”. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips. Look at a picture of Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman to get the perfect image of this pose.
When you’re at your desk, lean back in your chair, put your hands behind your head, and put your feet up on your desk for another strong power pose. If you don’t want your feet on your desk or are in an environment where that isn’t possible, lean back in your chair, keep your knees apart and rest your arm on the back of the chair or put it behind your head.
Simply standing up tall, or standing at the table during a meeting with your hands on the table, leaning in slightly can have a big impact. The most important thing is to not hunch over and don’t cross your arms in front of your body.
When To Strike A Power Pose
You can strike these power poses whenever you need to. It’s a good habit to spend two minutes in the morning before you get your day started doing your favorite power pose. This will set a confident tone for the rest of your day. Strike a pose throughout the day any time you feel less than confident. You can do these poses just about anywhere for a quick confidence boost break. Head to the bathroom if you feel silly standing like a superhero in the middle of the room.
Having a good reason to be confident, brave, and courageous can be a huge help. We’ve already looked at how reflection, gratitude, and even doing the things you’re scared of helps you do them anyway and how it starts to build this habit of being courageous and confident.
Today I have another helpful concept to share with you. We make time for and work on the things that are important to us. We can use that concept to our advantage when it comes to courage and self-confidence.
In other words, I want you to start creating these new habits by focusing on what’s important to you. It’s much easier to work on courage and increase self-confidence with tasks that you enjoy and that have meaning to you. Don’t worry about feeling like you “should” do something. That can come later. For now, let’s start with what you’re passionate about.
Let’s say that you would like to become a better cook, grow more of your own food, lose some weight, and get back into running. That’s a long list of positive changes and it will take some time and effort to build up your courage and confidence to make them all happen.
What if you focus on the one thing you’re passionate about? Choose something that’s fun and important to you. For this example, let’s say you’re most passionate about gardening. Just start there.
Build those new habits and focus your time and effort there first. Seeing your garden flourish and having that delicious, fresh produce to work with will give you a huge boost in confidence.
Knowing you have delicious product to use may inspire you to cook more from scratch to use up the food you’ve grown. From there, you can branch out and make smarter food choices that will help you lose weight.
Do you see how focusing on what’s important to you can help motivate you to get started? While gardening isn’t particularly difficult, it did take some effort to plant, nourish & harvest it. You had to take action and that’s all I’m really asking you to do.
Let’s look at some another examples. Perhaps you want to improve your marriage, become a better parent, go back to school, or save up enough money to get out of debt.
It doesn’t matter what your most important goal or task is. You can use it to get started on this journey of building courage and increasing your self-confidence.
My challenge to you for today is to think about what’s really important to you. Make sure you realize that there’s a big difference between something being urgent and something being important. We often focus on the things that have the tightest deadline, the stuff that needs to get done “right now”. While it may be important, it’s often not the thing that’s most important to us overall. Make the choice of what’s truly important to you and then focus your efforts of being courageous and building those new good habits there.
Realizing how far I’ve come and how much I can actually accomplish when I put my mind to it, is always a HUGE confidence booster for me. I’m sure it’s no different for you. To be honest, there’s a lot each and every one of us has done over the past few days, weeks, and even years that we can be proud of. Yet we often don’t see it. There always seems to be so much left on the to-do list and to be perfectly honest, the stuff we didn’t do, or the things we failed at often stand out much more than our successes. It’s time to change our perspective and focus on the wins and how far we’ve come already.
Reflection and Gratitude
The simplest way to make sure you see and notice what you’ve accomplished and how far you’ve come is to get in the habit of spending a few minutes either in the morning or right before bed for reflection and gratitude.
When you wake up in the morning, before you jump out of bed, while you’re drinking that first cup of coffee, or even while you’re taking your shower, think about what you’ve accomplished and what you’re grateful for. I like this morning habit because it sets a positive and confident tone for the whole day ahead. If that doesn’t work for you, try it at night, before you fall asleep. Make it a daily habit and watch your confidence grow.
Journaling And Habit Trackers
If you’re the type of person who needs to see it in black and white to believe it, give journaling a try. Spend a few minutes each day writing down your wins. If you’re trying to establish better habits, try a habit tracker. You basically set up a grid with the habits you want to establish and little check boxes next to them. Grid paper and excel spreadsheets work well for this. Then, as you complete your habit for the day, you get to check it off. It can be very motivating to see a month’s worth of little checkmarks on your habit tracker.
With the journal, make it a point to go back and review your wins on a regular basis and of course whenever you need a little boost of self-esteem and confidence. Look online for plenty of journaling and habit tracker ideas. Give the ones that look good a try and come up with a system that works for you.
Your Own Personal Cheerleader
Last but not least, consider getting your own personal cheerleader. No, I’m not suggesting you hire a person with pompoms to follow you around everywhere. Instead, find a good friend or family member who’s encouraging already and ask them to cheer you on. Give them a call whenever you’re feeling low, or don’t want to do something so they can encourage you and cheer you on to give you that boost of confidence to do what you need to do. Of course they should also help you by pointing out how much you’ve accomplished already.
Luck in business, does it exist? Are people successful just because they’re lucky people?
“They’re lucky” is a term that is bantered around by those that look at other’s success, their network of influencers or their perceived wealth with an underlying vibe of ‘why them and not me‘. This is a totally destructive way of looking at those that are doing well in business, and let me explain why in this post.
I have been around the block, seen many successful business owners and many not so successful business owners. You see companies starting every day and closing at a fast pace. But what I have yet to see is a business that opens on day 1 and lets luck take them to financial glory.
We have a saying in our business and that is if you put the work in, consistently, you will build your business. This isn’t new or even very innovative thinking. It comes down to one major factor to keep you on track and that’s accountability. Accountability to yourself first and foremost, and accountability to your business.
Accountability is simple, it’s not just recognising when things go wrong and you beat yourself up over it. It’s celebrating when things go right as well. Accountability is a 2-part process, and when you lodge it firmly into your business brain you will find a lot of things start to happen
Firstly let’s look at when it doesn’t quite work out as we had hoped, so many business owners I talk to and coach are afraid. They’re afraid of taking a calculated chance of putting out a new project or product that it sits on the to-do board for weeks upon weeks, even into years. The first thing to remember is if you don’t find the courage to make a decision ie it’s going to happen or you are throwing the idea away, then it will be gathering mental dust forever and you will always wonder ‘what if’.
We have to be honest with ourselves, if you launch a product and you are not prepared, you have to hold ourselves accountable; you could have prepared better, you could have timed it better, you could have worked harder instead of playing on the Xbox or going to the pub. These are realisations if your actions going forward change because of thi,s then you have moved forward. If you sit there in self-pity because ‘you failed’ then you are going to have a hard time as a business owner.
Secondly, if you have achieved your goals and it’s all gone well then accept that accountability as a positive, you made that happen, you won that contract, you earned £10k from that product launch you worked your backside off for. Reward yourself as you are the one that has done a fantastic job. Luck played no part in it what so ever.
It’s really important to celebrate the wins in business, the feeling of really having achieved something. When you have put the work in, you feel great and you should be rewarded. Go and see that film you have been putting off, grab yourself a bite to eat at your favourite restaurant or buy that book you wanted but felt like it was a self-indulgence.
The reason you do this is so the next time you are working on something you know the reward for your success will be -something you cherish.
Far too often we see accountability as a negative, this really doesn’t have to be the case but we do have to step up and take responsibility for our actions or lack of actions to make things happen. Blaming or crediting luck for your business activity removes your responsibility to your business and the people your business serves.
Do we create our own luck or are people just lucky? You tell me
To your success
let’s take a look at the connection between courage and self-confidence. Trust me, there’s an important reason why we’re exploring this idea so early on in the challenge. Take a moment to think back on a time when you were scared to do something but you gathered up your courage and did it anyway.
Maybe it was walking away from a bad situation. Maybe it was working through a problem that seemed impossible at first glance. Maybe it was overcoming a fear of yours, facing it, and coming through ok at the other side. For me it was walking into my first face to face business networking meeting, It doesn’t matter what it was, as long as you think of something that took courage to do.
Think about how you felt after you did whatever that courageous thing or act was. It felt pretty amazing, didn’t it?
Maybe you were a bit exhausted from the effort, or relieved that you did make it through to the other side. Mostly though, that adrenaline started pumping through your system and you felt incredibly proud of what you’d accomplished. That in turn made you feel elated and good about yourself and your own ability to do other courageous things.
,You gave yourself a big boost of self-confidence. That right there, is one of the connections between self-confidence and courage.
We can boost our confidence and feeling of self-worth by getting into the habit of doing courageous things.
Establishing that habit is something we’ll work on throughout the challenge. There’s also a second connection. Once you’ve gotten that boost of self-confidence, you start to feel more courageous and are ready to tackle the next scary thing on your list.
In other words, self-confidence and courage work in a self-propelling cycle or spiral. Do something courageous and your self-confidence increases. As your confidence goes up, it will be easier to do something courageous. And on and on it spirals. This is an important concept to grasp and it’s something that you can use to your advantage. What it means is that by simply getting in the habit of doing something that scares you or that seems hard at first glance and having the courage to give it a try anyway, you can put this self-propelling spiral of increased self-confidence into motion. From there on out, every little thing you do that’s either courageous or increases your confidence in yourself, will make it easier to keep going and keep improving on both counts. The only hard part is getting started, and frankly, that isn’t all that hard or scary, is it?
What can you do today that takes a little courage?
Perhaps introduce yourself in the Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/30daybusinessconfidencechallenge/
Maybe make that business call that you have been putting off?
Whatever you choose please share it in the Facebook group and how you felt about it
to your success
Welcome to thirty days of building your courage and increasing your self-confidence in business. Don’t underestimate the power confidence and self confidence can have on you and your business it’s an ongoing thing in my life and business .
As we spend this month learning and thinking about courage and self-confidence which can be in flux throughout our business life let’s keep our focus on working through the things that can keep us from thriving in our business,.
For the next 30 days you will receive an email from me (firstname.lastname@example.org) giving you some exercises or tasks to do that will help you build your confidence and courage in business. I will also remind you that the supporting Facebook group is a great and safe place to share your experiences and connect with fellow business owners looking also to build their resolve in business. The group is here https://www.facebook.com/groups/30daybusinessconfidencechallenge/
Over the course of this thirty day challenge, we’ll explore what the connection between courage and confidence is, why they are important and of course (and most importantly) what we can do to become more courageous and increase our self-confidence on a daily basis. The end goal is to have a bag of tools to help us continue to become more confident in business after this month of exploration is over. Of course, I also hope to see a big boost of courage and self-confidence throughout the challenge itself.
If you’ve been struggling with your own feelings of self-confidence and self-worth, or simply been too scared and intimidated to go after your dreams, you know that this is an important topic. Increasing your level of self-confidence will make you feel better about yourself and help you move forward in life and business. Most importantly, how courageous and confident we are has a direct effect on how happy and accomplished we feel. In other words, finding your courage and self-confidence is something well worth pursuing.
Are you ready to join me and commit to a month’s of exploration and working on your own levels of courage and self-confidence?
Like anything that involves human growth and self-improvement, it’s not always going to be easy and I will ask you to step out of your comfort zone from time to time though i will be with you as you go through this.
That being said, I promise you it is well worth working on this particular aspect of your business and you can gain quite a bit by sticking with me and giving it a try. At the very least, commit to reading each daily email and blog post. I’m sure you’ll get something out of it and hopefully, you’ll decide to jump in and implement what I’m sharing each day. We’ll continue tomorrow with a look at how courage and self-confidence are related.
To your success