Ep. 155 Weekly priorities for your business

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In this week’s podcast, Anna looks at how you can create structure in your week and specific priorities that really must be on your calendar each and every week.

Success comes from taking consistent action, showing up, and taking those little steps to build momentum. What are the things that need to be on your calendar to get you to where you need to be?

*Resources mentioned during the episode*

Level up with The Outsiders Business Accelerator – This is a mastermind for entrepreneurs, freelancers and small business owners who want to create a long-term sustainable brand and business. www.onestepoutside.com/accelerate

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Weekly priorities for your business

Transcript:

Hello there. And welcome back to the podcast, as we look this week at how you can create some structure in your week and specifically important priorities, that really must be on your calendar every week. This is something we’ve talked about in the Business Accelerator many times, but there are certain business priorities. Now, of course I talk, and if you know me, you know this, I talk about the balance of your ideal week, of course, getting in the five Ls. If you’re new to the community, these are the different areas of our life that need prioritisation, need focus, need goal setting, need balance in order to really have that fulfilled healthy life. And I apologise for the background noise, if you can hear that. There’s lots of drilling going on outside as we speak.

So the five Ls are live, health and wellness; love, relationships, belonging; learn, development and growth; lead, career and impact; and laugh, fun and spontaneity I call it, but hobbies and laughter and play.

So those are five things that should, and I sort of hesitate to use the word should be on your calendar every week, but I’m talking now specifically in your business. So this is for you if you are a business owner, a freelancer, an online entrepreneur, however you want to define yourself. So these are 10 things that should be on your calendar every week. And I’d be interested to hear which of these is missing for you, which one do you spend most time on and perhaps what needs more focus.

So let me dive straight in. The first one, and let’s start with what you probably are doing, assuming you have clients, which I’m going to assume, is client delivery and support, right? You’re actually delivering a service, whether you’re a graphic designer designing logos, a website developer, a copywriter writing copy, a coach coaching people as you get clients. And, of course, the pendulum will swing, the balance will shift from initially not having a lot of clients, of course, to ultimately having almost too many clients one-to-one maybe at which point we then look at leveraging your time better in order to maybe have a group programme or productizing your services and so on. But nonetheless, client delivery and support, I think, I hope is on everybody’s calendar if you have a business. In order to have a business, you have to have clients.

And so, one of the priorities that needs to be on your calendar every week, of course, is to actually deliver the service. If you’re finding you’re not doing that, then of course, there’s probably some work to be done, A, in terms of getting those clients if you don’t have any clients and B, in terms of really delivering an incredible job to those clients, because if you’re focusing too much on marketing and so on and not really taking care of your existing clients, that’s going to lead to a lot of attrition, right? You’re going to lose clients. They’re not going to give you good reviews. It’s not going to be fulfilling for you either if you’re not delivering an excellent service or product. And they’re not going to recommend you to other people, and they’re not going to stay with you and come back and so on, right? So, that really is a priority, client delivery, customer service.

The second one is content creation, and this could be recording videos, writing blogs and articles, podcasts.

So I’m in my content creation time blocked right now, right? I’m recording this podcast. What else? Doing graphics and whatever else, creating content that’s going to go out on your social media, that’s going to go out on your website. And I’m talking now content creation, by the way, for marketing, for building a brand, because in the previous priority, client delivery and support, that would arguably include, for me, that would include creating content for my membership site, for my current clients, right? So that’s actually client delivery and support. Whereas the number two is content creation for the purpose of attracting new clients.

Now it’s not enough to only create content, but that’s the prerequisite, right? So creating content, you want to be blocking time. I have this down to a T, although I’m constantly trying to optimise. I get a few different outfits. I write down, okay, this is November topics. In fact, that’s what I’ve done here. I’ve done four weeks of podcasts and video topics, jotted them down and I’m talking to you. So I batch that, waiting for the baby to wake up and I’m trying to get that done so I can then get that off to the audio editor so I can get it transcribed so I can get it to my assistant, who’s then going to put it onto a website, et cetera, et cetera. Right? So content creation.

Number three, of course, then, as I said, it’s not enough to create content, you have to also promote that content or schedule the promotion of that content.

Again, this is what my assistant is doing, putting this podcast then into Libsyn, I use to host my website and getting that pushed out to all the Apple and Google and Stitcher and whatever else, Spotify. It is running ads if you’re running ads, right? It is scheduling posts on Facebook, on LinkedIn. We do organic posting actually on LinkedIn. It is actually getting your stuff out there. And that’s super important too. If you’re only creating content and no one’s seeing your content, then no, that’s not going to work, right?

Now. Okay. Assuming we’ve now attracted people who are beginning to become interested in you, the fourth time block needs to be nurturing prospects. And that means, okay, people have come to you. They’ve heard of you. They know what you do. Now, you’re building trust. You’re building credibility. You’re teaching them. You’re running, maybe free training sessions. You, of course, also might be creating lead magnets and email sequences that are warming them up, that are getting them to get to know you and your business. You might be running a master class, a challenge, whatever. This is sort of nurturing, following up also. We shouldn’t underestimate the importance of actually talking to people, one-to-one messaging, emailing, responding to questions and so on, right? Being present in your Facebook group and so on. So nurturing people who are already potential customers is number four.

Number five then is, and this is key, following up with leads. And this is the next step in a way after nurturing so that gets more into, maybe someone’s booked a call with you.

You’ve proposed to them, okay, yep, this is what it would cost. This is how we might work together. They’ve gone, okay, let me think about it. This is you following up and saying, hi, any questions? Carry me forwards. What can I do to help alleviate any concerns? It is following up with someone who maybe joined your free master class or challenge to see if they’re still interested, if they want to take their next step. There’s so many stats on, okay, you need to interact with people 13 times, 17 times, whatever that number is in order for them to buy from you. Sometimes people do come and they go, oh yes, this is exactly what I want.

I just signed up to work with someone who I literally searched for a particular kind of coach on Instagram, found her, loved what she did. Yep. Actually, the doors are closing type programme that week and I went for it. And that was quite a large investment. And some people will do that if it lands the exact right time. But again, that takes work from your side to have done the work on understanding your client and creating that content in the first place. Most people will need a bit more nudging. Unfortunately, I think sometimes it can go too far, right? They just get used to only showing up to your free stuff.

So actually, that’s why it’s so important to get them used to you selling. They need to understand whether you’re sending emails. I do my weekly Friday email. Whether you’re showing up in your Facebook group, they need to know, oh, Anna has this group because she has a business that helps people build this life outside of the nine to five. This is not just a fun, free community. This is, yes, I can’t just be here, I have to buy, but they’re getting used to seeing that messaging. They won’t get annoyed when you start selling sometimes. And you’re actually getting them that one step closer to buying from you. So that’s number five is following up with leads who have raised their hand and expressed an interest. They’ve downloaded something, joined a webinar, whatever.

Okay. That’s some of the really important. So we’ve said client delivery and support number one. Number two, content creation. Number three, content promotion. And number four, nurturing prospects. Number five, then following up with those prospects and leads. So let’s get into more of the behind the scenes stuff. Number six is accounting. It could be sending invoices, importing your spending from your bank feed into the software you use, right? This is something that does take time, checking those off. I’ve just received my company accounts from my accountant, and I do need to go through. Every Friday, I sort of go through and make sure my accounting system’s up to date, all the expenses and everything. Right? So, accounting.

I also have FreeAgent, which I have. You might have a different software or you might want to get a different software. It sends automatic reminders to my corporate clients, my agency clients, to tell them that, hey, the invoice is due next week or hey, it’s due tomorrow and oops, it’s overdue, right? So, that can be automated. But nonetheless, there’s an accounting piece that needs to be on your calendar. I’d recommend doing it once a week because if you lose those receipts for your expenses, if you don’t check that, hey, hang on a second. That client still hasn’t paid or ooh, you suddenly got an unexpected invoice for something, that’s really important to keep on top of.

Number seven then is admin and operations.

Now this is a pretty big one. And unfortunately, sometimes we could spend too much time there, but any kind of admin stuff, even personal admin actually could almost be there, but we’re talking work admin, operations, fixing stuff on your website. I’ve just noticed today that one of the links was going to the wrong place on my website. That kind of stuff does unfortunately take some time, especially if you’re doing it yourself. What else? Any of the behind the scenes operational stuff that isn’t going to really build an incredible personal brand or something, but does need doing behind the scenes as well.

Now this is where we get really important and strategic, actually. Number eight is tracking and reviewing results. I’ve toyed with all sorts of different trackers over the years. We had a very complex one. We were looking at every single metric. It wasn’t something I really had time to go through and it wasn’t that meaningful. We’ve gone through phases of not really tracking. Try to get clear on, okay, if your goal is to grow your email list, let’s say, then focus on that as your metric. If your goal is to build your Facebook community, that could be a metric to look at there.

And, of course, you should be looking at sales and so on, but really looking back and hang on a second, okay, I’ve just done this webinar. I’ve just done this challenge. I’ve just created this new lead magnet. How is that actually going? Who’s buying and who is signing up and how many people and so on? And you might like me realise that nobody’s signed up and that’s because there’s an issue with our page. So, that’s always good to know too. And that gets you back into operations. So tracking and reviewing results.

Number nine is strategic planning.

And again, this is something you can play around with, whether it’s a block on your… I would love to have a block on my calendar every Monday morning. The reality is after the weekend, if you’re working sort of a Monday to Friday, whatever that looks like for you, when you come back, there’s a lot of emails, probably you want to get into the work and stuff. So it’s hard then to take the step back.

I quite like Fridays for admin operations and that big picture thinking, is looking ahead, especially at this time of year, planning the year, looking at your results, as we said, but then seeing how do you need to, what do you need to stop, start and continue for next year. What new programme might you need to create? What content might you need to create? What are your topics coming up and so on? Right? So strategic planning ahead is something we don’t usually make time for when we hustle, hustle, hustling away. But so, so important. So we’re not just doing the busy work. We’re not just head down in the reeds doing, doing, doing, but we’re actually taking a step back and looking at what should we be doing and why we’re doing that.

And finally, again, looking ahead, actually, we need to be looking at how are we going to, or do we need to upskill to learn. Whether that is, of course, the more ongoing stuff like reading books and listening to podcasts. So hello for listening to me, maybe you’re checking in every week with a new episode now, every Monday. Reading books, whether it’s Kindle, paperback, whatever your chosen way of reading. I’m doing a lot of audible at the moment. It’s great while I’m running or walking or doing the dishes or whatever. I’ve just finished my Positive Psychology course that I started in lockdown last year. I’ll be looking at doing something else maybe next year.

So it could be a formal qualification that you’re paying to do some kind of course or programme. If you’re part of, let’s say in my case, my Business Accelerator, that’s part of that, right? So you’re investing money. So you definitely should be investing time in that programme as well. So I have my course that I’m doing or finished now. So I need to look for something else for next year. I’d like to look for something else for next year, but also my business coach that I work with. And that again, is maybe listening to content, doing exercises, participating on the calls and so on and supporting other people, right?

So let me recap them all to help you out. But again, I’d love to hear from you. Email at podcast@onestepoutside.com, or you can message me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, wherever we’re connected to let me know if there’s something missing from this that you think is really important, if you’re struggling with one of these, if the balance is wrong for you. And there’s no magic number of which percentage you need to spend on each one of these, right? But here they are.

So number one, client delivery and support. Number two, content creation. Number three, content promotions scheduling. Number four, nurturing prospects with free trainings, teaching and so on. Number five, following up with leads. Number six, accounting. Number seven, admin, operations, behind the scenes stuff. Number eight, tracking and reviewing results. Number nine, strategic planning, big picture thinking, looking ahead. And number 10, learning and up-skilling.

And in fact, I mentioned the Business Accelerator a couple of times. There, we actually talk about five categories. So taking this a little bit further, we talk about this a bit more strategically. So not just a list of things we need to be doing, but really categories and those are income. So any income generating activities. Visibility, and I think that promotes your personal brand, gets you in front of more people. Service. So that is, again, servicing the existing clients. Operations, which is the behind the scenes stuff. And important one, which I haven’t really covered in these 10 things is legacy. That’s something, as you get more advanced in the business, it might be writing a book. It might be doing a Ted talk. It might be creating something that isn’t necessarily going to impact your income or visibility today or tomorrow, but really something that’s leaving an impact, creating an impact with your customers and also perhaps in your life and your family, right?

So those are categories that we go into more depth strategically in our Business Accelerator, income, visibility, service, operations, and legacy. And again, it could be that your priority right now is visibility. And it probably is when you’re first starting out. Most of us have income as a priority often as well, right? Especially, again, when we’re starting out, but that could shift and we need to be making sure that then our calendar, our day-to-day tasks are reflecting the priorities that we have identified strategically.

So I hope that was helpful in terms of things that should be on your calendar, things you should be doing every single week in order to move the needle on your business. Thank you so much for listening. And I look forward to seeing you next week, where I’m answering a question from the audience as it were. If ever you have a question, you can ask Anna, just email podcast@onestepoutside.com, or, again, you can connect with me on any social channel. The question for next week is how can I get more leads? It’s a big one. I know it’s an important one. So tune in next week to get the answer to that one. See you then.

If you’re ready to start to reimagine what success could look like for you, here are some of the ways in which Anna can support you:

Get private mentoring for your business – Partnering with a business coach can help you see those blind spots and get both external accountability and expert guidance to take your business to where you want it to be. www.onestepoutside.com/freeconsultation

Get private career coaching – Individual coaching is fully tailored to your specific goals and desires so we can create the programme that works best for you, with the support that you need to move forwards. www.onestepoutside.com/claritycall

Grab a copy of Leaving the Corporate 9 to 5 – After interviewing 50 people who have left the corporate 9 to 5 to forge their own path, Anna has collected their stories in a book that will inspire you with the possibilities that are out there and reassure you that you’re not alone in looking for an alternative. www.leavingthecorporate9to5.com

Join the One Step Outside the 9 to 5 Business Incubator – This is your roadmap to transitioning from a corporate job into setting up a meaningful business that will bring you more freedom, flexibility and fulfilment outside of the corporate 9 to 5. www.onestepoutside.com/9to5

Level up with The Outsiders Business Accelerator – This is a mastermind for entrepreneurs, freelancers and small business owners who want to create a long-term sustainable brand and business. www.onestepoutside.com/accelerate

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