Do you like talking about money? Does it make you feel uncomfortable, or does it inspire you to make more? I think it’s important that we have both serious and not-so-serious discussions about it to learn and grow from the information we’ve gathered. Today’s post is all about looking at what is working in your business regarding money and how we can set aside time in our already busy schedules to do more of that. So let’s talk about money-making activities for solopreneurs and how you can fit them into your already super busy week!
The sad fact for many solopreneurs and coaches is that they get stuck, follow too many “gurus,” try too many new shiny objects, products, or strategies to get unstuck, and waste their time. These gurus are in business, too, so you’re attracted to the magic answers they offer. It’s excellent marketing!
Here’s the truth: Business owners get stuck because they’re focused on the wrong things. They end up with an overwhelmed brain because they listen to too many people and try too many solutions. Let’s get back to basics and focus on your money-making activities! I even created a planner to walk you through.
These activities will look different for each person. Even if you’re working with your business bestie, your answers will differ. But that’s what makes this planner fun: you get to focus on your big dreams while creating action steps you can complete every day.
You can do millions of things daily as a business owner, especially if you’re a solopreneur responsible for everything. However, not every task results in more money in the bank.
Since a business owner’s goal is to be profitable, why would you choose to focus on anything other than money tasks? For most, it’s a matter of identifying and prioritizing which tasks generate money and which do not. That’s not to say the non-money tasks aren’t important but are your priorities in the right place?
While you could choose to spend your time on tasks that don’t directly make you money, you’re literally leaving money on the table. Coaches, consultants, and service providers often put their clients at the top of their to-do lists and let their business-building activities fall by the wayside. Client satisfaction is important, but ignoring your own business and marketing prevents you from finding a steady lead of prospects.
What happens when clients finish their coaching program and decide to leave? What do you do when you’ve finished the project? Do you have other anxious prospects waiting to fill those spots? Probably not if you’re ignoring your marketing.
It’s important to devote daily or weekly time to money-making activities if you want to grow your business and continue bringing in new clients and cash. Money-making activities refer to tasks that directly bring cash into the business. This might include podcast interviews, email marketing, social media marketing, paid ads, etc.
Non-money-making activities include administrative tasks or tasks that are low priority (like responding to non-necessary emails). It’s necessary, but it’s keeping you out of your zone of genius.
In this first exercise, it’s time to define your unique moneymaking “mix.” Everyone’s business looks different, so it’s important to determine what money-making activities exist in your unique business.
Think of the activities you’re doing in your business that directly make you money. You know what makes you money if you track your marketing results. If you’re just getting started, pivot back to this exercise after you give this some deeper thought.
The second exercise defines the tasks that don’t make you money. It’s just as important to think about your non-money-making tasks so you can start separating them from each other. Before you go to check emails, you’ll be able to identify which category this task falls under. If it’s a non-moneymaker, consider waiting until later in the day or delegate it to a VA. Many business owners think they don’t have enough time to focus on money-making tasks, but they’re often wasting time on non-money-making tasks.
In the last exercise, plan to dedicate either one day a week to building your business or several hours each day. You’ll also want to schedule this BEFORE other tasks on your list. Choose one, and then schedule it into your calendar. Make it non-negotiable.
Use a time tracker (clockify.me is one example) to track your time for each task to know exactly how much money you’re losing by focusing on each non-money-making task.
At the end of the day, instead of wondering what you accomplished, you’ll have an accurate detailing of what you spent time doing.
Also, explore the Work Mode or Do Not Disturb function on your phone. This is especially useful if your phone is a procrastination device. Tracking your time also allows you to schedule time each day for these money-making tasks.
Everyone’s business looks different, so it’s important to define what money-making activities exist in your unique business.
Download the planner with all of the exercises.
Write down tasks that you do every week that don’t directly produce income. Decide what to do about each task on this list (automate, delegate, or eliminate).
Decide if this task is still a necessary part of your business and how to manage it. Options include: Delegating non-money-making tasks; investing in tools to automate non-money-making tasks (like a social media scheduling tool, Facebook ads, or bookkeeping software); dropping the task completely, or dropping clients that take up too much time for too little return on investment; saying NO to any new opportunities (at least temporarily) that have been proven NOT to lead to more money, or that you don’t believe will lead to more money.
Do you prefer to dedicate one day to money tasks or spread it out over five days? Keep track of any standing meetings or calls (or reschedule them if there’s a conflict) and block off those hours so you focus solely on your business’s money-making tasks.
The most significant money-making task is making an offer to your audience. Whether these are prospects you’ve been nurturing for a while or people who follow you on social media, you need an offer if you’re in the business to make money. This is the fun part for most entrepreneurs since we’re always full of ideas!
To keep your business new and fresh and keep the creativity flowing, you’ll want to spend time brainstorming offer ideas every week. Have you heard the statistic that millionaires have an average of seven streams of income? If you ever feel like you “don’t need to” produce a new offer, keep that in mind!
While you don’t have to implement every offer you think of, product and offer development should be a regular part of your business activities. What do you want to help others with that you don’t currently? Where do you see a gap in your market where you can solve a problem or offer a service that others don’t have?
In this exercise, put your brainstorming hat on and brainstorm 5-10 new offer ideas. Don’t edit yourself and dream big! What are people asking for that you don’t currently offer? Do you have a continuity offer for clients finishing up one of your programs or services?
Answer the questions honestly and think on a bigger scale than you’re used to. Even if you don’t know how to create one of your offers now, keep it on your list. You may have a massive breakthrough in realizing this offer is easier to make than you realize, and your fans will love it.
Once you have a good start on your list, choose an offer to focus on. The offer should align with your business mission and life vision. Create an outline for it, including what it is, what’s included, who it’s for, what problems it solves, the name, etc.
Once your ideas are on paper, it becomes easier to see them as a reality. You’re breathing life into this idea as you write down details instead of allowing the idea to swirl aimlessly in your head.
Don’t edit yourself; simply let your creativity flow and jot down ideas on the free planner.
Without overthinking your choice, choose one offer and write out what it is, what’s included, who it’s for, what problems it solves, the name, etc.
In the planner, you’re going to choose your offer, what’s included, who it’s for, the problems it solves, and lots more.
Contrary to what doubters say, email marketing is NOT dead, and what better way to stay in touch with your web visitors than to get them on a mailing list? With a simple opt-in offer, you can grow your list and remind them of your offers, your experience, and when your products launch. Treat this list like gold! They are the people who have given permission for you to reach out and stay connected.
Statistics say email converts 40x better than social media, so writing emails to your list should make up a BIG chunk of your money-making activities time. A large email list allows you to create sales on demand. Keep in mind that a large list is not the ultimate goal. Instead, creating a large and ENGAGED list is where the profits lie. Engaged means people are looking forward to your emails, so they open almost everyone. They trust you and take whatever action you request, including making purchases through affiliate links.
To reach this level of engagement, you’ll focus on the two parts of an email marketing strategy: growing your list and nurturing your list. Growing your list is important and can fall into the “money-making activities’ category.
It’s easier to sell to people already on your list (and might have been for a while) than to new leads who don’t know, like, and trust you yet. However, customers are often very excited once they first join your list, so don’t forget to include links to your offers in your first few emails.
Creating valuable content at least once a week for your email list that links to your offer is another must-do. Some entrepreneurs even email once a day, twice or three times a day when offering a special promotion. People are busy and distracted, so they NEED to be reminded of you and what you offer, or they’ll simply move on to something else. Even if sending daily emails seems like a lot, some target markets welcome it, especially when the content is solid and valuable.
Remember to promote joining your email list to your social media followers once a week. Do this by sharing a link to your freebie landing page and having them join from there. In addition to your opt-in freebie, select exclusive content that only your email subscribers have access to; more access to you will attract new subscribers, but you have to tell them about it!
In this exercise, we’re mapping out your emails for the next 30 days. I know that sounds like a lot, but the prep work is well worth the effort when you can have them scheduled ahead of time and aren’t stressed about what to send.
Decide what content you’re going to send (or choose the content topic) when you’re going to send it [date/time], and choose a good Call To Action (CTA). Your CTA should be relevant to the content of that particular email to have the most impact. What offer would the person reading this content need to take the “next step” and get closer to their desired goal?
If you’re still stuck on what to write, what are you currently promoting? Do you have any discounts going on? Calls to action for email are similar to social media; your subscribers can hit “reply” for more information, whereas you can ask for a DM on social media. The idea for email and social is to keep the conversation going.
One note about this exercise: Just because you’re planning 30 days does NOT mean 39 CONSECUTIVE days. Send them as frequently as your audience likes. Also, make a note on a calendar if you plan holiday specials or plan some content specifically around a product launch.
Decide what content you’re going to send (or choose the content topic), when you’re going to send it [date/time], and choose your CTA.
Content is the almighty way to get people paying attention to your programs. Social media is the go-to marketing pathway, so you need engaging posts that attract attention but draw your followers in even further to hear your message. Mixed with website content, email marketing, opt-ins, and video content, you have many ways to attract eyes to your offers.
Creating content is one of the best ways to make money when it’s done right. When you learn how to create compelling content, you can reach unlimited numbers of people–people who could eventually (or even instantly!) become clients and customers.
Odds are, you already have a consistent social media presence. But are your posts resulting in sales? Here are a few components of compelling content that lead to cash:
Compelling content speaks to your ideal clients directly and is anything heartfelt, shocking, or makes them feel like you’re “reading their mind.”
Compelling content always includes a call to action. CTAs that help you make money right away will lead straight to a sales page or a checkout page but can also involve shooting you a DM or booking a sales call.
Compelling content also leads to a specific, related offer. No matter how interesting or inspiring your content is, it can confuse your reader if it doesn’t match the offer you’re promoting.
Example: Don’t write a post about how to create a podcast and then lead into an offer that’s specifically about designing your website. While they might seem related (in a roundabout manner), it would be better to create content about website design best practices, which leads to your offer about website design.
Many content creators/coaches create content that’s interesting and even inspiring. Still, it doesn’t directly tie into an offer, so it just sits around and looks pretty rather than making a profit. Always have a strategy for using your content to optimize your efforts.
Lastly, no matter where you post, it’s important to measure your results to know which platforms are helping you add to your bottom line. This includes your website in addition to your social media. Remember other websites where you’re providing content on a guest basis. Are you getting engagement? Subscribers? Customers? Coaching clients?
You’ll know exactly which platforms perform the best to best utilize your time and earn the most amount of money.
In this exercise, you’ll plan your social posts for the next 30 days. Unlike the email planning in the last step, you most likely WILL post at least one post each day, so it’s wise to keep a list like this always full of ideas.
Every single social media post should include some call to action. This CTA will vary depending on the topic of the post. Think about which offer would make the right ‘next step’ for the person reading this post. Also, consider what you’re currently launching or promoting or openings for clients, etc.
Remember…you can always repurpose your social media content and turn it into email newsletters and vice versa! If you love something you come up with for social media, hang onto it and send it to your email list.
Decide what content you’re going to post over the next four weeks.
When was the last time you checked the conversion of your sales pages? If your sales pages aren’t working (you’re not getting sales), it’s time to look at them objectively and hire a copywriter to help improve your messaging.
This exercise is about tweaking your copy (or starting from scratch, it’s your choice) so new visitors can’t refuse your offer. That doesn’t mean lowering the price, however! Let’s just tweak the copy and see what results you can achieve.
Instead of feeling overwhelmed at the idea of writing a WHOLE sales page, let’s break it down into necessary components to begin an outline. Once you’re happy with the outline, you can flesh it out with more details, but let’s get the most important aspects of your page completed first.
NOTE: Make sure you’re not spending time “tinkering” with your website when you should actually just be getting in, making edits, and then promoting the updated offer right away to see if it makes a difference. That said, one little tweak can skyrocket sales, so it’s worth the try!
In the second exercise, you’ll think of how to add an order bump, upsell, or down-sell to an existing order. These are common ways to increase your sales revenue and, in the case of a down-sell, a way to save an order from someone who would have otherwise exited your site. You can bundle offers together this way or test a new offer. Where in your current offer suite could you add one of the above?
Choose an offer you’re either ready to re-launch or a brand-new offer. Start with a sales page outline, then fill it in (either all in one go or during your “money-making time” each week).
Use the worksheet in the planner.
Where in your current offer suite could you add one of the above?
Have you ever heard the phrase, “The fortune is in the follow-up”? It’s a reminder that people often need to hear our message multiple times before purchasing. The traditional marketing rule says they need 7 touchpoints before they warm up enough to you to buy your product.
It’s also a reminder that past customers are the easiest people to sell to simply because they have already passed through the “know, like, and trust” phase. These people love your products and services and will tell their friends about you, too.
Many business owners fear follow-up because they don’t want to “be annoying.” That said, people are busy. But if you’re following the 7 points of contact rule, it stands to reason that the more frequently you follow up, the better your end results.
Follow-up can also include emailing your list on a regular basis about your new offers. Even if these subscribers have been on your list for years, you never know when someone will come out of the woodwork and become a customer or coaching client simply because you produced a product that caught their eye.
One note: You probably already know this, but adding random contacts or people you’ve met in real life to your email list is a big no-no. Your subscribers have given their permission to join; those whose business cards you have in your pocket from a networking event have not, so please don’t add them, or you’ll get called out for being a spammer.
How do you follow up with those business card people? Go back to basics and make a phone call. You can send a private email, just don’t add them to your list. Or connect with them via social media and send a friendly DM reminding them where you met.
If you’re wondering how to keep all these follow-ups organized, the next exercise will walk you through creating a spreadsheet to keep your lead information organized. Use this to get you started but also know there are dozens of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platforms that can also help with organization. You can enter your data and set up how often to follow up. Simply create a list every morning, and you’ll be on your way to nurturing these relationships on a daily basis.
Creating this list as a living document or spreadsheet is a great idea, so you can note when you last reached out and then remove them from the list when/if they book.
Add some personalization to the message, but the bulk of your follow-up message will remain the same.
Hi [FIRST NAME],
It was a pleasure meeting you at [INSERT PLACE/EVENT] [INSERT DATE/MONTH].
[INSERT A REFERENCE TO YOUR CONVERSATION; DID YOU TALK ABOUT CURRENT EVENTS, A LOCAL NETWORKING EVENT, A FUNNY STORY ABOUT YOUR KIDS?]
[REMIND THEM ABOUT YOUR COMPANY/PROFESSION AND AN OFFER, IF APPLICABLE]
I’d love to connect again in the future. You can always reach out to me via [INSERT YOUR SOCIAL LINKS HERE OR YOUR PREFERRED METHOD OF COMMUNICATION]
That’s it! If you read through this post and didn’t download the free planner, go do that now so that you’ll have all of this in one place to reference easily. It’s in a Google Doc, so all you need to do is open it up, make a copy, and plan how you’ll make all the money!
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