Open and vulnerable: being honest about the insecurities of growing my business

At times, being vulnerable is one of the best ways to shine your light. This post is all kinds of vulnerability. I believe this message is one that purpose-driven business owners need to receive, so here it goes…

I had this website for some time before I really started developing it. I blogged randomly, but I wasn’t putting my heart into it at first. 

Then, around September of 2015, I decided it was time to let go of a different website that didn’t really fit me, and start putting myself out there on Soul Print Path. 

Most months between September of 2015 and now, I’ve seen a slow but steady increase in blog readers and subscribers. Last night, out of curiosity, I did some research on the “average” amount of traffic a new blog “should be” getting. 

It's hard not to compare your progress to someone else's.

Numbers were all over the spectrum, but some bloggers reported high numbers of people coming to read their blogs, almost overnight. I started feeling a little down.

I write truthful, (and hopefully) useful stuff, and I take great care regarding the aesthetics of my website and blog posts. So I felt a little sad that my blog wasn’t reaching the high number of visitors that some other people reported reaching. 

I figured I must be doing something wrong.

I went to Amazon and started browsing Kindle books about improving my blog stats. I read review after review, all the while ignoring my inner wisdom’s whispers that I already know what I need to know to grow my business in ways that are right for me.

I came across a Kindle book that looked promising. Reading the reviews, I saw that the author had a podcast about blogging. Amazon book reviewers thought he knew his stuff, so I did a Google search and checked out his website.

Never ignore the inner voice of wisdom.

I tried to ignore my inner wisdom's voice, which was growing louder and more annoyed that I was so out of my energy in this space. I kept reading the webpage, noticing his tactics and taking in his claims about his fool-proof formulas.

His approach felt kind of manipulative to me.

I scrolled and read some more.

The tongue picture. Totally rad. Or not.

And then I saw a picture of him; he was posed with his tongue sticking out like an attention-seeking teenager on Facebook. 

Seriously? 

I clicked off and felt a little foolish for going there at all.

I don’t mean to sound judgmental. It’s up to every person how he chooses to show up in the world.

But for me, the whole “scream it from the rooftops and you too can make $10,000 while you sleep, and you’ll drive a fast car like me!” vibe goes against my reasons for being in business to begin with. 

I felt like I needed a shower. 

I thought… if I have to force myself to be in spaces that make me uncomfortable to learn what I’m doing wrong, I’d rather not learn what I’m doing wrong. 

Sometimes an affair of the heart clouds common sense because it matters so much.

Then it hit me… I don’t have to aspire to someone else’s definition of success. That sounds so common sense but sometimes when something’s so close to your heart, you fail to see what’s right in front of you. 

I might not ever want or need to gain the same number of readers that some bloggers claim.

Why?

Because I’m a fringe person. And I connect with people who color outside the lines. I love that community.

I teach purpose-driven business owners to attract clients in ways that buck the mainstream. I am a think-outside-the-box being… a wonderfully unique mix of hippie, geek and intuitive teacher. 

I know that my community is smaller than mainstream. So it stands to reason, my blog stats might be smaller than someone’s who fits within that box and that’s okay.

And then an even more powerful realization happened. 

I want a smaller but highly engaged community. Just like my family and I prefer a small and cozy house instead of a McMansion. Just like I’d rather have 2 outfits I adore than 20 that are so-so. 

All that worrying about how my blog “should be” doing went out the window. 

My blog should be doing exactly as it’s doing. 

I’ll continue to nurture and tend it. I’ll continue to focus on serving my community of purpose-driven entrepreneurs.

I’ll keep being me and supporting you.

At the end of the day, I do this because I believe you can make an abundant living doing work you love. I want to be part of your doing that. That’s work I love.

If I find that I need to learn new things (and there’s always things to learn), I’ll honor myself by choosing teachers who feel comfortable for me. 

If you can take some inspiration from this, I am honored. 

I wanted to show up transparent and vulnerable in this post. 

I wanted to tell you that we're all figuring this out together. 

Insecurity is part of growing a business rooted in passion and purpose. Feel into it and nurture what needs love. Release what needs freedom. 

And love yourself through it all.

2-Minute Takeaway (Journal Prompt): What’s your biggest insecurity right now? Right an affirmation, grounded in your inner wisdom, to heal what needs healing and nurture what you want to grow. 

Love,

Is your approach to social media growing your business? Part 2

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Get a piece of paper. Write down your business goal for using social media. That’s it, get all that business language out. Use the word metric once or twice and don’t forget to make it a measurable goal. Got it? Great! Now, wad that paper up and put it in the trashcan. 

Too many people already contribute to the social media noise with their goals, agendas and metrics. If you want to make social media work for your purpose-driven business, you have to stop being one of them.

What do you do instead? 

You create a center of meaning

Instead of pushing your agenda, digital fake smiling and flooding feeds with your business promotions, carve out a space that holds meaning for your ideal client. 

What if you reframe the way you view social media's purpose in your business?

In Part 1 of this social media series, I told you that being on social media isn’t enough. I said the quality of the interactions you engage in is what matters. If you missed Part 1, you can find it here.

So, what constitutes "good quality" when it comes to interacting on social media?  Remember the reframe I spoke of in Part 1? Here it comes….

Emotion.

Instead of making a goal to drive people to your website or to get them to sign up for your free eCourse (or whatever other business goals you thought you had for social media), choose 2 emotions you want your ideal client to feel as a result of interacting with you.

For me, that would be “genuinely listened to” and “inspired”. That’s how I want my ideal client to feel during and after interacting with me.

Guess what! Doing it this way actually attracts people to do all that stuff you wanted them to do in the first place, except now they like you and trust you a lot more.

And here’s the wildly amazing part about doing social media this way: it attracts people to you! They do go to your website. They do sign up. They do say “Yes!”

Because you didn’t sell to them. You just treated them kindly and authentically.

It’s the difference between encountering you on social media and interacting with you on social media. 


If you make someone feel like they matter, they’ll remember that and they’ll remember you.

It’s so much more powerful than contributing to the noise.

In the final installment of this social media series, I’ll give you a rundown on which social media platforms work best for different types of ideal clients.

Knowing which social media spaces your ideal client hangs out on saves you from wasting lots of time and energy in the wrong places.  

2-Minute Takeaway (Journal Assignment): What are 2 emotions I want my ideal client to feel during and after interacting with me on social media?

P.S. Are you totally clear on who your ideal client is? Because if not, you might want to check out the free 5-day eCourse I created to help you get clear about your ideal client. By the end of the eCourse, you have a full profile of your ideal client, including where you can find her and what she wants from you. Check it out here

Love, 

Is your approach to social media growing your business?

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Did you make an Instagram account, a Facebook page and become a Pinner on Pinterest? Do you Tweet every day, and think this social media thing isn’t so hard after all? What if I told you being on social media will not attract clients to work with you. 

Yikes. Not the most encouraging message, huh? Still, it needs saying. If you hop on social media and post something every day, you might feel a false sense of business building.

In reality, what you’re doing is wasting time. 

The Power Of Social Media Is In How You Use It

Social media can be a powerful marketing tool, but it has to be used correctly to be powerful. 

Hopping on and posting something and then logging off is like this…

The Common Mistake

Suppose you joined a book discussion group. The group meets every Wednesday and every Wednesday, you stroll down to the library meeting room, open the door, yell something and leave.

You'd never do that because it's obnoxious, right?

Besides being baffled at your weird behavior, do you think the other group members would get to know you? Do you think they'd have conversations with you or become your friends? How could they?

It's easy to forget that online interactions are still interactions. There are humans on the other side of the screen.

A Better Way

Now let’s go back and imagine this playing out differently…

Same Wednesday night book group. You show up every week and you interact with the group. What does that mean? You talk and you listen. You ask questions and listen some more. You make people feel heard, important and interesting.

You do this because you’re genuinely interested in them.  

It Pays To Be Present

In your conversations with the group, you mention being a house painter. A few months later, one of the group members needs a paint job on her house. She immediately remembers that you do that work and she calls you. You get the job.


Do you think that would ever happen if you just kept stepping in, yelling and leaving without caring to interact with the group? No.

Yes, social media is an important part of marketing your business. But simply being on social media is not enough.

The key is to use it as an interaction tool and not as a means to blast your message and leave. 

Keep It Simple

Electronic community works best when we use the foundational rules of in-person community. Being nice, listening, showing you care, having manners and so forth. You can read this post on marketing with kindness, for more on that.

It's simple if you allow it to be simple. 

2-Minute Takeaway: Think of the social media platform you use most. What is the central goal for being there? Make this very specific. So instead of “To attract clients” you might say “To drive traffic to my newsletter's landing page and get people to sign up.”

Love,

4 Easy-to-use, non-sleazy tips for creating copy that inspires your readers to take action

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Are you dropping the ball when it comes to the words on your website? Words are one of the oldest and most powerful means of communication. They can harm, give hope, mend pain, educate or pass down important stories from generation to generation. They also hold the power to attract the people who want what you offer, and to inspire them to work with you. Today, I’m giving you 4 easy to implement tips to increase the power of the words you write for your purpose-driven business.

What is copy?

The words you use to sell your goods or services are called copy. Great copy communicates your message in such a compelling way that your reader feels like she connects with you and is inspired to take action. That action might be to sign up for your newsletter, send you an email, comment on a blog post or to do business with you. Your copy can have many different goals and that leads me to tip number 1 for creating copy that inspires action…

Tip 1: Know your goal

Write your intention before you write your copy. When you’re rested and ready to create, take a few quiet moments to think about your goal for your words. What do you want the reader to do? Subscribe to your mailing list? Become a follower on a social media network? Purchase something from you? When you’re clear on what your intention is, write it down and keep it where you can see it as you’re writing your copy.

Tip 2: Make it easy to read

Break your writing into manageable blocks of text. Have you ever started to read something only to see a massive chunk of text all ran together on the page? Doesn’t that make you want to go the other way? It feels overwhelming to see lots of words in one giant block, so break your text into smaller sections with a couple spaces between them. 

Tip 3: Reduce your word count

After you finish writing, leave it to marinate for 24 hours. Then, go back and re-read and remove at least 30% of what you wrote. I’ll give that time to sink in….. yes, 30% or more. Leave only what really matters and erase the rest of it. Think of it as decluttering the space so that your important message gets the attention. 

Tip 4: Write like you speak

Write the way you’d speak to your ideal client if you were talking over coffee. Would you say: I will tell you all of the things you need to know in order to write great copy. Or would you say: I’ll tell you exactly what you need to know to write great copy. Probably the latter example, right?  Use an authentic voice when writing to your ideal client. You want your copy to read like a personal conversation between your ideal client and you. When you re-read your copy, tweak it until it sounds that way. 

So there you have it, four easy-to-use ways to make your copy more powerful for inspiring your readers to take action. Even if you decide to hire a copywriter, understanding what makes good marketing copy is essential to knowing if you received quality work. 

Two-Minute-Takeaway (Journal Prompt): What are 2 qualities you want your writing voice to carry through to your readers? For example, 2 of mine would be authenticity and helpfulness.  Look at your website copy and see if you feel these qualities coming through your words. 

Love,