The Essential Guide to Social Media Etiquette

The Essential Guide to Social Media Etiquette

I have been using the internet and social media for a long time now and I have seen (and made) many mistakes in terms of proper etiquette when interacting with others online. When it comes to digital decorum, there are certain rules of social order that still apply to our virtual interactions so we don’t end up with any follower faux pas or internet indecency. Today I want to share with you my Essential Guide to Social Media Etiquette where I’ll be covering the three golden rules of online etiquette and nine common situations where those rules apply. Now you have no excuse not to make the best impression possible on your online platforms!

Golden Rule #1: Treat others the way you wish to be treated

The Essential Guide to Social Media Etiquette

… When tagging people

  • If you are tagging other people, brands or businesses in your social media posts, it’s very important that you remember to treat people the way you would want to be treated. Tagging dozens of people in posts that don’t really apply to them is an annoyance, and overly tagging the same individuals over and over when you are not associated with them is just poor form. No one wants to be spammed online, so make sure you tread respectfully whenever you involve others in content.

… When leaving or responding to comments

  • Most people don’t like criticism, negativity or drama directed at them so make sure when you are leaving comments or responding to them that you are respectful to the feelings of others. Internet communication is always a little more difficult than communication in real life, so make sure to go out of your way to be very clear about your meaning in your remarks, even if you feel like your being a little ridiculous in spelling it out, it’s better to bear the brunt of that yourself than to inadvertently embarrass or upset others.

… When scrolling through your feed

  • Think about it, the whole purpose of social media is to become more social with people we may not see or know personally, so if you are scrolling through your feed and see that others are sharing news, either positive or negative, make sure to take the time to leave a comment of congratulations or empathy. If you were sharing news online, I’m sure you would be eager to get feedback. Likewise, if you have taken the time to follow someone, try to engage with their content as often as you can. Ghost followers are such a disheartening situation so make sure to reach out and be social with those you follow!

Golden Rule #2: Err on the side of grace

The Essential Guide to Social Media Etiquette

… When you see negative comments

  • I know first hand how uncomfortable it can be to see a comment from someone that seems negative, however, like I explained above, internet communication is hard and you should never make assumptions about what people really mean when they leave an unclear or uncomfortable comment. Many times people try to be helpful and engaged by leaving a comment that may not be 100% positive, but they shared because they care about you. Don’t take things personally, especially when you don’t know someone and their personality. You could end up reacting poorly in return or hurting your mental state by jumping to conclusions. If anything, make sure to respond politely and if you are unclear to their meaning, ask for clarification!

… When you suspect a copycat

  • Too often I see individuals online calling out or complaining about people copying their work and I think it creates a very uncomfortable situation on your platform for yourself and others. I firmly believe that there are really no original ideas left and that it’s common for many people to be doing and talking about the same things, especially if those people are operating in the same industry or have many interests in common. Instead of calling out a copycat that may be upsetting you, you should always reach out with grace, never accusingly, and clear the air. I bet you may find that more often than not, you have a kindred spirit you weren’t aware of!

… When you feel overwhelmed by content

  • As someone who runs an online business full time, I am often on the internet many hours a day digesting a lot of different content and that can lead to some overwhelming situations. I personally find that when I am consuming too much content, my personal style in terms of my own content will change or skew a bit, leaving me feeling lost and off message. It’s very important in those situations that I have grace with myself and take a break from consuming content in order to clear my own head. Likewise, I know another common content overload situation can occur when people begin to feel irritated or even jealous of the content of others. It’s very important that you remind yourself often that social media is only a small, curated snippet of real life and that isn’t not something you should be comparing yourself to. Having grace with yourself in this situation will lead you to a more enjoyable social media experience so that you are more likely to have grace with others.

Golden Rule #3: Establish clear boundaries

The Essential Guide to Social Media Etiquette

… When you are sharing content

  • It’s so important when interacting on social media to establish clear boundaries between yourself and others so that you or your followers don’t overstep and cause any issues or uncomfortable situations. When it comes to sharing your content, you must establish a boundary between the content you deem acceptable to share and the pieces of your life or business that you will be keeping out of the public eye. We live in an world of oversharing and I find that people who share too much of certain things end up creating an atmosphere where there followers often overstep boundaries of acceptable interaction. The best way to prevent unwelcome advice, comments or negativity is to be very clear and consistent with the content you are sharing.

… When you are following others

  • Social media really does make it so easy for people who have never met to feel a connection. I know that I personally feel like I know many people I have never met before, just because I have followed them for years online. The truth of the matter, however, is that if you have never met or had any significant interaction with people you follow, you don’t know them, you are not friends and you should keep yourself and your boundaries in check when interacting with them via social media. Not only will that prevent uncomfortable situations but it can also keep you from feeling rejection or anxiety over the actions of those you follow.

… When you are self-promoting 

  • It’s so easy when you are looking to promote yourself or your business online to blur boundaries in order to try to make a name for yourself. People often do this by going on a following spree and following lots of different people in an attempt to gain followers and then asking those people to follow you back. I also see people self-promoting by tagging their content with tons of different tags and hashtags in order to increase the chances of people following their account. This pretty much constitutes spamming people and it ends up leading to a situation where you will most likely have followers who are not interested in you and your content and may even target you for spam in the future. If you are truly interested in making a name for yourself, one that is respected and reputable, draw boundaries for your actions and activities online so that you are always putting the most professional version of yourself out into the internet!

I hope this article has taught you about the importance of internet etiquette and that you avoid your own follower faux pas in the future! Social media is such a powerful force for human interconnectivity and just because it may not be a face to face interaction, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t treat yourself and those you interact with online with respect and dignity. If you have any questions about internet etiquette or need help navigating an uncomfortable social media situation, let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to help!

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

How to Improve Your Life, Sleep and Business!

How to Improve Your Life, Sleep & Business!

Hey there business and productivity besties! I know it has been a while since I’ve had a link roundup here on the blog but I’m back today with some great links to help inspire you to get your personal development, productivity and business under control just in time for fall!

Personal Development

Productivity

Business

As always, I hope you enjoyed these articles and found a new great read that was able to help you answer some questions or inspire you to live a little differently. If you have any articles you read and loved lately, please share those in the comments below so we can all check it out! And if you are looking to dive deep into personal development this year, I highly suggest you check out my Charmed Life Master Class! This self-paced ecourse is designed to help you get control of your life, career and relationships through a series of guided lectures and worksheets all for an affordable price. Don’t miss out- get started today!

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

2 Simple Strategies to Grow Online Sales

Looking to get more sales for your online business? Follow these simple strategies to fill in the gaps in your revenue streams!

As an online business consultant, a frequent issue I come across and work through with my clients is a lack of sales. Obviously, making sales and generating income for your business is a crucial element to keeping your business going but many people find it difficult to begin making sales and then getting those sales numbers to increase. For me, I follow two very simple strategies for making and growing my sales numbers and I want to share those with you today to give you an understanding of how sales work and how you can get your income growing!

Strategy #1: Promote more to your current following or list

The first strategy I use to help me earn and grow sales for my business is to promote to my existing following. When you get started with running a business, list building and growing a following is a critical step to ensure you begin to earn a steady stream of income, but some business owners don’t realize that it’s not enough to mention your business every once in a while or leave a link to your online shop in your social media profiles. You need to actively promote your products and services to your existing audience in order to make and grow sales. A common issue I see when it comes to actively promoting online is that some businesses believe that they have too small a following to begin promoting, but as soon as you begin to get followers you need to start promoting regularly. I personally follow the 80/20 rule when it comes to promoting my business, which means that 80% of the content I produce is informational and value added for my audience and then 20% can be purely promotional. So how often you will need to promote your products or services will depend on how much content you are already (or plan to) create. One thing to keep in mind that can sometimes be confusing for new business owners, is that although it’s good practice to begin promoting immediately, you can really only expect about a 3% conversion rate for how many sales to followers you can expect online. So, if you have 100 followers on your list and you promote to them, you can reasonably expect 3 sales. If you get more than 3, you are doing very well with your promotion and content, and if you get less than 3, perhaps check your content to ensure you are following the 80/20 rule and make sure your promotions are clear for your audience.

Strategy #2: Take steps to grow your following or list

The second strategy I use to help me grow sales for my business is to take steps to actively grow my following. Like I mentioned earlier, list building is an important part of business and if you aren’t currently receiving enough sales for your business, the only way to help that number grow is to take action to get your following to grow. Remember that 3% rule for the ratio of followers to sales? If you have a sales goal for your business, you need to reverse engineer how many followers you would need in order to hit your projected or desired income. Now, once you have that you’re done the easy part! The hard part of all this is to take the steps necessary to increase your following by attracting more eyes to your platforms online and/or to your email list. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is through original content. Developing content for your social platforms and producing content on a regular basis that is designed to attract your ideal customers is the way I grew my following from 0-50,000+ on social media and my blog from 0-1.5 Million annual page views! Because of this, my business earns a regular full time income for me at a conversation rate of 14% (2015 results) as opposed to the global average of roughly 3%! If this seems impressive, that is all a result of the great online marketing principles I use and rely on everyday, and if you want in on this information I am more than willing to share my secrets to online business success with you! In my flagship online business program, Empire Building, I teach you all my best marketing tips and tricks to help you grow a following and a business online, all in a self-paced workbook based program. To learn more about Empire Building, click here and if you have questions for me on whether Empire Building is the right program for you, please feel free to email me and I’ll be glad to answer any questions you have.

I hope these strategies give you some better insight into how you can grow sales for your online business. I’d love to hear in the comments below about any struggles or specific sales related questions you have so I can help address those for you either one-to-one or in a future blog post, so please make sure to share.

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

From Passion to Profit: How I Turned a Love of Planners Into My Full Time Job

From Passion to Profit: How I Turned a Love of Planners Into My Full Time Job …And how you can monetize your passion, even if you don’t want to do it for a living

If you are reading this, you undoubtedly know me from my work in the planner community. Perhaps you already know about my business, have purchased from me before, consider me a role model for business and productivity, or perhaps you followed a link from a YouTube video to this blog to read more planner related content. No matter what you’re experience is with me, we both have a passion in common, planners! For me, that passion was so great that I ended up turning it into my full time job and started an entire enterprise around it. You can read the story of how it all went down here, but today I want to break down the path I took that lead me from loving planners to selling inserts and courses to help others with the same love.

Follow your passion

My journey begins as most do with a passion. We’ve already established that my passion was planners and a deep love for productivity. Back in early 2014 when I entered the planner craze, I was completely obsessed and entranced by this world of planners. Without thinking about it from a business stand point, I started making videos and posts on planners and stationery supplies and gave myself permission to play with this passion with a child-like intensity that brought me happiness and joy in creating. This is really the key sign that you have a real passion for something, when you can get lost it in for hours upon hours and create endlessly and end the day with more ideas for tomorrow! If you feel this way about something, don’t ignore it, it’s a true passion.

Become part of a community

Like I said, in 2014 when I started diving deep into planners, it was already a craze, which meant that there was a community of people who were interested in this same topic (you are probably one of them!) and so connecting with others and gaining a following from my passion seemed so easy. When you become part of a community with the same passions as yourself, things really do seem a little easier and sometimes effortless. Early on, I strove to not only be a consumer in this community, but to also be a leader and a creator, making videos and content that shared my knowledge and skills. I spoke to so many planner people in such a short time, really taking time to understand what they wanted to see and know and I made so many videos that were in response to questions I had received or seen frequently asked in different Facebook groups. Because of this, not only did a grow a following, but I gained a lot of insight into what people in the planner community were looking for. No matter what your passion is, I highly suggest finding a community or creating a community if one does not exist, around it. When you have a group of like minded individuals ready to consume your content and telling you what they want, it makes it that much easier for you to create.

Identify the opportunity

Now, once I had the passion and community under my belt, it actually took me a while to identify the opportunity that I was being faced with as a creator. Although I loved planners, had an audience and was creating constantly for them, I didn’t recognize that there was an opportunity for me to create a business around this passion. It took me several months of my followers and community members asking me to sell my designs for me to acknowledge that there was a market for my work. Part of it was fear I think. Fear that I couldn’t do it or my work wouldn’t be good enough and then part of it was that I was focusing on the wrong things. I initially thought that my business would be blogging and creating YouTube videos and making an income from sponsored posts and ad revenue, and because I was focused on this, the idea of selling my own goods and having my own shop was something I glazed over. When it comes to our passions, a lot of times we have many options for how we can proceed with turning those passions into profit, but if we ignore the signs (in my case, people telling me to sell my designs) we can miss the real opportunity!

Create value

It’s one thing to find out what people want and then give it to them, and it’s quite another to take it a step further and create real value for people. When I mean value, I don’t mean pricing my products so that they are in a certain range, and I don’t mean having sales or giving discounts. I mean value in terms that transcend money and really give people more than they expect. In my business, this is a major topic and a reason why I believe my business still works after two years. So many people start these passion projects and side (or full time) businesses because they have passion and a market to sell to but they end up failing within a year because they haven’t found a way to create value that keeps customers coming back for more and brining new customers to your community everyday. For me, I create value through all the extra free content I create on my blog, YouTube and through social media. I create value by responding to emails and giving people answers to the questions they bring me. Think about how you can create value for your audience, the type of value that gives people a sense of confidence that when they buy your products or engage your services they will get more than they expected!

Make it work

The final step I took to make a profit from my passion is something I continually do day in and day out, making it work! Every day I have to get the job done and solve problems that potentially threaten the existence of my business. I have to make plans, execute and then change them if they don’t work out. I have to keep my head in the game and find a path forward even when challenges block my path. The ability to make it work stems from a sense of responsibility and perseverance that when the going gets tough, I can’t back down or else I loose it all. That’s why this whole process must start with passion, because without true passion, you will give up before you ever get your idea off the ground!

So, let me turn the tables and ask you a question now! Do you have a passion that yo want to turn into a profit? If you do, I want to invite you to check out a Free Training video I have that will help you get your business idea started if you are ready to start taking the steps to make your passion a full-time or part-time income! Click here to sign up for my training and you will be emailed a link and study guide to get started ASAP!

The 5 Pillar System to Building a Successful Online Business

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

Classical Favorites To Boost Your Productivity {My Productivity Playlist August 2016}

Classical Favorites to Help You Boost Your Productivity!

I cannot believe that for all the time that I have been creating productivity playlists for you, that I have not created a playlist of my favorite classical tunes. Well, this is the perfect month to share them because in case you missed my YouTube video from the other week, I am focusing on Fall prep this month and nothing helps me get down to work like classical music. It’s serious, stern and flips a mental switch in my brain that says GET TO WORK! Now, I know classical music isn’t everyones cup of tea, but I want to challenge you to expand your mind on this one and one day when you go to work, I want you to turn on this playlist and see if it doesn’t make you a little more productive and focused. I bet it does and you may even have a productivity breakthrough while listening, so give it a go.

I hope you enjoyed this months installment of my productivity playlist. If you gave this playlist a try and found it to be helpful as you worked, please let me know about it in the comments. And if you have your own classical music playlist that you rely on, please share it as well, because I think we can all use a little more focus at work!

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

Time-Saving Work Day Hacks To Help You Work Smarter, Not Harder!

Time-Saving Work Day Hacks To Help You Work Smarter, Not Harder!

Are you ready to hack your workday to get more done in less time and truly work smarter, not harder? If my love and study of productivity and organization is meant for anything, it’s meant to help us (me, you, everyone we know!) learn the essential strategies that make our workdays easier. So today I have compiled a list of twelve of my favorite time-saving, stress-releasing, and productivity inducing workday hacks to help you become the master of your own workflow in the office!

1. Get properly dressed: Yep, first things first! If you aren’t wear the proper clothing for work you are going to be uncomfortable, uneasy and you’ll ultimately end up working slow and miserable counting down the hours until you can return home to step into your pajamas. Although you may work in a formal business environment that requires a certain dress code, unless you are wearing a uniform, you have some say over the cut and materials of the clothing you buy, and so many brands have popped up in recent years to give women more comfortable formal office wear options.

2. Diffuse essential oils: One of the first things I do when I step into my office for a workday is create a blend of essential oils for the workday. I wrote about my essential oil secret weapon a few weeks ago, so make sure to check out that post if you want some tips from me on oils to diffuse.

3. Listen to white noise or classical music: For most of us, working silently isn’t the most productive way to work. I personally love listening to classical music while I work or turn on a sound machine app that can create some subtle white noise so that I can focus better, especially when I am working on difficult or stressful tasks.

4. Theme your workdays: Ever since I began theming my work days I have been much more efficient. Essentially, I took all my major work tasks and grouped like items together to come up with themes for each day of the week and on those days I use the theme to guide my work. Although I may need to stray from time to time for urgent issues, theming my days has kept me more accountable and helps me streamline my work.

5. Batch like items together: This goes along with theming my workdays, but whether or not you theme your days, you should always batch process your work. Jumping from task to task has been scientifically proven to be a waste of time, so when you can spend a chunk of time doing the same task over and over, you save yourself time by working more efficiently.

6. Set a timer to complete annoying tasks: Whenever I am avoiding tasks, I find the best thing to do is to set a timer to get them done! Having the deadline of a timer helps me get past my mental blocks and just do the hard work. Give it a try next time you recognize that you are avoiding certain tasks.

7. Shut your door: Shutting your door is a simple way to tell yourself and others that you are busy working. Having an open door policy in the office is nice, but when people see an open door and want to waste some time at work, they head straight for it! Likewise, when your door is open, it encourages you more often to leave your office or allow passers by to distract you from your tasks. So keep the door shut and if you are working on a particularly difficult project or task, you might want to leave a Do Not Disturb note on your door to discourage visits.

8. Make a NOT To Do List: No matter if you work in an office for a big corporation or if you work in your bedroom on your own small business, tasks come across our desks and emails that we should not waste our time on and one of the hardest parts of managing your personal workload is understanding which tasks you should not be doing. I’m a people pleaser and when I get a task, any task, I take ownership of it and strive to complete it, but through the years I’ve learned that sometimes tasks come up and they are not worth your time, even if they are assigned to you. So, as you learn about these useless tasks, keep a list of them so you know not to do them in the future. If you work for yourself it will be easy for you to delegate them to an assistant or ignore them completely, but if you don’t you may need to have a slightly difficult conversation with your boss and let them know you aren’t completing the task and give them a reasonable and well thought out explanation why the tasks is a waste. A lot of time, especially in corporate culture, tasks get attention that are worthless and our superiors keep assigning the task because that’s the way it’s always been done. Be willing to stand up for change to save yourself and your company the time and energy.

9. Use an email autoresponder and only check email twice a day: For some, this hack is NOT an option, but for those whose work is not tied to checking emails for customer service or something similar, you should give this a try. Set up an auto response email that says something like “Thank you for your email. I generally reply to all emails within 24 hours but if this is an emergency please call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX”. What this simple auto responder does is sets an expectation to anyone emailing you that they will get a response but not immediately, while also creating a process for urgent issues so that you can turn off from your email and check it when you are ready without fear of missing something important.

10. Keep your cell phone off your desk: I am always distracted by my iPhone. Not just by messages but also by the fact that I can at any time pick it up and check Instagram if I want, and I unfortunately spend too much time during my day doing this without even thinking about it. So, when I keep my phone off my desk, either on a charger on another table or in my bag, I remove the distraction. Since I use a Mac, if I get a phone call while my phone is off my desk, I can actually screen and answer the call from my laptop without having to get up, but if you are worried that you may miss important calls, devices like the Ringly or Apple Watch notify you without having to keep your phone out.

11. Keep hydrated by drinking water at set intervals: Keeping hydrated through the day is very important for mental productivity, but if you keep a bottle out and sip on it all day, you’ll end up disrupting your workflow for bathroom breaks. So, to combat this, I try to drink my fluids in bulk at regular intervals so that I’m not running back and forth from the bathroom as I work.

12. Reward yourself with activity after each 2 hour block of work: As I work, not matter how productive I am being, I always get the urge to check social media, read a blog post or watch a YouTube video, however, I have started to discipline myself to only engage in these activities after I have completed a block of work. This helps me to create a reward system that entices me to work faster and complete more tasks throughout the day. And it’s much healthier for you than taking a snack or smoke break!

I hope you enjoyed these twelve workday hacks and if you give any of them a try I want to hear about it! Tag me on Instagram @MissTrenchcoat and use #CharmedGTD in your description so me and the rest of our community can follow along with your productivity journey!

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

The 3 Platforms For Massive Brand Growth

The 3 Platforms for Massive Brand Growth

The 3 Platforms For Massive Brand Growth

As a business consultant and social media guru, I am often asked by my readers and clients about the best social media platforms to join if you want to make a name for yourself online. In my signature online business program, Empire Building, I have an entire workbook dedicated to the platforms of online communication which is designed to help you choose the best platforms for your online brand and business. But the trends are clear, there are a few social media platforms that are really rising to the top right now and if you are looking for massive brand growth, it would be in your best interest to incorporate at least one of these platforms into your online presence. Now, this doesn’t mean that EVERYONE should use ALL THREE of these platforms because all three will not apply to every person and every business- hence the reason I have a dedicated workbook with information and activities to help you decide the platforms you need to optimize your online presence in Empire Building! However, these three platforms are very popular at the moment and trends show they are going to remain popular for quite some time, so they are a safe bet if they make sense for you and your brand!

YouTube

Although all video based platforms are on the rise at the moment, YouTube happens to be one of the fastest growing, most accessed platforms out there today and it’s growing so fast that within a few short years it is actually projected to become the #1 website online AND the #1 search engine, dethroning the mighty Google! With billions of searches being conducted each month and millions of users accessing the site daily, including a wide user base demographics, YouTube really is a place where you can find a following online quickly if you do the work! Although there have been users like me on the site for years building up their community and following, I still see everyday small accounts with great content rising to fame and fortune on the platform because hard work and good strategy really does pay off on YouTube more so than other platforms.

Instagram

Instagram is the youngest platform on this list, but it has been a brand power player for nearly as long as it has existed. Yes, this year Instagram announced some new updates that do make it a little harder to grow your following on the platform if you are a brand or business, however, it has opened up advertising as well, which could help with growth if you are willing to pay to play. Even the recent addition of Instagram stories, the Snapchat-like extension of the platform that gives users the ability to vlog and share content exclusively to their followers, is just another way to help brands stand out on the platform!

Facebook

Good old Facebook! Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Facebook is practically a social media dinosaur at this point, but it always seems to find a way to remain relevant and on top in the social sphere. You can’t deny that the user base of Facebook is out of control- everyone uses Facebook including children and grandparents and on a daily basis no less! Yes, Facebook often makes changes to their platform that end up making it harder for businesses and brands to stand out, only to increase the end user experience of course, and because of this Facebook is a place where you can find and build a community around your brand. I’d suggest skipping the Facebook Fan Page option for a Facebook Group which is really where it is at for developing community and brand loyalty, but having both is nice as well!

If you are someone who has been confused about which platforms to use for your brand or business online, I hope this information has been helpful to you and given you an idea of where to start! Like I mentioned before, not all of these platforms are going to be right for every brand or business, and if you want to pinpoint the right platforms for you, I highly suggest checking out my Empire Building Online Business Program, which helps you to not only learn all the major online platforms but also helps you to choose which are right for you and how to develop a thriving brand online with the right content and strategies! Let me know which platforms you use online and if you have any questions, I’d be glad to help so drop me a line in the comments below!

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

The 5 Pillar System to Building a Successful Online Business

Marble Meets Tech: 3 Marble Tech Accessories I Am LOVING!

Awesome Marble Tech Accessories and Gadgets

How perfect is this iPhone Case and matching Charger?

Marble Meets Tech

Hello, my name is Alexis and I am addicted to MARBLE! I absolutely LOVE the marble trend that has been going on for what feels like a year or so now. I’ve always been a fan of white marble (carrara marble, I heart you!) but now that it’s trending, I love how you can find so many fun accessories and home decor accents that are marble (or marble-like) for really affordable prices. Not long ago, I found these gorgeous marble tech accessories and of course, placed an order. So I wanted to share them with you today in case you are as marble-obsessed as I am!

Marble Macbook Air Case

And we can’t leave our beloved Macbook Air naked either!

Cute? Right! If you want to grab your own marble cases I will leave you the links here:

Marble iPhone Case

Marble Charger

Marble Macbook Air Case

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

Entrepreneurial: How My Online Business Survived My Month-Long Hiatus!

How My Online Business Survived My Month-Long Hiatus

Welcome back for another installment of Entrepreneurial, my monthly journal entry chronicling my experience as an entrepreneur, my victories and failures each month, and the lessons learned along the way.

How my online business survived my month-long hiatus!

As some of you may already know, July was a big month for me and my husband because we bought our first home and then moved into it. Thanks to all of you who sent your congratulations and words of encouragement and support on this major life milestone of ours, we truly appreciate it! I know that I am incredibly blessed to run my own business and therefore, I alone am the sole manager of my time, so when my husband and I were preparing for the purchase of our home and the major project which was preparing it for our arrival and then moving into it, we decided that I was going to pull back from my business for a few weeks. Initially, this meant that I was still going to be working but that I would stop doing certain time consuming tasks (like filming for YouTube) in order to spend time on this event which was our #1 priority.

Quickly, however, that plan went out the window when, despite our best attempts to plan and manage the new home situation, unexpected issues and stress took my mind off of my business and kept me preoccupied with a litany of house related obligations. So, as it turns out, I ended up doing little to no work for my business in July, a very scary, but also incredibly necessary choice I had to make. I was of course worried that this would damage my business and my brand. Although I built my business to be a passive income producer in theory, I had never really left it alone to its own devices. So this was a big test for me and how well I had built my business to run without me.

The results of a month away from my work were pretty unexpected. My business still brought in a steady income, not the amount I usually earn each month, but about 1/3rd of it. Still enough for me to pay my bills and keep my head above water without having to dip into savings, and although with the major expense of the move, having my usual full income would have been great, I was pleased that things were running sustainably without me and that the time away didn’t cause a financial burden. In terms of my following, I was very pleased to see that after a hiatus of 6 weeks on YouTube, my channel was still growing at the same rate it had been and that my views were comparable to the same time frame last year. Even my blog traffic stayed consistent during this time which was great, and my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook following all grew at about the usually rate as well.

So, other than a dip in my income, it doesn’t appear that the month away did any damage to my brand, and I think I have some good solid reasons why!

#1. Having a backlog of high quality content kept my SEO and discoverability consistent so that new followers and customers were still flowing in. If you are a new business that doesn’t have much content built up on their platforms, I wouldn’t recommend taking an extended period of time off, but with hundreds of blog posts and hundreds more YouTube videos in my history means that there is lead generating content available at all times.

#2. Being transparent with my existing audience meant that everyone understood why I was gone and that I would be back! I really think this was a big reason my followers didn’t drop me during my time off and were actually excited for me to get back, because I let them know what was going on, why I was taking time off and when I would be back in business. I received many messages and emails during my time off expressing support and excitement for me and my husband, and sharing anticipation for me to come back with new content.

#3. Using social scheduling tools helped me to push out and promote existing content and products consistently, so that my accounts didn’t go completely dark. Although my Blog and YouTube weren’t being regularly updated, some of my other social feeds were, so my closest followers were still connecting with me and my content while I was gone and new followers were still able to find me, my content and my products!

#4. I regularly checked my email to remain connected and responsive to those who reached out. I’m a true believer that it’s very important to reply to your emails because for me, its a sign of respect that if someone spent the time to message me, I am going to spend the time to reply back, even if its just a short response. Although my email response rate was slower than normal, I did regularly check my email and reply as quickly as I could to customer service inquiries, questions and the outpouring of love I was receiving from my community!

So, that is my recap of July aka that time I took a month off and my business was still okay when I got back! I definitely learned a lot about life and business from the process of buying a home, moving and trying to manage my business in the process, which I will be sharing with you more in future posts and emails, so if you are not already subscribed to my newsletter, sign up here! Don’t forget to let me know how your July went, I can’t wait to catch up with you all over the next few days and weeks as I settle back into my work routines and start defining some new ones!

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

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Hello My Strange & Charmed Ones!

It’s been a minute since we last spoke, hasn’t it!?! As some of you may already know, the last month has been absolutely crazy for me because my husband and I bought our first home and moved into it, which was a massive undertaking that left me a little overwhelmed and kept me away from my work (and phone and computer!) to a degree that I never expected. Well, good news! Things are finally starting to settle down for us, although we have much work ahead of us, I do plan to get back into the groove of blogging and working come August and I hope that I can knock it out of the park with some great new content that you’ll enjoy! One thing I didn’t want to forget, however, was your monthly free downloads, so I am stopping by today to give you an update that they are ready for you to download over at The Charmed Shop! I’ve got your August Dashboard, a 30 Strategies to Make You More Productivity task list and of course, some beautiful August calendar tech wallpapers!

FREE August 2016 Tech Wallpapers

I have to admit, it’s been very weird for me not working much or interacting with you for the past month, so I would really appreciate it if you guys sent me some love and inspiration over on Instagram! Feel free to snap a pic of your inserts or wallpapers in use in your life and tag me @MissTrenchcoat so I can be inspired by your creativity.

Thank you all so much for your never ending love and encouragement, it really means so much to me, and thank you to all those who sent me messages and well wishes during my absence! Your kindness is so deeply appreciated!

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

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