Fast and Easy Ways to Leverage Your Time and Talent Series: Part 1 of 4


People ask me all the time how I’ve managed to create a 6-figure+ business while only working about 15 hours a week. First, I had to build a solid foundation and set up systems that would support the business as it grew, systems that were either automated or delegated or easily repeatable.

Once I had the foundation and the beginning systems in place, I was constantly looking for ways to leverage my time and talent, and I still do. I could write a book on the many ways we do this in my business (and maybe I will someday) but in this 4-part series, I’m going to share with you some of the most effective ones that you can apply to your business today.

1. Is there something that’s happening in your market that’s got a buzz around it that you can take advantage of?

One of the ways to increase your exposure easily and more quickly is to seek out something in the news that applies to your market that you can ride on the coattails of.

Read the headlines of the New York Times or the Huffington Post for ideas. It can be something that you’re excited about in your industry. It can be something that you totally disagree with. It can be either end of the spectrum and it should be because either end is better than the middle.

For example, maybe there’s a book that was written that’s really hot right now. It addresses some of the problems that your market is struggling with that you help solve. You can piggyback on the popularity of the book simply by saying, “You’ve probably heard all of the raves and praise about this book. Here are my thoughts.”

You can either agree or contradict, and you can write or speak about it, whichever is your preferred modality. Doing this will help you stand out, you’ll get search engine rankings, and it could get you other media attention as well.

2. Get emotional when you’re writing your marketing copy.

If you can write passionately about what it is that you’re putting out there in the world then that’s fantastic. You should put energy, enthusiasm and passion into your overall marketing copy.

And that’s even more important when you’re telling your story. Telling your story is a critical piece to creating copy that sells. If you can write from a place of depth and passion about your story, then just sit down and write. Don’t try to get it perfect, don’t try to follow some copywriting formula, just write from your emotions, knowing you can always hone it. You can always make it more clear and concise. And you will.

If you get emotional about your marketing copy then three things will happen. It will draw your reader in and engage them. It will make it much easier for you to write if you’re emotional about it. And you’ll get more sales because emotion is what sells.

3. Put all your passwords in one place.

This was a time waster for me. All of my passwords were everywhere, on whatever little scrap of paper was near me at the time I made it. At one point I chose the same password for everything, which is not recommended.
Then I found this great little product that I’ve fallen in love with. It’s a cute little pocket-sized notebook that I keep in the middle drawer of my desk. It’s called the password keeper.… $13-

This is something so simple and yet I know that most people don’t keep all their passwords in one place, like on a single piece of paper, or in something like the password keeper.

Just don’t keep them on your computer. Your computer can crash or get hacked and your passwords can get hijacked. This simple idea will save you tons of time when you’re looking for your passwords.

4. Create a web page with all your log-in links and info.

Another time waster is trying to locate the log-in pages for the places online you utilize in your business. You can bookmark those pages, or set up tabs so they automatically open when you first connect with your browser, but that’s not an efficient way to run your computer, especially if you’re on battery power as when you’re traveling.

When I first did this it was a hidden webpage. It wasn’t password protected, but it was just a gobbledygook webpage attached to my main site. I had all of URLS of the sites I used regularly in my business on that page, so I could just click on AudioAcrobat, Aweber, 1ShoppingCart, NING sites I was a host or member of, etc. whenever I needed access to those sites. (The username and passwords were in my password keeper.) This page was one of the few pages I had set to open up as soon as I logged into my computer.

Then we moved everything to #5…

5. Create a wiki for your log-ins, your SOPs and more

As the business grew, the information we needed to run it grew and we needed a way and a place to organize it. I wanted it to be secure, easy to use, inexpensive and a place where my team could access the information as well.

And although I’ve tried a few paid services, we started with a wiki and returned to the wiki because it met all of those criteria – and it’s free (we use Google’s wiki).

A wiki is simply a place online where we keep all the info we need to run my business. All of the log-in URLs are there, all of our standard operating procedures are there, all the processes for how the business runs is housed in this one location online.

You simply create a table of contents and under each ‘chapter’ is where you put the info for it. It couldn’t be easier to organize all of your info and processes for your business.

Using the wiki saves a ton of time and money in my business. My team has access to the wiki to get the information they need instead of asking me for it. When we have a new team member come on board, we just point them to the wiki to find what they need to do the task they’ve been assigned. When I’m looking for something, I can just log into the wiki for it, instead of playing email tag with my team to get the info.

(Watch for Part 2 in this series next week…)

I’d love to know which one of these leveraging tips resonates the most with you – share with me below…

Increase Your Bottom Line by Hiring Help

Do you do everything yourself when it comes to running your business? Or do you find it difficult to delegate to others, at least sometimes? Do you think you don’t have the money to hire help? Well, I’m going to show you how hiring help can help increase your bottom line dramatically.

Not delegating is one of the major hurdles my private clients seem to struggle with. They are doing everything themselves and are so busy with the little administrative things that they have little time to devote to their “genius” work – developing products and services for their niche and working directly with their clients.

Once they’ve hired help, either a virtual assistant or an in-office assistant, and move through the growing pains of delegating and trusting that the work will get done (and usually get done faster and better than they could do it themselves), I can always sense a feeling of freedom and excitement as the space opens up for them to work on the things that are really creative and inspiring to them, instead of dealing with invoices or fixing a glitch with their web page. And very soon after, their business really starts to move forward because they have the time and focus to dedicate to increasing their product and services line, which, of course, translates into more profits.

There are many ways that you can work with an assistant. You can hire someone on an hourly basis, or hire someone on a monthly retainer, which is often less expensive. You can hire someone for a single project only or you could hire someone part- or full-time to work in your office with you. Think about which of these scenarios might work best for you.

A tip: If you hire someone as an employee, remember to check with your accountant about filing the appropriate paperwork. The beauty of working with a freelancer, independent contractor or virtual assistant is that they cover their own overhead, including any insurance needs.

Here are 10 ways you can use an assistant:

1. submitting your articles to article directories and submission sites
2. handling registrations for your teleclasses/workshops
3. proofing and formatting your written material
4. creating graphics for your products
5. maintaining your website
6. inputting any necessary updates to your products/services
7. as a sounding board for new ideas
8. responding to your customer/client inquiries
9. bookkeeping
10. packaging and shipping your products

If you can’t quite see how an assistant could help you deal with all the time-suckers in your business, keep a log of your business activities for a week, including how long each task takes you to complete. Then at then end of the week, review it and circle all the tasks that an assistant can help you with (there should be quite a few!). Consider the number of hours those things have taken you to accomplish, and decide if the $25-$50 an hour for an assistant would be worth the investment. Statistics tell us that your bottom line could increase as much as 40% once you hire help – now that’s a pretty good return on investment, isn’t it?

And if you still think you can’t afford to hire someone, then start asking around in your network for someone who would be interested in an exchange of services or for an intern or apprentice. Or ask your colleagues who are happy with their own VAs to see if any of their assistants are looking for additional clients.

So before you burn out and lose the passion for owning your own business that you started off with, hire someone to help you. You’ll reach more people with your message and make more money at the same time. Start small and add hours as you feel comfortable and for what you find necessary. You’ll never regret it and you’ll never go back to being a lone ranger!

I’d love to know your thoughts on hiring help in your business – please leave your comments below.