Systems: Make it simple, Make it successful

Home visits, airplane rides, business meetings, hard drive crash, jury duty…just a few of the reasons over the last two weeks that I was grateful to have systems in place.

If you haven’t yet set up a team of pros and are taking the route of a solo-prenuer for now, this is a mandatory foundation of your business.

You may be able to head out for a planned vacation or you might have to drop everything for a last-second emergency. Is there a system for someone to take care of things in your personal and professional life?

 

Systems=Freedom. You have the freedom and flexibility you were looking for when branching out in your own business. The best type of system is the one that works for you and it’s the one you will use.

If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. – Lewis Carroll

 

If you’re looking to stay organized in your home, your system won’t work like someone else’s does. Their lifestyle, their environment, their schedule vs yours. This is why many people struggle in their weight loss or other goals they set.

 

So how do you establish a system to success? 

  1. What are you currently doing? Is there anything that is working or not working? Is there something that scares you, stresses you out or something that you would have to spend more time learning than implementing?
  2. Write it all out. Write on a separate page for each area of your business (marketing, social media, finances, business partners, newsletter, virtual team, in-person team, etc.) What is every step that needs to be taken to make these happen and who is responsible for doing them? If you can include a timeline this helps you stay accountable.

 For example, when I have a new client my system looks something like this: 

  1. Client reaches out via messenger–Send them to contact form to schedule a call and collect info (24 hours). 
  2. Receive client contact form and call. Research all needed meeting and contact information. Research client’s online presence. 
  3. 24 hours before call, send confirmation. 
  4. 10 minutes before call, setup work station (quiet, full water, notes, chargers, strong service). 
  5. During the call take all notes, ask lots of quality questions (post coming up on this soon) then schedule a time for Branding+Positioning Strategy 7-10 days out.

3. Use the F-Word. Every successful business owner has written, spoken, preached, typed and tattooed (nope, too far) this critical part of their business after each contact with your client. There should always be a clear call to action before, during and after the transaction. You should show them the value you provide, why they need it, what materials they’re responsible for providing and a due date.

4. Where to find it? If you need to leave, where can someone access these documents? Using GoogleDocs is a free and very simple way for your team to access and see real-time changes. Evernote is a helpful system to declutter and organize so your team is on the same page. Team App, Slack and other Task Management Software are helpful for your team to test and use. There is no point in creating a system if no one follows it. Every person should be held responsible for following along and improving what you put in place.

5. Make it simple, make it successful. What can be delegated? What can be automated? How can something be made more efficient? Time is your most valuable asset, don’t waste it; you can’t get any more of it. Your time is worth money and it’s worth saving or spending with your loved ones. If there’s a way you can work smarter, it’s making your system and business work harder for you. Humans have always innovated to improve their efficiency.

There is nothing attracting people to someone that’s too busy. You’re showing them you’re worn down, disorganized and ‘too busy’ for them.

My favorite sources for this are HootSuite, Buffer, IFTTT, among others. If you are looking for something specific, platforms will offer free trials.

Always be improving. You need to implement to see what works and there is always room to adjust your system. Help me out here, would you mind? Tell me about a problem you ran into and a system you implemented that helped your business. Especially when dealing with clients!

 

Cheers!

Marin

PS: We only have a few weeks left on our Branding+Positioning Strategy discounted promotion! When you schedule a FREE Discovery Session you will receive 75% off your Branding+Positioning Marketing Plan. Let’s Talk!

What Kind of Brand Am I?

In the worldwide network of marketing, there are varying opinions on how many different types of brands there are. No wonder millions of companies and entrepreneurs face challenges finding their niche and target audience. In a world where it’s mandatory to be online, create content, respond to client engagement in a timely manner, be visually appealing and still run your business to earn a living, branding and marketing are the first step in figuring out a cohesive message and image to work from.

 

Let’s break this down to the most basic form. There are two types of brands: Personal and Company.

Personal brands are recognized by a person’s face and name. Think of YouTube’rs, Instagram’ers and fitness icons. Kayla Itsines is a great example of this with her interactions and selling her BBG programs. On a larger scale, the cycle of know, like and trust has grown to a level where people associate a name with a certain standard of quality, purpose or visual image. Think Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres or Tony Robbins. The person who represents the brand is the brand.

Does your product have your name on it? Is your service you personally coaching a client? Does your website or social media page have your name as the title? You’re probably a personal brand.

 

Company brands are what people imagine of when they hear ‘brand’ and they’re more familiar with the mission. They are easy to identify because they provide a service or product to the consumer. Companies like Nike, Apple, Amazon or Harley Davidson are common examples of strong company brands.

If you’re a service brand your client is buying a service from you sight unseen and sometimes without anything tangible to hold. Service brands are the most reliant on having an extremely established brand message for buyers to know, like and trust them. Their business profitability relies on best serving other people and creating raving testimonies through consistent high-quality customer care and service. Examples of a service brand are someone that provides help, repairs or provides outstanding customer service.

If you’re a product brand like many of the examples above your business is providing a product and aims to differentiate itself against other similar products. How do you make decisions on the best burger, best car seat, best razor or best water bottle? Through branding. Great examples of this are Kleenex and ChapStick. If you’re wanting a facial tissue many will ask for a Kleenex. If you’re wanting a moisturizing lip balm, you’re likely to ask someone if they have ChapStick. Establishing your product’s brand closely with your client’s values and positioning yourself as the best in the industry are the main goal of a product brand.

 

If you’re just starting out the best type of brand to build is a business brand because of the diversity, employment and investment opportunities. Being able to market your products or service from a business name instead of your name alleviates the pressure of selling to your personal network. It also allows your business to go on without you having to be the individual that serves someone.

For example, Diane’s Wine Tours could tell a client the best wine tours are given by Diane. Your goal should be to run a successful business that is systematized to work if you take some time off.

What did you find most helpful in figuring out the start of your brand type? Let’s hear your branding questions!

 

Cheers!
Marin

PS: Want help distinguishing your brand? When you connect with me for a FREE Discovery Session you also get 75% off your Branding + Positioning Strategy (expires May 31.) Let’s Get Started!

Book Club Review + Bonus Download!

Before we begin, look to the right. If that doesn’t say you’re following the blog make sure you put your email in and I’ll send you free downloads from here on out!

Just like with my blog, I want you to have a glimpse into what inspires, motivates and teaches me.

In 2017 I started a list of my goals and accountability tracking for the year. I reached and exceeded every goal. (You can see that post on my personal page here.) Now that we’re a few months into 2018 I wanted to do an accountability check with you and give you some ideas on what’s coming up. I am going to focus on the books I’ve been reading since I see so many people asking for suggestions. I will also be adding my adventures and hikes in a separate section so keep an eye out!

Every few weeks I will share my Top Fiction and Non-Fiction books I use for improvement in my personal and professional life. I had filmed a video for this but it was too choppy and just not fitting right. Would you rather see a video or a blog post for Book Club? Please leave your recommendations below!

 

Read For Fun

handmaids taleThe Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood 

I really enjoyed this book but I really love the Hulu series. By the time I read this in January 2018, I had seen the advertisements for the show so it helped me visualize. It felt like I was reading something from 1900 but it’s actually set in the future. Atwood wrote so descriptively that the series is close to what I was picturing and they added on to what wasn’t mentioned in the book. Must read and watch.

thegooddaughterThe Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

I’ve really grown to love Karin Slaughter’s books. She’s a writer whose name I have actually remembered and have sought her books out. They all follow the same murder mystery genre but the twists and turns she takes you through makes it exciting. This particular book is one of her more recent and will unfortunately sound pretty familiar to what we hear about in the news these days. If you think you know what will happen, just hang in there.

pretty girls Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

See what I told you about her books? This is the most recent one that I have finished. I think it could have been taken down a little bit but it was another creepy and disturbing book that I could easily see as an episode on television. It is staged in Atlanta and surprised me with the main character. For only have three main characters she did a great job of building out a story line.

child finder The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld

It was fun to find out this book was based here in the PNW but I’m just hoping it doesn’t creep me out on my next hike. The ending and the thought process Denfeld put into each of her characters was with every intent and purpose for a great story. I loved how she told you the backstory, the current story and the happy ending. She makes you feel bad for the bad guy and that takes some talent.

husbandIt’s Always The Husband by Michele Campbell

Judge a book by it’s creative, beautiful cover…like this one! This is what happens when you mix college best friends with their adult life problems mixed with murder. It’s entertaining and reminded me of Gone Girl. I listened to this as an audiobook and it helped hearing the story from different voices.

butterflygardenThe Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

***TOP TOP TOP PICK!*** Must read. This book blew my mind. It’s creepy, sick and thrilling enough that it had me literally page turning not wanting to put it down and there’s not many books that do that for me. It’s a CSI and Criminal Minds Movie Merger. She imagines things that happen after event and goes into fairly disturbing boundaries and crosses the line. You should be a more mature reader (probably 18) to read this because of the story and content. I looked up any other books this author wrote because her story line and storytelling were that intriguing.

delirium.jpg Delirium by Lauren Oliver

I’ve heard of this book and heard of Lauren Oliver. I thought this was an interesting concept and would like to see it as a movie. It gave me a mix of Hunger Games + Handmaid’s Tale + Get Out. Sounds weird, right? They’re trying to fight the government for everyone who thinks that love is a disease. She finds out some secrets that have been kept from her and I want to see what happens in the next two novels.

 

Read For Improvement

giving a fThe Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

This book will have language so be warned if that is something that will offend you. The striking title on a bright orange cover will pull you in and it gives you the masculine energy version of You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. This is a book that was fun to read because I kept taking ideas and notes out of it but I’m okay not owning it. It walks you through what to give an F about and what not to. (Psstt: I wrote a post about this on my Instagram.)

lean inLean In by Sheryl Sandberg

This is a book dedicated to women in the workforce. Sheryl talked about this topic in her 2010 TedTalk and is the COO of Facebook. It was interesting to hear the stories of struggles she dealt with in her position and comparing them to what I was also going through in a similar time. If you are a woman in a leadership role or want to be in the future this is an informational and fairly quick read. This will be the easiest access to a mentor you can get.

knowing your valueKnowing Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting What You’re Worth by Mika Brzezinski 

No matter your views on the Morning Joe or not, Mika provides some badass advice to women about asking for a raise, knowing what you are worth and how to get it. This came to me at the perfect time as I was actually going through a similar situation and while the tips were ones I have heard before, she elaborated on topics, was transparent about her personal examples and gives you motivating encouragement to get out there and be fearless about what you are hoping to get. I heard this at a great time for me just like people who decide it’s finally time to enhance their marketing saw my business debut and reached out. What you put out you will attract. Keep pushing.

giantAwaken The Giant Within by Tony Robbins

I listened to the audiobook of this and it was more like a motivational podcast for me since it took less than two hours to listen to. It is very similar to a lot of his other materials and just what you think of when you hear Tony’s name. If you’re looking for something that will prompt you to think, motivate you or increase your work productivity this is it. I liked how he had his own speaking parts along with the narrator and he included pauses to write down ideas and go through exercises with him.

capital gainesCapital Gaines by Chip Gaines

Smart things he learned doing stupid stuff. I was really hoping this would be more real estate, entrepreneur and investment based but it was very similar to his wife’s book Magnolia Story. He did let you in on several mistakes he made in his business and how he corrected them and he spoke about how he found balance in her personal and professional life which is what this book club is all about.

 

 

You’re probably here for the FREE stuff, huh? Not a problem. Make sure you are following the blog (upper right of this page) to get free downloads in the future. Once you’re following, go ahead and download this document: GOALS FOR 2018 from Local Collaborative I mentioned to track your goals and adventures for the rest of the year.

 

Cheers!

Marin

PS: Have you left a review of Local Collaborative yet? I know people are interested to hear from those that have worked with me. Won’t you help them out by reviewing me?

What’s she doing now…

Hey, I’m Marin! I’m named after a county in California but I was born and raised in a small Kansas town. As in we still don’t have stoplights and I went to school in a cornfield, y’all. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism & Mass Communications from the greatest school on Earth (Kansas State University) where I met my husband.

His career as an Army officer takes us across the country and we’re currently living just south of Seattle. We have a love for adventuring new places, hiking the most beautiful trails and searching for a new favorite beer all while loving on our Iranian rescue pup, Argo. Check these good lookin’ guys out below.

There are several challenges as a Military Wife but finding and maintaining a career is toward the top of the list. After some jobs left me feeling unfulfilled, underutilized, under-paid, and held back, I finally felt it’s time to fearlessly pursue a creative, fulfilling career. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for?

I am forever grateful that I’ve been consistently working my entire life. The variety of jobs I’ve held have taught me lessons to keep me humbled and well-rounded, allowing me to better serve my future clients and career. I’ve had several unique opportunities and experiences to apply to my work and have been encouraged for my creative ideas, innovative promotion strategy and eye for design. Paired with those skills, I have implemented public relations, advertising, marketing, communications, customer service and sales to provide a fresh eye and challenging approach to business.

I’m inspired by the thought of bringing you a collaborative marketing approach from your most enthusiastic local entrepreneurs. People I have worked with and trust from multiple industries. I believe in authenticity, I value transparency, I accept feedback and I expect a growth mindset from those I partner with. I strongly believe you can have fun while being professional. I believe you can be modern and rustic at the same time. I believe sandwiches should be hot, drinks should be cold and notes should be handwritten. I believe you should stand firm in your beliefs with an open mind.

I’m excited for what’s to come and I appreciate you being here. Let’s go have some fun!

 

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton