How To Tell If You’re Acting Like An Amateur Or A Pro

Are you acting like an amateur or are you acting like a pro?

Oh, yessss, it’s time for some tough love. Tough self love that will put you on the track to some insane self-improvement.

But only if you take action. 

As an entrepreneur it can be easy to fall into the idea that your ‘schedule’ is extremely flexible or non-existent.

As a work-from-home professional it can be easy to believe you can do whatever you want with your time and still be paid.

 

Sure. You could do that. If your goal is to 1) Lose your job or 2) Never move forward from where you’re at.

You’ve read the articles about what successful people do every day.

You know that if you don’t dedicate one hour toward cardio each morning then you must not be dedicated to your health.

You’re slapped by a vegan-cruelty-free-grass-fed hand that you didn’t eat enough sustainable, ethically grown organic food.

You’ve felt the guilt of balancing an 80 hour work week with enough fun retreats.

 

There’s so many things we are supposed to be doing in and outside of the office/the gym/the home that we get overwhelmed and end up not doing a thing.

How can we start small and grow big? How can we create that discipline to be the person who ROCKS at working from home instead of the person who COULD NEVER work from home?

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What are you doing daily?

What time are you waking up? Are you snoozing? Do you drink coffee before a workout or after? Analyze your daily habits step by literal step and see what gets in your way.

For years, a phone calendar was not something that worked for me. I preferred a paper planner. But then I started telecommuting and Google calendars were a lifesaver when adjusting to other pros in other timezones.

Now my calendar is filled with blocked out chunks of time to guard my schedule from any other commitments. Since my Discovery Session calendar is linked to my personal calendar, blocking out time is VITAL!

I also treat every weekday as a workday. I start at 9 am which might be earlier or later depending on the day but I know I have my mornings to myself.

Yes, I know my times are all in military time. It makes communicating with my husband a lot easier and I’ve just gotten in the habit! Cringe if you’d like, it’s all good. 🙂

0600-0615: Wake Up

0630-0800: Walk my dog and workout

0800-0900: Breakfast and shower

0900-1700: Work

I know if I don’t start my mornings like this that I won’t do it the rest of the day. There’s nothing worse to me than cranking out work all day only to wrap up and know I still have to put in 100 percent to a workout instead of winding down.

I know this can be tricky for people who never have the same schedule every day but ensuring you have ‘white space’ or work time for a couple hours a day gives you a blank space to fill with whatever you need.

At the very least I encourage you to map out each week at a time! When you know what to expect you will be less stressed.

As humans consistency and order are needed.

We are creatures of habits. Good habits, bad habits…they will always be there. It’s up to us to decide if we want to be filled with the good or the bad.

It’s YOUR choice.

Here are Six Fundamental Human Needs

I also have certain days marked out for certain things. I have a blog that is published every Tuesday. I block out time to write those posts on Thursdays. I try to avoid meetings or calls on Fridays. What works best for you? What patterns do you usually find yourself repeating on your most successful and unsuccessful weeks? Face those then create solutions to overcome them. 

Amateurs think they’re fine where they’re at.

Professionals know their time is invaluable.

 


What are you changing?

As you’re looking at what should change or what should stay the same actually list them out. With pencil to paper or copy/pasting on your desktop. Here’s my challenge to you…

Get it on one page.

One page of what your actual commitments are. If it doesn’t fall in your top three, can you pay someone else to do it? Can you ask for help? Can you outsource or place more/less of a focus on it?

What are you committed to every day? What are you committed to every week?

Maybe that’s meals. Can you get them delivered to your car or house for efficiency?

Maybe that’s the home. Can you hire a maid once a week or once a month for a deep clean? Hire a lawn service to take care of the outside while you tackle the inside?

If you’re a stay at home mom, the answer is probably your kids. So what’s your second focus? Yourself, I hope!

If you’re a construction worker or plumber going out on last minute jobs, your life can look a bit chaotic. If you get that call that you don’t have to go to the job site today, what CAN you get done to feel accomplished instead of calling it all a wash and sitting on the couch doing nothing?

There is always a solution to every problem. Everything is figureoutable. 

Amateurs think they know it all.

Professionals know there’s always something to learn and room to improve.


What’s the theme?

If it rains, is it pouring?

No. Stop complaining.

There are days when I am hurt and can’t work out. Where I know my body needs rest instead of forcing it to wake up with the sun.

There are interrupted schedules with client deadlines, personal trips or emergencies.

That is the beauty and flexibility of knowing I will have time to get it all done and what I wanted as an entrepreneur. I respect the fact that I get to work from home with freedom and flexibility frequently used in my vocabulary.

I don’t take for granted or mooch off the fact I can walk downstairs for lunch or adjust my work to my husband’s schedule. This is what I wanted and I STILL get to do what I love.

You should always place work before play. How else would you enjoy the hell out of playtime without feeling guilty?

Amateurs do what they want, when they want.

Professionals do what needs to be done; like it or not.


What are the fundamentals?

Cut out the crap.

Yuck. Or Yikes. Or Yuck and Yikes! 

What is holding you back? Money? Time? Resources? People?

 

Figure it out then clean house.

If your business requires certain funds or equipment start doing what you need to do to get those so you can transition into doing what you want to do.

Get your legalities figured out. Reach out to people who can teach, mentor and help you. Do the research and stay grounded in reality while playing with the creative ideas bouncing around in your head. That’s what these people did and now their dreams are launched.

You have to start somewhere. It doesn’t need to be pretty, clean or perfect but it needs to be out there. People need to know what you are up to. They need to know you exist and this is what you’re doing. You can only edit an essay that’s been written; you can’t edit one that doesn’t exist. (ahhhh so wise, wise one.) 

You’re either committed to being a professional or you’re not. Be honest with yourself.

Prove it to yourself every day.

*I’ve got a post coming up on what you can do for free vs. what you should pay for. Subscribe on the right and, until then, feel free to search my blog and website!

 

 

Do I expect to have everything done in one day? No. Don’t expect instant gratification (with anything, really). 

Do I practice what I preach perfectly? Absolutely not. But I repeat to myself that THIS is who I am and I’m going to keep showing up for myself, my business and my goals. No matter what.

But I find great pride in the fact that I show up every day and keep myself focused.

I’ve seen it pay off bit by bit and I know it will all add up to something wilder than I ever dreamed.

 

Cheers!

Marin

Looking for help writing blogs? Want ideas for creating content? Need to revamp your website’s copy?

Lucky for you, that’s something we do! Start here. 

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Marin Davis Founder and Owner of Local Collaborative

Interest in Pinterest: Analytics For Any Season

The world is visual. 

We want to see beautiful photos, watch motivating videos and see professional, clean posts in person and online. 

You may not think the font, colors or editing you use is important but it is. 

 

You want to know why? 

  • 87 percent of consumers purchase a product solely based on how it looks. 
  • 94 percent of first impressions are design-related.
  • 75 percent of potential customers confessed to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design.
  •  

 

Social media, websites and online presence are more than likely the first impression someone will have of you; make it a lasting impression. 

You know why clearance sections are in the back corners of the store? They want the regularly priced items up front, they want the pretty display up front, the neatly folded clothes up front…the disorganized, pile of clothes with the small, white, boring sign above it. 

When an area is too busy or confusing humans avoid it. Chaos and messy areas are distracting to your senses (clean your room!) and you will never get your message across with the ‘noisy’ distraction of a mess. 

 

If your site is bland it looks neglected.

If it’s all over the place you look irresponsible. 

If you have incorrect grammar, spelling or punctuation it looks careless.

For a review of your current branding efforts, schedule a free consultation. You can also check out this post on branding.

 

No matter the season or occasion, people hop on Pinterest to plan their next celebration. 

There are several tools you can use to post across multiple platforms. Buffer, IFTTT and Hootsuite are some I have used and enjoyed. 

In order to track your progress and impressions you will need to establish a business account on Pinterest. Here is a quick guide on how to do that. You can either ‘rebrand’ and change your current page or create a new one; whichever makes more sense for your business and products. 

Not sure? Just ask!

 

Next, make sure your boards are organized into Holiday Recipes, Christmas Decor, etc. For examples on how to do this check out popular brands like Target, Crate and Barrel or other popular brands in your field. 

You will also want to make sure your images and headlines match up with the season as I mentioned in this blog. Get your pins out earlier than the season as people want to prepare. December 1 is not the time to start sharing Christmas decorations. October 31st is not the day to share Halloween makeup. Be there before your audience is. 

 

How are they performing? 

Pinterest Analytics serves as valuable market research to watch for traffic and what performs well (or poorly) so you can adjust accordingly. 

Pinterest is not my sole source of clients but it does allow business, self help and marketing searches to pop me up. I include visually pleasing photos that include my website so they can return to my page and not use my work on other pages. My travel guides, book club and 

Using my page as an example, I can find my page’s analytics in the upper left hand corner. 

I have 57.3k monthly viewers, 1,414 followers with 2.6k of monthly engagement and I can see what photos or materials were saved from my website or regular uploads. 

Business accounts are FREE so you literally have nothing to lose by trying this out. You start by answering five simple questions telling them about your business and make sure all of your contact information is setup correctly. 

I have the easy view of my stats once I log in to my account and I can promote the page if I would like. 

If I wanted to click on my monthly stats it shows my stats. This is helpful to see when I had a boost, what was posted or what time of day, weekend/day, and more valuable information so I can maximize my reach in future posts. If something performed poorly I might try switching the photo or, as some people do, publish the same material with 2-3 different cover photos and see which performs best then. 

I also get sent regular business page emails about which pins were performing best and how many impressions they received. The one I recently received let me know

“93% of people say they use Pinterest to plan purchases. As a brand,
creating boards helps you get your products or services in front of
Pinners. Pick a theme, like dinner recipes or summer outfits,
then 
add some Pins.”

Here’s a screenshot from another email breakdown. 

 

While not all of my pins are created by me I can see what people follow me for my most popular impressions and start to create material for them if I would like. 

I highly encourage you to switch over to a business account on all of your main social media pages and, even if a site isn’t a main traffic control, it can always give the opportunity to lead people back to your site…or you can just nerd out on numbers and demographics like me. 

 

If you need help setting up business accounts on any social media account, let us know. We are happy to help get you the marketing results you need!

 

Cheers! 

Marin

 

Which Came First: The Content or The Branding?

It’s difficult to decide what to do first when debuting your company: A logo to put on your page or content to start generating an audience?

It’s like asking ‘Which came first, the chicken or the egg?’

Companies question what they need before going public or they don’t think they can put out content until they have everything established in a specific order.

Remember that your content decides your design. If you do not have an identity or profile for your company then you have no way of creating an image or logo that portrays your brand. The most important part of your business is what you are doing and why you are doing it.

What does your company offer?

Why are you doing what you are doing?

Who are you doing it for?

Once you lay out these answers you can work with a marketing professional to create a branding strategy that attracts your target audience. A discovery session and S.W.O.T analysis are a first step to figuring out what your strategy should look like. If you’re looking for someone who can base your brand around research-based information, please reach out.

If you want a modern, professional audience then there are colors, fonts and images that attract them. If you’re a creative brand or offer children’s products there are certain colors, fonts and images you can use for your logo and branding. Is your product or service for males or females? Is your product industrial or organic?

 

Once you look at your own company and your audience part of your discovery is looking at what others in your industry are doing. How can you set yourself apart? What’s a common theme across the board that helps to keep you relevant? This can be a great benchmarking tool for your business if you are in a rut.

 

You can test out different logos and visual designs in online prototypes to see how each performs before printing or putting it online. Content can start going out and once you publish your work you will be able to use reporting tools and built in business tracking systems to see when and where you grow the most as well as what performs the best.

 

Cheers!

Marin

PS: Only two weeks left for your own Branding+Positioning Strategy! Schedule a Discovery Session with me to establish your brand right now.