Ohhh… 20/20 hindsight’s fun, right? So much wisdom, but so much of it comes to you too late to apply it to your own situation. Which is why I decided to create this very episode!
There are so many things I figured out so late in my business that would have made my life so much easier (and the business so much more profile) if I’d just done them BACK THEN.
But rather than beating myself up about it, I’m going to pay this wisdom forward in the hopes it helps you avoid some of the classic early-biz and brand-building mistakes I made!
PS Enjoyed this episode? Please leave a quick written review (and go in the draw to win a $50 Amazon gift card!)
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Read the full transcript 👇
You’re listening to Episode 37 – 10 things I wish I knew when I first started my business. Yeah, I decided it’s time for another one of the don’t make the same mistakes I did episodes because I am doing a lot of work on my business behind the scenes right now. And it’s bringing up a lot of a lot of stuff, including some regrets. So I thought, you know what, let’s make this a teachable moment. Let’s try and make the most out of this mess that I’m in right now. And I’m going to turn it into a podcast so that hopefully you can get some serious value out of this. So if you’re interested, keep on listening.
Welcome to the personal branding project. I’m your host Kat Elizabeth, an actor and personal branding coach who is obsessed with helping creative entrepreneurs like you build personal brands that change your life for good from attracting bigger opportunities, more joy and freedom in your life and the ability to get paid to do the things that you love most. Each week, I’m bringing you inspiration, practical advice and the occasional dose of tough love. So you can stop dreaming and start doing what it takes to make those dreams a reality.
Welcome back, my friends. And thanks as always for listening. I mean, I’m always excited to record a poddy not gonna lie, even though Yes, I may or may not have skipped one last week. And the reason being is kind of connected to the topic of today’s episode, I am finally facing some things in my business that I should have faced a really long time ago. I don’t know why it took me so long. I mean, I am a bit of a stubborn person, some of the stuff I kind of in theory knew I should be doing a long time ago. And I just kept putting it off and putting it off. And look, there’s a few reasons for this. One of them, but this is actually going on a tangent, but it’s not worked into the episode but I feel like it’s going to be helpful to you as well, it’s still related. So I, a fair while ago now took the Gallup Strengths Finder test, highly, highly, highly recommend you do this, at some point sooner rather than later. It’s a really incredible test that – this is not personality testing, this is strength testing, like the way your brain works, the way that you’re going to function at your highest in the workplace, essentially. So it’s really designed for people that are trying to build teams that are very well balanced. And I did it before I was even looking at building a team. And I honestly learned so much from it. And it was good because it helped me take the, well I guess it allowed me to forgive myself a little bit for going as long as I did without building my team. Because essentially, you find out that you’ve got like these different strengths. And you’ve got like your top five. And there’s four different categories of strengths. For instance, like there’s influencing, and I think relationships, strategy and executing, I believe are the four kind of categories of strengths. And then there’s a whole bunch of specific strengths under each pillar. So I found out that in my top five, I have all the colors, I have all the pillars. So I’m quite well balanced, which is why I’ve managed to go it alone as long as I did. But as we’re going to be talking about one of the points, spoiler alert from my list of 10 today is that I did it alone for way too long, way too long. And it has cost me like I’m there is this process at the moment where I feel like I’m having to go backwards to go forwards again, I know it’s not that let’s Okay, better wording would be I’m slowing down to speed up. Because I’ve always been very scrappy, and very resourceful, and managed to like make miracles happen without bringing on any help, which is great. And I was very proud of myself. But I reached a point where I was like, Okay, what got you here is not going to get you there. And when I was really sitting down to set the goals that I have for this next financial year, I had this realization that I was already capping myself like because of the way I’d set up my business, I wasn’t going to be able to hit those goals unless I made some really big changes behind the scenes, which then began the unraveling. So last year, the unraveling was needing to go back to basics and revisit all of my messaging and potentially tweak some of my offerings, or at least the you know, as you know, as you may know, if this is your first episode, you wouldn’t know but basically I had the personal branding collective which I launched as a membership about 12 months ago from the time of recording this. And then I have gradually like I’m kind of dissolving the membership and it’s turning into something else which is Seen Heard Paid Academy. So that was a huge shift last year, this year, the focus is operations, systems, all of the unsexy stuff that happens behind the scenes and my goodness for someone who is impatient, and just wants everything out there, right away, it is a really painful thing to have to slow down and painstakingly figure out, like, how do I want my business to run? What are the systems that I need, and also like really leaning on the support that I’ve been bringing in as well. So that is kind of why I wasn’t here last week, I just keep being buried in like, it’s the most ridiculous to do list you’ve ever seen, or I should say, like, it’s my project management system. It’s just, I haven’t even loaded in 10% of the tasks. And it’s just like, I look at it and go, oh, my gosh, this is gonna take so long, but it’s okay. And it’s all okay, this is my own process of realizing Yep, sometimes you just have to embrace different seasons for your business. And it’s not all going to be out out out, you know, where it’s all fun things and speaking and I mean, I’ve still got lots of outgoings, as well, but sometimes we have to yeah, I mean, not sometimes we’re always going to have seasons in our business, that require us to switch gears a little bit, move our focus somewhere, you know, plant some seeds, and then we move on, and then we’re going to be having like a harvesting season, etc. So I’m butchering this analogy. But hopefully you get what I’m talking about. And I’m sure you’ve probably experienced this at some point as well, where it’s just, you can feel these waves where sometimes it feels like you just like there’s so much momentum and you’re seeing all of these results. And other times you’re like, Oh, I have to do all the painful stuff that does not give me the results that I want. But you know, it’s essential for you to reach your next level. This was a very long winded way of saying this is what has led to this episode is that I just there are certain things that I could have done so much sooner or have done differently, that would mean I’m not in the mess that I’m in right now. Anyways, let’s just get into the content, shall we?
So I’ve got my list of 10. And we’re going to move fast, because that’s a lot of things. 10 is a lot of things. I’m not gonna go into too much detail. But if you’re listening to this, and you’re like, ooh, number four, I need to know more about this. Just DM me DM me on Instagram @iamkatelizabeth, tell me that you want more on whatever topic I talked about. And I can create an episode on it.
Anyways, number one, creating systems should be done from the start. Okay, so this, of course, is what I’m talking about right now. Like, this is the big thing I’m focusing on in my business, building out systems. And I mean, documenting my processes, I mean, actually having a system. So for instance, just knowing like, or having on paper that like, okay, someone fills out an inquiry form, then they received this email, then they tell me this, and then if this happens, I do this, if this happens, I do this. It’s not about having everything automated. There’s definitely room for automation. But I realized that probably I’m wasting hours, hours every week doing things haphazardly, that could have been systematized from the very beginning. Also, I could have been outsourcing way more a long time ago, if I’d systematize things. But I didn’t have my SOPs my standard operating procedures in place. So I would bring someone on to help me and then be like, oh, I’m How do I get you to do this? I don’t know. And then I’d take the task back. Not good, not helpful. I’m paying people money to sit around and wait for my instructions. I’m too busy to give them instructions. You can see how that all fell apart very quickly. So this time around. I do have someone helping me, someone wonderful. You can’t have her actually, maybe, I mean, maybe we can share. But we’re working on it together. So I’ve made this commitment that my next couple of months, systems come first. So that means I’ve actually potentially pushed back our launch, things that I wish I was working on right now I’ve actually not because this needs doing once and for all and I’m sharing the task, we’re creating systems together. It’s all going swimmingly so far as painful as it is. And I just realized there was one thing I could like I’ve been at this now for what six years. Like if I just started doing this making a habit of it back when I was a freelance copywriter. Oh my goodness, this would not be a big deal. I wouldn’t be spending the next two months trying to build out systems and automations and templates for everything in my business. I would have just created them as I went. So please, if you have the opportunity to start doing that now before you quite feel ready, just do it. This is not a regret you will have. You’ll regret not doing it.
Okay, let’s move on to number two. So make sure you have at least two reliable lead sources at any given time, don’t just be relying on referrals. I got so lazy in my copywriting career early on, because I got so many referrals like I was in a community group that like put in job ads, I had a lot, I had a few people that I was there go to where anytime they work, they had too much work or a job that didn’t suit them, they would always think of me. So jobs were just handed to me, which made me a very lazy marketer. Not even lazy, it made me a non marketer, I did not market myself. I’ve mentioned before, I didn’t have a website for the first year, which you know, like it was fine. But you know, probably could have been I could have done better if I had a website sooner. And I had no social media, like I was doing nothing. And it meant that the anxiety was really high. Because I was never sure when I was going to get referrals or how many or if there would be good. And it was just this vicious cycle and then so then you want to say yes to everything. Because you’re like, well, what if this dries up? What if I stopped getting referrals next month, I’d better just say yes to everything. Then you overbook yourself and then you get burnt out and then you get resentful. The vicious cycle begins. I see this happening to so many people, so many freelancers, where they’ve just kind of got their one way of getting leads, you haven’t built out a system for generating leads, like there’s nothing happening while you sleep. It’s relying on you showing up constantly, and it’s exhausting. And I don’t want that for anyone. It’s completely avoidable. It takes a little bit of work. But really, it’s about building systems for lead generation. And once they’re set up, you can just follow it like clockwork, it’s not this big deal. This does not this isn’t about you becoming some full time content creator, full time marketer. It’s just really understanding, okay, where do my best leads come from? Let’s make sure I’m showing up there in some way, and that I’m capturing them properly, and that there is a process in place so that once they make an inquiry, we know that things all happen smoothly. So please make sure you have at least two reliable lead sources, having just two is still great. I’m just saying like one is not okay. One means anything could change at any point in time, and you suddenly have no leads. This especially happens like not just with referrals. But if you’re relying on social media, if social media is your only lead source, we’ve got a problem. Social media is going to change one day, it might not be there. What are you going to do? So yes, and I mean, I don’t think I put this on my list. No, I didn’t put this on my list. Because it’s not for everyone. But something to consider is starting to build an email list from the beginning. It’s not what you need to do to have a profitable business. But it gives you some flexibility, in future, it starts to take the pressure off, because you’ve got a direct line of communication with your audience. So consider it, may not be the right time, don’t start until you know, you can commit to actually showing up and emailing them regularly. But when you already just get going even if you don’t know what you’re doing with it quite yet. It’s just there for later, it’s an asset.
Okay, number three, just because a platform exists, doesn’t mean you need to be on it. I created social profiles for every social media platform under the sun, even if I wasn’t using them, I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know why I was there. It just felt like I was supposed to be there. I felt like I needed to be everywhere, or I was missing out. But the thing is, if I’m not really there, if I’ve got this dead profile, and I’m not checking it, then it’s actually worse because people could be finding me or interacting with me. And I don’t even realize I’m missing messages. Or they look at my profile. And they’re like, Oh, geez, she hasn’t posted in 10 months, that actually looks worse than not being there at all. So I wish people had told me this. So it could have just saved my energy and just been in the places that I wanted to be. And you know, I teach this as well, like, the more platforms you’re on, the less likely you are to do well on them because you’re spreading yourself way too thin. And like, you know, if you’re just being on all the platforms and repurposing the same content on every single platform without even thinking about it, like you push out the same post to four platforms on the same day. That is lazy marketing, and it’s unlikely to do much for you. So you need a strategy in place, but it does not involve needing to be in all places. Okay, so if you if that is the permission you needed to go finally delete that Twitter account, or Pinterest or whatever it is, wherever you’re trying to hang out and just not feeling it. Just go do it. And just breathe a sigh of relief and then use all that spare energy. I know it’s not like you’re doing much there but like just space, the extra space you have and just pour that energy into the platforms you actually want to be on and really double down on that.
Okay, number four, yes we’re up to number four, you need to invest equally in business development, and personal development, not just upskilling, I think it would have this really badly from how I’d written it down. But I want you to not just, I feel like a lot of us upskill very early on because imposter syndrome, we’re like, yeah, I need to be better at what I do. The problem is that only gets you so far, if you have not done, not invested, and when I say invest, I don’t mean just money, I mean, your time, your energy focus, you need to know how to develop your business, and you need to also be working on yourself, okay? Because if all you’ve got is skills, then you know what, like that that does not guarantee I mean, this is actually like one of my later points, but essentially upskilling, on its own does not build a business. So we need to make sure you actually know how to run a business. And that does not mean getting super fancy. I’m not saying you have to set up some company structure or anything, but like, you need to know what is the structure of your business, you need to make sure that you are covered as far as like knowing what to do with your finances, and you know, like, your taxes and what systems you’re going to use. How are you going to like, what is your system for attracting leads, and then turning them into sales? Like we need all that stuff? And then personal development is like just on you? How are you making sure that you keep growing and improving and that you’re showing up as the best version of yourself, because you are your business, you are your brand. So you can’t think that a sexy website or Instagram graphics are going to compensate for you being a mess behind the scenes. Like if you’re just being like crippled with perfectionism and imposter syndrome, and you don’t believe in yourself and you’re questioning your value, then no, no amount of amazing marketing is going to compensate for that. So you need to be doing that inner work. And you know, I talk about that a lot. That is why my overarching framework is self belief, strategy, support, we need all three. So really take a hard look right now at where you’re putting your time, your energy, your money, is it out of balance, is there a gap here that you need to be filling.
And then let’s move on to number five. Start with a signature offer and scale it before creating more offers. And this even isn’t even just about having too many offers, like too many offers is problematic, okay, especially when you’re getting started because it’s just like more things to think about more mess less, you know, being systemized and having everything down pat, like so that’s one thing. But also like it can be really confusing to your clients when you have too much going on. And then I mean, there’s so many layers to this like so let me just explain. First of all, what I mean by a signature offer is that you have that one, go to offer that like if people come to you like that is the thing that you’re really going to be pushing them to do with you because it’s the ultimate, like you’ve put all of your best stuff into this particular offer. And it doesn’t matter. Like I mean, it might be a product, it might be a, you know, a service, like done for you service, it could be a course that you’re selling, but it’s your thing that you’re known for. By having that it helps us establish ourselves and get known for that offer in particular, like it’s easier for people to get to know who we are, to refer us to other people because it’s just so clear what we do. Whereas when you do 10 different things, people don’t know how to recommend you to others and that’s problematic. But the other thing is if we can have a signature offer with set pricing, and you can have options here, you can have tiered options, like maybe you have a small and a large or small, medium and large. But if you do not have set pricing, that means you are custom quoting for every single client. And those quotes, those are unbillable hours. I learnt very early on. And thankfully this is one that I figured out for myself pretty quickly. Is that like the more time I spend mucking around in my proposals and with all these bits and pieces, the less money I can make, you know my billable hours. I’ll give you an example at one point I remember being in the clever copywriting community and they’d run a poll of everyone in the group at that time saying what is your current like billable what percentage of your hours are billable? And there was this range of like, I think the lowest was 40% ish. I could be wrong, but it was definitely under 50%. And I was up there at like 90% billable hours and I hadn’t thought about it that much. But I looked at myself and I was like wow, this is great. There’s not much work in a week at the moment that I’m doing that I’m not getting paid for. Now like that’s not because I was holier than thou like I did well in that and I got a bit lucky and that I landed some really juicy clients like I had some retainer work. I had some big projects that were ongoing. But also I’d gotten my proposal process down to a fine art, like there was a lot of copy and pasting going on, like the template was set up really well, I knew how to price things really quickly. So even though I was often doing a custom quote, I could figure it out, like in three minutes. So I was like, yep, that, that, that, that that’s the price. Whereas you know, you don’t even need to do that if you have a signature offering, offering with set prices. And so like, I’ll just give you some examples. Like, if you’re a copywriter, like your signature offering could be website copy, maybe you’ve got one for a three page website, one for five page and one for a seven page website. Or if you know, it’s with e-commerce, like you have one where it’s got a certain number of products and the other package has way more products. If you’re a photographer, it could be how long the shoot is with how many photos that go with it. And then you could have like a baby version and you know, the bigger version, or you just have your one go to version. For some people, I’m going to be offering soon, VIP days where we spend a day together. And it’s there’s a very tangible thing that you walk away with, like you’ve got your entire brand strategy, and some deliverables like just ready to go. That will just be it. Like it’ll be a one stop shop, I’m not going to have all these tiered options. It’s like this is what you get. This is the price for the day, do you want it or not? And so that is that is what I recommend. So that’s what I’m banging on about right now signature offers. So many of us are just spending all this time trying to agonize over custom quotes when it doesn’t actually help anyone like it’s costing you a lot of time. But is it actually going to get your clients better result like it gives them the chance to agonize more over what they’re wanting and get confused and overthink things when you could be like, Well, look, the standard website has five pages, like, you know, these are the pages that I recommend or something like that. So, you know, you get to be an authority here and actually recommend that this is the, you know, this is the optimal package for their situation, you know, and then suddenly that they’re relieved, because they don’t have to make that decision. Not saying it works for every single thing under the planet. But if you’re you know, if you’re still going to custom quote, give yourself your own price guidelines behind the scenes, like have a table with all of the pricing and the variables so that next time someone asked for something, you can just go check, check, check, these are the things they need. This is the total price. Don’t be trying to calculate it every single time. But also don’t have too many offers. Especially when you’re getting started. It just again, it gives people too many options, and they get confused. So I wish I knew that because I was just offering everything under the sun. And a lot of the things I was doing, I wasn’t even enjoying. But I thought because I was a copywriter, I had to just write all the words for everybody. And in the end, I was like no, I actually only want to do these kinds of projects. And once I decided to do that life got easier. I bumped up my prices a little bit and people just started referring those specific things to me. And I was like, oh, I made this way too difficult. Like I, I overcomplicated it completely. And I waited too long. So that was a long winded explanation. But I feel very passionate about this. So I hope that that helps.
Let’s move on to number six. Oh, here we go. Speaking of billable hours, don’t create your targets, and I’m talking like your revenue goals based on a 40 hour client work week. Let me explain when I say client work, I mean, don’t be assuming you can do 40 hours of work for your clients, whether that’s face to face like you know, whether that’s consulting, whether it’s, you know, doing the work hands on, don’t think that you’ve got 40 hours to work with clients because you don’t like that is not realistic. Number one, life. Once you’re self employed, you’ll see like, you know that the 40 hours, I mean, and think about it too, when you’re in the office, you’re not actually doing 40 hours of work, even if you’re in the office for 40 hours, even if you’re in the office for 50 hours, like think of all of the different kinds of interruptions in a day and the energy it takes to get focused and get in flow. Okay, let’s just, let’s just forget once and for all that you can do 40 hours of client work. So when you’re setting your targets of how much you want to earn, you can’t be saying oh well I can have this many clients per week because that adds up to 40 hours. No, no, no, no, no. Let’s get realistic here. How many hours can you actually spend with clients and doing that work? Maybe it’s 20 like depending on how many hours you wanna work in a week obviously it’s going to be different, but only a certain percentage of those are going to be deep work focused work with clients. You know, for instance, I do an hour long coaching call and like it’s worse when it sounds bad, I don’t mean worse. But yes, let’s just say it’s worse. It’s worse when it’s just a one off, because I do all this work to get people prepped for the session, working on this though.systematizing it making it less bad, but you know, there’s all this prep and getting people like selling and getting someone to sign up for this one off session. Then we do the session, after the session I spend all this time doing extra notes, uploading the session, sending them the recording, like giving them the email making sure everything’s okay. There’s also like a week that they get a follow up time where they can ask me questions like, so that hour that I’m charging for it, I’m not charging for the hour, I’m charging for more like four hours that go into this, the more thing about the more like, Oh, I’m still under charging, but you get the idea. And so it’s the same like you’re going to have, if you need, you know, a certain amount of time to do a photo shoot with a client or to sit down and write their copy, you know, it’s not just about the writing, not just about the shooting. So get, start getting really realistic about what actually goes into the ways that you work with clients, you know, the research, all of the bits and pieces, the back and forth that you know, you wouldn’t normally think about, okay, and then realistically, how many hours of that can you do in a week, then we need to think about the work that you need to do to land the clients. So some of that is going to be the sales process. And some of that is going to be your marketing process like so sales, as in, you know, proposals or getting on calls with them having conversations. And then the marketing is like you putting content out? Are you going to networking events? Like are you spending time engaging on LinkedIn replying to DMs, you know, there’s a lot that goes into that. And you also need to get realistic about how long you’re going to need to spend to do that well. So circling this back around, let’s say you’re happy to work 40 hours a week. Now let’s break it down by what percentage of that needs to be marketing, what percentage is sales, what percentage is admin and what percentage is working with clients, then we have a better idea of what your capacity is to work with clients, then we can set our pricing based more on that than on you know, if we are doing full time, 40 hours a week working for our clients. Yeah, so because I just think the issue is if we price based on thinking we have all those hours, then we think we can take on all these extra clients, then we do that, and then our marketing falls apart, our business falls apart, we have no time to do admin. And also, like forget about whitespace self care, you know, sanity. So this is an important one. So I really hope you’re paying attention to this, I hope you’re taking notes at this point, I should have warned you that you need a notepad.
Okay, let’s go to number seven. You can outgrow your mentors, and you should actually have more than one at any given time. So I had the same mentor for a really long period of time when I first got started because I didn’t, I didn’t know where to look and also like the first place that I went for mentorship was, it was so good. It gave me so much that I felt very loyal to them and felt weird about doing anything else. And I probably outstayed my welcome a little bit. At one point, I actually did rejoin like I circled back around. And then it was like, wow, I really don’t belong here anymore. But I wish like I was, I guess the thing that I didn’t fully understand. And because this mentorship, so much of it was about one focus, I was really learning how to run my copywriting business. But I wasn’t necessarily getting mentorship in some other areas. So, forget about personal development and all the mindset stuff. You know, I wasn’t really learning about other kinds of branding. I wasn’t upskilling much like it was just one thing that I was getting from here. And so, it gave me so much and I got my business off and running but I stagnated very quickly. And I just because I didn’t join anything else look for any other help I just got stuck. Whereas these days, it’s so different. I always have multiple mentors, like so I’m usually in some sort of high level group program or mastermind at the same time as being in a couple of other courses, but or even like, less hands on coaching programs. And I like it that way. Because I’m getting a taste of everything. I don’t get locked into this one way of doing things because when we just have one mentor, we start to think, Oh, I have to do everything the way they do it, because that’s the right way. But when you see other people, you get other mentors doing different things, and having different business models, you’re like, oh, wow, there’s so many ways to get to the goals that I want to achieve. So don’t be afraid of number one out and growing your mentor, if you get to that point where you’re like, I just feel like I’ve learned all I can right now like, just be grateful don’t feel guilty. Like they know that this is what happens. It’s you know, we have seasons, you just be grateful for what you were able to get from them for the relationship, pay it forward, recommend other people that you know, go follow them and move on. And same as when you just have you know, if you only have one mentor, don’t feel guilty about looking for others because we need so, there’s so many different things that play a role in our success and equipping ourselves for that longevity, career longevity and business longevity. So just be open to anything and like, the way I know if I’m like overdoing it, because that can happen is that I’m just starting to feel anxious, like I’m not doing enough work. Like if I’m signed up to too many programs, and I’m like, oh my gosh, I’m dropping the ball, like, I have no time for this right now and it starts to feel pressure filled. Well, that’s not good. That means I’ve gone a little bit too far. But you know, if you’re still if you’re feeling inspired, and you feel confident to just like, take what you need at different points in time and, and know that you know, you, you don’t actually Okay, now I’m going on a big tangent, but this is something you should really know. Because I struggle with this sometimes, too, when you go and work with a mentor, like sometimes we assume that if we’re signing up for like a 12 month program, it’s like that 12 months, like, we need to achieve everything under the sun in that 12 months, like we literally have to do a 180 almost or send a rocket ship to mars, like there’s so much pressure to do all the things. But just keep in mind that sometimes just just the one thing you learn, like, there might be one thing that just sticks with you, one shift that you make thanks to that mentor, that training, that can have huge ROI. Huge, you don’t have to have done some ginormous upskill or, you know, completely overhaul everything in your business to get value out of a program. I’ve had programs where I’ve been a little bit disappointed by some things that are inside them. But then I look back at the up level that I did and go whoa, like it actually only took a little shift and things have blown up since. And sometimes you see it immediately. And sometimes it’s a slower burn. But take the pressure off any program needing to solve everything for you, there is no magical program that fixes everything. Because it’s, it’s actually you like it’s you that’s making the shifts, you know, so you’re just gonna gradually keep equipping yourself with all the different things you need. And the more you can implement and actually bring it into action, then obviously, the faster the results you’re going to get. And the more you just sit there taking in the information and not applying it to anything, then obviously, like the long you’re gonna just sit there not growing. So that was a long winded one. But again, hopefully you got something out of that little brain dump.
Okay, we’re up to number eight. So this kind of relates to what we’re talking about before, but being really damn good at something does not guarantee your success. You can be the best copywriter in the world, the best realtor in the world, the best photographer, whatever that may be, if people do not know who you are, and you do not know how to turn followers or attract followers, and then turn them into clients, you do not have a business. So this is why I was saying like, we can’t just be pouring money into upskilling. Okay, because like being good at something is like, that is the bare minimum. And I mean, this advice was given to me as well, even with an acting career, it’s like you being an amazing actor and having done that training, that’s just the bare minimum that makes you worthy of walking in that door, that does not guarantee you the job that does not make you special, all the other people auditioning, are just like you, they’ve been working their butts off, they’re talented, like, it’s about all the other factors. And really like so when you think about from a casting director perspective, like they are looking for that person who’s going to solve the problem that they need solved. And that helps them create a successful project that makes lots of money, well, your client has a problem that they need solved. And really, whether you, you know, are going to make any money or not is dependent on whether you can actually help them better themselves and their lives. And they can’t do that if they don’t know who you are, if you’re invisible, and they don’t know how to work, and if they find you and they don’t know how to work with you. They’re really confused about what you do. So just know that like, yep, it’s great, you’ve got skills, awesome, like this is important, you’re going to do well as long as you learn how to run your business and build your brand. So that’s a simple one, I think we can leave it at that.
Number nine, knowing the difference between revenue generating activities and brand building activities. I think so many business owners forget about this, that there is a really big difference between sort of like building hype, getting eyes on your content, you know, helping to establish you as an expert in your niche. And the activities that you do that actually lead to ROI that lead to revenue. Sometimes they can overlap, which is wonderful. Like for instance, like a wonderful brand building activity could be like running a workshop or hosting a webinar. And it can generate a lot of buzz you know, you can get a lot of eyes on your content, you can grow your email list but at the same time you can be selling so you know that is definitely a revenue generating activity. But if you, for instance, have been showing up and posting on Instagram Stories every single day, and you can’t actually connect one sale to your activities of doing those stories, and it’s not necessarily that’s, that’s not a revenue generating activity, at least not right now, maybe it could be, maybe you need to make some tweaks to it, or it’s actually not a good activity for you to be doing. Like, it’s just not the thing that’s going to help you land clients, because it completely depends on who your audience is, and how they like to, you know, show up on social. So, I wish I had figured that out sooner, because it would have helped me prioritize what I was doing, and be a lot more intentional about the way I spend my time, you know, in my, in my marketing and behind the scenes of the business. And so something that really helped me that I’ve learned from a few different mentors, so I’m not gonna give any one particular mentor credit, because I think this is something that’s been kind of referred to for a really long time, but is actually assigning values to the different tasks that you do in your business. And sitting down, like, for instance, like doing a brain dump of every single thing that you do in your business, like everything, and then deciding whether it is like a it’s a $10 an hour task $100 an hour task $1,000 an hour task or $10,000 an hour task, I’ve had other people say like it’s a $10 a $25, $75 like it really what it comes down to his like, how much would you be prepared to then spend to have an outsourced, like the, the $10,000 an hour tasks, the ones that really move the needle, so you know, they are going to have huge returns on investment, you know, things like building an asset building a course that you can resell, you know, develop like writing sales copy or developing a webinar, you know, being on a big podcast and knowing you’re getting seen by tons of new audience members, like that is a very high value task. And then, you know, there’s less high value tasks, but it’s still very high, which is, you know, that strategic work, and like there’s some really important things that you’ll be doing that don’t necessarily give you that huge ROI, but they need to be done. But then when we start going further down the list, you know, there could be some, you know, it might be just like doing graphic design tasks, uploading blog articles, getting things transcribed, you know, repurposing content, these kinds of things like, yes, they’re important, but do you need to be doing them? Like, what is your ideal value per hour of like, what do you want to be making per hour, you’re going to take your own hourly rate down, if you spend half your week doing $10 an hour tasks. Simple as that. But it took me like, honestly, it was last year that I really finally got my head around that. And that is when I finally embraced hiring help. Because I saw like, I needed to be spending most of my week doing $10,000 an hour tasks and $1,000 an hour tasks. But my week was so full of the lower value tasks that I wasn’t going to get ahead. So it just came down to math. And it helped because it removed so much of the emotion that I had attached to like, oh my goodness, like, but how much is it going to cost me to hire someone? And can I even do this? And should I be doing this? And like, Oh, it’s amazing how emotional we make it. But really, it’s actually a business decision. It’s very strategic. It’s just about math. So sit down and do the math.
We need to move on to number 10. The quickest way to become the go to expert is to be the go to expert. Yes, I’m finishing on one that sounds a bit cryptic. But don’t worry, you know, I’ll explain. So everyone wants to become the go-to expert in their niche, but you’re not necessarily embodying and showing up as that go-to expert. And you’ve got to really ask yourself, like, what would the go-to expert do? There are so many different ways that we can look at this. I mean, there’s different kinds of approaches, like some of it is going to be internal is just like really owning your expert status. But I know that’s not helpful. You’re like that’s not tangible. How do I do that? So let’s talk about some of the other things. Being the go to expert means you actually being that person available there that’s of service that is showing up and sharing their knowledge and being ready to serve, essentially. The go to expert pops up in searches when their audience is looking to solve a problem. So whether they’re on Google or they’re on YouTube, or even, you know, LinkedIn, they’re typing in problems, and oh, my goodness, look, this person just keeps popping up. Every time I need something, I keep seeing that person pop up or, you know, I’m on someone else’s community and suddenly they’re doing a guest topic or they’ve been tagged, they’ve been referenced, that is being the go to expert. You know, it’s just really trying to embody and it’s not easy, because a lot of the time and this is why I put this one in, a lot of the time, we are waiting to feel like the expert before we start showing up as the expert because of the imposter syndrome. So you know, we’re not sharing the kinds of content that we really should be sharing. We’re playing it very safe. We’re like we’re doing paint by numbers content instead of sharing polarizing opinions and actually being honest about how we feel about the industry. You know, we’re not boldly selling like saying, hey, I’m here, and I’m here to serve, here’s how you can work with me. Instead, we’re just dancing around it. And I’m calling myself out here too, because I do the same thing. I dance around things. And I kind of hint at how people can work with me. And sometimes I realize, oh, my goodness, like when’s the last time you actually just said, Hey, want to work with me? Here’s how it can happen. But I think it’s something we need to we probably need to talk about a lot more, because there’s obviously like, there’s lots of elements to this from the self belief factor of trying to be that go-to expert to the actual strategy of like, how do I do this? How do I get Seen? I mean, it’s literally why I created my framework.
So I’m not going to go on anymore, because this episode is already twice as long as I’d planned. But damn, if I knew a few of these things a few years earlier, I’d be in a really different position right now. So please, please don’t just listen to this and then do nothing about it. Like actually sit down and ask these questions go like, how am I showing up? Is there anything here that Kat talked about that is really calling me out from my current behaviors? Because I’m here to help like that, that is my thing. I want to help and I want my free content to help as well as the content that you get when you work with me in like a formal capacity. So let me know how it went, screenshot this episode and share it on your stories and tag @iamkatelizabeth and let me know what you thought and I will obviously reshare it and you know, give you a shout out on my socials. And let me know again, like I said, if there’s anything else you would like to learn, or hear about in upcoming episodes, I’m all ears. So just drop me a message and I’d be happy to add it to my list and I’m looking forward to next week planning on being here despite drowning in systems setting up. So if you don’t hear from me, I mean, I did actually drown in Air table and Zapier automations but think of me fondly while I’m gone. Alright, thanks for listening. Bye for now.