When it comes to your business, you need to be as innovative, productive, and forward-thinking. There are many tools that you can utilize in order to be as creative as possible and, personally, I think mind mapping is one of those tools.
First, let’s examine what mind mapping is, mind mapping is a way of brainstorming on paper. It is extremely beneficial as it is a visual tool that stimulates creative thinking preparing you to organize, evaluate, and analyze data you create for your business ideas. It is sort of like brainstorming with yourself on paper.
To start, you place a keyword in the center of the paper that is a sort of the main character in the mind mapping system. Next, you branch out ideas from that internal word and continue to branch out new words in a circle around that original word or theme.
It is similar to choosing a theme and several subthemes or topics and subtopics. The more you extend the circles and branch them out, the more creative you will find yourself being. Mind mapping is similar to choosing a niche and then a sub-niche and then another sub-niche within a sub-niche.
Mind mapping offers several benefits. For one thing, mind mapping is a visual tool. It helps you to organize information, create new concepts and themes while stretching your imagination, and offers the possibility of analyzing and visualizing ideas on paper in a new and creative fashion.
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If you are a regular reader of my blog, you would have seen the article: How to Perform a SWOT Analysis for Your Online Business Idea, mind mapping is a great way to help you do this!
It is an excellent tool to evaluate the strengths of your company or business. By placing several key themes on paper, you can visually pinpoint where your company’s strengths are. From there, you can gain momentum by brainstorming creative and innovative ideas to enhance and maximize those strengths.
Mind mapping is also useful in examining weaknesses. Weak areas are highlighted when using mind mapping. This is useful because sometimes a discussion about weaknesses does not produce any tangible results for improvement. However, using mind mapping creates a visual board for where weaknesses lie.
If you want to explore opportunities that you can take advantage of, mind mapping is an excellent tool for this. If you have one or two tried and true ideas for success, you can create sub-categories and sub-topics for those opportunities. This, in turn, will create even bigger and more advantageous opportunities.
If your company or business has the potential for external threats, using a mind map will clearly hone in on those threats and spotlight them. This has a benefit because you can now see where you need to put your attention to ward off potential outside threats in the future.
As you can see, mind mapping is a very useful tool for assessing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It is good for your creativity, your business and your personal growth! So, let’s start mapping!
Have you ever taken an inventory of all your blog posts, videos, and other content you’ve created over the years? How many pieces do you think you’ve created, across all formats? If content creation is a part of your marketing plan, then I’m guessing you have numerous pieces taking up space on your hard drive. FREE content repurpose masterclass
Take a quick look in your hard drive, your blog dashboard, all your social media platforms, your YouTube channel, and any other private storage places you have, such as Vimeo, Amazon S3, or Dropbox. If you’re surprised at the number of content pieces, then you’ll want to take part in the Content Repurposing Masterclass”. I am hosting the masterclass Tuesday, for free, to all followers of the TVS Facebook Page!
In this masterclass, I will walk you step by step how to take all this original content and repurpose it into something brand new that your audience will love. You’ve already done the hard work by creating the content, now we’re going to tweak it and find a new use for it.
Because this is going to be hosted on the Facebook Page, this is the one and only time to access this masterclass for free.
So, join me Tuesday, September 29, 2020, at noon MDT! A room will be set up inside the group and we will start promptly at 12 pm! I’m willing to bet you’ll be surprised at how much content you can repurpose and work back into your marketing and sales plans.
Here’s to your success, I hope to see you there!
ontent Repurpose Masterclass FREE for TVS Insiders!
August has arrived! Summer is nearing its end, so let’s take advantage of the month.
Do Your Own Business Branding!
When you do your own business branding, you need to remember it is so much more than your colours and your logo but choosing colours to represent you and your company’s image is usually where more people start in the branding process. There’s no shame in choosing your own brand colours instead of hiring a designer but it’s not exactly simple. Let’s dive into an explanation of the colour wheel and how it can help narrow down your colour choices.
A colour wheel consists of colours with the following distinctions: primary, secondary, tertiary, complementary, and analogous.
- Primary colours are those which cannot be achieved by mixing other colours together. Red, blue, and yellow are primary colours.
- Secondary colours are those which can be made by mixing two primary colours. Orange, green, and purple are secondary colours.
- Tertiary colours are created by mixing primary and secondary hues together
- Complementary colours are located at direct opposite ends of the colour wheel and
- Analogous colours appear close together on a colour wheel
How does this help you and your small business? Go to the Canva colour wheel and take a look. You probably have an idea already of at least one colour you want to use in your branding, so find that colour/hue on the wheel. Now, look at the four colours next to it. Those are analogous colours that will look appealing when used together. Or find your first colour and look at the colour directly opposite. Those are complementary colours which will also be appealing together. If you use the accompanying drop-down menu, Canva will have selected the secondary colours in the above distinctions for you.
Once you make a decision on colours, Canva will show you the HEX codes for each colour. Write those down in a safe place so you use those colours consistently with your website, social media pages, and products without having to look them up numerous times. (I have them in my daytimer, sticky notes on my desktop and my business binder.)
As the famous artist, Marc Chagall once said, “All colours are the friends of their neighbours and the lovers of their opposites,” and this is certainly obvious when looking at the colour wheel itself. Choosing complimentary or analogous colours in a family that represents you and the image you want to portray is the first step toward branding your company.
Want to Learn More About the Psychology of Color? Join My Webinar…
Did you know that different colours evoke different emotions? Did you know there are warm and cool colours? Inside the TVS Workshop Facebook Group, you will find the “5 Free Tools to Build a Beautiful Brand,” training. Where I delve a little deeper into the psychology of colour and what exactly the terms “warm” and “cool” mean when speaking about colours. I’ll also show some examples of well-branded websites and share my favourite free colour wheel tools! Register here TVS Workshop.
P.S. Don’t forget to take a peek at this great article on defining your brand identity!
Do Your Own Business Branding
Do Your Own Business Branding
5 Ways to Maximize Your Presence in Facebook GroupsMaximize Your Presence in Facebook Groups
Use these tips to really maximize your presence in Facebook groups – and have the group owner love you for it.
Check Group Descriptions for Hashtags
If the group you belong to has themes for specific days of the week, make sure you check the group description to see if there’s a hashtag you should preface your theme posts with on that particular day.
Using the hashtag will not only please your group owner and moderators, but it will also ensure your post reach is targeted to those specifically searching for that hashtag (and by doing so, potentially reaching a wider audience, too).
Whenever you submit a regular type of post to a group—such as a link to your Tuesday Tech Tip—use repetition to build trust and reassurance in your post. Use the same intro (e.g. “Time for my Tuesday Tech Tip.”) Use the same graphic—for example, an avatar icon such as a smiling cartoon monkey with a wrench, or your logo.
Repetition through repeating themes or post types will soon have those who enjoyed your first few offerings looking forward to the next one and being primed to check out each new post.
Always Check Photo and Graphics Licensing
When using photographs from either free or paid stock sites, watch out for the designation, “for editorial use only.” This means a photo cannot be used for “commercial advertising purposes”—only for educational and journalistic purposes.
Remove Links in Posts
Have you ever typed the link of something you want to share into a post, only to have a graphic box appear showing your post? If that happens, you can then delete your pasted-in link text before you press “Post.” Not only will your post be nice and “clean,” the image will remain linked and take them to the post or website you wanted to share.
Note: If you find you can’t actually do this from within a group because of permissions, post the link to your page instead, and share the desired link via your page.
There you have it! Five simple ways to boost your visibility in public Facebook Groups, without upsetting the admin.
Do you have any other tips you would like to share? Comment below and tell me – I’d love to hear from you!
5 Ways to Maximize Your Presence in Facebook Groups
For new entrepreneurs, in nearly any field, product creation is the best way to:
• Reach a wider audience
• Grow your brand
• Earn more profits
So why aren’t more adopting the product creation strategy? Like I was, they’re most likely stuck in the process, unsure of the steps to take to create a great product.
Step 1: Identify a Need
As a business owner, you already have great insight into the wants and needs of your ideal client. You chat with her on Facebook, answer her email questions, respond to the comments she leaves on your blog, you may even work with her one-on-one.
What is it she needs the most help with right now? This is the product you should be creating because you already know you have a built-in audience and there is a good chance she is not the only one out there that needs it.
Step 2: Gather Your Documentation
If you’ve been in business for more than a few weeks, chances are you already have all of the answers required—all you have to do it organize them. Some places to look for content you can re-purpose include:
- Your blog
- Emails, even your auto-responder
- Previous client calls and experiences
- Your social media accounts
- YouTube channel
- Your checklists and worksheets
All of these things (and many more) can be edited and organized into a comprehensive product that solves a serious issue and you can do it in less time than you might think. After all, you already have the bulk of the work done!
Step 3: Create the Solution
Now that you have your content, it’s time to put it together in a way that will make sense to your audience.
- Write a Kindle book? This is an excellent option for solving a very focused, single problem. Even better, Kindle books offer a fabulous opportunity to reach a wider audience.
- Create a membership site? For a comprehensive, step-by-step course, you can’t beat the flexibility of a membership site.
- Offer a group programs? Add personal time with you to your membership site and you’ve got an instant group program. Not only that but you’ve dramatically upped the value (and cost) as well.
[Tweet “”Nike doesn’t want to make products for everyone – they want to make products for champions.” Simon Sinek”]
Your choice will depend largely on the scope of the solution. Is it a simple answer that can be explained in a few pages or is it a complex issue that requires several weeks of work?
Remember, creating a product doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Sure, you can design a massive, all-inclusive course if you like, but when you’re just getting started, that’s a daunting prospect. Instead, work with what you already have and you’ll have your first product up and selling in no time.
Do You Have a Business or a Hobby
I see it all the time, someone has made the decision to start their own business, so they build a website, start selling their product, and jump right in! It is excellent, it is brave, it isn’t always the right thing. Online business owners can easily “open their doors for business” without a firm business plan in place. Some may test the waters to see if they attract any clients and some start out doing this online work as a side gig while working their full-time job.
If this is how you opened your business and now you are in elbows deep, are you able to tell if you have a business or if it is still just a hobby?
My first business started as a hobby, I loved taking photos of my kids. A hobby traditionally is an activity that pleases you and you do in your spare time. A business, on the other hand, provides a service or products to clients, has business hours, and strives to make a profit.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine if you are working a business or a hobby:
- Do you have firm business hours or are you working sporadic hours as your family or full-time job allows?
- Do you make the most of your business hours or work time, working as efficiently as possible, or do you get distracted by social media or other behind-the-scenes tasks?
- Do you have a business plan, even for one year, which includes expected profits?
- Do you make opportunities happen or do you wait for them to come to you?
- Do you withdraw every penny from your account after clients pay or do you give yourself a pay structure and reinvest some of your profits into software, training, or other business expenses?
If you were unsure before, you should have an idea now about if your business is indeed a business.
You don’t need a business degree to start a business; sometimes a unique product idea or a strong desire to offer services is enough to get started. Hiring a business coach or mentor will be helpful. They will assist you in setting up your company to grow and generate profits. You don’t know what you don’t know. Without a business coach, you will make a lot of trial and error mistakes, some of which could cost you substantial amounts of money. I know this from experience. Instead of closing your eyes and hoping for the best, work with a coach to create a business plan. They will help guide you through the next steps. A good coach will be able to help you and provide tried and true business advice and strategies.
Also, your business coach will also serve as your accountability partner. Someone who wants to hear from you about your progress and who will call you out when you don’t do as you promised. Often knowing someone is expecting results is enough to spur people into action because they don’t want to let down the coach.
If you’re ready to work with a business coach and ready to turn that hobby into a business, I’ve got some openings in my calendar for new clients so reach out to me to book your discovery call.
Do You Have a Business or a Hobby
Do You Have a Business or a Hobby
With the internet making the world a smaller place, it’s easy to think that networking can be done through social media and social media alone.
However, even with those you meet on social media, you still need to find a way to have face-to-face meetings, when possible. Here are 5 reasons why there are advantages to face to face networking.
Gives that personal touch.
Having face-to-face meetings is more personal and will give you a better way to show who your true self. It’s hard to see what someone’s personality is when you can’t see or hear them. If you want your personality to shine, then you need to have those face-to-face meetings.
Builds stronger relationships
We all crave human connection and when we get it, it builds stronger relationships. You can think a person is great when you meet them online, but to see them in action and be a part of their energy creates a better and more inviting experience.
It is hard to build a strong relationship with someone if you’ve never shared physical space. In person, you get to see how they connect with other people and truly know how strong your connection is with them.
Provides Immediate feedback
If all of your meetings are done through email or on social media, then you don’t get that immediate and direct feedback that you do when you’re face to face. You also can’t tell someone’s tone or demeanour if everything is done through typing. This makes it very easy to misconstrue someone’s intent or what they were saying.
When you are discussing something in person, then the exchange you have will go differently. There’s more give and take, so to speak. It’s just faster this way.
Ability to Read Body Language
There’s a way that we communicate in person that just cannot be expressed on the internet. You can read someone’s body language; you can pick up on sarcasm better when you can hear the tone of someone’s voice or see their face. You just learn so much about a person by seeing their mannerisms.
You might think you are being very clear when you communicate on the internet, but how someone else interprets can be entirely different. This is why emotions fly and things get so heated on the internet. A simple misunderstanding escalates into something out of your control.
Using social media to network is great but it is still important to get out there and make personal connections. Whether it be at local business events or you find ways to meet up with your online connections, it’s crucial to create face-to-face meetings to strengthen those connections and build your business.
Now, I want to hear from you! How often do you get out to a local networking event or see your customers face-to-face? Share below in the comment section or join the conversation in the Facebook group.
Creating a website for a new business? If so, you may be wondering which is the best choice – website or blog. The answer isn’t as complicated as you may think. Here are a few things to consider when choosing for you and your business goals.
Business model and purpose
Both websites and blogs, particularly a WordPress blog, can support just about any type of business model. WordPress developers have created plug-ins that can turn any WordPress blog into an e-commerce site, a membership site and more.
However, these plug-ins and add-ons can be more of a hassle than it’s worth. And finding the right plug-in may be a trial and error process. Believe me – I have gone through a lot of trials and made a lot of errors!
If your business model relies on the publishing of timely information, then a blog is likely better. However, if your business is meant to sell a product or service, then a website may be a better choice.
Maintenance and time
How much time do you have to devote to the upkeep and maintenance of your business? A blog still relies on consistently publishing content. Despite contrary “rules” about blogging, you don’t have to blog every day or several times a day.
Just keep in mind, people who subscribe to blogs do expect regular installments of new content. You can schedule your posts. However, it does require a bit more maintenance on your end. Whereas, a website can be left alone for a month or two without any issues.
Personality and ease of use
Some of your decision will be based on your personality. What format do you prefer to use? A blog is straightforward and easy to update and utilize. You may need help to find, install and set up the right plug-ins. You may also need help customizing a theme or adding a custom header. By and large, blogs are very easy to use.
Websites can be trickier for some. That being said, many website developers and design software make the user interface quite simple. You can modify pages and add content without needing to learn or understand a design language.
Quite often a blog and a website work well together. A website sells. A blog drives traffic and brands the business. A blog can speak to a niche within your niche.
For example, General Motors has a central website. They also have a blog that is car talk. It’s for car enthusiasts and its run by a head honcho at GM. He loves cars. The blog helps brand General Motors and it connects prospects and customers to the business, it also builds a community.
Before you decide whether a blog or a website is right for you, consider the above. What’s the purpose of your site? What will offer the best customer experience? What will be most comfortable for you to use and maintain? Finally, what will best help you achieve your goals?
If you decide that blogging is in your future, check out these 52 Blog Ideas for your business to help get you started!
To your success!