Whilst I was on leave for 2 weeks recently, I asked my VA to look after my inbox.

As always, she did a grand job, and I came back from time off refreshed, revitalised and recharged.

I also returned to a nice full set of pre/postnatal classes, with me hardly having to lift a finger.

Now, it wasn’t until I looked at my pregnancy fitness class register on my first day back, that I realised:

a) I had 8 new starters on my pregnancy fitness class (nice one), and

b) no, I didn’t have ANY personal contact with 8 new starters via email myself

So, that means that every single one of those pregnancy fitness class ladies landed on my website, filled in their registration form, paid the full course fee and booked themselves on – no questions asked.

Email tennis back and forth: zero.

For Mummies and Buggies this particular course intake:

a) I had 2 new starters who were ex-pregnant clients, and

b) yes, I had personal contact with them BOTH, but literally, all they needed to know was when they could start, so my VA handled that for me

Email tennis score: shall we call it “30 – love”?

Similarly, for my pregnancy Pilates classes, I calculated that:

a) I had 10 new starters for my pregnancy Pilates class (with 5 re-enrolments from the previous course who all paid a month ago), and

b) yes, I had personal contact with 3 of those new clients (mostly AFTER they’d purchased, I might point out).

Email tennis score: I don’t know what the score is now, but I think I certainly won the first set, wouldn’t you agree?!

So, that means that 75% of the NEW attendees who started class the week I got back:

a) filled in their form,

b) paid, and

c) received confirmation from my VA that their space was reserved

And, it was a measly 25% who asked me a specific question, which with a bit of prompting – my VA can easily answer, because she’s awesome.

Want to know WHY you’re playing email tennis with prospective clients?

Well, I can’t say this clearly enough:

YOUR BOOKING SYSTEM SUCKS

You HAVE to make it simple, easy and as un-technologically challenging for clients to book and pay for your services as possible.

End of.

Do me a favour: grab a piece of paper, go over to your website, and write down the steps prospective clients have to take to book on your classes from home page, to dropdown tab, to link etc.

If one of those steps involves:

“Email me for course dates and space availability”, or

“Email me for your health screening form”

Then, can you see how you’re really just making work for yourself here?

If you regularly update your website with a note to say:

“Spaces are available from XXX 2019″…

…it’s like holding up a big sign that says “Come right on in – book your spot now”, isn’t it?

If you had a Virtual Assistant onboard, do you think you could get your business working for you like I am, or is it just a distant dream?

Are you constantly answering emails from your phone?

Do those close to you accuse you of always being on your phone?!

It sucks, doesn’t it, because you’re trying to be as responsive to everyone around you as possible, but eventually something has got to give.

Learning how to work more efficiently in your business is a great starting point.

And, I can help!

Check out my “Managing You HQ” program where I show you step-by-step how to improve your productivity so you can spend more time working ON your business and less time IN it.

DOORS TO “MANAGING YOU HQ” ARE NOW OPEN! Click here to jump onboard!

 

A lot of women’s wellness experts have this fascination with “taking their business online”, and in theory, an online product provides you with a pretty sweet passive income.

Once you’ve created the content, you just sell it over and over without having to reinvent the wheel.

And, the other positive is: you’re not working directly face-to-face with clients.

Bonus.

Is it really that simple though?

Not in my experience, no.  Sorry to be the bearer of bad news there.

I was watching a thread unfold in a private Facebook group recently between an instructor who’s just recently gone back to teaching her classes after having baby, and other teachers in the group who have somewhat successful online programs.

Taking your business online does not necessarily solve the problem of bringing in extra capital, if you’re currently only just about breaking even with your face-to-face services.

In fact, if you’re making only a miniscule amount in your 1-2-1 sessions or classes – you have three options: put your prices up, search for a cheaper facility to hire, or cram more clients in to your classes and/or diary.  End of.

Online takes constant attention and marketing, and if you think that by simply putting your program up on your website will make it sell – you’re delusional.

Going back to said instructor above, a lot of us in the group kindly and matter-of-factly talked her out of setting up online, mainly because it’s not the easy ride you think it is.

Anyone who’s anyone who’s set up an online offering knows this, and if you’ve done this yourself – my hat goes off to you.

She thought it would solve all of her issues with childcare fees, hall costs and getting bums on seats, until we explained the constant cycle of launching and re-launching, the fundamentals of list building, the constant churn of new information, having a presence online all the time and marketing funnels.

I don’t want to put you off here, because I’ve no doubt your stuff is good – you change and saves lives every other day, so why not get your content out there to the masses, eh?

Your first launch is generally one of your best, particularly if you’ve built up some hype about this shiny new product coming out, before launch day.

There’s a tip right there: if you’re thinking of creating an online program, work out how many weeks it’ll take you to produce, film and edit it, and every week leading up to that point, you want to be promoting it.

Suddenly announcing your program is now LIVE, isn’t going to cut it.

It’s the build up of excitement beforehand that piques people’s interest, the list building, and all of the Facebook lives, blog posts and email marketing you’ve done in the pre-launch phase that teases out content that’s going to help, ok?

The reason you don’t have an online program or any product suite to think of is because you probably lack the time to create, write, edit, market, launch, sell and maintain it.

You may also not possess the required technical skills to get your program on the online shelf too.

Am I right?

Pretty close, huh?

As Marie Forleo says: “Everything is figure-out-able”, so the technical side of things is not as hard as you think.

Put it this way: if I learnt the steps to film, edit, upload and share a video, you can too.

Selling online products isn’t easy, and if I see one more Facebook advert popping up on my feed that says “Launch Your Next Online Product Without The Stress “, I am going to scream.

You need to be prepared for technical issues, people not being able to login and access your content because they’ve typed their email address in incorrectly when they paid (yep this does happen), and what you’re going to do if someone asks for a refund.

What level of support do you want to offer to those who purchase?  A Facebook group where you provide 24/7 commenting?

Aren’t you already spending enough time at your laptop already with your face-to-face clients?

It pays to think about these things.

And, you’ve got to do your numbers too.  You need to know how many units of your program you need to sell to break even.

So, yes budgeting certainly comes into play here too – you’ve got to do some forecasting for sure.

The time of year you open the cart depends on sales, so think wisely.  Had you even thought about this?

Everyone who’s anyone launches in September if they’re in the Northern Hemisphere, so do you really want to fight for that space, or could you fast forward or delay things so it’s a few months either side of that instead?

What happens when you launch and it doesn’t go as successfully as you’d hoped?  Well, usually, you saddle up, get right back on the horse and work out why.

Was the price point too high?  Did you really give enough free info away before the launch?  Were you selling to a warm or cold audience?  Did you really put in the work?

Are you willing to do a tonne of work for free behind-the-scenes to get your program online?

Because if you’re not, or you don’t have the time available, we’re back to delusional again here, I’m afraid.

I know this may not be exactly what you want to hear right now, but I’m hoping I’ve given you some food for thought as far as the future direction of your business.

I want you to crunch some numbers right now, ok?

So, open up a new spreadsheet, work out the price point of your new online program, then work out which classes/face-to-face services you no longer want to do, or want to scale back on.

Next calculation is to work out how much money you make currently with the face-to-face work.

Now, how many online programs will you need to sell to replace that income over one year?

It’s kind of eye-opening, huh?

I’d love to hear your numbers and your feedback, so post a comment below and let me know if getting an online program up and running is feasible for you as we go into the next half of 2018, or not.

If one of the reasons you’re NOT currently able to take your business online is because of lack of time

…you need to learn to work more efficiently in your business.

Are you spending hours on admin every day?

Do those close to you often say: “You’re always on your phone!”?

You need some better time management skills there, by the sounds of it – and I can help!

Learning how to work more efficiently in your business is a great starting point.

And, I can help!

Check out my “Managing You HQ” program where I show you step-by-step how to improve your productivity so you can spend more time working ON your business and less time IN it.

Doors open again later this year, so click here to be the first to know when they do!

Over the last 6 years, I’ve successfully launched 10+ online products for 4 different audiences, and one thing I’m particularly aware of as wellness specialists is our strive for absolute perfection.

Can I just get you to take a step back for a moment and ask yourself if it really matters if your online product looks amazing the first time you get it out there?

Really what matters is the fact that you get your program off the shelf and selling.

And, secondly, what your product does is it solves a problem; helps someone in need; and delivers great content in an easy-to-understand way.

So above all – you’re helping the right people succeed, change their lives and/or better themselves in some way through your teaching.

If you’re waiting for your program to be perfect – it won’t happen.

Why?

Well, because if your program is perfect, you’ll never actually finish it.

You’ll constantly pick it to pieces and you’ll go into a spiral of self-doubt and never actually make money off this amazing idea you’ve had all of this time?

In business, you do need to get over your imperfections.

Now, unless you’re really lucky, you do have competition, don’t you?

This is what keeps us driving forward, because if we weren’t competing, things would actually be pretty boring, wouldn’t they?

Have you ever had a great idea for a program pop into your head at 2am in the morning?

hands typing on a computerOnly for you to discover disappointingly, that months later, someone else launches a product incredibly similar to the one you wanted to – right under your nose?

Flipping frustrating, isn’t it?

That’s a missed opportunity right there.

So, your task today is simple:

  • map out your content if you haven’t already done so,
  • block out some time over the next month to film/write/produce/edit your content,
  • decide on what platform you’ll use to collect payments,
  • finalise any logos/branding if you feel you need them (see how this step isn’t actually crucial to success?),
  • create your sales page,
  • record and edit 2-3 videos that educate or address the issues your client is facing right now,
  • write a few blog posts/sales letters that answer questions your ideal client has about the content you’re sharing with them,
  • compile a list of Facebook live segments you could film to help promote and/or release tips aligned with your program,
  • set a date for launch, and then finally…
  • launch that f**ker!

(apologies about the language used in that last line there, but it did just make you sit up and pay attention, didn’t it?!)

These are things NOT to worry about:

  • people sharing links to your private YouTube videos only accessible to members of your program – that’s easy, you just upload your videos as “unlisted”, “private” or on Vimeo behind an email or password
  • not knowing how to share a pdf, word or other document with clients, other than as an attachment to an email – that’s simple, you just upload the file to AmazonS3, Dropbox or Google Drive and you share the link from there
  • cringing at the quality of your video/audio – easy fixed, you make sure you have natural light coming into your face for video, and if you’re recording an audio file, the voice recording function on your smart phone will do just nicely there if you wear ear buds and minimise background noise
  • thinking you need fancy pants audio and visual equipment – don’t stress, most smart phones offer good quality, particular the non-selfie facing camera – it’s only if you’re standing a long distance away where your voice needs to be picked up, that you may need to invest in a wireless lapel mic
  • not having sophisticated software for screen capture for your PowerPoint presentations – no problems, just purchase SnagIt which is pretty inexpensive, or record your content via Zoom which is a pretty inexpensive webinar style platform

The technical stuff is really not that difficult to get your head around, and to be honest, once you’ve done it the first time – it becomes so much easier after that.

So, what is it YOU’RE going to do today to get your product a little closer to launch?

Can I give you a tip here?

Grab your diary and fast forward how every many days, weeks or months you think you’ll need to record, produce and launch your program.

If you’ve estimated 6 months, that will NOT happen!

To give you an idea: I knocked up 2 years worth of content for my next online program in a little over 2 weekends.

Sometimes you’ve got to set yourself deadlines that are scary, and my best advice if you’re considering getting something out there is to launch ugly.

Then, once you’ve launched that same program 2-3 times throughout the year, you’ll have collected amazing testimonials and you can then invest a bit more time and money in making your product look more sophisticated.

You’re still good at what you do, and people will pay for your expertise, but if you nitpick constantly at the fact that you’re not good enough, you’ll never make it in the online world, I’m afraid.

You know the truth hurts here, so if one of the reasons you haven’t launched or even started filming your content yes is due to lack of time…

…you do know that if you had a Virtual Assistant or similar onboard, you could get your existing business working for you better so you could concentrate on your online hustle, right?

Learning how to work more efficiently in your business is a great starting point.

And, I can help!

Check out my “Managing You HQ” program where I show you step-by-step how to improve your productivity so you can spend more time working ON your business and less time IN it.

Doors will be opening again later in 2018, so sign up below to be the first to know when they do!

 

So, smart phones nowadays have an immense amount of apps available both free and paid and it’s time to take advantage of being able to have them at your fingertips.

I thought, as I’m off on leave soon, I’d share a few apps I’ll no doubt use frequently, to enable my business to run smoothly whilst I’m having some downtime.

1. Asana

Great app for scheduling tasks – a bit like an online ‘To Do List’.

Even if you don’t have a PA yourself, check it out because it’s incredibly useful project management tool.

So, say for example, you’re hosting an event soon; you have a new class starting; or you’re launching a new product – you can create a list of tasks, set a ‘due date’ for when you need to do them by, and shuffle them around, accordingly.

It really keeps you on track and I can happily go on leave and set tasks for my VA to do whilst I’m away for her to complete on or by a certain day/date in the future.

Check it out and let me know how you get on – https://asana.com/

2. What’s App

Image of hands holding a mobile phoneWhenever I’m on leave, for anything that needs my urgent attention; for when I’m short on time and couldn’t add a task to Asana before I left; or when I had a brain fart and had just completely forgotten to mention something quite basic to my VA, What’s App is brilliant!

It enables you to send a message, a photo, record a video, audio file and even video call someone using What’s App nowadays – it’s actually my favourite app.

My VA went to Paris to support another client just before I was due to go on holiday myself once, and we actually chatted using What’s App just to clarify a few bits and pieces on the To Do List, so we were both clear on everything before I jetted off on a plane, and she was busy with her French client.

https://www.whatsapp.com/

3. UpWork.com

Want to get yourself a VA?  Well, you need to check out Upwork (formerly eLance).

So often other frazzled entrepreneurs trying to do everything, ask me:

“Where did you get your VA from?”,

“How much do you pay your VA?”, and

“How many hours a week does your VA work for you?”.

So there you go.

Upwork is like an agency I guess where (all types of) freelance workers list their skills and where you, as someone searching for a VA can post a job.

So, you create a list of tasks you’d like your VA to do, set an hourly rate, suggest how many hours they’re likely to work for you per week, and then you wait for someone to reply to your advert.

The reason I’m suggesting this app is because freelancers invoice their employers weekly, and if you set everything up beforehand, your VA gets paid whilst you’re away, so no need to worry about paying them in one big chunk when you’re back – it’s all taken care of.

4. Dropbox

Dropbox is an online file-sharing platform where you and your VA can create, save and work from the same version of the same document.

It’s available in the app store for free and it’s invaluable if you want to check out say your class registers to see which classes need a bit of promotion in the weeks before you return from holidays.

(Or, if you’re like me when a new client turns up to a class randomly, and you have no idea who they are, but a quick check in the Dropbox class register soon confirms she’s supposed to be starting that day; she’s paid; she’s filled in her health screening form – and you had no idea how that happened, because your VA does all the bookings for you!)

Even if you don’t have a VA, but you want to tackle your inbox in one quick succession at an internet cafe, or perhaps you’re staying with relatives and you jump on their computer, you can answer your emails using all those jazzy email templates I’ve banged on about for years – by logging into Dropbox.

No need to carry around your memory stick or external hard drive – you just log in to Dropbox and all of your important files are stored in one place that you can access whenever, wherever you like.

Bloom And Wild

Image of tulips in a vaseAnd finally, if your VA does an amazing job whilst you’re away, why not reward them with a bunch of flowers, through the post, eh?

And, when I say ‘through the post’ I actually literally mean that.

They’re sent in a really thin cardboard box (a bit like when a book gets delivered from Amazon) straight through the letterbox.

No need to know the exact date they’ll be home – the flowers are picked when they’re still in bud form, and the receiver gets to arrange them in their own vase, all to their liking.

The flowers last and last and last too, by the way.  Like at least 3 weeks.

https://www.bloomandwild.com

And, there you have it!

My top 5 apps for increasing productivity and keeping your business on track whilst you’re on leave.

Even when you have these apps in place, you need to learn how to work more efficiently in your business, so that you can take a step back and stop feeling like you need to respond to everyone all the time.

 I can help!

Check out my “Managing You HQ” program where I show you step-by-step how to improve your productivity so you can spend more time working ON your business and less time IN it.

Doors will be opening again later this year, so click here to be the first to know when they do!

I’ve hired VA’s in my pre/postnatal fitness and marketing business for years and years.

 

Travel is one of my passions, and I take 10-12 weeks off per year to go on holiday and have some down time.

 

If you’re NOT practising a lot of self-care in your life right now, it’s only going to be a matter of time before something cracks.

 

You’ve got to get that work/life balance on – fact.

 

You became self-employed for a reason, remember?

 

But, even control freaks hire support staff, and things work out fine, so if you’re thinking: “No one could ever do that task the way I do.” – you’re wrong!

 

Do you want to know at what stage in my business I hired my first VA?

 

Want to know what sort of tasks my VA does for me?

 

Ever wondered how much I pay my VA per hour?

 

Intrigued to know why I’m actually on my fourth VA now?

 

Well, I’ve recorded a little video for you which answers all of those questions.

 

Here’s what you need to do:

 

  1. Pop your name and email in the box below
  2. Check your inbox for an email marked “Response Required”
  3. Follow the link in the email
  4. Watch the video
  5. Then, answer the questions in the video to know if NOW is the right time to hire your first VA!

 

Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and join my Facebook group here

I got back from my a 5-week trip to Australia a few weeks ago, and had just under 5 days to get myself over jet lag before returning to a full timetable of 1-2-1 sessions and classes.

Turns out, I needed more than 5 days to do that.

It also turns out the more people you mention “I have jet lag” to – the more people you come across who say “I don’t get jet lag” and, it also turns out that you realise you want to poke those people in the eye with a burnt, sharp stick.

So, in my experience, it’s probably safer to NOT mention you have it, even though you do, ok?

This past week, I’ve been relying on my support staff a lot and focussing more on “me”.

January feels like it has 73 days in it; I’m now finally over the jet lag; and I’ve a hankering to start afresh in February.

What about you?

Read More

Do you have a VA (virtual assistant)?

What sorts of tasks do they perform for you?

Are you drowning in admin and really dislike the amount of time you’re chained to your laptop answering emails?

Are there tasks you dread doing in your business which could be outsourced?

Well, now might be the time to either:

a) get yourself a virtual assistant, or
b) delegate MORE of the mundane to your existing VA

I’ve listed the very basic of tasks that your VA should be performing for you:

1. SCHEDULING OF YOUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
Come on, seriously now?

Read More

Quite honestly, I think I surprised myself with how quickly and successfully I filled the places in my new “Your Pelvic Matters” exercise class…

…and that’s why I’m going to share with you today, exactly how I did it.

I’ve done a heck of a lot of 1-2-1 and small group personal training sessions over the past 2 years using the techniques I’ve developed to help women rehabilitate their pelvic floor, but never advertised a live session for 12 participants.

Due to timetable constraints and a venue not being available, it’s been a long time coming, but it’s certainly paid off.

Let me share the tactics I used to sell out my pelvic floor exercise class in just 10 days!

 

1. SET UP A “HOT LIST”

For at least a month or so before your cart opens, start collecting emails from people who are interested in your new offering.

These prospective clients are “hot” for you right now.  You’ve obviously done something to either pique their interest, or you’ve put out some great content already that’s instilled some trust.

2. INTRO VIDEO

It took me 17 takes (har har!), but I can’t stress the importance of filming a “to camera” 2-3 minute video of you introducing what your product/service is, and specifically who it’s for.

This video can be used again and again in future launches, and it needs to be shared out to the masses, as often as possible.

Read More

Claire - repurposing blog headerOk, so you’ve got some great content going out to your pregnant and postnatal clients nowadays since the invention of social media.

Let’s see:

  • blog posts
  • testimonials
  • podcasts
  • newsletter articles
  • videos
  • hints and tips
  • research statistics
  • links to mummy/baby centred news stories
  • infographics
  • memes
  • quotes
  • pictures

…maybe you’ve even pressed ‘Go Live’ and you’ve done your first Facebook live video. Woo hoo!

Well done you.

Or, you’ve experimented a little with Instagram stories. Awesome!

All this great stuff is well-received.

Your newsletters are getting opened. Clients are replying and giving you feedback.

People are re-tweeting your posts on Twitter.

Your Instagram followers are double-tapping like crazy.

That video you shot last month got tonnes of views on Facebook *happy dance*.

Your hard work is finally getting noticed and you’re receiving gratification via ‘Likes’ on Social Media…but…

…that’s kind of where it stops, doesn’t it?

Do you want to know what the next step is, is you’ve shot a great little video, uploaded a blog post and/written a cracking newsletter article?

Ok, it’s all in the re-purposing.

What’s that mean? Well, put simply, it’s taking one piece of content, say a Facebook video, and using that same video and posting it elsewhere, to a different audience.

Here are my top tips for re-purposing your 3 main areas of content: video, blog posts and newsletters.

Ready?

Read More

Hopefully by now, you will have an active blog attached to your website.Blog 8 ways money

 

If you don’t, then I can’t tell you how much you’re really missing out!

 

Educating your pre and postnatal clients is key to building rapport and getting yourself out there as a Pre/Postnatal Specialist.

 

New mums and mums-to-be are hungry for information, what you need to do, as a pre and postnatal expert is, impart the right knowledge on them.

 

Blogging is an incredibly effective way of doing this.

 

I have 2 contacts close to me here in Nottingham who blog for a living.

 

Yes, you heard me correctly – their sole source of income is made from blogging.

 

Both had young families when they first started out, and they took a career break, deciding not to return to their high-pressured jobs once their blogs become successful.

Read More


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