The majority of ones time in this world of blogging and selling products online is spent in the isolation of a home or workplace office and in front of a computer screen. Trust me on this, a computer screen is not a great lunch or break companion. I would love to tell you that the computer or it’s screen does not talk back to you but in my case it does, usually several times an hour. If you want to feel really dumb, try talking back to your computer screen. In a matter of seconds you will realize this is not an argument you are going to win.
I came to this business after 53 years of one to one consulting over a cosmetic counter or in a department store dressing room. 53 glorious years of being in a happy and “I really need to have that product” business. Nothing will stop a woman from buying the latest shade of lipstick or the latest must have fashion garment.
When I first started in Internet Marketing, picking up emails was exciting. People from across the globe could contact you instantly. They had valuable information to share with you or they wanted your opinion on something important to them. Then came spam and computer robots. Email pickup became a frustrating and nonproductive chore.
Of course, we can’t forget the introduction of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest and a dozen other social media companies. They translated into another five+ things you needed to do each day in order to have a successful business.
Put the time for email pickup, usually one hour on average and the two and one half hours of posting to social media together and you are up to three and one half hours of frustration.
Add another hour or two it takes to write your posts, tweets, take your selfies or collect photographs to include in your posts and you have a grand total of five and one half hours. Granted, busy time, but totally unproductive time. Okay, I get it. Being on social media may produce a sale or two each week, make you visible to other marketers and stroke your ego, but will it really provide you with a living?
Yes – if you have a team of people you outsource all the different areas of your IM business to with you standing at the forefront of said team and conducting them like an orchestra.
No – not for me. As a one person business it is impossible to spend five hours a day on email/social media and continue to write books, information products, website development and do the general business administration required.
So in keeping with what every business must do to be successful, I am taking the month of December to seriously think about and plan out how I will conduct my business in 2016.
The first thing I am doing is spending an hour a day unsubscribing from mailing list I have little or no interest in. That should wipe out 99 percent of my email. I have become lethal in the process, asking myself the same questions as each email comes in.
- Will this person or offer move my business forward in 2016?
- If I am in doubt, I star the email and sleep on the decision until tomorrow. I have yet to have one starred email make the cut for me to remain a subscriber. Of course we are only in day 8 of December.
- How well does this person communicate? Is there ever anything remotely personal or is it just sell, sell?
- If in doubt, I go back and seriously reevaluate the quality of the last two or three products I have previously purchased from them. That is usually a real deal breaker. Very few products end up being what you think or hope they will be.
- I am being extremely protective about the webinars or classes I sign up for or purchase. I have precious little time to work the email/social media machine, actual product development and implementation plus trying to master another course of study. Hence the limited number of 5 under the updates tab mentioned below.
- Ask myself one of the hardest questions to answer – for me anyway. Do I really need yet another blog planner or template – even if it is free? My hard drive is full of them – unused. Using software like Microsoft Notebook or Word works great. Get use to using the copy and paste function and you will never return to paper.
My goal for this endless exercise is simple.
- Keep my professional online friends, family members and friends under the Primary Gmail tab.
- Keep no more than five Internet Marketers under the Updates Gmail tab.
- For the most part ignore the Social Gmail tab, checking on it once a week at most.
- End up with a 100% empty inbox by the end of the day – every day. I know, for those of you thinking, “it didn’t work the last time she tried that, why does she think it will work this time?” Your right, I failed miserably the last time. What’s different this time? The goal of streamlining my business to a simple, strategically focused and manageable business model or shut it down completely.
My next business goal is to strategically plan my product development. No more doing it on a whim or on the fly. I worked on this three month in advance schedule when I was working for magazines and in TV production. It is a proven success model, but not for those of us with procrastination as a middle name.
The products I have planned for 2016 are governed by theme and the scheduled launch date. Right now I am working on February themed products that MUST be complete by December 30th. and put online by January 1st.
When you take a calendar and work backwards from the online launch date it is empowering. You know what you need to write and when. You know when that website needs to be completely populated with the posts, articles and pages you will need to make your sales process successful.
Wow, now there is a concept – plan things out, work in advance and have everything ready by the launch date.