Most people are working from home during this crazy time #WFH. Today we’re talking about how to work on your business from home.
What’s In This Episode?
- Spring Clean – work on overlooked projects (2:40)
- Assess Your Online Platforms (8:50)
- Optimise Your Marketing Budget (13:05)
- Stay Relevant To Your Audience (15:40)
- Look For Ways To Help (16:45)
- Think Long-Term (17:35)
Maximise Your #WFH Life
Josh: So most people are isolating and working from home, and so on today’s episode we’re going to be talking about how to maximize your working from home life.
Welcome to Creative Juices the show where we help you feel personally confident about your online presence. I’m your host Josh and today I am joined by Julz.
Julz: Hey Josh!
Josh: How’s the isolation treating you?
Julz: Isolating! No, honestly it’s too bad mate.
Josh: So we are continuing our series to help businesses in their online presence throughout this crazy turbulent time.
Josh: And so most people are working from home.
Josh: Most people are, including us!
Julz: Including us, which is actually kind of normal for us to be honest.
Josh: But it’s not normal for everyone else. People are working out how do I do this with kids around, how do I stick to my normal schedule?
Julz: So I feel like we’re kind of slightly more prepared maybe than other people.
Josh: Absolutely! And so a lot of businesses, and particularly the businesses that we’re working with have found themselves with a lot more time because there is unfortunately less work and less clients.
Julz: Yeah. Doors have closed and yeah, stuck at home. Can’t get their hands on their clients and things like that.
Josh: And so now during this time, how do we as business owners, how do you as business owners continue to work on your business and grow your business? Because this is really just a temporary situation. By the end of this we are going to come out at the end of this and the question is will your business be the same, will it be better or will it have suffered some sort of loss?
Julz: Yeah, and I think that even like psychologically having that shift from getting out of your routine and instead of driving to your office and things like that, and then waking up in your PJs, going to your office and trying to crack in, it can be quite difficult. So hopefully some of these tips will help assist people.
Josh: And so, speaking of that, have you seen all of those videos of people in Zoom meetings with no pants on and stuff?
Josh: It’s hilarious!
Julz: I’ve been tempted but….
Josh: And so today we’re going to be talking about how you can maximize your work from home life. There’s a hashtag trending #WFH.
Julz: I haven’t actually used it yet but I plan to. Maybe today I will!
Josh: And so, the very first thing is, of course, of course this is about working on your business and growing your business during this time. And the first one is taking care of spring cleaning.
Josh: What does that even mean?
Julz: Well I think, you know, all business owners have those little niggling projects in the background. They just sit there and they never quite get done you know what I mean?
Josh: The priority list!
Julz: The priority list.
Josh: The priority list that just keeps slipping.
Julz: Yeah, and then somebody comes with a higher priority or at least in their world it’s a higher priority and interrupts your priority so, you know.
Josh: Yeah. This is what I’ve noticed. People never ask you to achieve your priorities.
Julz: No. Never!
Josh: It’s always help me with my priorities, which in the service industry is obviously important…
Julz: A great thing. It’s a good thing…
Josh: …um but there are those things that get missed.
Julz: Yeah, yeah. So working on your overlooked projects. So that could be, yeah, like I said projects could be internal systems, could be your processes, current offerings, you know stuff like that.
Josh: So we as NCC, we actually have a few days a week that we actually spend working on our own business right?
Julz: Try to. Mostly it’s Fridays and maybe half of Friday.
Josh: Yeah and so we sit down and we usually use a whiteboard and we draw out…
Julz: …old school…
Josh: …for the future, what will this look like? How can we help our clients? How can we grow NCC.
Josh: And so, that’s what we’re talking about right?
Julz: Yeah. Exactly!
Josh: And so, what are some of some examples of some spring cleaning changes that we can look at?
Julz: It could be…. what are some examples….
Josh: Current offerings possibly?
Julz: Current offerings. Exactly! So you know, what are you actually putting out? What’s going out to the public even right now in terms of your business or your service? Or don’t forget that you’ve got an ad running that maybe was running before Corona hit and you better check on that thing and make sure that….
Josh: Absolutely! We actually came across one of these last week or the week before.
Josh: A travel company who forgot to pause their Facebook ad campaign, which was funny because people were like commenting on it going is this a joke?
Julz: Yeah, yeah.
Josh: And people are getting so up in arms about it and so offended at it. And so it’s about looking at your current offerings. Is it insensitive what you’re putting out there?
Julz: Yeah, true!
Josh: The other things are particularly in the health space, because we work with the health space a lot, are your systems and processes actually ready for things such as telehealth?
Julz: Yeah, well I came across this one just a couple of days ago actually, and a client, a potential client jumped on a call and realized that their booking system for starters wasn’t working and their secondary, it wasn’t prepared for this shift to telehealth, and things which we spoke about, you know in another podcast. But now it’s kind of like that you’ve got an opportunity now to either keep it as is and just wait for this whole thing to blow over and just continue on using the same system, and the same, you know processes and things, or are you going to adapt and make your business better now…
Julz: ….and come out the other end going well I’ve just streamlined all of that and this helped me reduce my admin costs, and it helps my website grow, and you’ve actually just built your business. So that’s a challenging question, and she did. She went away. She was I’ve got a little bit to think about now, but a great opportunity to be able to do that. And if it wasn’t actually for this crisis, they probably never would have because she hasn’t touched that website in five years!
Josh: Five years!!
Julz: Five years!
Josh: She needs to listen to one of our earlier podcasts about taking care of your site!
Julz: I know right?
Josh: So other things come up as well. So things like your follow up processes and your communication, like your automated communication to your clients that you may have set up in your booking system or your MailChimp like years ago but you haven’t looked at. Things such as that, like client relations and lead nurturing those kind of processes that maybe you automated years ago, maybe it’s time to relook at them.
Julz: Yeah. And you touched on something just then communication period. Like there are some people that just are not even communicating. I think it’s absolutely vital in this time for you to be communicating with your staff, with your customers, with your clients, with the general public. They’re so key!
Josh: Yeah. I know for sure, particularly your team. Like your business can’t work without your team. And so when you come back you want your team to be to be still engaged, and still up with your mission, and still actually wanting to work for you.
Josh: And so in Australia, I know for sure that the government just released a grant for employers to provide some payment to their employees.
Julz: Yeah! Good on you ScoMo!
Josh: Yeah and so, but the thing is, is that employers aren’t communicating that to their employees.
Julz: Yeah, It’s confusing!
Josh: Employees are getting worried, so over-communicate! That’s really the key here.
Josh: We do know one guy that over communicates and it takes a lot of effort for him but that over communication has truly brought stability to his team. And I can see it from the outside looking in that team morale is super-high so….
Josh: Absolutely! Because where you’re uninformed, that’s where fear comes in. I mean, you just look at people who only read the news off their Facebook feed.
Julz: Yeah! I know, right?
Josh: They’re usually the ones that read Facebook and then go in and magpie all the toilet paper!
Julz: Ah yes, well…
Josh: Which kind of leads to the next one, which is assessing your online platforms. If we’re saying you need to take a good look at your projects and your processes, the main area of this is your online platforms.
Julz: Yeah. That probably starts with your website foundationally and, you know, is that platform even working for you? Obviously, I mean we’ve got our test your site thing on our website which you can go and run one for free. So yeah, starts with the foundational thing of your website, but it’s also looking at your SEO, and your blogging, and your content, and all that good stuff.
Josh: We’ve been asked before isn’t SEO dead?
Julz: No! Not right now it’s not! I’ll tell you what now. What we found was that keyword telehealth that we looked into had just skyrocketed!
Julz: And so anybody that’s using that is going to be found, and anybody who thinks that SEO’s dead is…. Don’t listen to them people! Don’t listen to them!
Josh: The websites that were optimized for search engines before all of this happened are suddenly being ranked way higher, because the SEO was already set up properly.
Julz: And we’re seeing that in our own analytics and now in traffic and things like that.
Josh: I mean can you just imagine having a website that your business was already running telehealth. Suddenly that keyword’s getting searched for a lot. Google sees that you’ve been using that keyword for years. You know they’re going to prefer you over everyone else!
Julz: So we published a blog post, check this, we publish a blog post two weeks ago and with that SEO focused targeted keywording and it literally, that blog post alone doubled our website traffic just from using it, in two weeks.
Julz: So SEO is not dead!
Josh: And so, this is the time to assess your website, to assess your SEO. Like that client that you were just talking to the other day, who hadn’t looked at her website for five years. This is the time to look at your site! Is it working for you or is it working against you? Like you mentioned you can’t test that on our website which we’ll link in the show notes. The other thing is all of your other online platforms, social media for example. Don’t rush your advertising.
Josh: You saw this the other day?
Julz: I’ve been seeing heaps of it! It’s like all of a sudden the people are just like, oh everybody’s on their phones, screen time is probably going through the roof so I’m just going to push out this crazy ad that I’ve slapped together in like Correll Draw or something like that.
Josh: Paint. Microsoft Paint!
Julz: Microsoft Paint! That’s what it looks like but it’s just unprofessional, and it looks rushed, it doesn’t look like I could trust that person with my credit card details! Do you know what I mean?
Julz: So don’t rush the advertising out there!
Josh: And so, here’s a good like balance for social media. If you’re sponsoring a post, if you’re throwing money at a certain campaign make that campaign quality! Make that campaign good! Your stories, the content that isn’t there forever, so the 24 hour Instagram stories, Facebook stories, that is the place to be real. That is the place where it doesn’t have to be a hundred percent polished and you can build trust, and put a face to the name of your company. But advertising that you’re paying for, make it look good. Brand it!
Julz: And again, coming back to that whole insensitivity thing, like just be aware of the circumstance. I think that we’re all seeing these ads and things and it’s like people are preying on like….
Josh: Our fear…
Julz: ….our fear basically and it just makes me cringe you know. I just I keep scrolling. I just can’t handle it!
Josh: Yeah, and we’re in that world!
Josh: There’s so many opportunistic people, and it’s just it’s just giving your business a bad name.
Julz: Yeah. Rise above it!
Josh: Rise above it! So and the next thing is this, is that on the lines of advertising and online platforms, optimize your marketing budget now!
Julz: Yeah! Well we’ve encouraged all of our clients to do this. A lot of them have had to pivot really quickly and so that includes marketing budget. The one thing that we’ve encouraged is not to scrap it, because that’s going to do more damage, but it’s being smart about it. And so having that optimizer or really looking at your strategy.
Josh: And so some questions you ask yourself is, is that billboard that you’re paying for worth it? No, because everyone’s in their house, everyone’s racking up their screen time and so double down on those online platforms!
Julz: So keep the Billboard but go to the advertiser and say I’m not getting as many eyeballs on that billboard. Can I get a reduce rate for a season or something like that, and then divert those funds into something maybe more digital.
Josh: Yeah. Absolutely! And which actually leads to another thing is, actually check the metrics of your current marketing.
Julz: Yes, well you’ve seen this as well right?
Josh: All the time, particularly in Google Ads. This is a massive one! People come to us for Google Ads and I jump into the account and find that either their conversion metrics are not set up at all or they set up incorrectly.
Julz: Like how often does this happen?
Josh: Pretty much every time.
Julz: Wow 10 out of 10!
Josh: So actually, I would say probably 9 out of 10 of every client who’s come our way….
Josh: ….have set up their conversions wrong.
Julz: See and that’s like straight up losing money, right?
Josh: Absolutely! Because we saw this the other day and it usually comes from a response of sweet-talking marketing companies. They go oh yeah look at this. This is looking awesome! And the more you dig deep into it, you realize that all they’re saying, it’s awesome because it’s getting a lot of eyeballs on the advertising, but there’s actually no click-throughs.
Josh: The metrics you want to look for is, is this marketing platform actually getting me clients, and actually making me money?
Julz: And does that conversion actually line up with, you know, your books?
Josh: Yeah. And here’s like, just to debunk a little myth, impressions don’t matter, clicks don’t matter, conversions matter.
Julz: It’s like likes right?
Josh: Yeah! So check the proper metrics. So many people just ignore it because it’s just one of those things you just brush to the side in the moment. And then, one of the next ones is you need to stay relevant to your audience which, we’ve kind of touched on.
Julz: Yeah listening. Listening is probably the key. We’ve, we place huge emphasis on this within NCC it’s listening and responding to clients, particularly in this moment. If we are telling them what to do which is overriding their major issue, then it’s not very, it’s not a great thing to, it’s not a great outcome.
Josh: Yeah. You want to listen to what their needs actually are.
Julz: And actually in that, through the listening, we’ve found opportunity. So you know, if your customers or your clients are reaching out with concerns or questions or things like that look into that. Read through that and go, okay where’s the opportunity to change my offering or if they’re asking that I can bet you that many people are, other people are asking that. Can I actually turn that into a relevant focused keyword blog post?
Julz: Now we’re coming back to blogging and content strategy.
Josh: It could be services, it could product, it could be anything!
Julz: So many things!
Josh: But the key of that is just looking for ways to help.
Julz: Yeah. Exactly!
Josh: So you want to stay relevant to your audience. You want to listen. You use proper platforms for listening. So I actually sent out an email just to say ‘hey, how are you all going?’
Julz: Yeah, yeah!
Josh: Don’t go ‘hey look I’ve got a new product, buy this’. It’s ‘hey how can I help you?’ We use Slack with our clients. You can use Facebook Messenger, you can use email, you can like use… I don’t know an IGTV or a live social media video where people can ask you questions, and then actually listen.
Julz: Listen! Yeah. The response to that as well…. so we had a client this week, actually we’ve had three inquiries this week about e-commerce because everybody’s going digital and looking to sell online. And so one particular client, existing client was interested in e-commerce and it was like great. We can do that, and we do do that, but we want you to think about not just this being like a short-term, band-aid kind of thing or a reaction to the circumstance but hey I want you to think about this in the long term. Are you actually going to run this store, online store because ecommerce it’s big. It’s a whole nother ballgame and I tell everybody you know you’ve got to take it seriously if you’re going to go down that path. And she was grateful that I was able to give that advice. Like it’s not just about taking your money, because I can and I will and I can build you that store. But at the end of the day we want your business to win.
Josh: Yeah. Absolutely!
Julz: And so if setting up a store is going to do that in the long term, awesome! But if you’re going to invest this money, in this time into doing it just for a quick fix, I’d stay away from it. So craft your response.
Josh: Yeah. You don’t want to respond in an insensitive opportunistic way.
Josh: It’s all about helping people and really all of this, it just comes down to thinking long-term. Think long-term. Don’t rush out advertising. Don’t panic everyone in the way that you respond. Don’t just do what you’ve always been doing. You want to think long term. You need to pivot your business for this season, but don’t totally lock it down. Only for this season. What you do right now can provide opportunity later. Like if you utilize your social media well during this time you’ll start to get a following of people who will be there even after this time.
Julz: Yes, so good! We can see that with Em actually and her blog and things like that.
Josh: Absolutely! You have opportunity to build community, you have opportunity to build like people who trust you.
Josh: A good customer base, and that only happens if you begin to think long term!
Julz: Yeah! And don’t… have your takeaways from all of this. Like you know, lessons learned….
Julz: ….use and implement them and be ready for if there is ever a next time. Hopefully there’s not. But yeah, take the lessons away but think long-term.
Josh: Absolutely! And so just a quick recap of some of the points from today. How to maximize your working from home life.
- Work on your overlooked projects, as in take care of your spring cleaning, your projects, your systems, your processes
- Assess your online platforms, so your website first of all and the SEO and then your blog and your content on social media.
- Optimize your marketing budget as in redirect some of your funds towards online because that’s where everyone is at the moment. But don’t just redirect funds and leave it there, actually check your metrics and the correct metrics
- Next one is to stay relevant to your audience. Actually listen to them and way your response. Don’t just respond in an opportunistic way that’s like ‘oh I can make a gain on this’ actually look for ways to help, which is the next point
- Look for ways to help. How can you help your community? How can you help your clients?
- And then the last one is think long term. This is a short-term season. Think long term.
And so, just to wrap this up we do want to mention that we do have a few tools that can help you. First of all, jump on our website which we’ll link in the show notes, jump on our website and you can test your site for free, so you can see how your website is, how your SEO is, how your security is, and we’ll send you an audit, a report reporting on that. Some other things is that during this time, it is the opportunity to work on your business. And so we have a few courses, an SEO for Local Businesses course.
Julz: Yeah. It’s epic!
Josh: It’s epic! That literally goes through everything any local business owner needs to know about SEO. The next one is Google My Business Masterclass. Currently Google My Business is a local business thing and yeah, maybe your local business may be shut down but again, this is short term.
Julz: Yep, think the long term!
Josh: Think long term!
Julz: And so if you can work on this now, then you’re going to win in the long term!
Josh: Absolutely! And then we also have a Blogging and Content Strategy course.
Julz: Yeah. This one’s new and this is what we’re talking about before, the whole keywording, research, finding out all about that SEO optimized content and blogging. It’s amazing!
Josh: Absolutely and so we will also be releasing another podcast next Wednesday probably and we’re going to be talking about and answering the question “Hey, should I set up an online store?” Everyone’s thinking about it. Is it the right decision for you?
Thank you for listening, we’ll talk to you next time!