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Create Social Media Graphics for Your Biz in Seconds with Canva

Create social media graphics in seconds with Canva

There are 2 things I constantly hear people say they spend way too much time on:
1. Social media
2. Creating graphics
They’re both super important to your business. Social media is how you market your biz and interact with your audience. And you want your social media graphics to catch your follower’s eye so they read – and more importantly, click!

Watch today’s tutorial video where I show you exactly how I create templates in Canva – for free!

 

 

How can you create social media graphics in seconds?

With templates! Having templates for all the graphics in my biz has saved me so much time. Now, I just need to update the copy on the templates and pop in a new stock image – seriously like 20 seconds! Now I have templates for my Instagram posts, Pinterest images, and Twitter and Facebook promo graphics. Once you have your templates set up, you just do a few, quick updates whenever you need a new graphic.

Decide your graphic goals

Decide what the purpose of each graphic template is before you start creating it. If your goal is to use this graphic to promote your latest blog post, you’ll want it to include space for text and possibly a spot to show off your freebie. If your goal is to inspire your social media followers with quotes, you want to leave plenty of space for the quote and use an easy to read font.

Create your templates

Then, you can get to the fun stuff – creating your templates! Make sure you have your goals outlined and then start playing around with some templates. I used to use Photoshop for all my graphics, but it was a little more time consuming than it should be.
For example, for each Pinterest graphic, I use a different stock photo for my background image. In Photoshop I’d have to go search my Google Drive for the perfect photo, open it up in Photoshop, resize it, and then add it to my template. In Canva, I loaded up all my stock photos in one sitting, and then when I’m creating a graphic I just drag over whichever photo I want to use and it resizes it to fit the template perfectly! You can see how little things like that add up when you’re creating graphics all the time in your biz.

Ready to create a social media plan to show off your new graphics? Get my FREE Social Media Quickstart Guide below!

5 Things You Need to Create a Sustainable + Profitable Business

5 things you need to create a sustainable + profitable business without spending tons of moneyIn my work with savvy online biz owners, I’ve found that if you want to have a sustainable, profitable business, you have to do 5 things. Today, I’m filling you in on what they are so you can create a sustainable business model and stop worrying about how you’ll pay next month’s electric bill.

1. Create a daily system

You must have a daily system to focus on your money making tasks and helps you stay on track to reach your goals. Without a daily system in place, you’ll be running your biz on the fly – which leads to tasks getting missed, goals not getting hit, and constantly where the day went when it hits 5:00.

The key to a daily system is having a system that works for you. I used to order a paper planner at the end of every year, get all giddy when it came it, and swear I was going to use this planner everyday to accomplish my goals. And then the planner would sit on my desk, basically empty, and I wouldn’t fill it out. It wasn’t until I started using Trello that I actually created a daily system and began to use it every single day. Now, my daily system lives on Trello and I’m more productive than I’ve been. Once you find the daily system that works for you, you’ll notice such a difference in your productivity and how quickly you reach your goals.

2. Create systems (+ document them)

If you’re like me, you started your business and learned everything as you went along. You taught yourself how to use your email marketing platform, found out your favorite way to format your blog posts, and answer your emails in a specific way. Without really thinking about it, you were building your business systems!

Now the key to making these systems sustainable, and recognizing and bottlenecks in them, is to write them down. Having your systems in your head doesn’t cut it. You want to write down step-by-step instructions for how you get things done in your biz. When you outsource, it’s SO much easier to just share a link to your operations manual instead of getting overwhelmed at the thought of having to teach someone your biz systems.

3. Set up a tool for managing your projects + team

It doesn’t matter what type of business you have, you need a project management tool to manage your business tasks and team. If you’re your only team member, you need to keep yourself on track.

Use a free tool like Asana or Trello to keep track of everything in your biz – from launches, to blog posts, to collaborations. Use this is your virtual to-do list and map out any projects from start to finish. I can’t tell you how much more productive I’ve been since using Trello to manage my biz and how easy it is to manage my content, to-do list and projects.

4. Implement automations that save you time + money

There’s way too much to keep up with in your biz to do it all manually. Not to mention, by automating tasks, you’re freeing up your time (+ team member’s time) to focus on important tasks and create new content and services for your audience.

There’s so many free, or affordable tools, to automate and simplify your processes to allow you to focus on things that need your time and attention. By making it a priority to spend time in your week to implement these automations, you’re saving yourself a lot more time in the long run. And that’s why you’re here. Because you want to build a sustainable business model that doesn’t leave you overworked and overwhelmed.

5. Outsource tasks you don’t have time for so you focus on growing your biz

Outsourcing scares a lot of people and it’s totally understandable. You’ve built this baby from the ground up and you’ve put every ounce of love and dedication into it. And now you’re going to let a stranger in. How can they possibly do as good of a job as you can?! The truth is, when you find the right team member for your biz, that person is going to make your life so much easier and you’ll finally be able to take a deep breath. Start by outsourcing smaller tasks and then work your way up. For example, all the client’s who have me manage their inbox, have had me work with them for a few months beforehand so that when I jumped in their inbox, they were completely confident in having me represent their biz via email.

What’s a Sales Funnel + How It Can Bring in Consistent Income

What's a Sales Funnel + How It Can Bring in Consistent IncomeIt’s no secret that I looove using tools and strategies to streamline and simplify my business.
One of the best ways to interact with your audience is through email. It’s not like social media where your post gets lost and they might miss it. If you send an email, it’s going to their inbox.
Which is why an email sales funnel is the perfect way to market your biz on autopilot.
You can set it up and it turns new faces into loyal subscribers and ultimately into paying customers.
Sounds dreamy right?
Today, I’m going to share what a sales funnel is and how it can bring in consistent income for your biz.

What is a sales funnel?

It’s a series of emails you send to a subscriber that builds the know, like, trust factor and ultimately leads to pitching your product or service. You create your series of emails once, and your funnel keeps working for you to bring in income.

How does it work?

Someone signs up for your free content upgrade on your site by giving you their email. This will trigger an automated email sequence to go start going out to them. The key is to create content upgrades that tie in with your paid products or services. This way you already know they’re interested in your product.

What information goes in my sales funnel?

The goal of your sales funnel is to build the know, like, trust factor and THEN sell your product. Imaging that every person signing up for this funnel has never heard of you or your business. Signing up for that free content upgrade was there first interaction with you.
You have to show off a little and show them that you’re an expert at what you do. Give them valuable information and educate them on your expertise. Teach them why they need what you’re selling by giving them such valuable information that it’s a no brainer for them to buy.
Now that they know you, have gotten to like the way you provide information, and trust you (because you sure as heck know what you’re talking about!) you tell them about your product and why they need it.

Is it really on auto-pilot?

Yes! The only thing you have to do is maintain your email funnel. Check in with the open rates and make sure your headlines are grabbing the attention of your subscribers. I also like to read through my email funnels every 6 months or so to make sure all the links are working and see if there’s any other value I’d like to add in there.

The most important thing to remember when creating your sales funnel is don’t overcomplicate it! You don’t even need to start this from scratch. You can pull content from past blog posts or emails to get started. As long as the value is there, your audience will thank you for it.

Do these 4 things before you outsource

Do these 4 things before you outsource so you hire the right team memberAn issue I’ve seen come up again and again in my work as a Virtual Assistant is that someone decides they want help in their biz, they hurry up and hire someone, and then have no idea what to have them work on.
They stress over what tasks to assign their new team member, and feel stressed thinking about having to teach them how their biz runs.
Thankfully, that doesn’t have to be you! Because, I’m going to help you prepare for outsourcing before you even start looking for your new team member.
When I say “before” you outsource, I mean before you hire, interview, and even start searching for a new team member.
If you’ve already hired team members but are struggling with what tasks to outsource, you can do this process now.

High-Level Tasks

Start by writing down all the high-level tasks you can think of that you work on. Think of high-level as the main project or task. For example, a high-level task would be blog posts or podcast episodes. There’s a lot of little steps that go into those, but overall, those are your main tasks.

Low-Level Tasks

Then, break down those tasks into low-level tasks. These would be all the steps you take to complete the high-level task. Your blog post task may look like this:

High level: Blog Posts

Low level:
Outline
Write draft
Proofread
Upload to WordPress
Format
Create graphics
Schedule

You get the picture!

Decide what to outsource

Now you get to start having some fun. Bust out your highlighters (or virtual highlighter) and start highlighting every low-level task you want to outsource. You might even find that you can knock an entire high-level task off your to-do list by outsourcing it!

Does it make you money?

Now you have your list of tasks you want to outsource – go you! But before you start posting a Facebook group post about hiring someone, you need to do 1 more thing. Go through each task you highlighted and ask yourself if it helps you make money. Back to that blog post example: if your blog posts provide value to your audience, which build the know, like, trust factor, which turns them into customers and clients, then YES it helps you make money!

If spending 30 minutes each week scheduling Twitter posts is highlighted, but you barely get any traffic to your website from Twitter, NO it doesn’t make you money. And why on earth would you pay someone money to waste their time on Twitter when you aren’t going to get a return on your investment?!
Phew! I’m so glad I was able to share all that with you before you started outsourcing!

How To Simplify Your To-Do List

Simplify your to-do list so you can save time and be more productiveIf you struggle with figuring out what to work on, or feel like you haven’t made a dent in your to-do list at the end of the day, you’re not alone.

Managing your time is one of the hardest transitions to make going from a corporate setting to being your own boss. There isn’t someone to tell you what needs to be worked on next or what’s expected of you at next week’s meeting.

The only one holding you accountable, is you.

If you want to stop wasting hours, or days, you need to know what to focus on and be intentional with your time. Today, I’m going to share my method for simplifying my to-do list into manageable chunks.

 

 

List every single task you have to do

Take 10 minutes and write down all your tasks you can think of. Instead of just thinking about everything you have to do, write it down so you can see what needs to be done and so you can track your progress.

Choose your top 3 tasks each day

Choose the 3 most important tasks to get done that day. Instead of looking at your to-do list as never-ending, just focus on the most important tasks at hand. Instead of spending an hour re-creating your blog graphics, you’ll be able to focus on what you should really be spending your time on – like your client proposal due in 3 hours.

Set up your to-do list in Trello

When you get your free Trello template in your inbox, copy the board, and start filling in your week.

The first board is for your to-do’s. All of them. List down everything you can think of that you need to work on. Get it written down instead of keeping it all jumbled in your mind.

You’ll notice each day is broken down into two sections. The first is for your top 3 tasks of the day. These are the most important tasks you’ll work on. If you don’t finish something before the day ends, drag it to the next day’s card.

The second section is your recurring tasks. For example, on Monday’s you might send a weekly report to your clients, you would create a card for this to check off each week.

Having my tasks for the week in Trello has helped my productivity immensely! Not to mention, focusing on my top 3 tasks has helped me stop jumping from task to task as I thought of them.

Every Friday, schedule 10 minutes to go through the list of your to-dos that did not get done. For each task that’s left, ask yourself these questions:

Is it important?

Does it help me make money?

If you answered no to both of those questions, delete the task – for good. There’s no point wasting your precious time on tasks that are not important to your business and aren’t helping you make money. If you answered yes, convert them to a card and schedule them for the next week.

What’s an Operations Manual + Why You Need One For Your Biz

What's an Operations Manual + Why You Need One For Your BizImagine your brand new dreamy desk from IKEA just got delivered and you’re so excited to set it up!

You rip open the box, pull out the 27 pieces it came with and stare at the bottom of the box because surely there must be instructions in there, right? There’s no way you can assemble this without knowing where every screw and piece of wood goes!

Well, if you don’t create an operations manual for your business, that’s exactly what it’s going to feel like to a new team member you’re onboarding: a bunch of pieces that make up this awesome business, and no clue what to do with them.

Maybe you think this doesn’t apply to you because you aren’t ready to hire someone – but don’t you want to hire someone eventually?

Or systems to follow so you don’t skip steps by accident?

The last thing you want to do is wait until you absolutely have to hire someone and then realize you have to spend hours creating your operations manual.

 

What to include in your operations manual

Grab a sheet of paper and start listing every task you do in your business – big or small. Whether it’s uploading blog posts to WordPress or sending monthly invoices, be sure to write it down.
Break these down into categories. Your email category might look like this:

Category: Client Process

Sub-tasks:
Client inquiries
Onboarding
Monthly Reports

You’re going to write out the steps for each task you wrote down. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do this in one sitting. Choose a batch day where you knock out instructions for a bunch of tasks or pick 1 a week to start chipping away at that list.
Be sure to write down every step you take to complete a task. Pretend like you’re going to hand this document over to someone who has never used these platforms before and needs to know every single step. It’s better to include too much information than not enough.

This way, when you’re ready, you just point your new team member to the right document or link and they can take it from there.

You might even currently have team members that have been managing tasks for you. You might not even know how your team member is getting a task done because it’s something new you’ve implemented and never needed to do it yourself – leaving you with no idea how to complete it if that person quits tomorrow. Ask them to write their process down in case they ever leave (or your team expands, you decide to hire someone else, etc.), you aren’t left picking up the pieces.

It doesn’t have to be something official with a perfectly designed template. You just have to get started!

Filters + Tricks to Organize Your Gmail Inbox

Filters + Tricks to Organize Your Gmail InboxYour inbox is probably causing you more stress than it needs to.
Mine definitely used to. It was filled with thousands (not exaggerating) of emails and I was wasting time searching for specific emails all. the. Time.
I knew something had to change, but I wasn’t sure what. I researched and came up with the perfect cocktail of tricks to make sure I reached inbox zero every day.
Don’t worry, I’m not keeping these precious tricks to myself. I’m sharing them with you!

Boomerang

If you haven’t heard of Boomerang, you’re about to take your inbox to a whole other level. It’s a
free extension you add to Google Chrome that lets you pause your inbox and schedule emails.

Pause your inbox

Why would you want to pause your inbox? Because everytime you hear your phone ding that you got a new email, you check your inbox. Even when it’s 10pm and you’re watching a rom-com with your husband. No bueno. In comes Boomerang! When you’re ready to end work for the day and do your last inbox sweep, pause your inbox. Boomerang will wait to show you any new emails until you unpause your inbox. This is especially helpful when you’re having a batch day or want to focus on a project. No interruptions and the emails are waiting for you when you’re ready.

Schedule your emails

Let’s face it, we’ve all been there where we work a couple hours on a night or weekend. But sending emails to your clients at 11pm isn’t exactly professional. And the next time they email you on a Friday night, they’ll be expecting a response because they know you always check your email.
Instead, set boundaries with your clients and set office hours. If your office hours are 9-5 and you’re typing up an email at 5:15, just schedule it to go in the morning. It’s also great because instead of having to remember to send your client their weekly call reminder, you can schedule every reminder during your onboarding process.

Filters

Confession: I once had thousands of emails in my inbox. There were so many emails I read and just didn’t delete and others I needed to keep but they just hung out in my main inbox.
Filters have been a lifesaver for my inbox. It used to fill up with newsletters, receipts I needed for bookkeeping, and a bunch of other stuff. I now have a folder for each type of email I get in my inbox and filter it so they go directly to that folder (or label as Gmail calls it). Here are some filter ideas:

  • Newsletters
  • Expenses
  • Income
  • Collaborations
  • Clients (individual folders for each client)

Instead of spending the first 20 minutes of your morning checking out all the new newsletters that just hit your inbox, you don’t even see them until you open the newsletters folder. Schedule time in your weekly schedule to go through them so you can still keep up with your favorite biz owners.
Bonus: Unsubscribe from the newsletters you find yourself deleting most of the time.

Now anytime an email comes in my inbox, I drag it to its designated folder to keep my inbox at 0.

See unread emails first

You can set your Gmail inbox to show you unread emails first and it’s done wonders for my inbox productivity! There were times I would mark an email unread because I needed to go back to it, but then I’d receive so many emails that it would get pushed so far down that I’d forget about it. Have your unread emails show up first so the important emails are top of mind.
Open up Gmail and get to work, you’re ready to take back your inbox and finally get to inbox zero!

How to use batching to get massive amounts of work done

How to use batching to get massive amounts of work doneOur inboxes and social media feeds are full of fresh, new content every single day. “Check out this new webinar!” “Listen to the new podcast episode!”.

There’s pressure in the online biz world to constantly put out fresh content for your audience. Consistently creating awesome content week after week, month after month, gets overwhelming.

There’s really no way around having to create content. To build (+ keep) a strong connection with your audience, you need to be in contact with them frequently, either releasing new podcast episodes, sending emails, or publishing blog posts. And that’s a LOT of content to keep up with!

Want me to share my #1 trick for getting massive amounts of content created? I thought so!
My trick is batching!

What is batching?

Batching is when you do things in groups and knock out a bunch of the same tasks in one day (or time block, however you want to do it!). The best thing about batching is there are no rules and works for any type of business.

Why should you batch create content?

Batch days are my favorite days because I know a ton of work is about to get done! You focus on one type of task, with no distractions or allowing yourself to work on random tasks that pop in your mind. This helps you be more productive and get ahead on your work. It’s so much more productive to sit there and record 4 podcast episodes than to sit down, get set up, and in the right mindset on 4 separate occasions.

Plan your first batch day!

Choose a batch day in your planner that you’ll set aside to a specific type of content creation.
Some ideas for batch content:

  • Podcast episodes
  • Blog posts
  • Newsletters
  • Course content
  • Social media posts
  • Video tutorials

The trick with batch days is you’re only allowed to choose 1 type of content so you’re laser focused. Put your phone on silent, pour your coffee, and get to work! It’s a good idea to focus on the actual creation piece during your batch day. Instead of writing your blog post draft, editing, formatting, uploading to WordPress, creating graphics, etc, choose to focus on writing the drafts first. Get all drafts written, then the next step, and the next. It’s so much quicker to hop in Photoshop and create multiple graphics at the same time then to go in a few times throughout the day. This will keep you from trying to fit too much into your batch day.

Make it a routine

Set aside one day a month you can focus purely on batching new content. As biz owners, we get caught up in our client work, the demands of owning a biz, and staying on top of the latest algorithms that content creation gets pushed last on the list. By having your batch day, you’re able to make sure you’re focusing on creating new content for your audience and spend time enjoying what you really love.

What could you do with 117 extra hours?

What could you do with an extra 100+ hours?

About a year ago, I hopped on a call with a potential client.

She was busy, overwhelmed and knew she needed help.

They were tasks I loved working on and I could hear the overwhelm in her voice. I knew I could help make her life so much less stressful, so I took her on as a client. She chose 1 month of the biggest package I offered since she needed to get a lot off her plate.

I emailed her on the first day of working together and let her know I was ready and eager to get started! She let me know she was busy, but was going to start handing things off to me that week.

2 weeks later, I hadn’t gotten a single task.

I emailed her again, just to check in.

Again, she was busy, but it was on her to-do list to send some tasks that week.

She went the entire month without handing over a single task.

I asked her what stopped her from handing over part of her to-do list to me.

She said was just “too busy” to show me the ropes of her business.

And that’s not the only time I’ve heard someone say that.

I’ve hopped on calls with potential clients who feared that it would take too long to teach someone how to do something and it would be faster to do it themselves.

But is that really true?

I was going through my reports the other day of all the work I had done for my clients during the past year. For one of my clients, I had worked 122 hours for her throughout the year. Let’s say that maybe 5-10 hours of that was training for new tasks. She spent less than 10 hours teaching me how to run things, and then I saved her over 100 hours.

With that 100 hours, she was able to focus on her clients, create content, and plan successful launches.

So you tell me, is it more efficient for you to keep doing everything yourself?

Grow Your Email List + Get to Know Your Audience on Autopilot with a Quiz

Grow your list on autopilot with a quiz!Typically, when someone signs up for your email list, they’re coming through a free lead magnet.

Overtime, as they download more freebies, purchase your products, click certain links, you learn more about them and what they need from you.

Instead of waiting for that entire process to get to know your audience, you can use 1 lead magnet to segment people on your list as soon as they subscribe and get to know them more.

The perfect lead magnet to do it? A quiz!

With a quiz, you’re able to segment them based on their quiz results and get to know them with their answers to each question.

My new quiz, built with Interact (*affiliate link), helps online business owners figure out what they need to focus on to simplify + grow their biz. With this one lead magnet, I know exactly where the person is in their business and what type of content I can share that will help them most.

Benefits of creating a quiz

Getting to know your audience, without having to send out surveys

I’m sure you’ve gotten emails from biz owners asking you to fill out their survey, so they can make sure they’re creating the right content and products for you. This way, they can get to know your needs and start planning their next steps.

Quiz results act as an evergreen survey and you can analyze the results whenever you want, without having to send a survey to your audience and bribe them with a Starbucks gift card to take it.

You’re learning who they are right away

With a quiz, you can segment your audience as soon as they get on your email list. No more guessing about what type of content to send who. This will also help you get higher email open rates, because you can tailor your emails to these individual segments.

Create it once + it keeps working for you

I’m all about focusing your time where it matters and getting the most results for your time + effort. With a quiz, you can create it once, and it will keep bringing in new subscribers to your email list. Instead of creating new lead magnets, you can have your quiz deliver the perfect lead magnet for your subscriber, based on their quiz results.

I partnered with Interact (*affiliate link) to create a quiz to help you figure out what you need to focus on to simplify + grow your biz. They made it incredibly easy to create the quiz and tailor the results to your needs, so you’ll get just the right action steps for where you’re at in your biz! Take the quiz below and get your action steps for simplifying and growing your biz!

*If you sign up for Interact through any links on this page, I may receive a commission. I think quizzes are a great way for getting to know your audience and growing your audience on auto-pilot and wouldn’t share the tool if I didn’t think it could help you.