Collaboration Over Competition

Collaboration Over Competition

Collaboration is power. And competition is fierce. So, which one will you choose?

First thing first, your business isn’t alone. Wait. What? But you’re the only person doing what you do.

 Wrong, my friend.  The service you provide isn’t stand-alone because other people (probably squillions) are doing it as well.

Now before you get all doom and gloom, I’m starting this with reality, that’s all.  Remember, what makes your business unique is you.

 But we’re not here to talk about that in this article.

 Which means if thousands (squillions) of other people provide what you do, then why fight it?

 In this blog, you’ll learn why embracing the power of collaboration can drive your business further.

 What’s Competition?

 As I said earlier, it’s fierce, and it’s not going anywhere. So, you’re doomed? 

Quite the opposite. Because there’s so much competition, why don’t you work with it rather than against it?

 Argh, but they’ll steal my clients, I’ll lose money, and they’ll like my competitor over me.

 Is that what your brain is telling you right now?  It’s ok if it is because it’s normal for sure. Here’s the shocking revelation for you, the pie is massive.

And guess what? You’ve also got a giant planet of clients. Which means there’s enough in the pie for all. You may not think about it. But it’s reality.

 Competition & Human Nature

 Now you may have heard, “survival of the fittest” as a saying.

 So you may have thoughts of competing is the way to get ahead.

 Think of when people,

 -Go for a promotion

 – Play sport

 – Fight over who gets to eat the chicken butt

 – Compete to run a country

 Yes, the world is competitive, people thrive over it, and a bit of competition is fun.

However, when you think of competition, you probably say to yourself, well there can only be one winner if I’m competing.

Which means it can hold you back from achieving your dreams because it’s a limiting thought.

But what if I told you it never used to be like that? Think of times in your life where you’ve helped someone else.

– Given up your seat on a train

– Mentored someone

 – Picked something up for a stranger

Collaboration is a human instinct, as well.

Perhaps you haven’t tapped into it because you think about that time you ran a 100-metre sprint to get a blue ribbon. I know I loved my primary school sports top covered in ribbons with safety pins.

 But back to how it never used to be like that.

Another saying you may have heard is, “it takes a village to raise a child.”

Guess what? It used to and still does in many parts of the world. Back thousands of years ago, humans lived as pack animals as a way of survival. They all worked together to gather food, make shelter and raise children.

 Which means humans have collaborated for thousands of years in order of survival.

 So what changed?

 My guess is many factors like companies, competitive sport and sibling rivalry. But it doesn’t have to be that way if you don’t want it to. And let me tell you, once you start collaborating, it opens up new doors that were closed before.

 Let’s look at this blog as an example. I’m writing it for a dear business friend who’s now a personal friend as well. And who runs a business the same as mine.

 So why am I doing this? Because this blog will give both our businesses exposure by sharing it through websites, socials and boosting SEO.

 Plus, it offers extra exposure by reaching my humans and hers at the same time.

 But your business is the same as hers, Gemma. Are you thinking that?

 Because if you are, yes, it’s the same and we offer similar services but here’s the thing. Her target audience is different from mine. We serve different humans.

 But picture this, what iI get a lead which isn’t best suited to my expertise and specific offering?

 Well, rather than saying no, I have someone to refer the client too and vice versa.

Through Collaboration, We’ve Both Grown Our Businesses

Firstly, our collaboration created a meaningful relationship.

Because where we’ve contributed to each other, our relationship and businesses flourished.

Secondly, two brains are better than one, right?

Listen, are you a solo business owner? I want you to remember when you weren’t. You worked in a team with ideas and help from others.

And sometimes you can forget that now you’re on your own.

But once you start sharing and brainstorming with like-minded business owners, the magic begins to happen.

Collaborating has increased business opportunities for both of us, and here’s how it can work for you as well.

Increases Your Visibility

As I said earlier, we’re getting our (stunning) faces in front of each other’s humans. Which means we’re becoming more visible to a similar yet different target audience.

Boosts Your Following

You’ll gain more website hits, social media followers and grow your email list. The possibilities are endless when you’re connecting with more people.

And once you’re following increases? You’re ultimately looking at business growth and making more money.

Expands Your Knowledge

There’s always something to learn.

And working together with someone rather than against them it’ll be a valuable experience. As you’ll gain knowledge, insights and learn new things.

 Embrace Vulnerability

When collaborating, you can ask for help.

Go on, be vulnerable because I promise you, it’s fantastic.

Getting a helpful hand is a life-saver because it saves you from doing all of the things all of the time.

Furthermore, you have the opportunity to collaborate on projects, and it’s lovely to work together with someone like-minded and who you trust.

 Creating Higher-Level Value

When collaborating, you can do things like (guest blog) podcast swaps, YouTube interviews and social media lives. It’s endless.

Creating higher-level value is terrific for exposure, SEO (backlinking) and your social growth strategy.

 But it’s also wonderful to create content showing new ideas, further insight into your topic and giving different perspectives to your target audience.

 Create New Offerings

 This one is truly wonderful.

 Because you can create offerings together, for example, something you both have qualities in. And the bonus is you can offer this as a larger package.

In summary

With a collaboration over competition approach to your business, you can better serve your target audience, create new opportunities and grow your business.

Are you in?

Over to you,

What are your thoughts? Have you embarrassed the power of collaboration?

 

About The Author

 

 

Photo of Gemma Lumicisi, , Copywriter, Marketing and Coach

Photo of Gemma Lumicisi

Gemma’s the founder of Contently Driven.

She’s a copywriter and life coach. She teaches you how to write copy that sounds like you and how to be yourself truly.

Gemma’s business mission is to help more people be themselves in their business and life.

She helps women stop hiding, become intentional and create a life and business they love.

Website – www.contentlydriven.com

Group for tips – https://www.facebook.com/groups/727417801245179

Insta – https://www.instagram.com/contentlydriven/?hl=en

FB – https://www.facebook.com/contentlydriven

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/gemma-lumicisi/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instagram For Biz – It’s All In The Stories

Instagram For Biz – It’s All In The Stories

When you go to Instagram (IG) do you head straight to stories? [My hands in the air] I DO! Reels might be the new kid on the block sure, but IG Stories is getting the most attention, and the perfect spot to be sharing branded business content.

Statistics (from 99 Firms) show that 500 million users now use Instagram Stories every day and one-third of the most-viewed Instagram stories are from businesses.

As a graphic designer and business owner, I have been helping businesses showcase themselves using Instagram stories, yet I see so many underutilising the platform. Your social media and visuals represent your business and customers will ‘judge’ you (and your competitors) based on that. Having a set of pre-designed Instagram stories will help you plan your content (save time) and build a connection with your community.

Are Stories Really That Good?

Stories are great for interacting with your community and sharing your knowledge, with behind the scenes, off the cuff tags, shares, interest. And it’s also the space to tell the world about your business and the value you add to their life/business.

By sharing eye-catching branded content, you create brand awareness & encourage engagement with your audience, and in turn this will give you a greater chance of appearing in your followers’ feeds and help you stay front of mind for when they’re ready to buy.

It may sound like a lot of work (and a little daunting) but the time you put into your social will be lessened by developing evergreen content, that can be used on a repeated cycle. It’ll bring value to your stories, to your audience and it will stop you from feeling flustered about what to post.

Making The Most Of Stories

Develop a series of graphics that showcase your point of difference and what you stand for [eg. eco friendly, deep dive discovery, vegan specialist, selfcare expert, holistic approach]. Show how you solve your community’s problem through your unique services, products and the experience you provide.

This can all be shared through a collection of evergreen stories which are key sentences representing your business and its values. Sharing branded testimonials backs this up and if possible, include an image or video of a client sharing the testimonial. If you have a lead magnet or freebie create a graphic for your stories that showcase the value to your followers.

Share graphics that contain original imagery including your products, you and your team, as this humanises your brand and people want to know who they’re doing business with. How regularly should you share evergreen stories is up to you, I say weekly, just remember not everyone will see your story and you can rotate between evergreen content shared.

Remember to always think creatively to grab consumers’ attention. One way to do this is utilising music and basic animation libraries in apps like Canva, InShot & within Instagram. If this all seems too time-consuming work with a designer [hello] and copywriter [Hello] to craft the right keywords and graphics, showcasing the quality service you offer and your point of difference.

Video Is KING! Use It Creatively

I know this might sound daunting but stay with me. There are ways to get around video shyness and still share video content. You can use a mix of photo’s, graphics & a little pre-recorded video and or voice over, and stitch these together. The free version of InShot will allow you to trim and adjust speed of content.

To maximise your story time on display, ensure your final video length is 60 seconds [Instagram will let you publish 4 frames at a time in stories [15 seconds x4].

Here are some examples of what you could video in a creative way:

  • share how to style an outfit, a room a product in it’s environment.
  • demonstrate a task.
  • share the environment you work in.
  • explain how or why to use products you use to service clients needs.
  • share customer experiences through their eyes,
  • take your audience on a journey in your story.
  • share behind the scenes timelaps in your field.
  • share client unboxing, receiving goods.

Encourage Engagement And Create Conversation

Interact with your community by asking your followers questions (using the Instagram question icon) relative to the problem you are solving and gather feedback to build more content, engage by responding in direct messaging and develop connections with members of your community.

Create polls that are fun, informative and connected to events in the calendar year. This will help boost your ranking with followers who engage with your content and identify who you’re connecting with.

Must-Dos On Instagram Stories

  • Design in Story dimensions (1080 x 1920 pixels) and utilise vertical space.

  • Keep wording short and sharp with business tags or instructions ‘link in bio’ or ‘new post’. Make it easy for your audience to find out more and access your goodies.

  • Download evergreen stories to your phone. Save to a folder for ease of access and for posting on the go.

  • When you upload evergreen content, save it to an appropriate Instagram Highlight. To do this, click on the love heart icon when viewing the story and select the highlight you wish to save the story in for safe keeping. This allows followers and newbies to your page to access this information easily, without leaving the platform. Highlights is another great space to showcase your business and the value you add.

  • Add a compact logo when sharing stories on the go (png file format is best if the logo requires transparent background). You want people to recognise your brand easily which will help you stay front of mind.

  • Don’t feel overwhelmed creating a set of evergreen stories, chip away at one a week and slowly build content that you can reuse.

Evergreen Stories Build Trust

When sharing evergreen stories on a regular basis, you are building trust with your community, you will be front of mind when the time is right for your audience to reach out to collaborate. Creating social media graphics is time consuming, so by building evergreen stories you’re using the platform strategically adding value to your business.

I hope you find this article helpful. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic and what you found most useful. Feel free to connect with me below.

About the Author

Photo of graphic designer Kelly Mevel

Photo of graphic designer Kelly Mevel

Kelly Mevel is a designer with 20 years experience working in the graphic design industry. She has worked with brands such as Ikea, New West, Nike, Australia Post, Giordano and Target Australia in her corporate days.

Since starting her own business she works with amazing small businesses who are ready to invest and extend their brand story and social media profile. She has been working with service and product-based business including copywriters, child psychologists, interior stylist and more.

She designs with purpose, creating visuals that engage with her client’s communities and further develop a brand story that can be carried through all the business’ visual touchpoints.

 

To connect with Kelly go to:

www.instagram.com/jamcreatives_

www.jamcreatives.com.au
https://www.facebook.com/jamcreative8

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kelly-mevel-2905091a0/

*Statistics: https://99firms.com/blog/instagram-stories-statistics/

Choosing the Right Website Platform for your Business

Choosing the Right Website Platform for your Business

With so many website platforms in the market, choosing the right website platform for your business can be confusing and time-consuming. This article will help you get clear on what you need and what to look for when picking the right one for you.

I won’t be putting you to sleep by comparing the platforms (WordPress, Joomla, Shopify and Squarespace (just to name a few)) but rather looking at things to consider, working out your requirements and factoring in the cost.

1. What do you want from your website

Don’t just look at what you need right now (e.g. three pages of content). Take into consideration, where you want to be in five years’ time and what functionality you might need.

Think about whether you will need an online store, integration with your systems, how many products and pages you might need, if you want people to subscribe to your newsletter and whether you want to have different languages of content.

You don’t want to be moving from one platform to another in 12 months time because that can be costly, time consuming and may require some down time.

2. Email marketing

If you want to email your potential and current clients you need to consider which email marketing options are compatible with your website platform. You want them to be able to subscribe from your website and be piped through to your email marketing software so you can email them.

Some website platforms may limit you to one or two options, or it may be an extra cost to pipe them through or have email marketing. So check it out and factor in the cost. All the extras add up and if you are sticking to a budget you should factor these things in.

Email automation and nurturing your email list by sharing content, news and special offers are important for growing your business. It’ll also save you time.

 3. Analytics tools

You need analytics tools, full stop. Analytics reports will show you how many people visit, what countries they visit from, how they found your website, what pages they visit and how long they spend on your website.

All this information is important when looking at who your potential and actual clients are and how they interact with your website. It tells you what interests them and if your content is working.

Google Analytics is a free, and great tool available for some platforms like WordPress. Shopify and Wix may have their own tools but check for fees and its capability.

4. SEO capability

Look at what SEO capabilities the platform has, or is this an add-on that costs extra too? All the add-ons can add up. With WordPress, you can add free plug-ins (like Yoast SEO & All In One SEO) and it can also connect to Google Search Console so you can track things.

You want to be able to add keywords in your website/plugin to boost your ranking for example in the:

  • website description
  • image descriptions (also known as Alt Text)
  • page descriptions and much more…

And to submit a sitemap to Google. Some simple and effective SEO things to tick off the list but that can cost extra.

5. Hosting vs managed hosting

Shopify, Wix and Weebly look after your hosting for you, which some people love, but it comes at a cost. You don’t want to be moving your website from one platform to another, so chose wisely and do your research.

If you are considering using WordPress, you will need a web hosting company, like SiteGround and VentraIP, you can purchase your domain (web address) and host your website with them. Some web developers will set all this up for you and maintain it at a cost.

Tips when picking a web hosting provider:

– ensure your website has an SSL certificate (it’s a security certificate) – this can be an extra charge with some providers

– your website is backed up regularly (in case it crashes)

– you have free email (so you have a professional email address), for example, hello@yourdomain.com.au. Some domain and web hosting companies consider this an extra.

That’s all for now.

As you have guessed, to pick a website platform you have a few things to consider, and some costs to factor in. And if you don’t consider these things to being with then you might find you have to move your website from one platform to another which can cost you time, money and you will have some downtime.

If you have any questions about which platform suits your needs, feel free to contact me. I may not build websites but I have been involved with lots of website builds. manage my own websites and have experience in this area. It can feel daunting so reach out and we can talk about your options.

 

5 Tips to Grow your Business Mindset (Guest Article)

5 Tips to Grow your Business Mindset (Guest Article)

How do you feel about running your own business? You probably explain it as fulfilling, purposeful, impactful, exciting but exhausting and scary. There is no denying that being a business owner is one roller coaster ride. One day you’re riding the exhilarating highs, the next you’re terrifyingly navigating the fast lows.

Yet you wake up each day and continue to pursue that dream of flexibility, fulfilment, making an impact and being in control of your own destiny. These are the things that drive you every day and I can guarantee that you love it! But the ups and downs of business life can take its toll on your mindset, your focus and your overall wellbeing.

The year that was 2020 has further exacerbated the business owner pressures with so much change, uncertainty and disruption to the way you work and live. It’s these things that pull you further away from your why, your dream and start to deplete your thriving mindset.

As we enter a new year, we enter a new phase of possibility and growth and an opportunity to build on and enhance your business owner mindset. No doubt you’re spending time strategising for the year ahead. What your business will look like? Where you want to go? How much you want to earn? But are you factoring in how you want to feel running your business? Your health? Your mindset?

This thinking has stumped me over the years because if you are not thriving – the face, the drive, the person behind your business – then how can your business thrive? A 2018 KPMG survey highlighted this exact point, “Holistically, founders will achieve more if they’re healthy and happy”. So how can you achieve more in your business, life and health?

You approach building your business owner mindset holistically, by nurturing yourself, your physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health. And this how you can do it.

Tap into Self Awareness

Self-awareness can be defined as “Knowing one’s internal states, preference, resources and intuitions”. It is the ability to monitor your inner world, your thoughts and emotions as they arise. This is a critically important skill to have and build on as it helps in managing your own emotions as well as those around you. To get started, think about where you are today. What is going well? What are you struggling with? And what do you need to help you?

Create your Vision (Spiritual Health)

You started this business because you had a dream, you had a powerful vision of what you wanted your life to look like. It may have been for greater flexibility for your family, make an impact in the community or fulfill a desire to fix a personal experience. The issue we see with business owners is that their vision is set once and then it is forgotten about. In order to power your mindset you need to regularly create your vision, evaluate your progression and celebrate your achievements.

Build your Growth Mindset (Mental Health)

The most profound way of building your growth mindset is to learn from your experiences. According to the 2018 KPMG survey, “founders are perfectionists, and they want their business operating perfectly”. In reality, as a business owner you are progressing through this adventure blind and purely learning from your experiences. So, tune into your mistakes, embrace your failures and learn from it all.

Nourish your body (Physical Health)

When it comes to running your business, you probably don’t think about your physical body and the impact that this has on your productivity. But it is so important, if not more important than the business strategy you are creating. If you are not feeling well physically, then your business can not either. Think about how you can nourish your body with better sleep and rest, movement and good, healthy foods.

Get connected (Emotional Health)

Dreams are built together. You as a business owner would know how important it is to have connections with others, they might be colleagues, partners, clients or other like-minded business owners. Developing meaningful relationships is critical for you and your mindset. Surround yourself with people who lift your energy, are great listeners and appreciate where you are, non-judgmentally.

You chose the role of business owner, you chose to pursue the dream deep within you. Shine your light by giving to yourself the gift of a whole mindset and see your business and your world shift around you. As Simon Sinek eloquently says, people buy why you do it, not what you do. Now show the world your powerful business owner mindset.

 

About the Author

Natalie Moore is a Wellness and Mindset Coach at Own Your Health Collective. She is passionate about helping and guiding businesses and individuals to live and work at their best by nurturing their whole self. You can download the 5 Ways to Live Your Best Life Cheat Sheet

 

Photo of Natalie Moore

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