Many of us are finding ourselves working from home due to social isolation.  It may also be a time of pivoting in your business to offer your services online.  This post will offer suggestions of tips and tools for doing business online.

 

As the COVID-19 virus spreads across the globe, it is a time of uncertainty for us all.  You are more than likely homeschooling your children as well as trying to keep your business going; I applaud you for this.  

Perhaps you work in an office but are now working from home.  

 

I too am combining homeschooling our 3 children with running my business.

 

With fewer hours in the day to dedicate to work, it’s a time to dig deep, keep calm and carry on!

 

Whether you are new to doing business online, have recently pivoted to a more online focus, are starting from scratch with an online business to teach what you know or are simply working from home because your office is closed; these tips and tools will be helpful.

1. Building Your Audience

With an online business you are going to want to build an email list of dedicated followers.  If you are switching your business online for this period of isolation, then now is a good time to start a database of your clients as well as attract new potential clients by following the tips below.

 

To begin, you’ll need a platform for storing the emails.  Mailchimp is an obvious choice if you’re just beginning because it is free for the first 2000 subscribers but it does have some limitations when you want to start creating automations and email sequences.

I use Convertkit which is reasonably priced and easy to use.  Another platform I would recommend for value for money is Mailerlite.

 

In order to attract people to become a subscriber, you need to create some free valuable content that you give away in exchange for their email address.  This is often called a lead magnet. Ideally your lead magnet is an easy to consume, quick win for your potential subscriber. For example, a checklist, template, mini e-book or video tutorial.

Need help with combining the demands of a business and a family?  Learn how to Reclaim Your Time.

2. Organic Traffic Generation

If you are selling your services online and are offering a lead magnet for subscribers then you need to generate traffic to your website.  The following highlights a few ways to do this:

 

Blogging

By regularly adding valuable content to your site that is rich in keywords you will be more likely to come up in Google searches on your topic.  Use a keyword tool or a chrome extension like Keywords Everywhere to search keywords and phrases that your target market is searching for; then write blogs relating to those.  Make sure every blog post is optimised with links to your lead magnet and other relevant blogs that you have written.

SEO

Search Engine Optimsation is the method that Google and other search engines use to rank and display your site.  This is a complex topic with lots of free information all over the web to help. Try this guide – Beginner’s Guide to SEO.  Essentially, if you are just learning SEO and implementing SEO then begin with keyword research, creating compelling content and make sure your website is discoverable.  See Crawling. Indexing & Ranking.

Pinterest

Many think that Pinterest is a social media platform but it is in fact a search engine.  This is a great way to direct traffic back to your website by creating pins relating to your blog posts and other areas of your site.  Set up a business account and start creating boards. If you need help with Pinterest for business then I can highly recommend Melyssa Griffin’s course Pinfinite Growth.

Social Media

Whichever platform you choose, make it work for you by using it to its full potential.  Ensure you post regularly, build relationships and trust with your audience by interacting with them and get into doing live broadcasts.  You want to create content on your social platforms that cement you as an expert in your field so you become the go to source.

3. Video Conferencing

Using an application like Zoom makes it very easy to communicate with clients, colleagues and even friends wherever they are in the world.  Zoom is very easy to set up but has limited capability in the free version. You can also try Google Hangouts or Skype.

4. Task Management

Whether your business is on or offline, it is a good idea to have a task management tool in your game plan.  I use Asana and love it.  Trello is another platform to try.  The benefit of having an online task management system is if you are working in a team or with a VA then it allows you to set up and manage projects.

5. Pivot Your Business

If your business does not usually have an online focus then now is the time to think about pivoting.  What is your current business and could that be turned into an online course or membership to serve the masses rather than few?  Take my example, I had been working with clients locally offering marketing services but that meant I was exchanging my time for money.  By pivoting online and altering my focus to productivity, I am still able to offer 1:1 coaching but can also deliver a course helping women with the demands of a business and a family.

6. Be Consistent

Whatever you do, continue to do it consistently.  Keep showing up in your business and doing ONE thing each day to help reach your goals.  Time is more limited now so you may need to narrow your focus, but by showing up, your business can tick over until the world goes back to some sort of normality.  Whether you commit to writing a weekly blog post, sending out your weekly email to your subscribers or posting on social media 4 times a week; keep doing it.

7. Mindset

More important than any of the above points is your mindset because nothing will happen if your mindset is not set to positivity.  Here are my top tips for staying in the right frame of mind at this challenging time:

1. Take a look at your values to ensure you are living your life with purpose.  When we stray off course it is good to come back to what is important to us in life. If we are living a value driven life and are connected with our purpose, then we are more likely to follow the path to reach our goals.
2. Stop and breathe.  There is no point denying that it is tricky to work and home school so now more than ever, it’s a good idea to hit the off switch now and again.  Up your meditation game by following a guided meditation daily if you can. A great app to use is Insight Timer.
3. Create a reward system.  Let yourself have that glass of wine at the end of the day or that walk in the sunshine when homeschooling is finished.  Set up a challenge to be completed and then reward yourself with your favourite thing.
4. Practice gratitude.  Remind yourself of the little things by writing down 3 things you are thankful for.  Do this daily and watch your mindset switch to a more positive frame of mind.

 

I hope this helps you during this challenging time to work from home and online.  I’d love to hear how you are managing working with kids at home and what tools you use so feel free to leave me a comment.