6 Productivity Hacks to Stop Wasting Your Time

Though many of us wish for more time in a day, we’re all given the same amount. And fortunately – or unfortunately – many of us are better at maximizing our time than others. If you’re feeling stuck and ready to get back to the grind here are some productivity tips to get your life back – and out of a Netflix rut.

Batch your time for similar tasks

Many of us still have a “to-do” list mentality, where we try to complete as many tasks on our list as we can.

“Task fatigue” can occur, however, so it’s best to group similar tasks together or group unrelated things together. So, if you have to send invoices, try to draft them at the same time you’re planning your budget. Or if you’re calling leads at work, do them all at once instead of every day for 15 minutes.

Turn off your notifications

Notifications can be distracting and divert you from bigger tasks you need to accomplish. They’ve become a substantial enough issue that even Apple CEO Tim Cook agrees. To get more time back, start turning off notifications to the apps you spend the most time on. (I’ve personally turned off all social media notifications!) Don’t be afraid to take the leap to turn off text notifications either. Be sure to limit your screen time and look into apps that help you monitor how much of your day is spent staring at electronic devices.

Try to get your primary “inbox to zero”

Though having an empty inbox may bring anxiety at first, this productivity hack may save you hours in the long haul. Schedule a few hours to do some spring cleaning and sift through your inbox for any important emails or ongoing projects that need to be saved. Then, create folders designated for important tasks.

Then, delete everything else. Make it your objective every day to have an empty inbox as you file and archive completed emails. Though it may take some time on the front end, your life will be a lot less cluttered.

Break up with Netflix

The obvious. Though we all love Netflix, track how much time you actually spend watching television. Instead of making Netflix your fall back, try to schedule times where you relax and watch TV, instead of running to it as your comfort whenever you’re stressed or procrastinating.

Use site-blocking plugins

Believe it or not, there are plenty of plugins on Google Chrome and other web browsers that will enable you to block distracting websites during specific hours. So if you’re reading articles on Buzzfeed all day, you can list distracting websites on your “blocked” list. Block Site also allows you to go into work mode!

Track your time

Plenty of project management solutions exist to keep track of your time, but you may also consider creating an excel spreadsheet or diary to track everything you do. When you really and truly do the math, it’s easy to see the holes that can be filled with more productive activities.

Know your priorities

Set firm boundaries, know your priorities, and know what you won’t commit to doing. Having a firm idea of the commitments you will honor will enable you to gauge where to spend your time to make it productive, and what to avoid.

Remember, you can always make time for what’s important to you.

The Power of the Professional Headshot

Presentation is everything, especially online. And you cannot build your brand without a professional headshot.

Unfortunately, many people think they can get away with using an image taken by an amateur, or even a poorly lit “selfie,” only to find out later that nobody trusts a professional who can’t – or simply won’t – take themselves seriously. In the end, you’re better off going to a professional photographer for help.

So when weighing the pros and cons of going with a professional photographer for your headshot, it’s important to keep these factors in mind, especially if your goal is to create an online brand that speaks for itself. 

Making a Great First Impression

Back in the day, word of mouth was everyone’s favorite marketing strategy. Ads, as a matter of fact, seldom spoke about the men and women providing a certain service as the product did all the talking. But with the introduction of the internet in our daily lives, service providers themselves became the product.

While today, word of mouth is still important, people want to see who they are dealing with before making a final decision. And when the time to choose comes, they pick someone who inspires true confidence.

When shopping for a professional photographer for your headshot, keep in mind that your image is, for the most part, how potential clients will see you. And unless you want to leave a bad first impression, investing in a professional headshot will make or break your career.

Good Photography Highlights the Best in You

Good photography is not only about proper lighting and finding the best angle. A professional photographer can help to communicate what we can’t say with words by bringing out the best in us. (They also should be able to point you to a seasoned hair and makeup artist or a stylist if you really want to go the extra mile with your photos!)

Instead of simply snapping a photograph, a pro will be able to guide you so that you may convey the confidence, professionalism, and warmth you want to communicate.  

Without this, clients may not believe what you say about your own accomplishments. 

Stand Out in the Crowd

When you use a professional headshot for your online portfolio, you let prospective clients have a better idea of who you are.

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. And it is precisely because it speaks volumes that you want to use a professional photographer who can capture your personality with ease.

Furthermore, you want your headshot to be authentically you so anyone who sees it will be able to identify you in a crowd!

By familiarizing potential clients with how you look, you also make them more likely to trust you. 

In a world that is saturated with professionals competing for the same clientele online, having a good following on social media isn’t enough, but having an exceptional headshot will get you where you need to go.

Boost Your Morale (And Your Pocketbook)

Adding a personal touch to your professional website isn’t just about adding an image that speaks to your audience, it’s also about feeling good about yourself!

When we boost our self-confidence, we also feel more likely to take on more challenges.

And while headshots are key in building a prosperous career online, they serve an additional role: to make us feel confident in ourselves. 

I had my latest headshots taken by Meagan Gilbert Photography and my hair and makeup done by Ashley Troxel, Professional Makeup Artist. I am beyond happy with their work and fully recommend them for professional headshots and all your photography or styling needs!

Why Your Lead Generation Isn’t Working

The success of most businesses hinges on lead generation.

If you don’t have people inquiring about your product or service, you won’t be in business – or for long, anyway. Even if you have a blog, work in retail, or volunteer with a nonprofit, understanding the process of acquiring leads is pertinent to gaining any kind of traction for your organization.

Essentially, lead generation is a process that finds the clients and customers you need to need to attract.

This is significant since your ultimate goal should be for prospects who are unfamiliar with your organization to become leads that eventually purchase from you, sign up for your offer, or volunteer with you. Lead generation is an ongoing process that provides your business with a steady pipeline you can scale and grow.

It’s important to develop a plan to ensure you have a sound process to not only generate quality leads but to keep them. Here’s why your lead generation process may not be working.

You aren’t qualifying your leads

Even though it may seem beneficial to have a large volume of leads coming in, those leads only to create more work if they don’t fall into the category of your ideal client. For instance, if you sell pacifiers and are targeting young moms, having 100 leads from mostly 50 + year old men won’t help you generate revenue.  Your lead generation process should be tailored toward your ideal client, and therefore should ask specific questions and offer the information that will convert your lead to a customer.

You don’t have an inbound marketing strategy

In an oversaturated market place with many competitors, it is no longer enough to simply sell to your audience. Furthermore, the most successful companies have found ways to serve their clients. Research the inbound methodology to learn more about ways to educate your audience and offer them value. Most people are skeptical of providing their information in fear of being spammed, so you’ll want to create content worth your ideal client’s time.

You don’t have automation sequences in place

When you create offers or lead magnets, most times your prospects want the information they inquired for immediately. Creating automation where sequences are enabled to send them to lead magnets and other relevant content will keep them engaged. Your audience also may not be ready to purchase from you immediately, so create a drip campaign to warm your audience. This will enable you to set up sequences to follow up with your audience and warm them to your product or service.

You don’t have a landing page

If you don’t have a landing page created, it may be challenging for you to generate leads. Having a page for this purpose will more clearly outline the purpose you’ve established for your leads. Different than just any normal page on your website, a landing page will better educate prospects on your offer clearly articulating the benefits for them, in addition to streamlining your marketing efforts for ads and retargeting.

You’re not running ads

SEM and social ads are great ways to better reach your audience. Using Facebook Pixel to target your existing traffic and creating ads is the best way to continue to engage leads. The rule of 7 explains it takes 7 times for your prospects to see your offer before they take action. 

Your offer isn’t good enough

Sometimes your end of the bargain and whatever lead magnet you provide to gain customer information simply isn’t as valuable to prospects as it may be to you. Focus on creating offers and lead magnets that your current client base already wants. Ensure that you are adding value, and allow that to shine through as you aspire to get more leads.

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners

Affiliate marketing is an excellent opportunity to generate additional revenue, specifically from products or services you’re passionate about.

In essence, affiliate marketing allows you to earn a small commission for recommending products you love to friends, family, and larger audiences. Typically, a person becomes an affiliate through a business by either applying or reaching out and receives a special link to direct all prospective purchasers. Once a purchase is made, the affiliate makes a commission.

Different from multi-level marketing, there is no incentive or pyramid structure to limit your earnings or one specific type of product you must sell. Though some may argue that it takes a certain follower account or industry to make an income, even having a small blog can allow you to start generating passive income through this method.

Create a website

The first step to generating traffic to gear toward specific products or services is by creating a website. Create a brand based on a specific audience and provide content like photos, a blog, a podcast, etc, that can help you promote products or services.

Find products you love

Begin to search for products that are not only relevant to the type of media you create. Search for products you truly love and enjoy. Choose products and services you have experience with and that improve your quality of life.

Initiate successful partnerships

An affiliate partnership ensures that both the affiliate and brand are benefitting from an agreed upon arrangement. Though starting out this may be a bit of a challenge, there are plenty of existing companies that have not yet created an affiliate program. If you have a local small business you frequent, consider it as an opportunity to develop a partnership.

Consider Amazon Affiliates

One of the original affiliate programs in existence, Amazon does offer an affiliate program with up to 10% commission. What’s great about this program is that it’s free to join and because Amazon is universal, there’s truly a product for every niche interest.

It’s easy to sign up, so begin to look for opportunities with this platform.

Use Pinterest, Facebook Ads, and Email Marketing to build your list

These marketing tactics ultimately will be the foundation for building your online audience. Based on the product or service you plan to offer, research which platforms your target audience spends the most time on, and create content for them there.

Creating and maintaining an email list is one of the most effective ways to continue to keep customers in the door.

Ditching the 9-5: How to Find Remote Work Opportunities

Digital nomads use telecommunications technologies to earn a living. I’ve been working remotely since 2016 and have been a digital nomad since July 2018. I often work remotely from countries other than the United States, coffee shops, public libraries, and sometimes co-working spaces.

It’s starting to become the newfound “millennial dream,” but without hard work, it can be difficult to make it a reality. The daily grind, cultural norms, and rising student debt can also get in the way. Though landing a remote position may seem daunting, nearly 38 percent of workers will be able to work remotely in some capacity over the next decade, according to Remote.co.

Here are some easy ways to get started researching opportunities regardless of your background to begin settling into remote work.

Earn your way there with your current company

Though it may seem impossible to earn remote status with your employer, step out of the lens in which you view your position and ask yourself: “Is it possible to work remotely within my current role? Does anyone else at my company do this?”

Even if only one person works remotely, you may have the leverage to begin initiating conversations with your employer if you’ve paid your dues.

Though it may seem to be a risk, if you’ve been loyal to your company, nothing is impossible. Though it may mean moving to a different position or leveraging odd hours, be open to discussing new possibilities.

Pick up clients as a freelancer

If you’re interested in this workstyle but are unsure if working remotely may be the right lifestyle for you, consider taking on several clients as a freelancer, initially.

This way you can begin to establish work rhythms that will benefit you if and when you do make the decision to transition into remote work.

If you have a skill like graphic design or photography where you could grow your client base, consider starting your own small business.

Look for startups on websites like Angie’s List and note the companies

There are websites that can guide you on your search to finding the right remote positions, just like Angie’s List. Many tech companies offer remote opportunities directly from this website. As you search for positions online, Google also offers “work from home” as a filter as you aspire to search for positions as well.

Consider making a spreadsheet of all the companies you find that have these opportunities, and connect with hiring managers on LinkedIn. Though there may not be a position you qualify for immediately, begin scoping out companies you would like to work for and continue to check back for the right opportunity.

Look into creative circles

Creative Mornings and Creative Circle are great resources as you continue the search to help you land remote work, in addition to networking with like-minded digital nomads.

Co-working spaces are another creative outlet to network and collaborate with other entrepreneurs. Seek out any opportunity to cultivate relationships with people who currently work remotely and aspire to learn from them.

Take on multiple jobs and passions

Though some may find certain jobs unappealing, a compromise to obtain a remote lifestyle may mean sacrificing your full-time salary, in exchange for a lower paying job.

Therefore, taking on multiple passions – like your remote position that gives you work flexibility in addition to another revenue stream – may make this lifestyle possible for you a bit sooner. Explore different options and combine the passions that generate revenue.

Go all in! 

Even if you hate your job, remember that no one is forcing you to work there. Be thankful for the income, development, and stability your company provides no matter your frustrations.

But when the time comes, don’t be afraid to take the leap and go all in to embrace remote work.

Making Your LinkedIn Connections Matter

In some respects, LinkedIn can make or break you in terms of networking and applying for jobs. Recruiters and peers will spend time looking at your profile if you’ve taken the time to create it, so it’s important to make your online impression just as great as in person.

As you continue to take your networking online, here are the do’s and don’ts to make your connections really count.

Do respond to connections quickly

Just as it is appropriate to respond to emails, phone calls, and even text messages within 24 hours, LinkedIn is another communication channel to add to your stream. Ensure you respond within two business days as contacts reach out.

Don’t ignore requests because you don’t know the person

Though it may seem creepy, on LinkedIn it is perfectly normal for different connections to add you. Whether it’s a recruiter, a potential employer, or just a person who wants to network with you, see if the connection will be mutually beneficial before you disregard it.

Do update your headshot

Keep your headshot clean and professional. Don’t include other people or pets in this photo, and ensure your photo reflects the way you want to be seen in the workplace. Again, your headshot is one of the first online impressions you’ll make.

Don’t confuse your Facebook audience with LinkedIn

Respond to connection requests as soon as possible, and add contacts as you meet them.

Unlike Facebook, it’s socially acceptable to add someone on LinkedIn immediately after meeting them. Think of it as the follow-up email you would send after a networking event. Furthermore, recognize that the content you post on LinkedIn should look different than on Facebook. Keep your LinkedIn profile professional and focused on your career aspirations – not your family photos or dinner recipes.

Do personalize your connection requests

Instead of adding connections at random or sending generic messages, do include a brief personalized note when connecting. Include how you met or any mutual connections, common groups or interests, or any other information that can bridge the gap so you can actually build your network instead of having miscellaneous connections that don’t really know you.

Don’t spam your connections

Even though LinkedIn is a professional network, no one appreciates messages that sell to them. Though connecting and networking are important, be tactful. Invest in relationships first.

Do endorse your connections

If you recognize that someone you are connected to possesses certain skills, always endorse them. Likely, they’ll return the favor. You never know when an endorsement could lead to another position.

Don’t ignore opportunities that may arise

Even if you’re content in your career, you never know when your company may go under, the economy may turn, or when you desire to grow beyond your current position. Be open to potential opportunities that seem promising, and don’t limit yourself from going through the process.

Remember, you are in the driver’s seat and have the upper hand to say, “No, thank you.” Don’t discount the potential you may encounter. It may just be your next big break.

Why Millennials are Drawn to Multi-Level Marketing

We’ve all received the dreaded text message or DM from a person we haven’t spoken to in years pretending to catch up.  They mention the too-good-to-be-true promise of an extra $1,000 working from your phone and the “be your own boss” mentality that comes from a shiny new “business “opportunity…that comes with buying inventory and hosting parties.

MLM’s, network marketing, pyramid schemes, or whatever name you choose are becoming increasingly popular with millennials.

And though there’s nothing more frustrating than the way some MLM’ers approach sales, it’s helpful to understand the appeal and motive behind the decision to work for these companies.

Here are the top reasons millennials are chasing after these MLM opportunities instead of corporate careers.

Work from anywhere mindset

It’s no question that wanderlust consumes culture.

Unless you find a company that offers unlimited vacation time, the Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that 76 percent of private industry workers (who make up 84.7 percent of all workers in the U.S.) only receive 10 paid vacation days annually.

That’s about two weeks to squeeze in travel, so it’s no wonder why the MLM appeal of working from wherever you desire is appealing. Multi-level marketing companies are entirely commission-based, so distributors have the flexibility to set their own schedule.

Work-life integration

Unfortunately, many stereotypes peg millennials as being lazy, or without the desire to work. More often than not, the case isn’t necessarily that millennials don’t want to work,  they just want to work on their own terms.

Growing up immersed in technological development, many millennials inadvertently have become accustomed to constant stimulation. Likely, this has resulted in a preference for positions and companies offering work-life integration as opposed to work-life balance. Multi-level marketing opportunities integrate life and work in a way that enable partakers to cultivate relationships in the process – sometimes to a fault.

Can’t find jobs

With the job market becoming increasingly competitive, many struggle to find relevant positions within their field of expertise, or find themselves overqualified for given positions. As a result, many recent college graduates pursue such opportunities in place of full-time income. 

Full-time jobs aren’t enough

With crippling student debt and a lack of alternatives to pay off loans, finding high-paying jobs in a graduate’s given field is nothing short of challenging.

Most millennials have student debt hovering around $33,000, not including interest, and many are desperate to find a career where earning potential isn’t capped in order to find freedom from debt.

As a result, some look into network marketing opportunities as a side hustle to pay down monthly expenses on top of their current salary.

Social media

Stay-at-home parents have typically had the upper hand in this industry because of their engaged network of friends who help host “parties,” but millennials have replaced them because of their knack for social media networking.

Social media has become one of the most popular platforms for those in this industry to build relationships, and because millennials are the social media generation, they’ve adapted.

Community

MLM’s do bring community and connectedness because a distributor’s upline commission depends on the sales of the person below them. This creates a mentor-mentee relationship, in addition to a community of partakers within the same upline. And even though we live in a world more connected than ever, we all have experienced mindless scrolling while feeling utterly alone. It’s possible many millennials find that community within these industries.

Multi-level marketing companies have become a necessity for many millennials to live out their desired work styles and pay down debt with the ideals of owning their own business – just without equity and risk.

However, there are plenty of reasons working for these companies may seem desirable, but the return on investment might not be as good as it seems because of the amount of time spent, pyramid structure, and commission levels. Not to mention, the reputation amongst employers and peers.

Want these same ideals, but in a way that’s scalable, not commission based, and on your own terms?

Try freelancing instead.

How to Build Your Own Website (Without Code) From Scratch

With so many easy to use web development platforms in existence, building a website is easier than ever before. Since many web platforms offer more drag and drop features and e-commerce options for one price, many creatives and business owners have chosen these platforms for the sake of time and convenience.

However, when determining your website’s goals, it is important to consider that not every web development platform is created equally.

For instance, providers like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com (different from WordPress.org) may not be as ideal depending on your goals. For established businesses and brands, web ranking may not be as significant as an objective, but if you’re looking to generate traffic this way, you may want to reconsider.

If time is on your side and you’re looking to grow your traffic, here is a simple strategy to build your own website to increase your creative control, SEO, all while decreasing your spending.

Consider implementing your own domain and hosting strategy

More often than not, we are drawn towards an all-inclusive option that provides the domain, hosting, blog plugin, template, and many of the essential features of a website. Otherwise, we invest large amounts of capital into hiring a web developer and spend a fortune relying on them to update a website.

Both of these alternatives leave us without an understanding of how our website actually functions.

If you have the time, it’s worth it to buy a domain from a website like GoDaddy, and update the DNS, or domain name server, settings to send it to separate hosting – something that can also be done through GoDaddy. In my experience, they’re the easier provider to work with and will even set up your WordPress admin account if you call customer service.

Create a plan

Begin to write or type out the plan for your website.

What pages will you need? How do you want your site to appear? What type of theme or brand should it convey? Do some research, and write out your own sitemap and structure to ensure it includes all you’ll need. Look at other personal blogs, businesses, influencers, and consultants for examples.

Write out your content

Instead of writing your content while designing your website, do this beforehand so you aren’t developing directed attention fatigue (or exhausting yourself doing multiple tasks – in this case, tasks which are very different). Research content that will increase your SEO ranking, and explore other responsive websites that implement content features you enjoy.

Choose a responsive theme for desktop and mobile

Just because you’re hosting your own website doesn’t mean you have to learn code and become a Javascript or HTML expert. Instead, look for an easy to use, responsive theme. You’ll get a clean and optimized template while still being able to control many of the features of your website.

Build your site

Once you have everything in place, begin putting each piece together. If you’re using WordPress, you can install different drag and drop plugins that simplify the process for you and customize your website.

Include calls to action

An important rule of thumb to follow is ensuring each page and piece of content has a goal. That goal should include the call to action, or action step, you desire your target audience take. Whether it’s clicking a button, reading a blog post, learning more, or making a sale, always ensure that your website is calling your audience to do something.

Add the bells and whistles

Now that your website is almost complete, incorporate additional features such as analytics, shopping carts, and lead magnets. These tools will take your website to the next level, enabling you to gauge your traffic and generate more revenue over time.

Though this process may seem tedious, remember it will not only save additional revenue in the long run but also give you complete creative control and authority over your website.

Pro tip

Always, always, always have the technical side of your website created first before you design. This means hooking up your domain and hosting before you design.

If you need help with your website or need one quickly, let me help you.

Instagram

Instagram did not return any images.

Copyright © 2019 Chloe Anagnos · Theme by 17th Avenue