You asked, and now I’m answering. Here’s to the first “Ask Jenny Anything Q&A post,” and it turns out there are 20 questions!
Today I’m covering why I quit social media, who to follow to learn about Instagram (if you enjoy social media), “the restaurant analogy,” niches, prioritizing to-do lists, and so much more.
Now, let’s dive in. You asked …
How to take extended time off, like if there’s a baby on the way, for example?
I wrote this article on how to plan for extended time off and how I managed a 5.5 month maternity leave including what I would have done differently if I’d gotten pregnant before I had a big team.
I need help being clear and speaking with confidence about what I do, to people who will become clients.
First, make sure you’re using the right language. Read this.
Then practice. Out loud. Often. It doesn’t happen without effort. But with effort (and practice), you’ll get there.
As I often say, “Clarity and confidence come from taking action.”
Help with social media marketing.
Follow Shanté Cofield on Instagram and consider taking her Instagram intensive. (Not an affiliate link. I’m just a fan.) I loved her program, and it helped me see how to do social media marketing “the right way.”
Of course, I quit social 6 months later (more on this in a moment), but I learning from Shanté helped me make this decision fully-informed. Plus, she’s just awesome.
If there was a legitimate work from home job writing emails l would do it!
There is. This is called being a copywriter, and it’s a legitimate business you can start. You can also find a job doing this kind of thing if you want a job and not a business.
How to learn systems
I’m not sure what kinds of systems you’re referring to (process systems, software systems, or something else), but you can grab the second freebie I ever created, The System Flight Kit.
I need to grow my team and am dragging my feet.
Do some self-inquiry here. Why are you dragging your feet? What’s standing in your way? Is it a gut reaction that it’s not the right time, fear, lack of how-to steps, or something else?
Get curious about why you’re dragging your feet. That clarity will then inform your next steps.
I need somebody to manage me and tell me what to do.
Business owners LEAD. Employees are told what to do. Do you want to be a business owner or an employee?
That’s not a rhetorical question; it’s a genuine one to ask yourself.
It’s okay to decide not to be a business owner; it’s not for everyone.
If we want coaching or mentoring, because we are new, we can’t afford this quite yet because we’re paying for everything else to just get started and aren’t making any money yet.
When it comes to this common complaint, I like to use “the restaurant analogy,” and I’ve written about it before but can not find the social media post or article so here’s the gist.
For some reason online business owners think that they can make money without investing first. But think about a restaurant.
Restaurant owners have to rent a space, design and renovate the space, fill it with tables and chairs. They need figure out what they want to serve, test recipes, design menus, hire and train their wait staff and and and … All before making any money!!
This is the way business is typically done. Investments of money, time, and sweat to go after your dreams—before you enjoy the fruits of that labor.
Online business is no different. You have to invest money, time, and sweat (and often more than you want to or think you should have to) to create what you want in return.
Make money without actively engaging with my clients.
If you don’t want to actually engage with people then consider selling digital or physical goods. Though you will always have to interact with people to some degree for customer service.
I am creating some employability sessions and not sure how to market it online.
The first place to start is to ask yourself what problem you’re solving for what person in that person’s words. Make sure you’re creating something people want to buy.
How can I run a successful 1-on-1 online biz with low price offers?
It depends on what you mean by successful. Let’s say you’re looking to make $10k/month. You aren’t going to hit that number with a low-priced offer but you can absolutely get started with a bite-sized offer and then scale.
My biggest challenge is social media.
Do it or don’t do it. I don’t believe you have to do social media.
I quit it in March this year. I’ll let you know how things pan out, but my focus has never been social media; it’s always been blogging and building an email list.
I quit because I have never enjoyed social media much and had always wanted to quit but worried I couldn’t. I was inspired by Leonie Dawson’s quitting social for her biz, and I was like, “Fork it. I’m quitting, too.”
Though, like I said above, if you do want to do it, follow Shanté Cofield on Instagram.
How to prioritize what to do, because the to-do list is endless!
The key to setting priorities is to know what you need to do, why you need to do it, and how it helps the financials of your business. Then, make a schedule to execute those priorities.
The schedule I have our Make It Work Online clients follow is called the Flex Schedule System. I touch on it a tad in How to Build an Online, Service-Based Business.
Read this blog post for an overview.
Balancing “running the business” and “serving clients.”
See the previously mentioned article for the scheduling how-to. Basically, you have to plan for both.
How to make an online business with an unspecified niche.
I don’t know how to do this. Leonie Dawson says she has no niche, but I think her niche is people who want to be unique, wild birds doing their own thing with creativity online.
Two things to do:
1. Ask yourself why you are resisting a niche, what you’re making it mean or what stories you’re telling yourself about having or not having one.
2. Make sure really understand why you need a niche and how it helps you get found online in the sea of BILLIONS of websites and countless service providers.
How to serve exclusively online.
Just decide to do it. (This person who wrote this question didn’t give me any other information.) And watch for an upcoming email and post on how to get clients online.
Also, grab 7 Steps to Make It Work Online.
How to figure out what to offer without sacrificing all my time.
The first step to figuring out what to offer is not to think about HOW you’ll offer it but what problem you want to solve for what amazing clients.
Let your inner fire fuel you, not your fear. Follow what excites you first. Then, after you get super clear on those specifics, then design your offer. And only once you get into the nitty-gritty aspects of the offer design should you look at the time you put into it, etc.
Start by reading this article to get clear on what you want to offer that stems from your inner fire.
Tips to create engagement with your content (when it feels like you’re talking to a wall or your group has gone quiet).
Engagement is going to be low for a long time until you have a very large audience. It’s just a numbers game.
Public-facing engagement is just one metric and not always a relevant one. Even now, after starting JennyShih.com more than 10 years ago, I still go through periods of low engagement. People still buy and join Make It Work Online and hire me to coach them.
Follow Shanté Cofield on Instagram and watch what she does on her posts and the different types of CTAs (calls to action) she uses. You can use her ideas on blog posts, in emails, on podcasts, wherever!
But don’t worry too much about engagement. At the end of the day, it’s not engagement that fuels a business’s income; it’s serving clients.
(I know that’s like the third reference to Shanté today, so I hope you get the gist of how awesome she is and follow her on Insta, if that’s your thing. She’s smart, funny, personable, and really great at authentic Instagram. Plus, we actually know each other IRL, and that’s kind of fun.)
Tips when clients or prospects ghost despite friendly follow-ups.
People just do this. I have some sample scripts in Follow-ups That Convert that might help. Make a follow-up plan, execute it, and if people ghost, they ghost. You have better places to put your time, energy, and attention.
Some kind of troubleshooting guide to understand which piece of the biz needs to be worked on (biz hasn’t got off of the ground since launch and feels ‘broken’).
Start over from Step 1, Make It Work Online style.
Grab 7 Steps to Make It Work Online and really, really look at each step. If you’ve done them all and it’s not working, then there’s something missing about the execution or nitty-gritty of that step. Really dig in and see what might be going on.
That’s a wrap!
That covers today’s 20 questions. (By the way, it’s total coincidence that it was 20! After I was done, I counted, et voila!)
Have a question about any of what I covered? Post in the comments below, and I’ll personally respond.
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