Today’s news is rife with articles and books about having a successful business with a “4 hour work week”. That is, a business that only requires four hours of your time per week – or thereabouts. While this seems like a dream come true to many people, the fact is that it is rarely a reality, at least if you want to make a decent income.
The term “4 hour work week” was coined by Tim Ferriss, author of the aptly named The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich. Since its release, this book has inspired many other business owners to follow Tim’s lead.
Whether or not you ever get to a work week that is only four hours long, it is certainly possible to find ways to run a successful, lucrative business without it requiring an extraordinary number of hours of work on your part. When you take steps to put the right systems into place, many of the important tasks of keeping the business going can be handled without your direct input.
If you aren’t going to be there to run your business day-to-day, it’s important that you hire a team who are trustworthy and competent to do so. You will need a right hand person to whom you can delegate the day-to-day activities that keep your business afloat. Hiring a few of the right people can really reduce the hours you must personally dedicate to your business.
Many aspects of your business can be outsourced. Consider, for example, using a payroll company to manage your payroll, a bookkeeper to handle your bookkeeping, and a cleaning contractor to keep your office clean. Though you will have to pay for these services, it will free up a great deal of time.
Virtual Assistants, commonly referred to as VAs, can also be an integral part of this sort of business. There are Virtual Assistants that can look after almost any aspect of your business, including:
Decide how many hours you will work each day and use your calendar to block out time to take care of the tasks assigned to you. By beginning with the end in mind, you can ensure that you aren’t working more hours than you have planned.
Make sure you allot time for emergencies and unforeseen issues. No matter what type of business you have, these will crop up from time to time.
There are many tools available to help you use your time productively. There’s also apps that can help you to keep in touch with your key team members. This allows them to keep you regularly updated on what you need to know.
You will also be able to automate many processes which will again save time. Plus, these automated processes mean that your business can continue to run smoothly with less input from you (or others).
In his “The 4 Hour Work Week” book, Tim Ferriss gives a lot of examples of tools, resources and systems that he’s used to achieve this goal. I recommend reading this book and implementing those of his suggestions you find work for you.
It’s important to note that few new business owners are able to make their businesses a success in just a few hours a week. Time and commitment are essential to get a business off the ground.
However, with commitment and attention to building a good team and putting the systems in place that will keep your business humming, it is most definitely possible and something that many people have begun to enjoy.
Many people have heard of webinars – and most likely attended them too. But do you know the best ways to use webinars to boost your business profits?
Before we get dig deeper into how you can use webinars, let’s take a look at what webinars are.
The name “webinar” comes from web seminars … or online seminars. So basically, they’re a seminar or meeting of some sort, but run over the internet rather than attendees having to get together in one physical location.
Webinars may be free or paid to attend. If you charge a fee, you could charge per-webinar or you might find it better to charge a single price that allows attendees to attend multiple webinars.
Whether or not you charge a fee or offer free webinars will depend on the purpose of your webinar, your business model and your marketing plan. In many cases, you can use a variety of both free and paid webinars.
One of the 7 best ways to use webinars – and perhaps one of the most common – is for training. This could be for training of staff, team members, students, members and/or potential customers.
You can conduct live training and share information via a PowerPoint (or Keynote) type of presentation or you can share your computer screen. Often a combination of the two works well.
Plus, you can record the live webinar and make this training available later too, via video or an automated webinar.
Depending on what webinar software you’re using and what autoresponder program you use, it’s usually possible to integrate the two. Which means, when people register to attend your webinar you are also building your list.
Webinars can be an ideal form of lead generation and often these people are more likely to buy your products or services. They’ve shown they’re interested in your topic and by committing to a payment of their time (and possibly dollars), they’re showing you that they’re serious.
This is one of my favourites! Webinars are the perfect platform to run Q&A sessions for your customers, students or members. It’s also one of the most under-utilised ways of using webinars.
The fact is, very few people are doing these and of those who are, most aren’t doing them regularly or effectively. Can you imagine the difference this could make to your business if you had this advantage over your competitors?
Webinars are an ideal way to run Q&A sessions because you can take notes as you go and share them on your screen (a very helpful way to make sure your listeners don’t miss or mis-hear important points). Plus, you can share your screen to give more detailed answers, where appropriate. This allows attendees to see whatever is on your computer, such as websites, software, documents and such.
Depending on your products and services, it may be possible to show product demonstrations via webinars. While some products may benefit from video or live demonstrations, webinars are often suitable for others, especially services.
Allowing audience interaction means that people can have their questions answered then and there. You can also include surveys and polls to gauge viewers’ feedback or get suggestions for improvements.
Product launches and webinars can go hand in hand, especially if you use the webinar as an opportunity to give your VIP customers, or all of your subscribers, advanced access to your product. You can do this via a live webinar, where the live interaction helps to build the excitement.
Webinars can be used extremely well for selling your products and services. One of the most important things here though is not to just sell and expect people to buy.
A webinar is a great way to give potential customers a sample of what they can expect when working with you. So make sure that the main part of your webinar is not about ‘selling’. It needs to be focused on training or educating. Offer information that is truly valuable to your viewers.
After you’ve offered value and viewers get an idea of who you are and what your expertise is, THEN you can let them know how you can help them further.
Interviewing those with expertise to share within your industry – or interviewing your team members – is a great way to share valuable content. While there are several ways of conducting interviews, webinars are one of the most effective. The main benefit is that it allows for interaction with listeners and creates a visual element to help reinforce important points.
You can also record the interview and make it available later in a video, text or audio format, letting customers/subscribers choose the format they prefer.
There are many benefits of running webinars, including:
There is no doubt that webinars can be an integral part of your business. How you use them is up to you. But if you aren’t already using webinars within your business, I highly recommend you start doing so soon, before your competitors leave you behind.
There is a lot of chaos in the online world. There are many people selling similar products and services to what you are selling. If you want to stand out in the crowd and make a living from your small business, then you need to build your online authority. This includes website authority as well as the authority and credibility you and/or your business carry.
Before delving more into why you need to build your online authority, you need to know what it means to have online authority.
The word “authority,” itself is a powerful word.
If you are an authority figure, you are someone that people look up to as a leader with inherent respect.
If you are authority in your field, you are an expert. People respect you. They trust you, and they look to you for advice.
Being an online authority isn’t much different. The main concept of authority is still the foundation. Having online authority means that you have proven yourself to be an expert on a specific topic and you share that expertise in a meaningful way with your audience.
You establish yourself as a resource for your audience with credibility and legitimacy.
Think about this for a moment…
You are sitting in your office wishing there was a way for you to sell your services or product to every visitor to your website. Every time a potential client visits your website, they have so much trust and respect that they buy every product you recommend.
This is something that we all envision for our business, however there isn’t one proven method that will give it to us. There is something that can help, though. You can become an authority in your niche, or on your topic of choice.
The thought of becoming an authority can be overwhelming, but that is only because society has taught us to believe the only way we can become an authority is to know about everything. This is not true. It is impossible to become an authority on everything … or even just everything about a particular topic.
Instead, pick that one specific subject (maybe two) within your industry that you are passionate about. You will be willing to learn everything you can about that subject. Being an authority on that one subject will help you gain the trust and respect of your visitors – turning them into clients. Not only that, but they will begin recommending you to their friends.
Having a specialization in something opens many advantages for your business. Some of the advantages of this are that you will:
Write, or find someone to write, a lot of original content. (You can find out more about Content Marketing here).
Share your unique ideas and approaches with your audience. Make sure you include in-depth content that gives you and your business more credibility. Let your audience know the details and see that you are truly wanting to help them.
When you do write content, source it properly. We all know that we cannot learn and know everything on our own. You may find a great idea that you want to share with everyone. It is okay to do so. But, make sure you give credit to the appropriate person.
Use backlinks to link to other relevant content within your own content.
You should also use links to your content as supportive material when you write guest posts for other blogs.
Use links to your content when it is relevant to another blog that you are commenting on.
When you use links to your content you need to know the rules where you are posting. You also want to make sure that you do not spam your links because that can quickly become counterproductive to all your hard work and effort to build your authority.
Generally, if the links are relevant and you’re giving value by offering them – and you’re not breaking the rules of where you’re posting them too – people will appreciate them.
One of the quickest ways to build authority in today’s technological age is to get social. There are social media sites popping up everywhere. Unfortunately, this can make it all extremely overwhelming. You can avoid the overwhelm by choosing only one or two and focus on using them well.
When you do post, make sure you post regularly and consistently. Each post should provide value to your audience. Make sure you’re recommending helpful, useful content – yours and others. If you only post about your products and services it makes it hard to build genuine relationships with your social network.
Quality and consistency are two of the important factors in building your online authority. Along with “knowing your stuff”, of course. You won’t become an overnight success but if you follow the steps outlined above you should find your online authority builds … along with your traffic, sales and recommendations.