How to Use Solitude to Your Advantage

The world of business moves much faster than the world of farming (to give just one example).  Mergers, acquisitions, quarterly reports, conferences, meetings, and tight accounting practices are just some of the monthly responsibilities you may have on your plate if you engage in business. 

It’s exhilarating to be such a mover and shaker, and the excitement of a new development keeps us going. 

However, in such a frenetic environment it is difficult to take a moment of pause.  It’s challenging to disconnect every week and find some solitude for you and your thoughts.

But is solitude worth it?

Yes.  Much like the oft-overlooked benefits of sleep, the scientific community is in practically universal agreement on the benefits of solitude.

One study by the University of London found our IQ drops 15 points when we multitask. 

This is backed up in the research conducted by Clifford Nass, who has concluded that distractions prevent the brain from adequately filtering out irrelevant information.

So clearly there is enough evidence to back up the claim that distractions harm productivity. 

You probably already knew that, but it helps to have numbers to back it up.  The funny thing about distractions is that they can emerge just as often from internal sources (fatigue, stress) as external (social media messaging, texting while talking, etc.).  Harnessing the value of solitude is a great reliever of distraction no matter it’s source. 

What Is a Good Way to Integrate Solitude into My Schedule?

It all revolves around effective time management.  You can start by taking 15 minutes at the beginning of each day to close your eyes and reflect.  This simple practice will help dispel anxieties about the upcoming day that would otherwise build up.  It might sound cheesy – but it works. 

Another great tactic is to schedule a half an hour block every day in which you do some activity on your own.  It might be a walk around the blog, a trip to a local gallery or museum … anything that will take your mind of work for a short time.  Personally, I take Jiu Jitsu classes. That time is on my calendar several times per week.

How Can Solitude Help My Business?

There are tons of ways solitude has material benefits to your business.  However, to get to the material benefits you need to first improve your own mental and physical health. 

Solitude Improves Mental Health

Tips for ensuring strong mental health are not shared enough amongst the business community.  Why is it that we cannot support each other in taking breaks and slowly down for a minute? Symptoms of weak mental health include: feeling overwhelmed, stressed, general uncertainty, lacking hunger, not sleeping very well.  The best cure is taking some time out for yourself.  You will become a happier and more productive worker if you do!

Solitude Can Make You a Stronger Leader

Taking time for solitude will make you a better leader because it will help you form a stronger understanding of your own identity.  What does that mean, exactly?  It means that you have taken the time to reflect deeply on issues affecting you and your team, and in those moments developed potential solutions.  That’s what leaders do: they tackle the big issues with originality and think through problems affecting everyone. 

Gives You Time for Brainstorming

Creativity in business is of vital importance, but it notoriously difficult to harness.  When you are overworked and stressed there is no time for finding creative solutions to your business.  Taking 30 minutes a day to let your mind wander will provide an opportunity for creative solutions to just pop into your head.

Do your best to integrate solitude into your weekly schedule, and if you’re like me, it will become self-evident that taking time away for yourself will make your business life more enjoyable and productive. 

The Rise of Influencer Marketing and how it can help your business

Does that athlete or supermodel REALLY use the product they’re promoting?
Probably not.
Most celeb-endorsements are done because of Influencer Marketing. 

Everyone understands the power of connectivity social media provides.  It’s a fantastic revolution in human communication that allows us to stay connected with people across the world, in real time. 

And, those of us who are entrepreneurial-minded, also know something about social media that most users do not: in every communication platform there is an opportunity for profit.  The source of profit comes from interpreting and leveraging this inter-connectivity to a brand’s advantage, and one of the best ways to do this is via influencer marketing.    

What is Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is basically collaborating with individuals and business leaders who are active and interested in what you offer, and daily interactions can make your brand stand out with sought-after trusted sources in your niche.

It’s basically the practice of finding key industry players that have influence in your niche and approaching them with a proposal to try your product, guest blog on your site, or cultivate some other form of professional relationship that can be seen online. 

Cross-promotions can create win-wins in the right environment.

Though it might sound simple, there is actually a very specific process involved in generating an influencer relationship… 

Step 1: Engagement

You should never approach an influencer out of the blue with a proposal to review your new product.  Without a personal bond of any sort, the influencer is almost certainly going to ignore you. 

The solution?  Engage with their social profiles.  Read their posts, comment on them in an informed way, and generally make it clear that you respect their opinion. 

Step 2: Discussion

After a bit of engagement, which can take weeks or even months, you may begin to discuss the potential of a guest blog post or a featured article.  You will want to keep it informal to gather information about how the influencer prefers to work – because they may do it for free if they find value in the relationship you’ve created – or, when they know, like, and trust you.

Step 3: Proposal

Make a proposal to the influencer once you have a strong working relationship.  The proposal can be as simple as mentioning a new product and asking what they think of it, or it could be more direct such as offering a paid placement campaign of your brand on their channels. 

Will Influencer Marketing Help My Business?

There is no question that influencer marketing will help your business.  To go back to the question of leveraging: you want to get as much positive press as possible, always, while spending as little money as possible.  You can leverage your industry connections and expand your market simply through a recommendation from an influential voice. 

Here are a few interesting stats, taken from digital media studies, to highlight the effectiveness of influencer marketing on your bottom line:

  • 74% of people believe that social media is a trusted source in guiding them to buy a product
  • 49% of people rely on influencers to make buying decisions
  • 47% of people use ad-blocking technology (and I wager this is actually higher across the board)

What Does the Rise of Influencer Marketing Illustrate About Digital Marketing?

It shows that in addition to conventional ad channels, consumers will always place higher value on recommendations from those that they know, like, and trust.

It shows that small business owners can save tons of money in marketing spend by forming strategic relationships with key industry voices. 

It shows that consumers see through major advertising initiatives to the core of the product on offer.  If the product does not appear to have “social proof”, then it’s a much harder sell.

How to Scale Your Business Effectively

As a small business owner, you probably know by now that growth is the defining metric to watch.  Year in and year out, if the growth ticker does not nudge upwards then it’s quite possible your business is in jeopardy.  

So, what is the most important factor in determining growth?  An ability to scale up operations.  If you cannot scale up your business, you are confining yourself to limited growth, consistently.  If the revenue from expansion is less than overall cost, after a limited period of time, something must change in your business model.  

What we know for sure is that the old model of growth does not work in the digital economy.  The old growth model went something like this: a firm gains a few new clients, so they hire a few more staff, thus adding cost at the same rate as they add revenue.  

This model no longer works in the digital economy for two main reasons…  

  • Changing Nature of Hiring.  Business owners need to take a long hard look at their costs and figure out how to maximize skill while minimizing expense.  Businesses without a brick and mortar location have far less to worry about here, although a similar comparison could be made between marketing cost and revenue.  Do they match up in your favor? If not, then it’s time to hire a different marketing team.    

  • Changing Nature of Costs.  Small business owners must spend far more money on digital marketing than ever before.  But digital marketing can be done strategically in ways that save money and ensure the same results: scaling up operations.  

What Does a Growth Strategy Look Like in 2017?

The new model of growth is all about adaptation, efficiency, and long-term vision.  A growth strategy in 2017 should be defined not in terms of cost but in terms of use-value.  

Focus on Training, Not New Hires

For example, let’s say your business is ready to scale up, but projected labor costs are just too high.  From the perspective of use-value, a more effective solution would be to train and compensate existing staff to be more competent and capable (and thus more efficient).  Sure, there will be a cost involved there as well, but you will have made it possible to scale your business up and keep the accompanying rise in labor cost to a minimum.  

If you do make some new hires, make sure you have a strong leadership structure in place beforehand so that employees are held accountable and remain strong contributors week in and week out.

Refine Your System, Don’t Expand It

Another misconception about scaling up is that you will need to change your whole operation.  Not the case.  

However, you will need to refine your internal communication channels so that the entire team functions better.  Do you have a ‘system’?  It will be very hard to scale up without one.

Take advantage of the many programs available for internal business communications, and formalize a structure that has space for growth.  These systems are great because they allow for clearly defined roles and the potential for large team projects.  

Formalizing a structure will mean everyone is on the same page as you grow, so that you are not playing catch-up as growth starts to materialize.  It means you have planned for it and your team can take it all in stride – and that’s one of the most important keys to scaling up in a seamless fashion. 

The Tips You Need to Use Infusionsoft Effectively

Converting cold leads into sales takes more than a killer social media presence and an all-encompassing digital marketing ad campaign.  While these are influential tools for gathering interest, the hard work of actually converting users/views into customers has not been accomplished yet. 

All too often, business owners think that traffic and engagement should organically translate into sales.  Unfortunately, it’s simply not that easy. 

Enter email marketing, the next phase in your sales channel that provides users with valuable and actionable content about your brand. 

Email Marketing is a Key Business Strategy

Email marketing is successful because it cuts through a lot of the barriers between your business and your audience.  It’s not just a little Facebook ‘like’ here and a click to the homepage there – it’s a personalized email that keeps users up to speed with your brand. 

And it works wonders.  Consider these stats:

  • Research from VentureBeat found that every $1 spent on email campaigns generates $38 in ROI
  • According to McKinsey data, email marketing is still approximately 40% more effective than Facebook or Twitter in gaining new customers

The email marketing platform we recommend to our clients is Infusionsoft – it is an intuitive and scalable email marketing tool that provides the tools you need to make impactful email campaigns. 

However, there are some tips to consider that will help you create better newsletters and drive page open rates. 

  • Make the Most of Segmentation 

Segmentation allows you to curate email newsletters only to those people that have expressed interest in the content itself.  Not just the newsletter – the content of the newsletter itself.

So take advantage of Infusionsoft’s segmentation tool and make lists based on specific interests, otherwise your audience will ignore it. 

  • Produce More Dynamic Content

Once you have made lists of customers based on interests, it’s time to develop templates optimized for each list.   

  • A/B Testing

Infusionsoft offers exceptional A/B testing research. It’s a great way to see what is working in your approach.  Is it the image? The text? The time it is sent?  These are all important intangibles that you should be testing. 

Rounding It Up

As your business grows it will collect more data.  It can be a daunting task trying to organize it all and make use of it in your marketing endeavors.  The process is made much easier by analytical tools like Infusionsoft, as long as you know how to harness its full potential. 

Contact us at to get the latest deals / discounts on Infusionsoft and other programs to make your business run even smoother so that you can generate more leads and close more sales.