Tuesday, October 11
Forbes says, "a marketing budget is one of the most important things you can do for your company". Did you know that on average, the top publicly traded companies spend 10% of their annual revenue on marketing? And yet, one of the biggest mistakes I see new small business owners make is forgetting to set aside a portion of their profits to re-invest in getting the word out about their business! Coaching is no different!
When I first started coaching, I was working my booty off to make enough money to cover my own products so that I could support my fitness habit, continue to get healthy and stay plugged into the incredible community of coaching and challenge groups, and then try to make a profit on top of that. Just like any new business, it takes time! And I was afraid to spend extra on anything just in case my business couldn't earn enough to cover it! But over time I learned that starting small with micro-investments in my own business can add up to big returns (aka time saved, profits, sanity, growth, etc!) when I chose wisely and followed my gut!
Micro-investments can be anything from buying your own domain, to purchasing a book that will help you get better at an aspect of business or leadership, to programs or apps that will help you accomplish your daily tasks more effectively! Even just five or ten dollars a month could mean a huge difference over time in your business! Having a little more skin in the game (so to speak) can also help you to treat your business more like a business and less like a hobby, and get you more into the mindset of success!
If you're ready to take it to the next level, read on. I've picked out some of my favorite things that have helped me in my own coaching business that are free or cost less than $50. Start small and grow as you go!
$5 Coaching Micro Investments
Laminated To-Do List - One of the best things I did for my productivity was to laminate my daily to-do list for my business. It cost less than $10 to print it and have it lamented at my local office supply store and now I can use a dry erase marker on it every day to stay on track!
Boost a Post - If you have a Facebook fan page you can get your post in front of more eyes by "boosting" it for as little as $5. You can even specify what audience you want your boost to be shown to. There are tons of tutorials available online that dig deeper into using this feature if you want to learn more!
Wordswag - My favorite app for creating beautiful images for Facebook and Instagram that have inspiring quotes of info written on the picture. I had this in the free section but someone commented letting me know it's $4.99 now in the app store. Still totally worth it!
The Target Dollar Bins - The Target dollar section has so many great little things you can pick up to use as prizes or giveaways!
$10 Coaching Micro Investments
Custom domain - if you have a blog or a website you can get a custom domain for less than $10 that will help make your business look more professional.
Buffer App - Buffer is an app that helps you manage posting across your social media channels. I'm still just learning it but I hear incredible things and you can get started with their upgraded plan that lets you have up to 10 social media accounts included for just $10 a month.
Canva - Creating graphics for your challenge groups or your team recognition or even just for your social media can be daunting if you don't have a background in graphic design. The most user friendly program I've found is Canva and it's free to use. There are some design elements and templates that cost $1 but for how beautiful your graphics will look, it's definitely worth it!
$15 Coaching Micro Investments
Zoom Pro - Zoom is a platform that allows you to host video conferences, record them, screenshare during them and more. For $15 a month you can get Zoom Pro which does not limit your time or participants. I use Zoom to host weekly team calls, mastermind sessions, and even one-on-one chats because it's so simple and handy!
Do an Instagram Shoutout - If you post your workout selfies or transformations, you can find big fitness instagram accounts and pay for a shoutout. I've found accounts that will do shoutouts for as little as $15. A shoutout is basically where they'll feature a photo of yours and drive their followers to go check out your page. It's a great way to get in front of more eyes targeted to your niche.
Audible - For about $15 a month you can use Audible to download and listen to audio books. You get 1 book free each month with your subscription. I love listening to personal development books while I'm driving. It's a great way to multi-task and invest in yourself! Books are one of the absolute best investments you can make in yourself and your business!
Death to the Stock Photo - For $15 a month you can subscribe to get photos you can use for your marketing. (Just grabbing photos from google images, fb, instagram, blogs to use for your marketing is technically stealing so don't do it.) Paying for the use of images, especially if you are going to use them to run an ad or advertise your biz is the ethical route (and it can keep you out of lawsuits down the road!)
$25-$50 Coaching Micro Investments
Personal Development - Ebooks, Hard copies of personal development books, etc. You can find training on just about anything you want to get better at out there for about $25 or less now-a-days!
Photo Backdrop - If you want to up your photo game, a simple backdrop can do the trick! I use a white-washed wood one all the time for food photos! They come in all different sizes starting at just about $10 and going up the bigger size you need. Here's my favorite supplier.
Blog Love E-Course - The original version of this course was so helpful to me as a new blogger and it's a go at your own pace kind of learning. For $45 if you want to get into blogging, this is an incredible first step!
Blog Templates - For about $50 you can get a pretty incredible customized template for your Blogger or Wordpress blog. That template can take your blog from generic to showstopping. A lot of places will even handle installation for you! Check etsy too for good blog template deals!
Host an event - Why not host a fitclub where people can come work out doing one of your incredible programs! Fitclubs must be free to attend but unless you have space at your house for it, you'll probably need to rent someplace. Public parks could work for a bootcamp style workout. Or check apartment complex common rooms or community centers.
Seriously have zero cash available right now? Here's some options that have free trials or free basic memberships you could use to get started and then upgrade when you grow out of them!
Free Coaching Tools
Blogger, Instagram, Facebook Pages, Youtube Channel - Get on social media and start sharing. Consistency is the most important part and just getting started is a vital first step. Luckily, all these incredible platforms are free to use!
Zoom - Zoom has a free basic membership you can use to host video web conferences that are less than an hour long and for less than 40 people at a time.
MadMimi - You can use Madmimi for free to send out email newsletters as long as your list is less than 100 people
Library for Personal Development - Your local library has tons of books you can get started with if you can't afford to purchase your own copies of personal development just yet. If you are a brand new coach I highly suggest starting with a book called, The Slight Edge. It's my all time favorite!
Canva - Canva is an incredible graphics program that is online that you can use for FREE as long as you choose from the design elements that are free and available without licensing
Kill The Newsfeed - In Chrome you can download a plugin called "Kill the Newsfeed" that will make it so every time you go to Facebook you don't see your main newsfeed. For coaches who use FB as their main business platform this is HUGE for avoiding distraction. You can still access your messages, events, groups, and business pages.
Youtube - Many of the top coaches in all of Beachbody (myself included) have tons of FREE training videos available on Youtube. You can learn so much just by doing a quick search and watching what's already available!
Want to learn more about how to be a successful Beachbody coach and grow a business that supports not only your health and wellness but also your dream life? Apply to be a coach on my top ranked team to be mentored by yours truly and join our tribe of men and women who are building businesses based on heart and hustle! I'll teach you everything I know and share with you exactly how I built a solid home-based business by taking control of my health and inspiring other people to do the same!
Monday, October 10
In our house, we are currently a little obsessed with bees. In the last week, not a day has gone by when my son has not told me some sort of fact about honeybees. So when our friend posted a photo on Facebook of all the new bees that he's soon to be bee-keeping in his own backyard, the discussion about bees and honey roared right back into life! Today we watched Bee Movie and themed our superfood smoothies with the goodness that bees give to us! My superfood smoothie mix already has tons of superfoods in it, so there's really no need to beef it up but bee pollen granules taste like tiny honey-flavored sprinkles so it's basically a win-win since my 4 year old thinks they are delicious and I know they are loaded with quercetin which acts like a natural antihistimine! It's also full of amino acids and it's all natural unlike store bought decorative sprinkles. Plus, honey is delicious and a little drizzle on top of a smoothie will almost always guarantee me that it will get my little man excited to drink it all down. PS. Using local honey is the best if you want to get the anti-allergy benefits since you want to be ingesting honey from the local plants in your area!
1 cup almond milk
1 cup water
1 packet (or scoop) vegan chocolate shakeology*
drizzle of local honey
1/8 tsp local bee pollen
Combine all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until the consistency of a milkshake. Top with a drizzle of honey and bee pollen and enjoy immediately! (You could shake it up as well in a shaker cup with ice if you prefer a more chocolate-milk type drink instead of a milkshake type drink.)
*You can absolutely buy shakeology individually, but this month for just $10 more you could get a Challenge Pack which is a bundled and discounted kit containing a month of shakeology, a fitness program, a nutrition plan to follow, AND a month of access to Beachbody on Demand which is like Netflix for workouts! Plus a pack instantly registers you for one of my monthly fitness challenges (you can see my current ones listed in the top right of my sidebar!) This month you could get Country Heat, Cize, 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, or 22 Minute Hard Corps packs all for just $10 more than what you'd spend buying shakeology alone. I highly recommend it, especially if you're looking to get plugged into our community and have a more well-rounded experience! Click here and then click on the START NOW button to compare prices on all available packs!
Sunday, October 9
Let me back up for a minute. Two years ago I was at a retreat where I was asked to participate in an exersize where I closed my eyes and envisioned my life as I dreamed it. The future I wanted. I was asked to step into it, to feel how it felt, to smell how it smelled, to see who was there, what did it look like, where was I, what was happening? With tears I started scribbling down a fantasy of a future I wasn't certain I'd ever see. You see, as a self employed photographer, we lived booking to booking. We had more than enough for ourselves, but not much extra for our future. I never thought that home ownership, let alone dream ownership was in the cards for us. It wasn't until I fell in love with coaching and started to allow my vision to shift that I started to believe it was possible for us! You see, as a photographer, my income was limited to me, to where I could physically be as the artist. I could only be in one place at one time taking one photograph at a time. But as a coach, I am able to connect with people all over the place virtually and leverage myself across digital media systems to be able to do more than 1 thing at a time and thus, build a much more scalable business with residual income and so much more freedom to actually enjoy the life I'm building! (Join my next info session on what being a coach on our team is all about here!)
My vision that I wrote down on tear streaked notebook paper? It was of a lakehouse, with lots of big windows and natural light. A big, open kitchen where I could bake and my son sitting at a table working on his homework. A dock with a boat and wakeboards and jet skis and all manner of fun outdoor activities. The house where his friends would want to come. Teenage boys eating all my food and then burning the daylight on the lake while I sit in the shade with dear friends and connect over life and dreams and shared visions. Holiday gatherings, the smell of pine and cinnamon, laughing, a safe place where everyone feels welcome to help themselves and make themselves comfortable. I read it aloud to a room full of women with tears in their eyes and just like that, it was burned in my brain. I didn't know how, but I knew I was willing to work harder than ever to make it happen.
Fast forward two years later... it's closing week. My dream hanging in the balance. We'd been told multiple times that we wouldn't be able to get the house, that the sellers were too hard to work with, that they refused to do their part, that we should just walk away, but I knew this was our home and I was willing to fight for it. So we did. We had been told that we were clear to close. Then we were told that there was a problem on the sellers side. Then we were told that the problem had been resolved. Then another issue blocking our way. As of midnight the night before our closing we were told it probably wasn't going to happen. Our closing was at 9am. At 10am I received a call that I will remember forever... "I just want to let you know that I don't know how they did it, but our team got everything resolved and if you can make it at 1pm you can close today!"
Of course, nothing is ever as simple as it seems, and after another 72 hours of the sellers making our lives difficult, we finally had the keys in our hands and the documents signed. The little stone lakehouse was ours!
We moved in last weekend in a blur of hurricane craziness, dust, sweat, and sage. I'm not sure I've ever felt as calm as I do in this space. Sure, it's disheveled and unfinished and full of boxes not yet unpacked, but it's home. It's OUR HOME.
I'm writing this blog post from our breakfast nook that overlooks our backyard and the lake. It's breezy outside, I can see the branches of an oak tree gently dancing around against the pale blue of the sky and the sun is glistening off the lake as if someone was sprinkling it with silver glitter. There's a man in a jet ski doing circles and as soon as I hit publish I'm going to change into my suit and take my paddleboard out on our lake for the first time! I envision a dock and a little beach and a fire pit and twinkle lights out there. They'll come in time, as will the rest of our future and personal touches. But for now I'll stare at photos from our move in weekend and be filled with gratitude and contentment knowing that we're building this dream life with passion and intention one step at a time and step 1, the biggest step, is now happily complete!
Here's some photos from the last few days...
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Thursday, September 15
my august-sept progress
When New Years came I resolved to be in the best shape of my life this year! I was asked to be in a corporate test group, I felt like this was my time to shine! And then somewhere in the spring I lost my way. I got complacent. I stopped paying attention to my food. I started putting myself last. I was giving so much to my challengers and my team that I had nothing left to use for myself! At some point a tiny voice in the back of my head said, "you'll never be one of those girls who is in killer shape, just be happy with your progress so far and settle in." And somewhere along the way, I accepted that lie.
After Summit in Nashville (Photo recap coming soon! Promise!) they challenged us to commit fully to a new program. I felt compelled to try a cleanse that intimidated me. I'd tried twice and failed in the past but I knew I needed to do something to push the reset button on my nutritional habits. I didn't realize it at that moment but that was the catalyst for an incredible mental shift! I'm just under two months into my 2nd half of the year. And while I know most people coming into fall would say, "oh well... I'll just enjoy myself through the holidays and try again next January" I looked at it and said to myself, "a half a year is more than enough time to CRUSH my original goal!"
So here we are. I'm down about 11 pounds and have fully revived my passion for nutrition! I completed the Ultimate Reset, am in the middle of Country Heat, and after that I'll be doing 21 Day Fix Extreme to get conditioned for a new program coming out in November! I plan to end this year in the absolute BEST shape of my life! If you're like me and you started to listen to that voice in your head that said, "this isn't your year, try again next time" then I hope this inspires you to shut that script down and decide not to let another half a year go by you without doing what it was that you really wanted to do! I'm coming for you abs! You can follow along with the behind the scenes of my days on my fitness facebook page. Or just keep checking in on my social media for updates. Anyone coming with me? I'll be hosting private accountability groups where you can be my virtual workout buddy! Just get in touch with me and I'll send you all the info about what programs I'm doing and how you can join me!
Tuesday, August 30
Three years ago I signed up to be a coach with tons of trepidation, fear, uncertainty, and absolutely zero idea what I was doing! I had zero self confidence. I felt like hiding most the time. I felt like I had nothing of value to offer the world. I felt like a failure as a woman because I had not been able to "bounce back" after having a baby. I felt lost. I felt lonely. I felt like I was treading water and never getting traction. And now, just three years later I got to co-host and present on a panel of the women who inspired me and made me believe anything was possible! What an incredible full circle moment!
Token brunette ;)You can apply to be on my team and join my next mentorship group by clicking here!
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