It’s the end of the week, and just like almost every Friday at The Solopreneur Life, I have some tasty, mostly-healthy bits of information to share with you.
This week’s menu includes:
• My initial reaction to the new Facebook features
• The question all aspiring solopreneurs must answer
• How to use Twitter effectively for marketing
• How do we know which tasks to delegate?
• How to stay strong with your policies
• Hello, I’m The Jackass Whisperer
• How to never get stiffed on payment
• Why you HAVE TO own your primary online presence
My Initial Reaction to the New Facebook Features
I spent just a little bit of time Thursday using the new Fan Page features at Facebook. I am thrilled with the changes, because they make Facebook viable for solopreneurs who maintain their personal and business pages under one account.
Being able to switch my “use as” status from my personal profile to my business profile is a huge one for me and it will dramatically increase my use of Facebook for biz. Eliminating the tabs is an improvement, too, methinks.
Have you updated your business’s Facebook page? What do you think of the new look and functionality?
And make sure to check out Tommy Walker’s video overview of the changes. Tommy is @tommyismyname.
The Question All Aspiring Solopreneurs Must Answer
As solopreneurs, we must answer this critical question: “When should I quit my day job?” Adam Gottlieb, The Frugal Entrepreneur (@FrugalEntrepren), addressed that question in an article titled “Taking the Plunge: When Should You Quit Your Day Job to Run Your Own Business?” on his Web site.
Adam writes about eight things to consider, and here is one of them:
What is your gut telling you? Above all… go with your gut. Sometimes the right decision is the most illogical one. If everything inside of you is screaming for change, then you better listen to it. Forcing yourself into a situation that “feels off” will almost always backfire in the end.
If you’re an aspiring solopreneur, Adam’s piece is a must-read.
How to Use Twitter Effectively for Marketing
In an article on the subject of Therapy Marketing, Elizabeth Doherty Thomas (@MarriageKids) this week provided sage advice on how to use (and not use) Twitter:
Leave your Bad Marketing Instincts at the door. Breath a sigh of relief! Start engaging as a real human being to other real human beings. You know, like you do every day with clients. (Only this time you get to share your whole self!) Watch my Twitter account and how many people I talk to, how rarely I tweet my own awesomeness but instead talk with people, share what they’re sharing. And then imagine all that is happening behind the scenes with these authentic connections.
Here’s another sliver of advice (from me) for being effective on Twitter: don’t send automated DMs. Oh, and if you don’t want DMs, then turn off the DM capability.
How Do We Know Which Tasks To Delegate?
We hear a lot of talk about how we as solopreneurs should hire virtual assistants to help us out. But how do we know which tasks we should delegate? Sophie Zollman (@sophiezo), in an article this week titled “How Do You Figure Out What to Delegate to a Virtual Assistant?” provided six ways of identifying what you should off-load:
1. Make a list of the tasks you absolutely dislike doing.
2. Make a list of the tasks you don’t do very well.
3. Make a list of the tasks you don’t know how to do at all.
4. Make a list of tasks you know you need to do but haven’t even begun yet.
5. Make a list of the tasks on your to-do list that never get done.
6. Make a list of the tasks that should be done more often than you do them.
Looking at those questions, which jobs should you give to a VA? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
How to Stay Strong With Your Policies
I found an article this week from Tracey Lawton (@OfficeQueen) titled, “5 Challenges and Mistakes Faced by Every Solopreneur.” Tracey is an online business development strategist, and I really like what she says. For example, here’s “Challenge/Mistake #3 – Not Creating Strong Boundaries.”
There will be times in your business (in fact there will be many times) that a client challenges you in one way or another, and you cave in and accommodate them even though you know it’s the wrong thing to do. Examples of this are granting a discount on a product once the discount period has expired, dropping your fees to get the client, or scheduling regular phone calls outside of your normal business hours. Bending your boundaries in this way will only lead to resentment and will prove a lot more harmful in the long run.
A solution to tightening up your boundaries is to create firm policies about how you operate and what you will or will not tolerate in your business and put those policies into writing—either as a page in your Terms & Conditions or uploaded to your website. That way when a client does try and push your boundaries you can gracefully remove yourself from the situation and direct them to your policies page.
What works for you when a client wants you to bend? Share your advice in the comments below.
Do you want high-quality leads from high-quality solopreneurs? Go to it!
Hello, I’m The Jackass Whisperer
The funniest thing I saw this week on Twitter also contained the best piece of advice:
@susangiurleo Luv this! RT @soniasimone Evergreen good advice from @unmarketing: Don’t try to win over haters. You’re not the Jackass Whisperer.
How to Never Get Stiffed on Payment
I’ve written about Maria Brophy (@MariaBrophy) in the past in “Friday Bits.” She’s a whiz at the business side of being an artist, and this week she wrote a gem of an article titled, “How to Never Get Ripped Off Again.” She says it’s very simple to avoid being ripped off. You just have to do two things:
1. Require a deposit up front
2. Require the full balance at completion
The INSTANT you institute these two policies for your small business, you will NEVER have to make a collection call EVER again.
If you want my take on how to avoid collections problems, read “11 Collection Tips From a Solopreneur Who Gets Paid 99.92 Percent of the Time.”
Why You HAVE TO (HAVE TO!) Own Your Primary Online Presence
Do you want to know why your primary online presence HAS TO BE something that you own and control? This week Jay Ehret (@marketingguy) told the the sad story of a business that was booming on Facebook but then was taken down overnight.
How to Make Solopreneurship Easier
Erik Vonk (@ErikVonk), the founder and CEO of Back Of the House, or BOTH, a one-stop shop for back-office support for solopreneurs, was my guest Monday for The Solopreneur Life on BlogTalkRadio. If you struggle with issues related to business structure (LLC or incorporation), taxes, liability insurance, health insurance, or IT, I urge you to listen to what he shared.
In case you missed any of this week’s columns, here they are:
• Solopreneurs, Who’s Your Mentor, Who’s Your Coach?
• Independent Contractor Agreements (and Why Solopreneurs Need to Use Them
• Featured Soloist Nichole Bazemore: “Do You.”