As per previous post, I have not been well. I have used my time to try and recover and get better. I am a little better but still not 100%. According to the doctors all is normal but I still have the cough and am out of breath every now and then. Has this happened to you? Feel not well but there is nothing wrong! I must say it is very annoying but it could just be due to be pregnant that all the good stuff is going to the baby and I am stuck fighting whatever it was. I suppose that is the perils of pregnancy.
I’ve been resting, trying to get better and also writing this post. I have wanted to post this earlier but I had two nights in hospital the other week and have been getting better since. I am much better now but still have a cough and get out of breathe every now and then.
Now…… finally to post about the fabulous, invigorating and inspiring conference that is Problogger.
Previous to the conference all talks and times were posted and I of course made a schedule of the talks that I wished to go to. I wish I could have been in two talks at the same time but that would not be possible due to the fact that they are in completely different rooms. The only saving grace about this is that as a ticket holder I got presentations and the audio from all other talks so at the end of the day I did not miss out, however being at the talk and experiencing it is great as well.
One of the overarching themes of the conference this year was giving something back to the reader and community. Nearly all the presenters spoke about giving to the community and not focusing on what you will get. Be someone that helps the people and then your community will grow as well.
So what talks did I think were amazing this year?
- Jadah Sellner from Simple Green Smoothies
- How to Grow Your Blog – Actionable Productivity Tips for Busy Bloggers – Christina Butcher & Carly Jacobs
- Creating Business Ideas – Brandon Cowan
Jadah Sellner from Simple Green Smoothies
Jadah was an amazing speaker. She was so alive and spoke with enthusiasm about her journey. Simple Green Smoothies is not an overnight success. Jadah and her husband started a business with the idea that it was a playground for kids (Business idea number 1 – Little Sprouts Playhouse was formed in 2009 so that they could be with their 18mth old daughter) so that they can be allowed to do all the things that parents say no to. However that business model was short lived as parents did not want to stay with their children and preferred to drop them off. The business model morphed into a preschool and then Jadah and her husband were doing many jobs that then caused stress and worry.
Due to being so busy and run off their feet Jadah gained weight, was depressed and upset. Her relationship with her husband was suffering and they realised that they had to make a change.
They both decided to quit Little Sprouts Playhouse as they chose to be together. “Anything that comprises your health and your relationships is not a sustainable business model”. Is the business that you are building sustainable? It is okay according to Jadah to get rid of some idea babies to move onto the next big idea that will work and be sustainable.
After they quit the business they were broke. She moved in with her husband’s parents, they were in debt with over $40k owing and they were living from pay check to pay check. Her husband was working all hours, Jadah was working two part time jobs and also looking after their four year old daughter as well. It was hard.
Jadah wanted a business that allowed freedom for herself, her family, location freedom (travel the world and have time to be at her child’s school) and also allowed herself and her husband financial freedom.
Sellner decided to build a vision board. They put all their BIG dreams out there. She put down the idea of getting $15k per month income for her family and also for her business partner Jen. Jadah said that 18mths later this became a reality. Your dreams are possible.
Jadah Sellner and Jen Hansard founded a parenting blog called Parenting Sponge (Business idea number 2). Jen and Jadah investigated how to make money online, sponsored content, advertising and giveaways. When it first started the only people that were commenting on the website was Jadah’s mum, and her cousin who did not have children.
“We all have to start at Zero. Zero money in the bank, zero followers and zero email subscribers. Just remember we all have to start at zero”
“We get attached to our ideas, we get attached to our businesses”
“What we put out in the world actually has to help people, so if an idea is not sticking. Let it go and try something else”
“Look at failure as feedback. Put it out there in the world and let the world decide”
Simple Green Smoothies (Business idea number 3), was not meant to be a business idea or a blog. Jadah says that she talked about Simple Green Smoothies on the parenting blog and also many other topics.
A friend of Jadah’s was raving about Instagram and Jadah was not so sure. She decided to sign up and give it a go.
She did not think it was going to work but as Sellner points out, sometimes it is the things that you think will never work that end up changing your business for the better and revolutionise it for the better. Simple Green Smoothies was the winning idea and the business that stuck.
Jadah was only posting two to three recipes each week on Instagram and that is how Simple Green Smoothies started.
“The idea that spreads the widest wins” Jason Silva
If you cannot get ten people to latch onto your idea you will not be able to get thousands or hundreds of thousands to spread your idea. “Pay attention to the message you are sending and is it getting to the people that you wish to serve.”
“If you want to make a million dollars, help a million people first” Jadah Sellner
The 3 Core Elements that Simple Green Smoothies Employs:
- Attract Your Tribe
- What is it that you really want to be known for?
- Become fanatical and hyper focused – what is the contiguous message that you have to share
- Start talking about this message over and over on a consistent basis
- “The riches are in the niches” Jadah Sellner referring to Instagram
- Who are you most excited to serve? Who is your ideal audience? Who is that one person that you can help. As soon as you focus to this one person level your business is going to change.
- Jen and Jadah came up with a dream client. They made it up. Who would she/he be? Where would they live, would they have a family, what would their hobbies be, and what type of job would they have and so on.
- Write your blog posts and social media updates to just one person. If you try to address and everyone Jadah said that no one knew who they were talking to. Making it about one person makes the message more personal and it is like you are having a conversation with the individual. So instead of Hi everyone, say, how are you? Make the connection with your tribe.
- When you are clear on your message and your reader your business will change. People will sense the energy and be drawn to the messages that you are putting out there.
- Serve Your Community
- Don’t take people away from the party. Social media is like a dance party according to Jadah. If you post something on Instagram have all the information there so that your reader does not have to go anywhere else to find it. If you post a recipe list all ingredients and make it as easy as possible for your followers. Once the reader trusts you, they will go to your house (your blog/website), and sign up to your email list but first you need to add all the value to the content that you post in the social media channel that they hang out in. Don’t make the reader do an extra step. Adding a full recipe to an Instagram photo means that it is easy for someone to tag their friends and to share the content.
- All of the value is not on the blog it is on different channels. Jadah said that in the last year she has blogged 120 times on the website (Her Home), and likes to add value to the channels that her followers live in. She puts all her content in Social Media as that is where the party is at.
- Money is in your email list. You don’t own Pinterest, Instagram and other social media channels.
- It is a good idea to diversify where your community is. According to Jadah, Simple Green Smoothies other social media channels are equal as they put the same amount of effort, love and interest into each area.
- Spend more time creating your FREE OPT IN OFFER. Jadah created, “5 Free Recipes that will change your life”. 2,000 people signed up for Simple Green Smoothies List from this free offer. July was when Jadah started with Instagram, December was when the free opt in offer was created and the list grew to 2,000. The next year they created their 30 day smoothie challenge free opt in and their list grew to 200,000.
- Make your Free Opt in better than someone’s paid offer.
- Test you’re Free opt in offer. You don’t know what will work.
- CREATE VALUE TO YOUR COMMUNITY WITH VERY LOW RISK TO PARTICIPATE
- What is the gateway problem that you can teach or help your readers with right now? Green Simple Smoothies helps people eat healthy as more of a lifestyle not just a one off. What is the one simple thing that you can get or ask your community to do that gives them the results that they desire?
- Pick 1 – 3 things to do that will help your readers transform. Your readers will then spread the word and come back again and again.
- As long as you offer free resources and are helping your community it is okay to have a paid resources area as well.
- First paid product was a $5 eBook. People paid for convenience to have all the recipes and info in one book, and all at once rather than having the recipes delivered each week.
- Invest in your product. The next paid product (Fresh Start 21 Program) they paid for a professional photographer and hired a friend to do customer service. This helped to make sure they did not burn out and allowed them to develop more for the business.
- The Fresh Start Program has generated over $1million in sales. Yes how amazing is that.
- Sell transformation. Push people into action and not just into products.
3.Nurture Your Fans
- Celebrate your fans that comment all the time. Thank them.
- Show your readers that you are real person. Every now and then you might eat pizza and not 100% healthy and so on.
- Can’t automate connection. Jadah has community happiness specialists that connect with their followers.
- Friday love notes – send feedback to people who are doing a good job in the business
- Engage with all readers’ comments.
- “It is not about how great you are. It is about how great you make other people feel.” Jadah Sellner.
- Giving away products that are in line with the business and that helps others. Simple Green Smoothies gives away blenders that help readers.
- Serving is greater than building!
- Love your community
Jadah’s main tips:
- Don’t be afraid to fail. Look at failure as feedback, put it out there and let the world decide.
- If your dreams don’t scare you they aren’t big enough
- Say your dreams out loud
- Take imperfect action
- Build a community with love & impact
- “If you can change the world with your community the world will be a better place” Jadah Sellner.
- Find your why. I wrote a post about this a while back. You can read more about it here.
How to Grow Your Blog – Actionable Productivity Tips for Busy Bloggers from Christina Butcher & Carly Jacobs
There are 5 focus areas for blog productivity:
- Make a commitment to your blog, you might miss out on a party or your favourite show or something else.
- Make some time to focus on what is necessary for YOUR blog. Is it images that are more important or is it the words that are the driver of your blog. Think about what works better for you and take time to work on it.
- If you value images over words or the other way round you can always work on developing better images in the future for your blog. You can always get better with time.
- Everything does not have to be perfect
Create a positive step towards your blog and fill out the below sentence.
My blog is important. I blog because……………………………… My blog is worth my time.
- Setting Realistic Goals
- Success is rarely accidental
- Other people make excuses why other blogs are successful. “They started at the right time”, or “They have experience in the industry”, what about, “They have a better niche than I do”, and “They are selling products and I’m not”
- What does your success look like? Christina counts shares and re-pins whereas Carly counts success via comments. Use what works for your brand and goals.
- Wishes aren’t goals you need to be specific. You need to put a time frame on your goal and have a number in mind of how many more followers you would like. See below graphic.
- Take action now – set yourself a measurable goal. I will have xxx number of followers/subscribers/uniques by xxxx date and I will do this by taking the following steps.
- Calendars and Planning
- The more routine I have the more creative I can be
- Pre-planning = Less Stress
- Take action now. Write a list of 100 blog post ideas. Yes that is a hard one but you will be amazed at the ideas you come up with. It will definitely help when you are thinking “What will I blog about today or this week?”
- Batching and productivity
- Carly said that I should ‘Think like a waiter”. I thought this comment was odd but it was very clever. Waiters don’t come and get one plate. They get serval and take them all to the kitchen at the same time. The same goes for your blog. You should not sit down to do just one task, you should use your time to do several. Only go to your kitchen once not several times a day.
- Never sit down without an idea. I for one think I had some great ideas then I sat down to stare at the computer for ages and wonder why I bothered. Having my big list of post ideas will come in handy and make sure that I don’t waste my time in the future.
- Know your best hours to work. I for one love to work during the day and sometimes at night. Although I find myself more productive and awake during the day I do more during these hours. I find the night time better for research and idea gathering than actually writing anything.
- Take action now! What items can you batch? Choose 3 or so items that you can organise easily.“When you are consuming you should be creating” Christina from Hair Romance @ Problogger.
- Scheduling tools and organisational hacks
- Set a timer for tasks. If you know how long you can spend on each task then you will not spend all day on something. I know I have done that and it is easy to get carried away.
- Don’t Multitask. I think I do multitasking well but doing everything is not helpful as you only get a little bit done of each task. I have taken to shut down all my social media sites and just write posts in word to not distract me. This is also a good tool as then you can make sure your post is well constructed and spell checked.
- Google Analytics – Check what is working and what is not via Google. When is the right time and days to post? If you figure out what is working then you can organise yourself to create more content like that and know when it is a good idea to share your content.
- Why not plan out your next month of blogging so that you are super organised. My aim is to have more months planned so that I am ready with ideas and posts ready to go live. What about you?
Creating Business Ideas – Brandon Cowan
Brandon created and founded a company called, “Crazy Dog Apps” he was just 16 when he did this and still at school. The business created the following apps, iparkedhere, Petrescue, App Making Guide and AusBuy. Brandon has also been nominated three years in a row as one of the most successful entrepreneurs under 30. Plus he was also on the show, “Beauty and the Geek” (So if you recognise him this might be why)
Persistence is the key to success!
Brandon got kicked out of school at 12 years of age (Due to severe ADHD), started two degrees that he did not finish, has not paid for any marketing for his business and cannot code.
At 14 years he was drinking
At 15 years he was hanging around a bad crowd. Drinking, smoking weed
Decided after witnessing some bad experiences decided he wanted to turn his life around.
So how has he been so successful..????
Brandon had some great ideas for an app and approached development companies to help him bring his ideas into reality. However they quoted over $70k and also laughed him out of the office.
He eventually teamed up with a family friend that had experience in IT. One thing that I loved about Brandon’s talk was that he did not give up when he did not have all the skills to bring his vision to life. He believed enough that it would happen. He surrounded himself with people that would help and kept on moving forward.
He has also used his success good. He wanted to develop an app to help the Red Cross with Blood Donation but that did not eventuate. However it was his determination and commitment to helping others that also drew him to develop Petrescue which is an app to help the RSCPA have pets homed rather than destroyed if they cannot be found homes.
Brandon was a very positive speaker and showed you that if you have passion, get up and go also the drive you can accomplish your goals. It also made me feel better knowing that if I don’t have all the skills that should not matter, as long as I can find the right people to help me. My only problem with finding skilled people is that I am not flush with cash and most people want to be paid. Maybe I could repay in kind with something that they need doing, it could function like the barter system (it is a thought and you never know it might work)
I had a great time although exhausting (So much info overload and just too much to do) at Problogger. It was fabulous to network with other like-minded bloggers and looking forward to next year. I hope to be able to go, but not sure due to having a new baby it might be difficult. We will see.
The lovely people at the RACV Royal Pines were amazing. Nothing was any trouble. The venue, food and service was fantastic! Loved it. If you need a place to stay on the Gold Coast I would highly recommend The Royal Pines.
Did you go to Problogger this year? What was your favourite session?
I love hearing all the inspirational speakers as it gives me focus and drive to keep going, but also fabulous ideas on how I can make things better for my own blog.
I would like to thank my sponsor for my car rental, Red Spot Car Rentals. They gave me a fabulous car to get from the airport to the conference.