Journeying through the Marketing Funnel – the Client’s Path

Journeying through the Marketing Funnel – the Client’s Path

7 Graces co-director Nancy Goodyear explores the journey your clients take through your marketing funnel and asks: does everyone have to take the same path?

When you have a product or service to sell, it’s all too easy to think that’s it. You have your ‘thing’; all you need to do now is find people who want to buy it from you. But that is the route to a lot of hard work trying to sell, sell, sell to lots of different people. Once those people have bought your ‘thing’ they no longer need it. They already have it (or they’ve learned what you have to teach) and you don’t have anything else to offer. The relationship is over almost as soon as it’s begun and you need to find yet more people to sell to.

The result is that most of your workload is unpaid – you spend an inordinate amount of time connecting with more and more people in the hope that one or two of them will buy what you have to offer. What a slog! This isn’t why most of us went into business in the first place. We wanted freedom and flexibility. We wanted to escape our old bosses who stood over us, cracking the whip. We wanted to drive our own destiny, but instead, we’re working more than twice as hard for less than half the money – we’re being driven by our businesses. We’re not free!

So what’s the solution?

If you’ve read any marketing books or done any marketing courses, you may have heard of the marketing funnel. Essentially, it’s a model that explains your client’s relationship with your business. It says that once you have a potential customer or client, you develop a relationship with them, moving them closer and closer to you until they know and trust you enough that they are ready to buy your product or service.

Here at the 7 Graces of Marketing , we have our own version of the marketing funnel that we use with all our clients, whether they’re on one of our courses or our Platform Building packages.

7 Graces Marketing FunnelAt the top of the funnel are your social media contacts and network connections – your Twitter followers, your Facebook and LinkedIn connections, people you know from business networks. This is where you have the largest number of people.

Some of these people will visit your blog, thus getting to know you a bit better, learning about your area of expertise, getting to know what you do and whether they like you (and it).

Some of these people will subscribe to your mailing list or become loyal readers of your blog (becoming regular visitors to your blog).

Some of your loyal readers will want a bit more of what you have to offer and will sign up for your free offer.

Some of them will decide they really like what you’re saying and want to learn more, so they will buy your entry level product (this is the scary/exciting bit for lots of people – the point at which money starts to change hands).

If they like your cheapest, lowest commitment product or service, they might move down to the next layer of the funnel and buy something a bit more expensive from you – something that requires a bit more of a commitment from them – your mid-point product.

Finally, a handful of the many, many people in your social media cloud will like you and your offering so much that they will invest in your most expensive all-singing, all-dancing, snazziest top-end product.

Here’s a concrete example:

A Twitter follower reads your coaching blog. They like what they read, so they subscribe and sign up for your free offer, a lifestyle self-assessment. They really like the freebie because it teaches them something about themselves they weren’t aware of before. Wanting to learn more, they buy your cheapest offer (entry-level), an ebook that expands on the self-assessment and provides simple exercises they can do by themselves. They love it; it makes a big difference to their outlook on life, which inspires them to book a consultation with you for 1:1 coaching (mid-level). The consultation blows their mind because they get your undivided attention for half an hour and come away feeling inspired by your insight and understanding. As a result, they hire you as their coach (top-end) and get to meet with you once a week.

From this example, you can see how, as they travel the path through the funnel, your clients get closer and closer to you, getting more and more individual time and attention from you. As they get to know you better, they are more likely to tell their friends about you (if you do a good job), which might bring them further down the funnel – straight to your blog, for example, or even straight in at the mid-point for a consultation.

This is how the funnel can work for you – making your life easier and reducing the amount of work you need to do to bring in new clients. Notice too how the higher up the funnel, the less personal input you give people and the less time and effort you have to put in. You tweet and blog ( blogging does take time, but it has the potential to reach a lot of people) but the free offer is something you prepare once (a simple self-assessment, in this example). It sits on your website for people to download. Likewise, your entry-level product (the ebook) requires preparation, but once it’s done it’s done, it’s there on your website for people to buy for a pound or two forever (or until you take it down).

It’s also worth pointing out that if you have a nice entry-level product but, say, no mid-level product, the jump for your audience might be too great. They paid a couple of quid for your ebook, but if the next step up is 1:1 coaching at £100 an hour or a weekend retreat for £1,000, well, why would they spend so much money on something delivered by someone they don’t know, someone untested? If, however, there were an intermediate product, something for about £50 – an online course, for example – it’s a manageable amount of money.  It’s another opportunity for them to get to know you and your product a bit better and another step closer to that magical top-end product.

Here’s the secret to a successful marketing funnel: there’s no point having random, unconnected products at each layer of the funnel. There needs to be a relationship from one to the next, to draw your audience through; there needs to be a natural flow. In fact, it works best if all your products are variations of the same product. Let’s take a more lavish example of a top-end product:

A residential weekend retreat all about building a relationship with your Self, held at a luxury spa, including lots of practical exercises and pampering treats. They may even get a 1:1 coaching session with you as part of the package.

From here, the mid-point product could be:

1:1 coaching

The entry level product could be:

A self-guided course covering the same points as the online taught course. Participants are given a workbook and access to recordings of the taught course sessions.

The free gift could be:

A self-assessment quiz that tells them what their relationship with themselves is currently like and some tips on what issues they might need to address.

Notice how each of the steps on this path builds on the previous step. They are all variations on the same model. At each stage, the client gets a bit more of you and goes a bit more in-depth into the same subject. They get to know your model well and see the difference it can make to them.

But what if you had more than one path through to your top-end product? What if you had another mid-level product?  For example:

An online course taught to a larger group that uses the same model you teach on the retreat, but it’s spread over a few weeks. Participants get to explore their relationship, mostly on their own, although some of them might get the chance to work with you on in-call demonstrations.

And another entry-level product:

An ebook about how your relationship with your Self colours your relationships with others.

Or you could write an actual book and that could be an entry-level product, too.

I’m freewheeling on this, but you see the point. You can have a lot of entry points to your funnel and multiple paths through it. The more paths you have, the more your potential clients can find a path that suits them. Some people like watching videos, some like doing courses, some love self-assessment quizzes, some people prefer reading. But all paths lead to the same prize: your top-end product (i.e. more personal time and input from you). And the more paths there are, the less you have to do to bring people through. It takes a bit of work to get to this point but, once you have it all in place, you will be able to reap the rewards of self-employment and finally taste the freedom and flexibility you were looking for in the first place.

If you want to develop your own marketing funnel but aren’t sure how to go about it, in the New Year Lynn Serafinn and I are launching a brand new package that will combine the Platform Building package with Business Development Mentoring. This 13-week package will not only help build your social media network and develop your blog but will also include 1:1 mentoring sessions with both Lynn and me. These sessions are designed to guide you through developing a coherent, cohesive marketing funnel for your business. To find out more, please drop us a line using the ‘Contact’ page on this site.

Nancy Goodyear
12th December 2014

 

Nancy GoodyearNancy V Goodyear is a Business Mentor and Coach who loves to help social entrepreneurs and small business owners cultivate their relationship with self , their business and their audience. With a BA (Hons) in Learning Disability Nursing, she has extensive professional experience working in health & social care within the non-profit sector. She is fluent in French having lived in France for some time. She is a graduate of the Coaches Training Institute and the Co-Active Leadership programme. She is also a director of The 7 Graces Project CIC .

Nancy on Twitter: @NancyVGoodyear
Nancy’s website – http://nancyvgoodyear.com

Like this blog?

Then please subscribe using the form at the upper right side of this page, so you can receive our articles to your inbox.

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Come join our 7 Graces group on Facebook, and join us at our monthly meetings. They’re free to attend and we have them both in person and online, so you can participate from anywhere in the world. This is NOT a “business group” but an active community where people actually know and support each other.

Find out more about how changing the paradigm can help make the world a better place:

The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell, by Lynn Serafinn, where you can learn how the 7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Graces impact the world through media and marketing. Brit Writers Awards Finalist eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious by Lynn SerafinnTweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically by Lynn Serafinn, which can help you learn how to create meaningful collaborations through Twitter and other social media. eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

The Social Entrepreneur's Guide to Successful BloggingComing later in 2015

The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging: An Effective, Creative & Ethical Way of Marketing for Visionaries & New Paradigm Business Leaders. To receive an update when that book is available, just click here. As a thank-you gift for showing your interest, you’ll get instant access to an exclusive, free 5-page PDF revealing the exact same blogging template we use with our clients and we teach to participants on the ethical marketing training courses at the 7 Graces Project .


Lynn Serafinn, MAED CPCC LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales. Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors.

Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise created to train, support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their business ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

7 Graces Project CICTwitter: http://twitter.com/7GracesMarketng

Facebook: http://facebook.com/groups/7GracesGlobalGarden

 

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#VATMOSS – New Tax Law Discriminates Against Small Businesses

VATMOSS - New Tax Law Discriminates Against Small Businesses
Social commentator and marketer Lynn Serafinn discusses the new EU legislation called VATMOSS and tackles the ethical, practical and economic issues it raises. 

Over the past decade, we have witnessed both a digital and an economic revolution on a global scale. The two primary contributing factors have been advances in technology and the worldwide recession that began in 2006.

We saw, on the one hand, millions of people being made redundant and struggling to find employment. Young mothers – who might not have chosen to work until their children were older – no longer had the luxury of being stay-at-home moms, and now needed a way to earn an income without becoming dependent upon full-time employment.

At the same time, digital technology boomed in leaps and bounds. The coming of Web 2.0 and social media, along with advances in digital publishing, automated email systems and mobile technologies have not only changed the way we communicate, but the way we create products and do business.

This unique combination of factors had a profound effect on our world:

It enabled millions of individuals, who in the past had been dependent upon employers, to become independent business owners – often sole proprietors.

Moreover, it enabled them to create their own jobs, express their own values and invent their own lifestyles. It also enabled them to serve their customers and clients in ways that weren’t possible through big business.

But now, there are new tax rules that will impact EVERY business owner who sells digital products to customers in the EU (European Union). If you’re not sure which countries are in the EU, here’s a list (yes, we in the UK are part of the EU): https://www.gov.uk/eu-eea. And yes, that includes business owners who reside in the US, Canada, Australia and anywhere else in the world. I’ve put that in RED, as so many of our readers live in those countries. So regardless of where you live, if you sell (or want to sell) to customers in the UK and Europe, I strongly recommend reading on.

Vital Income from Digital Products and Services

One of the primary income earners for micro-business owners is the digital (i.e. downloadable) product, i.e. eBooks, MP3 audio, apps, software, eCourses and so on.

Both for myself and my clients, eBooks and eCourses are especially essential to our businesses. Not only do they provide an income stream, but they are also stepping stones in our ‘marketing funnel’ in that they give customers an inexpensive option to buy from us, and allows them to get to know more about who we are.

Selling digital products on our websites has been easy. All it really took was an e-commerce set up and an auto-responder system. Of course, many of us have used large digital portals, such as Amazon, Google Play, etc. to sell our products, as well. While they take a cut of our revenue, they also make it easier to deliver and can often give us the benefit of higher visibility in search engines.

Whichever way we preferred to distribute our digital products, we micro-businesses have enjoyed a freedom of choice, which opened the door to many possibilities for us, both economically and creatively.

But with the new VATMOSS laws, this freedom of choice is about to crumble. To understand why, let me explain the ‘before’ and ‘after’ of this whole issue.

‘BEFORE’ – How VAT Has Worked So Far

If you live in the EU, you’ll be familiar with the term ‘VAT’, which stands for ‘Value Added Tax’. To Americans, VAT is the equivalent of ‘sales tax’. The VAT rate varies from country to country. Here in the UK, VAT is 20%, while the rate may be higher or lower across Europe.

To date, digital services sold business-to-customer (B2C) in the EU have been taxed at the location of the seller. This means a customer pays VAT of 20% on any digital service bought from a UK company. If we buy from a company in another EU country, we pay the VAT of their country.

To date, VAT has never been a concern for smaller businesses. A business does not need to charge their customers VAT (or register as a VAT company) unless their taxable turnover is over £81,000 a year. Few sole proprietors (especially those just starting out) would be so lucky as to have an £81k annual taxable turnover.

This threshold means most sole proprietors haven’t had to think about VAT at all. This has helped the micro-business owner in two significant ways:

  • They haven’t been required to charge VAT. This has allowed them to keep their prices down for their customers and therefore compete with larger companies with greater volume and/or buying power.
  • They haven’t had to keep track of and file VAT reports. This has helped keep their administrative and accounting costs down.

Furthermore, the law as it currently stands determines VAT/sales tax according to the country in which the business is based. This means:

  • A business owner located outside the EU (in the US, for example) doesn’t need to understand anything about international tax laws.
  • They also don’t need to worry about paying taxes outside their own country.
  • Thus, online trade across international lines has been relatively easy for the small business owner, especially for the one-person operation.

But with the new VATMOSS rules, all that is changing.

‘AFTER’ – How the New VATMOSS Rules Will Change Things in January 2015

As of January 1st, 2015, a new VATMOSS ruling will come into effect. Under VATMOSS, there are several critical changes that will impact anyone who sells digital ‘services’ to customers who reside within the 28 countries of the European Union:

  • The EU now defines downloadable eBooks, images, music, apps, software, as ‘services’ rather than ‘products’. Their reasoning is that they are ‘essentially automated’ (i.e. delivered automatically). Therefore, they are subject to these new rules.
  • The ‘place of supply’ rule is changing. In the past, the ‘place of supply’ was the country in which the business was located. Now, in the case of digital services, the ‘place of supply’ is the country in which the CUSTOMER is located. This means that if a business sells any kind of downloadable digital product (um…’service’…) on their own website, they need to be able to detect where their buyer is located and charge their customers VAT according to the buyer’s country. For example, VAT is 17% in Luxembourg, 20% in the UK and 27% in Hungary.
  • There are no VAT thresholds for digital sales made outside your own country, meaning you are now required to collect and report VAT from your very first EU sale.*
  • All businesses are required to store their sales data securely for 10 years.
  • All affected UK companies will be required to file detailed and SEPARATE quarterly UK VAT accounts and EU VAT transactions or face penalties.

*   I should clarify that for a UK-based business, the VAT thresholds still apply for digital sales made WITHIN the UK. In other words, unless you have £81,000 of taxable turnover per annum, you do not need to charge or report VAT for UK sales.

What Kinds of Products and Services Are NOT Affected

The new laws ONLY apply to things that are considered ‘hands off’ (i.e. delivered automatically with little or no human intervention). So:

  • If you’ve designed a bespoke product for a client that you sent them via email, you are not subject to VAT laws.
  • Similarly, if you deliver training where you are live on the air with your customers, you are not liable to charge/report VAT. However, if you later SELL that same training as a stand-alone product and deliver it automatically (or passively, such as when you run a membership site), you would be liable.

In recent social media discussions, HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs in the UK) ‘implied’ that if you manually deliver a product via email rather than via an auto-responder, this is considered to involve human intervention. Some people online saw this as a loophole they could exploit, so they wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle of the new tax rules. But personally, I think the statement comes from HMRC being essentially ignorant of the way online businesses operate, and I wouldn’t be too quick to jump into that loophole, as I’m sure this comment will be contracted at some point in the near future.

B2B (business to business) sales are also NOT subject to VAT laws. For example, if you sell eBooks through a major sales portal like Amazon, you are technically selling it to another business, and Amazon is selling to the customer (B2C). Thus, in this case, Amazon is liable to track, charge and pay VAT to the respective countries, not you.

However, be aware that this new ruling will affect the COST of your products on Amazon, and in many cases you will be forced either to raise your prices (potentially putting off customers) or keep your prices low while taking a cut in profits. That’s not Amazon’s fault, but a result of VATMOSS.

The Difficulty for the New VATMOSS Ruling

The new ruling creates a quagmire of bureaucracy for businesses. In the past, if someone bought a digitally downloadable product from our website, we didn’t need to ask them for their physical address. In fact, most of us are loathe to give such private information unless we are ordering a physical product that needs to be shipped to us. But with VATMOSS, our customers will need to provide us with this information. And, of course, we need to have a way to collect it, store it, calculate the tax they should be charged, charge them, and then report our sales on a quarterly basis to as many as 28 different EU countries.

Doing this is both technically and financially out of bounds for many (if not most) one-person operations (or even those that are bigger). To make things easier, HMRC created something called ‘VAT MOSS’. MOSS stands for ‘Mini One-Stop Shop’. The purpose of MOSS is to give businesses a way to register for VAT in one ‘one-member state’ (i.e. their own country), rather than 28 different countries.

However, while registering for MOSS *might* make it easier to report our sales to the government (I was told by @Taxamo on Twitter this needs to be done quarterly), we are still left with the technical and administrative challenges of determining, applying and tracking VAT for all our European sales in the first place.

Furthermore, MOSS is for UK residents. I have no idea what other countries (including those in the US and Canada) are supposed to do.

The Options for the Business Owner

Essentially, business owners now have five choices:

  1. If you’re a UK business owner, you can register for VAT and MOSS and collect VAT on all UK and EU sales (you will still need to track and report sales to them quarterly).
  2. You can register for VAT in each non-UK EU member state separately (certainly the least practical for the smaller business owner).
  3. You can forget about selling directly to the customer altogether and sell ONLY through third-party retailers, such as Amazon.
  4. You can continue to sell directly to customers, but stop selling to EU countries altogether (except your own). In the UK, this would mean you could still maintain the £81k threshold.
  5. You can continue to sell directly to customers, but do NOT deliver your goods automatically to customers in an EU country other than your own. This would still mean you’d have to collect people’s country of origin information, and then manually send them the goods via email. While this is an option I see some people online toying with, I think it’s likely to prove extremely unwieldy.

The Irony, Contradiction, Discrimination and Potential Harm of VATMOSS

It is no secret that VATMOSS was originally conceived because big companies (more specifically, Amazon) were building a financial empire from sales made in Europe, but they weren’t paying a penny in tax to the countries in which these sales were made. Certainly, this has been a huge scandal here in Britain for at least the past year. Recently, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants were pretty transparent about the link between cause and effect when they said VATMOSS ‘should remove the incentive for businesses to locate offshore and level the playing field for all digital service suppliers’.

The official stance of HMRC is that this new ruling would ‘level the playing field’ for smaller businesses who are unable to compete with companies like Amazon in the cyber market.

While it all sounds reasonable, there is a tremendous irony in the original purpose of VATMOSS and the ultimate ripple it is likely to create. I believe the new ruling law is so complicated and demanding that it will, in effect, drive micro-business owners – regardless of where they are based – to DEPEND upon large companies like Amazon for their digital sales within the EU, thus increasing revenues for the big corporates the government are trying to hold accountable.

This is also likely to have a negative impact on the income for many small business owners. For example, those who have been selling eBooks on their websites will take an immediate cut of at least 30-65% of their profits, as Amazon Kindle takes these fees from your retail sales, depending upon the retail price you have set. There are also some limitations to retail pricing, which can be restrictive to authors who have higher-priced items. For me personally, this is not such a big issue, as I pretty much use Amazon for my sales anyway. But not all our 7 Graces clients do (especially those in America) and I know this will hit them in the pocketbook.

And even though I tend to use Amazon for my own digital products (um…again…’services’), what I really object to is that I feel like using large portals for sales is now no longer a choice but a matter of having no other choice.

I also find the ruling contradictory in the light of other VAT exemptions. Here in the UK, books are actually EXEMPT from VAT. However, eBooks are not. I know this was already the case, and is not one of the issues that arose as result of VATMOSS, but I only became aware of this discrepancy when the whole VATMOSS scandal popped up.

I’m also concerned that VATMOSS will finally put the nail in the coffin for (mostly) American businesses who will decide it’s too much trouble to sell directly to EU customers. If that happens, how much is this going to compromise what we EU customers have at our own disposal online? How many resources will we cease to have access to because the laws are just too much bother for US business owners?

Sadly, I fear this ruling will increase the cultural divide that already exists between the US and EU.

So, while I have no issues with the government trying to hold Amazon and other companies like them accountable for their taxes, THIS IS NOT THE SOLUTION. It is unfairly discriminating against the small business owner, especially the sole proprietor. It leaves them with no choice but to lose income by one or more of the following:

  • Lower sales, owing to having to raise prices to cover VAT and their administrative costs
  • Lower sales, owing to having to eliminate certain markets from their customer base
  • Lower income, owing to having to split sales with retail outlets
  • Higher expenses, to cover the administrative costs of tracking, bookkeeping, etc.

What We Can (and Should) Do

Burying our heads in the sand or giving up on this issue will help none of us. I would like to call upon our readers to do the following:

  1. ESSENTIAL: Listen to the replay of this webinar with the HMRC and EU rep at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/live-vatmoss-qa-with-hmrc-registration-14287754057.
  2. UK readers: please sign the petition ‘Uphold the VAT Exemption Threshold for businesses supplying digital products’ at https://www.change.org/p/vince-cable-mp-uphold-the-vat-exemption-threshold-for-businesses-supplying-digital-products.
  3. Join the Facebook group ‘DigitalVAT2015′ to stay informed of the latest developments (they are a VERY vocal group) https://www.facebook.com/groups/DigitalVAT2015/
  4. READ the articles and information in the resources below.
  5. WRITE to your MP or similar political representative.
  6. Above all, please DO NOT give up. Do not stop selling your digital goods to the EU.
  7. Leave a comment below, and share any thoughts or information you have with other readers.

‘Official’ Reading List

‘Vat on Digital Services in the EU’ by HMRC – https://www.gov.uk/vat-on-digital-services-in-the-eu

Explanatory Notes (92 pages) on ‘How VAT Works’ – http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/resources/documents/taxation/vat/how_vat_works/telecom/explanatory_notes_2015_en.pdf

‘Register and Use the VAT Mini One Stop Shop':
https://www.gov.uk/register-and-use-the-vat-mini-one-stop-shop

‘ACCA Guide to VAT Mini Stop One Shop (MOSS)’

http://www.accaglobal.com/content/dam/ACCA_Global/Technical/buslaw/acca-guide-vat-moss.docx

Commentary and Additional info (DO read these!)

‘News EU Rules Threaten to Kill UK Micro Firms’, in The Telegraph - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/businessclub/11254829/New-EU-VAT-rules-threaten-to-kill-UK-micro-firms.html

(and the follow up to the above) ‘Victory for UK micro firms as HMRC tweaks EU VAT MOSS rule’, in The Telegraph – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/businessclub/11268706/Victory-for-UK-micro-firms-as-HMRC-tweaks-EU-VAT-MOSS-rule.html

‘VAT-MOSS Webinar  2nd December 2014 – Quick Notes & Comments’ by Clare Josa. http://www.clarejosa.com/vat-moss-webinar-2nd-december-2014/

‘Micro-businesses and #VATMOSS – your reaction to new EU tax laws’ in The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2014/nov/27/micro-businesses-vatmoss-your-reaction-new-eu-tax-laws

‘Implementation of VAT MOSS in UK’ by Rita de la Ferer – http://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/40681204

‘Twitter Storm – A Modest Proposal’ by Wendy Bradley – http://tiintax.com/2014/11/27/twitterstorm-a-modest-proposal/

‘Why #VATMOSS needs you’ by Enterprise Nation
https://www.enterprisenation.com/blog/posts/why-vatmoss-needs-you

‘How small companies and freelancers can deal with the VATMOSS EU VAT changes’ by Rachel Andrew http://rachelandrew.co.uk/archives/2014/11/25/how-small-companies-and-freelancers-can-deal-with-the-vatmoss-eu-vat-changes/

‘How VATMOSS fundamentally misunderstands the nature of direct e-sales’ by Juliet McKenna http://www.julietemckenna.com/?p=1524

‘They didn’t know the impact of #VATMOSS on really small business’ by Ysolda Teague http://ysolda.com/blog/2014/11/26/they-didnt-know-the-impact-of-vatmoss-on-really-small-businesses

Warm wishes,
Lynn Serafinn
2 December 2014

Like this blog?

Then please subscribe using the form at the upper right side of this page, so you can receive our articles to your inbox.

Looking for a Tribe? 

Come join our 7 Graces group on Facebook, and join us at our monthly meetings. They’re free to attend and we have them both in person and online, so you can participate from anywhere in the world. This is NOT a “business group” but an active community where people actually know and support each other.

Find out more about how changing the paradigm can help make the world a better place:

The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sellby Lynn Serafinn, where you can learn how the 7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Graces impact the world through media and marketing. Brit Writers Awards Finalist eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically by Lynn Serafinn, which can help you learn how to create meaningful collaborations through Twitter and other social media. eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

The Social Entrepreneur's Guide to Successful BloggingComing in 2015

The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging: An Effective, Creative & Ethical Way of Marketing for Visionaries & New Paradigm Business Leaders. To receive an update when that book is available, just click here. As a thank-you gift for showing your interest, you’ll get instant access to an exclusive, free 5-page PDF revealing the exact same blogging template we use with our clients and we teach to participants on the ethical marketing training courses at the 7 Graces Project.


Lynn Serafinn author of The 7 Graces of Marketing LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales. Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors.

Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise created to train, support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their business ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

7 Graces Project CIC

Twitter: http://twitter.com/7GracesMarketng

Facebook: http://facebook.com/groups/7GracesGlobalGarden

 

 

 

Posted in Business Tips, Law and Legal Tips, Lynn Serafinn, New Paradigm, News | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why It’s So Important to Make Your Blogs EASY to Read

Why It’s So Important to Make Your Blogs EASY to Read
7 Graces co-director Nancy Goodyear explains why readers don’t want to work too hard when reading your blog posts, and gives tips on how to keep it simple.

There are all sorts of reasons why people start blogging, but it all boils down to the same thing – they have a message they want to communicate, whether it’s about the products or services they offer, a political or ideological viewpoint on world affairs, or advice about how to slow down and take care of yourself. Put simply, the aim of blogging is to build an audience of loyal followers who are interested in what you have to say.

Blogging is a big commitment. It takes time to do it right and it’s such a waste if, having put in all that time and effort, nobody reads it. First, you need to tell people your blog is there and get them to have a look. Once they’re there, you want them to stay and read what you have to say. Otherwise, your message stays hidden on your unread website and all your hard work is for naught – no one hears your message, no one gets to know you and no one hires you. Finally, you want readers to come back to read more.

So how do you get people to stay and read? The secret is – don’t make your readers work too hard!

Putting Yourself in Your Readers’ Shoes

Think about it. When do people read blogs? In their downtime, between one brain-heavy task and the next, during lunch, in the evening after a hard day’s work – NOT when they are at their sharpest and ready to concentrate. In this state, people have very short attention spans. They’re not going to stick with something that requires them to concentrate or look up unfamiliar words. You might give loads of great information and advice, but if your blog is too hard to read, people will click away and find something less challenging. Remember, the whole world is blogging! The internet is a busy place and there’s a lot of ‘noise’ for you to compete with in the battle for your readers’ attention.

So it’s in your interest to write clear and simple blog posts. This means not assuming your readers know your subject – or your jargon. It means taking them through the subject of your blog slowly and carefully, and explaining what might be unfamiliar to them, in plain English. This can be hard when writing about something you have studied for years. It can be difficult to think back to the time when you didn’t know all the ‘short-hand’ or technical terms you use in your industry. But this step is key to building your readership.

If you’re using your blog for marketing purposes (as 7 Graces Founder Lynn Serafinn and I advocate), there is self-interest in blogging. You need to inform your readers about what you do, what you know and keep them on your side. If they like what they read, and understand it, they will (hopefully) hire you or buy your product. If you’re blogging as part of a marketing strategy, you want your reader to pay attention to what you’re saying. You don’t want them struggling to make sense of what you haven’t explained clearly.

You also can’t assume they have read your blog before and understand things you’ve explained in previous posts. You need to assume every reader is visiting your blog for the very first time, with no knowledge of your subject.

Rules of Thumb When Writing Your Blog Posts

Here are some tips to help keep your readers informed and entertained without making them work too hard:

  1. Assume they are brand new to your blog and to your subject.
  2. Avoid all technical jargon or ‘industry speak’. If you can’t avoid it, be sure to explain it simply and clearly.
  3. Keep it simple – each blog post should be about one idea. If you want to say more, save it for next time. Then remember to write your next blog for brand new readers who missed part one (making sure you summarise what was in part one and providing a link so they can catch up if they want).
  4. Keep it structured – ensure there is a logical flow from point to point, so it’s easy for your readers to follow your train of thought.
  5. Explain the connections between your thoughts and the points you’re making – be explicit (never imply ANYTHING).
  6. Write in plain English – try not to sound like you swallowed a dictionary. Don’t try to be (or sound) clever by using big words or unnecessarily long sentences.
  7. Be informative, clear and concise.
  8. Follow our template for writing good blogs.
  9. If you feel you need help making your blog work for you and your business, you might consider our Platform Building Package or a similar programme with another reputable online marketing strategist.

Closing Thoughts

Blogging is a great way of communicating with your audience and getting your message out, whether it’s an ideological stance or part of a marketing strategy for your business. But in order to do that effectively, it’s important not to fall into the trap of trying to sound knowledgeable and ‘professional’ by using language that bamboozles your readers, or a deeply academic structure that leads them into a web of arguments they can’t fight their way out of.

Be kind to your readers; share your expertise in easily digestible chunks. Entertain, inform, stimulate – but don’t intimidate your audience, confuse them or make them work too hard.

If you manage to walk this tightrope, your readers will not only stay to the end, but they may come back for more and maybe even tell their friends to pop by – and that is how you build an audience of loyal followers who want to listen to and share your message.

Happy blogging,

Nancy Goodyear
22nd November 2014

Nancy V Goodyear, Co-Director of the 7 Graces Project CICNancy V Goodyear is a Business Mentor and Coach who loves to help social entrepreneurs and small business owners cultivate their relationship with self, their business and their audience. With a BA (Hons) in Learning Disability Nursing, she has extensive professional experience working in health & social care within the non-profit sector. She is fluent in French having lived in France for some time. She is a graduate of the Coaches Training Institute and the Co-Active Leadership programme. She is also a director of The 7 Graces Project CIC.

Nancy on Twitter: @NancyVGoodyear
Nancy’s website – http://nancyvgoodyear.com

Like this blog?

Then please subscribe using the form at the upper right side of this page, so you can receive our articles to your inbox.

Looking for a Tribe?

Come join our 7 Graces group on Facebook, and join us at our monthly meetings. They’re free to attend and we have them both in person and online, so you can participate from anywhere in the world. This is NOT a “business group” but an active community where people actually know and support each other.

Find out more about how changing the paradigm can help make the world a better place:

The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell, by Lynn Serafinn, where you can learn how the 7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Graces impact the world through media and marketing. Brit Writers Awards Finalist eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically by Lynn Serafinn, which can help you learn how to create meaningful collaborations through Twitter and other social media. eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

The Social Entrepreneur's Guide to Successful BloggingComing later in 2015

The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging: An Effective, Creative & Ethical Way of Marketing for Visionaries & New Paradigm Business Leaders. To receive an update when that book is available, just click here. As a thank-you gift for showing your interest, you’ll get instant access to an exclusive, free 5-page PDF revealing the exact same blogging template we use with our clients and we teach to participants on the ethical marketing training courses at the 7 Graces Project.


Lynn Serafinn author of The 7 Graces of Marketing LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales. Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors.

Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise created to train, support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their business ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

7 Graces Project CICTwitter: http://twitter.com/7GracesMarketng

Facebook: http://facebook.com/groups/7GracesGlobalGarden

 

Posted in 7 Key Relationships, Blog, Blogging, Community Blogger, Marketing Tips, Nancy Goodyear, Relationship with Our Audience | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Choose the Perfect Blog Topic – And Why You Should

How to Choose the Perfect Blog Topic – And Why You Should
7 Graces Founder Lynn Serafinn tells why blogging is an ideal medium for marketing, and shows how to create many months’ worth of blog topics in a few minutes.

Here at the 7 Graces Project, the majority of our clients are small business owners who come to us for help in building their online marketing platforms. While they certainly come to us for practical and strategic advice, the reason they come to us specifically (as opposed to another marketing consultancy) is that they are attracted to the ethos we embrace. They don’t like to use loud, pushy, aggressive marketing strategies, because such strategies don’t resonate with their personalities or values.

But although they know what they don’t like, they don’t know how to create an alternative that feels right for them. They find themselves in what feels like an impossible space: they don’t LIKE marketing, but they know they need it if they want their businesses to succeed.

Fortunately, there is an effective and relatively painless online alternative to old-school marketing – blogging. From my experience, it’s the best way to do marketing without actually doing marketing. That’s why I focus so much on blogging with nearly all of my clients.

So hooray! Our problem is solved. Start to blog, and our marketing woes are over! Right?

Well…it’s not so simple. There is an art to turning your blogging into an effective and ethical vehicle for marketing. It has many ‘moving parts,’ and if you neglect to oil them properly, you’re bound to end up with one big squeaky wheel that doesn’t turn very smoothly at all.

One of the most important moving parts is something that many independent business owners find very daunting – choosing the right topics to blog about. So many of my new clients admit that they really don’t have a roadmap for what they write about on their blogs, and they tend to blog about whatever they feel like in the moment. This ad hoc approach to topic selection can create many problems down the line:

  • It will make for inconsistent blogging, which will negatively impact your web traffic, subscriptions and Google rankings.
  • There is likely to be a lack of congruence between your blog articles and the direction you want to take your business.
  • It is unlikely your articles will provide your audience with what they are looking for.
  • It is unlikely your efforts will result in sales/clients/customers.
  • Ultimately, when you gain little from your blogging efforts, you are likely to give up on blogging altogether.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Topics for Your Blog

I don’t own a TV, but I confess that I still watch a handful of programmes online. As I originally started in the music industry, I (shamefully!) still like to watch shows like X-Factor. Even if you’ve ever watched that programme, you’ll probably know that the judges and contestants are always going on about ‘song choice’. If a contestant happens to choose the ‘wrong’ song (one that doesn’t suit their voice or appeal to the audience), they’re at risk of being voted out of the competition. In fact, a good singer can often lose to a so-so singer if they make a poor song choice.

Similarly, choosing the ‘wrong’ topics for your blog can put you ‘out of the race’, in that your readers won’t bother to read your content (which kind of defeats the whole purpose of writing it). Some people think good blogging is all about being a great writer. While having well-written posts is certainly crucial, choosing the right topics for your articles constitutes, in my opinion, at least 50% of your success as a blogger. The other 50% is split between how well the article is written and how well you optimise and distribute the article on the Web.

The bottom line is this: even if you’re the world’s best writer, if you don’t put care into choosing the right topics for your ideal audience, there is little chance your blog will be an effective marketing tool that gives value to your audience and your business.

My Four-Step Formula for Unlocking Your Best Blog Topics

Because choosing the right topic is so crucial to blogging, I thought you might find it useful to see the process I use with my own clients in our Platform-Building Package. It has evolved over time and become so ingrained in me that I don’t even think about it anymore. While our clients often find it easier when I guide them through the process (because they often miss things when they try to do it on their own), I think you’ll see that it’s not at all rocket science.

I break it down into four steps:

  1. Define your audience clearly. Being able to define your audience in detail is absolutely vital to any business or marketing strategy. Nonetheless, it is often the biggest challenge for many of my new clients. Defining your audience means getting beneath the surface and really digging down into their hearts and minds.
  2. Define your audience’s chief challenges and concerns. Many new bloggers make the mistake of thinking their blogs are all about them and their businesses. They’re NOT. Your blog is all about your audience and what they are searching for when they go online. Your job as a blogger is to know your audience so well that you understand – in minute detail – their most pressing challenges and concerns. Ultimately, you need to be able to anticipate the questions they will be typing into Google (I’ll talk more about this below).
  3. Define your core message(s). As a business owner, if you wish to connect with your ideal audience, it is also essential for you to be able to define who you are, what you stand for, and why you do what you do. When you can articulate these things clearly (to yourself and to others), they become your ‘core message(s)’. If you’ve been doing business for some time, you might also tailor this message to the particular area of your business that is most relevant at this point in time. For example, if you have a product launch coming up, look at how your overarching message is expressed through that product.
  4. 1 + 2 + 3 = your content topics. The final step in the process is to connect the dots between your audience, their needs and your core message. Consider how your message addresses the challenges your audience face; conversely, consider how these challenges can be a vehicle for expressing your core message. When you do this, your content topics will suddenly pop out and become crystal clear to you.

CASE STUDY: The 7 Graces Project CIC Blog

To show you how this process works, here’s an example of how I might use these four steps when planning my topics for the 7 Graces Project blog.

STEP 1: Our primary audience is comprised of:

  1. Value-driven and socially focussed independent business owners who want to create ethical online-marketing platforms.
  2. The majority are sole proprietors, but they might use outsourced staff to support them in a variety of ways, such as admin, tech, billing and social media.
  3. The majority (probably about 90%) have been operating their business between three and 10 years. This is important because they are committed to the entrepreneurial lifestyle; they have passed the ‘danger zone’ many brand-new entrepreneurs face during the start-up period, when they are still questioning their decisions to be self-employed.
  4. Also, because I have been working as a consultant with authors for many years, I know that about two-thirds of the people who come to us as clients have also written (or are in the process of writing) non-fiction books that have a close connection to their businesses. This means that most of our audience enjoy writing and find it enjoyable to communicate through words.

STEP 2: Our audience’s chief challenges and concerns are:

  1. They feel alienated by all the old-school marketing courses they’ve seen or taken online, but they don’t know an alternative approach.
  2. They want to make a difference in the world, but they often feel alone, small and insignificant amidst all the big-business hype.
  3. They feel overwhelmed and confused by the technical and strategic challenges of blogging, social media and online marketing in general.
  4. They often lack the practical skills for their short- and long-term business-planning and marketing strategies. But, because they tend to be creative and idealistic, they don’t feel naturally attracted to dealing with the nuts-and-bolts of business organisation. This can also mean they have time-management challenges. They know these things are important but cannot find the information, training and support that speaks to the unique kind of business owners they are.

STEP 3: Our company’s primary messages are:

  1. Independent entrepreneurship is good for It gives you more freedom, allows you to express your values and creativity, removes the job vulnerability of working for employers and gives you a sense of achievement when you do it right.
  2. Independent entrepreneurship is good for the world. It makes the economy more resilient and less susceptible to economic crises; it provides a higher degree of personal service to customers; it enables you to create products and services that are highly relevant to specific geographic and ideological communities; it brings more diversity and choice to the marketplace; a small business is likely to be less damaging to the environment than a big corporation.
  3. Unethical marketing is bad for the world. It has contributed to worldwide overconsumption, economic imbalance, debt, environmental damage and poor health. (These are all topics I discuss in detail in my book The 7 Graces of Marketing).
  4. Independent, ethical entrepreneurs can succeed on their own terms. They can succeed in business, contribute to society AND be true to their values when they know the ideological, technical and strategic elements of ethical marketing and business practice.

STEP 4: 1 + 2 + 3 = Our Topics

This is where the magic begins. Let me show you how this formula is working within the very article you are reading right now.

  1. Define audience: If you look above, you will notice that I have made it very clear, from the very first paragraph, who this article is for: value-driven and socially focussed independent business owners who want to create ethical online-marketing platforms. They also are probably interested in expressing themselves through the written word.
  2. Define their challenges and concerns: In this case, while I’m touching upon all of their main challenges, I have focused this article primarily on challenge #2: “They feel overwhelmed and confused by the technical and strategic challenges of blogging, social media and online marketing in general.” However, this is way too broad a topic for a single article; I am ONLY addressing the strategic challenges of blogging. Furthermore, I am addressing only one aspect of the strategic challenges of blogging. If I were to delve into the issue in greater depth, I could rapidly come up with a whole range of topics like:
  • How to structure your blog post effectively
  • Writing the perfect title for your blog post
  • How to blog for a launch or other marketing campaign
  • Writing effective ‘calls to action’ that don’t alienate your readers
  • Ways to distribute your content on the Web
  • How, when and why to work with guest bloggers
  • Creating a virtual blog tour
  • Planning, timing and organising your blog schedule
  • Repurposing your content into books, courses, etc.

These are only a handful of ideas that sprang to mind when I looked at ONE aspect of ONE challenge. When you go deeply into all aspects of all the challenges your audience face, the possibilities for coming up with good, solid, relevant topics are almost limitless.

  1. Add your core message. So far, we have put together 1 and 2 of the formula. So what about 3? How does that come in, and why is it important? Well, yes, I might be speaking to my perfect audience. And my article might be exactly what they are looking for. But the truth is that many other bloggers in cyberspace might publishing very similar information. So what will make readers want to read my articles when there is so much other content out there? This is where Part 3 of the formula steps in. To make my content relevant to my ideal audience, I need to marry their challenge(s) to at least one of my core messages. In this case, I’m focussing primarily on message #4: ‘Independent, ethical entrepreneurs can succeed on their own terms.’

Again, there is an art to this. You don’t necessarily need to come out and say, ‘This is my core message’; you can embed it within the context of your article. In fact, I’ve been expressing this message in one form or another throughout this entire article, and I will also emphasise it in my ‘Closing Thoughts’ at the end (leave me a comment to let me know if you notice).

Oh, and by the way, bringing your core message into your blog articles helps to define your brand. But that’s a big topic I shall leave for another day.

Why Choosing Your Blog Topics Systematically Is Great for Business

Whenever I work with a new platform-building client, we begin our work together by finding and choosing exactly the right blog topics (or vlog topics, if they do video blogging).

While I use more or less the same process I just showed you, it’s slightly different in a one-to-one scenario. I ask my clients lots of key questions. I listen very carefully to the words they use and take lots of notes (my past experiences as a coach and college lecturer have certainly helped me in this regard). Then, often to my clients’ amazement, all their blog topics appear – as if by magic – right from their own words. I still find it impressive to see how rapidly we can come up with as many as 20 topics – in just a few minutes. Think about it: if a client is going to post one blog every week, that’s about four months’ worth of blog topics all lined up and ready to go. Typically, we choose 12 from this list of 20 and then organise them into a schedule we will follow for the next three months. All they have to do is go through the list and write the content.

Having our topics decided in advance also allows us to create a marketing strategy for the next quarter of the year (or longer). Sometimes, we can break the topics down into even greater detail and come up with blog topics that can be developed into a multi-article series that spans many months. Often, this can become the focal point for the launch of a new product or service.

Having your topics lined up in advance also frees up a lot of head space. Once my clients learn some basics about structure and how to speak to their audiences appropriately, the act of writing the content is often a far easier task for them than figuring out WHAT to write. Knowing what topics they will be blogging about that week also means that their brains will be unconsciously composing the articles many days before they actually sit down to write them, making the whole process easier and quicker.

Closing Thoughts – The Confluence of Values and Value

I believe that, when done correctly, blogging is one of the most natural and organic ways for you as an independent business owner to express your values while also providing great value to your audience. It is a way to tell the world about what you do and what you stand for, without the need to compromise yourself through aggressive, hard-sell marketing strategies. It gives you the power to create, mould and cultivate a brand that is relevant to the specific needs of your audience, providing you with substantive marketing content that – unlike short-lived advertising campaigns – can serve both you and your customers for the long term.

If you’re thinking about using blogging to build an online marketing platform for your business, you might consider our Platform-Building Package here at the 7 Graces Project. The programme is delivered in 13-week blocks. We use blogging, social media and other strategies to develop a comprehensive marketing funnel with you, so you can create a steady, sustainable flow of business (and income). If you’re interested in exploring this programme with us, drop us a line via the contact form on this site and ask how you can set up a free 30-minute Skype consultation with us.

And for those who would love to have an all-in-one handbook on the subject, you might wish to check out my upcoming book, The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging: An Effective, Creative & Ethical Way of Marketing for Visionaries & New Paradigm Business Leaders. If you’d like a sneak peek at it, you can download a FREE five-page template for writing effective blog posts at http://the7gracesofmarketing.com/blogging-book (you’ll also receive a reminder from me when the book is released in 2015).

I do hope this article gave you some ideas on how to come up with your next batch of blog topics, and that the next time you sit down to write a blog post, it will be one of the highlights of your week. Let me know! Come back and leave a comment (or question) after you’ve tried it.

Warm wishes,
Lynn Serafinn
7 November 2014

Like this blog?

Then please subscribe using the form at the upper right side of this page, so you can receive our articles to your inbox.

Looking for a Tribe? 

Come join our 7 Graces group on Facebook, and join us at our monthly meetings. They’re free to attend and we have them both in person and online, so you can participate from anywhere in the world. This is NOT a “business group” but an active community where people actually know and support each other.

Find out more about how changing the paradigm can help make the world a better place:

The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sellby Lynn Serafinn, where you can learn how the 7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Graces impact the world through media and marketing. Brit Writers Awards Finalist eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically by Lynn Serafinn, which can help you learn how to create meaningful collaborations through Twitter and other social media. eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

The Social Entrepreneur's Guide to Successful BloggingComing in 2015

The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging: An Effective, Creative & Ethical Way of Marketing for Visionaries & New Paradigm Business Leaders. To receive an update when that book is available, just click here. As a thank-you gift for showing your interest, you’ll get instant access to an exclusive, free 5-page PDF revealing the exact same blogging template we use with our clients and we teach to participants on the ethical marketing training courses at the 7 Graces Project.


Lynn Serafinn author of The 7 Graces of Marketing LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales. Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors.

Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise created to train, support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their business ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

7 Graces Project CIC

Twitter: http://twitter.com/7GracesMarketng

Facebook: http://facebook.com/groups/7GracesGlobalGarden

 

 

Posted in 7 Graces Project, 7 Key Relationships, Blog, Blogging, Book, Business Tips, Lynn Serafinn, Marketing Tips, New Paradigm, News, Platform Building Programme, Relationship with Our Audience | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting Out of the Doldrums – 7 Tips for the Self-Employed

Getting Out of the Doldrums – 7 Tips for the Self-Employed
7 Graces co-director Nancy Goodyear explores what it’s like when you’ve lost motivation and passion for your work, and gives tips for pulling yourself out.

To be ‘in the doldrums’ is an old maritime expression. The doldrums is a belt of low pressure in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans that lies along the equator. Because of its location, the weather is either very tempestuous or incredibly calm. In fact, it gets so calm that the winds disappear altogether and sail-powered ships would get stuck ‘in the doldrums’ for days, or even weeks, until the wind picked up enough to get it moving again.

We business owners can also fall into our own kind of doldrums. We’ve all experienced those weeks when everything feels like an uphill battle – when finding the motivation to get out of bed takes all the energy we can muster. And as for getting ourselves to work…well, forget it!

Before I was self-employed, when I had a ‘proper job’, I could just about drag myself into the office and muddle through on autopilot on those days. Now that I’m self-employed, it’s a different matter. I’m my own boss. And, by nature, I’m not the kind of boss to breathe down my employees’ necks when they’re having a bad day.

The trouble is, when you work for yourself you have to be self-determining, self-motivating and self-managing. In those gloomy, low energy periods, that’s hard to do. And when the gloomy days stretch into gloomy weeks, how do you keep going? How do you stop yourself from quitting?

If you’re self-employed, it’s useful to have strategies to pull yourself out of the doldrums when you find it hard to keep going. Here are some of my personal tips:

TIP 1: Don’t panic.
First and foremost, don’t panic! It might not feel like it right now, but this will pass.

TIP 2: Take a break.
Clear your diary of everything non-essential and create some space to ‘just be’ in the gloom. Our tendency is usually to turn our backs on our negative emotions and try to will ourselves happy; but sometimes, leaning into your uncomfortable, unhappy places can be just the thing to bounce you back up into sunshine.

TIP 3: Be with people.
Working from home can be very isolating. We are social creatures and need human company from time to time. For me, sitting across a table from a real life, living, breathing human being is very different from chatting to them on Skype – even if I can see them on the computer screen. If you’re feeling low, perhaps you’re lonely and need some real life contact. Arrange to meet a friend for lunch or a coffee, or just go and be where people are, like a café or library.

TIP 4: Follow the energy.
If you feel bogged down by all the things you ‘should do’, you might find your mojo by looking the other way. Sometimes turning your back on the ‘should dos’ and focussing instead on something that inspires you can bring everything back into focus – even if you feel inspired to do something that bears no relevance to what you think are your current priorities. Go with it. It might lead somewhere completely unexpected.

TIP 5: Get into your body.
When we’re in work mode, we’re generally ‘in our heads’ and our energy can get stuck bouncing around inside our skulls with nowhere to go. Our bodies start to feel deprived of energy and attention, so moving away from the desk and the computer to do something physical can get the blood flowing and bring your energy back into balance. Go for a walk, put on some music and dance, go for a swim or to the gym, cook yourself a nice lunch or even just do the washing up – but step away from your desk and let your head switch off for a while.

TIP 6: Do the filing.
If you feel uninspired, lose yourself in the automatic, mundane tasks that need little or no concentration or effort. Instead of your usual work routine, do your accounts, tidy your desk or set up a new organisation system.

TIP 7: Rethink and review.
Perhaps the reason you feel stuck and flat is because something isn’t working for you anymore. Maybe you have no energy for your work because you’ve evolved and are ready to move in a new direction. Take time to reflect on where you are now – in this moment. Are you bored by what you’re doing? Is it no longer challenging? Does it no longer feel relevant to you? What do you feel called to do, now?

Closing Thoughts

Let’s be clear: being stuck in the doldrums doesn’t mean you feel any less passionate about the work you do. It’s not that you hate being self-employed and want to go back to being employed. Nor does it mean you’re lazy, flaky or not cut out for self-employment. It’s just that, for some reason or another, your ‘get up and go’ has wandered off for a while, leaving you feeling stranded.

The doldrums can give you a feeling of disconnection from your business – but also from yourself. There is no wind in your sails to keep you on course. It can feel like you have been cast adrift, waiting and waiting for the wind to pick up again.

But be assured: the wind will pick up. It might take a day, a week, or perhaps even longer. But eventually, it will happen. And when it does, you will feel more confident in your ability to ride out the inevitable storms that will impact you as a business owner over the years, and reconnect with your work in a deeper, more thoughtful way.

We at the 7 Graces Project CIC specialise in helping self-employed, ethical business owners and social entrepreneurs discover and maintain a deep connection with their work, so they can become inspired, motivated and resilient leaders in society. We do this through our platform building packages, ethical marketing courses and community activities. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you grow and market your ethical business, feel free to drop us a line via the contact form on this site.

We also welcome you to become part of our ever-growing community on Facebook.

Nancy Goodyear
31st October 2014

Nancy V Goodyear, Co-Director of the 7 Graces Project CICNancy V Goodyear is a Business Mentor and Coach who loves to help social entrepreneurs and small business owners cultivate their relationship with self, their business and their audience. With a BA (Hons) in Learning Disability Nursing, she has extensive professional experience working in health & social care within the non-profit sector. She is fluent in French having lived in France for some time. She is a graduate of the Coaches Training Institute and the Co-Active Leadership programme. She is also a director of The 7 Graces Project CIC.

Nancy on Twitter: @NancyVGoodyear
Nancy’s website – http://nancyvgoodyear.com

Like this blog?

Then please subscribe using the form at the upper right side of this page, so you can receive our articles to your inbox.

KINDLE users

You can help subsidise ethical marketing training courses for young social entrepreneurs in need. Just subscribe to the blog on Amazon for 99 cents a month (77p UK), and you’ll receive all our articles delivered directly to your Kindle device. All profits go to our 7 Graces Scholarship Fund. You can take a 14-day free trial before you decide. You’ll get a new article 2 or 3 times per week. Check it out at Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Looking for a Tribe?

Come join our 7 Graces group on Facebook, and join us at our monthly meetings. They’re free to attend and we have them both in person and online, so you can participate from anywhere in the world. This is NOT a “business group” but an active community where people actually know and support each other.

Find out more about how changing the paradigm can help make the world a better place:

The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell, by Lynn Serafinn, where you can learn how the 7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Graces impact the world through media and marketing. Brit Writers Awards Finalist eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically by Lynn Serafinn, which can help you learn how to create meaningful collaborations through Twitter and other social media. eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

The Social Entrepreneur's Guide to Successful BloggingComing later in 2014

The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging: An Effective, Creative & Ethical Way of Marketing for Visionaries & New Paradigm Business Leaders. To receive an update when that book is available, just click here. As a thank-you gift for showing your interest, you’ll get instant access to an exclusive, free 5-page PDF revealing the exact same blogging template we use with our clients and we teach to participants on the ethical marketing training courses at the 7 Graces Project.


Lynn Serafinn author of The 7 Graces of Marketing LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales. Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors.

Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise created to train, support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their business ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

7 Graces Project CICTwitter: http://twitter.com/7GracesMarketng

Facebook: http://facebook.com/groups/7GracesGlobalGarden

Posted in 7 Deadly Sins, 7 Key Relationships, Blog, Business Tips, Community Blogger, Disconnection, Nancy Goodyear, Relationship with Our Business, Relationship with Self, Social Enterprise | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your Website: To Be or Not to Be – That Is the Question!

Your Website: To Be or Not to Be – That Is the Question!

Sue Ellam shares some crucial guidelines for business owners that can save you money and frustration when working with a web designer for your website.

When we start our businesses, we’re full of great ideas and enthusiasm. But while ideas and enthusiasm are great, most successful businesses these days also require a website. Unfortunately, many of us know little about websites when we first start out, and we are prepared to spend whatever money it takes to create the website of our dreams.

For some, this happens without a hitch; for others, the dream turns into a nightmare of delays and broken promises. Sadly, I’m a member of the latter club. Rather than running my business for the past two years, I have been chasing web designers who, though they have the skills, don’t appear to have any sense of accountability. There will be weeks of silence, then a spurt of work that gives me the false hope that they will finally deliver. Then they simply disappear again. It’s like dealing with rebellious teenagers.

The upside is that, by dint of all my negative experiences, I’ve ended up learning a lot about websites and the web design industry as a whole. So today, I want to share some of my insights about working with web designers, in the hope that it might help you avoid the pitfalls I experienced, and navigate your way to a speedy and successful business launch.

Web Designers and Accountability

One thing I discovered on my misadventures is there is no professional regulatory body to mandate accountability between a web designer and their clients. Freelancers and web design companies are something of a law unto themselves, leaving the client pretty much on their own if something goes amiss. Anyone who knows how to build websites can set themselves up as a business. True, if they aren’t very good at it, it’s unlikely they will attract much business, but even they could leave a few disappointed customers in their wake. Andy Budd of Clearleft explains:

The thing is, web design is a problematic industry. There’s a pretty low barrier to entry, in that you can become a web designer with very little outlay. It’s open to anyone who can teach themselves the tools of the trade. But at the lower end of the spectrum, there are many, many companies fighting for the same small amount of work. It’s an easy market to enter, but at the same time it’s quite difficult to make a success of things. It’s a different industry now to ten years ago. Then, the industry itself was quite immature, so you could get a foothold really quickly. Now, the quality of design work is so high that you have to be really, really good to actually get work.

When It’s Time to Consider Your Options

Sometimes, your web designer fails to deliver the goods in a timely fashion. In my case these delays, I was told, were due to a plethora of reasons: family circumstances, long-term sickness, unannounced holidays, lost mobile phones (no new number was ever provided), errant employees and a recurring computer virus.

If things aren’t going smoothly with your website build and you are receiving frequent excuses from your designer, it might be time to consider your options. It states in the Advice Guide – Citizens Advice Bureau website:

‘It’s not normally reasonable to wait a long time because a trader has taken on more jobs than they can manage or because a trader has poor time-management skills. These are things that are within the trader’s control. If a trader has not carried out a service in a reasonable time, you can take steps to make time of the essence. This gives the trader a deadline to keep to. If they don’t keep to this deadline, you can stop the service and claim back any money already paid.’

All excuses aside, the fact remains that your contract (even if just a verbal one) with your designer is a business agreement. A good design company will have contingency plans built into their business, so clients aren’t impacted by any unforeseen circumstances.

When deadlines are missed, your calls aren’t taken and your emails are rarely answered, it’s time to take action. Threats of legal action can get work started again for a short period, but be prepared to go in circles if the work comes to a halt after the dust has settled. Being told your website is their top priority doesn’t mean it is; actions speak louder than words.

What You Can Do to Protect Yourself

Though there is no ‘official’ way to tackle dead-beat web designers, there are a number of ways you can protect yourself. Here are a few suggestions, some of which I have gleaned from my own hard-earned experience:

  • Shop around. Don’t give your business to the first web designer you contact, just because it’s easier. Talk with a number of different designers and take the time you need to make your choice.
  • Ask trusted associates for recommendations. You are far more likely to find an ethical company or individual if someone you know has had a previous rewarding experience with them.
  • Check out their work. Ask for links to websites they have designed for past clients. And while you’re at it, have a good look at their own website. If you see mistakes or poor quality design, it’s probable they will make similar mistakes on your website, too.
  • Check out their online profiles. I find LinkedIn particularly useful to learn more about a company that might not be immediately apparent on their website.
  • Look for RECENT Testimonials. Sometimes testimonials are so old, they are no longer relevant to the current state of the company. Try to look for testimonials, reviews or comments made in the last six months.
  • Don’t be seduced by deals. If you never get the website, you won’t have saved anything.
  • Don’t pay in advance. Once paid, some companies can forget you’re still a client! If you pay in instalments, don’t pay the last instalment – no matter what apparent trust has been built – until the company has completed the work to your satisfaction and it is ready for launch.
  • Be sure YOU test every moving part of your site thoroughly before ‘signing it off’. Don’t leave it to your web designer to say it’s finished and working.
  • Don’t EVER allow your designer to host your website on their server. This is tantamount to your website being held hostage. Many will tell you this will enable them to provide you with ongoing maintenance. Don’t fall for it. Not only will you be paying for services you will never receive, but you will be severely limited in what you can do with your site in the long-term. Besides, as the Canadian web company Abivia state: ‘Website developers and designers can move, switch jobs, or change careers. Sometimes they just seem to disappear. If you depended on your developer to maintain your site, this can be a real cause for concern.’ If your designer suggests this, insist that your website be built on the host of your choice, and refuse to give them your business if they are unwilling to comply.
  • Buy your own domain and know where it’s hosted. Sadly, so many new business owners have no clue who owns their domain or where it is hosted. This is usually due to their not understanding what these terms mean. Often, they’ve given control of these things to their web designer, thinking it will make life easier, only to find they don’t actually own or have any control of their website later down the line.
  • If you’re dealing with a local company, try to arrange a face-to-face meeting. Personally, I like to know a physical address that I can visit if the need arises. If you’re hiring someone at a distance, be extra vigilant by taking all of the above precautions. Again, hiring someone on the referral of someone you trust is the best protection you can have.
  • Be prepared to move your website if you aren’t getting the services you agreed to. I know this sounds like a nightmare, but it’s far less painful than the prospect of being trapped in a dysfunctional relationship with a dead-beat designer.
  • Educate yourself. Perform due diligence. Don’t depend on others to make your decisions for you. Read articles (like this one) and learn about the whole process of web development so you have an idea of what to expect. Knowledge is your best form of protection.

Our Own Human Vulnerabilities and Limitations

I read an article the other day about vulnerable people who become targets of unscrupulous individuals who strike up a friendship with them, often through dating sites, and then profess to have fallen in love. The target is often identified through their profile indicating they are bereaved, lonely or divorced. Because these victims are at such vulnerable stages in their lives, the perpetrators convince them they are loved and have another chance of happiness. Then the requests for money start coming, and eventually the true intentions of these con-artists come to light.

When we read stories like these, we might be bewildered that the victims could have been so naïve. How could they have fallen for such a scam? But we must remember the perpetrators are skilled at human psychology and they are more than a match for someone in dire need of love and human connection.

You might wonder what this has to do with the subject of this article, but I think there is a very strong parallel. Substitute ‘love’ for ‘business’. When we get into a tangle with an unscrupulous web designer (or any other unethical service provider), haven’t we also been conned into paying money – but for our business instead of for love? Don’t we feel just as betrayed and foolish when what we had hoped would materialise does not?

The Mutual Responsibility to Communicate Clearly

I don’t believe the majority of unfinished website incidents are intentional. I think most problems arise due to a lack of clear and honest communication – either a client who doesn’t know exactly what they want and keeps changing their mind, or a designer who tries to build a website beyond their capabilities, or underestimates the time and cost involved.

Where it all breaks down completely is when either party disappears – the web designer loses a client and has worked for nothing, or the client loses the website when the designer terminates communication.

I’m sure none of us would go into a shop and buy a washing machine, or other device, and accept it if it arrived in an incomplete, non-functioning state. The same should apply to business services. When services have been paid for, we should be able to rely on the delivery of those services. Therefore, the onus is on the web designers to deliver the websites for which they have been paid, and on the client to pay for the services they have received. If the situation becomes untenable, either party has recourse to legal advice to resolve the matter. There is no excuse for either party to stop communication and not hold up their end of the bargain. This is a business arrangement, not an argument with family or friends.

Closing Thoughts

If your website is reasonably straightforward and doesn’t have to be ‘all singing, all dancing’, you might consider the option of building your own site, at least to start. There are a number of step-by-step tutorials online that demystify the process. I have personally done a few tutorials of Tyler Moore’s, which were excellent (I have no connection to him and won’t benefit from this recommendation).

If you need something more complicated, hiring a professional is probably the only option. If you do go that route, please take note of the tips I’ve shared above, so you don’t go into your business agreement blindly. Most of all, I believe if everyone relied on recommendations from trusted friends and associates, the unethical companies would gradually run out of steam.

My final recommendation is: communicate, communicate and communicate some more! The whole idea of hiring a web designer is for them to make your dream a reality. Be as clear as you can and explain exactly what you want. This will make both your and their lives easier.

If all else fails and you still cannot get the response you want from your web designer, consider contacting consumer programmes such as ‘Watchdog’ (in the UK), or ask the Citizen’s Advice Bureau or a legal firm to help you bring closure to the situation.

And to all you web designers – if you don’t have time to contact your clients personally, hire an admin person for a few hours a week to make those calls, so your clients don’t feel abandoned and disconnected from their businesses.

Hopefully, your experience working with a web designer will be a wonderful one. I’d love to know about your own experiences – good and bad. Please feel free to share them in the comments below.

And if you’re looking to connect with a community of independent business owners who are devoted to ethical practice, I hope you’ll join us in the 7 Graces community on Facebook.

Sue Ellam
24 October 2014

Sue is a graduate of our
7 Graces ‘Foundations of Ethical Marketing’ course.

Sue-EllamSUE ELLAM is fascinated by the power of mind over matter and was initially guided towards spiritual healing and medium-ship. She is a professionally trained graphologist of 21 years standing and has travelled extensively using this skill, as well as that of tarot reading, participating in many festivals worldwide. Currently she is developing Soulfully Connecting which is a global website dedicated to the healing of mind, body, soul and planet. Her vision is to connect like-minded individuals around the world through the sharing of knowledge, providing a platform so that the change-makers can be seen, appreciated and supported.

Twitter: @soulfullysue

Soulfully Connecting Facebook Page

Like this blog?

Then please subscribe using the form at the upper right side of this page, so you can receive our articles to your inbox.

KINDLE users

You can help subsidise ethical marketing training courses for young social entrepreneurs in need. Just subscribe to the blog on Amazon for 99 cents a month (77p UK), and you’ll receive all our articles delivered directly to your Kindle device. All profits go to our 7 Graces Scholarship Fund. You can take a 14-day free trial before you decide. You’ll get a new article 2 or 3 times per week. Check it out at Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Looking for a Tribe?

Come join our 7 Graces group on Facebook, and join us at our monthly meetings. They’re free to attend and we have them both in person and online, so you can participate from anywhere in the world. This is NOT a “business group” but an active community where people actually know and support each other.

Find out more about how changing the paradigm can help make the world a better place:

The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell, by Lynn Serafinn, where you can learn how the 7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Graces impact the world through media and marketing. Brit Writers Awards Finalist eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically by Lynn Serafinn, which can help you learn how to create meaningful collaborations through Twitter and other social media. eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

The Social Entrepreneur's Guide to Successful BloggingComing later in 2014

The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging: An Effective, Creative & Ethical Way of Marketing for Visionaries & New Paradigm Business Leaders. To receive an update when that book is available, just click here. As a thank-you gift for showing your interest, you’ll get instant access to an exclusive, free 5-page PDF revealing the exact same blogging template we use with our clients and we teach to participants on the ethical marketing training courses at the 7 Graces Project.


Lynn Serafinn author of The 7 Graces of Marketing LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales. Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors.

Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise created to train, support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their business ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

7 Graces Project CIC

Twitter: http://twitter.com/7GracesMarketng

Facebook: http://facebook.com/groups/7GracesGlobalGarden

MeetUp: http://www.meetup.com/7-Graces-Global-Community-London

(not just for Londoners, as we meet also on Skype)

Posted in Blog, Business Tips, Community Blogger, Sue Ellam | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment