Nagina Abdullah: Recipe for Growing an Online Business (Even While Working Full-Time)

As you’ve and heard (or know from experience!) getting healthy and in shape can be a tough thing to do. How can someone go about doing this while juggling family, a full-time job and launching an online business at the same time? 
 
Our guest in this episode of the Office Talk podcast, knows all about the struggles that a working mother can face when it comes to balancing life, business, and her health. Nagina Abdullah joins us to share her own journey in a demanding role as a marketing consulting, which required frequent travel, and how she leveraged her own weightloss journey into an online business - MasalaBody.com. She’s now developed her brand to a point where she is able to impact the lives of hundreds of women by launching her signature training, Spice Yourself Skinny multiple times a year.
 
Nagina not only reveals how you can lose pounds and feel great while enjoying the process, but shares helpful tips about building a brand (as quickly as possible) so that you have an audience that’s ready to purchase your various offers. She also discusses the importance of investing in yourself, learning from your “failures” and focusing on the quality of your email list and getting the right people there. 

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WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • What benchmark you can use to determine if your idea is resonating with your audience

  • How you can  build your own side business by dedicating just 3 to 5 hours a week to it

  • Why it's so important to talk with your prospective clients, truly understand their problems and research before launching something

  • How spending money on business is really an investment that pays dividends down the road

  • What to do if your first attempt at selling something doesn't work

  • Best ways to become an expert in your field versus just paying for advertising

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Legal Quickie: 4 Essential Things the FTC Wants You to Know Before Endorsing a Company's Products

Are you a blogger who receives free products or payment in exchange to share a review about that product on let's say your Instagram account or your blog?

Or maybe you're an online business owner and you participate in affiliate programs where you promote another company's products and in exchange you receive a commission for each sale that you refer.

If you're getting paid to create content promoting another company's products or services, then you've got to listen to the latest episode of the Office Talk #podcast. In it, I'm sharing four things the FTC wants you to know before you endorse another company's product or service.

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WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • Who needs to make disclosures and why
  • When to make disclosures
  • What your disclosures should say
  • How to make effective disclosures when you're using social media, your website or video to endorse a company's products or services
  • And more...

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Meghan Ely: How To Use PR to Grow Your Audience (and Your Business)

Want to get people talking about your business? Have you considered PR as part of your business strategy?

If you’re anything like me, trying to get some good PR can sound a bit overwhelming. We’re so busy doing #allthethings that we really can’t handle pitching our story to media outlets on top of all the marketing we’re already doing to grow our audience. And even if we could find the time, who even knows where to start?

Meghan Ely does, thankfully. Meghan, owner of OFD Consulting, very generously shared her PR expertise with us in this episode of Office Talk. Meghan explains how PR can not only get you in front of the target audience, but provide you with valuable third party credibility as an expert in your field. No matter where you are in your business (and budget!), Meghan’s tips will show you how to get PR opportunities and how to make the most out of them to grow your audience and your business.
 

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WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • Is PR really going to be beneficial for your business?
  • What you can do yourself when you don’t have the budget for PR
  • Best practices for pitching your story to media outlets
  • At what point you should consider hiring a PR consultant
  • What some of the latest trends in PR are and how to be at the forefront of those trends
  • How to capture the ROI of your PR efforts (I know what you’re thinking, “Is this even possible?”)
  • How to ride the wave of your PR opportunities and get the most out of them

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Legal Quickie: 3 Easy Fixes to Double Check Before You Send or Sign a Contract

When was the last time you took a red pen to your contracts to spot formatting mistakes? Ummmmm….. probably never. Well, believe it or not, minor errors in formatting can make a BIG impact on the way your contracts are interpreted. In this Legal Quickie episode, I’m sharing three common formatting mistakes you’re probably making with your contracts. The good news is they are super easy to fix.

So grab a copy of your contract (or if you don’t have one, check out these templates offered on the website), get your red pen, and have a listen to this episode. 

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  • On June 28th, 2017, I’m co-hosting the Masterclass: Is Your Wedding Business Legally Protected? with the folks over at Aisle Planner.  During this hour-long presentation, we’ll cover the answers to some FAQs about your wedding or events-based business as well as answer YOUR questions. Save your seat by June 9th, to take advantage of the early bird price of $34. Full price tickets are $44. Save your spot at www.annettestepanian.com/masterclass
  • Ever wanted step-by-step instructions on how to get your business up and running - the legal way?  Well, your wish, is my command.  Get on the waiting list and be the first to learn when the doors to Your Legal BFF open - www.annettestepanian.com/wait

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Sarah Grear: How the Right Copy Can Get You Sales

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With all the different things we have to think of and the tasks we have to juggle as entrepreneurs, it’s easy to classify copy as “less important” or “low priority.” Why are the words you use on your website, in your emails, and on your social media so important to your business?

In this episode of the Office Talk podcast, copywriter Sarah Grear shares explains how your copy can translate to actual sales and affect your bottom line. If that doesn’t catch your interest, I don’t know what will! Sarah shares her top tips on how to tell your unique story in a way that builds your brand and engages your target audience in order to amplify your sales. Plus, she had some really great resources that I never knew existed but now am not sure how I ever lived without. If you’re struggling with writing your own copy or looking to hire a copywriter for your business, you’ll definitely want to listen to this podcast before you get started.

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WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • Why the right copy can translate to more sales
  • The first thing you need to do before you start copywriting
  • How to become a better storyteller and better relate to your audience
  • How to write subject lines that make your audience open emails and take action
  • The first piece of copy you should create for a new service
  • What to expect when you hire a copywriter and how to prepare for the work process
  • How new business owners can create a copywriting strategy without getting totally overwhelmed

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Legal Quickie: How to Draft Contracts When Providing Multiple Services or Packages to Your Clients

Are you a Jack or Jill of all trades? 

Are you doing #allthethings and providing multiple services or packages to your clients? 

Are you confused about how you should address these various services or packages in your client contracts?

If the answer is “oh my dear, YES,” then, you’ll want to listen to this episode of Office Talk.  I’m answering these questions and more!

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Anne Samoilov: How to Create an Engaging Launch That’s Both Successful and Simple

Are you gearing up to launch a new product or service?  Anne Samoilov, creator of Fearless Launching, shared so many amazing tips for a successful (and yet simple!) launch in this episode of Office Talk. 

In fact, even if you have no plans to launch anything right now, you still have to give this interview a listen. Anne’s tips are spot-on for any business owner to improve their ability to make decisions, plan, and execute effectively—in any area of their business, not just when it comes to launch time. It’s like we’re always launching, if you think about it. Every one of us has something we’re looking to get out into the world. Anne talks about how you can begin thinking with a launch mentality, not just for a successful launch, but also for a successful business.

The best part? Anne likes to keep things simple, so all of her tips are attainable and will save you so much time—and maybe even your sanity!

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WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • How to create buzz and excitement around your launch
  • The one way to be sure the product or service you’re launching is going to be a success
  • What kinds of questions you should be asking yourself to come up with the best launch plan ever
  • How to practice the skills you need for a successful launch so that planning and executing will come more naturally over time
  • Some time-saving tips to making your launch so much easier and less overwhelming
  • Why you need to start stalking your audience (in the least creepy way possible)
  • How to decide which launch strategies are best for you and how to prioritize those strategies

CONNECT WITH HER AT

Website: http://www.annesamoilov.com
Podcast: http://www.annesamoilov.com/show/
Instagram: www.instagram.com/annesamoilov
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnneSamoilov/

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*** In the interest of full disclosure, if you purchase a product from Anne using the links above, I may receive a small commission. But trust that I only recommend people and products who I believe can truly make an impact in your business. Cause I've got your back, girl!

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“The one thing I know for sure is that simplicity always wins, no matter what. No matter what you’re talking about, whether it’s a launch or it’s your choice to create a new product or not, you have to simplify things or it gets too hard to manage—and that includes launches, your business, everything. So try to be as simple, keep things as simple as possible.”

Legal Quickie: Three things that are holding you back in business

I was curious to know what you guys are struggling with in your business.

So I recently got on the phone (yeah - the actual phone… remember that?) and spoke to dozens of folks to find out the answer to this question.  In this Office Talk podcast episode, I’m having a heart-to-heart with you and sharing some of my observations from those conversations including the three things that are holding us back in business.

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Kristin Kaplan: Pricing and Planning for Profitability

There’s an old story about the iconic artist Pablo Picasso that goes something like this… 

Picasso was sitting in a Paris café when an admirer approached and asked if he would do a quick sketch on a paper napkin. Picasso politely agreed, swiftly executed the work, and handed back the napkin — but not before asking for a rather significant amount of money. The admirer was shocked: “How can you ask for so much? 
It took you a minute to draw this!” “No”, Picasso replied, “It took me 40 years”

This struck such a chord with me because I meet a lot of entrepreneurs (me included) who have trouble valuing their work and time. How about you? Do you experience this in your business?

Do you wonder if you’re asking for too much—or not enough—when it comes to pricing?

Do you have a financial plan for your business, or are you getting caught up in the day-to-day of serving your clients or customers, to find out that all that effort is paying you peanuts?

In this episode, Kristin Kaplan explains why pricing and planning are two of the most important factors in running a profitable business. With pricing, it can be a bit tricky to quantify the value of your time, and it’s so common for entrepreneurs to wonder if they’re overcharging or undercharging. Kristin shares some tips to take the guesswork out of it and make sure you’re getting the full value of the work you provide. She also gives some stellar advice on how to increase your profits through business planning. So basically, listening to this episode will help you make you money! {wink}

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WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • Where to start in figuring out your pricing (without undercharging!)
  • Where so many new business owners lose money
  • How to build confidence around your pricing and see your real value
  • How to be more productive (and therefore more profitable!) in your business
  • What a business plan should include
  • The one piece of advice that all new business owners need to hear

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Legal Quickie: Things to Know When You Work with a Lawyer: From Fees, Questions to Ask, Finding One Who Gets You, and Figuring Out How to Prioritize Your Legal Needs

I’ve heard it all.

Lawyers are intimidating.

They’re so unrelatable.

They don’t understand me or my business.

And they’re so darn expensive.

These are the common complaints I hear from folks about working with a lawyer. And let’s not forget all the bad lawyer jokes too…. 

Well, I’m spilling the beans. In this episode, I’m sharing what you need to know before you hire a lawyer - things like fee structures, costs, questions you need to ask - as well as breaking down the law into the five topic areas you need to be thinking about as you start and grow your business.

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • The various fee structures lawyers offer and what to expect to pay when you hire one
  • The three questions you should ask a lawyer when you’re ready to hire one
  • How to find a lawyer who understands you and your unique business
  • The questions you need to ask a lawyer before you hire one
  • How to prioritize all of your legal needs
  • The five “buckets” of legal issues you need to be thinking about and planning for as you grow your business

RESOURCES WE TALKED ABOUT

NEED A CONTRACT? CHECK OUT THE CONTRACT TEMPLATES

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Lauren Pawell: How to Convert Leads Into Business Through Email Marketing

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Have you started to build an email list for your business?

We all know email lists are important—but once you have one in the works, what do you actually do with it? How can you leverage the subscribers you have through opt-ins or lead magnets and convert them into actual business?

Enter Lauren Pawell, founder of Bixa Media. In this Office Talk episode, Lauren discusses how email marketing can quickly become your highest-netting channel, even more so than social media. Lauren shares some simple tips you can apply at any point in your business to boost your list and translate those leads into clients.

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • How to use email marketing to convert leads into customers
  • How to leverage your opt-ins to build your email list
  • Some great ways to segment your email list for more targeted, impactful communications with current and potential clients
  • Which kinds of email marketing you should automate and when
  • Three simple steps to building an email list right now, even if you’re a total beginner

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GRAB YOUR CAN SPAM ACT CHEAT SHEET

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Legal Quickie: What type of business insurance do I need? with Nikki Luby

Do your eyes glaze over when you read about insurance policies?

Of course they do! I haven’t met anyone for whom that’s not the case. Even Nikki Luby, who works in commercial insurance at Excelsure, admits that insurance isn’t the most interesting of subjects. It’s more a necessary evil. In this legal quickie episode, Nikki breaks down the basics of insurance and what you really need to help you cover your booty—without putting you to sleep with all the insurance jargon!

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WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • The two types of insurance that every business needs
  • What kind of insurance you need if you work from home
  • How to save money on insurance policies
  • What to look for in choosing an insurance provider
  • How to determine the insurance limit you need to protect yourself

RESOURCES WE TALKED ABOUT

ENTER TO WIN A FREE VIP TICKET TO WEDDING WIRE WORLD LA

I’m speaking at Wedding Wire World in Los Angeles on May 1-2, 2017 and I’ve got an extra VIP ticket to give away. Register here to be entered to win a free VIP ticket!

You can also use the code ANNETTE2017 to save $50 off the ticket price.

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Pin it to Win It: How to Use Pinterest to Get More Qualified Leads with Elle Drouin

What if I told you that you could get more potential clients and customers coming to your website to check out your services and products...with minimal effort?  

You’d be all ears, right?

Well, here’s one way: Use Pinterest effectively.

After hearing repeatedly that her clients and customers had found her on Pinterest even though she was spending way more time on Instagram, Elle Drouin, creator of Wonderfelle Media, realized the value of Pinterest and became very strategic about how to leverage the platform to grow her business. In this episode of the Office Talk podcast, Elle shares her best Pinterest tips to drive traffic and gain quality leads that translate into real business.

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • How to get noticed on Pinterest and gain followers
  • All the essential elements of a pinnable pin and how to draw in leads with your Pinterest graphics
  • Elle’s favorite tools for scheduling and managing her Pinterest account and why
  • How to use group boards to build a community strategically on Pinterest
  • What the advantages of Pinterest are in comparison to Instagram or other social media platforms
  • What to track—and how often—to be able to tell if your efforts are working

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* Please note that this is an affiliate link which means that I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using this link. Note that I'm only an affiliate for products that I only recommend products that I believe in. 

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“The one thing I know for sure is if you want to spend less time working and more time living, do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.”

Legal Quickie: Do I Really Need a Privacy Policy and Terms of Service? And More with Ryan Morrison, Esq.

Ever wonder if privacy policies, terms of service, or trademarks really matter?

Does the FTC really care about small businesses just starting out?

With cyber law constantly changing and trying to catch up to advances in technology, it can be really intimidating to make sure you’re complying, especially for new business owners. In this Legal (Not-So) Quickie episode with Ryan Morrison, deemed “The Video Game Attorney,” we’re helping you sift through what is really important to protect our business right  from the start.

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WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • What to do when you’re strapped for cash and can’t afford legal advice or a trademark
  • The biggest mistake social media influencers make when working with companies
  • Are privacy policies and terms of service really necessary?
  • At what point should you consider filing for a trademark? 
  • What to do when you own a domain and someone begins using your brand name under a similar domain
  • What an office action is and what should you do about it

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Yvette Bowlin: How Decluttering Translates to Greater Productivity

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Are you trying to do #allthethings … only to find yourself fully depleted at the end of the day… and the only thing that gets you through it is your three daily venti soy milk lattes?

Well, then you’re going to want the Kool-Aid that this guest is drinking. 

Yvette Bowlin exudes such a calm and focused energy that I think as entrepreneurs we’re all struggling to find. We’re often so busy doing, or we’re overanalyzing and in our heads. Yvette shares how her trip backpacking through Brazil in college taught her the importance of not only decluttering her possessions, but also her thoughts. Upon returning, she was inspired to maintain that life of simplicity and to help others find it as well. She began her business as the Declutterist, guiding clients on their path towards clarity, freedom, and fulfillment in their personal and professional lives.

Tell me - what’s one thing you’re going to declutter today for greater productivity in your business or life. For me, it’s blocking out times where I feel most creative so I can minimize distractions and leverage that creativity. What’s yours? Tell me over on Instagram.

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • How decluttering translates to real productivity and focus in your business
  • What it means to have a simple mind and how to avoid overanalyzing
  • How meditation can help and why it’s important to take time alone to slow down
  • How to best set up your workspace to maximize focus
  • How to minimize distractions and leverage your most creative and productive working hours
  • How to get through those tasks you dread doing and maybe even find some joy in doing them

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Legal Quickie: What bloggers, social media influencers + content creators need to know about the law with Ellie Altshuler

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Are you a social media influencer? 

A YouTube rockstar?  

Are you making waves on Instagram?

Do you want to turn that digital content you’re creating into profits?  

Then you’ll want to listen to this episode with Ellie Altshuler, an entertainment and fashion attorney.  In this Legal (not-so) Quickie episode, Ellie and I talk about our best tips for legally protecting your brand. 

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WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • Why it’s key to own your business’s IP and how to protect it
  • When and why you need to file for a trademark
  • What licensing is and how to use it to monetize your business, 
  • What  terms to consider in negotiating a licensing contract
  • When you need to use a disclosure as an influencer while working with a brand
  • The one thing start-ups often forget that is so important to avoid risk
  • How to negotiate a stellar deal when creating content for a brand
  • What to do if it feels like your work is being copied

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Maria Bayer: How to Get More Leads and Close More Sales (Without Feeling Like a Sleaze)

One of the biggest challenges I’ve heard from some of you is finding clients and closing sales. When I have a question about sales, my mind goes directly to Maria Bayer - a sales coach for creatives.  So I invited her on the show to pick her sales brain for this episode of the Office Talk podcast.  Drawing from her sales experience in Corporate America, Maria now coaches creatives on how to book clients quickly and for more money. And she’s sharing some of her top tips with us in this episode.

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WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • The flaw in the traditional “ideal client” exercise and how to attract the “right client” instead
  • How to determine when to change your contract at your client’s request and when to hold your ground
  • The questions to ask your potential clients to reveal what matters most to them and how to use that information to sell more purposefully
  • Why you should avoid email when closing a sale and what to do instead 
  • How to get your client to see your value and gain trust
  • Who should be included in the conversation when booking a client
  • The power of saying “no” to clients
  • Ways you can gain insight into your clients’ needs

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Legal Quickie: What Contracts Do I Need for My Business?

One of the first investments you need to make when you’re running a business is a solid set of contracts. But which ones do you need and why?  In this episode, I’m sharing with you the four essential contracts that business owners should have when running a business. I’ll explain what they are and why they matter.  Do you have all of them?

Listen to the episode to find out if you’ve got your booty covered!

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Shanna Skidmore: Finance Tips for Creative Entrepreneurs

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In this episode of Office Talk, I got a chance to chat with Shanna Skidmore, a business strategist and financial coach for creative entrepreneurs. I could definitely relate to Shanna, whose primary business goal is to simplify the seemingly daunting task of finance for her clients and set them up with the basic financial knowledge they need to take their businesses to the next level. For most creatives, finance and law can appear so overwhelming, but as Shanna shares with us, there are very few things you need to know, and once you know them, you’ll find it’s really not as complicated as you’d imagine.

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WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • The most common pitfalls that Shanna sees creative entrepreneurs making and how to avoid them
  • How to calculate pricing based on profit and what to do if your prices are higher than you think clients are willing to pay
  • How time-tracking saved Shanna’s business, plus her favorite app for time-tracking
  • Why knowing the purpose of your business is essential to its success
  • Why Shanna recommends sabbaticals for creative entrepreneurs and why it’s so much easier than you think
  • A bit about Shanna’s background as a financial planner and how she grew into her current business of helping creative entrepreneurs master finance

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Legal Quickie: What Do I Need to Know Before I Sell My Online Course?

Do you have an online course? Or do you have one brewing in that beautiful brain of yours? As online course creation has become more popular over the years, I’ve been getting more and more questions from clients about what they need to be doing to protect their course content and your business. (Yup - even having an online course has legal implications.)  In this Legal quickie episode, I’m breaking down some of the  legal stuff you ought to be thinking about before you hit “publish”on your online course. 

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