The Blog

How To Super Power Your MailChimp and Grow Your Business: Part One

MailChimp gets a lot of flack, nowadays, in the small business and blogging circles. 

When I first started blogging, MailChimp was the absolute go to for email marketing. Every source out there, or so it seemed, was recommending it. 

Every so often a different alternative might be offered, but MailChimp was pretty universal. 

And then came along Convertkit. 

In our little corner of the internet, at least, everybody suddenly started to immediately switch over. Something that may have been influenced by the fact that Convertkit has a generous affiliate scheme whilst MailChimp has ‘Rewards’, which isn’t quite as compelling. 

That’s not to say that Convertkit has no merit. Indeed, part of the huge draw of Convertkit is that it has a few key features that MailChimp users had been crying out for.  Indeeed, there are many features that I pray to the big, email deity in the sky for MailChimp to implement.  

However, I think a lot of the reason that many people flee from MailChimp is because they are simply not utilizing MailChimp to it’s full advantage. I know when I first started using MailChimp, I was only using a fraction of its tools.


So, the aim of this series is to help you turn MailChimp into the powerhouse for your business it can be. 


As such this post is a bit of a beast, so you might want to pin IT to your Pinterest board or favourite the page so you can come back and read each section as you need. I’ve also include a small contents summary below so you can jump to the most relevant elements.


How To Super Power Your MailChimp


I’ve also included links to our introduction to MailChimp series if you need help setting up the basics of MailChimp, from setting up your account, creating sign up forms and setting up automations.


MailChimp Beginner Series











  • What Are Groups?
  • How To Create Relevant Groups


  • What Are Segments?
  • Converting Subscribers That Haven’t Purchased

Turning First Time Customers Into Repeat Customers

How To Create Loyalty Schemes for VIPs







Optimise The Email List Building 


The second part of this series will focus on super powering your MailChimp lists.

However, before we start working behind the scenes, we need actual email subscribers to work with. So, part one of this series will take a moment to make sure our list building strategies are optimized. 

If you are reading this then I assume you have your email list set up with MailChimp and you have already created customized MailChimp forms. If not, do not fear – we have posts for beginners too which explains fully how to set up MailChimp and the forms. 

So, first, let’s go through the check list of considerations for creating super power opt-ins.


The Offer 


As you might expect from someone who created an entire course based on creating the perfect Lead Magnet, I have a lot of feelings about the best opt-ins you can create for your website. As someone who is looking at taking their email list to the next level, I imagine you have already improved your forms by getting rid of snore inducing language like ‘sign up’ for newsletter updates. 

So let’s skip past the usual, basic advice and get into the serious stuff. 


What Are You Offering?


A discount coupon, a free eBook, a resource library, a checklist, a challenge or perhaps a free online course. What you can offer as a lead magnet is only limited by your imagination. 

FYI by far the most successful way of bringing in large amounts of people in one go, for me, has been challenges. You can read more about how we put those together here.

Sadly, whilst the volume and quality of content is most certainly important, it’s hard for your potential subscriber to ascertain from the outside. Your eBook might be literally the best thing since sliced bread, but from the opt-in box in your sidebar, it might not look anything special to me. 

How do we rectify this?


Sell It 


We spend hours, days and weeks thinking about the name of our products. What should we call it? What SEO words can we include? Does this contain enough emotional and power words to entice people in?

And yet when it comes to our Lead Magnets, the temptation to ‘download our eBook on how to clean your jewellery’ somehow just trips out of us. It happens to me. I’ve seen it happen on hundreds of websites. 


Treat your Lead Magnet like it’s a valued product. 


Instead of ‘download our eBook on how to clean your jewellery’, might we write ‘Instantly up-level Your Jewellery: enter your email to unlock ten industry secrets to the million dollar jewellery shine – including one drug store dupe you won’t believe‘. 

Does it run the line between being enticing and a little bit click baity, perhaps. Try and stay on the right side of the line!


Action It


When we sell a product, what we are selling is a ‘difference’ to our customer. A positive difference. There should be a clear improvement in our customer’s life between before and after. It might be simple, like lighting a candle that keeps bugs from bothering them on the terrace, it might be a financial increase, a confidence boost or just something to help save them time.

In the same way your opt-in needs to provide an actionable benefit to your visitor. A small win, a time save, a step closer to their bigger goal.


Make It Count


Let’s say you completely nail the lead magnet. People are signing up in droves. Excellent, good work.

Is this leading to an increase in sales?

Needless to say, if your lead magnet is attracting thousands of people onto the list – but they are thousands of the wrong people, then you may as well not have any sign ups at all. Now it’s unlikely that you are offering something as a lead magnet that is totally unrelated to your product, what more often is the case is that you are offering something that doesn’t connect to your product as the next ‘logical’ step.

Your lead magnet should be something actionable, that provides a small win but after your visitor has consumed that content, it should lead them to taking the next step in that journey – buying your product.

And maybe you need to put in a few more steps, like building up loyalty or dealing with some more barriers that prevent visitors from buying. That’s fine, that’s often the purpose our welcome email sequences serve. However, make sure that there are not any gaps that your customer can fall through. Each step should lead them toward your product in a logical and consistent way.

For example, if I am looking for an engagement ring, you might offer me a ring sizing chart I can print off to find out what my finance’s ring size is without running the surprise for them. That’s still quite a few steps away from me committing to spend several thousand pounds on a diamond. In this case you would want to put in a few educational steps on clarity, cut and other important considerations to inform the buyer and help them make the right choice.

If it’s just a case of going from ring sizing chart to immediate pitch, you might find this too big a leap for you customer to take.


Pitch It To The Right Audience 


My lead magnet is valuable and free, why aren’t people downloading it?

A question we often pose to ourselves when we create an amazing lead magnet but no one seems to be downloading it. Or at least not in the droves we might expect.

In this case we need to take two things into consideration:

  1. Relevance and
  2. Time 




Creative Market is a great site where you can download all sorts of creative graphics, templates and photos. Each week they offer six free downloads of various graphics from the site. 

Although I download many of these free graphics, most of them drown in my downloads folder and never see the light of day again. I don’t download all of them. Simply because some of them are completely irrelevant to me. 

It may go without saying, but just because something is free doesn’t mean that someone will download it. Further to that, it needs to be both so relevant that someone will download but also that they will then read/use your lead magnet after they have downloaded it.




Although you may think your lead magnet is free, it is not. It is still asking your audience to invest their time with you and time is precious. It’s not just the time that it takes to enter their email, but the time it takes to consume the content you have provided. 

A seven day email course might be completely relevant to your audience member, but if it is the first time visiting your website, they might not be so interested in committing that amount of time to you just yet. Equally, it might be so relevant that they do sign up to it, but fail to open then emails each day because they haven’t the sufficient level of commitment or trust in your brand. 


How Do We Resolve This ?


Pitch the right Lead Magnets to the right audience members.

Make sure that what you are offering is relevant. For example, a visitor browsing the jewellery section of the shop should be shown a different incentive than someone browsing the menswear section. 

Equally, a first time visitor to your website should be shown a quick and easy opt-in that requires little time investment. For example a discount or a checklist. 

But how do you know whether the person visiting that page is a new or returning customer? Or whether or not they have already opted in for that lead magnet already?


Option One: Educated Guess Work


There are certainly ways you can hack around this problem.

Who is your page aimed at?


For example, as you may notice, we have a number of email tutorials on this site. Although you can never be one hundred percent certain, I am am fairly sure that those people visiting Part One of MailChimp for Beginner’s are business owners at the beginning of their email marketing journey. Equally, I might surmise that those who have more interest in setting up welcome sequences and sales funnels are those who are a little more advanced.

Based on the content of the page, therefore, I can offer different opt-ins based on the level of experience that I believe the visitors will have.


What’s Your Most Common Landing Page?


You know in Google Analytics you can find the page that most people are landing on when they come to your website? For Creative and Coffee, it’s usually our How To Overcome Fear post. This makes sense, as it has currently been shared over 15 000 times and is quite frequently the first part of my brand that visitors ever see.

From this, I can assume that the majority of people who visit that post are people who have never heard of me before and I have created the opt-in (and welcome series of emails) to tailor to that audience member.

This, as you can imagine is hardly full proof. For a start, although it is mostly new visitors who go to that page, it is certainty not 100% new visitors.


What’s Your Most Common Exit Page?


As with landing pages, you can pull up in Google Analytics which page people are mostly exiting from too. Now, there are other concerns here, such as why people are exiting from this page. However, this is also a key place to make sure your opt-in picks up the slack by making sure that you are capturing people emails before they leave the site (and you) forever.

Although you can put particular strategies and reviews in process for these exit pages, again, we know that people might exit from a variety of different pages. So how do we combat this?

Perhaps this is where we might want to get a little bit more advanced with our list building. For example, have you tried using an exit pop up?

This brings me nicely onto option two.

So before we go into this, I think we all know in business the fine balancing act between ‘time and money’. In the beginning we often have time but no money and eventually the balance slowly starts to tip in the other direction. The problem with the tipping point is the time where we have to decide whether it is worth investing the money.

So, for those of you who have hit the limit of what you can do with free tools and want to move onto the next level, may I suggest option two.


Option Two: List Building Tools.


I have been a long term resident of the ‘free tools or nothing’ group.

But as much as I hate to admit it, I hit the wall in terms of what I could accomplish with free tools alone. The time investment that I was having to put in to constantly be inserting lead magnets, going back to update them, tracking down every single page that needed changing and trying to work out which pages to put which upgrades on was tiring. 

It was taking up a huge chunk of my day and I felt like even though I was getting more leads, the time it was taking me was causing me to loose money elsewhere by having to pass up opportunities due to workload. Not to mention the fact that I felt the site didn’t present as professionally or as seamlessly as it could. 

I resisted all forms of paid helped until OptinMonster came along. Now, to be one hundred percent transparent, I am, indeed, an affiliate for OptinMonster. Insert flashing lights and arrows here.

That means I receive a small commission if you purchase through my link. However, I have a link at the end of the post which is affiliate free if you’d like to investigate OptinMonster but don’t want me to earn any commission, because I’ve wronged you in a past life or something.  Sorry about that.

Of course, I don’t recommend any tools that I don’t use myself and I am suggesting that you might like to read more about it OptinMonster because I believe it is the key tool that can transform your website from an ‘OK’ marketing tool,  to a seamless audience experience that will be working away without you constantly having to tinker with it all the time. Unless you want to. 

Let me explain. 

OptinMonster allows you to change content based on who is viewing it.

No more educated guesses as to what kind of visitor is viewing which page and when. OptinMonster actively changes the content it shows your visitor based on the parameters you set.

Let’s take a quick look behind the scenes. 

As you can see, OptinMonster has a range of option in terms of content placement. Side bar, exit pop ups, within blog posts, mobile specific pop ups. . .

Now what’s really great about this, is that you can set different content based on what page that person is visiting, what pages they have visited, what opt-ins that have previously signed up for and any particular cookies you may be tracking. 


What does all this mean for us?

New VS Returning Visitors 


In the same way we talk very differently to people we are meeting for the first time and our close friends, we want to change our content based on whether someone is visiting us for the first time or is a returning visitor. For example, with a new visitor you might want to offer a special discount for new customers or reserve offers relating to your higher value packages for return visitors only.

This ensures that the content you are showing will always be relevant to the person viewing it, making sure you aren’t leaving any money on the table.


Visitor Has Viewed ‘X’ Pages 


You can take this a step further and also display content based on the number of pages that your visitor has viewed. I really love this feature. You know when you arrive on a site for the very first time, you are scrolling down the page and all of a sudden a pop up shoots out with a discount?

Now, of course, with both MailChimp’s popup creator, as well as within the OptInMonster platform, you can adjust the timing of your popups so not to be so aggressive (and also be on the good side of Google). However, what is really great is that with OptinMonster you can control what you show your visitors based on how many pages they have visited on your site. 

This means you can tailor your opt-in offers to someone who has only read one page of your site and have a different offer to someone who has read ten pages of your site, something that we would hope indicates are lot of interest in you! 

Interacted With Campaign


With OptinMonster you can display content based on what campaigns your visitor has already signed up for. Let’s say someone has signed up for your ‘starter’ lead magnet, a downloadable workout calendar for example.

With OptinMonster you can change your content based upon what the visitor has already signed up for. So, what is the next step in your client journey? If we keep with the example of the fitness calendar, the next step is most likely motivating them to actually start the calendar. So what motivational content could you promote to people who have already opted into your calendar campaign?

This helps create a closed loop where the visitor lands on the site, subscribes, receives an email to return to the site and then is looped back into engaging again by signing up for more content. Rather than opting into the email list, visiting the site and then going elsewhere.

So often we think of re engagement campaigns as simply sending emails out to people who haven’t purchased or opened our emails in a while. By using OptinMonster, you can make sure to turn your website into one massive re-engagement campaign as well. 

Speaking of re-engagement campaigns, let’s move from the website to what we can do from inside MailChimp. 

In part two of this series, will we be discussing the way you can seriously up level your MailChimp campaigns and automation to create amazing sales funnels to help you convert more subscribers on autopilot.

There’s the non-affiliate link btw.


Why Having An Accountability Partner Will Help Your Business

We hear many things about what makes a successful business. From Pinterest strategies and list building, to sales funnels and webinar planning.

However, if you look to the successful and thriving business owners online, you might notice some other things in common.

Personal coaches for life and business, mastermind groups, week long retreats. These are all things that many business owners have attributed a portion of their success to.

It might seem odd, for those of us just starting out, that our business coach has their own business coach. But once you get past the basics of business, it becomes much less about the physical form of your business and more about the mindset.

When you play a sport at school, for example, you are drilled on the basics before you begin to master more advanced strategies. Without a complete understanding of the basics, you would certainly not be getting into the pro leagues.

But when you start rising up the competitive ranks, a new element of skill become involved. Ever heard of sports psychologists? At first you might assume that a sports psychologist might be called in to solve a specific problem.

Perhaps to tackle pre-game nerves or to help them cope with the pressure at crucial moment.

Indeed, there is an element of this. However, sports psychologists also help to enhance  performance generally, to help athletes reach their goals and unlock their full potential.

And whilst without mastering the basic skills of the game, of course, you aren’t going to be winning any championships – similarly, by ignoring the mindset aspect of the sport, you are leaving potential on the table.


What does this have to do with my business?


Why having an accountability partner will help your business grow

The key skills of business are fundamentally important. If you don’t have a good foundation then no amount of positive thinking is going to will the income into existence.

However, if you’ve got those basics down but you feel like you are really struggling to grow, maybe it’s time to look at that crucial mindset element.

So How Will An Accountability Partner Help My Business Grow?

  1. Consistency


As creative people, we often have a hundred different ideas  that we want to tackle at once. We see new shiny ways of marketing and increasing revenues and we want to try them all.

Having an accountability partner will help you stay on the straight and narrow.

It’s not the most glamorous aspect of being a business owner but building your business is all about consistency. Building it up month by month, little by little. In order to do that you need to be consistent, otherwise it ends up being a little growth here and then a little growth there without anything really stable and predictable.

Your partner can help you stay on track with those tasks that you need to be working on and help nudge you back to reality should you fall of the wagon.

Why having an accountability partner is important


2. Brainstorming and Confidence


How many times a day do you wonder ‘will this work? Will people like this? Is this a good idea?’

Now, of course, at the end of the day it’s your audience that really needing to be asking this of. They are the people who are potentially buying into this new idea.

However, you can’t bombard your poor audience by asking them about every little idea and concept you come up with. It would be exhausting for them and you would probably come off as a little bit flakey.

Until the idea gets to a stage where it’s fully formed enough to start getting feedback, we can often be gripped by self-doubt. Over thinking things and becoming trapped in a loop, going around in circles, can become a frightening norm.

Although you may have friends and family to talk this through with, what we really need is someone who ‘just gets it’.

It’s not really that we need an accountability partner to give us permission but rather someone to help give us a confidence boost and a way of running through our own thoughts. Explaining a plan out loud can often be an excellent first step in ironing out the kinks.

And you are less likely to sit there wondering, is this a crazy idea?

How to plan self-care into your schedule in 2018

3. Built In Support System


Self doubt and uncertain idea aside, sometimes business can take an emotional toll. Technical issues, failed promotions, frustrating clients.

In a traditional 9-5 you might be able to go blow off steam with your co-workers, but when it’s just you and this overwhelming behemoth of responsibility it can be pretty overwhelming.

Your partner might not be able to help fix all your problems but sometimes just having some nod sympathetically when you call the Instagram Algorithm all the names under the sun is super helpful.

How To Set Effective Goals


Consistency, productivity and mental health.

Things not so talked about in the business world. Not as glamorous as perfecting your Instagram feed or as exciting as a re-brand.

But crucial to business growth and, quite frankly, our own happiness and sanity.

We got away from the traditional job in order to have more control, happiness, flexibility and creative fulfilment. So making sure that we are a happy boss in our own business should be a top priority for us too.

Plus happiness means you work better. Science says so.





Why Business Owners Need to Set Non-Business Goals 

As the end of the year roles around, many of our business brethren start to look back on the year, analyse their data and set goals for the year ahead. But is this really necessary?

Sometimes goal setting can feel like one of those tasks that you should do. Something that makes you feel busy and productive but at the end of the day doesn’t seem to, ironically, help you make any progress.

How to plan self-care into your schedule in 2018

The Business Owners’ Dilemma 


If you are a business then I really recommend checking out our post on how goal setting can be helpful to you (and how to set goals effectively) but there is another reason why goal setting is important. That is your happiness.

And as you know, I am a firm believer that happy bosses get more done and create better businesses. Something Forbes, and TED speaker Alexander Kjerulf all have in common.

I am also a firm believer that, especially as a business owner, the activities that you do ‘outside of work’ can have a huge impact on your business. We don’t need to be told that poor nutritional decisions and a lack of exercise can impact our health. We might even acknowledge the impact it has on our work (i.e feeling sleeping, unproductive and distracted).

However, too often, we still refuse to give our ‘out of work lives’ the same weighting and importance as our work tasks. For example, going to the gym pales in comparison to setting up social media for the week. We would quite happily give up a mid morning break, in favor of checking in on our emails.

It’s understandable, of course. Going to the gym might not be something that fills you with joy, so it feels good to justify your absence by ‘having to work’.

Running your own business comes with a certain financial pressure and doing something like ‘taking a break’ can fill us with guilt and a sense of not achieving anything.

In the main, it’s because we are graving instant gratification. Checking your emails feels more productive in that moment, than taking a well deserved coffee break. Going to the gym for an hour make you conscious of how much work you are not getting done right now. 

Those long term benefits of keeping active, eating well and getting a good amount of rest don’t appear to us instantly and therefore it’s hard to shake the fact we are being ‘unproductive’ or lazy in that moment.



Productivity and You 


How To Set Healthy Goals For Business


Many of our business goals this year will revolved around productivity. It’s a pretty popular topic. Indeed, our post on productivity apps is one of our most read and shared.

Related: 7 of the Best Productivity Apps for Bloggers

There is a myriad of articles online, sharing tips, apps and techniques all dedicated to making your work day more effective. We dedicate our time to testing the Podmoro technique, experimenting with batching and looking up the best way to automate our business.

Of course, those are all great things to do. However, we will spend our time and money looking for new ways and quick fixes, all the while ignoring some of the biggest culprits of procrastination and distraction.

There has been much research into the connection between diet and productivity, as well as exercise and happiness. However, you don’t need to read a study to know that you work better when you feel well and awake.

When it comes to issues like diet and exercise, we tend to segment this into the ‘non-work’ part of our brains. Working hours are for work and the hours outside that can be used to tackle other issues.

The snag with this, especially for the busy business owner, is that the hours outside of work are often short. Not only that, but having poured your heart and soul into your business all day, you are quite often exhausted.

Not the frame of mind you need to be in to tackle physical fitness.

And that’s not even taking into account your other non-work commitments, such as family and friends and housework.

Related: How to be a Productive Boss (The Healthy Way)

It all turns into a vicious cycle. You are tired and lethargic at work, resulting in tasks taking longer to perform, which extends your working day and stresses you out. By the time you finish work for the day, you are even more tired, probably a little irritable and really just want to eat comfort food and watch Netflix.

And then it all starts again the next day.

So how do we break this cycle?

I Am Going To Break The Wheel


Break the Self Care Cycle

Your health, both mental and physical, is a crucial part of your business.

We might, on an intellectual level, understand that not eating well or not having enough sleep affects how we run on our business. But let’s get specific for a moment.

A British medical journal pointed out recently that going 17 hours without sleep, has the same affect on your actions as if you have a blood-alcohol level of 0.05.

That’s the same as a ten stone woman drinking two glasses of wine an hour.

We wouldn’t think drinking two glasses of wine at work is acceptable, so why should we think working without a proper amount of sleep is?

You been awake, productive and able to concentrate is just as important as social media, email lists and blog post writing.Click To Tweet

And if we acknowledge the value of setting ‘traditional’ business goals for the above, then surely we should be setting goals for personal lives as well. Goals that we plan and execute with the same dedication as our business goals.

We’ve written an in-depth blog post on how to set effective goals here. However, to give you a summary the most important point are as follows.


Whilst you might understand why it is that you are setting a goal, it’s important to write down your intention. Just as writing down ‘gain 100 new followers’ is meaningless without writing down ‘why’ you want to gain new followers, this is the same with personal goals.


Trying to achieve a ‘general’ goal can seem very straight forward when writing it down but can be a little more difficult in practice. For example, if your goal is to get ‘more’ sleep, when have you achieved this goal?

If you managed to get half an hour more sleep this week, did you meet your goal? If you got more sleep Tuesday night but less sleep Wednesday, is that good?

Make sure you can set specific goals which you can measure, in order to make it easier to ascertain whether you are making progress.


It is more than possible to very effectively set a goal and achieve it, without actually achieving the outcome that you are aiming at. For example, you might set a goal of restricting your calorie intake to 1200 calories a day. You might well succeed in doing so but without achieving your goal of loosing two pounds a week.

It’s important to check-in regularly to see that you are in fact making progress. Just in the same way you would check to make sure a marketing campaign is converting well, you might need to make adjustments and modifications along the way.

Self care is important in business too

Be Realistic 

This is oft repeated when it comes to goal setting advice. Don’t set an unrealistic goal or an unrealistic time period.

If you want to go from sedentary being to marathon runner, it isn’t going to happen over night. Having said that, it certainly isn’t an excuse to only set yourself small goals.

Setting big and exciting goals is definitely doable, but just make sure to pave the way with mini-goals. To go back to our marathon runner, you might start off by going for a run twice a week. Or running for a minute, taking a thirty second break and starting again for another minute.

Dream big but plan small.


Economists at the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity. Unhappy workers, however, were found to be 10% less productive.Click To Tweet

So next time you feel guilty for taking a break, popping out to the gym, or doing something that makes you smile in working hours, remember, it’s important work too.



How To Set Goals That Actually Work For Your Business and You

We want to improve, we want success, we want to be happy.

We just need to work out how.

An excellent start is to write down your goals. Not just writing them down, by writing down what they are, why they are important and how you are going to measure that goals.

However, this is where the double edged sword comes into play.

You have a goal, you want to achieve but maybe you are not sure about the best way of achieving it. You might have a pretty good idea about how to do it but just want to double check you are on the right track.

What would be great was if someone could give you some advice on how to achieve it. Preferably someone who has already achieved that goal.

The wonderful thing about the internet is that there are plenty of people out there just waiting to give you advice. Eager to give you the details on exactly how they achieved X, Y and Z.

Millions of them. 

Which starts to sounds a lot less comforting and a little bit more alarming.

And boy there is a lot of information out there about how to set goals and how to stick to goals. Which is great, it’s really important to set goals and it’s hard to stick to them, so any advice on that is a big help.

Heck, it’s the reason we have a whole week dedicated to helping you set up your goals. With a community to help support us through those moments of self-doubt and days where nothing went right.

But there really is an important issue we need to address first.

What are the right goals to set for your business?

Is it increasing social media posts, writing more blog posts, getting more Instagram followers, starting a podcast?

Think about the business goal to you want to set yourself.

Let’s say, for example, you want to increase your Instagram followers, to get more traffic from Instagram to your website, in order to make more sales.

Why do you think that more Instagram followers will convert into more sales?

Is it because you’ve noticed a correlation between traffic from Instagram and an increase in your sales?

That’s awesome, carry on my friend.

Is it because people who have lots of Instagram followers appear to be successful?

Is it because another well known online business owner has done a case study to show how increasing their Instagram followers has transformed their business?

Let’s talk about this for a moment.

How to set effective goals for your business

It can often seem like marketing trends pop up and take the world by storm like the new ‘it’ item from each fashion season. Whilst launching courses is still very much a popular business strategy, it was definitely very much ‘in vogue’ a few years ago in particular.

Webinars, passive income sales funnels, Facebook Groups and podcasts have all since had there time in the limelight. Not to say all of these things are now no longer popular, but enthusiasm definitely peaked at certain times.

So what are we saying? That these marketing techniques are all just a hoax? A money making scheme thought up by business owners to sell us course?

Not quite.

How To Set Effective Goals

Not Everything Works for Everyone

Weight Watchers vs Slimming World

We all know how to lose weight, on a very basic level.

Eat healthy food, keep appropriately hydrated and exercise every day.

But we all know it isn’t that simple.

Eating a healthy, completely bland meal and doing your ten thousand steps every day might work ‘technically’ but most people just can’t keep it up.

You need some help, you need some ideas of what to cook every night, you need some support etc.

Friend One

I have one friend who goes to Weight Watchers. She’s lost a stone and a half so far and she raves about it.

Indeed, there is much anecdotal evidence of hundreds of people who have stuck to the Weight Watchers Diet and succeeded in losing weight.

Friend Two

Friend two, inspired by friend one, tried Weight Watchers too.

She stuck to the guidelines, did as they said and followed the diet strictly.

She put on five pounds.

And promptly joined Slimming World. Where is is enjoying great success in achieving her weight loss goals.

Now, debates about whether these diets work in the long term aside, it is clear that Weight Watchers works for many people. It is not a faulty product, it is not some scheme that actually doesn’t work at all and has made all the success stories up.

Yet it didn’t work for friend two.

She didn’t do it wrong, she didn’t sneak in an extra biscuit where she shouldn’t have but it didn’t work.

There is no law out there that says that if something works for one person, it will work for another. Click To Tweet

And it is the same with marketing.

So how do you decide what works for your business and what to focus on?

The Basic Level

There are three, basic ways to improve your business, in terms of financials.

  • Increase the number of visitors to your offers,
  • Increase the price of your offers and
  • Increase your conversion rates.

If you improve any one of these metrics, you will increase your revenue. The one many marketers tend to focus on to perfection is the conversion rate (i.e the percent of people who see your offer and buy).

This is because even the smallest change can have the biggest impact.

For example if I get 1000 people to my website, my product is £100 and I have a conversion of 2% then that means for every 1000 people to my website, I should make £2000.

1000 x 0.02 x 100 = 2000

If I increase the number of people to my website to 2000, using this formula, I will make £4000. However, as you know, getting another thousand people to the website requires a lot of work and a potential increase in spending in terms of my advertising budget ie large increase in revenue but small increase in profit.

If I increase my conversion rate by a single percent, something that is potentially easier and cheaper to do, then my revenue increases to £3000.

So you can see why the conversion rate is the most popular to increase, because such a small increase, can make such big impact.

So with that in mind, the basis of your goals is likely to be working on increasing one of these three metrics.

How To Set Effective Goals

Choosing The Method Case Study 

Our Overall Goal 

To Make More Revenue

Our Specific Goal 

To Increase Revenue By £1000 Per Month (In The First Quarter)

Our Overall Method

Increasing Traffic

Let’s look at the traffic method as an example.

So, our goal for this year is to increase revenue by, say, £1000 a month in the first quarter.

Let’s assume again our conversion rate is 2% and our product is £100.

In order to increase our revenue by a thousand a month, using increased traffic as our method, our ‘mini’ goal that we need to achieve is to increase traffic by 500 people per month.

Our Specific Method 

Now this is where we can start to look at those specific methods. Facebook ads, Pinterest, Webinars etc.

So, maybe you’ve taken a look at your Google analytics to see where your traffic is coming from and Pinterest seems to be the top referrer.

This is an excellent place to start as we can already see that we’re getting traffic from this source. So let’s put in a plan to increase it.

Perhaps you decide to use a scheduling system like Tailwind to increase the number of Pins you pin per day. Let’s say we increase the number of Pins from 50 to 100 a day.


Just like a science experiment, we have a hypothesis we want to test.

We think, based on our data, that increasing the number of Pins per day, will increase our traffic, which will increase our revenue.

The metric we are measuring is the amount of traffic that is referred to our site via Pinterest.


So perhaps we’ve run this test for two weeks and we want to check in on the results.

If they aren’t what you expect, this is the time to analyse what might be the issue.

For example, if traffic did increase but profits did not, what might be the reason for this?

You might find, when you look at your analytics, that the extra traffic was being sent to a specific post but people were ‘bouncing’ and not exploring your website or signing up for your email list.

How to set Effective Business Goals

How can we fix this?

Can you make the Pinterest Pin better aligned with the content it’s pointing to. Does that post need updating? Is there a clear call to action for readers to follow once they have finished reading?

Whatever you think the issue might be, adjust and try again.


This sort of testing and tinkering isn’t very glamorous. Especially when compared to planning new sales funnels for your webinar, or launch sequence for a new course.

But it’s an important part of goal setting.

To successfully set and achieve goals, sometimes it’s not always a straight forward journey from A to B. Sometimes there is some testing, some adjusting and some pivoting along the way.

But it you are mindful of the exact metrics you are attempting to alter, you can better gauge whether you are on the path to success or not.

Rather than just picking a goal, say ‘to do more webinars’ and becoming disheartened when revenue doesn’t seem to increase – you can be more intentional about your actions and goals.

For example, your analytics show that video seems to be converting highly.

Your hypothesis is that if you introduce more webinars into your marketing strategy, you will increase your conversion rates.

If, after your first webinar, conversion rates have not improved – instead of feeling downcast and immediately rejecting webinars for a new strategy, you can persist.

You can do a second webinar, perhaps this time changing a variable such as the time of the webinar, the audience segment it was pitched at or another consideration.

If this too still does not seem to work, you can continue to alter or perhaps then move onto a different strategy.

There is nothing wrong with learning strategies or getting advice from fellow business owners.

No one should have to go it alone. But just make sure that you are been intentional about the goals you are choosing, monitoring and implementing in your own business rather than using external goals or strategies from outside of your business.

How To Be Productive When You Are Super Tired

One of the most frustrating things as a business owner is knowing how much stuff you need to do. When  you need to do it or it won’t get done and yet. . .

I’m just so tired.

A few minutes work turns into hours of gazing at the screen, checking email, checking social media and generally procrastinating. By the end of the day, not only are you left feeling like you are a disappointing failure who has achieved nothing at all today but you are even more tired.

Ack. It’s a vicious cycle.

But, in the short term, how do we claw back that productivity when all we want to do is take another Buzzfeed quiz.

Because knowing which Disney Princess you are is totally relevant to work.

I’m Mulan btw (the only one who I think is not actually ‘technically’ a princess? I don’t know discuss in the comments).


The first boss



  1. Get Showered and Properly Dressed


For some people, their eyebrows just shot into their hair in surprise. Who doesn’t get dressed and showered in the morning?

Hey, it happens. If you are showered, suited and booted skip on to the next point.

For those of you that, sometimes, even getting in shower is a huge task, that’s OK.

It happens to the best of us.

Feeling clean and getting into some fresh clothes makes a world of difference though. It might not feel like it but it’s definitely worth the effort.

And by clean clothes, I don’t mean a clean set of PJs. Real clothes.

The world isn’t ready for the ‘ day time business pajamas look’ just yet. Soon.

(Sarah: Gosh, you can tell that sentence was written pre 2020!)

Some people subscribe to the method of getting up and doing your hair and makeup as well, if you are in to that sort thing. What ever makes you feel ready to face the day, get it done.

How to be productive when you are super tried for small business



Or more particularly, sunlight.

In the same way that looking at a glowing screen at night confuses your brain into thinking it’s still daylight, a little extra sun in your life will help your brain realise it needs to get in gear. It’s all about that melatonin, which is the hormone that helps put you to sleep at night.

If you want to cheat slightly and are willing to invest, these sunlight alarms are an amazing invention. It simulates the sun rise to wake you up naturally, instead of that godawful iPhone alarm.

(I still get stress induced panic flash backs even when I hear the iPhone alarm tone in movies)


3. Shake It All About


If you are already feeling like you are being crushed by the weight of your own body, the last thing you want to do is exercise. I don’t think the word ‘torture’ would be out of context here.

But you know exercise is good for you. It gets more oxygen in and the blood flowing around your body.

Health Ambition has a really great article over here, all about how exercise can help you sleep better. Not just for longer, but also in terms of the quality of sleep you have as well.

Not convinced? Studies have shown it can make you feel 65% less fatigued.

I mean, that’s practically awake right?

But, Sarah, I hear you cry – I’ve read ten thousand articles today on how to get things done when I’m tired (because I’m procrastinating) all of them suggest exercise but that’s not helpful to me!

I’m just too tired.

Don’t worry, as someone who lives in a perpetual state of exhamotionustion, I have a few handy tips on how to stick with the exercise regime – even when you’d literally rather die.

  1. Find The Shortest, Non-Cardio Work Out on Youtube


Here’s the thing, going to the gym, going for a run – these things involve leaving the house.

Leaving the house involves putting on real adult clothes, shoes, keys, possibly getting in the car and dealing with real life.

You’re probably too tired for that.

This is where the world of YouTube videos comes into play.

If this still seems like too much effort, just try a short video, say five minutes long. I find it’s helpful to chose one that doesn’t involve too much cardio, as you might not have enough energy right now to start jumping up and down.

I’m a big fan of blogilates for this reason.

If five minutes seems too long, just commit to doing it for a short time.

For example, I imagine your getting up to make a few cups of coffee, so just do it for as long as the kettle boils.

The trick is, that once you get started, it’s likely you will feel more energized as you go on (the power of exercise!). If, after the kettle is boiled, you are still feeling shattered, well at least you tried.

More often than not, it really helps kick start the waking up process. It’s just getting over that first hurdle of actually starting that’s the hardest.

An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motionClick To Tweet


Put your shoes on. There’s something about having your shoes on that just makes it easier to leave the house. Sometimes going for a little walk around in the outside world does wonders (getting that sunlight onto your skin!) but it just seems like a huge commitment – until I put my shoes on.

I have no scientific proof to show you, it’s just something that helps me. Give it a go and let me know if it helps!

Girl Boss Slippers


4. Drink

If you have been skimping on your water intake, you might want to double check if you are irritable due to dehydration. Like being hangry. Thangry, if you will.

Even just a loss of 1-2% of your body weight as water (i.e mild dehydration) is enough to impair your thinking.

Plus drinking water keeps your skin nice. Win/win.


5. Start Small


When you are tired, your working memory is diminished. This means multi-tasking is definitely off the table for you today.

So start small, find those tasks that don’t need your brain working on a high functioning and creative level. Maybe this is the time to do those tasks that keep getting bumped down the list because they aren’t a ‘priority’.

Again, once you get going and get into the swing of things you might find it easier to keep going.

Better than tackling a big task where your attention keeps faltering every ten minutes.



6. Set a timer


When you are tired, it is more difficult for you to recover concentration from distractions.


That two second email check has suddenly turned into an hour and you are left feeling as if maybe you’ve been abducted by aliens and you’ve lost your sense of time.


Oooo where did that time go


It’s so easy to click onto something else without even thinking about it. So set yourself a timer and commit to concentrating on your one task for ten or twenty minutes. Then, if you are tempted to wavier, you can think:

‘I just have to push on for another five minutes, than I can have a break’.


7. Take a Break

“Like time, energy is finite; but unlike time, it is renewable.” - Tony Schwartz, The New York TimesClick To Tweet

Frequent breaks are important, as the New York Times’ points out. Your brain runs on the fuel of glucose and just like your car, if it runs out of fuel it’s going to grumble, clank and then breakdown.

So, not only is it important to keep it topped up, you need to give it a little time to recharge. Just as I’m suspicious that the last ten percent of my battery gets eaten up quicker than the first ten percent, your concentration runs on a line of diminishing returns.

Why struggle on for two hours, achieving very little, when you can rest and get more done in the next hour?


8. Take an Even Bigger Break


There’s this mythical event, that few business owners witness themselves, called the day off.

I know, I know, you simply have too much to do.

Maybe this time around, you really don’t have time to have a day off.

But rather than waiting until you are completely burnt out and HAVE to take a day off, (because you literally can’t function any more) maybe think about scheduling in more days off in the future.

Taking a day off, when you don’t desperately need a day off, might feel selfish. You might feel a little guilty. But if you plan it in advanced, it means that you are expecting it, you can use it wisely and you won’t be running the risk of missing a deadline.

An unexpected day off, because of being ill or burnt out is much more problematic.

The key is not get into that situation in the first place, by respecting the work/life balance.

It might feel like a waste of time in the short run but it will save your time in the long run.

And a Happy Boss is a productive boss.