Small Business Technology Needs

In this episode, Heather Stafford merges two things together – strategy and technology.

She breaks down small business technology needs to help you automate your exposure. Without certain technology in your business, you will fail. Heather’s mission is to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Pulling metrics and analyzing numbers is her sweet spot. If it’s not yours, ignoring it is no longer an excuse. If you’re not good at tech, you need to start with the basics… and that’s what Heather does in this episode of the Become a Media Maven® podcast.

Her suggestion: Focus on one thing and make it organic until you hit the multiple six-figure mark.

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 Small Business Technology Needs with Heather Stafford

Small Business Technology Needs

Tech can be scary and sometimes strategy is like, well… what is the strategy? What is my strategy? Is this working? Is it not working? And you are an expert in both of these things and you really help people automate their exposure, but in a strategic way.

I do have a fully functional agency so we do done for you technology – building websites and lead magnets and ebooks and podcasts and webinars and many other things that you use to gain leads and grow your tribe, building your exposure, creating a bigger impact.

On the other side of that we do strategic tech implementation and what that means is like a lot of business owners go, ‘okay, I had this really big vision, like I want to impact the world here.’ And then they stop and they go, ‘well how am I supposed to get there?’ And that’s the big question.

Using Technology Strategically in Your Business

It takes so many pieces and parts and so many of them are wrapped up in technology that if you’re not an MIT grad living in Silicon Valley, you’re like, ‘oh, okay, I’m, I’m out, I’m not doing this, this is not fun.’ And so business owners will shy away. They’ll say, ‘oh, well, you know, I’ll, I’ll do that later. I’m going to learn that later.’ Or they hire somebody but they don’t know what they’re hiring somebody for. ‘I don’t know what I’m supposed to hire somebody to do, but I know that I need to hire somebody that that’s in tech’ and they get stuck.

So, we use basic building block strategy and implement and tech in small pieces so that a business owner can grow with their technology.

I like that. And when people come to you, like, what are they saying? They’re probably coming to you a little frustrated because nothing is more frustrating than tech that you can’t figure out.

I have a lot of clients that also have a business coach. My business coach says I need a webinar. I need to have a website. I need to have a blog and a podcast. I need to do videos.

And it’s breaking down the basics.

How important is it to use tech to be strategic in growing your business? Is it a must? Like everybody needs to be doing it.

It is the difference between failure and success. It is also a must for you to take a really big deep breath and realize that like technology’s there to it’s there to serve you. It’s there to help you and support you. It’s not there to beat you up. It is not there to be confusing. It’s not there to make things hard.

How you go about it, like taking things one step at a time really gives you the opportunity to learn how to put your technology and your strategy in place so that it grows for you.

Investing in Technology in Your Small Business

And a lot of people, they feel like they need to do this on their own. They say, ‘I’m just starting my business. I’m not making a lot of money yet, so I need to learn how to do this task and do it on top of everything else that I’m already doing’ and I know you and me, we share a business coach. We know the importance of investing in your business and spending money on things to grow your business. But when I started, I didn’t get it when you started. I’m sure you didn’t get it. It’s like people will spend three hours trying to figure something out that you could do in five minutes. What do you say to those people?

Trust the process. So I had a mentor and a coach, um, and I and in another field coaches emotional intelligence and leadership development. He looked at me often and said, ‘Trust the process and stay in your lane.

You have a zone of genius. You have something that you do that impacts the world. I absolutely believe without a shadow of a doubt that business owners need to understand the basics like you do need to know what an email marketing system is and why we have it and what function it causes in your business.

You do not need to know how to set it up. You don’t need to know how to pull metrics and analytics and numbers like no. If your next step is developing a website, you hire a web developer.

If you need to grow your email list, you probably need a higher, like a tech VA. A tech VA is about an eighth of the cost of a web developer. It is not going to cost you 20 thousand dollars to build the list. I have clients that have done it for under a thousand dollars. They’ve grown an audience to then share their message with and it’s not painful.

It’s not expensive and tech doesn’t have to be expensive. I know that Click Funnels and all of the different companies that are out there have great marketing. It’s like – get this and you can grow. You can make a million dollars online.

Sure, some people have done it but if you need the right kind of technology, so finding someone whose background is in technology and what the different software and things are used for to say, ‘hey, start with this and then grow and then moved to this and then grow.’ You should just never be growing into your technology. You should always be growing out of your technology into something new.

Understanding Your Analytics and Numbers

I like that and you talked about something that I feel like a lot of people, they don’t do this which is pulling their metrics, looking at analytics, and looking at numbers and I think there’s a couple of reasons people don’t do this.

One, it’s not fun and sexy. It’s more fun to play on Facebook and Instagram than it is to do that. Sometimes those numbers you get in those dashboards look really confusing and people, they try to look at it but they don’t know what it means. But that is like strategy 101, is it not, to see how people are reacting?

It totally is. Every piece of technology that you use in your business has a set of metrics that you can pull. You can pull a report. You’d have a report section in any dashboard.

Facebook advertising, for example, if you go into your ad manager, there’s a report on your Facebook ads. Now the numbers might not make sense necessarily. Almost every software has a little, a little key that’ll tell you like this means that that means this, this is attributed to that.

But understanding the power behind your metrics and that power behind how your metrics are going to drive what you know, what you focus on, where you change, what you tweak so that you can get your message further is so monumentally important.

You got to know the numbers, you have to take a look at it and this is something that your VA should do for you, like if you haven’t, if you’re just getting started and you haven’t hired an assistant yet, trust me and know this – your very first hire will be an assistant or somebody to help you with all the busy work so that you can continue doing your genius. That’s going to be your very first person and they will be the person that will help you sit down in a meeting and muddle through the numbers like, ‘okay, what’s working?’ Because those numbers will show you like what do people like, what are people reacting to? What are people following? And if they like that, I want to give them more of those things. It’s like having an open window to seeing what your customer needs.

And so many people I feel they just continue to do what is fun for them instead of what their numbers are telling them. Well, I don’t know what they’re telling me, but they are. If you look at the metrics, they are.

That is absolutely true. We know people get into business because they have this vision and they’re like, ‘I want to make an impact here.’ Make sure that you’re looking at your numbers and you’re reading your feedback and you’re giving people what they’re asking for. They’re telling you. All they’re asking you to do is give them more information on something you’ve already touched on.

Engagement keeps anything relevant. It doesn’t matter what it is. It doesn’t matter what it’s on. It could be social, it can be economical, it can be political.

The Money In Online Business

It’s all about the numbers. That’s what we’re learning here.

You see these people talking about how much money they’re making and conveniently like, let’s be real, conveniently leaving out how much money they’re spending to make that much money. Many of them do. Um, it’s not as easy as it looks.

They all leave that part out. It is not as easy as the advertisements that you see.

Building your business is about vision, like decide what you want to do. Focus is such a big part of it, like even before it gets to technology – focus on one thing. I promise you, if you stop and focus on just one thing, it will make all the difference in the world and then it’s about exposure.

We’re going to focus on one thing and we’re going to focus on organic.

Yes. Organic engagement until you hit the multiple six-figure mark.

I like this a lot because a lot of people starting out, they’re afraid to spend money.

I don’t want you spending money on media. That’s bananas, right? You’re not renting for it. You are not ready because you’re not converting on the back end.

Let’s use just one example. Let’s come up with one strategy and give us one example that we can implement that strategy using tech.

You’ve got Facebook and Instagram, right? So you have an account with both. You can use a little piece of technology. It’s an app. It’s called Later.

There’s no cost involved. The platform, the learning curve on the platform is like maybe a one. It’s super easy. It’s got a one on the learning curve. It’s so easy.

They have video tutorials, they walk you through the app to connect Instagram, you connect to Facebook and then you’re ready to go.

You can upload your Instagram stuff. You create your content and you can preschedule it. Scheduling your social media posts so that you show up online consistently is being in integrity with your media. It’s being in integrity with the message that you are that you tell people, ‘I’m here to give you a message. I’m here to create an impact for you.’ Then do it consistently.

Don’t like do a bunch of stuff and then run away from me like I was excited about the next post coming, so schedule. Schedule your Instagram posts with some great content and some awesome hashtags and then there’s this really, really fun button. It says, share to Facebook. Share your Instagram posts to Facebook and you have consistently targeted to media platforms that have different audiences.

Being Consistent on Social Media

Let’s talk about being consistent because I feel like a lot of people, they’ll try this stuff for a week, two weeks, maybe even a couple months, and they are not making six figures after posting to Facebook and Instagram, so they say, screw this. It didn’t work onto the next.

Of course, it’s not going to.

They don’t know that because they saw her ad where somebody says, ‘if you do this, it’ll work and they’ll make a bunch of money.’

Oh my goodness. I really, really wish that we could monitor the advertisements. Oh, I wish we could.

It’s about the community. Build the right community and serve it like being engaged with the people who follow you on Facebook. Like, I personally messaged people on Facebook.

It’s about being consistent, so whether or not you feel, because feelings are not facts, whether or not you feel like this isn’t making me any money, this isn’t helping. It is.

Look at the numbers. It all comes back to the numbers because if our reach has grown. If your following has grown, if your friends’ list has grown, if your page likes have grown up – your Instagram – the people liking your page has grown, people are commenting on it. You’re growing!

The thing too that I like about Facebook and Instagram is they have insights that you can see and even Later, if you use Later, also has insights and they keep numbers and I noticed personally on my Instagram that when I started posting more pictures of myself, my engagement and my following went up and when I post an object or something that was not as personal, it would go down. I get a lot more engagement with longer captions and people also like those quote cards. So I’ve started doing a lot more of that.

And when you scroll back and you look at some of those pictures where it’s just like, you know, I don’t mean I don’t think I really ever post pictures of what I eat. Like a lot of people do, but you know, if I’m at the zoo and I posted a picture of an animal, nobody cares. They’re not following me because I’m an animal expert, dear God, they’re following me for a different reason and really looking at your insights and your numbers, it tells you what to do more of. And that has helped me grow specifically on Instagram.

So that’s a good testament to what you’re saying is just look at the numbers and look at the metrics and that will help drive your strategy or even change your strategy a little bit.

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