Lean Management for small businesses: 4 actionable methods

Yesterday I had an amazing idea: Can you implement lean management for small businesses? Did you know that I attended engineering school? One of my favorite subject when I was in engineering school was lean management. In fact, I even wanted to become a lean management consultant! Now, that I'm a small business owner, I realized that you can apply lean management on small businesses to get great business results. And today, I'll share some tips with you on how you can do the same!

What is lean management?

Lean Management is an approach to reduce waste and to improve constantly for more efficiency and a higher quality of products. Yes, products because lean management is usually used in factories. Now, I realized that service providers can take some principles of lean management and apply it to their businesses! How awesome is that?

Four methods to implement lean management for small businesses

Here are some easy methods for you to implement lean management in your business right away:

Method #1: Standardize processes

By standardizing processes, you'll be able to perform tasks correctly every time. If you have a SOP in place, you'll also be able to outsource quickly (give your contractor the SOP and they should be able to start right away!). Here are some simple questions that your SOP should answer:

Method #2: Identify waste

In lean management, we have the goal to eliminate all the waste. This is done by looking through all processes and identifying waste. Here are the types of waste:

T - Transport

I - Inventory

M - Motion

W - Waiting

O - Overproduction

O - Overprocessing

D - Defects

Of course, not all types of waste are applicable on small businesses. When I work with clients, I usually note the amount of manual work to get something done. The main question is: "How can you automate a process?" On-Boarding Processes can be automated easily by creating workflows using tools like Dubsado. A lack of systems in the background will also lead to waste of time. This is why systems set-ups are so important for small businesses that are ready to grow.

Lean Management for small businesses: Identify Waste
Method #3: Level workload

Most entrepreneurs work in cycles. This means that they will launch a high ticket offer, then a medium ticket offer, then a small ticket offer before starting the cycle again. When I work with clients, I make sure that their workload stays the same all the time. This can be done by planning out at least one quarter in advance. This way, you can plan the workload and shift time intensive tasks to when the estimated workload is on the lower end. By leveling workload, you avoid a burnout and have more energy to deliver quality work.

Method #4: Time block for continuous improvement

The last method is to time block one hour each month to look over your processes. How can you improve processes? Is there a better way to do it? Is there anything that is necessary? Is there anything that is using up all your energy? Is outsourcing a method to save up on energy and time? Or is investing in a tool the way to go? Can you automate anything? By investing in continuous improvement all the time, you'll be able to grow your business faster - without burning out.

What do you think? Will you implement anything? If you are looking to get your systems built, look no further. Send me a message and we can talk about what you need and how I can streamline your processes and take your business to the next level.

Lengthen content's shelf life: 7 easy methods

Lengthen content's shelf life is amazing - but how? I always tell my clients that blog posts has an insane ROI. This is because blog posts have an unusual shelf life. Unlike social media posts, one blog post can still drive organic traffic to your website (and therefore your business and brand) months and years after publishing. The amount of time, you're investing in writing and publishing a blog post will be worth it.

Save time by writing blog posts

You probably spend the same amount of time on writing social media blog post that will "live" for 1-3 days. Why don't you spend the time writing blog posts and repurposing your blog posts for social media instead? The key to lengthen your blog's shelf life is to drive consistent traffic to the post. While your old blog post will generate leads for you when your audience is searching something relevant on Google, new readers who stumble on your website won't necessary scroll through all your posts to find your best performing blog posts.

Seven ways to lengthen content's shelf life

In order to consistently get new eyes on your blog post, make sure to follow the following tips:

Method #1: Include links to your best performing blog posts via e-mail!

How does your on-boarding process look like when someone downloads a freebie from your website? They probably get the freebie, some introduction about you and your business and maybe a call to action to join a FB group or to purchase something. Most e-mail sequences only last a few e-mails and then... it's getting quiet.

Now, what's the best practice? Instead of a simple introduction, include a reading list for your new subscribers with your best performing blog posts! Your subscriber will most likely open the first few e-mails and read them carefully. Make them click on all those links and binge read your blog posts!

This is also a great way to show your authority (because you're sharing amazing knowledge!). Once they've recognized you as an authority, they will await your e-mails and newsletters burning to learn more from you.
Remember: Whenever you write an e-mail, include links to your blog posts that are relevant and might further educate your audience. Quick fix: Check your e-mail sequences and think if you could include any links to them.

Method #2: Wherever you can put a link, do it!

Use the space that you are given! Here are a few examples that often get ignored:

Method #3: Use Buffer to schedule on Facebook!

Share your blog posts on Facebook (either your facebook page or your facebook group). Whenever you published a post, you can pre-plan in advance when to share your blog post.

Method #4: Use Pinterest and Tailwind!

Create a Pinterest graphic and create a pin with a link to your blog post on Pinterest. Make sure to create several pins using different graphics. And then... schedule the re-pins with Tailwind! Make sure that your pins stay alive!

Method #5: Use Twitter!

Twitter is amazing, seriously! There is a plugin for WordPress that automatically retweets old posts to twitter. You can define the minimum age for the post (e.g. select posts that are more than 14 days old) and the rest is handled by the plugin. Amazing, right?

Method #6: Do not underestimate internal links!

If you've written a lot of blog posts already, make sure to update your old posts by adding new links to your blog posts. Internal links are very powerful and make the "rabbit hole" possible for your audience. Clicking on one article will lead to reading another article and so on and so on... Isn't that great? Quick fix: Schedule half an hour each month to update your blog posts with relevant links!

Method #7: Let your audience work for you!

Just use some plugin to help your visitors to share your posts. It's that easy. Why do the work, when your audience can help you? The key: Having great content on your website that is worth sharing. You don't know what to write about? You have no clue what your audience is looking for? Get your monthly SEO Strategy delivered to your inbox with well researched outlines for two blog posts each month (keyword research done for you as well)!

Lengthen content's shelf life with the right SEO Strategy

Your time to shine!

You have now learned several methods to lengthen your blog's shelf life. Create a routine that is working for you and you will save so much time while getting more leads and generating more brand awareness. You've got it! I recommend creating a masterlist each year to identify your best performing blog posts. This will help you in the long run. In the meantime, check out how to write an actual blog post that converts!

5 easy steps to Organic marketing during a pandemic

How to do organic marketing during a pandemic? When Covid happened, I thought that 2020 is going to be a super horrible year. Instead, I ended up having the best year yet with my clients absolutely killing it. One of my client scaled to a 40k-month despite the pandemic (and without any ads! All organic leads!).

The opportunity

So, which is better: organic marketing or paid marketing? What I noticed is, that during the pandemic I was literally bombarded with ads. There is so much noise out there on the market. Paid marketing (aka ads) are very penetrant these days. What marketers often do not notice is the funnel for leads. Marketers bombard people with ads that are just not ready for the product yet.

With organic marketing, you let the searcher control the content to be shown. Searcher intent will be taken seriously and you won't waste a ton of money with ads on cold leads. Despite the pandemic, content is still king with consumers spending more on the internet than ever! Search is even more relevant with people being fiddle and wanting to learn about new things. Working on SEO now, is therefore more important than ever.

How to do Organic marketing during a pandemic: Perform a content audit

So, how to you plan your digital marketing strategy during the pandemic? You first perform a content audit. Take a look at all the content you've put out so far and note all the details. How well did a piece of content perform? What is a good metric for you to watch out for? Is this piece of content still relevant for your business? Did you get a lot of shares, a lot of conversion?Create a table (I love to use airtable for this purpose), insert all the info and automatically (easy with airtable!) rank your content. You'll be able to see what kind of content your audience is invested in and what kind of content you should continue creating.

How to do Organic marketing during a pandemic: Perform a competitor audit

Now, identify a handful of your closest competitors and see how they are performing. What are differenting factors? What are you doing better than your competitor? What is your competitor doing better than you? Who do your audience trust more? What are they doing at the moment? Reflect and find strengths and weaknesses (and work on them! You have the time now!).

How to do Organic marketing during a pandemic: Do technical improvements

To make sure your website is ready for SEO, conduct a proper SEO audit. Easy technical improvements that you can do ASAP is to compress images for better website speed. There are a few plugins that can handle this and you'll notice better loading speed in no time! Most of the time, heavy images are the biggest culprit for slow websites.

How to do Organic marketing during a pandemic: Produce content and improve E-A-T

Using the findings from your content audit, continue to produce content and improve your SEO. I offer limited spots on monthly SEO Strategy to help you producing content that is relevant for your customers. If you are interested, make sure to sign up for the waitlist.

Make sure to improve E - A - T (Expertise, authorativeness and trustworthiness) by creating content that is adding value to your audience. For a guide on how to write a blog post make sure to check out this post.

How to do Organic marketing during a pandemic: Use other channels as well!

Have we changed the marketing strategy due to Covid-19 pandemic? Yes, we started to use other channels even more! Your audience is using social media more than ever. I always believe that SEO can't stand without social media and vice versa. Make sure to put your content out there on different social media channels (even on Tik Tok!). You can easily repurpose one blog post into several pieces of content for different social media channels so don't worry!

Organic marketing is important. Since this pandemic will probably last a little bit longer, make sure to get on track on organic marketing. Best bet is to sign up for my waitlist to get your monthly SEO Strategy delivered to your inbox.

organic marketing during a pandemic

How to write a blog post that actually converts in 5 easy steps

I'm sure you've heard about SEO marketing before but starting a blog for your business sounds intimidating and scary? Do you wonder if people will actually read your blog post? Are you scared of putting out content (that you've poured hours of work in!) in vain? Don't you worry because I'll show you how to write a blog post that actually converts in 5 simple steps.

Step 1: How to plan a high-converting blog post

So, how to write good blog content? Write what your audience wants to read. Instead of publishing post after post on topics that you think your audience will be interested in, take your time to find out what your audience actually IS interested in.

Research by doing keyword research, doing competitor research and "stalking" your audience. Look what your audience is asking on the web. Whenever you do a webinar or a live video, take note what people are asking! Collect all questions and over time you've got an amazing content bank for you to create content. This also helps you in creating content much, much faster.

After the initial research, you can plan your blog post. Create a rough structure with headings and subheads (so important!). By preparing a structure beforehand, you are able to write so much quicker. And you are able to write list-based blog posts (aka "X steps to xyz")! I like to pre-write my blog posts using Google Docs. By using annotations, I can note where I think an infographic or the usage of another medium would be suitable.

Your structure should also include questions to answer for your audience (most often one lengthy blog post can answer several questions!) and keywords to implement.

How to write a blog post

If you want to skip over this step, make sure to sign up for my SEO Strategy waitlist if you want to get your monthly SEO Strategy delivered to your inbox with well researched outlines for two blog posts each month (keyword research done for you as well!).

Step 2: How to write a captivating headline for your blog post

A captivating headline is so important for your blog post! More importantly is that you use a lot of headlines (yes, I want you to use subheads as well!) and you want each of them to be amazing! Here are some rules for you to watch out for:

Rule #1: Use How-To-Headlines (e.g. "How to write a blog post that actually converts)

Think about the last few times you've used Google. Have you typed in something like "How to xyz"? Yes? Because these search queries are super popular! Chances are that your audience wants to learn something (that you can teach!). By using How-To-Headlines you can generate a ton of traffic from Google by sharing your expertise!

Rule #2: Use Numbers (e.g. "9 Mistakes you need to avoid when writing a blog post")

Numbers are super effective in marketing. Especially if you use them negatively! Example for a positive use would be: "9 Steps to create xyz". A negative use would use words like "mistakes" or "avoid". Seeing these kinds of headlines will alert the reader...to click on the article and to read.

Rule #3: Don't Spoil!

The goal of your headline is to entice your audience to keep on reading. If they can get all the information of your article by reading your headline, they won't click on it to learn more. Be mysterious. Make the click worth it.

Step 3: How to write a SEO-optimized blog post

Now, you want your blog post to be seen by as many people as possible, right? And to get traffic from Google for weeks, months and years to come? Hell yeah! Let's get into SEO copywriting!

Rule #1: Structure your blog post well and use subheads

If you want to know how to write a blog post that actually converts, you should try to structure your blog post well. By using several paragraphs and subheads, you'll be able to make it easy for your readers (and for Google) to read your content. PS: To make it easy for you, you can book monthly SEO Strategy so I can do it for you! Sign up for the waitlist here.

Rule #2: Use the language of your audience

Make sure to use the language of your audience. If your audience aren't professors but you are trying to write an academic article, chances are that they won't read the article at all. On contrary, do not use vulgar language if you are writing for professionals to read! If you're not feeling sure, you can use this tool to check out the readability of your article.

How to write a blog post: Check readability
Screenshot taken from the tool: It's super easy to check readability! Just insert and go!

Rule #3: Use keywords and synonyms

No article on "How to write a blog post" without mentioning keywords, am I right? Use keywords in your content after doing keyword research (or make it easy and get keyword research done for you). When using keywords, make sure to not stuff your content with keywords. You want your post to be readable! After all, you are writing a blog post for a human and not for a machine. Keyword density should be around 1-2%; you can check the keyword density with this tool.

How to write a blog post: check keyword density
Screenshot from tool

Rule #4: Link to other content

Sharing is caring! Link to other content that you think might help your visitors. It is great if you have a few links linking to pages on your website as well as a few links linking to external sources. Maybe you want to include an amazing infographic from another blogger - do so and include their link! Chances are that they might share your website to their audience (a typical win-win-situation!).

By sharing links, you are adding value to your blog post. And with internal links you are able to let your visitor stay on your website for ages.

Rule #5: Use different media

Your blog post shouldn't be text alone. Use photos, images, infographics, podcast snippets and/or videos to liven it up! Do you want to know how to write a blog post that actually converts? Use media and make it shareable.

Step 4: How to use different media to make your post better and better!

A tutorial with photos in it will be shared more often than a picture-less tutorial, am I right? A blog post with a great infographic will be shared on different social media channels and will drive traffic back to you! Fun memes that you share together with your blog post will increase your reach! And adding YouTube-Videos on your blog post might rank you better on Google.

Have fun with different media and keep adding value!

Step 5: How to add a clear call-to-action!

This is something people forget so often. Don't end your blog post without an actual call-to-action. You want people to do something after they've read your article. Should they share your content? Do you want them to read an article that would be super helpful for them? Do you want them to grab your newest freebie? Or to join your Facebook group? Tell them! Add a couple of links at the end and wait for conversion to happen. If you don't ask, you won't receive anything.

So, now that you know how to write a blog post that actually converts, I'd love to help you with the work. Book your monthly SEO Strategy!