Week 3: Time Management | Action Plan

Week 3A:  Time Management

So you’ve got plenty of action points but you’ve still got a life to live.  If you have a business,  you still need to deliver to your customers and answer the phones and email, think of content for your next newsletter and manage the school run.

How are you going to fit it all in?

Overwhelm and time management are two of the most common issues facing small business owners and this session helps you utilize some practical tools to help improve sense of control.

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[name label=”Name First and Last” required=”true”]

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[textarea label=”1. Write down three things you haven’t got time for.”]

[textarea label=”2. Write down three things you always make time for.”]

[textarea label=”3. Write this sentence in the space below ” ___________ (insert item from first question) is not important to me.”  Now do the same with the other two items you put down as answers to the first question.”]

[textarea label=”4. Now say those three sentences out loud.  How does it feel to say/write these things?”]

THERE IS NO SUCH AS THING AS TIME MANAGEMENT!!

Sorry, you’ve been drawn to the session under false pretenses. There is no such thing as time management. We can’t get more of it, we can’t manage to slow it down or speed it up to suit our purposes. Instead what we can think about is our priority management. It may have felt uncomfortable to say out loud those sentences above, but despite your protests, what you are effectively saying are that those things are not important enough for you to prioritise them.”]

[textarea label=”5. What are your thoughts on this?”]

[textarea label=”6. What are your priorities?  You’ve already spent some time thinking about the goals for your business in the business planning section. Go back and re-visit.  What are your objectives and goals for the next 90 days?”]

[textarea label=”7. What are you going to say ‘no’ to? Effective priority management is all about making sure that EVERYTHING we do is in the pursuit of our goals.  What things do you need to start saying ‘no’ to to ensure you spend your time doing the things that bring the most value to your business/help you manage your work/life balance (whatever your personal goals are)?”]

[textarea label=”8. Take a look at your TO DO list. What things are you procrastinating about?”]

[textarea label=”9. What are you going to get on and DO on your TO DO list?”]

[textarea label=”10. What are you going to DITCH on your TO DO list?  If there are things festering on your list that have been there for months, could you take the plunge and just cross them off, accepting the fact that they are never going to get done?  If you feel you can’t, they need to go into the answer above!”]

[textarea label=”What are you going to DELEGATE on your TO DO list? What is an hour of your time worth?  If you don’t know, work it out.  If it costs you less to bring someone else in to do your accounts than you can bring into your business by doing other activities, what stops you?  Write down three things you are going to start delegating.”]

[textarea label=”12. How many hours do you have in your working week?”]

[textarea label=”13. How do you want to be spending them?  List each activity you would like to undertake, e.g. marketing, admin, delivery etc and make a note of the number of hours you would like to spend on each (make sure this doesn’t exceed your answer to the question above).”]

[textarea label=”14. How are you actually spending them now?  Again, break down the ways you spend your time and estimate the number of hours you spend on each.”]

[textarea label=”15. What changes are you going to commit to make to take control of your priority management?”]

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3B:  Action Plan

One of the tools that successful business owners use to set themselves apart from their competition is to publish books.

Nothing establishes credibility quite like being able to show off a book with your name on the cover.

Knowing that, making the step to get involved in this course is a huge step.  You’ve set your resolve to write and publish a book that can become your calling card and the springboard to building your prosperity platform.

Objective:  Writing a book has several benefits:

  1. Sell books
  2. Increase audience size
  3. JV connections
  4. Grow the mailing list
  5. Get speaking engagements
  6. Increase my consulting rates

There is a lot of moving parts to coordinate, to make the flow of your efforts worth the time and expense of getting this done.

Organization and planning are key ingredients to not only publishing your book but monetizing it.

If you are in a position, hiring a virtual assistant will be very helpful.  Either way, organization and using a system that fits you is the key.

Following are your key steps:

  1. Research:

You will need to know what topics your audience most wants to learn about, so you will conduct industry research.

  1. Content:

Many business owners already have a vast library of content.  This can be in the form of blog posts, webinars, podcasts, interviews, articles and others. You will need to collect and collate this content to help make it easier to complete your book.

  1. Accountability:

Like anyone, we all have a habit of getting sidetracked—especially on big projects. That is the focus of this course.  We will help keep you on track by establishing deadlines and checking in with you to ensure you are meeting them.

  1. Publish:  

Once the book is complete, you will need to organize it for publication, including ordering cover graphics, having it proofed and edited, formatting for various publishing platforms and sending it off to be printed.

Timeline & Budget

It is beneficial to set a timeline of goals for yourself, as a means to make sure you are staying on track.

The Timeline for the Completion of this Project is: ______________ (one month, spread out over two months, etc.)

This Project should be Done: ______________ (Date)

Spend a Total of ______ Hours Working on this Project this Month.

The Budget for Extras is: $ ______________ (software, apps, tools, etc.)

Here is how you will spend your time: (write down the number of hours you want either yourself or your VA to spend on a particular task)

  • Researching subject matter: ______________
  • Collecting and collating content: ______________
  • Preparing the manuscript for publication: ______________
  • Additional marketing tasks: ______________


Step 1: Survey Your Market

Before we begin, it’s important to know what information your target market is lacking, and what you can share with them that will be unique to me.  You don’t want to write another “me too” book, and a bit of research will help you to discover what’s lacking in your market and how you can fill that need.

Create a survey that you can send out to your mailing list and also post on various forums and private groups that you may belong to. This will help you determine know what’s most important to your market.

Spend time looking through your blog posts and related comments, your Facebook page comments, and your Twitter feed and create a list of 10 – 20 questions you can ask in a survey.

Create a Dropbox folder (you will use this throughout this project) and create a document with the questions. Then select the best of them and create the survey and then monitor the results.

**Note to Business Owner: Good surveys are short and offer multiple choice questions. Essay-type (fill in the blank) questions will get more telling responses, but most people won’t answer them. Try to create a good mix of question types for the best results.

Resources:

Step 2: Review FAQ Pages & Industry Forums

In addition to surveying your market, browse through the industry forums including your private Facebook groups, and any appropriate FAQ pages.

Add your findings to a shared document titled “Subject Matter Brainstorm” and be sure to include the findings from the survey as well as the information you collect in the following steps. This will be used this in Section Two of this plan.

Review your blog posts and other content to find the topics and questions that:

  • Get the biggest response
  • Are the most controversial
  • Get the most traffic (check your Google Analytics account)

Take a look at any testimonials and critiques you may have to find out what resonates with people.

Step 3:  Review your YouTube channel (and those of your competitors and colleagues) to see which videos have the most views and get the most legitimate comments. Read through the conversations to see what questions are being asked.

Check your podcast statistics to see what episodes have the most downloads.

Collect your findings in and save in your book folder.

Step 4: Research Top Selling Books

Spend time on Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com and research the best-selling books in your industry. Make a list of the subject matter, their “spin” on the topic, and make notes about what you think (from your perspective) is missing. Browse the tables of content and add any promising ideas to your research folder.

Visit GoodReads.com and read the comments for the top-selling book. Keep an eye out for useful criticism (what’s missing, what could have been covered better, what really didn’t work at all) as well as praise.

Compile all your notes into your research folder.

Step 5: Review Industry Magazines

Industry-specific magazines are a great way to find promising topics in your niche.

Visit the website for each of the magazines and browse through the article titles and subject matter for ideas you haven’t yet discovered. Also, make a note of intriguing titles. We’ll use those ideas in the next step.

Again, collect your ideas and notes in your research folder.

Step 6: Brainstorm Titles

Now that we know what subject matter you’ll be covering, it’s time to start thinking about titles.

A good book title is short and punchy. Remember, it has to look great and be readable at a very small size on Amazon and other online stores.

So the main title should be no more than three or four words.

The subtitle can go into more detail, but still should not be overly long. The main title is the hook—it gets the reader interested—and the subtitle does the selling. It should contain the biggest benefit of the book, and will serve as the “stake in the ground” for the entire project.

Brainstorm a list of 30 title options. Share them with our group and make sure you save them in your research folder.  Be sure to schedule a time with Becky or Diane to go over them together. We’ll decide on the right one, and then we can move on to the next step.

Step 7: Create the Outline

With your chosen title in mind and using the information you gathered in the research phase, now is the time to create an outline. Be sure to include sections that cover why the topic is important as well as how to do specific action steps.

Use the attached outline template as a model, and share your finished outline in Dropbox for us to review/revise.

Step 8: Collect Content to Repurpose

You now have a large collection of content that has already been written. To help speed the writing process, you will use this content as the basis for your book.  You will need to collect it and organize it in a way that makes sense.

In our shared Dropbox folder, create a subfolder just for this book’s content. Within that folder, please create a folder for each chapter as you outlined in step 7 above.

Within the chapter folders, please copy and paste the material that will be used in each. You will find the content in various places, including:

  • Blog posts
  • Video/audio transcripts
  • Webinar scripts
  • Email autoresponders
  • Social media updates

We can also use a selection of other people’s content:

  • PLR
  • Republishable interviews, etc

**Note to Business Owner: Other people’s content is best use sparingly. PLR content must be completely rewritten if you’ll be using it. Never use it as is, or you’ll risk having your Amazon account closed.

Step 9: Create a Schedule 

Now that we have the foundation in place and the content collected and collated, it’s time to get to work!

Because of your busy schedule, you will need to keep on target by establishing a schedule that works.

Step 10: Establish a Routine

I expect my book will be __________ [words/pages], so I will need to complete ______ [words/pages] per day in order to complete it by [DATE].

Using the attached tracking worksheet, please fill in the dates and expected word/page counts for each day.

Maintain this document so that you can stay on target and moving forward with this project.

Please keep it in our shared Dropbox folder.

Step 11:  Record Progress Daily

Each afternoon before you go offline for the day, take note of the following:

  • Your word/page count for the day
  • Missing information (needing more research)
  • Changes to the outline
  • Additional ideas to incorporate

Please record this information on the worksheet, and use it to conduct more research as needed, or begin a new book project with information or ideas that do not fit your current project.

Be sure to record this information on the worksheet, and use it to conduct more research as needed, or begin a new book project with information or ideas that do not fit our current project.

Review each day’s work to help ensure:

  • You are not wandering off topic
  • That your “voice” is consistent
  • You are not missing important information
  • That the message you are sharing is clear

Make notes in the manuscript at the end of each day so that I can revisit those areas during my next writing time.

Step 12: Order Cover Art

Once the writing is finished—or even while you are still working on it—you will want to order the cover art.

Remember, a good book cover:

  • Is easy to read in small scale
  • Uses bold colors and graphics

It should also clearly match your branding, so be sure to use your:

  • Colors
  • Fonts
  • Preferred graphic style

Resources:

Step 13: Order Copywriting

Before you can launch the book, we’ll need to have several pieces of copy written for it.

  • Back cover blurb. This needs to entice readers to want more. It should be two to three paragraphs, and provide the most compelling benefits of the book.
  • Amazon description. A great book description is the key to making sales on Amazon and other online sellers. Amazon has specific guidelines so be sure to hire someone with experience.

**Note to Business Owner: You can find out more about Amazon’s guidelines and description best practices here.

Step 14: Proof and Edit

In addition to copy and cover art, you need to have the final manuscript professionally proofread and edited.

These are very likely two different people. One will be doing the copyediting to check for:

  • Spelling and grammar
  • Typos
  • Sentence structure
  • Repetitive words and phrases

The other will be editing for flow and logical narrative.

You will need to schedule both editing processes and follow up to ensure you stay on schedule.

Resources:

  • Fiverr
  • Fabulous Contractors List

Step 15: Monetize

Before the final version of the manuscript goes off to be formatted and printed, we need to incorporate ways to monetize it.  We have several opportunities you will want to coordinate.

  1. In Amazon and other online sellers, books have a “Look Inside” feature that allows buyers to read the first few pages. You will want to ensure that readers see some kind of offer on those first pages.

We will guide you to set up an opt-in page specifically for book readers that provides a copy of your free gift, (you will need to determine what that free gift is.)

You will want these readers on a separate email list, so go ahead and set that up as well. Make sure that the follow-up emails promote products/services that will be of interest to book readers.

  1. For the electronic version of the book, you will want to link to any available products and services, so now is the time to decide where you will put the link to these pages. Be sure to spread them throughout the book, and do not include more than one or two links per chapter.

For the print version, we’ll want to include the links either in footnotes or in an appendix. Be sure to use a link shortener (such as Pretty Link or bit.ly) to create short, easily typed links for use in the book.

  1. Include a call to action at the end of the book to check out your [SIGNATURE COURSE] for more information.

Flow Chart for Making Money with Your Book

You will need two versions of the final book, one for Kindle and one for print. You will be publishing using Amazon’s Create Space platform for the physical copy, so please find and hire someone who is familiar with that platform and its requirements.

For the Kindle version, you can use our Kinstant Formatter account to quickly and easily create a Kindle-friendly file to upload.

For both versions, please give the files a final read-through to check for formatting mistakes.

Flow Chart for Making Money with Your Book Flow Chart for Making Money With Your Book
See Resources in next section.

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[name label=”Name First and Last” required=”true”]

[email label=”Email” required=”true”]

[textarea label=”1. What is your timeline for completion of your book project?”]

[textarea label=”2. When will the book be completed and ready to launch?”]

[textarea label=”3. How many hours per month will you need budget into your schedule to accomplish this goal?”]

[textarea label=”4. Do you have a budget for extras that you will need to implement to get your book published?  For editors, transcription, website, automated follow up system, etc?  How much have can you/have you set aside”]

[textarea label=”5. What have you completed so far?”]

[textarea label=”6. Do you know how to build a list and if so have you begun doing so?  Do you need help in this area?”]

[textarea label=”7. Do you have a website?  What is the url to your website?  Does it include a way a blog?  Have you been blogging regularly?”]

[textarea label=”8. Have you set up social media?  Do you know how to set up your facebook business page?  A twitter account?  LinkedIn?  Google .? YouTube?  Pinterest?”]

[textarea label=”9. Would you like help in the setup of the above?”]

[submit value=”Questions Completed”]

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