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Leverage

The goal of the Leverage Podcast is simple: to learn from the best and discover how we can all live a better life, build a more fruitful business, and be more efficient. Leverage’s Founder and CEO, Nick Sonnenberg, is the host of the Leverage Podcast. With a background in data science, high-frequency algorithmic trading, and business efficiency consulting, Nick has an innovative mind and is obsessed with learning from the people around him. Join him each week as he interviews fellow entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and leading experts to discuss everything from efficiency hacks to new technologies to life as an entrepreneur.
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Now displaying: June, 2018
Jun 25, 2018

Financial App for Solopreneurs: Hurdlr Makes Accounting a Breeze

View your profits and capture your deductions in real time with this App.

 

Enjoy this interview with Raj Bhaskar, CEO of Hurdlr, about how this app makes financial tracking for the self-employed freelancers of the world complete and easy.

Hurdlr is dubbing this the “Financial App for Solopreneurs.”

Long gone are the days of saving piles of receipts and sifting through them every tax season. Good riddance!

So, if you’re an

  • Uber or Taxi Driver
  • Realtor
  • Freelancer
  • Contractor
  • Airbnb Host

Or any other type of self employed small business owner loving your freedom but hating the process of figuring out financials, this app might be a good fit for you.

Two major and differentiating advantages of Hurdlr, according to its CEO are:

  1. Shows real time profit before tax
  2. Shows real time profit after tax

The reason this is big news is because Hurdlr–unlike other apps–created its very own real time tax calculator to adjust for variation in taxes. This is real time in all 50 US states, Canada and Australia.

All you have to do to get started is login and connect the app with your bank account and credit card. From there it’s easy to track finances and capture all of your deductions as you go to get the most returns. You’ll also receive other perks such as:

  • If you have questions about the app, Hurdlr has a live in-app chat, with team members ready to answer your questions within 5 minutes during normal working hours and within 48 hours during the weekend, on average.
  • It integrates with systems like Square, FreshBooks, American Express, and 10k+ banks and credit cards to tap into a holistic view of your income and expenses.
  • Automatic mileage tracking: You can even set your work hours so that every day it knows when to ‘turn on’ tracking mode

If you’re an accountant or you like to rely on one, don’t fret! This app doesn’t replace your accountant, instead it helps make their job easier. You can send your reports directly to your accountant so they can provide the advice and guidance you need without wasting precious time on compiling all the nitty gritty details.

Ready to Join the Community of Business and Productivity Enthusiasts?

Start engaging with our network, join our free online Slack community and visit our website!

 

Jun 18, 2018

Have you heard of the six steps of the ASK methodology for sales,  originally created by Ryan Levesque? Enjoy these highlights from a fascinating webinar with online marketing expert Jamie McKean, who has studied and implemented the ASK method extensively with his own business and clients. Listen in and see what using the ASK method can do for you.

Before you dive into learning about the 6 Steps, scan your current website.

  • Have you done your research? Meaning, do you know why people visit your website and what they want when they get there?
  • Is your message, or your “ASK” (or what you want them to do) clear to the visitor, right away?
  • If the visitor isn’t ready to “buy” just yet, are there other options for them to learn more? Eg: email optin, free download, etc?
  • Is it simple? Do you speak in your industry lingo, or is your message crisp and clear in the language that your visitor will understand?

Now that you have a general idea of areas where your online business could improve, we can dive into the ASK method funnel.

1. Prepare

Step 1 is all about knowing your audience and understanding what they really want by sending a survey to your current database. If you read the full version of the ASK method, it tells you a specific way of structuring the questions in your survey to get the proper insights, but, the single most important question to ask your audience will look something like this:

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE WITH (insert your service/pitch)?

When you receive the results, something miraculous happens. You get to know first-hand the pain points of your target marketing and it is all written in their language, or how they would refer to the problem.

This helps you map out what comes next…

2. Persuade

After you know what your audience wants, you create website to bring it to fruition. In the images and language you use, relate to your audience and let them know that you are the best source to help them fix their problem(s) they identified in step 1.

3. Segment

In step 3 you segment by what your audience needs by fitting them into two or three main “buckets.” Keep in mind that the language that resonates with your target audience was already identified in your survey. You can use that same style of language in your website, marketing and sales conversations.

Say you have three main pain points that were identified, or three main reasons a person visits your online business. You can segment these items in order to make the site user friendly and make it easy for the customer to navigate.

For example, if you are a realtor and you found out that people typically call your business to buy, sell or rent a home, you would segment your business into those three sections.

Buy a Home | Sell a Home | Rent a Home

Each of these sections can be clickable online, leading to a different landing page and experience for each type of customer.

4. Prescribe

You can take segmentation a step further, by tailoring your entire sales funnel to the specific type of customer. The ASK Method refers to this as prescribing. If they visit your site to learn more about buying a home, they will be “prescribed,” or they will receive a different set of emails than those that visit your site to learn more about selling, and so on.

It is important to note here to first focus on the top or most important “bucket,” and once you have a high performing funnel, you would move to the next in the queue in terms of priority or demand from your audience. You don’t have to be overwhelmed to do it all at once.

5. Profit Maximization

Step 5 is monetizing your funnel to make sure your website isn’t only getting views, it is converting traffic into paying customers. In the profit section, you can build in steps to upsell to your customer and secure their business, or use Ads as a revenue stream if your site is popular, such as how we see ads now flowing through Facebook. In sticking with the realtor theme, if you’re potential “buying a home” customer is opting-in for your free resources, maybe they are ready to buy your magazine on popular home features to look for when buying, and then if they buy that and trust your expertise they’ll be ready to trust you to take them on tour or two, until you help them find their dream home.

Keep in mind, Profit Maximization doesn’t work in all business models, but if you can find a way to make this work, then you can use the profit from this phase to fund more advertising to feed your funnel and ultimately to build your business.

6. Pivot

During the pivot phase, you assess what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and where you need to pivot your tactics to better fit the customer you are targeting. You can receive feedback through another survey to find out how your customer views you. Based on the feedback, you pivot — perhaps putting the customer into an alternate funnel.

If you want to know more, leave your comments below or join our free Slack community!

Ready to Join the Community of Business and Productivity Enthusiasts?

Start engaging with our network, join our free online Slack community and visit our website!

Jun 11, 2018

Let’s start with the basics. What IS a podcast?

Everyone you ask might give a slightly different version of their idea of a podcast, and that is part of the problem. Most people think podcasts are important, or good to do for promoting their skills or business, but don’t know what it really is. According to Paul,

“A podcast is simply Audio or Video that is made available Online for easy, on-demand consumption and/or subscription-based delivery.”

Some people are so intimidated by the thought of podcasting, that they never even try to start. But chances are, if you are producing any type of consistent media, you are already on your way to forming a podcast.

You can turn digital media into a podcast in four easy steps:

  1. Create digital media — if you’re new to podcasting, this doesn’t have to be a formal or high-tech endeavor. it can be anything digital, even as simple as recording yourself speaking into your phone.

  2. Put it online — no one will benefit from your digital content unless you put it online. The key is to find a host that is prepared for podcast content and always read the fine print to avoid any surprises if your podcast becomes a hit.

  3. Make it podcast ready — this step can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. The simplest form of editing a podcast would be cutting out any extra chatter at the beginning and end. In-depth edits could be things like removing “ums” and “ahs”, removing long pauses, creating custom music…and so on.

  4. Tell the world — get your podcast in front of as many people as possible. Get it listed in major directories, form and implement a marketing plan, and promote your podcast.

Now that you’re ready to start your podcast, use these 4 hacks to get the most out of your time.

Hack #1 — Seasons

Be strategic, purposeful and seasonal. If your podcast is on say, productivity, follow the Apple trend setters and turn several episodes into one season.

  1. Outline 10 episodes
  2. Record all of them in one session
  3. Give it to your editor and let him or her take it away

Now you have a full season of episodes, and listeners can download by season/topic.

Hack #2 — Use Libsyn

Libsyn is the tried and true podcasting service. They do all the heavy lifting to get your podcast up and running.

Hack #3 — Prep for the Future

When you assemble your show, don’t assemble it for next week — assemble for next year, or even the next ten years. The goal here is to think big and think long term. You never know when your podcast may inspire Oprah to call or if you’ll receive a Tedx speaker spot, like Grammar Girl.

Hack #4 — Outsource

Is it impure to outsource your podcast? Short answer: NO.

At Leverage, we’re big fans of outsourcing work so that you can focus on the more important parts of your business that support your unique talents.

You can continue to be the author and provide the information for your podcast, but handover all the other parts to someone who can do them better or faster than you could. Genius Network calls this “focusing on your unique ability.”

If you have–or want to have–a podcast, we would love to hear from you! Leave your questions, comments or other tips below.

Ready to Join the Community of Business and Productivity Enthusiasts?

Start engaging with our network, join our free online Slack community and visit our website!

Jun 4, 2018

When you’re camping in the forest, you need a walky-talky to communicate with your group, and you need a map to find your way. As we mentioned in our other posts, Slack is the walky-talky. It is a great tool for communications but in addition to the daily comms, your company is going to need its full roadmap…and that is where Trello comes in handy.

To boost your productivity, you’ll need these three tools to cut down a large portion of your workload and make your work efforts effective. The three tools are:

  • Properly use email (for external communications only)
  • Use Slack for all internal communications
  • Use Trello (or a similar management tool) for project management — we recommend Trello but others have great success with tools such as Asana.

After implementing these tools you will drastically improve your ability to manage your company and your time. We’ve covered Inbox Zero and Slack in our previous posts and today we’ll walk through Trello. Trello is your map Trello shows you what project you’re working on, its stage and status, what steps you need to take to complete the project and who is responsible for next steps.

Communication tools are a quick and easy way to share ideas, but if something is a task, project or to-do then it requires a project management tool. The more complex a project is with different stages, the more important it is to use a tool like Trello because all of those different states are hard to track within a communications tool.

At Leverage, we use Trello to fit our business and therefore our layout looks slightly different than how it is intended for use. We’ve created a board for each client, and within each client’s board he or she may have several tasks. However, typically speaking, if you’re running a company you could use this on a per project basis such as “Create an IOS App” and then each section would help guide your process of creating the IOS app.

In the section below, we’ll walk through examples of creating a wedding to show an easy example of how to set-up a Trello board.

1. Start by creating four categories for your project - Backlog, doing, waiting, done

2. Write each task within each phase of you project Backlog contains items that aren’t a priority yet, such as sending invites and creating seating arrangements. Once you’re ready to start a task you move it to “doing.” If you are waiting for the task to be completed or need info from another source, move it to “waiting.” Once you are finished with the task it can be placed in “done” therefore you always have a list of your completed items.

3. Create and customize the specific details within each card You can make a checklist for each task such as a list of venues that you want to visit in California and New York, then cross each one off as you go. Within each card you can also choose: Due date Color label Assign a member/owner of the task Add other attachments such as receipts, directions, etc.

4. Power it Up! Use Power Ups to make your workflow more efficient. You can include things such as a calendar power up to view a broad scope of your whole project and keep it organized. Other Power Ups like the card repeater can help automate a recurring task. Therefore if you want a new Trello card to pop-up every Monday to remind you to check in with your florist, the card repeater will make that happen.

5. Get familiar with best practices A few extra helpful tricks to organize your workload are: In the “doing section, “ list each task in the order you want to complete them Create a line between a group of cards to create a distinction — or to break your big list up into smaller, sections of lists.

If more than one person owns a task, then nobody owns it, (aka you’ll never need more than one member on a card because if the card requires more than one person, most likely it should be split up into two separate tasks.)

Plus, if nobody owns the task, there is a greater chance that the work won’t be completed — each person on the card might think the other person is responsible for the task. Having only one owner makes it clear who is responsible for what portion of the project/task.

Ready to Join the Community of Business and Productivity Enthusiasts? Start engaging with our network, join our free online Slack community!

 

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