Strategy: Do less stuff so you can focus on the important stuff

Hi, it’s Mike from SEOT mindset.

This is my personal blog where I talk about some of the things I’m trying to do to earn a living from the Internet.

  • Lots of us have started side gigs during these crazy times.
  • Others have businesses that are struggling with a constantly changing world.
  • Some of us are teachers who have left the profession for one reason or another and are trying to figure out what’s next.)

I’m just writing about stuff I’m trying and hoping that other people who are in the same spot might find this information useful.

After all, sometimes I’m out looking for advice on the Internet and I don’t know what to trust.

One time, I was trying to find a good CRM (customer relationship management) system.

Another time, I was looking for a new online phone company to set up my business phone numbers.

And… all I find are a bunch of review sites and I’m not entirely sure what to do or where to trust.

So, I’m writing this blog post for me and all of the Mikes out there in the world. (And other people who aren’t named Mike but still are in the same situation of trying to kick start a side gig or make ends meet.)

Here’s the big question that I’m working on right now:

How can I do less stuff so I can focus on the important stuff?

I’m going to talk about my situation and what I’m trying.

But as you read the story, think about what you could do to reduce your to-do list so that you can focus on the more important things in life.

Hey, who knows. Maybe people will jump in the conversation and give me advice in the comments.

Delegate or Automate?

This month, I’ve been trying to figure out how to create systems to automate parts of my business or to delegate parts of my business so that I don’t have to do everything.

That’s where I’m at right now.

I was listening to a business podcast and it was talking about how do you attract customers?

It had a few basic questions – like

  • What do you do? What’s the problem that your business solves?
  • How do you make money?
  • How do you attract customers?
  • Who builds the product and how much does it cost?
  • What’s the competitive advantage?

And I was thinking about that.

What do I do? I sell lessons on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Where do my customers come? Mostly from teachers searching the TpT Marketplace. I also find that running ads on TpT seems to work reasonably well to attract people looking for reading strategies.

But getting ads on TpT is tough. (I should do a YouTube video about how to buy ads on TPT and is it worth it?)

Sometimes, if you don’t wake up at the right time or if your computer isn’t fast enough or you just mess up, all of the ad spots can be sold out in less than two minutes. (Super stressful stuff.)

I’ve noticed that in February 2022, I didn’t have any TPT ads and that made a difference in sales. It really drove home the point about looking for new ways to get more customers.

How do you find (new) customers, clients or business?

I definitely try to provide exceptional customer service. I want to build word-of-mouth and that seems to work, but slowly.

I had one teacher buy my Educircles Everything bundle because they saw another teacher in their school using some of my resources. That’s super exciting to hear.

But I can’t actively control how many new leads I get that way from word-of-mouth.

Word of mouth advertising? Or, paid advertising?

So, I think I’m going to dabble into more Facebook ads to see if I can unlock that method of attracting customers. I’m not there yet.

I tried Facebook ads earlier – I think I spent $500 in an earlier experiment. My return on investment was quite low that time, but I learned a lot. Little things in your Facebook ad image or wording can make a difference.

Automating customer acquisition using an email funnel

This time I think I’ll try to buy traffic and send leads to an email newsletter sign up. I’m hoping if I offer a freebie, and if the freebie is something they want, they’ll look for more information, and eventuallllly leads to sales to offset the cost of ads.

I was working on creating an email funnel but that hasn’t launched yet. I had seven emails in the funnel, three freebies, but the scope was too big and overwhelming.

So, now I’ve tried to “keep it simple, stupid,” and do the bare minimum viable product to get it out the door. I think I just need the email sign up form to work properly with a simple one email autoresponse.

Sounds simple, but Zoho Campaigns, Zoho Forms and Zoho CRM aren’t co-operating as much as I’d like them to.

Delegating using the gig-economy

Oh, and I’m super proud because for the last little bit, I’ve been trying to get help with my business.

I can’t do everything and I would happily spend money to get some of the basic tasks done so that I can focus on the higher-order thinking tasks for my business.

(I don’t think I can outsource the creation of my email funnel at this point because I’m hoping to use the savings for the ad spend. So I need other ways to try to reduce work on my plate so I can focus on getting this email funnel up and running.)

I’m happy to say I found two people on Fiverr! Hopefully, the first few gigs work awesome and I can continue to build trust and relationships with them to do more and more work.

(So I can do less and less stuff. So I can do more and more meaningful stuff. You know what I mean!)

One of them is taking content from one of my slideshow lessons and is typing it up as a WordPress post. (I’m hoping that will lead to organic traffic to that website and hopefully lead to more sales.)

The other one is proofreading some of my English articles. Hopefully, this will create a better product that people can be more confident in buying (again, leading to more sales.)

So, I’m working on a bunch of things, including writing this blog post.

I set a timer and I’m just dictating some of my thoughts down using Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

Delegate using paid professionals

What else… Oh, I found a bookkeeper!

I hate finances. I hate keeping records, reconciling accounts, etc, etc, etc. Bleack.

I’m already paying for legal advice. I’m also paying to have an accounting firm do my taxes.

So, now I’m having someone else balance my books and keep track of receipts.

What’s new with you?

If you have a business,

  • what are you doing to automate or reduce some of your to-do list so you can focus on the big picture stuff?

If you don’t have a business,

  • what are you doing to reduce or delegate some of the things that you have to do at home or in your 9-to-5 job so you can focus on the big picture stuff.

I suppose if you have a business, the big picture stuff would be doing the business and hitting those quarterly goals.

If you don’t have a business, I wonder if the big picture stuff is work-life balance. Or, the pursuit of happiness?

What strategies are you using to focus on the important things?