Category Archives: BLOG

025: Milestone Episode – Looking Back on the Last 6 Months

bigvaluebigbusiness.com
The Big Value Big Business – Podcast

Who have I interviewed, what have I learned…?

When I started podcast in Dec of last year I was so excited and full of hope, ambition and wonder about how this thing was going to shake out.

Podcast Highlights:

I am here now 6 months in… 24 episodes, this making 25 and I could not be happier with the results.

Let me take a second and give a shout out to my guests:

  • 024: Mimika Cooney – CaptureSchool.com
    • 002: James Schramko – SuperFastBusinesss.com
    • So… Just how well is the Podcast doing…Let’s See:

      Am I rolling in endorsements and sponsors? Nope not a one
      Do I have this huge email list of listeners? Nope it’s actually a pretty modest list of some of the most fantastic people I could ever have the pleasure to serve.
      Am I monetizing anything? Nope not a thing – not a dime.

      You know if you are anywhere in or around the internet marketing space, you’ll notice the huge push for podcasts. There is hardly a successful or even an up and coming blogger, online marketer, author or consultant out there that does not have some kind of podcast, google plus hangout, TV show on YouTube…whatever I am talking lots of folks out there are using audio and video to help them get their message to even more people

      Speaking strictly of the guys I know this huge influx of podcast i think has been inspired I part by the success and influence of:

      BVBB 016: John Lee Dumas – entrepreneuronfire.com
      BVBB 010: Pat Flynn – smartpassiveincome.com

      Just these 2 guys alone combined have downloads close to tens of millions.
      They have listeners in practically every corner of the world and daily they provide their listeners with valuable information, motivation and inspiration..

      These 2 gents; Pat Flynn and John Lee Dumas were in a big way responsible for inspiring me to start the Big Value Business Podcast.

      I am a faithful listener of both of these guys and I have really tried to bring big value to my prospective audience just like they have…and of course get paid in the process.

      I know a lot of folks started a podcast as a result of listening to and being inspired by guys like this. Heck who wouldn’t want to make over 100 grand a month like John Lee Dumas?

      Unfortunately not everybody can be so lucky to hit it big time like these guys…
      Hey guys like John and Pat have paid plenty of dues and have worked incredibly hard for the blessings they now enjoy and they continue to work hard each and every day serving their respective tribes
      While a few folks have been able to crack the code, grab a decent size following and make a really good living with their podcast… alas most folks working a podcast like me have not.

      That doesn’t mean we have failed. It just means we have to work a little harder and go at it a little bit longer.

      I knew I wasn’t going to set the world on fire in the first 6 months. Probably not even a spark in the first year. And frankly that was not my intention. I wanted to get to know the folks that I have had the pleasure and good fortune to interview. I wanted to learn about them, what they do, how they became successful and how they continue to thrive by….wait for it …wait for it…
      How they continue to be successful by providing big value!

      I also wanted to provide my listeners some big value as well by asking the right questions and hopefully getting some answers that would inspire my friends to take their businesses and their lives to the next level.

      These last 6 months have been a huge learning experience for me. I am so grateful to everyone that has given me their time so generously.

      And while I am speaking of gratitude I really and truly want to thank all of you…my listeners. My audience — my friends…thank you for letting me come in to your life..heck into your ears for a short time as you listened. I really do feel that it is truly an honor to have you take time out of your busy life to listen to something I produce – and I can’t put it any other way so I say thank you

      So exactly what have I learned over these past 6 months from chatting with some of the best and brightest marketing minds on the planet…?

      I could easily fill 2 hours or more in podcast time if I went over everything I learned….
      But I will call out a few things here that are top of mind that I think I should share with you:

      One thing that I can honestly say is that for the brief time I had the pleasure to be with any of these folks – I would not hesitate to enter into a project or joint venture with any of them.
      They are all fine, fair and absolutely hardworking individuals.

      So Lesson 1
      First thing that comes to mind is kindness and generosity.
      Everyone I have had the pleasure to speak with was so kind and giving of themselves and their time and expertise. I don’t compensate anyone for their time so what they give of themselves is purely complementary. And a lot of my guests are extremely busy people running million dollar plus companies..

      Lesson-1: Always be giving back no matter how busy or successful you have become.

      Secondly, is focus. Each and every person I have spoken with has the ability to be extremely focused. The winners I speak to have this ability to laser focus on their mission, their product, their market and their audience. You can just tell when you hear them speak they know what they are going to say because they have a clear and unwavering focus in what their about.

      Lesson-2: Focus… focus on what’s important to your mission and your audience. Avoid multitasking and set goals for yourself daily that contribute to your big picture goals

      Third, everyone I speak to is constantly learning. They attend events, seminars, and talks and they read voraciously and constantly.
      Their learning consists of but not limited to strategies for business, self improvement, psychology and life enrichment of their lives and the lives of those around them. These reading lists are huge and diverse. I will share these of the titles on the show notes page:
      Bigvaluebigbusiness.com/episode25

      So…Lesson – 3  Read, Learn, Grow… invest in yourself heavily. Get out and keep up with what’s happening in the world both online and offline. Go to events, network, learn and read…constantly feed your brain

      Fourth – This next one kind of goes along with number 3… get out and network… no successful business person that I have spoken to or moreover anyone i have ever read about has ever had any success in a vacuum. Everyone I chat with has had at least one mentor, or one mastermind or meeting group that they confide in on a regular basis. Even the most successful folks I know of have someone or some group that they rely on for inspiration and support… and to that end they also contribute their knowledge to the same folks that they are learning from as well

      Lesson – 4…have a mentor, a mastermind, and or some kind of support group where you can give and receive the gifts that are so important to success in business and in life.

      Fifth – All the knowledge in the world is useless without action…
      All of my guests are action takers. They have become successful not by sitting on the sidelines but getting in the game… All in the game.
      We have this tendency to gather as much information as we can whenever we can. No matter if we need the information or not, we squirrel it away for later cuz “ you never know when I will need that short-cut or that strategy or that hack.

      Lesson -5 Learn it – then – implement it — period. If you’re not going to use it now, leave it, you probably don’t need it and it’s just a distraction. Don’t download that ebook or checklist of tip and tricks and hack only to have it take up space on your hard-drive. Get what you need when you need it and act on it now!

      So this is at a very high level the some of the lessons I have learned from the fantastic group of folks that have graced the first 25 episodes of the Big Value Big business Podcast.

      I can honestly say that all of these lessons have made the path clearer for success. I am still growing but i feel i am heading in the right direction.

      Be sure to tune is next week for big value big business as usual.

      As with each and every episode I hope to bring some big value into your day – you take care – and I’ll be talking to you again – real soon.

      How do you want to Subscribe?

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    024: Mimika Cooney – CaptureSchool.com

    mimika-cooney
    Mimika Mimika Cooney is the creator and host of
    “Mimika TV“, a published author, speaker and small business marketing expert.

    Mimika’s new passion and focus is teaching
    solopreneurs, creatives and photographers the
    fundamentals of business and marketing through her online membership site at www.CaptureSchool.com

    Have a listen to my chat with Mimika.

    See highlights and links from of our chat below…
    Check out the transcript or download it to read later: ENJOY!

    DOWNLOAD TRANSCRIPT

    Podcast Highlights:

    Mission to Help Creatives Focus and Grow Their Business
    So really the whole niche is, the one man person or one woman show, even a small business who doesn’t have a lot of resources but needs to know the shortcuts… I’ve always had a passion for teaching and helping others grow. So, for me, I always thought there was something bigger I was made to do with what I’ve done in my life.

    I’m really excited in order to help other entrepreneurs and creative’s because I’m sure you can tell a lot of us creative’s suffer from a bit of ADD. We can’t focus very well on longer tasks and sometimes I find there’s a lot of things out there that make it hard to, implement into business especially when it comes from a creative side because you want to make it easy to implement, easy to learn.

    Why the Name: Capture School,
    It’s about, capturing people’s imaginations, capturing people’s dreams, helping them really take ownership of what it is that they want to achieve in their businesses.

    I can’t travel a lot. So for me, I kind of felt that it would make more sense to put everything that I know into an online format because a lot of my students that learn from me are also moms and work part time and try to run a household. Travelling is an issue as well as time. So for me I’m always about how can I make things, work smarter and get more done in less time. And the whole structure of the whole school is going to be online learning. So it will be video and audio downloads as well as worksheets.

    So it’s a system I put together that I’ve developed that I feel, certain So it’s like an online forum for busy entrepreneurs… so it’s kind of like combining, online learning with the coaching model as well.

    We’re All in the People Business
    It’s people who click links, not computers. So even if we’re talking about PPC or whether you’re B2B, or B2C, whatever type of business you’re in — At the end of the day, we have to appeal to people and people are emotionally driven and then that’s what I’m finding the more I read and the more I study is that it’s still very — even in a very sort of logical business, people are still driven by the emotions.
    So it’s like how do you touch on that? How do you get people to listen and it’s all about standing out in a really busy saturated economy. So you have to work much harder to break through the noise…

    Marketing Today is Like Dating
    So I like to take you through almost like a dating process. First, we’ve got to get a little flirting, get them to like what they see and then you start to do the wooing and then you start the conversation and then you start to ask them on a date and then eventually you can ask them to marry you and then they’ll give you the keys to the house. But, it’s all part of the process of getting them to know like and trust you…

    Short Reading List

    Start with Why:
    How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
    by Simon Sinek

    The War of Art:
    Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
    by Steven Pressfield

    Fascinate:
    Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation
    by Sally Hogshead

    Make Your Idea Matter: Stand out with a better story
    by Bernadette Jiwa

    Drunk Tank Pink:
    And Other Unexpected Forces That Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave

    Lean In:
    Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
    by Sheryl Sandberg

    Business Brilliant:
    Surprising Lessons from the Greatest Self-Made Business Icons
    by Lewis Schiff

    Contagious: Why Things Catch On Hardcover
    by Jonah Berger

    The System for Efficiency
    If it doesn’t fit into the three my little acronym where I called the sad to glad approach – I don’t do it.

    SAD to GLAD

    S. Systematize
    I have systems for everything that’s repeatable, automate things that I would do more than once like for instance autoresponders via email

    A. Automate
    As I mentioned is that the email responders are sending out things, birthday cards,

    D. Delegate
    And, it’s something that I feel that I don’t need to do if it’s not making me money or bringing me closer to finding new business it’s not something I can afford to do myself.
    It’s something that I feel that I don’t need to do if it’s not making me money or bringing me closer to finding new business it’s not something I can afford to do myself. You would think, oh I can’t afford to pay someone to do this. When you break it down and you work on how much you worth and what your value is in terms of clients, you can’t afford not to delegate. Your time is money. So things like cleaning my house is not a good use of my time.

    Being Too Attached to YOUR Work
    In the words of Seth Godin – “We Need to Ship” – Get our product out there: “90% is better than 100% of nothing right.”

    Just getting it out there, putting it out there and this is another thing from creative’s, we don’t like the criticism because our art is almost like — it’s part of us and it almost feels like a personal attack when someone doesn’t like something.

    And I think that’s the differences I found with creative’s and sort of more business minded people is they can separate the two, the business from the personal
    It’s something that you are creating out of your own heart. It’s something your mind’s eye that you have developed from nothing that it is your baby and no one wants to be told their babies ugly, right?

    Contact Mimika:
    www.MimikaCooney.com
    www.CaptureSchool.com
    Twitter @mimikacooney

    Her Books
    Boutique Baby Photography:
    The Digital Photographer’s Guide to Success in Maternity and Baby Portraiture

    Photographing Newborns:
    For Boutique Photographers

    Download the Transcript - Enter Your Email

    BigValueBigBusiness.com
    Mimika Cooney
    MimikaCooney.com

    TranscriptJames: Alright, welcome back my friends to yet another edition of the Big Value, Big Business Podcast. I am your host James Lynch. I am really big, big, big time super excited about my especial guest today, her name is Mimika Cooney. Mimika is a South African-born international award-winning photographer. She is the creator and host of Mamika TV. She’s a published author, speaker and a small business marketing expert. Mimika enjoys sharing her business marketing and photography knowledge both online and at workshops to other professional photographers and small business owners.
    Mimika’s new passion and focus is teaching solopreneurs, creative’s and photographers the fundamentals of business in marketing through her online membership site that can be found at CaptureSchool.com. It is a pleasure to welcome Mimika to the Big Value, Big business Podcast today. Mimika, how are you today?

    Mimika: Hi James! Thanks for having me on. I’m super exited!

    James: I know, and I am excited to have you. How is everything going?

    Mimika: We are good, as I said when we were chatting earlier, I got all dressed up looking all pretty for you but of course this is for the radio so you can just imagine I have my pretty lipstick on.

    James: We’ll do, and that’s a visual for all of our listeners. That’s cool, very, very, pretty lady, awesome. Hey, and I want to thank you for coming on the show today, I’m really excited for you to share with our listeners that everything that you can in the time allowed about how we can like discover are true brand and how we can develop and implement a magnetic marketing strategy that will help boost our sales and take our businesses to new heights. Does that sound like a plan?

    Mimika: It does now, definitely, that’s definitely hits right on the money with what we like to aim for, right?

    James: Cool, absolutely. So, if we could maybe just get a little history, I know you — we all hear the accent and I did mention you come from South Africa. So, tell us about, Mimika, where she came from, a little bit about, where, your journey and what brought you here to where you are today?

    Mimika: Sure, well as you mentioned I am South African-born, I was born and raised in Johannesburg. And I met and married my childhood sweetheart and together we, actually started delving into the internet marketing industry when it first hit South Africa in ’95 and I remember designing websites in front page that would look good on Netscape. So that is like, that ages me right there. But, the fun thing is, both my husband and I, we’re just fascinated with this whole internet and how, online marketing and, how you actually reach businesses.
    So, both him and I worked together for about six, seven years developing our online business and we did everything from web design, we did a lot of PR, dealt with client’s even cold-call setting. And, then from there we did that business and my husband we had the opportunity to move to England. So when we had one and a half kids, I was pregnant at the time, we moved to England, and my mom and my sister lived there. So I have a Greek dad, English mom, born in South Africa, we are complete fruit salads.

    James: Cool.

    Mimika: So, yeah. So we set up shop again in England and got into, I mean, I’m doing business there and then that’s why I fell in love with photography as a hobby and then eventually wanted to make it my career. So, I’ve always sort of had been delving in internet marketing and I’ve always loved marketing , telling stories, finding out what fascinates people, what makes people take, how do you reach people? And of course with photography, it became a visual medium and I’ve been a professional photographer going on 11 years now.
    And now at this moment I am living in Charlotte, North Carolina in the US. So, we’ve kind of gone like a good round trip to cover the continents in the last sort of 15 years and here we are today.

    James: Awesome, awesome and your still raising a family, your family is still growing?

    Mimika: Yes, I have a 15, a 13 and a three-year-old. So, I keep myself busy.

    James: God bless you, that awesome. So, you’ve done internet marketing and then you branched off into photography. It looks like you kind of made your living in the photography world there for a while, always keeping your hand in the internet marketing space and kind of just using that to drive your business. So, you’ve got a new project and we’re really anxious to hear about, Earn More By Working Smarter, your school for creative’s, the Capture School. Could you tell us what’s going on with that?

    Mimika: Yes. Well, I’ve always loved learning. I have like a ton of books. I have six of them on my bedside table I’m reading at different times and for me I always love to look at other industries, in order help what I am doing. So for instance, when I was in internet marketing and I wanted to become a professional photographer, I took all those skills in order to promote myself and to, get brand awareness in the new areas we were moving into. And so over the years I’ve sort of honed my skills of course having my husband who is an internet marketer, I always get some advice for free, just need to bat my eyelids and he helps.
    So that’s always been fun but I’ve always had a passion for teaching and helping others grow. So, for me, I always thought like there was something bigger I was made to do with what I’ve done in my life. And I’m really excited in order to help other entrepreneurs and creative’s because I’m sure you can tell a lot of us creative’s suffer from a bit of ADD. We can’t focus very well on longer tasks and sometimes I find there’s a lot of things out there that make it hard to, implement into business especially when it comes from a creative side because you want to make it easy to implement, easy to learn.
    So I’ve taken all my years of experience in photography, in visual marketing, online marketing and I’ve now created the school particular for creatives. So really the whole niche is, the one man person or one woman show who even a small business who doesn’t have a lot of resources but needs to know the shortcuts because believe me, I’ve made so many mistakes that cost me, thousands and thousands of dollars. And I paid for like close to $30,000 worth of coaching and training over the years that I feel, if I could help someone else leapfrog my mistakes, all the better getting someone ahead in their business.

    James: Absolutely. So that’s what the Capture School. So explain to me just what that means Capture School, how did you come with that name?

    Mimika: Well, that is a funny question because I actually started, I always wanted to do something online and I felt, I do a lot of workshops in person but being a mom with three kids and my younger sister in preschool, I can’t travel a lot. So for me, I kind of felt that it would make more sense to put everything that I know into an online format because a lot of my students that learn from me are also moms and work part time and try to run a household. Travelling is an issue as well as time. So for me I’m always about how can I make things, work smarter and get more done in less time.
    And the whole structure of the whole school is going to be online learning. So it will be video and audio downloads as well as worksheets. So it’s a system I put together that I’ve developed that I feel, certain points that need to be met in order to create almost like your own business model because you mentioned, creative business pen and most creative’s get hives, it’s like, oh gosh, don’t make to think like that. So it’s a really — it’s an intuitive process and of course it’s very community driven. I love to have other people’s inputs and there’s a private Facebook group as well where — and creating that sense of community and accountability. So it’s like an online forum for busy entrepreneurs.

    James: Yeah, to exchange and help each other out and you are there as well, coaching along the way, correct?

    Mimika: Yes.

    James: Yeah.

    Mimika: Yes, so it’s kind of like combining, online learning with the coaching model as well as — I mean, you also mentioned earlier, every week, I put out a web show and I called Mimika TV. And how that developed is, I’ve always been interested in how other people have made their success because it takes years to become an overnight success, right?

    James: Absolutely.
    Mimika: So for me, I just wanted to know, I am really, being South African, I’m straight down the line. I don’t sugar-coat anything. I get straight to, cut to the chase. So with my interviews, I love to interview other creative’s who have either been in a while who have created something of value and who’ve, developed something that can help other people. And what I’ve discovered along the way is this whole thread of people really need to get the business down. And you can be a great photographer, you can be a great craftsman unless you know the elements and the fundamentals of business, it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, you would struggle because classic example is starving artist syndrome.

    James: Sure.
    Mimika: And, part of my mission is to eradicate that and to help the artists really lift their game in terms of the business side.

    James: I love that, I love that. And speaking of artist and creative, you’ve written a book and you have a second one in the queue?
    Mimika: Yes. So what I’ve done, my first book was called Boutique Baby Photography and really what I did is I took the whole structure of how I’ve run my business over the last sort of six, seven years. And in photography, I’ve run the gamete, I’ve done weddings and families and babies and children. And I find I really love, the creativity that was involved with doing newborns and babies. So, and the system that I developed in running my studio, I put into this book. And coming up this fall is the second edition which is more specific just to newborn photographers and that takes them right through, the branding business, pricing, lighting, it’s really like would be like my business system in a box.

    James: That’s fantastic.

    Mimika: Yeah, thank you.

    James: Awesome, awesome. Well, I wish you the best of luck and you’ll have to let us know when that title Newborn Photography comes out so we can help you push that too.

    Mimika: Yes. That will be September 4th, it’s actually available on Amazon right now for preorders. But yeah, our official publish date is September 4th, so that will be fun.

    James: Awesome and I’ll make sure to include that in the show notes as well people —

    Mimika: Perfect!

    James: — can click through and so is there preorder?

    Mimika: Yes, you can actually place the preorder. So yeah, if you are interested, you can have a look and you can also just search for the other book. And it’s a lot of information. And even though it’s about photographers, sometimes I think a lot of it can be taken from a business perspective that even people who aren’t photographers, who find the business side that I talk about very useful which is why I’ve branched out into making this new, the Capture School and, going back to what you asked me earlier was, why the word capture.
    And for me it was all about, it’s not just about the photography but it’s about, capturing people’s imaginations, capturing people’s dreams, helping them really take ownership of what it is that they want to achieve in their businesses. So yeah, that’s pretty much where that came from.

    James: Awesome. Yeah and you touched on and actually we talked before we actually get on the podcast about, there is — you could pick up something from especially when you’re giving, you’re doing interviews with different types of businesses and business models and it’s interesting how they market and a lot of it is the same there are some components that are different or just haven’t been discovered by the mainstream marketing world. I learned so much talking to people like you. The photographers, the creative’s, I mean, so much talking to musicians, just how to think out of the box and come at your marketing from a different perspective.
    So there is a lot to be said about branching out and studying and listening to and looking into other forms of business and how they do market online.

    Mimika: Definitely. I mean and that’s what I get so passionate about is, I love reading books and studying other industries in order to bring those parts that we feel like, that I feel is missing from my industry and bringing it because I’d really do think that it is, as you said there’s a lot of common denominators when it comes to marketing but at the end of the day, I mean, we now all live in the connection economies. People don’t click.

    James: Yeah.

    Mimika: It’s people who click links, not computers. So even if we’re talking about PPC or whether you’re B to B, or B to C, whatever type of business you’re in —

    James: Yeah.

    Mimika: At the end of the day, we have to appeal to people and people are emotionally driven and then that’s what I’m finding the more I read and the more I study is that it’s still very — even in a very sort of logical business, people are still driven by the emotions. So it’s like how do you touch on that? How do you get people to listen and it’s all about standing out in a really busy saturated economy.

    James: Yeah and I’m laughing because my last guest, that just came out last Wednesday, Bryan Kramer who wrote H 2 H or Human to Human, there is no more B2C, there is no more B2B. And he says this saying, it’s a phrase that he uses is, delightfully disruptive and that’s what we have to learn to be because there are people behind those clicks and those impressions and all of those ads and it is, we are dealing with another human being when we boil it right down.

    Mimika: Definitely. So it’s about how you appeal and also I’m sure you’d find that people now, we’re so bombarded by things out there that you’re not going to just believe the first thing you hear, hook line and sinker, you’re going to — people tend to be more skeptical. So you have to work much harder to break through the noise and it’s almost like, remember a couple of years ago, we sort of just see product placements in TV shows, sitcoms and things like you see the Apple computer pop-up and you see the Coca-Cola or the American Idol, the cups.
    And it’s kind of like subtle marketing and I think it’s almost like, and when I teach my students, I call it the wooing. You got to think of marketing like you’re dating. You wouldn’t just go up to some girl in the bar and go, hey honey, you want to get married? No, weirdo, get away from me, that’s freaky. And that’s how a lot of us approach our marketing with our businesses. Here I am, here is my business card, here is price sheet, book me and it’s like first of all I don’t know you, you’re standing way too close, can you give me some space please. Let me figure out who you are first and then when I’m ready, I’ll approach you.
    So I like to take you through almost like a dating process. First, we’ve got to get a little flirting, get them to like what they see and then you start to do the wooing and then you start the conversation and then you start to ask them on a date and then eventually you can ask them to marry you and then they’ll give you the keys to the house. But, it’s all part of the process of getting them to know like and trust you, so yeah.

    James: Yeah, you took the word know like and trust, I knew you were alluding to that and that is so true more so even today. There is so much noise and, yeah, we just have to take out time. And that’s kind of what prompted me. I worked in agencies most of my internet marketing career to pay the bills and it’s push, push, push, push marketing even though it is kind of direct response because I do use Adwords and people are looking for you but it’s how you position yourself as to what is going to ingratiate you to the searcher or to your perspective client. Absolutely, love it.

    Mimika: Definitely.

    James: So tell me about just a little bit about present day, maybe a day in the life, is the new website, is the Capture School ready to go or you’re still putting the finishing touches on that and where are you putting most of your time today?

    Mimika: Yeah. Well, basically, this week my three-year-old is now no longer in preschool. So I have to kind of like — I said, I do 40 hours of work in 20 hours. I work at a lightning pace. I went out, it’s like ready-set-go. If I can grab bits of time, trying to be a mommy in between and getting ready for the podcast this morning, my son forgot his lunch. I had to dash to the school and come back and get, you know. So for me, it’s kind of a little crazy, always trying to do things in little bit pieces. And, but I find you know, I’ve been able to give myself the life balance that I want by learning to say no.
    And it was really hard in the beginning because before I had my third child, I had obviously the big gap between first, second and then third one. And at that stage, my business was really going well. I had people employed that were working in my studio. And eventually found that, as things grew and my life situation changed. I had to adjust the way that I do things. And I just found that as business owners as well, we evolve with time and we can’t feel like, okay, one thing work now and doesn’t work anymore that it’s a failure.
    And this is something I find a lot but especially with creative’s as we kind of take it personally like if our, like we almost, like we don’t know what success looks like because we look at someone else’s business and we think, well, look at that person, they’ve got like six employees and they’ve got like, 2000, turnover a year but that’s great for them if it works for them.

    James: Sure.

    Mimika: And that’s what I found as well when I’m passionate about helping people work through that, it’s finding what’s best for them in that situation and that time. And yeah, so I’m all about efficiency and if it doesn’t fit into the three my little acronym where I called the sad to glad approach which is systemized, automate and delegate, if it doesn’t fit in any of those, I don’t do it.

    James: I love that and I was going to say my next question was your mindset and this is a personal note on rituals for productivity. So would you repeat that acronym again? It’s sad and it’s systemized, automate and or delegate?

    Mimika: Yes. So you want to go from a sad to a glad approach, you have to systemize, automate and delegate. So the only way that I could keep myself sane and on target is to make sure that I have systems for everything that’s repeatable, automate things that I would do more than once like for instance autoresponders via email and delegate like if I can’t do things myself and can’t fit it in the time that I have available, I will delegate. So it’s like an example would be systemizing the way when I interview guest like I have my online system that sends automatic email at certain times, helps them prepare.
    So I don’t have to be rushing around, trying to find information about guests before an interview or before a client comes to see me for a photo session. Automating, yeah as I mentioned is that the email responders are sending out things, birthday cards, and then delegating like years ago, about four years ago, I gave up my photo retouching to a girl who I still work with today. And, it’s something that I feel that I don’t need to do if it’s not making me money or bringing me closer to finding new business it’s not something I can afford to do myself.

    James: I love that.

    Mimika: So, yeah.

    James: I love that quote.

    Mimika: Yes, I mean that’s the thing that it’s like for instance like, especially us working moms, we have this constant working mother guilt. Now, it’s like when you’re working, you feel guilty you’re not with your kids and then when you think that you feel guilty about the work and the never ending to-do list that never ends and especially with clients or businesses that are service based or time for trade which are like photographers, consultants, maybe you’re selling your time for money, your time is money. So things like cleaning my house is not a good use of my time.
    I’d rather pay someone 20 bucks an hour to clean my house while I can make potentially 200 bucks an hour in revenue than me spending my hourly rate doing that. And that like retouching was another thing, or just simple things that you would think, oh I can’t afford to pay someone to do this. When you break it down and you work on how much you worth and what your value is in terms of clients, you can’t afford not to delegate.

    James: Touche, Touche.

    Mimika: So yeah, that’s kind of my approach, get rid of it, either say no or clean out and just streamline. And so, you can have your sanity back because, I’m sure you can agree when times get busy and you feel like you’re just overwhelmed, you can’t be creative and you can’t be effective.

    James: Absolutely, absolutely, I totally agree. Fantastic. So mindset, let’s talk about the bed stand and the six books. Who you’re reading right now or who do you like to read. Do you have any favorite author or?

    Mimika: Well, I could tell you I have a few. Of course I finished reading Simon Sinek’s Start With Why which is great. I love the War of Art. I have studied Hogs Heads, fascinate book that I’m actually listening on audio. What was the other one, I had a lot of them. It’s funny as I’ll buy them on audio and if I like them I’ll go and buy the hard copy then I’ll go through it again and then make highlighted notes. So, yeah, and some things I’ll find good, some things I’ll find, you know, I’ll get lots of tips from them and I’ll go back do them again like two other books I recently read, Make Your Idea Matter by Bernadette Jiwa.
    And what was the other one? Drunk Tank Pink was also quite interesting I think it’s Adam Alter. I have a whole like slew of books I am always reading it on in bits and pieces and of course things, even things like Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In was pretty interesting to me too. So yeah, if I go on vacation, I cannot read a novel. I have to read a business book. I feel like it’s a waste of my time, unless I’m learning something.

    James: I feel the same way and every person I bring on the podcast is the same. Every successful entrepreneur, creative, they, yeah, and a lot of the same authors come up especially Simon Sinek and Steven Pressfield who is —

    Mimika: Yes, and I always feel like it’s like a cliché now when you speak to people but it’s so relevant. And of course like Seth Godin of course is a good one and even like one, one you might like as well is Business Brilliant by Lewis Schiff, that was a really cool one and Contagious by Jonah Berger, that was a really nice way of thinking of why people react the way they do, how to make ideas stick, things like that.

    James: Cool, I am writing this stuff down. Thank you very much.

    Mimika: No problem, I’ll send you a link to my list.

    James: Yes, yes, yeah, I would love to have it. Alright, so cool, tell us now, let’s just jump back into the nuts and bolts, I guess our listeners are creative’s, they are consultants, they are small business owners, what would be — I find sometimes when a lot of our folks are having trouble, getting traffic, finding traffic, finding the right audience. What is the best advice if you could succinctly tell us, defining our best targeted audience and how to approach them?

    Mimika: Yeah, I mean definitely. This is something I’ve learned in the businesses that I have ran that’s evolved over time. I mean, of course a few years ago was all about keyword research. I’ve got to have the right keywords, got to have the right meta tags and then it was all about links. How can you get people to link to you and then of course every time Google does update like the Panda update, everyone has a freakout because it’s like, oh, got go change everything. At the end of the day, what I find is that if you try to be all things to all people, you’ll drive yourself batty.
    And something that I like to and it’s something I’ve learned by my own mistakes, in my business, just because I could, it doesn’t mean I should. And I have learned that’s part of the whole saying no is also really honing down your niche market. And getting really specific about your client avatar, I think a lot of think, oh, you know, I want to be an online marketer. So I’m just going to go blast everything wherever I can get my name out there. And sometimes it’s less effective that way. So what I feel, you have to be very specific about your client avatar because if you are very broad ranged, you’ll appeal to no one.
    So really being specific about even whether it’s a male or female and age group, it’s almost like the old demographics but you got think even further than that like if you put yourself in the shoes of someone looking at your website or your business, it’s all got to be about user interaction, how does this make it easier for the user. I always take the example if I’m going to shop at the mall and I’m looking for a pair of black Pumps for instance, black high heel shoes. I’m not even going to go into the store that’s like for Nike tennis shoes or the baby store that sells children’s clothing.
    If I am looking for black Pumps, I’m going to block out any other store that doesn’t service my needs and I’m going to start to drill down exactly the type of style, whether it’s Nordstrom or a Target or whatever kind of brand or price range I’m looking at. And I think if we think of it like our audience or our potential clients are walking down the hallway of a store, how would we appeal to them? And of course it’s okay not to be everybody’s cup of tea. It’s fine to say okay, maybe I’m not a good fit for you and maybe you’re I better service somewhere else.
    I mean, even in my husband’s online business, he has learned that certain clientele that don’t have a certain budget to work with don’t enable him to do a really good job. So it’s a matter of coming to piece about the fact that you can appeal to everybody but looking at it from like a Red Velvet robe, who you’re going to let in to your business? Who are, do you know that as clients can you thrill and really make happy because who really wants to have a bad experience with the client who goes away unhappy, right? It’s not good for business.

    James: No, it’s not good for your reputation either or future business.

    Mimika: Exactly. So that’s what I find, yeah and a lot of people are, why are we spending so much time trying to figure out our target market. I kind of know, let’s say for photographers, I know I want to be wedding photographer like why do we have to be so specific? Well, there are certain styles of wedding photography. You can have more a photo journalistic approach or you can have more of a traditional approach. Do you use a lot of external flashes, do you like more natural light, even down to the type of lenses they use gives the work a different feel.
    And everybody has a different story they want to tell. And it’s a matter of the thing, that specific in order to find. So even from an online perspective, I mean and I’ve done this myself, I’ve wasted so much money on click ads, trying to spend money on trying to find drive traffic to a website but unless I know what those target market is and what this keyword search terms are, I’m kind of like wasting my money or like Facebook ads is another one. I’ve also wasted so much money on that trying to just get anybody within the radius of say 100 miles to try to click on an ad for photography, special, I just don’t think that’s effective anymore. It’s almost like it’s got to be you talking straight to them.

    James: Yes.

    Mimika: Like, so like the dog whistle so when they hear it immediately pokes up the ears and I know, okay, this is for me. This is who I need to speak to.

    James: Yeah, yeah and I think you need to and once you start with small wins, then you need to reverse engineer that and see what those people find out what those people are all about.

    Mimika: Exactly yeah. And it’s really getting deep into the mindset like I even notice like I’m trying to be more aware to like I react to things online like, even if you’re going down the Instagram feed, I mean you know how quickly you can scroll down even Facebook on your mobile phone.

    James: Sure, where do you stop?

    Mimika: I mean, yeah, I’m just like, just go, and unless something really stands out. You’re not even going to give it a — not even a quarter second consideration. So it’s almost like you’ve got to make sure that everything from your brand, your brand colors, the way you speak, the way your website is laid out, and so really, the message comes across and it resonates with the right people.

    James: Yeah. And you know what, just listening to this, I’m just going to flip this on its head for a minute because what we just said, it just requires an enormous amount of time and research and attention to detail but you have to start somewhere. So without painting too broad strokes, where do we start even with someone that doesn’t even have an audience, do you research the competition, do you send out surveys, like how do you start to start to build this dossier of –?

    Mimika: That’s the thing is, the sad truth is, we have to work 10 times harder than we used to before. We really do, before we take maybe four, five times to people, for people to hear your message for them to react; now they say it’s 10 or 12 times. I mean for me in developing the content for my Capture School and of course me being a perfectionist, I did a soft launch and I’m still tweaking it because I really feel like I really want this to work for people. And I did everything from, did a test launch, I did a surveys, I called people and asked them what their struggles where. Everything from doing my Mimika TV interviews, trying to hear what people are saying and what their reaction is, everything from the comments or like post something on Facebook and try get reactions from that and see what people would say. Gone, forms of groups and hear what the conversation is doing, reading books, it does take a lot of work and I might say if I look back, probably it’s close to two years since I’ve been trying to hone in my right market of who I’m going to deliver this content to. And it took me twice as long as I thought it would. And the frustrating thing is, it’s still not 100% there but what I have realized is it’s always evolving; it’s always work in progress because you have to keep your ear to the ground. We can’t afford to do the old school of put a shingle out on the front of the business and hope everyone driving by is going to like, love to come in and see you.

    James: Absolutely. If you look at my — if you listen to my introductory podcast, the episode one I did, we can no longer hang a shingle out there. If you build it, they will come. I see.

    Mimika: Exactly, that doesn’t work anymore.

    James: Not anymore.

    Mimika: That’s all British coming out.

    James: Yeah.

    Mimika: And it just, I mean even from when I started in photography, I went back to night school and we lived in the City of York which is a really old Roman town which has history dating back to like 600 BC. And what I find is that even though it was a smaller town, and when I first started to get into photography, there are maybe six or 10 of us wedding photographers. About the time I left, when we moved from York to America, there would probably like at least 25 wedding photographers there. But then when I moved from the UK to the USA, it was like 2000 people within the state and I was like, oh my gosh, this is like competition on steroids.
    And I realized I had to up my game that, the industry is different, the pace is different but no matter what country you’re in or what culture you’re in, at the end of the day we still have to appeal to what people want and need in life. So, for a bride getting married, she’s going to have a certain style. I mean, you just need to watch some of these reality shows, it’s what — the bridezillas, and even the dress, “say yes to the dress” kind of things. They are very specific about what they like. And I know that what kind of client fits especially if you are consultant of client. You need to know what their pain points are and again that’s another part that I always press on and teaching people as understanding what really pains your clients. So whether you are a service or a product, watch the likes of Shark tank. Why develop these products, do you think. Surely someone has thought of this before, but they have thought of another pain point that this product perhaps, you alleviates. So its’ the same thing.

    James: And different applications and differing application and different application.?

    Mimika: Yes, exactly.

    James: Yeah, yeah.

    Mimika: So, you know, that kind of idea.

    James: I love it. So tell me, all of this that you’ve just discussed with us, finding your target market, fine tuning of the long tail keyword phrase type of capturing, niching down. Do you teach all of this within the Capture School?

    Mimika: Yes, we do. I mean, as an example like say for instance if someone wants to find out what their target market is especially someone who are starting a business. It’s it really hard to know straight off at the bat and here is what I’m going to do.

    James: Yes.

    Mimika: And it takes a lot of trial and error and that’s why I sometimes think, are you going to embrace failure? That doesn’t matter if you make a mistake like before Capture School, I had it branded under a different name like it was Called Photography Profit Zoom and just to me just didn’t feel right the whole brand awareness and the structure of it was more like a six-week- boot camp style but for what I feel and what I want to help people with is I want to be more involved in helping them really dig a bit deeper. So and that’s why I’ve taken what I did the first time and for me it didn’t feel very successful but there people who learned from that.
    And I have developed such along the way. So it’s being a whole journey of adding things, tweaking things, trying things and you won’t really know until you take that first step and believe me, the first time, I mean, even when I launched my first Mimika TV, I look back and I got, oh my gosh, that was so ugly. The lighting was bad, the connection was bad and it was like, way too long, people must been yawning about halfway through. So and even then it’s like, sometimes you just got to put it out there and don’t wait for perfection. 90% is better than 100% of nothing right. So, yeah.

    James: That’s, in a words of Seth Gordon, “You have to ship”.

    Mimika: Exactly, you got to ship and sometimes you think, oh maybe, let me just quickly weakly tweak this. It’s like the blog post, I don’t know how many blog posts I have like written in draft mode that I’ve actually never published and to me I look back at those, oh there would be really good but now it’s kind of late it’s sort of like yesterday’s news that sometimes I feel, just getting it out there, putting it out there and this is another thing from creative’s, we don’t like the criticism because our art is almost like — it’s part of us and it almost feels like a personal attack when someone doesn’t like something.

    James: Sure.

    Mimika: And I think that’s the differences I found with creative’s and sort of more business minded people is they can separate the two, the business from the personal. But it is, I could for a photographer and an artist. It’s something that you are creating out of your own heart. It’s something your mind’s eye that you have developed from nothing that it is your baby and no one wants to be told their babies ugly, right?

    James: Spot on. Absolutely and I love it. I love it, alright.

    Mimika: So exactly yeah. I’m awful of analogies but we keep talking it all day.

    James: We definitely could but I’m respectful of your time and I want to just wrap by asking you and we know you have going on, so tell us specifically what we should do to find you, how we can find you, and the best way to do so?

    Mimika: Sure yes. Well as I said, you can find me on my website which is MimikaCooney.com and Mimika is M-I-M-I-K-A and Cooney, I always say you remember like George Clooney without the L that the girls love it. And I have some great resources on there. I’m always adding new ones and updating them at the moment I have an eBook called Modern Marketing which helps you think outside of the box. Clicks and all the ideas that I have picked up from things I’ve learned and just to help people start to think a little differently. And definitely, every week on it, on my website, we go live, it’s a New Mimika TV interview which is usually a 30-minute interview with the creative minded successful business owner. And I’ve had everything from photographers to branding strategists, internet marketing specialists and a whole lot more coming up in the new season. And of course I’m everywhere on social media. Mimika Cooney fans is on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest, you could just search for my name, you definitely can find me there and I’d love to, you know, people can connect with me and say hi. I’d love to connect with them online.

    James: Alright then we will do so and I’m going to keep in touch with you because I want to get back with you when your new book comes out and —

    Mimika: Sure, thank you.

    James: Yeah, and you know we’ll remain friends now.

    Mimika: Of course yes, I have to send you my list of books, I’d be like, did you see this one, this one? Oh yes.

    James: I cannot wait, I cannot wait. Awesome, well Mimika, it’s been great talking to you today. Thank you so much for your time and we will look for you and we look forward to wish you best of luck with the Capture School, we’re looking forward to being there.

    Mimika: Great, thank you for listening.

    James: All right.

    Mimika: Thanks, take care.

    James: Take care, bye-bye.

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    HELP NEED something else to do BESIDES Watching THE OSCARS

    The 2014 Academy Awards – AKA The Oscars will feature Ellen Degeneres hosting and will no doubt (for some) be THE entertainment extravaganza of the year. While the actual show is scheduled to air at 8pm EST you will find pre-pre-pre Red Carpet coverage as early as 1:30pm EST. You got to get up PRETTY early to beat those kids over at the “E” network.
    Oscar Alternatives
    Oscar Madison from The Odd Couple
    Jack Klugman – the Show  or Walter Matthau the Movie

    mets-klugman1

    Oscar the Fish  or The Oscar Myer WienerMobile

     

    Anyway, I will have to relinquish control of the BIG SCREEN tonight to the ladies of the house.

    This is not a problem as I am most productive being 100% focused online…

    But I asked myself: What ELSE could I do tonight while most of my household is watching Ellen and friends.

    Below is just a sample…. Leave a comment and let me know what YOU would rather be doing than watching OSCAR!

    HELP I NEED – SUGGESTIONS!

    Thank You! – James

    Things I COULD do… What would YOU do?

    Comment below!

    Watch:
    True Detective?
    The Walking Dead?
    Duck Dynasty Marathon?
    The Housewives Sagas of Bravo? UG!

    or Check Out:

    Netflix?
    Hulu?
    Old VHS Tapes?

    You could peel myself off the couch and away from the TV and:

    Start my taxes or at least gather up the junk to bring to the accountant? ( I gotta get moving on this)

    Check my WORK email to get a jump on the week? Because we know Monday can’t get her soon enough!

    LEAVE A COMMENT LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU WOULD DO BESIDES WATCH THE OSCARS – THANKS!

    Making Your Mission Statement Work for You AND Your Customers

    Making Your Mission Statement Work for You AND Your Customers (via 7 Graces of Marketing – Ethical Marketing for Social Entrepr)

    Marketer Lynn Serafinn looks at the importance of having a mission statement and how to make one that resonates with yourself, your employees and the public. In the 7 Graces of Marketing, Grace #5 is Transparency. The literal meaning of ‘to be transparent…


    Continue reading Making Your Mission Statement Work for You AND Your Customers