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Why You Don't Need to Stress Over Mailchimp's New Audience Policy

Bold & Pop : Why You Don't Need to Stress Over Mailchimp's New Audience Policy

Did you have a moment of panic when Mailchimp announced their new audience policy? We did too. Especially when we read that our audience will now include all of the contacts you can market to regardless of their email opt-in/subscriber status… including unsubscribers. We had a moment like HUH? Isn’t that illegal? What about GDPR?

And then we read, “These new channels allow you to leverage your entire audience, so you can encourage new engagement with your brand.” To which we really had a moment like THAT IS VERY ILLEGAL.

Well we figured one of the largest email marketing companies wasn’t doing things that are illegal so we wanted to dig in to see what their new audience definition is reallyyyy all about and now we’re sharing what we found with you.

Good News: Mailchimp isn’t actually doing anything sketchy.

Bad News: They now considering everyone, including unsubscribers, to be in your audience which means once you hit 2k audience members, you’re no longer in the free plan.

While Mailchimp’s email made it sound like they were giving us the opportunity to re-engage with unsubcribers and inactive subscribers, the re-engagement is only for inactive users. You’ll only be able to re-engage with unsubscribers if they re-subscribe to your list. So basically everything stays the status quo other than the structure of their plans.

But with the change in audience definition gives you a good opportunity to make the most of your email list… even further than you already do! Do you know how many on your list are inactive? Do you know where they’re coming from? Are you making the most of your analytics?

The biggest piece to you can capitalize on is your inactive audience and now Mailchimp is making it easier than ever to re-engage with those users on each of your lists.

First, you need to make sure you segment your inactive users which is SUPER easy to do. To find them, follow these steps:

  1. Login and go to the Audience tab.

  2. If you have more than one audience/list, make sure you choose the one you want to segment.

  3. Click Contacts and then New Segment.

  4. Make sure it says Contacts match “all” of the following conditions and then choose “Campaign Activity”, “did not open” and then choose the duration that best fits your needs (this will depend on how often you send campaigns).

  5. Click Preview Segment and then Save.

Now that you have your list segmented, what do you do with that segment??? You want to re-engage them and this means you need to send an email specifically for this segment that will really grab their attention.

Have you ever received an email that says something like “We’ve missed you…” and they give you a special offer? That’s them re-engaging with you!

Luckily, Mailchimp has some built-in tools and ideas to help your with re-engagement including:

  • Automation: With Mailchimp, you can easily sent up a sequence of automated emails to help re-engage your inactive audience. The best part of this is you can set post-send actions to automatically unsubscribe people from your list or move them to a different group once the automated sequence is done. This way you can remove inactive people from your list or have them go into another group for future re-engagement.

  • Polls & Surveys: This is a great way to collect information on what your inactive subscribers are interested in so you can use that for future targeted campaigns. This is a great option for service based businesses!

  • Coupons/Promo Codes: If you’re a product-based business, this is a great way to re-engage and potentially spark a new sale. You might want to highlight a few products that have been added to the site since they last visited your site as well.

  • Product Recommendations: You can actually connect your store to Mailchimp so Mailchimp can collect data on your subscribers’ purchase behavior. This content block will actually pull unique product recommendations based off that date for each of your subscribers. This way you can send an enticing campaign customized to your audience members!

So no need to stress over the new changes! The only bummer is that unsubscribers now count towards your audience total so you’ll outgrow the free plan faster but you don’t have to worry about making sure you’re following the law. Mailchimp still has your back!

P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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How to Get Past Comparison, Break Away From Trends & Blaze Your Own Path

How to Get Past Comparison, Break Away From Trends & Blaze Your Own Path.jpg

#Realtalk, as a business owner comparison can be killer. We’re constantly bombarded with messaging from those who have made 6-figures in 6 months, are printing money while they sleep and others who have retired their spouses and now have the perfect little lives. Meanwhile, a lot of us are working our booties off wondering why the heck we aren’t living our dream lives yet too.

So we buy the course, we join the membership site, and we read all of the books hoping that it will unveil the silver-bullet strategy we’ve been missing and guess what, most of the time it doesn’t (which I have another blog post just on that topic!). Now don’t get us wrong, you can learn a TON of amazing information from alllll of those things, but here’s something that you need to remember. All of our journeys are different and there’s a whole lot more work that goes into creating a service/product to sell and creating THE service/product to sell. That’s where the hard work comes in. Plus, sometimes the biz trends of courses, ebooks or whatever it is just might not be for you. So today we’re sharing some tips to get past comparison, realizing how your goals actually affect your business model and why biz trends won’t always get you to where you want to go.

You Can’t Compare Your Journey to Others’ Highlight Reel

Comparing ourselves to others whether in biz or life is a common problem for a lot of people already. Add social media and it’s like adding kerosene to a fire. I know this is a cliché phrase but truly, you cannot compare your life to someone else’s highlight reel and this is especially true in business. Now, I don’t fault people for sharing the good stuff at all — it’s a heck of a lot more fun to celebrate — but you have to realize there’s a whole lot that goes behind the scenes into each of those wins! Business is tough. And while there are certainly people who will crush it in their first year or first few years, others will take a lot longer. That doesn’t mean that you’re less of a success than them or that you haven’t worked hard enough. It just means you’re on a different path.

But Anna, I know someone who is in the same industry as I am, started their business at the same time and they’re posting about all the money they’re making and how they have all the time in the world to hang out with their family. Not only that, but they have “the secret” to how I can do the same! We all know the pitch. Someone was unfilled in their terrible corporate job and then they decided to turn their passion into a business and wa-lah with this simple strategy they tripled their old salary in 3 months. Now, I’m all about people being more transparent about their struggles and how they’ve overcame them to live better more fulfilling lives. When you read these stories though, you need to understand that 1.) unfortunately sometimes everything isn’t what it appears… and even when the story is true it has still been edited down to fit the narrative they want to pitch and 2.) it’s part of their marketing strategy! A good strategy at that, because it’s tapping into your emotions. They’ve figured out a way to relate to you, show you where you could be, and offer you the steps to get the life you want. I’m not saying their intentions aren’t pure and that what they’re offering couldn’t help you, but what I am saying is you can’t compare your life to their strategic and edited marketing message. They’ve figured out what is their thing and it’s time you figure out your own!

As an action point, if reading other peoples’ stories is not inspiring you and is having the adverse effect instead, then STOP reading them. Mute, or unfollow them. I know that sounds simple, but if you’re spending more time obsessing or being jealous, then you’re robbing yourself of the time to work on your own success story. Which is a surefire way to have your business fail. On the flip side, you might just need to shift your perspective. If listening to other entrepreneurs’ stories does inspire you, then stop throwing yourself a pity party of why you aren’t them and start paying attention. Pay attention to their content, their strategies and what you can learn from them, then put it into action. Being intentional about your emotions and your actions is a game changer.

Define What Success Means to YOU!

Coming off talking about comparison, you need to hammer down what success really means to you. If you scan through business pitches you’d think you can onlyyy be considered a success when you’re making 6-figures but WHO set that standard?! Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with money and making a whole lot of it. In fact, I hope you can earn a really comfortable living from your true passions! I just think that there’s been this bar set that you have to do x,y and z before you’re considered “successful” and to be frank, I think it’s crap.

I think success can look veryyyy different from person-to-person so it’s important that we take the time to nail down what it looks like to us. Otherwise we’re just chasing these ideals that might not actually get us to the life we want to live. So what does success look like for you? Because the answers to that question are going to really affect your business model. Where do you see yourself in 1, 5, and 10 years down the road? Do you want to be buying islands, Richard Branson style? Do you want to be living out of a Tiny House and touring the country while speaking to others or doing workshops? Do you want to have a career where you can create a few key products and pull back on your schedule in a few years when you’re ready to start a family? What do you want?

Take a good hard look at your answers to that question and think about what you need to do in your business now, to get to where you want to be along those milestones. When you nail down what you want your life to look like, then you can start thinking about the type of business model that will support that lifestyle. Chances are your version of success is going to look a lot different than what the gurus say too — whether that’s monetary, time, or flexibility. We’ve been programmed to always want to do MORE but sometimes that’s not the answer to what we really want. So stop chasing goals you don’t care about.

You Don’t Have to Follow Business Trends

Repeat this one in your head a million times please! There is not one path to success and you don’t have to jump on whatever strategy is trendy at the time to make a living. That’s right, you don’t have to sell courses, you don’t have to offer group trainings, you don’t have to have a Facebook Group and you don’t have to do webinars. If it works for you and your big-picture plan, DO IT! But if you find yourself feeling like you need to jump on something because everyone else is doing it, take a few steps back. As I’ve mentioned a few times already (see I really want to hammer this point in) you can be successful doing a lot of things. The best thing you can do is focus on the things that help your skills shine and align with what will work best with the life you’re trying to live and what your customers and clients want too.

I have a great example of how we were guilty of falling in this trap too. In 2017 we wanted to expand our offerings and decided to launch a membership service. The idea was, people would subscribe to our service and get access to a resource library which would have styled stock photos in a bunch of different categories, customizable quote graphics, collateral designs, — believe me, if we thought it could help fellow biz owners, we included. Helping others is really at the heart of our business and we thought this idea was genius because it allowed us to offer services to a whole lot more people than we could work with on a 1-on-1 basis.

Now don’t get me wrong, we didn’t launch this just because it was a trendy idea at the time, but because passive income streams and membership services were all the rage we built our service around the trend. We worked our BUTTS off on this project. For months. We built up buzz for our launch and did the whole shabang to bring it to market. Unfortunately, the launch of the product won’t make any business publications and after a few months we realized it was a bust. It turned out this “passive” income strategy we had created wasn’t all that passive and we just didn’t have the time to dedicate to keep it up for the amount of income that was coming in. Shortly after we decided to shut it down and guys, we were bummed.

Here’s what we learned though, while all of the conversations told us passive income streams were the key to scaling and being more successful. That we could only go so far by offering services, it turned out the timing and business model just wasn’t right for us at that time. And you know what else we realized? There are a heck of a lot of PR, social and creative agencies that all they do are services and they’re doing just fine. It’s not to say we won’t explore another option in the future, but at that time in our business we got distracted by something flashy instead of slowing down and really focusing on marketing our services which we already had an awesome system for. Moral of the story, just because someone tells you selling courses, membership sites, or whatever it may be is the key to success, it doesn’t mean it will be for you.

Take Advice From Others with a Grain of Salt

Okay, I know I may sound like I’m poo pooing on others trying to help you find success and trust me I’m not. I read more blogs, books and listen to more podcasts than most and that’s because there’s some AWESOME freaking info out there. What I mean by “take advice from others with a grain of salt” is that you need to be an active participant in the media you consume or the conversations you have. Don’t just do something because you heard it somewhere and don’t just take someone’s opinion as the gold standard because they’re further along their journey than you are. Whatever decisions you make in your business or in your life, do them because they feel right! Trial and error is literally your best friend as a business owner and sometimes it’s going to take time to figure out what works best for you.

A different but relevant example… growing up maybe you tried a bunch of different sports and activities. Maybe you played tee-ball, or soccer or maybe you played violin or did ballet — the violin one was me! Whatever you did, did you end up doing alllll of the things your whole life? Probably not. You probably picked the things you were best at and dropped some of the other things… or tried new things to see if you liked those better. The point being, some things stick and some things don’t and it’s up to you to decide which things you’re going to try. You really need to go with your gut on that one and if you think something is a good idea but change your mind because one or two people didn’t like the idea, well then you’ll miss out on a lot!

Instead, I encourage you to go into things with an open mind. Listen to those podcasts, buy those courses and join those masterminds. Just don’t go into them thinking that they’re going to be the silver bullet to your success! Business isn’t so cut and dry. It’s more like an unending series of trials and errors and those failures are the key to actually finding what works for you. Which btw, Mallory has another awesome blog post on that topic too! So pay attention, learn different strategies and then go and try things out yourself! Spend more time driving your car than trying to see where the person next to you is going. There’s enough success to go around and finding your own path is a lot more fun than trying to recreate someone else’s. We all have unique talents, perspectives and dreams and it’s time that you give yours the attention they deserve.

P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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3 Reasons Why Boundaries are Crucial in your Creative Business

Bold & Pop : 3 Reasons Why Boundaries are Crucial in your Creative Business

Technology can be both a blessing and a curse sometimes… We love it for so many reasons -- being able to work remotely, being able to help clients all over the world, and well it just makes our lives a whole lot easier most of the time. With that though, there are a few drawbacks too... like feeling like you always have to be "on". Especially as a business owner because 1.) you want to keep your clients happy and be helpful (always our TOP priority) and 2.) Let's be real, as a business owner there is always something you could be doing. #AlloftheStruggles right?! Well yes, but there's more to that.

I truly believe people treat us the way we allow them to and if we've answering emails at 2 in the morning and working on client edits every weekend, then that's what they're going to expect because we set that expectation. But that's not really sustainable for anyone so that's why today I'm going to tell you why boundaries are so important. Not only to improve your relationship with your clients but also improve your creativity and productivity, which all sound like a lot of wins to me!

Sets Expectation for What to Expect from the Beginning

Often the trickiest things about boundaries are making sure you stick to them! It can be tricky to change your policies with long-time clients or mid-project so we suggest laying out your boundaries right from the beginning. There's a reason we have our office hours on our website and in each of our project kick-off kits... It's so that it is front and center! This helps our clients know when they can expect us in the office and when we'll be working on their projects. In what seems like a 24-hour work cycle sometimes, by doing so, our clients know that if they email us after hours they can expect a response the next business day. And guess what?! Creating this boundary hasn't been a big deal at all. Our clients know that we are super responsive. We try to reply to all emails within 24 hours... but let's be real most are replied to within the hour -- blame that NYC mentality. So they know that they will always get that attentive communication during office hours and after hours, they may just have to wait a little bit longer. We know that sometimes great ideas spark after hours and that's fine, but they know we won't be having a social media campaign brainstorm sesh on a Saturday afternoon.

What about if an emergency happens or there's something urgent? I mean, there are always exceptions to the rule and we're certainly not going to leave our clients hanging. We still see all of the emails that come through -- we're not that hardcore enough to take email off of our phones. Yes, in 2018 that is what is hardcore 😂For all of the everyday non-urgent requests though? A few hours never hurt anyone. This way we can relax in the evenings and on the weekends and any emails that come through we can star them in our inbox and reply the next business day. This may seem like a silly thing to even have to do, but we've found that it really is helpful so that everyone is in the know on when we're in the office.

Another thing we do? We create timelines for our design projects with clear deadlines for our branding and web design projects and also have a client delay clause in our agreements. While the clause seemed a little extreme at first, we realized that we were being too lax with letting some of our clients take longer to give us back edits and then projects would drag on much longer than anticipated. Which, as a service-based business, wasn't productive for our business nor was it beneficial for our clients. We know everyone is busy, but by making these adjustments and being upfront with expectations we've made it clear when clients will receive work and when we need to receive edits back to continue forward. Same goes for our social media clients. We send content every week and they know if we don't have edits back by a specific day and time then we have the okay to continue posting according to schedule. By setting the bar right from the very start not only are projects more productive, but communication is also clearer.

Allows for Downtime which is Critical to Creative Process

If you take away one thing from this post... it should be how important rest is to the creative process. I'll be honest, in the first two years of our business we worked ourselves down to the bone. We're certainly not perfect, but when I moved home last year we decided to make a conscious decision to give ourselves more time to relax! I wrote a whole blog on this topic before, but for some reason, "rest" seems to have gotten a bad rap in the entrepreneurial world. Something I personally think is such a bad trend. Rest isn't a luxury, it's essential and even more so if you have a creative business.

I've found that often when I'm running low on ideas, whether it be client projects, blog topics, or social media content, it's usually when I've been working on overload. The work we do as creative entrepreneurs isn't repetitive work. It's very much a mental process and if our brains are feeling fried... well I can tell you my ideas will be pretty fried too. That is why having that off-time is SO important. And I can bet your clients are hiring you for your tip-top best ideas so give yourself that downtime!

Maximizes Productivity During Office Hours

Last but definitely not least, by setting boundaries you can also boost your productivity during office hours. When we were working around the clock, it was easy to push a few things back because we were working pretty much all of the hours we were awake. Which I definitely don't recommend! When you actually set office hours and try and stick with them though you have to really get your priorities in check and bang out as much as you can during your office hours. And guess what, now that you're actually giving yourself more time to relax you'll probably find that you get work done a lot faster! Plus it just allows you to better plan our your week and really decide what needs to get done and when that needs to happen.

By having boundaries, this also benefits your clients too because the time you are giving to them is at 100% and not at 70% or sometimes even lower. I think anyone who starts a business is some form or Superwomen and Superman, but the reality is there's only SO much we can do in a day. So make sure you're giving your all during that time.

Hope this post was helpful for you all! If you have other advice on setting boundaries or if you could use some help on creating some of your own, drop us a comment below or shoot us an message!

P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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