Here’s your 2020 Business Checklist

It’s 2020 which is not only a new year, but a new decade! As we enter onto clean slate, it’s time to do things differently. Take a look at your 2020 business checklist to get your year, and your business, off to a great start.

  1. Review Business Tools – Are your current tools helping or hurting your business? Take a deep dive into the systems you’re using and determine what type of impact they are having on your bottom line. Is the ROI worth it? Are you able to obtain more business, more customers, or more sales with this tool? If the answer is no, then it is time to find new tools. **If a tool is not helping OR hurting, then you should still consider finding a new tool that can improve your business. We want to see consistent and steady growth vs remaining stagnant.
  2. Analyze Reports – From social media, to email marketing, and sales channels, making an effort to review your reports will give you a clear understanding of what is working, and what is not. At that point you’re able to create your 2020 strategy with the proper information to create a successful plan for your business.
  3. Content Planning – Decide the type of content you want to produce in 2020 and consider how much it will take you to produce. If you don’t have the skills or resources to execute your goals, then you need to consider outsourcing and allocate enough time to do so. Plus, we all know content planning is KEY to winning at life and business.
  4. Get Organized – Take your ideas from your mind or your journal and implement them into a real project management system that can hold yourself, and your teams accountable. There are plenty of free tools out there that can help you stay organized which will ultimately help you grow as a business owner.
  5. Find Your Tribe – We know how important it is to have a community who you can grow with and learn from. This is equally important in your personal and professional life. If you don’t already have a community, then take the time to find one! Start online and then move those digital relationships to real, in-person connections.

For more business tips, subscribe to Tonnisha’s Tip of the Month mailing list! Plus, check out 6 Ways to Keep Your Sanity in Entrepreneurship.

Navigating Instagram without ‘Likes’

There has been so much chatter about Instagram removing likes from the platform and here are some things you should know.

1. You will still be able to see your likes AND the likes of others. You just have to take an extra step to get to them.

2. The way you navigate Instagram shouldn’t change.

This change comes from Instagram wanting to create “…a less pressurized environment where people feel comfortable expressing themselves.” 

While this change hasn’t been rolled out for all users, majority of us are slowly seeing the removal of likes. Here are 3 tips to navigate Instagram with this update (hint: you should already be doing this on every platform).

Utilize IGTV

Instagram TV is a great way to share BTS of your brand or business, and share your expertise in your field.

For example: every Tuesday I post a tip on Facebook Live, I then take that live and add it to my Instagram TV channel. This gives me the opportunity to share my insight into happenings within the industry, and give my advice on how to navigate your digital channels. This is called “content marketing” and IGTV is the perfect place to do this!

Create Instagram Stories

I personally receive more engagement on Instagram stories than actual posts. People are enjoying the story feature on Instagram so you should be using it!

The great thing about stories is that you don’t need to put too much effort into it. Simply taking a pic of the meeting you’re in, asking questions utilizing the “polls” or the “questions” feature, and posting a fun Boomerang would suffice.

Make your stories fun, informative, and engaging!

Imagery Matters

You have to invest in great images for your Instagram. Aesthetics are vital! No one wants to see a profile full of pixelated photos and bad graphics.

If photography and design are not your strong suit, find someone who has the skills to help you out.

Your posts should be professional, clean, and should truly be a representation of your brand.

Easy enough, right?

As you begin creating your next content strategy, try incorporating these ideas into your calendar. You are guaranteed to see growth in your brand or business!

6 Ways to Keep Your Sanity in Entrepreneurship

I’ve been in the entrepreneur world for a little over 6 months now and there is SO much no one told me. For those who are thinking of going full time soon, take some of this rookie advice and prepare for your new life.

1. Surround Yourself with Positivity

Thankfully for me, my family and friends have remained positive and supportive since I made my decision. I partially think it’s because I had been speaking about going full time for over a year now so they were mentally prepared for the day I finally quit.

2. Save Business Woes for Other Entrepreneurs

While having supportive family and friends are great, try to save your business woes for your business friends if possible. When things aren’t going as planned, sometimes your family’s first reaction may be for you to pick up a part-time job, or consider going back to work. However, a business owner will tell you to stick it out or provide you with tools or tactics to grow your business. If being an entrepreneur is truly what you want, you have to tune out the noise.

3. Invest in Tools to Make Your Life Easier

At some point you may outgrow your current systems and need to invest in tools to make your life easier. From task management, time trackers, to social media management tools — you have to be willing to invest in your growth.

4. Don’t Stay Married to Current Tools

I’ve been in business for 5 years and as I’ve grown, I’ve had to move systems and platforms. I’m not using the same task management tool or social media management tool I started with. I am also in the market for a new e-commerce and email marketing tool. If your current systems can’t grow with you, let them go!

5. Find ways to destress

As much as I love the HUSTLE, I understand the need for rest. For me, I enjoy meditation, going to church with my family and friends, and working out. If you have a hard time recognizing when you need to destress, get yourself an accountability partner! At times, I have good friends who remind me when I need to relax. Overtime, you’ll be able to recognize when your anxiety is high and you’ll be able to keep yourself in check.

6. You’re not alone

All entrepreneurs are stressed, anxious, and feeling like there’s still so much more work to do. You’re not alone! Find your tribe and surround yourself with people who can relate to the hustle.

I hope you found these tips helpful! Did I miss anything? Comment below!

Networking Tips for Entrepreneurs

I attended my first networking event when I was 18 (I’m now 27) and I still cringe at the thought of having to talk to strangers. Most people think of networking as a scary/awkward experience, and it’s true that it can be. However, there are a few tips that can help you feel prepared, and make real connections.

Prep your elevator speech

“So, what do you do?” This is a common question I’ve encountered at networking events. What’s more important than answering this question, is your confidence in the answer. Before your next event, practice your elevator speech until you say it with confidence. Your speech should be short, sweet, and authentic.

Dig deeper

Networking can get old real fast when you’re constantly talking about work. Try to dig deeper and ask questions that will spark real conversation. Learn about their family life, their hobbies, and even the “why” behind their business. This information could help you win this person over as a client or customer.

Collect cards with a purpose

There is no prize for collecting the most business cards. The purpose of attending a networking event is to make real connections. If someone offers you their business card, take it. But before you ask for it, think about if connecting with this person outside of this event is truly beneficial for your business.

Don’t forget your cards

Speaking of cards, don’t forget to take your business cards with you! Your business card at minimum should include your company logo, contact information, your name, and title.

Bring a friend

If you’re more of an introvert, have one of your extroverted business friends join you at the event. I personally find it helpful to attend events with friends, even though I’m more of an extrovert in networking environments. Just having a persona to chat with that you already know can help give you some peace of mind. However, it is important not to use this person as a crutch and only talk to them.

Find the wall flower

I always make it a point to go talk to the person who is not talking to anyone. I do this because most likely, they’re more nervous than me and I’m able to help them open up a little bit, too. If you’re unable to bring a friend, you and this person could tag team the event together and provide one another with support.

Check out the guest list

Take a look at the list of attendees and speakers and decide who you want to meet beforehand. Do your research and come to the event with a game plan to connect with them!

Be your own hype man

EVERYONE is nervous! Listen to your favorite hype song in the car, grab a drink from the bar when you get there, and just be yourself.

Are you ready to use these networking tips at #RTHCon19 on September 20 and 21, 2019? Grab your tickets and join us today – click here.

 

Social Media: How to Stay Consistent

Social media marketing in 2019 is filled with noise and ever-changing algorithms. The key to success no matter what you do is consistency.

Yes, that means you can’t post once a week to your social media pages and expect to see any traction. You should be posting a minimum of once per day. If that sounds scary, here are a few simple ways you can stay consistent with posting.

  1. Create a plan – Content planning! As you’ve heard me say before, content planning allows you to be strategic and takes away the stress of not knowing what to post. If you’ve never planned your content before, grab my content calendar and get started!
  2. Set expectations with your audience – Every Tuesday my audience knows that I go Facebook Live. And trust me when I don’t, people ask me about it! When you have set the expectations, you have to give the people what they want, right? Create your staple piece of content that people can look forward to and keep them coming back for more.
  3. Schedule your posts – Do you think I’m sitting around posting on social media in real time? Absolutely not! I use a social media management tool that allows me to schedule my content and it even provides me with recommended posting times for the highest engagement.
  4. Find an accountability partner – You’re not in this alone! There are times when I am so busy I get behind on scheduling my content. Find a buddy that you can check in with when you see them lacking in posting and vise vera.

We’re playing the long game here! Try one, or all 4 of these tips and see which works best for you. While you’re at it, sign up for my 7 days to social media series. In this series you will receive 7 days of prompts and tips to help you post on social media everyday.

Why You Need to Know Your Target Audience

Can we agree that wasting money is not fun? If you don’t know who your target audience is, that is exactly what you’re doing; wasting money.

There are so many reasons why having a clear understanding of your ideal customer is important. Here are my top 3 reasons that have personally impacted my business.

  1. Attract the right clients – I started by business in 2014 without a clear vision into the services I would offer or who I would offer them to. Once I was able to nail down my offerings, I was able to create a strategy to bring in the right clientele.
  2. Offer the right products and services – When you know who your audience is, you understand what your customer needs. Which is amazing because you’ll know exactly what to offer them! In the beginning I had WAY too many offerings which can be confusing for a customer. Sliming down my offerings and creating sub-categories on an as needed basis has been extremely beneficial for my business.
  3. Intentional marketing – Once you know the customer, you probably know where to find them! This has helped me to be intentional in all of my marketing efforts online and offline. Which has allowed me to make a profit and go into my business full time.

I’m currently in the process of identifying new potential clients and I’m excited to hit my next ‘aha’ moment. If you feel like you’re hitting a brick-wall in your business, it may be time to re-identify your target audience.

Join me for an interactive webinar to learn how to truly understand your customer. Take advantage of the webinar + consult ticket to get the webinar for FREE and a 30-minute business consultation where we can talk more in depth about your business goals.

Shoot Your Shot

So much has changed in my life over the last month. One big win I’ve had is securing my conference keynote speaker, Dawn W. Dickson!

Dawn is a trailblazer in the tech community and has been featured in many publications including Black EnterpriseForbes, and most recently, The Breakfast Club.

When I first had the idea for a conference my mindset was “go big or just forget about it.” I’m a risk taker and I knew if I wanted this to work, I had to solidify a big speaker.

This brings to my tip this month: shoot your shot.

If you really want to reach your greatest potential, you have to fearlessly chase your goals. You cannot be scared to go after that big speaker or big sponsor.

With that being said, it’s also important that you have your sh*t together, too.

Before you go sliding in the DM’s of every business owner you know, make sure to ask yourself these few questions:

1. Is my branding on point?
If a big sponsor/speaker saw your website and social media, would they feel comfortable letting you use their likeness to promote an event?

2. Do I have the budget?
We all want to secure that big speaker or that dream venue. But be honest with yourself about your budget and how much your return on investment will be.

3. Do I have any typos in my proposal?
Believe it or not, having a type in your proposal can cause someone to not want to work with you.

4. Is my elevator speech prepared?
Get to the point. Avoid sending a lengthy email or message. Simply give your pitch in a few sentences and request a meeting/conversation that will allow you to go into more details.

Have you ever shot your shot at a potential sponsor or speaker for an event? What did you learn from the experience? Send an email to info@tjecommunications.com to share your story!

XOXO

The Power of Mentorship

In May 2014 I graduated college. At this point I had 10 internships, and held the title “President” in two campus organizations, and I was unable to find a job in my field.

Side note: If you’ve never read Let’s face it, your degree isn’t good enough, please do.

I was 22 and I knew I wanted to start my own business. When I applied for all of the great local agency’s that every kid in PRSSA dreamed of working at, no one called me back. I thought: Well if they don’t want to hire me, I’ll become their competition.

I knew nothing about starting a business or what was required to make me look “legit.” I had no idea what I should charge or how I should charge and this led to be being ripped off and unpaid for projects from time to time – YIKES!

Thankfully for me, throughout my time in college I attended every networking event I possibly could. I would stand out because I would be the only 18 year old kid in a room full of business professionals. Throughout my years of networking, I had made some connections I was able to reach out to who helped me begin to shape TJE.

Now at 27, I can keep it real with myself and say I had NO CLUE what I was doing trying to start a business at 22. I am lucky to have some amazing mentors in my life I can call on when I’m need and I encourage you all to do the same.

If you don’t currently have a mentor or two, here’s how to effectively find the right person for you.

1. Seek out local organizations that provide mentorship.

There are so many local organizations that provide mentorship as a perk of being a member. I’m currently a member of The Diva Movement, Black Career Women’s Network, and Women in Digital. If you’re feeling nervous about the thought of having a mentor, starting out in groups like this can help ease you into the idea and help you creative expectations for mentorship.

2. You should have something to give if you’re willing to take.

When I seek information from my mentors, I make it a point to offer something in return. All of the people in my network are bossed up and they should not be providing me with free advice every time I want it. You should be open and willing to give your time and resources to the people who are helping you grow.

3. Seek REAL connections, not people with a lot of connections.

Don’t fall for someone’s social media persona. Before you spend $100+ on a coaching session, you need to do your research. Be sure you are choosing someone REAL, authentic, and someone who aligns with your goals.

4. Ask your network.

Reach out to your network for a recommendation on a mentor or for any mentoring groups they are members of.

5. Your mentor doesn’t have to be in the same field as you.

Having a mentor in a different industry could provide you with a new business perspective. Broaden your horizon! Find someone who has a teaching style you can learn from.

Mentorship is truly powerful and I hope you all take the time to seek out mentors or become one yourself. If you have a mentor, what is some of the best advice they’ve given you? Comment below!

How to Set Up Facebook Ads

We’re knees deep in the season of holidays sales, deals, and promotions. It’s easy for your customers to become overwhelmed with the overload of emails and mailers coming to their door. If you’re looking to standout, aside from having great content and products to promote, you should consider running Facebook Ads this holiday season. Never done it before? Here’s a step by step guide to creating your first advertisement.
1. Determine the type of ad you want to create

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Facebook breaks their ads down into three main categories:

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Conversion

You need to have a clear understanding of your objective with this advertisement before you get started. Having a solidified goal in place will ensure you set up your ad correctly, and receive the best results when the campaign is over. The campaign you create can be new, or you can use a past or existing campaign to run your new ad with.

2. Create your audience

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Once you have your campaign objectives in place, you need to create your audience. The audience is THE most important part of your campaign. Targeting the wrong person for your ads is a sure way to lose money and have a poor ad performance.

It is important to not be too specific, or too vague. If you do not have a clear understanding of your target audience, think back to your campaign objectives. What is the end goal of your campaign and what would intrigue the ideal customer to engage with your ad? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Where do they live?
  • Where do they shop?
  • What is their annual income?
  • Are they married?
  • Do they have children?
  • What are their hobbies?
  • Do they have disposable income?
  • How old are they?
  • What are their political views?

Understanding your target audience is crucial to your business and the advertisement you are producing. If you’re unsure, I would recommend taking a step back and performing some market research to get to know your ideal customer.

3. Determine your budget and schedule

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If you’re doing ads on Facebook for the first time, I recommend setting a budget of a dollar amount you aren’t afraid to lose or are willing to invest into this campaign. You can set up a daily budget or a lifetime budget. The more money you are willing to spend, the more people you will reach. However, I do recommend if it is your first campaign, you should set a lifetime budget or an end date to be safe.
4. Create your ad

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When it comes to creating your ad, you can also decide if you want to start from scratch, or use an existing post. If you decide to use an existing post, please keep in mind that once the ad goes live, you cannot make edits to that post again. Even after the campaign has ended, changes cannot be made. I would recommend creating a new ad that is unique to the campaign you are working on to avoid any issues.
5. Review your ad

Before you confirm, carefully review your campaign set up. Double check the audience you’ve selected, be sure the budget you set matches with your marketing plan, and confirm the “end date” of the campaign aligns with the product or service you are launching. You should also be sure things are spelled correctly and are grammatically correct.
6. Review performance

Once the campaign has ended, your work is far from done! You should review the performance of your ad to see if your original objectives were met. If they were, the next time you create an ad you may want to increase your budget.

If your goal was not met, you should take a deep dive into your results to determine what went wrong and create a plan to improve for next time.

Do you plan on running ads during the holidays? They’re not as expensive as you think. You can set a daily budget of $5 or $500+! I encourage you all to set aside a budget for ads in 2019 if you haven’t already. If you want to learn more about Facebook ads for your business, schedule a 30 minute business consultation today!