I’ve got Paula Rollo, my good friend and MiloTree Community Manager, back on the show. This is our honest conversation about our struggles and challenges during this trying time. But it’s also about how to get real and get your work done.
We are talking about how we’re doing during quarantine and how we’re finding ways to work in the cracks. We talk about how things feel messy and complicated right now, but how we’re taking stock of our businesses and pushing forward, even in not the most graceful ways.
Episode #118 Show Notes:
- MiloTree Coaching Group
- Catch My Party
- Marie Kondo
- Jessica Turner’s Coronavirus Time Capsule
- Dom Monaghan’s Instagram
Welcome to The Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie 0:11
Is the MiloTree Entrepreneur Coaching Group Right for You?
Hello, friends. Welcome back to The Blogger Genius. Before I get started with today’s episode, I wanted to announce with a lot of excitement that our new MiloTree Coaching Group is starting May 26th.
If you’re a new blogger, this is perfect for you. If you are an existing blogger, business owner, and you’re feeling like you’re ready to take your business to the next level, this is also for you.
It’s a six-week program taught by David and me. It is a workshop every week, a Q&A session every week, a private Facebook group. It’s a community of like-minded entrepreneurs.
Right now, when we’re feeling a little isolated, it’s so nice to connect with other people who are building businesses just like you.
Topics that we teach are things like how to really find your niche, how to figure out what products to sell to your audience, how to build your audience, how to create content that gets seen, use of keyword research, all the latest strategies.
We’re also going to talk about social media (Instagram, Pinterest), and how those will help you grow your business. We’re going to be talking about email marketing. All of the fundamental things that you need to know. And again, everything that’s working.
Now, if this sounds interesting to you, please reach out to me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We could talk about it. We could get on the phone. Also, you can find out more at MiloTree.com/group.
Again, it’s six weeks and it’s starting on May 26th. I couldn’t be more excited. David and I teach it together. We roll up our sleeves. We get to know you, and we get to know your businesses. We’re really there to support you and help you grow.
How to Get Real and Get Your Work Done
Okay. For today’s episode, I’ve got my friend and MiloTree community manager on the show, Paula Rollo. We’re talking about this very unusual, uneasy time that we are living in, and how we’re both dealing with it, especially with our businesses, with doing online work.
We’re talking about how to give ourselves a break, how hard it is, and messy it is right now, how overwhelming it is, and how to even get work done during this time, but really, how to think about your business in a new way.
Maybe there’s stuff that you’re doing that you don’t need to be doing anymore. Almost like how you go through your closet and clean out all the clothes that don’t fit. It’s like that. How do you do that in your business because there’s never been a better time.
In fact, there’s never been a better time to take this time and focus on building something on your own, so that you can really chart your own future in the way that you want to provide for your family. So, without further delay, I’m excited to bring you Paula Rollo.
Jillian Leslie 3:25
Paula, welcome back to the show.
Paula Rollo 3:27
Thanks. I’m glad to be back.
Jillian Leslie 3:29
I love that last week, we got to talk and catch up. We said let’s definitely record what we were talking about as an episode.
Paula Rollo 3:39
Yes, I think we accidentally had an episode on the phone that we didn’t record.
Jillian Leslie 3:43
I know. I know. So, let’s hope we can repeat our magic. But really, what we were sharing was strategies for dealing with family, businesses, social distancing, and how it’s all kind of weird right now.
Dealing with Your Kids’ Challenging Online Learning
Paula Rollo 4:02
It’s so hard. I think I keep seeing people saying like, this isn’t homeschooling, this is something different because if we were homeschooling, I would have a plan.
But I have to update someone else’s plan in their apps and they’re communicating when they want to communicate. Both of my kid’s teachers, and it’s just challenging.
Jillian Leslie 4:22
It is. That, I think, is a terrific word for this time. It’s challenging. It’s challenging on the home front. It’s challenging on the business front. It’s challenging reading the news or not reading the news.
I find for myself, I would say that I am a pretty even level, like even keeled person. And yet, my ups and downs during this time are so pronounced that I can go through a whole host of emotions in 15 minutes.
I’m here, thank goodness, with my husband and my daughter. Thank God she’s 13 and can kind of manage her own life. But just dealing with people and managing their emotions and managing our household, it’s a lot. And our businesses!
Dealing with Dropping Website Traffic
And by the way, Catch My Party, our sister site, has taken a huge traffic hit right now. Thank goodness people are signing up for our MiloTree pop-ups because they want to grow their businesses during this time.
I get it. People aren’t thinking about parties right now, although we’re coming out with great content on how to throw virtual parties. So, if you are interested in that, head to Catch My Party. There’s my plug.
But it is hard to be finding that balance between showing off beautiful parties and recognizing that there’s this pandemic going on at the same time. How do you balance that? How do you manage that?
One way we are doing it is still sharing beautiful parties, but putting up hashtags like #StayHome, #StaySafe. That we are creating beautiful things to hopefully give people pleasure, make them happy, but trying to be sensitive to where people are today.
Paula Rollo 6:13
Yeah. As you said, it’s balance. It’s everything. Everything is a balancing act even business wise and emotional wise. I think I don’t know anybody who’s sleeping well right now. We’re all lying awake thinking and there’s a lot going on.
Why I Recommend We Shoot for “B-” Work
Jillian Leslie 6:28
There is a lot going on. All right. So, let’s talk about my favorite concept, which is why this is a good time to be doing B- work. What I mean by that is one, I always say this. “B- work is above average work.”
It’s not like you aren’t putting out solid good content, but it is about recognizing that this is not the time to be striving for… Like holding yourself to the standard you might normally hold your yourself to.
Personally, I think we can all give ourselves a break. Now, and to be honest with you, always. The thing that I want to say to bloggers is, the reason why you want to be putting out B- work is because you want to be co-creating with your visitors, with your readers, with your community.
So, what you want to do is put out something and say, “What do you guys think about this?” And then, it will help you form those ideas, figure out what content to create.
Don’t put out something that you think is A+ work because to be honest with you, you don’t know how your audience is going to respond to it. Therefore, it’s this constant iterating and building together, understanding what your community wants and giving it to your community.
That’s always my argument for putting out stuff that might feel a little rough, that you might feel a little like, “Oh, that maybe this is an up to snuff.” And I say, post it, because you want that feedback, and you want that engagement, and you want to seem authentic.
Now Paula, you’re in a unique situation in terms of B- work. So, can you share what you experience?
Paula Rollo 8:20
Yeah. I think that there are certain aspects of our business that it’s okay to release B- on. I think we all have those things, like this image is good enough, or this blog post is good enough.
But in the type of client work I do, there’s a lot of things that it can’t be less than perfect. And I think that for all of us, even if you’re not doing client work like I do, there are certain aspects of your business that have to be perfect.
If you’re selling a product that does need to go out, someone paid you for that, that needs to be 100% perfect, where a free blog post on the site could be a little less polished and that’s fine.
And so, I like thinking about the concept of knowing which corners to cut and strategically cutting corners when you need to so that you don’t wear yourself out even before you’re overly exhausted.
Cutting the right corners so that you don’t get to that point of exhaustion by Thursday night when you still have a whole Friday to get through. That might look like something like we were talking about before.
You used to need to post, what was it, 24 times a day on Facebook for the algorithm. This was two years ago but that was something we were all doing. I know that there are a lot of people who are still consistently posting 8-10 times a day on Facebook.
So, that might be a corner you can cut like let’s drop our Facebook promotions by 50%. That’s going to free up a couple hours a week.
Jillian Leslie 9:50
And then, you can see what happens.
How to Take Inventory of Our Businesses and Let Things Go
Paula Rollo 9:52
See what happens. Experiment with it or look at how much traffic am I really getting from XYZ platform. Maybe you just don’t post to Twitter for the next month because you don’t get any traffic there anyway.
Or you get one of those free plugins that automates some tweets. Is that the best way to put Twitter content out there? No, but if your business is not largely based on Twitter, it’s an okay way to get by for the next month or two while you’re still schooling your kids from home.
Whereas, if you’re a YouTuber, you can’t stop putting out YouTube content because the YouTube algorithm will punish you for not consistently continuing to post. That’s a corner that you can’t cut. That’s a way that you can’t put out subpar work because you have to continue producing video content.
Jillian Leslie 10:35
But you could lower the standards in terms of production quality. I like what you just said about Twitter, for example, which is this is a good time to step back and say, “Hmm. Is Twitter really important for my business? Am I putting effort there when I don’t need to?”
I’m going to say something that might sound controversial, but I feel like we all need to evaluate our Instagram strategies. What I mean by that is like people will go, “Oh, Pinterest is driving me traffic. Instagram is building my brand.”
And I say, “What do you mean by Instagram is building your brand?” Is it amorphous? Is it actually leading to sales or to eyeballs? Because if that’s not happening, then I would recommend pulling back on Instagram. Still, of course, having a presence.
I was talking to somebody recently who sells products. She was saying, “I get all my traffic from Pinterest.” And I said, “What about Instagram?” And she said, “Not really.”
I said, “How much time are you spending on Pinterest and Instagram?” And she said, “About 50/50.” I thought to myself, “Oh, no. I would not be spending 50/50. I’d be spending 75 to 80% of your time on Pinterest, and maybe 20 to 25% of your time on Instagram.”
So, this is a good time to take an inventory of your business, what really matters to it? What do you feel like you’re doing because you’re supposed to be doing it but you haven’t yet really evaluated?
What is the actual ROI, return on investment, that I’m getting from this? Can I automate it? And again, this is where Twitter is… you could do B- work, even C+ work with Twitter, because it’s not doing anything for your business.
This is a good time to kind of take like a red pen to all the tasks that you’re doing. So that for you Paula, the stuff that really matters, you have enough bandwidth to do those.
But then other stuff that you’ve been doing just because you’ve been doing it because somebody told you somewhere to do it or it worked two years ago, but you haven’t really thought about, “Does this work today?”
Why am I doing this? This is a time to be a little more ruthless in looking at your business with fresh eyes because otherwise there’s too much. It’s too much to deal with. If you’re going to be in it for the long haul, this is how you stay in the game.
Reevaluate One Thing Per Day in Your Online Business
Paula Rollo 13:26
Yes. Yes. Maybe you’re only reevaluating one thing a day. “I’m scheduling Facebook today so I’m going to evaluate Facebook today.” It doesn’t mean that you have to take six hours today and reevaluate your entire business because that’s going to again, feel very overwhelming.
But as you go through the tasks, think through. “I’m scheduling Tailwind for the next three hours. Is this worth it? Am I seeing a good return on this investment or am I not?” That’s going to look different for each online entrepreneur depending on what you’re doing, and how your readers are interacting with your content.
I know a lot of people on Instagram, they don’t get the click throughs but they get a lot of engagement and that’s where their followers talk to them. That’s very valuable, not in a way of page views but in a way of those are super, super fans. And so, you want to continue interacting with them.
Jillian Leslie 14:17
Absolutely. And I would then say, if in fact, you’re not necessarily getting the engagement on Instagram, and it’s just this amorphous brand building, start working on getting engagement on Instagram, start being really intentional about what this platform is giving you as a business owner.
It’s a little bit like, I don’t know, every so often… Oh, the perfect example is my daughter who’s growing. Every so often, I have to go in her closet and go, “Oh, my God, all this stuff doesn’t fit anymore. She doesn’t wear any of it.”
But it’s almost like it kind of goes by and I don’t even think about it. And then one day, when nothing fits, I realize I got to go through her closet with her and start to get rid of stuff and get stuff ready for goodwill.
And then you look and you go, “Oh my God, there’s all this space.” It’s not like I’m doing… I’m not culling through her stuff, let’s say every day, it’s literally like twice a year. And this is a good time to think about that with your business of like, what doesn’t fit anymore and what am I just keeping for some…
Like, is this sparking joy, you know, in the Marie Kondo but is this something that is worth continuing? Am I really seeing a payoff for this? Or is this something that should go in the goodwill pile?
Try the MiloTree Pop-Up App for 30-Days Free to Grow Followers and Email Subscribers
Given this uncertain time as online entrepreneurs, what we all crave is certainty. What if I could promise you the growing your social media followers on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube, plus your email list could happen automatically.
All you need is a blog or site you own and some visitors and I guarantee that the MiloTree pop-up app will automatically convert those visitors into followers and subscribers. You don’t have to do a thing.
We’re no longer living in the world as it was. I think we’re all realizing the importance of nurturing our online businesses so we have freedom to live the lives we want.
Now, in order to get there, we have to manage our scarcest resource – time. So, let MiloTree do the heavy lifting for you when it comes to growing followers and email subscribers, and you spend your time creating content, solutions, products that serve your audience, and help you start seriously monetizing your blog.
So, here’s my advice, stay consistent, kill the perfectionist in you so you can get stuff out there quickly, touch yourself with kindness, embrace the mess and go make a couple of smart choices like using MiloTree on your blog to grow your followers and subscribers so you don’t have to worry about that.
Sign up now for MiloTree and get your first 30 days free. There’s really no risk. Eight thousand other bloggers just like you are using MiloTree right now to grow their businesses.
Please pause this episode, head to MiloTree.com to sign up for your free trial right this minute. With all the worry we’re feeling, this will give you one less thing to worry about. So, what are you waiting for? Hit pause, head to MiloTree, and sign up today.
Touch Yourself With Kindness
This is my other big thing is touching yourself with kindness during this time. Recognizing we’re all out of control. It’s all messy, you know?
It’s like having your kids at home just adds this level of complexity. You know becoming the math tutor on top of all the other stuff. It’s messy.
So, it’s embracing this mess. And it is like you just said, don’t expect you’re going to go through your business and just get rid of stuff. Every day tackle one small task and evaluate, “Is this worth it?”
But again, touch yourself with kindness right now because this is not the time to be beating up on yourself and feeling like you’re falling short. In fact, I’ve noticed because every day is kind of the same day for me.
I’m living in Groundhog’s Day, or as I like to call it, every day is blurs day. I need to take like half a Sunday and just step away from my computer, because otherwise it becomes a grind. I don’t know if you’re feeling that.
Paula Rollo 18:51
A little bit. A little bit. I think that the most difficult thing for me is distance learning because I have so much client work.
The things that I get to do for work are mostly things that I enjoy now versus when I was the solopreneur, I was having to do 40% what I love and 60% what I hate.
Now, I get to do 90% what I love but mixing and having to be the teacher. It brings that feeling of blur, where I’m like, “I wish I could just work.”
And so, I think that might be a little bit different than maybe the average entrepreneur who has to work on a lot of things that they don’t enjoy doing. You kind of want to get to the stuff that you enjoy and not have to focus so much on the things that you don’t enjoy doing.
But either way, pulling that balance of distance learning is just making… I think by the end of the day, I’m falling into bed more than ever before.
Jillian Leslie 19:49
Exhausted? Burnt out?
Paula Rollo 19:50
Yeah, absolutely. Mentally drained even though I’m still enjoying what I’m doing.
Time Confetti vs. Time Chunks for Managing Time
Jillian Leslie 19:55
Hmm. And there’s this concept that I just heard on the podcast that I thought was really interesting. It’s this idea of time confetti versus time chunks. I think I told you about this.
Because news is happening so quickly and our kids are interrupting us, it’s like we want a break. We’re treating our time like time confetti, which means I’m going to scroll through Instagram for four minutes. And then, I’m going to switch to CNN. And then, my kid needs a snack.
Weirdly, when you’re living in time confetti, it feels like there’s scarcity of time. It’s difficult then to focus. Like I find just sitting down and going, “I’ve got 20 minutes to get this thing done.”
All of a sudden that 20 minutes is getting broken up because, “Well, I’ve got to figure out what’s going on in the world.” I’ve got to… Who knows? I’m being pulled in so many directions.
We all are experiencing time confetti but if you can be mindful of it and go, “Oh, this is what this is. This is why I’m feeling so drained.” Could I give myself 20 minutes to really dig in and do some deep work where I can feel like…?
It’s a little bit like eating food that’s good for you and eating junk food. When you eat the junk food in the minute, in that moment it feels so delicious. But then afterwards, you feel a little sick, and you feel a little shamed, and you feel like it’s not fueling you.
So, recognizing time confetti is very much like junk food, and we need some junk food at this time. So again, give yourself that but also recognize what it’s doing to you and that to nourish yourself, you need to set some time chunks together, which might just be 10 minutes.
I mean, I’m not talking about you’ve got two hours, but recognize when you’re scattered and you’re going from thing to thing to thing. It’s because of this kind of time confetti.
And so, try to kind of pull it together a little bit to give yourself some more grounding when it comes to time.
Paula Rollo 22:05
Yeah. And I think you can create… If you have older kids. Now, people with toddlers, God bless you right now. I don’t even have any tips, I’m sorry. You’re not going to sleep.
I built my business when I had toddlers and I work until 3am most days. But, if you have older elementary kids, mine are seven and nine, some things that are working for us is we implemented right away snack times.
Try to Add Structure to Your Life
And so, we figured out what time they were eating at school. Those are the only times they get food during the day. It is rationed. If it’s not 10 o’clock or three o’clock, they don’t get to eat a snack. They wait for those times.
They’ll go look at the clock and be like, “10 minutes until snack time”. I’m not being pulled away from work every 10 minutes to open a thing of fruit or to chop up a banana or whatever it is for snack.
I know that at 10 I have to get snacks ready. I know that at three, I have to get snacks ready. We’re doing only lunches that they can make themselves.
They have a peanut butter and jelly every day because that’s what they can make. They aren’t suffering. They tell me that they’re suffering.
They really like me to make them, you know, a grilled cheese or something, but I’m not going to do it. I’m not going to chop up the cheese for cheese sandwiches today. They’re going to make their own PB and J’s and that buys me time.
And then, we’re doing liberal amounts of screen time. When I have a big project that requires a lot of brainpower, we literally pause school.
I say, “Here’s a documentary. Watch it. You’re not allowed to stand up. You’re not allowed to go to the bathroom. You’re not allowed to do anything. Watch. Learn. Enjoy.” And I’m going to go record a podcast.
Jillian Leslie 23:48
In your car. Wait. Wait. You’re in your car right now.
Paula Rollo 23:52
I’m in my car recording a podcast but they’re watching a documentary about dogs and they’re interested in dogs. That’s something that they enjoy. They know that I’m not available at this time.
Where earlier in the day, I was scheduling Pinterest and they had questions about math and how to log on to certain things and whatever. That’s time that they can interrupt and they know that.
But I’m able to space out and buy myself more working time because they have a little bit more structure than I would normally create in their day.
Our Kids Will Be Alright
Jillian Leslie 24:24
I like that. And also, I think that as we all are, even if we don’t want to admit it, we all are these kind of helicopter parents. We’re so freaked out that somehow, we’re going to ruin our kids.
I want to say that our kids are so much more resilient than we give them credit for. To recognize that they’re going to get through this even if they’re watching crappy stuff on TV.
It’s great that you’re making your kids watch documentaries but my daughter is obsessed with Tik Tok right now, and you know what? Godspeed. I am leaning into it and I’m recognizing that I’m not ruining her. Even TikTok is not ruining her.
It’s kind of like infants or little babies. They can kind of roll off the bed and be okay because they’re malleable, and they’re soft, and they’re flexible. I know that’s super weird, but they’re just able to kind of roll with it.
My kid, when she was little, rolled off the bed and she was okay. I believe that if we can internalize that message that our kids are fine and that a little more screen time is not going to kill them and that we don’t need to be as worried.
Because we all worry about that. It could help us sleep. Kind of like how I say, touch ourselves with kindness.
Like, touch our kids with kindness and put a little more faith in the fact that they’re kind of on the trajectory they’re on. This time is not going to “ruin them”.
Paula Rollo 26:15
Yeah, I’ve been thinking about that a lot with my youngest because both of my kids are really happy right now. They’re doing really well except at bed time. My daughter cannot fall asleep alone anymore. She’s seven.
The mom that I was a year and a half ago would have been like, “She needs to suck it up. She needs to learn.” She’s kind of milking it a little bit if we’re honest.
I know she doesn’t need it every night but she’s going to act like she needs it and then work yourself up to the point where she does need it. And it’s a whole thing.
So, I’m spoiling her in that way and that’s okay because the poor child has been through trauma after trauma in the last seven months with our house splitting and now the virus.
Jillian Leslie 26:55
Paula Rollo 26:58
You know what, we’re just going to do it. It’s going to be okay because having that positive family environment and not fighting her every bed time is more important to me right now than the bedtime structure that we had a year and a half ago that was awesome actually.
Our bedtime was great. It was one of my parenting pride points and now it’s gone. But that’s okay because we’re creating a positive environment at home still, and that’s going to be much more important coming into fall and next year than what kind of bedtime routine we have.
Jillian Leslie 27:31
Absolutely. I want to tell you that when she’s 20, she’s not going to want to sleep in your bed. These things seem so big. And yeah, they are in the grand scheme of things.
It’s funny because we do have stuff around sleep for my daughter, but now she’s 13, and the thought of like coming into our bed is just kind of gross to her. Meaning, she will grow out of it eventually. Especially, I think of her at 13.
You’ll be wanting her to cuddle with you and she’ll want nothing to do with you in that way. So, in a weird way, it’s also “Take this in to suck it up.” Meaning hold on to it.
It’s a little bit like I feel this way for parents with toddlers. When your kid doesn’t want to leave you at preschool and it feels so awful, and all you want is for your kid to go off but your kid just wants to hold your legs so tight.
Also know that that’s going to change. You’re going to think so fondly about those times when all your kid wanted was to hold on to you and never let go.
I only think because I now have a 13-year-old, I can look back with wistfulness. Even though it was awful. I know that that was really challenging. Those were really hard times but it does change.
You will look back on it with a little bit of longing as your kids learn to go to sleep on their own or don’t want as much cuddle time. It feels a little like, “Oh, that time is over.”
So, this is a good time to kind of do what you’re doing and saying, “Maybe I’m spoiling her, but it’s okay.”
Paula Rollo 29:33
Yeah. A friend and I were talking about this this week because she has very young children and I had two kids under the age of two for a while in my house. Everybody was like, “You’re going to miss it.” You know, all this stuff.
Holding Two Conflicting Emotions at Once
It frustrated me at the time but I was like, I don’t really have any way to say no, I’m not going to miss this because I’m still in it. But now that I’m not in it, I think the important way to think about it, at least for me, is that we can hold two emotions at once.
It’s okay to say, “I’m frustrated that I can’t just unwind after the kids go to bed because I have to wait for my daughter to fall asleep.” And also, at the same time, I love watching her fall asleep each night.
I love that she wants to put her little leg on me where I’m sitting, because it makes her feel safe and I love that. I’m also frustrated and it’s okay that those two things are happening at once.
I can, 10 years from now, both love that I can just unwind after work and also miss that I used to sit with my daughter and watch her fall asleep every night. And so, it doesn’t have to be only one emotion.
Jillian Leslie 30:39
I love that.
Paula Rollo 30:40
Even with distance learning. It’s like, “Am I frustrated that I have to teach my kids?” Absolutely. I never wanted to be a homeschool mom.
Also, my kids have two-hour zoom calls in Spanish and I didn’t know they were that fluent in Spanish already. That’s amazing and I love watching that.
Two emotions at the same time. I don’t have to say the negative doesn’t exist because there’s a positive. I can say, there’s a positive and there’s a negative. That’s life. It’s a lot of messy emotions at once.
Jillian Leslie 31:06
I think that is so insightful and so true. I think that becoming a parent was when I realized that that was possible. I don’t think I knew it until I was a parent.
And you do. There are those moments where you love your kids so much, and you want to throw them out the window at the exact same time. I wouldn’t have understood that until I became a parent.
I feel like when you try to explain that to people who don’t have children, it makes no sense. I think that you’re so right.
I would not want to go back to having my daughter as a toddler because that was really hard but it doesn’t mean that I can’t still wistfully think about those times when I was the center of her universe. And so, you’re so right.
Embrace the Mess Right Now
I think too with coronavirus, it is messy because there are moments where we are so happy. And I think to myself, “I’m so content in this moment.” And then I think to myself, “Oh my God, we’re in the midst of a pandemic.”
And then hold those two thoughts and like, “Oh my God, Catch My Party is going through this really difficult time.” And to hold these things in the same space is difficult but it speaks to this idea that this is mess.
The more comfortable we can be in this place of yin and yang, and up and down, and happy and sad, I think the more peace we will weirdly have.
Paula Rollo 32:52
Yeah, because one emotion doesn’t negate the other. They both exist. And that’s okay. We can embrace both of them at the same time.
Jillian Leslie 33:00
Yes. And again, this is why when you are feeling so frustrated to recognize that maybe in the next moment, you’ll feel something completely different.
Now, it might not be happiness and joy, it might be hunger. Or it might be that you have to go to the bathroom. Or it might be that you stubbed your toe and now you’re in pain. Who knows?
But I promise you that it will change, and it will change faster than you can think of. That is okay.
How to Sell During a Pandemic
So, let’s talk about selling during this time because that’s a big topic of conversation. Does it seem unseemly to be selling when people are suffering and we’re all scared and we’re all scared about money?
How do you sell appropriately? Because also, you want to be selling.
Paula Rollo 33:51
We have to. Some people have to be. There are so many situations where you can’t not sell right now because that’s how you’re feeding your family tomorrow.
Jillian Leslie 34:00
Absolutely. Absolutely. And it’s funny. So, I guess if I think about it, for example, I feel like if selling something can make somebody’s life better, I am all for it.
For example, we have a service called MiloTree BlogStart where we will get your blog, your WordPress blog, up and running in days. We will optimize it and we will get you launched on the right foot.
We’ll be there in case you have any technical questions or problems. And so, we want to support entrepreneurs. We want to support budding entrepreneurs, people who go, “I really should start a blog but I don’t even know how.”
I want to sell you the service to get your blog up because I believe so strongly in that service. Therefore, I don’t feel at all guilty or bad or uncomfortable about charging money for it, because it is a win-win.
And so, that is how I’ve been able to frame it for myself. Honestly, I have no thoughts about it. In fact, I feel like more people should do it. Take us up on this because I can make your life better.
Paula Rollo 35:21
Jillian Leslie 35:22
What are your thoughts about selling right now?
Paula Rollo 35:25
I think that the key in what you said was the framing. I think that we have to be right now a lot more careful in our framing than ever before.
Where before, you might use something like, “Be making $1,000 a month with your blog in 30 days.” That’s a lot harder to do now.
I know you. You don’t throw things out like that very often anyway, unless it’s something that you can quantifiably back up. But that’s sort of like a gray area that a lot of people operate in a lot of the time that I think it’s going over into black right now.
A lot of the gray areas are not gray anymore. Just don’t do it because you’re using a scare tactic. Right? Usually, it’s just like, “Hey, you can get rich.”
Right now, people are terrified and you’re scaring them more and you’re playing into that fear. And maybe accidentally, because in your mind, you’re like, “This is how I’ve always sold.”
Maybe rethink some of those framing. Reframe things into helping into practical versus promises of success and money.
Make Sure What You’re Selling is Solving People’s Problems
Jillian Leslie 36:37
Yeah. Fake dreams. Fake dreams. This is what I would say, “If you can walk your talk, go sell because you’re helping.”
If you are promising stuff that you know isn’t really true, but you hope it is and maybe one in 1000 they’ll be able to capture lightning in a bottle, I would say to rethink it in that respect.
I would say that most of the online entrepreneurs I know that we work with are really trying to be there for their audiences. If that’s the case, lean into it because if you can make somebody’s life better and you can make money at the same time, do that.
Paula Rollo 37:33
One thing that I think is helpful right now and, in any time, where there’s a weird positioning in the world, is to go on Facebook. Normally, Facebook’s a time waster. We don’t keep it open during work.
But go on Facebook, find the local moms’ groups that you’re in and see what questions people are asking. A lot of the time, you already have a product.
If you already have five or six products, which I know a lot of people do, even if it’s simple eBooks or freebies, you may have a product that fits that needs to be repositioned.
And so, go into those groups and see what are people asking for. Are they asking over and over again, what do I make for dinner? Are they asking over and over again, what the heck do I do with my kids?
You can take that summer activity bundle and make it a quarantine activity bundle and just repurpose it, reframe it in such a way that it feels relevant and feels right now.
I think that those groups on Facebook that are normally time wasters can be one of the best ways to kind of get a pulse of what do people really need right now? How can I serve those specific questions that they’re asking and make money off of it because we need to make money right now?
Jillian Leslie 38:44
Absolutely. I love that idea. One thing that I think people are definitely looking for is connection, comfort, reassurance. I mean not that you can say, “Oh, this is all going to be over and stuff.” But just to say things like, “I hear you. I see you.”
And so again, like us with Catch My Party, we are putting out our content, which is beautiful. What we’re just saying is, do you want a little eye candy? Do you want to look at a beautiful cake?
Do you want to just kind of escape this moment from what you’re facing? And you know, we get it. So, this is our intention. Again, I think you’re so right. Recognizing where people are and serving them right there, right where they are.
Offer Freebies Right Now to Grow Your List
Paula Rollo 39:42
I think the other thing is, if you go in there and you’re like, “Nothing that I sell is relevant right now.” I think that a lot of bloggers are in that position where they have some great products, but it’s like, “You know what, truly, nobody needs this right now.” That’s when you build your list.
I saw this woman this week or maybe it was last week on Instagram, Jessica Turner, if you want to go follow her, she’s brilliant. What she did was she spent an entire week and she made a printable Time Capsule for quarantine. It is the coolest thing. It’s like 12 pages.
She’s giving it away for free. She could easily sell it, but she’s giving it away for free to build her list. And is that making her money today? No. But she’s probably gaining thousands of subscribers that she’s going to be able to sell to this summer.
And so, she has a larger scale business and she works outside the home so she doesn’t have to sell today. And so, instead of focusing on selling today, for those who don’t have to, focus on building a list or building something that will let you sell tomorrow.
Whether that’s your YouTube channel, that’s your Instagram, whatever thing that is your long-term plan. Lean in there. Give away a lot of free value there so that this summer or next fall, it’s there for you to sell to.
Jillian Leslie 41:00
I think that is brilliant. I really do. I love the idea of if you can’t figure it out, if you’re not fully aligned today, find a way to align. And if you can give something away, and yes, get an email address or whatever, how great is that?
So again, think in terms of service and think in terms of as you said, “What are people asking about? What are they struggling with? How can you as a content creator create content that can help them?”
Paula Rollo 41:36
Yup, even if it’s simple. There’s also another person I’m following right now. If you watch Lord of the Rings, I’m a nerd. Merry from Lord of the Rings, the actor is doing a daily three-minute Instagram Live Show on positivity.
It’s the happiest part of my day. It’s so entertaining. It’s so funny. Super low production quality. But I started following him because of that. I know a lot of people did. And if you were an online entrepreneur, now he could sell us something in the fall.
So, it could be literally any platform anywhere that you want to build, anywhere that you want to grow long term. Think about that, and what content you could produce or what thing you could give away.
He’s giving away three minutes a day. That’s all he’s giving away, his three minutes. He says to everyone, “Hello, special humans.” It’s just so adorable and nerdy. I love it. Any of us could do the same thing.
Jillian Leslie 42:32
And by the way, that’s where B- work comes in, which is as you said, low production quality, three minutes, put it out there. Don’t be looking for it to be perfect and beautiful. Go be of service. Let the idea of being of service push you to post it, to get it out there to help people.
Paula Rollo 42:56
He has a sign written in crayon. He sits on his floor and talks to you for three minutes. I love it.
Jillian Leslie 43:04
Exactly. Exactly. So, I think that is where the power is. I really do. Get out of your own way. Be kind with what you create. Put it out there. Maybe nobody will like it. And then, you know what that means? Go create something else until people start to respond to what you’re doing.
Then, you could take your crayon sign, and maybe you do it in marker. You can just kind of work on the edges of stuff to figure out, then you create your eBook, and then you create your physical book or who knows what it’s going to lead to, but see where people are and start serving them.
Paula Rollo 43:46
Jillian Leslie 43:47
I love that. Okay. So, Paula. I feel like we have really hit on some deep things right now.
Paula Rollo 43:55
Jillian Leslie 43:56
And to be honest with you, just being able to connect with you, my good friend, makes me so happy. In fact, I think this is where having a podcast helps me in my own life because you are so near and dear to my heart. And so therefore, just reaching out to you…
One, I reached out to you just to say, how are you doing? But then, to be able to go, “Let’s do a recording.” It just makes me get to spend this time with you, and that you’re sitting in your car right now recording this and you probably wouldn’t if we weren’t saying let’s show up and do this.
Paula Rollo 44:37
Jillian Leslie 44:37
So, I just want to thank you because you’ve warmed my heart for today.
Paula Rollo 44:42
Jillian Leslie 44:43
I always appreciate you coming on the show.
Paula Rollo 44:46
I appreciate you. I love this show.
Jillian Leslie 44:50
If you’re feeling lots of different feelings, if you’re feeling uncertain or anxious during this time, please know that you’re not alone. Hopefully, this episode shows you that and also gives you some ideas for thinking about your business as you move forward.
If you are looking for community, as we are all kind of isolated, please join my Facebook group. It’s the MiloTree Mastermind Group, it’s on Facebook. I’m in there all the time.
It is filled with so many wonderful entrepreneurs. I think you will really like it. I’d love to meet you. So, please come on over on Facebook, the MiloTree Mastermind group. And I will see again next week.
Imagine a world where growing your social media followers and email list was easy…
It can be with MiloTree!
Try the MiloTree pop-up app on your blog for 30 days risk-free!
Let your MiloTree pop-ups help you get to that next level by turning your visitors into email subscribers and social media followers on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube.
Sign up today!
Install your MiloTree pop-ups on your site in under two minutes.
Sign up for MiloTree now and get your first 30 DAYS FREE!
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click and purchase, we might make a small commission at no cost to you.