5 tips for a stress free vacation as an entrepreneur


Do you have a summer vacation on this books this year? I just got back from spending ten days on the East Coast exploring Maine, Boston, The Berkshires, and SW Vermont. When I mentioned to fellow solopreuers, I would be taking a vacation for ten days; I could see the panic on their faces. The most often asked question was "How will you pull this off?"

Simple .. planning, and communication. It's not impossible to take time off; in fact, it's healthy for your businesses and yourself to step away from the daily grind and refresh. Too many of you are burning out, and that's no good.

Here are some critical elements to making my vacation a success:

1) I had to work ahead, which meant, I had to work on days off, evenings.

Since my business is service-based, and I manage digital marketing for various clients, I had to get their web and social content plans done early for approval and scheduling before I left for my trip. This meant communication in May with them some revised deadlines for June.

2) Communication is vital.

When I on-board strategy clients, they are aware that I take breaks several times a year. Two weeks in the summer, one week at Thanksgiving, two weeks around the Christmas holiday and random breaks may also pop-up (conferences, family events, etc). I assure them that during those breaks they can email me, but there might be a delay. As I mentioned, in May, I let clients know of a revised deadline schedule for their July web/social content and then reminded them at the beginning of June.

3) Find someone to fill in for me.

For my coaching clients, we'll either double up on sessions OR I'll pull in guest speakers to handle topics while I'm out. I also have an assistant working with me around 15 hours a month and will delegate some tasks to her during this time. Last year, I didn’t have this luxury BUT I was able to take off my planned times off in 2018 by working ahead.

4) Put up an out of office response.

No brainer. Communicate when you'll be out and your response rate. I can do mostly everything on my iPhone, but I also take my laptop too. That's the reality I live in now, so I do have to take my computer just in case. This time around, I didn't have any major fires to put out and if a client did contact me, I was able to get back to them during my downtime.

5) Give yourself some buffer.

I block my calendar two days before I leave and two days upon return. This time around, I didn't get back until the afternoon of July 2 during a holiday week which meant I couldn't do much of anything until July 5 so I extended my out of office until the following Monday.

The next time you're heading out for some R&R, which one of these tips do you need to focus on to make your time memorable and worry-free for your business? I'd also love to hear some of your stress-free vacation tips too!

Tips for keeping your email marketing campaigns simple


You're building an email list via an irresistible free offer aka freebie or discount so what do you need to do next? What should you include in your email campaign? Should you concentrate on design? What should you write?

Tell me, of the emails that come into your inbox, what ones pulled you in or did you read? I woke up to 22 emails in my inbox. Most of them were discounts on products or services from companies I've bought items for in the past. I read two of them and deleted the rest. One was a bill, and the other was from a networking group I belong to talking about upcoming events and speakers. How do you get people to stop and read?

First off, you don't need a fancy design. Keep it simple. Pick and name your ideal client and write to them. I always write to one of my current coaching clients on something valuable to them. THIS is the magic sauce.

I first learned about this through Marie Forleo, and yes, I read her emails when they come in because she's speaking to me! Then I saw Ann Handley speak at Social Media Marketing World and she called this process #letterstodoris, a method used by Warren Buffett. Buffett writes his yearly newsletter to his sister, but the newsletter goes to all the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders.

I tried this out over the past few months, and the open rates, replies have blown me away.

So in the end, keep the design, copy and message simple, provide value and speak to your audience.

Tell me, of the emails that come into your inbox, what ones pulled you in or did you read? Did they follow this magic sauce?

Providing value through email marketing


As Joe Pulizzi of PNR: This Old Marketing Podcast says "Stop building content on rented land," since brands don't own the social media platforms, building your email list and sending out regular email marketing campaigns is another way to keep your brand top of mind to your customers.

Just like I talk with social media content, providing valuable for someone to open that email is vital but also follows the same principle ... How do I answer the struggles of my ideal client?"

Serving your client should always be top of mind and one way to make those campaigns valuable is by giving that email list the first take of your offers, discounts, and essential advice.

Where does all this start? By incorporating your web content plan into your overall marketing plan for repurposing possibilities.

My trick has always been to send out my valuable web content out to my email list first AND then repurpose several times after on social media to stay top of mind.

Many times, the copy structure is already written for the purpose of reformatting for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms.

And that is most often how I can keep my marketing in under 10 hours a month.

What tips and trick do you have for email marketing? Comment below.

Getting Started on Building Your Email List


Your business has a killer social channel but no email list? Here are some quick ways to jumpstart that list and go from 0 to 100 pretty quick.

✔️ Add a pop-up form to your website to capture emails. @mailchimp has one that is free up to 2,000 subscribers and simple to install. I know many will think pop-ups don't work (🙋🏻‍♀️ I was one of those folks) but since adding pop-ups to my website and others, my email list has grown faster.

✔️ Create an offer, discount, freebie download your audience will want to download ASAP. Don't forget to promote in your social channels too!

✔️ Host a giveaway and ask for email addresses to get a chance to win.

✔️ Create a challenge to help solve an important issue of your ideal client! They sign up for your list, you send information that serves your audience. It's a win-win.

Of the four tips above, which area are you stuck on? Let know how I can help.

Consistency + Content + Confidence = social media magic


The final key element of Shannon's 3 C's is confidence. Here's my little pep talk .. if you want to grow your business, you have to put yourself out there -- because trust me, someone in your industry already is getting out there and showing up.

This means showing up in photos and videos on your social media and your website.

Story time ... many times, I talk with women, and they are not even putting their photo on the homepage hero image of their website. Don't make potential customers search for how you are, put your face on your website. Let it be the first thing someone comes to your site sees. Doing this little trick will drive conversions on sales.

I can hear you saying, "But I don't like the way I sound, look, etc." No one cares about this, but you. PERIOD. Quiet the voices and do it. They won't be perfect at first, and over time, you'll get better at the videos, podcasts, and photos.

The key is to shut down the negative talk and flip the script on your mindset. When you add confidence to consistency and killer content, that is when the magic happens. 💥 ✨ 😘

My question: If you struggle with confidence, what do you need to work on?

Shannon on Winging It Podcast with Shelly Roby


I was recently a guest on Shelly Roby’s Winging It Podcast. The theme of the podcast is turning your dreams into our reality. Go give it and her other shows a listen.

About Shelly
Shelly May Roby is the creator and host of Winging It. Shelly has a love for telling the individual’s story and how it can add benefit to her audience’s lives. Through her love of documentary film, she met and worked with legendary documentary filmmaker, Les Blank, one of her creative role models.

If you have a podcast and love what you see and hear on my blog or social media, let’s chat. I’d love to be a guest

Why content marketing is key to your online marketing plan


One of the critical elements of Shannon's 3 C's is content. Content is one of those industry jargon words I do not like to use, but for this purpose, I have to use it because there is not another way to describe it.

Content is information directed at your customers that should be educations, answer frequently asked questions and struggles your ideal clients are facing.

There are two types of content paths: Main Content and Social Content. Main Content lives on your website and is often blogs, videos, or podcasts. Since your website is the most important online marketing tool, I usually give Main Content for weight than Social Content.

Main Content on your website helps with search engine optimization too but should also feed into Social Content. Social Content is the graphics, videos, and photos that reflect your Main Content.

Sometimes, small business start with a Social Content focus and then add Main Content down the road. That's all fine to me but remember to add that in eventually.

Content goes hand and hand with the first C, Consistency. When you add in confidence, that's when the magic happens, but we won't talk about that until next week.

My question: What's your focus? Main or Social Content?

Consistency is key to your online marketing success


One of the key elements of Shannon's 3 C's is consistency.

When I first started my business, I had no idea where to start. I downloaded my PDFs from thought leaders and then landed on hiring Sue B. Zimmerman and her team to help me build a brand and make a plan to stand out as a social media and digital marketing strategist.

It was not easy and I had to keep focused and keep going at times. I missed lunch dates with friends, worked weekends and spent nights away from my family networking. I have no regrets as I'm in a much better place than I was 2 years ago.

At first, when I started to execute my plan, I felt like nothing was happening but I didn't give up and eventually, I began to be seen in my area as a leader in the industry by building trust and relationships. It was not easy and I had to keep focused and keep going at times. I missed lunch dates with friends, worked weekends and spent nights away from my family networking. I have no regrets as I'm in a much better place than I was 2 years ago.

Is consistency holding you back? I hope the steps above and in this video can help work through your goals and be successful.

SLS on Freedomlicious Podcast


I was recently interviewed on the Freedomlicious Podcast by Sara Maccagnan on how entrepreneurs can become more visible through online marketing.

In this episode, you will learn my 8 secrets steps to rise and shine online!

About Sara
Sara is a sensitive soul who went from broken to feeling stronger then ever. She is here to inspire you and help you to overcome your difficulties that you are going through your life or your business. She will to make you laugh as hell because yes, she is not from the US but from Belgium ( forgive her grammar and words mistakes hahaha). Her accent will make you laugh and in the same time fall in love with her. So, be ready for some advices and to know in the same time her story.

If you have a podcast and love what you see and hear on my blog or social media, let’s chat. I’d love to be a guest.