Running Your Blog Like a Small Business

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My column this week for IFB was entitled "5 Tips for Running Your Blog Like a Small Business". Check out the article first, then read part 2 below where I share some personal insights as to how I've taken these 5 tips to heart in the last year.

1. Determine What You're Selling: Here on Dean Street Society I'm selling education & empowerment on any budget. Now that you've read this you'll start to notice that in most of my posts I try to teach something. Instead of only sharing a cute outfit, I'll try to explain why it works so you have the tools & knowledge to think of something similar in your closet to duplicate it. Even the #StyleMe Challenge is about helping you feel inspired, without feeling you need to go spend a lot of money.

2. Consider ROI: I don't blog five times a week because this blog does not directly pay my rent. It is one very important component of my business, but ultimately there are so many other elements I also have to work on each week that even though blogging is one of my favorite parts, I have to limit the time I invest in it so I can also stay up with my bookkeeper, clients & new offerings.

3. Always be Aware of your Message: People often ask why I don't do "before & after" photos of clients. It's a very effective marketing tool. But I'd rather not book a few extra sessions a month, then focus on people being anything less than the best version of themselves. My message is about being remarkable, & I think to focus on the times when we're not shining our brightest, puts a tarnish on the end goal. So I choose to let my client's glowy & gushy words combined with my personal style speak for itself.

4. Know What Your Goals Are: The number one thing that set my blog apart from the beginning was the fact that I launched it as one component of a business. I knew I wasn't setting out to become a blogger, but a stylist, & this was one part of my portfolio/marketing/community. Because Dean Street Society is my full time job, my goals have always been very clearly driven by what was going to help me stay in business for another month, another six months. If you start a business while you still have a full time job, it allows you to muddle through your goals a bit more, but in my case clarity came from the get go because I jumped off a cliff & had to learn how to fly.

5. Invest in a Team: In my first year of Dean Street Society I had a total of 7 different individuals on my payroll at different times: An assistant, bookkeeper, videographer, 2 tech people & 2 graphic designers. Some of these were just a one time arrangement, an hour a month, or on a 40/hour month consistent schedule. Investing in help is a definite leap of faith in your business, but truly necessary to take you to the next level. I plan to sit down over the holidays & make a wish list of exactly who I'll hire for what in the coming year as I can afford it.

Now I want to hear what you think!

Do you run a small business or have you ever considered doing so? Which of these tips made you think the most about your own goals, or that of the company you work for presently?

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P.S. Did you see Wednesday's HUGE ANNOUCEMENT? I unveiled Style & Styleability, plus told you about Birthchristdaymas & your FREE gift! Mark your calendar to come back on Monday {my birthday!} so you don't miss out! Here's to creating more providence together in 2013 & holiday presents for all ...

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