How I turned my business around by saying goodbye to Bluehost and WordPress.
Like many Americans, I fell in love with my first Smartphone in 2011 and even more in love with my iPad in 2013. And like many romantic attachments, mobile technology and I have had our ups and downs. Ultimately I had to admit that I had codependency issues, especially with my iPad, and I needed to take a break.
Today, my relationship with mobile technology is healthy, but the possibility of a relapse is always there – especially if there is a binge worthy show on Netflix or Prime (ahem…Marvelous Ms. Maisel).
My news, entertainment and information consumption comes mainly from my iPad. Unlike the majority of millennial, I do not really like using my Smartphone for searching for information or reading extensive articles – because I am an old Gen Xer and can’t read those tiny screens without getting a migraine.
For a longtime I had everything I could possibly need on my iPad including apps for news, social media, graphic design, games, books on tape (aka Audible), my bank, job searches, real estate searches, email, ezines, recipe databases, weight loss, work outs, music, and navigation.
The ease in which Apple makes apps available and mostly free is the main reason I (and many others) used the iPad so extensively. As Smartphone’s grew in screen size and ability, I started using mine more, mainly for mundane tasks like checking my email, bank accounts, and music (it’s hard to work-out while holding an iPad). But I still used my iPad for all my entertainment needs and a bulk of news.
At its height, my iPad consumption had me plugged in much of the day, even on work days and my whole weekend was spent in a haze of Netflix binges and Sims Freeplay. I would carry my iPad with me wherever I was in my house so I could watch shows while doing dishes or cleaning or folding laundry (I know, my life is super exciting).
And I would bring it to bed and continue to watch shows while perusing Pinterest, even though I knew this was bad for sleep habits.
Eventually I was exhausted, had continuous headaches and just felt lousy and I decided it was time to take a break from the iPad. I tucked it away in a dresser for a few months.
I quickly resumed more balanced habits. I listened to music on my phone while doing housework – which I guess is still technically plugged in, but doesn’t feel like it to me. I watched Netflix only in the evenings on my TV in my living room.
The biggest change was my social media and news consumption. I limited both of these activities to just a few minutes a day via my work computer or home laptop. I still use my iPad a few times a week, but not in the mindless way I did before. And I removed a bulk of apps on it that were just time-wasters. The result is that I feel less stressed, sleep better, have more energy and bonus! read more (hardcopy) books.
How about you? Do you spend too much time plugged in?
A few years ago I started wearing black yoga pants on a somewhat regular basis (read: everyday). I don’t know why, exactly. At that time I had never even attended a yoga class and I had a strict personal rule about no sweatpants in public.
So why, all of the sudden, was I willing to strut about town in exercise clothes? I wore them to the grocery store, on dates, and even to work (casual Friday only, of course).
What I didn’t know then was that the yoga pant trend was a trickle down effect from Lululemon – a company that specialized in high-end athletic wear.
Without ever having heard of this company or knowing anything about them (full disclosure: I bought my yoga pants at Wal-Mart) I had unknowingly embraced the Lululemon philosophy of health and wellness as an everyday part of life – not something to be left in a silo, reserved for an hour at the gym.
Yoga pants became an integral part of my daily wardrobe – they became part of who I was. I loved that by wearing them I was signally to the rest of the world that I took my health and well being seriously. Just wearing yoga pants made me feel empowered and healthier.
Eventually I even started doing yoga.
Do You Know Your Audience?
The marketing team behind Lululemon tapped into consumer’s desire for health and wellness, riding the holistic health wave of the 2010s. They skipped traditional advertising and instead focused on grassroots campaigns in communities using an Ambassador program.
By connecting with professional fitness instructors (yoga teachers, gym personnel) Lululemon was able to leverage word of mouth advertising and grow their business for a fraction of the more traditional campaigns done by competitors like Nike or Under Armor. Each of the companies 1,500 ambassadors have been carefully vetted to ensure they represent the core values and mission of Lululemon.
In addition to their ambassador program, Lululemon gives each customer a reusable shopping bag that is decorated with dozens of motivation quotes – like a real-life Pinterest board.
People Want to Feel Included
This sense of inclusion adds value for consumers – they feel special, like they are part of an exclusive club. This sense of inclusion is extended to the company’s social media profiles. For example, Lulelmon’s official Instagram account is a mix of company posts and user generated content.
Lulemon’s marketing team understands who their audience is. They also understand what their audience values. In addition, they know where their audience hangs out – both online and in real life. The success of the company’s marketing can be seen in the staggering growth of Lululemon, which started as a single start up in 1998 and is now a publicly traded global company worth 8.8 billion in 2016 (Forbes, 2016).
When it comes to your creative business, do you know who your audience is? Do you know where to connect with them online?
Do you know what your audience needs? What is the problem you are going to solve for them? How are you going to make them feel included in your tribe?
This week, in celebration of my birthday, I sending out three free printables, rather than just one. My birthday bundle includes a pretty floral day planner and two matching word art printables - perfect for your home or work office.
Take Back Your Time Day Planner
Today is Full of Possible Word Art
If Opportunity Doesn't Know Word Art
It's hard to believe we are almost half-way through October! I've been busy working on some bigger projects and launching a brand new shop over at The BOM - be sure to check it out!
I'd love to hear what projects and goals you have planned for the fall. Be sure to connect with my on Facebook and Pinterest, for more life design resources!
Want more life design resources? Be sure to connect with me on Pinterest, where I post free planners, printables (and sometimes inappropriate) word art! :)
Have a lovely week!
Lorri - The Barefoot Office Mom
Happy Monday! This week’s free printable is a Daily Habit Tracker, to help you stay on track for whatever big beautiful goals you’ve set for yourself.
Have you ever started a new habit only to forget about it by day 3 or 4? I’ve done this so. many. times. I start out with the best of intentions only to give up out of boredom, frustrations or fear.
Part of my trouble is that often the goals I pick for myself - the habits I want to change - are not the rights ones for me.
For example, I’d see a photograph of Kate Winslet or Reese Witherspoon look fabulous at 40 in a bikini, and I think “Hey - I’m 40! I should look like, that right? I need to start exercising more, every day!”
And I’d set up an elaborate work out plan and be motivated to stick with for approximately 72 hours before I crash and burn.
This type of fear based motivation (comparing yourself to everyone else) can only carry you so far. When you set a goal and work to change or establish a new habit in order to reach that goal, you know exactly WHY that goal is important to you.
Your WHY is the motivation that will keep you going, even when you don’t feel like it.
For me, deep down, I’m pretty comfortable with my body. I exercise to feel good, not to shimmy into a bikini. And if I am being totally honest with myself, I don’t really care if I look like Kate or Reese. What’s important to me (my WHY) is taking care of myself both physically and emotionally - which exercise helps me do.
Do you struggle with setting the right goals for yourself? I’ve put together a FREE WORKBOOK to help busy women just like you set and get the right goals. You can grab it in our Free Resources Library.
What are some habits in your life that you are trying to change? I’d love to know what's on your Habit Tracking Worksheet! Drop me a line over at Facebook or Instagram and be sure to follow me on Pinterest for even more Life Design resources.
Are you ready to create a life you love?
Happy Monday! It’s officially Autumn! Yay! While Pumpkin Spice is not my thing, I do love the start of a new season!
This week’s free printable is a set of pretty floral monthly dividers. You can use these for dividing up your personal planner, in your family budget binder, or for other projects that require time management.
I like to use these pretty printables as part of my life design toolkit, to help me plan out my goals and inspired action for the coming year.
And remember, no one says you have to wait until january to start a new project or get started on a big idea. You can start planning today for the things you’d like to accomplish in 2019!
Other resources you might like:
How are you going to use your Free Monthly Calendar Divider Printables? Leave a comment below of tag me on Instagram @lorri_barefootofficemom.