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All posts by Hanju Lee

13Jun

Putting Systems To Work For You

Confession.

McDonald’s Fries are better than In-n-Out. I don’t care how for 75 years, their potatoes are shipped right from the farm, individually cut in their stores, and then cooked in 100% sunflower oil. And I don’t care that they’ve never been frozen. I prefer double fried in lard straight from the freezer with a pound of salt dumped on it…just how I like it. Mmmmmm…  

In fact, did you know that I can go to any one of 120 countries in the world, walk into a McDonald’s, order my extra-large fries and it will taste exactly the same as the one I always get 5 minutes from my house in California? 

How is this possible? It’s not like they hire the top chefs from all over the world and do intense training along with rigorous quality assurance inspection to ensure every fry tastes the same wherever the extra-large fries are served. In fact, it was probably prepared by an unskilled, fresh new rookie during his/her first night shift on the job. So again, how is this possible?

Systems. 

Let’s recap our series and walk through how we can build a business according to E-Myth. 

  • Don’t be a technician, be an entrepreneur – More Info
  • Don’t work in your business, work on your business – More Info

Our third concept is this: Create systems that can be duplicated anywhere and followed and executed perfectly by anyone. 

This is what separates the true entrepreneurs from the technicians. It makes the difference between experiencing growth and freedom in your work instead of feeling overwhelmed by all the tasks that depend on you. Systems are the secret – here’s why:

Systems are automatic. Picture all the work you do translated into a series of checklists. Every single element is orchestrated to produce a result as one component of the overall system. There is no guess work in what everyone’s supposed to do – it’s a matter of checking every detail of this list, step by step, every time.

Systems are consistent. Like America’s favorite fries, systems produce identical results every single time, no matter who is doing it. It’s not based on the brilliance of your employees – once your system has been clearly defined, everyone’s job actually becomes extremely simple.

Systems don’t depend on you. Your most important work is done in advance – thinking through every detail, then creating the operations manual for others to follow. Once every element of your business is translated into a system, you’re free.

That’s the real challenge though – before you get to freedom, the biggest work of your life depends entirely on you: the creation of the system itself. It might seem daunting, and we’ll constantly be tempted to say, “it’s easier to just do this myself.” That all depends on what you mean by “easier.” Handing off a binder full of simple steps that anyone can do and letting the system work for you sure seems easy to me.

06Jun

I Became My Own Bottleneck

I started my business designing and developing websites because that’s what I knew how to do. I was pretty good at it, and I also enjoyed it. I come from a few generations of artists in our family, so I think I might have inherited an eye for design. Also, I studied engineering so I love technology and I geek out on the technical part of development. It was a perfect combination for building websites. So, that’s what I did.

A few years into running my own company, I also became a pretty savvy salesperson…this skill set was a must to gain more clients. Then, I needed to do accounting…money was coming in and going out and I needed to manage it all. Then, I started to juggle many projects at once, and my organization and management of these projects were getting a bit out of control. I couldn’t keep my deadlines. 

Eventually, I became my own bottleneck. I couldn’t grow anymore because there are only 24 hours in a day and only one employee doing everything….me. I became the poster child of what the book E-Myth I referenced last week is talking about. I desperately needed a change. A mindset change and an operational change. This is where  one phrase from the book finally hit home for me:

“Work ON your business, not IN your business.”

What does that mean?

I realized I had started my business as what they call “a technician” – relying on my own effort to get results. No matter how capable I was at the job, and how hard I worked, every aspect of the business was still dependent on me.

But this is NOT the entrepreneurial mindset – it’s literally the e-myth. According to the Chairman of the E-Myth Board, a true entrepreneur has to be able to think differently:

“To the Entrepreneur, the business operates without them. 
     To the Technician, the business operates because of them.
To the Entrepreneur, the business is the product.
     To the Technician, the business is a place to go to work every day.”

Working ON your business means imagining your business as something completely separate from you. Ask yourself: How would your business have to operate if it couldn’t depend on you to personally produce results? What would it mean to re-imagine every system your team would need to effectively deliver the ideal customer experience—without you?

On the most basic level, what ultimately saved my life and business was a fundamental shift in what it actually means to work.

If you’re overwhelmed right now, I want you to know: there is another way. Imagine a business that operates consistently, profitably and self-sufficiently that doesn’t rely on you… where instead of drowning in tasks, you enjoy freedom as you work and grow your business.

This really is possible – can’t wait to talk about it more next week!

25May

How to Make Your Dreams NOT Come True

A long, long time ago when I would dream about someday starting my own business, I wanted to do some research to make sure I knew what I was getting into. I was told by many people and by my awesome mentor (Google) that I should read this book called E-Myth. What kind of weird title is that?

I found out that the “E” stood for “Entrepreneur,” and the book was about this “Myth” people believe that most businesses are started by those with awesome business skills.

Well, they aren’t.

Most are started by someone who’s good at doing something (let’s call this person “a technician”) who knows nothing about running a business, and therefore, most businesses fail.

I was intrigued. So I read it. And to this day, I can honestly say, it’s one of the most influential business books I’ve ever read. So, I thought I would do a new series on some of my key takeaways from this book, and share how it shaped and re-shaped my perspective and strategy about business. Ready?

Well, I love stories, so I loved that this book started out with this story about his friend Sarah who learned how to bake pies from his dear aunt. She loved baking pies, and not only that…it wasn’t just a pie, it was the most amazing, unique, and delicious pie you would ever eat. Everyone who tried her pie said she should start doing something with this special talent and her secret recipe. That’s when she started dreaming of owning her own pie shop. And eventually, her dream came true.

I was hoping that the story just escalated from there – she would open another shop, and another, and eventually, a thousand more. Then she’d retire and live happily ever after. Well, that didn’t happen.

Three years into it, she found herself getting to the bakery at three in the morning to bake pies. She would then open the shop at 6am to take care of customers all day, then clean up, close up, do all the accounting, have dinner and get the pies ready to bake for the next morning. She did this 6 days a week, all year round. She found that the work she used to love more than anything else became work that she hated. She left her 9-5 job to buy herself a 12-15 hours a day, 6 days a week kinda job. On top of all that, she was struggling financially.

Point of the story? Don’t be a technician. Be an entrepreneur. Don’t have a technician perspective in your business, have an entrepreneur perspective. Don’t work IN the business, work ON the business.

I will break down these points in detail next week to help us understand the difference. I hope it will enlighten you, challenge your perspective, and give you some reassurance as you create strategy for your business.

Thanks!!
20May

Sharing Your Story With The World

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One of the most common questions people ask me about my business is, “how did you get started? How did you make that transition from earning a salary and full benefits for over 20 years to one day boldly walk away from the safety of a paycheck to courageously start your journey to entrepreneurship?” My answer to that is…umm….I didn’t boldly walk away from anything. I got fired. 

Yup. Fired. It caught me totally by surprise; I was shaken. So, when people ask me how or why I started this business, I tell them it’s because I had no other choice.

For some reason, my story resonates with a lot of people. My abrupt transition, my 20+ years of slowly losing my soul in my job, my embrace of the new adventure in entrepreneurship, my will to make it work, and finally, my desire to make it meaningful. This story somehow needed to be told. Not for my own gain, but so those that relate can be inspired to figure out their own next steps. 

Here’s a 2-minute video we made that summarizes what I’m talking about:

So, why is our own story so important? 

Telling your origin story is one of the quickest ways to build a connection with your audience. Here’s how:

  • Your story is your differentiator. In an ocean full of options, customers need to see right away what makes you different. There might be other companies who offer a similar product or service, but no one has your unique story. It’s what sets you apart from everyone else.
  • Good stories drive business. As we discussed last week, people are hungry for ways to improve their lives, and if they find that with you, they’ll keep coming back for more. Your story builds relationships, and relationships build customer loyalty. 
  • Your story can attract employees. If you do it right, your story will inspire others to join you. People will want to work with you because YOUR story feels like THEIR story.

A few tips to remember when creating your own origin story video:

  • Share your history… Obviously an “origin story” should be about how your business came to be. It may not seem as epic as a radioactive spider bite, but trust me: the problems and passions that led you to this work will connect with people in ways you don’t expect.

…but keep it tight. It might be challenging to capture your life’s journey in two minutes, but think about how we all engage with YouTube – if you click on a video that’s longer than 5-10 minutes, most people won’t continue watching. Editing is your friend.

  • Highlight pivotal moments… Every great story has a turning point – an epiphany moment where everything changes. When did you suddenly realize a problem that you wanted to solve, or a different way to do it? Your customer is looking for similar transformation in their own lives.

…but don’t lose sight of your audience. There’s a fine line you’re walking here. It’s your story, but it’s also for them. Focus on the details that they’ll find interesting and solve their problems.

  • Connect your story to your values… In the midst of giving the background that brought you here, you’re also sharing more than that. You’re helping people understand the why behind what you do. Share more than just facts; help them understand what drives you.

…but be authentic. Don’t be afraid of honesty. If you know Pixar’s 22 Story Rules, the first one is, “You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.” Trust that people will relate to the human side of your story, with all the ups and downs. 

Which leads to the most important tip of all:

  • The founder is not the hero… the customer is. This is the twist ending – ultimately your story is not actually about you, it’s about THEM. What if the mission of your business is to make your customer the hero, with you as their guide?

I can’t tell you how many people have contacted me after watching the video to say they want to work with me because they know I went through exactly what they are going through. Setting this common ground has been the foundation of our growth – sharing our failures and successes and using that knowledge to help other businesses is the number one thing that keeps me waking up every morning excited for the day.

SO – if you’re ready to make a video, I would love to be in touch to help you make it happen. That’s what BOS Media is all about – our passion is to SPREAD THE WORD about you and see more and more customers impacted by your story.

Reach out today and we’ll get ready to show the world how great you are! Looking forward to helping you shine.

14May

Your Best Marketing Strategy

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As an entrepreneur, I have so many ideas. And as a super curious person with hundreds of hobbies and new interests in EVERYTHING, I just love learning. 

If you look and analyze my own YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook history, you’ll see a pattern. It’s mostly me watching someone who’s awesome at their craft or their industry as they teach and explain what they know. This is where my learning begins. 

But why do these content creators do this? Why take the time and record themselves teaching something that might expose their “industry secrets,” or help their competitors get a special glimpse of how they do business? Why do they offer all this information for FREE to strangers who may not even live in their city let alone their country, and might never even have the opportunity to become their customer or their client? Why?

Because the best marketing is EDUCATION. You will attract and retain more people to your business if you educate other curious learners like me.

That’s the purpose behind the next type of video we’re highlighting: Blog Videos.

These videos are so much more than just being informational. It’s recognizing that your customers have a hunger for learning, and they’re constantly searching for new ways to improve their lives. By providing that, you’re establishing a long-term place in their world.

I love this example from Sephora– education transformed the customer’s experience. What could have easily been a one-time transaction was converted into repeat business because of the information that was provided.

That’s the magic of these types of videos. Education is relationship building, which ultimately leads to customer loyalty.

Some of you might be thinking, “But I don’t have any special knowledge to pass on.” Not true!

Whatever industry you are in, you are an expert whether you like it or not. You have unique insight that no one else has. You might not see it because it’s part of your everyday life and you’ve been doing it forever so you take it for granted…but what you know and what you do is unique to a lot of people and they are dying to know what you know. Dive deep into the knowledge that seems so obvious to you, then share your journey and your findings.

So there it is – your new marketing strategy: Educate your customers, so when they want to learn more, you’ll be the one they keep coming back to.

And just to prove my point, I’m going to go watch a new video right now.

06May

Pulling Back The Curtain

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I love the analogy of “pulling back the curtain” – it describes a moment of revelation, when something hidden is finally brought to light, when a secret is made known, and Voila! The mystery is revealed. 

(the previous paragraph kind of just pulled back the curtain on “pulling back the curtain”… *mind bomb*)

It’s the perfect imagery for the next type of video you may want to include on your website: a Behind-the-Scenes Video

These videos are intended to give your customers a little window into how you work. You might have some of this information on your “About” page, but this is a chance to bring that text to life, and give it some personality.

The goal of a behind-the-scenes video is to show more of the process behind WHY YOU DO what you do. It can help humanize you to customers, making you more relatable as they realize, “Wow, this person is a lot like me.”

And once again, it brings us back to the most important question you can answer as a business:

“What problem are you solving?” 

Let this video be a way of showing the tangible benefits you bring to a customer. Not just “what you do,” but “how you help people.”

On a practical note, two things we recommend including in your video:

  • Use b-roll. We don’t want to see talking heads – show actual clips of what life looks like in your world.
  • Use music. This helps set a pleasant tone and can make the video more engaging.

I’m excited for you to show more people the joy you find in your work! 

And PS: can you imagine if the person reading this was actually in the curtain business… pulling back the curtain on the curtains… that might be the biggest mind bomb ever.

02May

The Next Video You Need – But Don’t Just Take Our Word For It…

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Whenever I click on a video to watch before buying a product or a service, I ask myself… “What am I looking for in this video? What is going to convince me?”  

For me, the thing I’m looking for most is assurance. How can I be sure that this company is trustworthy? That’s easy. I want to listen to others who are like me share their own story of what they experienced from purchasing these products or services. And the more that’s shared, the more I will learn to trust.

That’s why the second type of video we’re going to discuss is so important: Testimonial Videos.

Here are the Top 5 things every good testimonial video should aim to include:

  1. Tell the Before & After Story. Whether it’s a testimonial or a blockbuster movie, the best stories give us a transformational experience. Quite simply, it’s: “This was my life BEFORE I became a customer, and now this is my life AFTER.” Testimonials show us you’ve got something that can literally be life-changing. 
  2. Present your Product as the Solution. The two biggest question we always ask is, “What problem are you solving?” and “What makes you different?” This is really the key to a good Before & After testimony – it’s the story of how your product came along and changed everything.
  3. Show the Product in Action. We talked about this last time – just because we’re hearing from a satisfied customer, but ideally we still want a visual. Talking head videos are great, but the best testimonials let us experience the magic with our own eyes.
  4. Be Honest. This sounds obvious, but authenticity is essential. Sure, we want to hear from your most passionate customers, but not if what they share off as fake. Look for customers who have had a great experience, and can genuinely translate that when on camera.
  5. Give Potential Customers a Next Step. By the end of the video, hopefully the viewer is ready to buy! Make it easy for them by offering a clear way to connect, whether it’s contact details or product purchase information.

I hope this helps you spread the word about the great work you are doing. Kind of like that old saying about a tree falling in the forest – you’ve helped so many customers, here’s to creating an opportunity for them to make a sound!

28Apr

A Video That’s Gonna Move You (And Your Business)

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One of my favorite commercials growing up was this ad for Juicy Fruit:

The 80s vibes are so strong, and it’s very funny to see how the mere act of opening a pack of gum can instantly change your life. You might be one stick of Juicy Fruit away from being the coolest person in town who everyone is attracted to when they see you on water skis – who knew chewing gum could be this fun??

Last week, we talked about the importance of incorporating videos on your website and in your digital marketing strategy. If you do it right, using videos will:

  • build trust in your company
  • clarify your product or services
  • help generate more business

There are four different types of videos that businesses can use to make this happen: Explainer/Demo Video, Testimonial Video, Behind-the-scenes Video, and a Helpful Blog Video. Over the next few weeks, we’ll go into more detail about each one so you can answer:

What kind of video makes the most sense for your business?

For today, let’s talk about the Explainer/Demonstration video.

Like the Juicy Fruit commercial, this type of video shows your product or service in action. This is especially helpful if you offer something that might require a little more explanation. Your goal is to take the mystery out of the equation, so your customer has even more confidence to make a purchase.

This is especially important in today’s marketplace. Most customers will make their first impression of you ONLINE. It doesn’t matter how friendly you are in person, or how amazing your product is to use – if you can’t make that translate online, people aren’t buying it.

Demonstration videos are a great solution – you can show people exactly how things work, and give them the opportunity to see how they would experience it themselves. They are significantly more effective than text alone ––

Research says people are 3x more likely to watch a video than to read the same information, with a much higher retention rate.

So don’t just talk about it.

Open up that pack of gum, get on your jet ski and SHOW THEM what you can do.

By recording a demonstration video, you’ll have something that lives online and engages customers 24 hours a day. That’s a simple way to amplify your sales.

Chew on that!

19Apr

How To Bring Your Business To Life

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I always carry around jumper cables in the trunk of my car just in case. Just in case my battery dies, or if someone else’s battery dies and I want to help. A couple of years ago, I ran into a situation that I was 50% prepared for. I had my jumper cables. But the 50% I wasn’t prepared for was trying to figure out how to jump a hybrid. Do I connect the cables like a normal car? If so, where’s the battery? Is there more than one battery? If so, which battery do I jump? Where do the cables go? I don’t see any positive or negative terminals. I am so lost. The truth is, the hybrid car had the owner’s manual in the glove department. But, I needed answers quickly and visually…so, what did I do? I quickly searched YouTube and found a 1-minute video that told me everything I needed to know. And voila, I became an instant expert and an instant hero. Thanks, YouTube.

The other day, I was looking for a drawer organizer online. There are hundreds of them. I found the one that I liked but wasn’t sure if it was the right fit, size, or function that I was looking for…until I saw that this product had a video. A quick 45-second video that showed someone putting the organizer in a drawer and placing utensils in it to show how it would simplify and beautify my life. Yup, exactly what I was looking for. Thanks, YouTube.

Today, I watched a video on YouTube to stretch and relieve my lower back pain. Thanks, YouTube.

Do you see a pattern here? We are watching more videos online than we ever have before. In fact, we watch an average of 16 hours of online video per week, which is a 52% increase in the last two years. It’s also known that we retain around 90% of a message when we watch it in a video compared to only about 10% when we are reading it in text.

This has major implications for your business. According to research:

  • 96% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.
  • 86% of people would like to see more videos from brands.
  • 64% of consumers make a purchase after watching branded social videos.
  • 68% of consumers prefer watching videos to learn about new products or services, as compared to articles, infographics, ebooks, and presentations.
  • Consumers who end up on an e-commerce site through a user-generated video are 184% more likely to purchase and spend 45% more.
  • Google shows a video thumbnail next to a search result about 26% of the time, and users are more likely to click that listing.

So, are you thinking what I am thinking? Why don’t you have a video? I honestly believe every business website should have one. For this next series, I want to go through the different types of videos you need and how they will not only help generate more business but also truly help those who are seeking a solution, build trust in your company, and clarify your product or services. Videos create higher engagement and increase traffic. It’s a win-win all the way around.

Looking forward to introducing and explaining a new video category each week. Also, I would love to hear from you on what type of video you think will best engage with your customers and ultimately, help you grow. Let’s talk about it!

11Apr

Your Online Review Solution

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All month long, we’ve been talking about the importance of online reviews. Hopefully it’s helped you be more strategic about how you establish trust with people online, and ultimately ends up growing your business.

But here’s the problem.

Even as I’ve been sharing these insights with you, and I KNOW this is exactly what we all need to do… there’s a part of me that resists implementing it myself.

Why??

Because I hate asking for reviews!

It almost feels like telling everyone to wish me a happy birthday on my birthday. hahaha! Doesn’t it kind of seem unnatural to ask people how awesome they think you are??

For anyone out there who can relate to that, good news: there is a solution.

We’ve partnered with a company called Fireworx Reputation. The owner is actually a good friend of mine, and their whole business is helping manage all the aspects of online reviews that people like us are so reluctant to do.

Fireworx does it all – for example:

  • Automated Review Requests. After a purchase or appointment, automatically send an email/text message for a review request and/or reminder.
  • Promote Positive Reviews. When you receive a positive review, it will automatically be shared to your social media and custom reviews page.
  • Negative Review Notifications. Receive an email when a negative review is posted, so you can respond and work through a solution before it creates a bigger problem.
  • Custom Email Campaigns. Thank customers for positive reviews, survey customers with negative reviews and much more!
  • Dedicated Reviews Page. Our platform’s widget automatically updates your website’s custom reviews page. This gives an incredible boost to your SEO!
  • Multi-Location Management. See statistics of how your business is performing as a whole & how each location is performing on its own.
  • Employee Specific Recognition. Allow reviewers to give feedback on specific employees they interacted with (don’t worry, only you can see this). You’ll know where your team is excelling, and where extra training might be in order. 

I believe in this so much that I personally just became a Fireworx client myself! I really think this can work for you as well.

Click on the Learn More button below that explains everything – be sure to scroll down to the bottom and schedule a free demo of what they can do for you!

Learn More

The Fireworx team is ready to walk you through this and work on your behalf. As it says on their site, “You know you’re good at what you do. Now make sure others know it too!”

Please email me if you have any questions. Our heart at BOS Media is doing everything we can to make your business look good – I hope this helps you shine!

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