What's in a Domain Name?

Hmmm. Confusion has well and truly grabbed me.

I used to hold my site on the domain www.totallylaura.com – last September I moved it to nakedblogging.com and underwent a total rebrand in line with releasing my first digital product. Naked Blogging has been a great home and I finally felt like ‘a brand’.

Now? I’m having another moment of clarity that’s making me wonder if I have everything in the right place. My thinking is that perhaps my blog and free content hub should sit on my name. Then my products have their own URL’s that I can direct prospects to.

Makes perfect sense no (much more succinctly than in the video I suspect!)? If so, what’s holding me back? I think the biggest hurdle is that I know it will break all of my hard earned back links to my blog. Silver lining is that people will find the Naked Blogging product site… So I should just do it… Right?

Would love your thoughts and feedback!

How my Vlog saved my B School Bacon ( #rhhbschool )

What a weird day I had yesterday. I vlogged here about how amazing I was feeling after completing module 1 and that I was psyched to know who my customers were and more importantly; how to find find them… Then I went through the website module. And it all unravelled a little.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve had an emotional week but something wasn’t quite balanced with my thinking last night. I convinced myself that I wasn’t going to get value from B School and that I was paying all this money just to access networking (amazing networking that should say). After posting my feelings on the Facenook group I received some incredible emails overnight that really wowed me.

This morning I fired up my MacBook Pro and checked myself. I opened up this site and watched back my vlog entry from yesterday. I could SEE the change in me jumping right out of the screen. What on earth had my problem been last night?

Thank goodness I have this place so that in future times of doubt or negativity I can simply look back and see the positive energy beaming out from me. I’ve had my own lightbulb moments aplenty already; plus I already said repeatedly that if I don’t even get another thing out of B School it was already worth the financial investment. I wouldn’t be writing or updating this blog for a start and it’s opened up many avenues and ideas for me that I would never have possibly been brave enough to believe myself capable of.

I am stating it here in black and white:

I adore B School and thanks to this little place I’ve made my home; I’m able to remember that at all times from this moment on :)

It's all About the Premium

I have adored getting down and dirty with module 1 of B School and getting to grips with my profit plan.

Already I have a clear outlook on what I want to create, mould and shape and how to do it. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the course builds upon this – only trouble is; I’m raring to get out of the starting blocks!

I’m all about the branding and I’m now on the lookout for a Graphic design type person who can help professionalise the shizzle out of what I am about to create.

I also need a professional video setup to record my materials in a much less wobbly and bad lighting-y way than the above.

Answers on a postcard? Or you can email me if you want to talk about either of the above.

My Raw Video Blogging Diet

I didn’t intend to do this. I certainly didn’t intend to do it every day; but I seem to have started a ball rolling of some description so I’ll keep going :)

I wanted to capture today my thoughts and feelings on what happened to me yesterday. I posted about my first ever non paying client and the response I received was overwhelming. Not only did I have support, offers of help and people thanking me for making them feel better because they had experienced it too; but I was absolutely flooded with enquiries. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a productive day and B School hasn’t even started yet!

It seems the fact that I’m putting up stuttery, shaky hand held footage makes me human in your eyes. It’s breaking down barriers and people are reaching out to me in ways I have spent years trying to encourage. I couldn’t be happier.

This does of course mean you’re stuck with me.

Are you a video blogger? If not, what stops you from turning the camera on and giving it a whirl? I’d love to chat about it in the comments below :)

P.S. That G+ community I mentioned in the video for fellow B Schoolers? It’s here. If that link doesn’t work for you, you can circle me here and then ask me for an invitation :) Come on in!

Why I'm Celebrating my First Ever Non Paying Client

Ridiculous as it may sound; I’m delighted to have just (only yesterday) encountered my first official non-paying client.

I was mailed back in November by a prospective client who was in a muddle with WordPress and desperate to get her website whipped into shape so that she could start taking paid clients. Having recently left her employment to pursue self employment full time, I was keen to help if I could. I hugely discounted my hourly rate in the absence of income. Here was a woman just like me who wanted to shape her own future. She had chosen to reach out to me and I was able to help her move forward. Why wouldn’t I help?

I asked for a deposit up front equivalent to two hours work. With this paid I set to work. As we progressed I was asked to expand upon the work I was doing for her as she was so pleased with the results. I explained how many hours I thought this would require each step of the way and waited for the green light before continuing.
With the work finally complete in mid December; I sent a final invoice along with an email breaking down the costs.
To be clear; I had:
  • reduced my hourly rate significantly
  • Not charged for the full amount of time worked
  • plus invited discussion on payment options if payment in full would prove difficult

Half of the invoice was paid and I was told that the second half would follow later that week. I was pretty happy with that arrangement. Until the second half didn’t materialise.

I sent several emails again offering discussion on payment plans or ways to help. I was eventually replied to on 4th January and told that I would be paid that week. Friday came, still nothing and form that point on all of my emails were ignored.

I sent a tweet checking if all was ok and eventually opted for a Facebook message to ask if my emails were being received and for confirmation of when I could expect payment. I had a reply that said:

“Wow. I believe there is still outstanding work to be done.”

Erm… que?! I had literally just logged into her site to fix a widget she was struggling to tweak FREE OF CHARGE.

I knew at this point I was on to a loser. I should have cut contact at that point and stopped perpetuating the situation. But I wanted to clear my name! I wasn’t being unreasonable. Far from it. How could she not be paying me after all the work I had completed?

I replied asking for clarification on the work she believed to be outstanding. And this was the real eye opener:

As soon as you can calm down a bit and recognize that there are other things going on in people’s lives besides you, we can try to reconvene this. A lot of life has been intervening here.

This was a new one on me! Total avoidance of the issue at hand and now trying to sspin it so that I’m the one in the wrong? I don’t think so lay-dee :)

I left it at that. Until yesterday.

Ready to start B School with a clear mind; I wanted to let go of this. I was still harbouring frustrations around the communication breakdown and toxic energy that surrounded this whole ordeal. I sent a polite email asking how she was, filling her in on my plan to start B School and that I would really appreciate her helping me move forward by paying the final invoice.

The reply came late last night and was like an epiphany. It read:

Laura, Marie is great and if you can afford the time off and her classes, you’re doing well.

I won’t have a payment for you unfortunately.

I’m pleased to have a professional correspondence from you, the others were a bit shocking.

So there it was. In black and white. No payment and apparently my carefully constructed, non ranting emails were ‘shocking’.

What did I learn? I gotta get me payment up front!

If you’re reading dear non-paying client (you know who you are!); a very genuine – thank you. You’ve confirmed that I’m clearly not taking my business seriously enough. If I was? I wouldn’t have been in this situation.

I’m done with it. The door is closed and I’m a movin’ on. An uncomfortable lesson; very well learned.