How to Calm the Techie Chaos for Non-Techie’s

How to Calm the Techie Chaos for Non-Techie Entrepreneurs and Coaches

 

I have to write this post for two reasons…

1. It’s been on my mind frequently and often comes up when I’m working with clients.

2. Walking with a friend today, she told me that the hardest part of her Life Coaching practice is feeling overwhelmed by her website, so much so that she hates it and ignores it. Not a great plan for someone who needs to market her business.

Owning a small or solo entrepreneurial business is an interesting journey, because your business is not just your area of expertise and passion – it is also the marketing and selling of the thing that is your expertise and passion. It’s a challenge on so many fronts.

Why would you want to be a good marketer, when your love is landscaping?

How can you get comfortable with marketing when you dislike computers and have a strength in deep emotional coaching?

It is a bit crazy making I know. Yet solo or tiny businesses do not have a marketing budget to hire someone – and when they try to out of shear desperation, often get taken for a very expensive ride, like a  friend who had a lifelong corporate job,  experienced when he hired out his blog creation and maintenance for his new  consulting business. For over a year he paid $300 per month for nothing – because he didn’t know better.

So what’s the answer to the techie and marketing dilemma for non-techie , non-marketers?

Look at your business in layers. I like to picture concentric circles. In the middle is what you REALLY do in your business. It’s the unique essential solution that you bring to a customer’s or client’s problem. That in and of itself it so crucial to define because it’s the bulls-eye of your target. Your audience will understand how you can help them only if you can state it clearly and with a focus not on you, but on them.

bulls eye business deborah tutnauer

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Surrounding the center circle are the other things that you must do in your business and like to do as well. Going back to the landscaper, it could be ordering and organizing supplies, seeds, materials. For the coach it could be researching books to recommend, or writing articles. This circle is not your main “What do you do”, but rather the supporting cast of activities that enhances and supplements what you do. Importantly for this circle, you must LIKE to do it!

You might find you have a few circles like this one – emanating out from the bulls eye center of what you do in your business – related and necessary, but less so and less enjoyable as you more outward from the center.

Finally you arrive at the marketing circle . Or the techie circle. Or both. For some, marketing and technology is FUN!! If this is you, then it’s not the outer edge of your bulls eye. But given that this article about techie for non-techie’s, we are going to assume that it’s a crucial but not enjoyable (yet) part of your business.

There are ways of integrating activities you don’t enjoy that are a necessity, and ways of outsourcing them. We are going to talk about both.

When I began learning how to marketing on the internet in 2005/06, I was my own teacher. I spent hours burning the midnight oil to understand everything from HTML to SEO to Rank, Autoresponder, Conversion ratios, WYSIWYG and more. It was very much like learning Greek – while being taught in Greek!!

I built websites that took me days and days. I FTP’d over and over again, and to this day  still don’t understand how the website ended up being connected to the URL on the server of my hosting company.

I can choose a theme and create a brand new WordPress blog and use the C-Panel to have it live at my URL. It’s takes me at least two days to get all set up- complete with a lot of four letter words and bit of table thumping too. Instead, I hire my web person for a few hundred dollars and she does it for me. I think it takes a her just a few hours and except for graphic design questions she has for me, it’s all done and beautiful by the time I see it. I even call her when I get a warning, or an upgrade necessity.

Techie Can Be FUN! Even for Non-Techie Entrepreneurs and Coaches

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My specialty is business coaching for entrepreneurs. It is not blog development. If I paid myself my hourly rate to work on the technical aspects of my blog deep in the set up and code, I would have to pay myself a few thousand dollars. What takes me days, take someone who does this kind of thing easily, hours. My time spent on this is just not worth it. I literally save money by outsourcing these tasks. And I’m so much less frustrated.

An interesting piece here is that for me – a bit Type-A – I first had to learn how to do it myself before  could hire and trust someone else to do it for me. But that’s just me. The caveat though, is to choose who you hire based on referrals, not by marketing. Use a web designer or WordPress technician that others rave about. That is when you can truly hand it over and relax!

There is another way to deal with your outer layers – the marketing or techie parts of your business that are far from your center. Learn to love them!”

Huh?

I know that is what you are thinking. “HUH?” It’s a professional phrase!

Here’s a story. Many years ago I trained to be a competitive body builder. (Many, many years ago). In my workouts, which I did twice per day, I just hated doing shoulders. There was nothing about shoulder work that I liked, from shoulder presses, to lateral raises to rear deltoid work – I hated it all. But it was part of the routine and came around again every 4th workout.

Over time I got really good and shoulder workouts. Not only that, I absolutely loved how my shoulders looked in tank tops and halters. As my shoulders got stronger and I got more skilled at the exercises I began to like my shoulder work more and more. Two years later, shoulder day was my favorite!! Imagine that!

Part of human nature is to feel more enjoyment doing things that come easily and that we love, than things that are hard or frustrating. We tend to be good and love our main profession -be it coaching, landscaping, yoga teaching. We don’t love marketing and techie when our avocation is otherwise, because we tend not to be good at it initially. We find it frustrating, confusing, overwhelming.

We look at our blog we hate, like my life coach friend, and feel paralyzed so we do nothing. But guess what?

You can learn enough about marketing and some technology to actually begin to enjoy the creative process of working on your own blog and doing your own marketing. Just like I learned to love shoulder workouts. Rather than stew in your own frustration, follow a few of these baby steps and see what happens.

Fear of Techie? Don’t Worry. Be Happy.

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1. List the techie and/or marketing things that confuse you and make you feel paralyzed with fear or dislike every time you think of them.

2. Start asking questions in your communities until you find someone who Loves and Understands the things you listed in number one.

3. Hire that person, or work out a trade . Ask them to TEACH you.

4. Take it one step at a time so as not to trigger that emotional fight or flight reaction.

5. Learn one thing and practice it. May it’s as simple as putting a photo into a blog post or understanding how to put a new graphic in your blog header. Maybe it’s getting a lesson on how autoresponders actually work and creating an opt in box.

6. Do the one thing enough times that you no longer feel aversion to it. Do it until it becomes easy. Do it until it becomes almost Fun!

7. Go back to number 2 and start again with a different area.

It’s one thing to feel proud of what you accomplish within your real profession. I challenge you to experience what it’s like to do something you’ve always shied away from, and conquer it! The feeling is  freedom!!

Tell me in the comments below, a time you did this. Share your story and the emotions you experienced!

I’d be honored if you’d share this post on your favorite social media site. I know many could benefit from approaching their tech and marketing demons in a new way.

 

 

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Deborah Tutnauer

Entrepreneur Business Success Coach at Deborah Tutnauer, LLC
Inspiring change in people for over 25 years, Deborah Tutnauer, MEd, MSWdigs deep to help authentic entrepreneurs move away from the stories that no longer serve them while clarifying and solidifying those that really do! Deborah helps frustrated entrepreneurs get exquisitely clear about meaning, purpose and expertise, then facilitates the creation of a financially sustainable and joyfully structured framework in which business and business people thrive.

Coaching both privately and in groups, Deborah is also a speaker, author, event leader and consultant. Creator of the Foundation and Framework Intensive, Question Master and Leader of the Entrepreneur Business Success Club, Deborah has been called an “Architect of Magical Business and Soul Structure”by her clients because she has a powerful ability to perform alchemy, changing passions and dreams into money and time by design.

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Comments

  1. says

    Hi Deborah,

    I love that you shared your friend’s story. I find that it’s so true and it happens more often than most business owners want to admit.

    It’s not only an issue of understanding how to blog “technically”, most people don’t understand how to do it “practically.”

    I just wrote in today’s article that above all else a business owner is in the “media” business before he or she is in the business they claim to be in.

    If you’re not demonstrating your competency, building relationships, networking and increasing your influence then you’re going to have a hard time making money with the fundamental shifts happening in marketing.

    I love #3 on your list: “Hire that person, or work out a trade . Ask them to TEACH you.”

    There is no way to learn it all, but there is always to gain access to people who know and can help you. It’s like Zig Ziglar always said; “If you help enough people get what they want, they will help you get what you want.”

    Great post Deborah!!!!! I really appreciate your insights and advice.

    I hope you are having an awesome week!

    ~ Don Purdum
    Don Purdum recently posted…Are You Marketing in the Year We Actually Live In? 3 Reasons Your Struggling to Earn New Business – Even if You Don’t Know ItMy Profile

    • says

      Teaching and Learning
      When we open our hearts to both Don, is when I believe we thrive!

      You (nor I) will ever be good at everything! The Bulls-Eye Business concept helps us prioritize where to put our time and energy, and where possibly to put our money instead.

      On the other hand, learning a bit of tech can make it feel less daunting for many…and…even fun!

      It’s been a busy week on my end Don! Hope yours has been fruitful.

      Warmly,
      Deborah
      Deborah Tutnauer recently posted…Coyotes in our Midst – Avoiding Danger in Entrepreneurial BusinessMy Profile

  2. says

    Hi Deborah,

    I’m nodding my head as I read this post because I can resonate with it so well. I love the way you made that bulls-eye…I like visuals!

    For me, I was resisting analytics, statistics, and all that part of marketing. I realized this resistance came from a part of me that does not like math and left brain problems. Because of this, I pushed myself…just like the analogy you have given here about working out your shoulders.

    Now, the first thing I do is measure, compare, and all that stuff I was “avoiding” is an exciting experience for me.

    As a solo-preneur I cannot do it all. I had hired a VA here and there but it was so time consuming it made me crazy. Yet another thing I must let go of I guess and not be such a control freak lol.

    I do have things in order, and working with my husband is a great help. But when it comes to getting a new website, I had hired someone to do that. There are many tasks I do let others do for me. And as business grows, I need to learn how to farm out more jobs to others.

    -Donna
    donna merrill recently posted…Joint VenturesMy Profile

    • says

      I believe everyone has the things they do well, easily and with joy…and the things that are necessary but challenging and frustrating.

      We forget I think, that so much of what we do without a thought, was once hard.

      Our parents remember watching us learn to walk. How many times did we fall down onto that cute baby bottom? Obviously the goal was worth it. By one and half years old we were quite capable and by two we were running like a blue streak.

      Even techie gobbley-gook can become like this. I love statistics and actually put myself through my second graduate degree as a research assistance/statistician. But the way you felt about analytics, I feel about PHP code lately. Yet it’s time stop being afraid of it and sticking my head in the sand every time my hosting company presents me with an upgrade. Yes, I could just hand it off to my wonderful web person and pay her for doing it. But she told me to just click and trust – that I was being silly, it was so easy. So I am about to do just that this weekend and know she is only a skype call away if my blog falls off the face of planet. LOL!!

      Hope you are enjoying your week Donna.
      Warmly,
      Deborah
      Deborah Tutnauer recently posted…Meaning of Money – Success Beyond Dollars and SenseMy Profile

  3. says

    Hi Deborah,

    Great blog post!

    I was nodding my head when you spoke about a small/solo business being more than just your expertise and passion. Indeed, it’s so much more!

    Your post interested me in particular because it reminded me of all the tech problems I’ve overcome in recent years. Things like creating a website of my own and adding headers and general coding. It all seemed like an insurmountable Athenian burden to overcome for someone who just wants to write.

    But, through some help, and well, usually, trial and error (I’m a man, you know how we are with asking for directions!) I managed to get to grips with most things. Now I look back and realise I’ve learnt an incredible amount.

    Techie stuff can be fun and the more you face a problem, and try to conquer it, the more rewarding and even enjoyable it becomes. In a funny way it’s similar to when you start liking foods you hated as a child. You wonder what all the fuss was about.

    Your 7 steps are perfect.

    Thank you.

    Edward
    Edward Beaman recently posted…10 Benefits of Encouraging Your Employees to BlogMy Profile

    • says

      Welcome to my blog Edward.

      Your analogy is perfect. It is like trying new foods as a kid, or even learning a new dance step. When you approach something frustrating or confusing it is not only hard to grasp but also elicits emotions that are not positive, thus giving a sense of aversion to trying again. Yet if you can break the steps down to tiny bit sized, surmountable steps and get some help, all of sudden it’s not so daunting and eventually might even become easy!

      I look forward to hopping over to your blog to learn more about you!
      Feel free to join my subscriber list too if you desire. Love to have you as part of the community here.

      Warmly,
      Deborah
      Deborah Tutnauer recently posted…Entrepreneur Business Coaching – It is in the Doing That Your Being Becomes My Profile

  4. says

    I think the main reason entrepreneurs are so hesitant to outsource is that we’re natural DIYers. We get things done. We already left behind the gray cubical where we compartmentalize everything, or we were never there to start. And so naturally the thought is that we must figure out all the things. We must do all the things. Pair that with the notion that most of us are operating on shoe-string budgets through launches and the sticker shock of hiring a consultant is a huge barrier when the first thought is – “oh, I’ll just do that myself.”

    Similarly to you, I’ve had to figure out most of the tech stuff on my own. And there have certainly been mistakes along the way – paying multiple thousands of dollars to have a custom-designed wordpress site very limiting factors was one of those. The current iteration is a $45 template. But that mistake in outsourcing is just an example of being taken for a ride, yes?
    Britney recently posted…Men’s HeadshotsMy Profile

    • says

      Welcome to my blog Britney!
      Unfortunately , that $1000 WordPress set up is one of those things. Yet..I can also say that what hides behind some of those expensive set-ups is a beautifully constructed SEO magnet. I know of a blog that is just fair to look at, yet with almost no effort on the part of the owner, ranks on Google page one for a highly competitive keyword.

      I had a look in the dashboard and found one of the best constructed blog for SEO I have ever seen. That being said, if it’s mostly design features you are after, it’s pretty simple to find a great template for free or a low fee and add a few tweaks and it’s beautiful. Like yours is now.

      The road to entrepreneurial success if filled with trial and error – failure and mistakes. It’s part of the journey!
      Thank you for taking time to comment!

      Warmly,
      Deborah
      Deborah Tutnauer recently posted…Entrepreneur Business Coaching – Women and MoneyMy Profile

  5. says

    Deborah,

    You nailed it!!! I’ve been through 3 professional training courses in the past few years and people are coming out as well trained professionals, but with no tangible skills for marketing or developing a business. They don’t even know what to look for in hiring out for services or where to start.

    That’s where a business / entrepreneur coach like you really helps people succeed! So many people need this message! It will change their business and their life!

    • says

      Thank you for your comment Lee Ann and welcome to my blog.

      You spoke so clearly what I’ve known and seen for so many years. Solo-professionals in particular are taught their craft well, but rarely how to create a viable and sustainable business with within their profession. This is not just coaches, but doctors, massage therapists, accountants and more. Anyone professional wanting to go out on their own rather than joining some type of existing or group practice, is left to figure it all out for themselves.

      Many realize quickly that their “business” is doing business in order that they may do their craft. And often this creates anger, frustration and burn-out.

      That’s when you see people start spending all kinds of money having someone create a website for them and “market” on “social media”. It’s not unusual to see professional people paying hundred or even thousands of dollars per month to someone who it helping them get “found” on the internet. Rarely does anyone ever explore the conversions of this investment – that is, dollars spent per client/customer. I’m sure it would be abysmal in most cases.

      I think there are many solutions, which is what triggered the writing of this post!
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Warmly,
      Deborah
      Deborah Tutnauer recently posted…Entrepreneur Business Coaching – It is in the Doing That Your Being Becomes My Profile

  6. says

    Oh Deborah,

    Boy were you speaking to me. Yep, I had to teach myself all about how to build a website then it went to a blog, hosting issues, behind the scenes stuff that people forgot to tell us about to writing posts and marketing. My goodness there is so much involved and it’s a process to learn this all.

    I actually love learning but I did spend way too much time on the learning part but back then and pretty much now, I have to watch my pennies so the outsourcing I’m very cautious with. Now I do have people helping me with certain things now but they’re doing it because of the connections we’ve made and not for profit. Then again, most of what I need done I do know how to do now and it doesn’t take much time at all.

    There are always parts of the business though that are more enjoyable than others. We just have to know our boundaries now and let go of the reins some. I’m getting there for sure.

    Great post and share, thanks for the shoulder story. I was definitely nodding my head on that one. Been there too! ;-)

    Hope you’re enjoying your week and take care.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted…Do You Know the Key Ingredient to Blogging?My Profile

    • says

      There are things we know and love, and there are the things we know we must learn and then there are the things that in order to learn them, we have to learn 6 other things first!!

      I used to liken the ins and outs of the techie part of internet marketing, to learning Greek, in Greek!!!

      You are quite skilled in what you do Adrienne, yet we both know you paid your dues and took your knocks while getting there. Everyone has to begin and decide for themselves which pieces are worth learning and which ones are worth making the investment in someone else’s skill set.

      And for you, my dear friend, the wonderful product that you are about to launch is the beginning of no longer needing to watch your pennies. With your level of expertise and caring, skill and connection money for you should cease to be and issue over the next 6 months!

      Enjoy your weekend!

      Warmly,
      Deborah
      Deborah Tutnauer recently posted…Coyotes in our Midst – Avoiding Danger in Entrepreneurial BusinessMy Profile

  7. says

    Hi Deborah,

    I have noticed that most of bloggers don’t like to learn techie stuffs to build their own website. Somehow you are right that instead of wasting time bloggers can hire people for doing set up for their website which doesn’t take time. And the important thing is that professional do it with in few hours.

    You know I have tried so hard to learn about HTML, CSS and more things which can help me in website designing and building. But in my opinion its not a waste. Its fun for me. I like to do experiment with my website.

    Though I agree with you that if you want to save time then you must hire experts to do your work but still its always good to do it your own. May be it will take time but for sure you will learn a lot.

    Thanks for writing this informative article.

    Hope you are having great time.:)

    ~Ravi
    Ravi Chahar recently posted…How To Set Default Category For Your Posts In WordPress?My Profile

  8. says

    Hello, Deborah,

    Love the title, ’techie chaos’ is a new term for me, but is oh so applicable to so many.

    I completely agree with the importance of outsourcing tasks, However, even though I really enjoy tactical things, I still outsourced these because I am propelling my business forward and must concentrate on areas that will cause it to grow.

    Have you ever read the book: The eMyth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber? After reading this book, which encouraged much introspection, I realized that I was stuck on the technician/manager role, and switched gears to make sure I stayed the visionary/entrepreneur of my business.

    So I now work ON my business and not in it. Crucial lesson for me about a year ago.

    Now my challenge is to follow good paths for not micro-managing my team and to give them some rein to do what they do best.

    Thanks for sharing, Deborah.

    I’ll be telling my friends. :-)

    – Carol
    Carol Amato recently posted…WP Engine – Speedy and Secure Hosting for Your WordPress SitesMy Profile

    • says

      I do know the E-Myth book Carol.
      The difference between working ON your business vs. IN your business is a huge shift that has the ability to propel any kind of entrepreneur from hobby/start-up mindset and results to the next level and beyond.

      At some point, if you focus your energy primarily on the center areas of the bulls-eye, while also at least having some understanding of the the rest of your business target, you will end up with a team of people supporting your authentic mission. At the same time, you hopefully will reduce and eventually eliminate the days when you feel like the proverbial chicken…run run run.

      I love understanding techie, though I still outsource things like PHP upgrades and overflowing data files. That part I don’t love and I get all nervous that I will make a mistake and no one will be able to see my blog. It’s worth it to pay my wonderful web person for that, even though it probably takes her less than an hour and she keeps telling me I can do it!

      Excited for you for your upcoming family adventure Carol!
      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment.

      Warmly,
      Deborah
      Deborah Tutnauer recently posted…Success Coaching Through Stories – Live Workshop 1My Profile

  9. says

    I am like a pig in mud when it comes to coding! There is nothing I love better than being chin deep in HTML5, CSS3, PHP, MySQLi, Ajax and Javascript I would happily spend 18hour days 7 days a week 365 just creating what I create all day every day Deborah.

    My partner Louise thinks I am having an affair with Web Devevelopment as I get passionate about it all the time. However if I did spend 18 hours a day then Phillip Dews would suffer and would not be a happy bunny business wise because I would not be interacting and putting myself out there so to speak! People would forget about me and I would not be earning the bread.

    However I think if you are truly passionate about a subject and you love nothing better than talking about it at parties, night outs, celebrations and events then you should be blogging about it as that passion will spill over the blog and you will become well known in that field!

    You are so right though as we lean new things and keep practicing them then we will learn to enjoy them! We truly can teach old dogs new tricks hey! As much as I love coding amd making sites there were things that I know that need to be done that I did not relish!

    One thing I do is to write out my goals and then figure out the steps in order to reach that goal. I suffer a lot from procrastination and am not good at marketing and getting my blog out there and I keep getting distracted from things like skype, facebook and twitter! I just turn those off when I am writing, prioritizing me time makes me work better and smarter/ not harder.

    Social media is also very overwhealming for me so I use tools like sprout social to do it all for me. I then make sure that I visit and comment on ten blogs a day! I still dont relish these things but I know that these things need to be done in order to keep going and moving forward. After all that as bloggers is what we all should do in order to become successful in what we are passionate about!

    I hope that your friend finds her way with her business and that it takes off! aiming for a goal, figuring out and prioritizing the steps then taking them each day should make all the difference! Good to meet you Deborah and to leave my thoughts on this post! Enjoy your Day!

    – Phillip Dews
    Phillip Dews recently posted…Is TSU the New Yuwie?My Profile

    • says

      Welcome to my blog Phillip!

      When I was first learning to market online, I had the same type of intensity as your partner is accusing you of. I believe there was a period when I spent more late nights with my computer than with my spouse. I try to have a bit more balance these days, but I do understand the passion.

      The list of coding acronyms you listed in your first paragraph is the stuff I least prefer dealing with. Though when I first began working online I had to learn HTML because it was the only option. These days, I’m glad I understand it so I can at least look at a page source and figure out something if I must.

      Setting up goals with intermediary objectives is crucial to getting anything done consistently. It’s good that you know your strengths and your challenges and can structure accordingly. On my blog side bar you can grab a 10 video that will help move past procrastination. I think you’d enjoy it Phillip!

      I appreciate you stopping by to comment and look forward to getting to know you!

      Warmly,
      Deborah
      Deborah Tutnauer recently posted…{True Story} Car Thief on the Run in your Neighborhood – How a Moment of Creativity can Comfort, Calm and Inspire Your Entrepreneurial BusinessMy Profile

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