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Web Coach Tip: Be in ACTION and Be Accountable

November 18, 2009 Leave a comment

cowLast week I gave away 30-minutes of business breakthru coaching free to anyone who wanted it. Here are the top 3 common issues among entrepreneurs and solo-professionals.

1. Follow-up

One coach who specializes in working in training young athletes stated that once they fielded a phone call from a student asking for advice. While the coach was willing to speak with the child, she was unsure how she could turn this child into a paying client.

My suggestion was to assure the young athlete their conversation would remain private, however; since he was a minor, she needs to have contact info for his parents. (This particular situation, the coach didn’t already know the parents) Most kids understand and aren’t concerned with giving up their parents contact info. This allows the coach to follow-up with his parents and create the “know, like and trust” factor to develop into – a paying client!

2. Money

How do I talk about my fees? This one is really easy for me… I simple state, “Ok, Mr. Client, we agree to work together… now, lets talk about money” (just put it out there and be confident!) “My fee is $$$ to ______, I accept payment, in full, up front, via Paypal – which email address can I send the invoice to?” “Once I receive payment, we can get started!” You must keep clear and firm boundaries!

If I get any bartering, bickering or so forth, I simply state, “I’ve gotta put groceries in my fridge, and I cannot accept anything less than $$$.” I find that when you bring up groceries, that paints an image of you and your family cooking or shopping at the grocery store… no one wants to take food out of anybody’s mouth, right? That statement works every time and usually stops hagglers dead in their tracks.

PS. don’t take haggling as an insult, some people just like to see if they can get a discount… it’s in their DNA!

3. How do I get more clients?

You must be visible. In your community, and online. I can recommend three extraordinary books to help you get into the mind-set of creating a system to get more clients:

  1. “Get Clients NOW!“, by CJ Hayden
  2. “Endless Referrals”, by Bob Burg
  3. “The Go-Giver”, by Bob Burg and John David Mann, for your mindset.

Final thoughts…

Accountability is key. You must be in ACTION and you must be accountable to your peers. I highly suggest you plug yourself in to a mastermind or accountability group. You are welcome to join one of mine for a very modest price of $17.97 a month. Check out The Web Coach INSIDER here.

What are YOUR thoughts?

Do you have questions based on what I covered?

How can I help you better understand?

Please ask questions, leave comments or suggestions below.

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3 LOW COST Action Steps for Beginners

November 11, 2009 Leave a comment

Really quick, here’s 3 action steps for you:

  1. Start writing! 300-500 words is fine. At bottom of article is your “resource box,” be sure to put your 10 second commercial with a link to your NEW BLOG. (see #2) Post your articles to ezinearticles.com, blog, newsletter, read aloud to make a podcast, and Youtube video, post on facebook and twitter.
  2. Go to WordPress.com and sign up for a free blog. Doesn’t have to be anything fancy. If you get stuck – call me 419 775-7424
  3. Grap a copy of Get Clients NOW! By CJ Hayden – create your own 28-day program and work it! 🙂

This is a really quick and inexpensive way to get yourself online.

5 Secrets To Finding ALL THE CLIENTS You’ll EVER NEED

August 26, 2009 Leave a comment

By, C.J. Hayden, MCC, Wings for Business, LLC
http://getclientsnow.com

GCN-Book-Cover-BIG

Why is it that some consultants, coaches, and other independent professionals have all the business they need, while others struggle by with only a few clients?

Is there a hidden secret no one is telling you?

The answer may be simpler than you think. In this special report, you will discover three things you may be doing now that can actually prevent you from getting clients, how the Persistence Effect can liberate your marketing, and one simple habit you can begin today that may bring you all the clients you will ever need.

I’ve been working with self-employed professionals like you since 1992, helping my clients, students, and readers to make more money with less effort, and teaching them how to earn a better living doing what they love. Please take a few moments now to read these five simple ideas that can change your marketing forever.

WHEN LESS BECOMES MORE

It’s easy to think there is some hidden secret to marketing your business or professional practice. There are so many books to read, classes to take, and mentors, coaches, and consultants you could hire that it makes the process seem mysterious or overwhelming. But there is a simple answer and it’s the first of five secrets I’m going to share with you.

1. Choose a set of simple, effective things to do and do them consistently.

The real key to successful marketing is picking just a few simple, effective things to do and then doing those things consistently. This is how you can build your business more quickly by doing less.

Imagine that you were trying to fill a water barrel with a drinking glass. You would have to make trip after trip, going back to the faucet over and over. In marketing, this is like doing a little bit of networking, some haphazard follow-up, trying to get some publicity, giving a talk, buying a booth at a trade show, placing an ad, then writing an article…

Instead, why not use a bucket to fill your barrel? You can carry more water while making fewer trips. Instead of spreading yourself thin with a dozen different marketing strategies, you could simply do some networking with consistent follow-up, give some talks and follow up with those you meet, and that would be it C just three strategies: networking, public speaking, and following up. Your barrel fills faster, and you’re less tired.

Trying to do too much is one of the ways you may be sabotaging your own marketing efforts. Stop-and-start marketing can actually prevent you from getting clients. It wears you out running back and forth. You never spend enough energy on any one approach to really make a difference, but instead you make yourself less efficient and effective in all areas.

THE PERSISTENCE EFFECT AT WORK

If you limit your marketing activities to what you can realistically do well, it becomes possible to give your marketing the essential quality of consistency. Instead of just hearing from you once, people begin to hear your name over and over. They begin to think of you when you’re not in touch and send you referrals. But to make this happen, you have to do the work. Positive intentions alone won’t create clients without more help from you.

2. Rely on the Persistence Effect, not on magic.

When you begin to move purposefully in a specific direction, energy is created and things begin to happen. There is an interesting phenomenon that occurs when you get serious about marketing in a focused, consistent way. You begin to get results in unexpected places.

The phone rings, and it’s a prospect you spoke to three months ago saying they are suddenly interested in working with you. You go to a networking meeting that seems like a complete waste of time, and run into a hot new prospect in the elevator on your way out — who wasn’t even there for the meeting you went to. You get an exciting referral from someone whose name you don’t recognize. It’s almost as if the universe has noticed your dedication and decided to reward you.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that these out-of-the-blue opportunities are accidents. There is a direct connection between the level of effort you put into marketing and the results you get out of it — even when it seems like the results are completely unrelated to your efforts.

This marketing phenomenon is so common that I have named it the Persistence Effect. If you persist in making ten calls a day, every day, you will get business, but it won’t all come from the calls you made. If you consistently attend one networking event per week, clients will appear, but not necessarily from the events you attended. Don’t worry about why it works; just know that it works. And don’t confuse the Persistence Effect with magical thinking. Just creating a positive intention for something doesn’t have this kind of payoff. You have to do something about it.

USING PULL INSTEAD OF PUSH

Another way you may be preventing yourself from getting clients is refusing to choose a niche for your business or private practice. I know, I know, you don’t want to limit yourself. But the truth is that having a niche doesn’t limit you; it focuses you. If a client shows up at your door, of course you can choose to work with them, regardless of whether they fit into your niche. But to be effective at marketing, you need some kind of organizing principle for your outreach activities. The universe is too big to market to all of it.

3. Choose a niche and become known for it.

Returning to our metaphor of the water barrel, not having a niche is like running all over town to different water faucets instead of coming back to the same one each time. Even if you do have a bucket instead of a drinking glass, it’s inefficient. And worse, you might not even be able to find the faucets in all those unfamiliar places.

Not having a niche means that attracting clients is impossible. You must spend all your time pursuing clients; there’s nothing that brings them to you.

Your niche can be a target market, a specialty or both. For example, your target market might be “executive women” or “high-tech companies.” Your specialty could be “career transition” or “productivity improvement.” Having both a target market and a specialty to define your niche is ideal, e.g. “executive women in career transition,” or “productivity improvement for high-tech companies.”

When you identify a niche that works for you, you can become known in that niche. That way, clients start calling you. Usually, you begin by networking in your niche and ultimately graduate to writing, speaking, or teaching to establish yourself as an expert. Keep in mind that networking is not just going to a room and exchanging business cards; it’s creating a pool of contacts from which you can draw clients, referrals, resources, ideas, and information

You don’t have to wait for word of mouth within your niche; you can create it, by actively reaching out to others who are either in your niche themselves or serve your niche by what they do. For example if your niche is helping small business owners become financially successful, certainly you want to network with entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals. But you should also get to know accountants, small business attorneys, staff at entrepreneurship centers, career counselors, psychotherapists, business bankers, newsletter editors, merchant card providers… anyone who comes in contact with your niche on a daily basis.

Meet with them, call them, write to them, write for them, speak to them, and teach them. Following the first rule of choosing a few simple things to do and doing them consistently, this is completely within your grasp if you focus on one narrowly defined niche. If you leave your niche too broad or try to “cheat” by having several niches, your client universe becomes too large and you are once again spread too thin.

SELL THE SIZZLE, NOT THE STEAK

Imagine you went to an auto mechanic, and he told you he was going to lift the hood of your car, shine a light around, and move some parts up and down. Does this sound like a service you would pay for? Of course not. What you want to hear from the mechanic is that he will fix your car. If you’re not telling clients about the results your work produces and the benefits they will get from it, they will never see the value of it.

4. Market the results of your work, not the process you use.

If you were in my profession of business coaching, and someone asked you, “What is coaching?” you would be unlikely to enroll a client by saying, “We meet by phone for half an hour each week and talk about your goals.” That’s just the process – where’s the value?

A slightly better answer might be to say, “Coaching is a process for helping you get what you want.” Now you are stating some value. But an even better answer would be not to market “coaching” at all, but instead to market higher earnings, improved selling skills, or more fulfilling work. You would respond not with a definition, but with a statement of benefits: “I help my clients learn to make more money with less effort.”

Instead of offering tax preparation, an accountant could invite you to “save money on taxes.” Instead of selling logo design, a graphic designer could suggest “get your business noticed.” Rather than proposing a company retreat, a trainer could promise “improved teamwork and cooperation.”

Whenever possible, market benefits your clients can place a dollar value on. You’re asking them to write you a check, so if they can’t see a monetary benefit, they are much less likely to do it. In a corporate environment, talk about improved productivity or employee retention. With individuals, describe the benefits of a healthier lifestyle or better relationships. People need to see your service as the answer to an essential need they have. If you allow it to be something that’s just nice to have, you will either limit your market to clients with a budget for luxuries, or you’ll limit your rate to only what people will pay for something that’s nice but they don’t really need.

HELP IS CLOSER THAN YOU THINK

One of the most overlooked secrets to successful marketing is getting a hand from the people you already know. If you’re new, maybe you are waiting to become more successful before telling more people about your business. Or perhaps you have made up a rule that your personal life is supposed to be separate from your business. But the truth is that the people who already know you are likely to be the best contributors to your success.

5. Ask the people you already know for help.

If you always remember to tell everyone you know what you are doing and ask for their help, that one simple habit may bring you all the clients you need. Go through your address book, checkbook, holiday card list, club roster, and alumni directory, and count up how many people you know that aren’t yet aware of your business. Begin reaching out to those people with cards, letters, e-mails, or phone calls and let them know about what you do.

Instead of just asking for client referrals, treat these people as part of your network. Remember that networking is creating a pool of contacts from which you can draw clients, referrals, resources, ideas, and information. You can expand your network by asking the people you know who they know and contacting the people they refer you to.

In my earlier example of a niche serving business owners and self-employed professionals, I suggested getting to know accountants, small business attorneys, etc., as a way to become better connected in that niche. What if you were to ask your friends, family, colleagues, and all the people you do business with who their accountant is? Then get to know all those accountants. This is networking within your niche.

Always look for how you can make a relationship reciprocal. With other businesspeople, send them referrals whenever you can. If you have always referred people to your own accountant, instead give them three names and ask them to call all three before deciding. If you don’t know what the other person might need, ask them, “What can I do for you?” Get a network of people out there working for you so you don’t have to work so hard.

WHAT TO DO NEXT

I hope you have found the ideas in this report helpful. If you don’t yet own a copy of my book GET CLIENTS NOW!, I’d like to invite you to purchase it at http://amazon.com and sign up for Donna Payne’s Get Clients NOW! Seminar scheduled for September 1, 2009.  REGISTER HERE.

7 Marketing and Relationship Tips From My 25th Class Reunion

July 14, 2009 1 comment

5454_1166043598989_1464870144_30413523_2149770_nI hadn’t been to a class reunion yet – so this was a big deal for me.  Many of my classmates were on facebook so I was feeling really warm and fuzzy before I got there.

This is what I wrote in my secret squirrel notepad:

  1. People remember quirky things about you. Whether personal or business, the goofy, extraordinary and remarkable things we do stick in peoples’ memory. How can you be remarkable?
  2. You must be authentic. Don’t fake ANYTHING. Personal and business contacts know when you are being less than truthful. They also know if you genuinely care or are just talking to hear your head rattle.
  3. We can always learn from one another. You find juicy bits of information from the most unsuspecting people. Point in fact: the class jock is now a marketing guru, online and offline – who’da thunkit?
  4. Stand up for others. It only takes one person to “share the love” and others will follow… Be willing to step forward and make a difference.
  5. Your actions live on forever in the memory of others. Did you unmercifully tease, harass and torment classmates? One item on our pre-reunion questionaire was “If you could go back, what would you change?” This answer brought tears to my eyes, “I would have handled the teasing better.”  I can’t imagine how horrible her school days must have been.
  6. The scrawny skinny kid – matured into a steamin-hot Hottie. Just like the ugly duckling – your business has components that will mature over time and become your best asset.
  7. Be Empowered: share the love. This is nothing new for me – but its worth repeating… Kind of like what I tell my kids at church at the end of our small group lesson: “EVERYDAY do something kind for someone else.”
  8. BONUS: Connections Matter. One bit of “marketing” that really brought the folks out (to the reunion) was connecting on Facebook before-hand. Being on FB gave everyone the deets of family, job, etc before they attended – so conversation was easy. We had much more to talk about and in groups, everyone understood what the others were saying – yes, we get the inside joke!

Do You Know What Your Customers Want? How do you know?

constant_contactSeriously?

Have you asked them?  Or, do you just assume what your clients/customers want?   That can be a terrible mistake… one that COULD put you right out of business before you even get started.

Perish that thought.(!)

This October will the 5 year anniversary of The Web Coach.  And only YESTERDAY I conducted my first official Survey with all of my subscribers.

I don’t always practice what I preach (oops!)

I signed up with Constant Contact a month ago and finally took full advantage of the free survey feature.

Boy, am I glad I did! I’ve learned a few GOOD things, confirmed other thoughts, and got some constructive feedback.  (we can all use a little of that from time to time)

This is what I found:

  1. People are busy.  They want brief, fact-based, information. Fast.
  2. People aren’t always sure of what you offer.  And they need to be reminded, regularly.
  3. Survey’s allow your readers to TELL you what they want more of.
  4. You find out what you’re doing RIGHT! 🙂  Affirmation is gooooood.
  5. You’ll find out what needs to be revised, ditched or done away with.
  6. Receiving feedback opens the door to two-way communication and improved products/services.
  7. You can use your participants as beta testers for new product/service offerings.
  8. You also find holes in your marketing cycle.
  9. You’ll find opportunities to make more money! Woohoo!
  10. Because knowing what your market needs is everything!

This information is so valuable to me.  Creating this survey was so easy to do, I’m going to schedule this into my quarterly business review.  Yeah!

So, my friend, do you *really* know what your customers want?

Three Reasons You Need to Be on FriendFeed *Now*

friendfeed

Lately, I’ve had many conversations about SEO n’such with people who are looking for the quick fix to get high Google rankings.  These kinds of people HIGHLY annoy me, because I have always preached content and article writing is really the only organic way.

So as I preach from my SEO pulpit, I know now that FriendFeed and twitter are both darlings of Google.  So get out there are start sharing what’s in your noggin people!

Go forth… Twitter, Facebook and Friendfeed!  🙂

And, now Hutch’s post =======================

Three Reasons You Need to Be on FriendFeed *Now*

by Hutch Carpenter

FriendFeed has got to be one of the most innovative companies around these days. It seems every week, it’s hatched something new with its service. That alone makes it worth being there.

Then there’s the interactions. When those are rocking and rolling, it’s a lot of fun. Even a few Likes and comments are worth the experience. Of course, not everyone is engaged enough on the service to fully benefit from that. Which is something I completely understand, by the way.

I’ve got three reasons you should be on FriendFeed now. Not for the conversations. Not for the real-time experience. But three reasons that will be valuable to you personally.

The FriendFeed triple play.

#1: Google Juice

You likely know the background of much of the FriendFeed team – Google. Yeah, these guys know search. Even more importantly, they know something about how Google manages search.

So it comes as no surprise that FriendFeed can rank pretty highly in Google search results. Here’s a favorite example of mine.

Alex Scoble (yes, Robert’s brother) is planning his wedding reception. One candidate location for the reception was the Hillsboro Cultural Arts Center. But the managers of that location were not very flexible in working Alex and his fiance. On FriendFeed, Alex posted about the Hillsboro Cultural Arts Center, with some comments explaining why he was not going to use them. It’s not a flattering portrayal of the Center.

handwriting-leftarrowWell, check out what a search on the Center’s name returns: Alex’s FriendFeed entry is the #6 result.

Not something that Center wants in their search results, but a great way for Alex to let others know about his experience with the Center.

Read the rest of Hutch’s post here

Social Marketing For Mary Kay, Longaberger, and Other Direct Marketing Sales Groups

May 26, 2009 1 comment

Dear Donna,

biglogo_facebookQ: I saw your post about the Mary Kay lady bringing you some goodies. Do you think there is any way I can convince my wife, who is a Mary Kay Senior Sales Director, that she could expand her business using Facebook?

A: Tell her that not many “home party” ladies are socially savvy… and she should get her hiney on now!

Social media can help her gain exposure and lead her “herd”. She’s obviously a great leader and needs to lead her herd of consultants into 2009!

Since she’s a senior director – I would suggest she use FB and twitter for:

  1. staying in regular contact with her consultants. Write on their wall, upload pics, share info and connect on a deeper level.
  2. staying connected to her customers and gaining exposure to THEIR network of friends. <–very important! HUGE opportunities: a wedding post, prom posts, other special events that would allow her to step up and offer her services.  Posting events, sharing resources, recruiting new consultants… I could go on!

She could easily tweet about specials (and post to FB). Move discontinued inventory, new product launches, etc.

Customers will NOT fall out of the sky for her, but she will definitely be right smack in front of them.

On a personal note, I created a social network for my neighborhood on Ning.com, and that’s how I MET my Mary Kay lady.  Our neighborhood has over 90 homes and she is the”default” MK gal.  Exposure doesn’t get much easier or cost effective than that!

If you know someone in the direct selling business, be EMPOWERED, and share this post with them!  dp