Tag Archives: Marketing

7 Steps to Becoming a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

successful-businessThis past weekend, I attended a personal development training led by a husband and wife team of multi-millionaires with multiple business assets constantly throwing off cash on their behalf.

I listened intently to what they had to share. One of their tips was to ‘release the breaks’. The supposition being that we’re actually doing things (or not doing things) that keeps the breaks on our business engaged.

I gleaned 7 steps from their talk on how to become a highly successful entrepreneur. Add these to your strategic planning and implementation activities and you’ll raise the revenue and profitability levels in your enterprise, even if it’s in its infancy. In fact, the sooner you apply these principles, the more easily you’ll reach your goals.

1. Zoom out
Take time to imagine the long-term vision of your company and your life. Really get in touch with your purpose on this planet and the impact you want to have. Think big. Think bigger than you think is possible. It’s hard to see all of your potential grandeur when you’re not yet there, but work at it and let your perspective expand to the greatest possible heights.

2. Zoom in
Once you’ve gotten clear about the big, bright future, reel yourself back to the present and identify what tiny (or not so tiny) steps you can take TODAY to start down the path toward your destination.

3. Organize
Identify the activities that seem to be generating the best results. Clarify which ones are working. Simplify your processes in order to minimize wasted efforts, resources and time.  Unclutter your life and business.  Focus on what matters most. Focus on what works the best.

Get rid of everything else that could distract you from reaching your goal

4. Actualize
Keep taking productive, consistent action. Keep moving forward. Things may not always turn out the way you expect. Learn along the way. Adjust and keep taking action

5. Monetize
Keep looking for revenue streams. Perhaps there are new markets to be tapped. New ways to deliver the products/services you already have. Partner with others to gain access to new prospects.

6. Can it and clone it
Once you have a business model that works, document it. Identify the processes (think McDonald’s). Keep them simple so it can be replicated. Replicate it.

7. Increase your reach
Visibility is critical for success. Look for ways to get in front of your ideal clients. Get referrals, advertise where they hang out, speak to them (individually or in groups) to demonstrate your expertise and value. Use marketing tools to carry the message farther.  Get your product or service sean, heard and read about by as many people as possible.

Follow up with them. You’ve probably heard this advice before but are you doing it? The fortune is in the follow up. Follow up!

Implement these 7 steps and watch your business soar.

The 4 Seeds of Selling & Influence

I am a lifelong learner. I’m always interested in expanding my thinking and my knowledge base. Recently, I attended a training and picked up some great nuggets on how to best connect with and influence people.

Whether you’re a corporate executive, a business owner, consultant, entry level employee, mother, spouse, neighbor or other ‘character’, you will benefit from being skilled at influencing others in an ethical manner. Being able to make it easy for people to understand your point of view will allow you to create more meaningful, productive and even profitable relationships in life.

These four ideas are simple, yet truly effective if implemented with the right (read ethical) spirit.

1. Less is best
Have you ever been bombarded by a pushy sales person who talked and talked and talked until you found yourself not even listening to them? Have you ever been guilty of that yourself? Talking too much will bore people. It will likely alienate people. It will shut them down and shut down the possibility of your idea as well. Focus on the points that are most relevant to the person with whom you are speaking.

2. Create interaction
This tip is closely aligned with the previous one. The more you can get your prospect, boss, spouse engaged in the conversation, the more they will feel like they’re a vital part of the process. Additionally, the more they talk, the more you learn. And the more you know, the better you’ll be able to appeal to ther needs.

3. Laughter leads to listening
When people are having fun, they pay more attention. Their minds are more open to what you’re proposing. They feel happier in general and more positive about you and your ideas. Sometimes the topic may not seem to warrant having fun, but if there is anything you can say that might put a smile on their face, do it. Smiling will relax and open their heart and their mind will follow.

4. Selling is not telling
Genius selling is asking. I once heard a multimillionaire business owner say that her goal is to ask so many of the right questions, that her prospects convince themselves they need to work with her.  Skillful questions capture the attention of your potential partner. They create interaction and supply you with valuable insight.

And here’s a magical concept…when you get people agreeing with you throughout the conversation, when it comes time to make your ‘pitch’ and ‘close’ them, they’re already predisposed because they’ve felt like they were in agreement with you all along!

People love to buy. They hate being sold.

So next time you have an idea, concept, project, service you’re striving to enroll someone in, remember…and implement these simple ideas.

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How to Brand Your Expertise for Maximum Profit or Pay

I’ve been helping many of my clients lately figure out how to position themselves so they stand out in their marketplace or workplace like the true expert they are.

It can be quite a challenge, particularly when there are a lot of people who know much of what you know and do basically what you do.

The key to success though is having the right people recognize that YOU are the undisputed expert. The ‘right’ people include your boss, your prospects, your colleagues, your clients and your referral partners.

When any of those people see your true brilliance, your value goes up dramatically.

Here are some simple steps you can take to make yourself stand out, get seen and get recognized as an expert.

1. Know your audience
Resist the urge to try to be everything to everybody. Pick the people or groups you’re best suited to serve and focus on getting to know everything you can about them. Be particularly focused on the problems they encounter on a regular basis.

2. Speak their language
When you’re an expert, it’s easy to default to using jargon, technical or quasi-technical terms that perfectly capture the nuance of the issue for you and other ‘geeks’ like you, but may not resonate with the people you’re trying to help. Talk to them with words they use.

3. Know your strengths
It’s tempting to believe that you are multifaceted and brilliant in every dimension. You might even be brilliant in many dimensions, but being a jack- or jill-of-all trades will minimize the sense that you are an expert and lower the perceived value of your worth. Pick a few things you’re masterful at that you enjoy doing and focus on those.

4. Articulate your process
Whether you know it or not, you have a particular approach to solving problems. When you can explain it in simple terms, you’ll seem like more of an expert than people who don’t have their process spelled out and look like they’re ‘winging it’.

5. Understand their goals
When I attended coach training school over 15 years ago (how can that be?!?!), our coach and trainer would often say “People are always on their way someplace”. What he meant was that most people are working on some goal, whether it’s a short-term to-do, an errand, a duty of some sort, a project or a much longer-term aspiration.  Unless they’re a couch potato, they’re trying to get somewhere even if their ‘where’ isn’t entirely clear to them.
We show up like some intrusion into their daily life and the things that fill it. When you help them see where ‘where’ is and position yourself as a key ingredient to getting there, you’ve just raised your value dramatically.

When you implement these 5 keys, you’ll stand out as an expert eligible and worthy of higher fees and bigger paychecks.

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Turn the “Scorching Hot Sweet Spot™” in Your Business or Career into Cold Hard Cash

One of the biggest complaints I hear today is that people aren’t getting the recognition they deserve. Whether they are a corporate professional looking to move up the ranks in their career or a business owner looking to land more lucrative clients and contracts, they’re struggling to distinguish themselves in an authentic and profitable way.

Recently, I’ve honed in on what it takes to turn what I call “The Scorching Hot Sweet Spot™” in your career or business into cold, hard cash! Once you’ve mastered that process, you’ll attract better clients, gain more recognition in the office, feel way more confident, set yourself apart from the herd, stop worrying about the competition and earn more money.

It’s a simple model. Think back to your high school algebra or logic class to the phrase “Venn Diagram”. The Scorching Hot Sweet Spot is at the intersection of 3 concepts:

1) Your expertise and passions
2) Your customers needs
3) Your offer, well-timed



Your expertise and passions
It’s critical you know what you’re really good at and it’s likely that you don’t. If you’re like most people, you undervalue what you know. When something somes naturally to you, it’s easy to assume that everyone is good at it too. Nothing could be stronger from the truth.

Take a trip down memory lane and ask yourself what you loved to do as a child or teenager. Recall the kinds of things people have asked your advice on over the years. When you’re clear about your expertise and focus your business or career around the expression of that expertise, you’ll be effective and experience less struggle. Work will feel graceful and full of ease. If you aren’t aware of and don’t effectively market the value of your skills, you’ll sound like everyone else when competing for clients or jobs. You’ll seem like a commodity and be easily replaced by someone with a lower bid.

When you focus on what you’re passionate about, you’ll also experience a feeling of fulfillment and joy. Time will fly by because you’re doing what you love.

Your customers’ needs
People will pay good money to someone who is perceived as being someone who can help them solve their most urgent issues. You have to know what keeps them awake at night and how your ‘magic’ will let them rest more peacefully. If you aren’t aware of their problems, your marketing messages to them will sound like that Charlie Brown teacher “Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah”. They don’t care how cool your process is. They only care about their pain and getting rid of it.

Your offer, well-timed
You must have a specific methodology you use to help solve those problems. That’s your “offer”. Having a trademark system in place gives you more credibility and positions you as an expert. Even if you’re an employee, you probably have a certain way you go about solving problems. When you can describe and name your process, it’s value goes up. It’s one of the steps I take my clients through in my VIP “Monetize Your Niche” and “Be Dream Job Ready” private consulting days.

The second component of this is the ‘well-timed’ part. You could have the most compelling solution but if it fixes a problem they’re not having now, you likely won’t get the sale. You must learn to recognize the buying signals that foretell a prospect is ready to take action.

When you clarify these three concepts and implement new activities in your business, you’ll be on the way to pushing more cash in the bank!

How to Attract Clients Who Will Pay You What You’re Worth

Many business owners scrape by serving clients who are struggling themselves.  In spite of the economy, there are many businesses and people who have been unaffected and are willing to pay for premium-level services and products.

When you’re trapped servicing the middle or low-price market (which, let’s face it) much of the country is these days, you encounter a ton of hairy-pulling, teeth-gnashing concerns like:

1.    People don’t buy from you because they can find what you offer at a lower price somewhere else
2.    People don’t buy at all because putting up with their problem is easier than forking over money to solve it
3.    Your bank account is scarily low leaving you worried, anxious and maybe even a tad desperate.

You get the picture.

So, well-heeled clients sound like the answer to your prayers, right?

The challenge to landing those clients however is  (at least) three-fold:

1.    You don’t know exactly who is looking for what you have to offer
2.    You don’t know how to find or attract them
3.    You don’t have anything to offer them that they’re truly interested in

So what’s a busy business owner to do?

There are several ways to overcome these problems.

In dire times businesses try to offer everything to everybody. That’s exactly the wrong strategy.  And here’s why.  When you market to everyone, your ‘target’ won’t feel special.  She won’t believe you have a solution that addresses her needs so she keeps looking until she finds it and it likely won’t be with you.

I recently went into a shoe repair shop (a dying breed, admittedly) but they were selling children’s toys and household tchotchkes that didn’t even look like they belonged in the shop.  Perhaps they were selling well, but frankly, I’d be surprised.

The solution is to focus on a small set of specific clients and do everything you can to understand them, their worries, pains, dreams, hopes and desires.

Once you know who they are, ask yourself, how are they spending their time? What do they read, listen to or go to?

Are they attending networking meetings? If so, which ones? Most networking events are populated with people hungry for business not necessarily looking to invest in solutions.

Think about it. When you need to buy something, do you go to an event to buy it? Probably not. You might go and ask people you trust for recommendations, but if you found exactly what you were looking for, I’ll bet you’d be a little bit surprised.

So you have to get visible where your market is looking. That could be online, on their smart phone, in industry-specific or niche publications (although that can be expensive).

If they’re suffering with a big problem, they may have complained to their friends and colleagues. So developing a referral strategy with the right people could be really productive.

Then, once you’ve found them (or they’ve found you), you must make sure your marketing message hits them directly between the eyes.  You have to be so clear about how what you’re offering is exactly what they need that they go “Duh! It would be a mistake NOT to invest in that.”

Again, this underscores the importance of knowing who really needs what you have so when they hear our message, they say “S/he’s talking to me!”

I remember participating in an event and one of the attendees remarked “I felt like the speaker was inside my head saying out loud what I had only thought in the privacy of my own brain!” That’s what you’re going for!

So, when you know who they are, what they’re gnashing their teeth over and have a solution aimed directly at pain (or dream) with a message that feels like it’s directly personally to them, the right people will refer you, find you and happily pay you for your expertise!