The Stupefying Simple Way to Pick Your Niche


stupefyingTough nut to crack

Picking a niche has been the bane of every entrepreneur’s existence. If you are a small business owner and recognise that to grow your business, you need to focus your marketing efforts on 1 target market (WHO) and talk to them about only 1 product or service (WHAT), then you might still be struggling with HOW to pick them.Here’s a simple and proven technique I’ve devised to decide for once and for all, what your niche is.


There are really only 3 basic things you need to consider in picking a niche:

  1. Fit for you—your personal preference, skill set, experience and background
  2. Fit for the income you want—how many of this group x how much price you would charge per person
  3. Access—your ability to reach your target and how accessible they are to you in large numbers

Rate Them

Give each niche combo of 1 WHO and 1 WHAT a score of desirability from 1-10. 10 Being the best fit.  Then, choose the niche combo with the highest rating to base your marketing plan on.


Here’s the exercise I actually went through for my own business when I left my full time marketing job exactly 1 year ago this month!

  1.  Fit for your personality, skill set, experience, background and preference
  • Leadership coaching to CEOs:  Score 8/10
  • Marketing to entrepreneurs:  Score  10/10

2.   Ability to generate the revenue you want

  • Leadership coaching to CEOs:  Score 10/10
  • Marketing to entrepreneurs:  Score 8/10

3.   Access

  • Leadership coaching to CEOs:  Score 2/10
  • Marketing to entrepreneurs:  Score 10/10

Total Scores

  • Leadership coaching to CEOs: 20
  • Marketing to entrepreneurs: 28

I guess by now you know that I teach marketing to entrepreneurs and have been very successful with my niche. I’m living proof that this stupefying simple way to pick your niche works!

You too can do this simple exercise and move on towards the light where your marketing plan and consequently more clients await.

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!

5 Business Naming Trends Startups Should Consider

Google 貼牌冰箱(Google Refrigerator)

How to pick a brand name that pops  (Photo credit: Aray Chen)

I’m often asked during my branding seminars about how to pick a brand name for a business. It’s a subject that’s almost as emotional and personal as picking your baby’s name so I can only give my personal opinion based on research that I’ve read as well as share the tips in this article below:

1. Real words When you consider Yahoo, Apple, indeed, Amazon and Twitter, they mean something but often have little immediate relation to your business.

Reasons to try this approach: It’s fun, easy and can be quite effective for generating buzz.

Reasons not to: Go too abstract and it can be confusing.

2. Misspelled words  Consider the following examples: Tumblr (Tumbler), (delicious), Digg (dig), flickr (flicker) and Google (Gogol).

Reasons to try this approach: Not only does amisspelled word stand out in a crowd  but it can help you overcome those pesky URL registration issues.

Reasons not to: Using misspelled word could be confusing and is often hard to remember.

3. Two syllable, compound words  Among others, there’s Birchbox, Skillshare, Crowdtilt and JackThreads.

Reasons to try this approach: With the number of URL’s available dwindling this strategy can help you overcome that challenge.

Reasons not to: The compound approach can be overdone.

4.Initials and acronyms Go old school ala IBM (International Business Machines), AOL (America Online) and TBS (Turner Broadcast System).

Reasons to try this approach: If a long, multiword phrase best describes your business, using an acronym can be a logical answer.

Reasons not to: B.O.R.I.N.G. Also, most businesses identified by an acronym use three letters. There are no three letter dot com URL’s left available on the Internet. Zero. So you might be paying big bucks to buy one.

5. Made-up words Skype, Hulu, Zynga… Nonsense can be fun, too.

Reasons to try this approach: A made up name can be catchy and extremely memorable when done properly.

Reasons not to:  If the name is too abstract, it’s likely to be forgotten, or worse, dismissed as silly.

via 5 Business Naming Trends Startups Should Consider.

My best advice on branding a business is timeless. Pick a single word in the English language that relates to something you do, give or cause. My favorite example of this is Staples. It’s easy, memorable and descriptive of what industry they’re in. I urge you to relook at your company’s brand name and make sure it has the same qualities so you can grow your business effortlessly!

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!

7 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Now

stressed and worried

stressed and worried (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just got back from a weekend away and it’s now back to work Monday. I must admit I feel ALOT better about Mondays since I started my business growth coaching practice full-time. However, stress comes in all forms. Positive stress, son having tantrum stress, parents not getting younger stress. You name it! Here in this article I read this morning, were surefire ways to relieve some right now:

1. Count your breath.  Counting the length of your inhale and exhale and gradually lengthening how long you take to exhale will help counter this stress response.

2. Sing it out. If sitting quietly and counting your breaths sounds impossible or unappealing, you can sing or hum to achieve a similar effect.

3. Drink more water. When your hydration level drops by even 2 percent, your ability to do simple math and make decisions is disrupted.

4. Do a body scan. Redirecting your focus away from your worries and toward your physical body for a minute or two can help alleviate stress.

5. Keep vacation photos handy.  When you feel stressed, look at an image for a moment, close your eyes and try to imagine all the sensations you were feeling in that place–what you saw, smelled, felt, heard and tasted.

6. Create a ritual. Instead of rushing to grab a cup of coffee or scarfing a snack, make a ritual of it, says Puddicombe.

7. Laugh out loud. Humor is the opposite of stress, according to John Morreall, president of Williamsburg, Va.-based Humorworks, which focuses on using humor in team-building exercises and other workplace activities.

via 7 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Now.

If you’re not stressed and you’re growing your small business, I want to meet you! I have so much positive stress right now from experiencing the highs of my first group program launch, to helping my clients market their own very first events, I can barely see straight. I will be using at least 6 of these 7 tips today and that’s a promise to myself!

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!

Entrepreneurs peeing their pants

If you feel the need for a Depends adult diaper as an entrepreneur trying to get new clients while doing things out of your comfort zone, you know exactly what I’m talking about. In this excerpt from an upcoming book Creating a Blueprint for Inner Change, I am contributing a chapter called The Anxious Small Business: A blueprint to lose your fear. Here, you will find the chronicles of entrepreneurs who might find themselves peeing their pants with anxiety and fear.

Anxiety #3: Fear of marketing or selling yourself

Does the word marketing make you feel dirty? Are you like my client “Ann” who was so bothered by the concept of selling her services that she refused to ask anyone for a referral or a testimonial? If you have clients only because they call you and not the other way around or if you have a picture of Larry the used car salesman from Three’s Company floating in your mind as you speak to people about what you do, you probably hate selling and marketing.

Blueprint to lose your fear

Change your mind-set to serving not selling. You were put on this earth for a very specific way to help others who are instinctively drawn to you. But they don’t know how to find you. Marketing is just a way of getting in front of those people who need your help and telling them that you understand and can help with their pain. When your own inner critic is keeping you from reaching out into the world and finding these people who need you, you’re actually being a little selfish. Have a good plan: Selling and marketing is often thought to be unpleasant because most small businesses don’t have a good plan. They don’t have a specific niche and a well thought out way to get in front of that niche. Imagine if you knew exactly who needed you and knew the exact thing to say to get them to follow you home and beg to work with you. Do you think you’d hate selling and marketing as much then? Get help from someone who’s done it well: Famed speaker Anthony Robbins was an overweight and unemployed young man who was the product of a broken home when he started reading books about men who were successful throughout history. He knew the value of learning from people who’d done success well and learned from them. You too can find a coach, a mentor or even a friend who is maybe a few steps ahead of you in the business development curve and who’s got it all figured out. Ask for their help pronto!

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!

5 Lessons From Oprah’s Startup

According to Keirsey, Oprah Winfrey may be a T...


Can’t resist re-quoting an article when it has to do with my hero Oprah. When I saw her in person at her Toronto show, she talked a little about the OWN pains and how she had ‘a little show to run’ at the time of its start. Here are a few lessons for other startups like us:

1. Moonlighting creates madness. It’s OK to plan a startup while employed by another company. However, it’s not ever wise to initiate customer facing operations without 100 percent leadership attention and focus.

2. Brand consistency matters.  There was nothing empowering about watching Tatum O’Neal’s childish spats with her father or Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson recounting her self-inflicted financial and personal mishaps.

3. Make it great.  Copying what works at other networks or revisiting the ghosts of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” won’t be enough for OWN to achieve entrepreneurial greatness.

4. Spend like a startup. I bet in the early days of Winfrey’s Harpo Productions Inc., first-class travel, expensive meals, employee bonuses and indulgent office digs were a reward for profitable financial performance, not a necessity.

5. Adversity is not failure. OWN is too early in the business development cycle to be called a failure.  The point is to learn from first missteps and continue to search for the sweet spot where a new business can operate in a sustainable way.

via 5 Lessons From Oprah’s Startup.

This spectacular woman keeps teaching me things even when she’s failing at something. Through watching her trials and tribulations and tuning into her brave show on those very same trials, I learn that not every business is perfect and that even very successful people can stumble on the way to even greater success.

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!

5 Reasons People Unfollow You on Twitter

As a complete Twitter novice who nevertheless helps people grow their business, I loved this article about the no-no’s of using it. I was pretty much responsible for 2 of the 5. Yikes! Take a look if you’re guilty too…

1. Every tweet is about your product or service.

I know there are consultants out there earnestly telling their clients to “stay on message” at all times. For a 30-second television interview, that might make sense. In social media, it’s a terrible idea. Retweet someone else once in a while. Tell me about what you’re reading.

2. Your tweets aren’t in English.

If I can’t understand your tweets, there’s no reason to have them in my stream.

3. Your tweets are in English, but I still can’t understand them.

Consider this tweet from earlier today: “RT @ScLoHo: RT @awelfle: @AmyL_Bishop @douglaskarr and what about @scloho? #solomo #yolo #BIN2012 //Yeah Doug?

If all or most of your tweets are full of abbreviations and inside messages, only insiders are likely to follow you. Of course, that may be what you want.

4. All your tweets are conversations.

You probably know that a tweet beginning with the @ symbol appears only in the stream of that user, plus any other users who follow you both. If all of them(your tweets) are things like, “@Someone, great seeing you last night!” “@OtherSomeone, That’s a great idea–let me know how it goes!” and so on, I can’t tell what you really tweet about. I’m likely to move on.

5. Your tweets are all lists of @names.

The long list of people you want to shout out is cluttering up my Twitter stream. I want it to be full of fun and useful information instead.

If you want to make me happy, retweet something I tweeted. If I haven’t tweeted anything worth repeating, then why are you telling others to follow me?

via 5 Reasons People Unfollow You on Twitter.

When you’re learning a new language in a new country, you stumble and make mistakes so in the land of Twitter, I’m a proponent of just getting out there. If nothing else, enjoy having the unprecedented access to the thoughts and actions of your heroes and mentors.

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!

Stage (S)kills!

My first public speaking experience that was memorable was in my 8th grade French class where I was doing my utmost to explain the mating habits of a praying mantis in French (they eat their partner once done with them!) to a class room of English-speaking pre-teens. Everyone ignored me. I then stopped everyone in their tracks by starting to draw on the board behind me, the actual mating process and the eating that ensued thereafter. I haven’t stopped wanting to arrest people in their tracks when I speak since then.

I’m so passionate about being a captivating speaker and teaching people how to get clients from a good speech that I put together my first ever full day public speaking training bootcamp.

In the video above, I talk about the 3 fundamentals of Public Speaking success:

What’s the audience’s pain?

Why are the people in those seats? What pain can you help them with today? With me, it’s usually about getting more clients and figuring out a marketing plan to get there.

What’s your solution?

There are a million ways to help the same problem but your audience is interested in findng out what you did in the past to help clients with similar pain and what their results were. If you tell interesting and relevant stories about how you helped another client with the same pain and all the wonderful outcomes of your actions, you give people a chance to find out how they can also benefit from your help.

Entertain me

If you do the above two and don’t entertain people in some way–then you’re missing the entire reason why people came to see you talk and not picked up a book. They want to connect with you as a human, they want to hear personal stories and they want to be inspired and amused. The shortest way to anybody’s heart is to make them smile or even better to make them laugh. Even if you’re not a comedian or an entertainer, tell a story of your past that made you smile. Make sure to link it to the audience pain and your solution and voila–you have a captivated audience!

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!