10 Terrible Excuses Not To Market Your Small Business

excuseAs a small biz marketing guru, I’ve heard them all. They have one thing in common: They are all excuses that are holding you back from your dreams. They are false beliefs you picked up somewhere from your family, your culture, the media, a bad experience..you name it. I can go on.

Here are the ones that I’ve heard most often. See if you can spot yourself in one.

1. I Have No Time

I once heard a quote that said ‘Time is a created thing. When you want to, you find it.’ I couldn’t agree more.

2. No Money

The way that I marketed my business when I first started my coaching practice almost 3 years ago was practically for free. I went networking at low-cost events and got on the phone to book myself in as a speaker in front of crowds I wanted to penetrate. In addition, through social media, I could reach almost anyone I wanted to and did. You will never have enough money if you make this one an excuse.

3. No Connections

Didn’t I just mention social media? Not only that, but when you reach out to your own friends and family and give them a clear picture of your ideal client and ask for their help in meeting them, you will be surprised at how many connections you truly have.

4. Don’t Like To Network

I used to be against networking. I bit the bullet and kept going to the same events that my ideal clients go to. Over and over and over again. Now, I’m surprised if I don’t know at least 10 people at ANY event I go to. The very first ones I used to go to, I’d ask the organizers’ help in getting introduced around. In others, I’d find one accommodating soul at the buffet and ask if they knew anyone and ask to be introduced. The rest is history.

5. Don’t Know What To Do To Market

If you’re truly clueless about whether you should be networking or advertising, then get some help. There are thousands of business coaching programs available at every price point. If you’re starting from zero, you need help. Stop wasting your time with this excuse and learn what to do.

6. Can’t Market Until My New Product Launch

Or until I finish my new certification or until my lease is up or until etc etc. This is a time-honored delay tactic and the granddaddy of all excuses. It’s a false belief that what you offer isn’t enough until you get something to complete you. Even if your entire business is the new product, you still don’t have to wait for the launch to start marketing. Ever heard of teaser campaigns?

7. It’s Icky To Self-Promote

This is a huge excuse and an honest to goodness belief that a lot of my clients have. Do the work to flip that belief (see my post on Dr.Joe Dispenza’s work to help you) or you’ll go bankrupt fast. If you didn’t self promote, you would continue to be the best kept secret in town and help no more than a handful of people in the world. Is that what you were born for? Surely your destiny can’t be meant to have you playing so small?

8. I’m No Good At It

I’m no good at beach volleyball, snowboarding, scuba diving, running, speaking French at cocktail parties, keeping my opinions to myself..and I can go on and on. I do it anyway and guess what..the more I do it, the better I get. Ditch your excuse and get out there.

9. I Have A Young Family

Oh, this doozy was mine for ages. I didn’t want to leave my 5-year-old at home and go out networking or travel out-of-town to large conferences and speaking gigs. Well, some wise women (one being Sandra Yancey) had me changing my perspective about this and I began to see it as simply the excuse that it was. I’m not like the George Clooney Up In The Air character where he was gone 300 days of the year. I only venture out-of-town once a month for a few days. The networking also isn’t so bad because I get to see him during the day.

10. I Need To Make Money So I Have To Work IN The Biz

Well, this is perhaps the biggest place to hide for entrepreneurs-their work. I have clients who build their businesses with me and get so busy with client work that they literally drop our marketing work entirely. I get a call from them during their dead season a few months later asking to start the work up again. Biz growth is a mean mistress. Unless you build it into your busy life all the time, she will not want you back easily.

I hope you were NOT able to recognize yourself in this list. Maybe there are even a few excuses I’ve missed. Let me know..I always love a good chuckle.

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

The Absolute Fastest Way To Find WHERE Your Ideal Clients Hang Out (VIDEO)

Hi, this is Chala Dincoy from Coachtactics.com your no-nonsense marketing coach who gives your small business a booster shot in the arm. In this video, I’m going to address THE most asked question I get when I meet small businesses—WHERE do I find my ideal clients?

If this question has plagued you as a small business owner, I guarantee it’s because a. you don’t have a specific group of ideal clients, in other words a niche or b. you don’t do market research to find out more about your target clients.

So if you don’t know where to find your ideal clients, start by focusing on WHO that ideal client is. Then do the research by asking THEM–yes as crazy as it sounds– ask your ideal clients where they hang out in large groups with others who are just like them. Ask them what they read or what social media groups they are active in. Ask them what clubs or associations they belong to. Ask them what trade shows and conferences they attend. Ask them what charities they support or what major suppliers they use. Then use various marketing activities to get into their world. That’s where you find your ideal clients—WHERE THEY TOLD YOU THEY’D BE! So how exactly do you ask them, you might be wondering. I recommend giving something to potential clients BEFORE asking for their help in getting this information.

My clients offer free lunch and learns or a bonus assessment or a free makeover in exchange for a 5 minute informational interview. Most of my clients get clients during the research phase. You see how you can’t go wrong with your marketing if you just ask your clients where they go? Then you go with them! After all, marketing is simply telling your ideal client that you can help them with their pain.

To intercept them with this message consistently, you need to know WHERE they are. So get out there, first ask them where they go and then be present with your message in their world—over and over and over again.

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

 

Still Bragging About Yesterday? Then You Haven’t Done Much Today

pinball
Pinballl Clemons

I met and fell in love with a man called Pinball Clemons last week. Not to worry, my husband was already in love with him. I, on the other hand had never met him.

CFL Hall of Famer,
Vice Chair of the Toronto Argonauts, Michael Clemons was a name I’d often heard in the community but due to my armchair sports allergy, I’d never personally been acquainted with.

Well, did he ever blow me away when I saw him speak for the first time last week. He had some doozy quotes that I LOVED and resonated so much with. Here are a few of them.

The first zinger was:

“Excuses are like belly buttons, everyone’s got one and none of them are good for anything”

I laughed out loud at that one. I want so badly to say this so many times during so many conversations I have with business women I’m networking with. (Not clients though, with them I tell them how it is and I call them on their excuses. Most times they love me for it, other times I piss them off.)

You know who doesn’t have excuses? Successful people, that’s who. They take responsibility and change their lives if something isn’t working. Victims blame everything and everyone except themselves for their circumstances and wait to be rescued by the miraculous change in the ‘excuse’ condition that’s responsible for their situation.

“If what you’ve done yesterday still sounds good today, then you haven’t done much today”

I loved this one so much that I made it the title of this post. I found that I was doing this a lot. I kept talking about how I tripled my revenue last year. What about this year? I’m happy to say that I’m 132% ahead of year to date same time last year right now. However, I have to double that if I want to reach my true goal. So as Janet Jackson would say ‘what have you done for me lately?’

“If a paralyzed 15 year old can golf, you as an entrepreneur can’t be afraid to take risks”

Pinball cried when he told the story of his true hero, a teenager who became paralyzed from the neck down, who was unable to move or speak and could only communicate through an interpreter who read his blinks. He talked about how if this little boy could still have the spirit to get up each and every day and live his very difficult life in joy, going as far as golfing while strapped to a lever and having his dad’s help for his swing, then we as entrepreneurs didn’t have the right to be afraid of discomfort.

I really loved the lessons contained in these golden nuggets that fell from Pinball’s lips and I live by them. Who is inspiring you today?

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

 

 

 

 

5 Signs That Your Clients Are Just Not That Into You

he'sjustnotthatintoyouHaving experienced an unfortunate love life until the ripe age of 37 when I met my Andy, I thought the book “He’s Just Not That Into You” was written about me. It was all about stories of guys and gals who did 2 am booty calls, who refused to introduce you to his friends, who didn’t want to talk about the future and who just kept you hanging onto the edges of their life with no output of effort or affection.

So when I started my own business of helping other businesses get new clients through figuring out their marketing, it occurred to me that the same thing was happening to us. We were hanging onto clients just like bad boyfriends who were Just Not That Into Us. Here are a few signs that this is happening written in the style of the original book itself which is in the form of Dear Abby type letters.

1. No Contact Sport

Dear Chala

I’m a financial adviser and I help young parents set up a secure financial future for their children. I’ve been working with a family for 2 years now and unless I call them, they never reach out to me and I have to practically insist on a date and call back several times to actually set a date to talk about THEIR portfolio performance. What’s going on here?

Perplexed in Parry Sound

Dear Perplexed,

I sympathize with your plight. The reason why your clients aren’t reaching out to you and don’t want to speak to you is because either they don’t like you or they don’t like the subject of finance and they’re avoiding you like the plague. Try to change your approach-meet them in a new environment that’s friendly to their family like an indoor playground’s private meeting room (since finances are confidential). Another idea is to bring a toy for their kids. Then ask them sincerely what they would love to change about the relationship. Are you meeting too frequently or is the info you’re presenting in a format they struggle with. If none of these approaches work, then move onto clients who love and adore your presence and thrive in your help!

Chala

2. Lucky To See A Dime

Dear Chala,

Do you ever get clients who from the very start are late in payments and sometimes miss their payments altogether?! There’s one guy I have to remind 4 times a month before he’ll pay me. I know it’s not a lack of money, he pays a lot of other vendors and his business is growing every minute.  Yet I never interrupt his service because I maintain his website and social media stream and how am I supposed to stop that? What should I do?

Net Pet

Dear Pet,

I very rarely have this happen to me but I know it happens a lot. If your client is So Not Into You that they’re ok with you walking or that you’ve trained them that it’s ok to skip payments or not pay you altogether, then you’ve got to walk away. People rarely change. You either have to start attracting clients who will honour their financial commitments or you have to re-train your existing dead beats into thinking that they can’t have you for free. Unless you’re performing a noble job like breastfeeding-when the payment stops, the service stops. No exceptions!

Chala

3. Who Me Implement?

Dear Chala,

I’m a personal trainer and the majority of my clients don’t do what I’m asking them to do between our sessions so my success rate on average is a big whopping disappointment. What can I do so I can hold my head up high at the next Thigh Busters Convention?

Muscles From Mississauga

Dear Muscles,

Any business owner who provides advice for a living has this problem and here’s how I solved it for my own clients. I now have a clause in my contract where if a client doesn’t do the homework they promised (which is captured in writing), I take $50 off their credit card each session. It’s been working beautifully and weeds out the serious clients from the ones who are Just Not That Into Me.

Chala

4. Snarky Barky

Dear Chala,

I love most of my clients but there’s this one store owner who is just as sarcastic as they come and he’s killing my mojo. Last week when I called to ask if he had more orders to place this month, he asked me if I was waiting for Santa to help me deliver since his last order had been a day late. He’s constantly saying things like this and I’m not sure he’s very happy. What should I do?

Office Guy In Oakville

Dear Office Guy,

When a client is saying sarcastic and nasty things to you all day long, it could either be because he’s just made that way and everyone gets the lash of his or her tongue or it could be your client is Just Not That Into You because he or she has experienced a gap in what he thinks you promised versus what he thinks you’re delivering. Clear up the matter by asking openly if they’re happy working with you. If not, move on. In fact, if they’re just a miserable son of a gun, move on anyway.

Chala

5. Complaint-City

Dear Chala,

Is it normal for a client to complain about everything and everyone or is it just that I’m not delivering a top notch service? Most of my clients are happy and doing well but some are just not thriving and they seem to complain and blame just about everything but their dog. What do you say?

Kicking Post Kelly

Dear Kelly,

When something goes wrong, productive people take responsibility and see the event as a learning for the next time. When a client keeps blaming others, circumstances or even you for not getting results, you need to address this issue. If they’re open to hearing it and willing to learn, they’ll work through it. If not, they are Just Not That Into You so you have to gently and kindly say goodbye.

Chala

If you’re a small business owner and you’re working with a client who is Just Not That Into You, wake up and smell the discontent. Then slowly and surely walk away from them into the arms of new clients who are perfect for who you are.

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

7 Things Really Amazing Communicators Do

When your small business success depends on your ability to communicate, you’d better care about what amazing communicators are doing so that you can copy them. Here are 7 cues about what the heck they’re doing in an article in Inc. Magazine by .

1. They Connect

People say that, when Bill Clinton talks with you, he makes you feel like you are the only person in the world. Let your listeners feel your empathy and know you value their importance.

2. They Engage

To be an amazing communicator, you should be well informed and yet ready to learn, listen and participate.

3. They Disarm

Get comfortable and confident in your own skin so you can give good energy in conversation and from the podium.

4. They Focus

Set structure to your speech and soon you’ll be able to communicate ideas in an efficient and powerful way.

5. They Clarify

Amazing communicators find ways to simplify complex concepts without being condescending.

6. They Reinforce

Make an effort to be dynamic and thoughtful in your delivery so listeners get depth and emphasis rather than a miscellany of concepts.

7. They Practice

Most amazing communicators didn’t start that way. They learned from experts, practiced with coaches and studied technique.

http://www.inc.com/kevin-daum/7-things-really-amazing-communicators-do.html

The biggest learning from all of the 7 points is that nobody was BORN a great communicator. Having done countless talks and interviews and speeches to all sizes of crowds, I know that I’ve gotten better with each new experience. So, the shortest way to success is to hire some help to groom you and to get out there and throw yourself to the mercy of your audience.

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

Dress Up Your Biz as These Hot Headlines For Halloween

You thought Halloween was just for kids and drinking parties. Entrepreneurs take note, your business can take a cue and ‘dress up’ by being inspired by these recent events for the occasion. Here’s a truly silly look at how to take advantage of this scaaary holiday for your small business.

The US Government Shuts Down

You can shut your own business down for Halloween and dress up as the US Government. You can avoid going to national parks and monuments for the day if you’re being true to the original model.

Miley Cyrus Twerks at the MTV VMAs

In honour of this nearly naked look that Miley had going for her, you can send a completely honest note baring your soul to your clients. I’ve always been a great proponent of transparency in your brand, why not take this occasion as an opportunity to do so.

Prince George Makes His Public Debut

The cutest monarch couple in history has spawned a child. What would it be like if this Halloween you gave birth to your own business child, in the form of a new program or a new package of your old services?

Beyoncé Cuts Her Hair

When her hair caught in a fan and she later lobbed the entire length off into a short bob, Beyoncé made a bold move. What can you cut in your business that would be equally bold and has been causing you a headache? This Halloween, why not go ahead and chop it off?

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

Inspired by http://www.popsugar.com/Hot-Halloween-Costumes-2013-31925008?image_nid=31929161&slide=2