Why You’re Not Getting Clients From Social Media

Yes, you’ve been posting articles on LinkedIn. You’ve said YES to every invite on Facebook and Twitter. You have done your job so how come social media isn’t doing its job and bringing you new clients? I think I might know the answer to that one. If you follow my work you can probably guess what I’m going to say: Your social media isn’t working because you might not have the right business strategy.

A business strategy is just a fancy way of saying WHO you help and WHAT you help them with. A communication strategy is figuring out where to intercept these ideal clients and telling them HOW you help them over and over and over again. For example, if your market research tells you that you have to target CEO’s of multinational corporations, research shows that 53% don’t even participate in social media. In that case, your communication strategy shouldn’t be heavy on social media presence.

  • So the first order of action is to figure out what we in marketing call your niche (your ideal client target and your specialty).
  • Then you ask your niche what social media platform and groups they are consuming either as an observer or active participant.
  • Then you ask them what their number one pain point with respect to your specialty they are suffering from.
  • Then you post videos and blogs and quotes and articles from other trusted sources in the groups and streams your target clients are involved in, always about solutions to their pain point.

And voila, all of a sudden, your ideal clients think you’re an expert, a celebrity and a go-to guru for their problems in the area of your specialty. Then when they see you speaking at a conference, meet you at a trade show or run into you while networking, they will know, like and trust you already. The rest, as they say will be history and you’ll watch your sales grow and grow.

What has been your experience in how social media has gotten you clients?

Would love your input on this post and if you 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

Can Your Sex Life Cost You Clients?

jianghomeshi

A week after being rocked by the Parliament shooting, popular CBC host Jian Ghomeshi was fired over sex allegations about his involvement in rough play in the bedroom. He subsequently wrote a Facebook manifesto where he declared that all acts were consensual and that respecting different sexual tastes were part of human rights.

As a huge proponent of being yourself as part of your brand, I got to thinking about ‘how much info is too much info’ when you’re sharing it as part of your personal and business brand? I mean, can you lose your business (or job) for being too open about your life?

Here are a few thoughts I came up with for those who are struggling to communicate their personal brand:

Who Do You Help

If your clients are mostly corporate or religious, is it ok to come out and reveal that you enjoy the occasional use of whips and chains in your private life? Just like with celebrities, you will appeal to a certain kind of corporation and a certain kind of client, simply because you’re edgy and honest. If you will lose 100% of your clients because of your disclosure, then you’d better have market intelligence that says that there is a viable niche of clients who will hire you for being edgy before you spill the beans. You can’t expect everyone to be on board (sadly) and can’t blame them for not being a fit with your brand.

Why Do It

When it seems like a risky proposition and potentially embarrassing to boot, why would you want all your dirty laundry to hang out as part of your marketing platform? Because it actually helps people who are in the same situation connect better with you. It humanizes you and makes you more accessible. Most people are walking through life pretending to think and do things because it’s the accepted norm. When you stand up and say ‘I’m different’, you earn trust and respect.

Who Does It Hurt

Provided that you are prepared to lose a few clients and friends, if your TMI (too much info) isn’t harmful to children, small pets and or isn’t illegal, then it’s harmful NOT to reveal your true thoughts in life (and in your marketing). Near-death-experiencer-turned-novelist Anita Moorjani states that we are born with the exact character, thoughts and wishes that we’re supposed to have to fulfill our destiny. The name of her book Dying To Be Me, beautifully illustrates this hard lesson that she literally had to die to learn.

How To Start

Well, you could have a jilted angry ex expose you like in poor Jian’s case or you could start to express your views by slowly introducing it in conversations with your business networks and see how they react. Sadly, the majority of my clients who refuse to show up in their marketing don’t even have as exciting lives or divisive thoughts as a Dominatrix. They simply choose silence over saying or writing anything that can be remotely controversial.

Unfortunately in marketing, agreement with everyone is equal to being invisible. So to answer the blog’s question: can your sex life lose you clients? No, not the right ones.

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

I’m Against Cold Calling But If You Insist On It, Here’s How

telemarketerI consider myself a bit of an expert on cold calling. Why is that you say? Because I practically cut my baby teeth on it. It was literally my first summer job–telemarketing. At the tender age of 15, I started first by selling ad space in a business directory in Montreal (using very BAD French). Then I progressed to peddling light bulbs and ultimately my telemarketing career peaked at its glory when I started selling cemetery property. It is a good (but gruesome) business. After all, what other service can you think of where literally EVERYONE needs it?

Through it all, I learned a lot about how to sell on the phone. Now I use my experiences in helping my small business coaching clients get new leads.  Here are my pearls of wisdom that were honed by trials, errors and sometimes horrors through the years.

Don’t Do It

When I was a telemarketer, they gave us the phone book as our leads. Basically prospects needed to have a pulse and live in the city. Today, there’s social media and the internet and so many more resources to define your target. LinkedIn allows you to even write directly to the exact position and title of the exact company you want to work for. So when such a sophisticated world of communication exists, why would you go back to the stone ages? I know lots of people still do it but the ROI in my experience doesn’t justify the means. It’s for people who DON’T KNOW any other way or who don’t have a clearly defined niche.

Warm It Up

When I teach my clients to cold call, I help them warm it up first. I ask them to reach out to their networks and e-introduce them to their target audience. I make them go on the company website or YouTube channel to find anything relevant to a recent award, ad, news-something to engage the conversation. Kind of like “I’m calling because I saw your recent acceptance speech at the HR awards on YouTube and wanted to find out more about what you do”. This immediately sets you apart. I always enjoy speaking to reps who cold call me but who have done their research. They say a word about my videos or my book or ask me a question about my niching workshops-all info widely available to anyone who cares to spend 10 minutes on my website. So do the work and warm up that cold call. You’ll get a lot further with it.

Give Them Value

The only reason you should ever cold call anyone is if you’ve got something to help them with a need that you KNOW they have. For example, my clients who have to resort to (or prefer to) cold call offer a free consult or a ticket to a lunch and learn or a free download that addresses a relevant industry issue. The entire reason for the call has to be an invitation to give access to a solution.

Cut It Short

After quickly finding out if there’s interest in the solution and resource that you’re offering on the call, either end the call by thanking and asking if they know of anyone else in that pain or by booking the next time you’ll be seeing them. Don’t blather on, don’t take up too much time and be concise.

If you refuse to join the new world and want to default back to cold calling, please be my guest but if you implement these suggestions, you might just get better results and start to get better leads.

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

Be Contrary: DON’T Ask For The Sale

don't ask for saleAt the start of my coaching career 10 years ago, I had paid a slew of biz dev folks to teach me how to get clients. They agreed on one thing: You can’t get a sale unless you ask for it. I always found this really difficult, coming from an immigrant background where I was uncomfortable about asking for money from anyone at any time in my life.  Not only was it uncomfortable but it wasn’t working. I would be doing hundreds of hours of free coaching and ask for the bloody sale and I never got it. Most people said they loved me but couldn’t afford it or had to ask their boss or husband or dog. You get the picture.

Low and behold, when I scared myself silly and started spending the big bucks (the amount of a small car as I often like to say) on getting trained in how the big boys close sales, I discovered an incredible truth: All the sales gurus were wrong-the real gurus NEVER ask for the sale. Well, you might be asking yourself how exactly do I get clients without asking for the sale. Read on and be comforted. If you do what I tell you to, you never have to ask for a sale again as long as you live.

Step 1: Be A Specialist

I can’t say it enough times, if you’re a jack of all trades, you are master of none. Even if you do something specific like Video Production, be a specialist in an aspect of that like Green Screen rentals or Website Intro Videos or Training Videos or Interview Videos. Find a need and niche in it. Without a focus, nobody will truly understand how you can help them.

Step 2: Always Hang With The Same Crowd Who’s In Pain

There is a specific group of people who you can help the most with their pain, who will pay you the highest fees and that you have more access to than others through your networks. Find these people and get into their face, their life, their networks and the media they consume. Become the air that they breathe around your specialty.

Step 3: Ask About Their Pain

When I won a mobile massage at a charity, the masseuse and I got to talking about her business. I asked about the pain that I help with–“how do you market to get new business?”. Even though my face was pressed into a massage chair, I still could hear her pain and could talk to her about it.

Step 4: Ask For Permission To Share

The next thing I asked the masseuse (who was really great by the way!) was permission to share how I help clients in her kind of pain. She was delighted and of course said yes! Then I proceeded to outline in 3 or 4 steps how I help. Voila!

Step 5: Ask If This Would Help Them

When I asked my masseuse this question, she really did think (and I knew) I could help her. She vehemently shook her head up and down and said YES, it would definitely help to have that done to my marketing.

Step 6: Shut Up

Then I just buried my face into the massage chair and kept on enjoying the rub down. I let her process what we could create together. As she was leaving, she asked me how much it would cost to work with me.

There you have it folks, the anatomy of how I get people to ask ME to work with them instead of me having to ask THEM for the sale.

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 Things I Learned About Business While Shark Diving

sharkdiving

Sitting on the ocean floor during the shark dive

Yes, I was crazy enough to go shark diving. Not in those cages either. I actually jumped into a water infested with fins. It was unnerving to say the least but there were lots of other divers already in the water so it seemed harmless. As in everything I do in my life, everything comes back to how it applies to small business.

Here are some things I learned about my own small business that day…

1. Prepare Yourself

Before the big ‘shark dive’ portion of the live-aboard dive trip I took, we had briefing after briefing about what to do and what not to do. Stay away from the food they lower to the ocean floor. (A guy actually lost a limb when a piece of food floated his way). Don’t make sudden moves etc. In business, I often find that people just throw themselves out there. Sometimes with little to no preparation for their mind or skill set. Unfortunately statistically speaking, they end up shark bait to their competitors.

2. Watch Your Surroundings Constantly

As part of the briefing, we were told that if a shark is swimming erratically and speeds up while swimming towards you, you’re in trouble. There’s not much you can do at that point. However, we did learn to be extra vigilant of our surroundings because the sharks were literally everywhere-in front, behind, and on top of us as we sat in a circle at the bottom of the ocean. It’s actually not a bad metaphor for the business world. Are you out networking with your competitors? Are you attending their seminars or webinars? Watch your surroundings in business constantly. Or you might get attacked.

3. Watch Yourself Constantly

One of the biggest things I had to watch out for was my air consumption because I was breathing heavier due to my elevated heart rate. Cut me some slack here, I was literally swimming with sharks during their feeding! Still, I had to be extra aware of my air flow and keep an eye on my tank supply. In business, your cash flow is your oxygen. During times of crisis you use more of it and need to keep a constant eye on it because as in the ocean, there’s no life without air.

4. Stick To Someone Bigger Than You

I was so paranoid about getting bitten by a shark that I picked the most heavyset, enormously overweight dive buddy on the entire boat. He was easily 4 times my size. I figured even a hungry shark might be intimidated by that size. I mean, if you were a shark, would you eat a steak your own size? I stuck to him like glue. Of course, he did get stuck while passing between two reefs but we were well-trained to calmly back out and untangle our gear from the reefs. Similarly in business, I pay extraordinary amounts of money to walk with the giants of my industry standing next to me. My coaches have been responsible for doubling and tripling my income in the three years since I started my business. Stick to someone bigger than you, always.

5. Have Fun

All the while I was calculating and analyzing and listening to my own heavy breathing in my mask during the shark dive, I was exhilarated. I was doing something most people wouldn’t even dare to dream of doing. I felt brave and alive. Every time I meet miserable people who work for someone else, I feel the same exhilaration for having had the guts to leave that life and work for myself. Just as in the shark dive, I sometimes have to remind myself that the journey of an entrepreneur is scary but it is a ton of fun.

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

When My Client Said She Didn’t Like Me

hateWhat would you do if a client told you she disliked you? What if it was a client you liked and respected as someone smart and successful in her business? Well, that’s what I found out, when I asked the same client for a referral. Here’s the unedited version of the email that the new prospect (now client) got from my client. Of course, identities have been protected.

On Wed, Aug 27, 2014 at 1:33 PM, xxxx wrote:

Hi, I have been speaking with Chala and she gave me your name as a ref. Basically ,How long have you been working with her and have you achieved the results you wanted? Thanks,M

Sent from my iPhone

Subject: Re: Chala Reference

‘Hello M, Thank you for reaching out…I LOVE LOVE LOVE Chala.

I will honestly tell you that I didn’t like her in the beginning because she put me in my uncomfortable zone.  Once I committed to be uncomfortable, I fell in love.  I really didn’t think I would ever like Chala because she is no-nonsense and had me focusing on things that I really didn’t think were going to help me.  I kept at it each time I thought about the hefty price tag on her service.  Once I was able to follow her instruction, do my homework and focus on marketing tasks assigned, I started to see results.  First and most importantly in how I felt about marketing my company and secondly in terms of clarity.  I never thought I could feel so proud and clear about marketing my business.  one piece of advise – ask ask ask ask for help in everything marketing because she has her finger on the pulse.  Every time I changed voice-mail greeting, email signature, newsletter title, networking groups – I consulted with Chala and have seen a positive increase in either clients, leads or new knowledge.

I am now ignoring my phone more and trying to handle the recent influx…it took 2-3 months to feel this influx, but i have had many small increases in all areas along the way.  Now my problem is hiring to keep up with the new business:O)

I am very happy i stuck it through and pushed myself to enjoy the discomfort.  For the first time in 5 years i have a marketing plan, strategy and calendar and every thing that is considered marketing in my business is sending the same message.  I have connected with many “marketers” and none of them are as all-inclusive in their marketing approach as Chala.

now to figure out how to keep Chala in my life, she is worth every penny and more!!

You cannot go wrong here unless you choose to do nothing.  Let me know if you have any questions.

All the best! S

What did I learn from this very insightful correspondence? That once you burn through your discomfort and your fears and stop blaming things, people and circumstances, THAT’S when you truly experience growth.

This is not a brag-blog. This is a reminder and a message to all my coach and consultant community who have been called (because I believe it is a calling!) to help others through your gift. Your first job isn’t to teach them a skillset, it’s to teach them a mindset. It’s to hold their hand through the fire of fear and discomfort. Do I have clients who quit when they get uncomfortable? Hell yes. I heard a scary stat somewhere that 80% of coaching clients don’t implement what their coach tells them. But do the ones that push themselves past the discomfort benefit? Well, you’ve read it yourself.

What discomfort do YOU have to push yourself through?

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 Crazy Things That Happened To Me In Dallas

badflightI broke through my personal barriers of leaving my 5-year-old (and my 45-year-old) behind for the first time for a chance to grow my coaching business at a US conference. So many wild and wonderful things happened and in case you’re also going to be trying on new and scary things to grow your own biz, I thought I’d share them with you and save you the hassle.

My Pinky Got Me Stuck At Customs

Perhaps one of my biggest worries was that I’d be questioned at the US border about why I was an exhibitor, potentially taking American jobs away from Americans. I asked a thousand people about what to say or not say if questioned. The answers varied wildly, some saying they lied about having a booth and others saying it was completely safe to be honest about exhibiting at a US trade show. Armed with this dubious information, I got my Nexus card out (the pre-approved security card that allows a simple finger print and eye scan to fast track you through customs) and went to their automated machines. When I couldn’t get my fingerprints to register on one machine, I kept hopping to the next one and the next one in a panic. I started to get noticed by the guards so I just hit ‘accept’ and printed out a receipt. On the receipt was a cut-off picture of my head and a giant black X. Not good. Then when I gave it to the officer at the gate, he asked me to step in the ‘little room’. Oh my God, I thought here comes the cavity search. Well, I learned that it was because my Pinky finger hadn’t registered strong enough and next time I should press my other hand on it to get a better impression. Without a single question, I was allowed through. Phew.

My Breast Milk Got Me Clients

The first morning of the conference, I volunteered to take the microphone and talk about what made me happy in the breakout session. In front of hundreds of women, I told the story of how I’d stopped scuba-diving when I gave birth because when I was breastfeeding, I was worried about the pressure squeezing milk out into my wetsuit. I have no idea how that story came out but if you know me, you wouldn’t be surprised about it. I got 2 clients and many many comments from countless women throughout the 4 days I was there because of that story. My point about being authentic and unafraid to spill your truths was proven.

What I Got From Air Canada’s 10-hour Delay

After an exhausting 4 days, I was ready to go home and kiss my little guy’s chubby belly. I got to the airport and 5 hours later, my flight that kept getting delayed was cancelled. It then took 2 hours for the hotel vouchers and rebookings to be done. All this happened with not a single word of information, apology or update from the 3 Air Canada employees who were overwhelmed by the event. Most people in the line up after an 8-hour wait were surprisingly poised and patient. Some started screaming at the staff and yes, they were served first. People became friends, commiserated together and bonded.

A very smart frequent traveler was the one person who, as soon as he heard about the cancellation, hopped onto his tablet, rebooked his own flight online and left without waiting for a voucher. I myself did the same 1 hour later with my darling hubby’s help on the phone. So if this happens to you, leave. You can rebook yourself from your own hotel. Also, the airline will reimburse your hotel, just send in your receipt. Those poor people didn’t know so they waited. The next day, after another 3 hour wait, I sat next to a gentleman who is going to become my next VIP client. How’s that for destiny?

When you scare yourself and leave the safety of your everyday life, you go so much further than you could ever imagine!

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