Does this make me a tease? You be the judge!

YEAH! I Know I Am Such A Tease - Very FunnyA question I often get from clients is “how do I avoid giving away the whole secret of what I do in my blogs or videos?” It’s really a critical question because who’s going to buy the cow if you already gave them the milk? (a gross thought really, who wants a cow? I’ve always wondered)

Two Schools Of Thought

There are two ways to answer that question and both are valid. One is to give a snippet of the solution away without holding anything back and the second is to share the WHAT and the WHY without giving away HOW you arrive at the solution.

Giving It Away

I remember watching in rapturous attention how “Selling from the Stage” guru Lisa Sasevitch shared in her video, how to get people to BEG for a sales sheet for her program. The problem was, the video was such a short snippet of what I needed that I was automatically interested in signing up with her program to learn even more. When even a small portion of your wisdom can give value to people, they’ll be lining up to work with you on a full-time basis.

The Tease

The other alternative is to give potential clients the end result (WHAT) of your help and why this process will work but holding back the detailed description of the process (HOW) itself.  For example, I show successful examples of how I’ve helped clients re-niche their businesses to pick a more focused and viable target client and report on the successful results of our work together. I don’t really go into HOW to pick that said niche. That’s part of why people would hire me for a longer term relationship.

Give Value

Whichever way you toss the dice, you need to be giving amazing, juicy value when you’ve got peoples’ attention. You’ve got to say something new or something old in a new way. You’ve got to tune into your audience’s problems and headaches. You’ve got to speak their language. Then and only then will they want to work with you.

Wanting More

It is human psychology to want more of something that looks like it might speak to you. We see the ‘leave them wanting’ technique used in movie trailers, TV ads, training videos, virtually everywhere we look. Why should your business not benefit from this powerful marketing tool?

How can you tease your potential clients this month?

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

Would Anyone Care If You Disappeared?

Sometimes when I was in a snit about an argument I had with my family, I’d slink into a corner and fantasize about just running away (not to the circus but you get the idea). I wondered if anyone would care if I disappeared and how long it would take for them to notice. Of course now, I know that would’ve given the Dincoys a coronary but don’t you sometimes wonder that about your own business?

Well, big businesses are wondering that very same thing and here’s what they did to find out:

In a first ever attempt at ranking all global brands on the same footing, a research done by the Havas Media Group looked at how a brand affected people’s wellbeing.

In determining this link, they asked questions around how a brand affected everything from the personal well-being to the collective one. Factors such as physical, financial, emotional as well as economic, ethical and environmental were rated against a brands’ ability to influence a person’s well-being.

Show Me the Money

It turned out that meaningful brands beat the stock market average performance by a whopping 120%. In other words, if people’s wellbeing is influenced greatly by a brand, then naturally they value it more.

Only 20% of worldwide brands were found to significantly influence wellbeing. Top of that list of course, is the brand: Google, followed by Samsung, Microsoft, Nestle and Sony.

Crazy that all but one of those are technology companies, isn’t it? What would we do without our gadgets?

Nobody Cares About You

On the other hand the research also revealed that a surprising 73% of brands can DISAPPEAR off the face of the earth and nobody would care about the loss.

People felt that while they think 71% of brands should be solving our problems, they only thought that 34% did this.

What are the implications for you and your small business?

If giant multimillion dollar brands who pour tons of money into ad campaigns can only inspire 46% trust, what can the little guy with so much less ad dollars expect?

How to Matter

When it comes down to trust and relevance, your only ally is to understand your client’s pain and speak their language. Be perceived as one of them and not be lumped into a crowd of others who do exactly the same thing as you do. Stand out. Be bold and be authentic. Stand for something you believe in. Listen to HOW you can matter to your client’s life and business. Then do what THEY tell you to do, not what YOU think should be done.

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 Traits of a Great Business Blog

If I had a dollar for every client who was afraid to blog, I’d never need another client again. As a small biz marketing coach, I know that the most authentic way to help our clients is to give them down to earth, real advice that sounds just like they’re sitting across the table from us. Advice that’s timely, genuine, caring and darned valuable. Here are some really great tips about how to do it right once you bite the bullet and get on the blogging bandwagon:

A Great business blog should have these qualities:

1) Problem-Solving

If you solve people’s problems, your blog will pre-sell your products or services.

2) Openness

There are two things I’m trying to describe here, and I think that “openness” is the best word:

  • Desire to be authentic.
  • Ability to share freely.

3) Personality

This can come through via a relaxed writing style, the use of fun images and photos, telling fun and interesting stories, and — maybe most of all — not taking yourself too seriously.

4) A Plan

  • How often will you publish?
  • What types of articles will you publish?
  • Who all in your company will be charged with writing for the blog?
  • If you have multiple authors, who’s going to manage them?
  • What will your comment policy be?

5) Persistence

Google will start to reward your content with the kind of trust that leads to visibility in search results.

6) Passion

But your passion can’t come through in the form of sales pitches and self-promotion, it has to come through in the process of solving people’s problems and educating them.

7) Variety

Your blog posts shouldn’t all read like news releases. They shouldn’t all be designed to sell. They shouldn’t all be the same length. They shouldn’t stick to a company formula.

via 7 Traits of a Great Business Blog.

So if you’re afraid to blog, stop waffling and get down to it. It’s the cheapest and easiest way to get across not only your brand character but also your marketing message of how you help clients.

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!

Too scared to lose your (video) virginity?

The 40-Year-Old Virgin

The 40-Year-Old Virgin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you know that YouTube is now the #2 search engine after Google and feel guilty of still not having made your own video, you need help to lose your video virginity and I’m here to help!

Video’s the way

I don’t need to convince (I hope) that you need to put your mug on your marketing and show it to your business community to make a bigger impression.  You probably are aware of your competitors doing it. Video is the most cost effective way for you to reach complete strangers in large masses.  Visibility connects you to people emotionally (and to some pets).  There is no substitute for video except your actual presence and you’ll need a serious travel budget to see and talk to as many people as your video will online!

Why still a Virgin?

Just like Andy, the electronics salesman on the movie The 40 Year Old Virgin hilariously portrayed by Steve Carell, you probably never had the right setting, the right opportunity and the right time to actually lose your video virginity. I mean if you don’t have the toys or the knowhow, you probably think it will take lots of money and time to do it.

Hate your face?

The other reason why you’re still a virgin could be that you just don’t like your face, your voice or the way you talk.  Well, I’m here to tell you that whether you like it or not, it’s who you are and when you meet people in person, that’s what they get. What’s the difference if that same face you show in person is now talking to people who aren’t in front of you but are in front of their own computers?

Accept (if you can’t love) the limitations of your physical appearance and pretend that the camera is your best client who is in the throes of pain in relation to what you help them with.

Get cracking

Here’s your plan of action if you’re still a video virgin—get a 14 year old grandson or neighbour, doesn’t matter—and get them to show you how it’s done.  While together, record at least 3 different blog topics and post it on YouTube as soon as you’re done.  You will feel so much better for improving your marketing by 100% in just 1 stroke in exchange for 0$!

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!

How to Get Anyone’s Attention

As a straight talking Marketing Coach for Small Biz, what I do all day everyday is to help my clients get their clients’ attention. It is the most primitive and basic definition of marketing. Here are some really cool tips on how to do exactly that:

1.  Get to Know Me

Treat me as though I am worth the effort. Instead of sending out a canned email to hundreds, identify people who can specifically help, and invest some time and energy to understand them. With Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google you can learn a lot about a person and figure out whether or not there are truly common goals or if you are just wasting everyone’s time.

2. Show Me Value

As my smart friend and colleague Rick Newman of US News and World Report once said to a room full of entrepreneurs: “All of you have interesting stories, and none of my readers give a s**t”. Guess what, there are thousands of start-ups, new books, eager job applicants, worthy causes, and smart people. Explain why you are truly different. Then, don’t just make it about you. Communicate the specific value you bring to me, and the people who follow me.

3. Entertain Me!

The surest way to be rewarded with attention is through creativity. You have many tools at your disposal.  You can make a cool presentation, video or even write me a short story. My God, at the very least, send me a joke. Just don’t bore me with a long blah, blah, blah email or cover letter that says the same stuff about how you are going to change the world or how you want to make a difference. Show me something cool, fun, and emotionally moving. Give me the Awesome Experience: the convergence of need, entertainment and the unexpected.

via How to Get Anyone’s Attention.

In marketing, boring someone is akin to killing your business. You lose eyeballs and ears, you lose business. Use your creativity or copy someone else’s. For example, the title for a recent best seller called So Good They Can’t Ignore You comes from Steve Martin‘s famous advice to other comedians. Get to know the person and provide incredible value so people are lining up for your help.

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 Ways Social Media Can Ruin Your Reputation

Maxistheman

Maxistheman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a relative social media newbie who helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses, I am really worried about doing the wrong things online. The other day, a friend had to explain that #FF on a tweet meant that they were praising your work. Who knew! So if you’re like me and you want to understand how not to damage your brand on social media, read the great tips below.

1. Boring posts. A boring post is anything that lacks your unique personality or perspective. Giving a fresh perspective on an old topic or going against the status quo is what gets noticed.

2. Disrespecting others. Social media is not the place to work out your problems with people. But don’t retaliate publicly. Simply delete the negative comment, block the person and then decide if you want to address the issue privately, or just move on.

3. Failing to promote others. When someone gives you a great piece of advice, post it on Facebook or Twitter and tag that person. Or utilize the Endorsements feature on LinkedIn and begin endorsing people within your network.

4. Not replying to comments. Actively monitoring comments and questions on every post can be time-consuming, but even posting one follow-up comment per post can show you care and that you’re engaged.

5. Being tagged in questionable photos.   As a business owner, be mindful of how you want to be perceived publicly. Untag or delete yourself from any inappropriate photos.

via 5 Ways Social Media Can Ruin Your Reputation.

If you’ve already made some of the above blunders online, don’t worry. Thankfully social media is so fast and furious that your mistakes are pages and pages of posts ago and what counts is your momentum going forward.

The key thing in social media is a nice blend of social and business while keeping it real and personal. I am such a newbie that I didn’t know how to mass invite my LinkedIn contacts to a workshop, plus I didn’t want to invite everyone. So, I personally wrote a different message to each person I invited including what I thought about their website or biz idea. Wow, did I get complimentary comments and great results. Sometimes, it pays to be a novice!

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!