When Someone In The Audience Ranted On Me

I was speaking at the SOHO Entrepreneur’s conference this week. The room was packed. I had a tiny speaking time slot I’d begged my way into and the organizers were frantically giving me the ‘you’re out of time’ gestures. At the end of my talk, something unexpected happened. A very angry older woman stood up and waved her notebook at me saying “you didn’t get to half the points you said you’d cover, I’m still waiting!”

What would you do if this happened to you? Here are a few lessons that I learned from my brush with audience fury.

When You’re In The Public Eye, Unpleasant Things Could Happen

Public Speaking is a huge fear for most people. No wonder because even though I LOVE to speak, I wasn’t feeling too warm and fuzzy as I was being verbally mauled by this audience member. I blog, speak, appear on TV and radio shows touting that it’s ok to be yourself. Well, here was a reminder that if I’m up for doing all those things, I have to be prepared that not everyone might agree with or like what I’m doing.

Ride the A-Train

My fave coach Sam Horne advises that when someone complains, we should ride what she calls the A-train: Apologize, Acknowledge and Act. So when angry lady caused a ruckus, I told her that I was sorry that we’d run out of time and that she hadn’t gotten to the part she came for (all true and valid complaints). Then I offered to stay behind and answer any questions she had for her business. She booted out as soon as the lights went up so I don’t think she was impressed but I’ve found the A-train invaluable in my business dealings.

Keep Cool

Having someone angry at me isn’t fun. Having someone yell at me in front of a packed room full of people I’m trying to convert into clients is even more nerve wracking. The best thing I did was to keep my cool in that situation and keep repeating the A-train like a robot and quickly move onto other matters. My best advice for you if you’re a small biz owner who is hit head-on with negativity is to think about something that makes you gooey inside (I thought of my 4 year old and how he was waiting for me in his pj’s at home in his bed). It works every time.

Plan Better

The angry audience lady was actually right. I should’ve completely changed up my speech and my usual keynote speaking summary to realistically reflect what I could present in that very small amount of time. It was a bitter way to remind me once again that no matter how many times I do this, I still have a lot to learn and a long way to go.

So the next time someone rants on you in public in front of potential clients, take my advice and you’ll look forward to the next flaying with more fortitude.

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

Listen To My ‘Gentle Marketing’ Radio Interview

Are you a shy marketer? Do you hate in-your-face-marketing? Don’t you think it’s 100% better to have clients be attracted to YOU? I believe so strongly in this topic that I wrote a book on it (coming in May!)

Listen to my hilarious radio interview with BizRadio and BizTV host David Wojcik on this topic of marketing on a shoestring budget while being authentic, attractive and generous.

It’s all about being clear on who you are as a business, who your ideal bullseye target customer is and how to get in front of them with the right message. It’s also virtually free because you were born with the best marketing tool and that’s your personality.

Picking the right niche is also free since all it takes is talking to your potential target groups to find out if you offer something of value to them.

Once you get those two things right, then you ask them where they hang out and go hang out with them! Simple, isn’t it?

I want you too to be a Gentle Marketer. It’s easy, cheap and best of all, it’s effortless.

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!

Building Your Brand on Twitter

As a brand marketing coach, I am always interested in learning new ways to use my brand to enhance my presence on any client touch point. One such touch point is Twitter. Are you doing these things (some of them are admittedly no-brainers) to enhance and build your brand on this marketing vehicle?

1. Use your brand name as your Twitter name. 
(Many companies) use a cute Twitter name that isn’t related to their brand name.

2. Use your logo as your Twitter picture. 
Some companies don’t use their logo for some reason.

3. Send Tweets that provide useful information to customers and prospects.
Always add a link to more information on your website.

4. Send Tweets to new blog posts or videos.
You can also send Tweets to older blog posts and videos that are still relevant.

5. You should Tweet 10 to 20 times a day to keep your brand name in the Twitter stream.
You can schedule the Tweets that have links to valuable content and complement that with five to 10 personalized Tweets where you are interacting with other Twitter users.

6. Create a persona for your Twitter presence so people will get to know your brand.
Investopedia defines brand personality as “A set of human characteristics that are attributed to a brand name.”

via Building Your Brand on Twitter.

Your brand personality is a living, breathing part of your business. You need to shout it out to the world to differentiate yourself from thousands of others who make their living doing what you do. Use every touch point that you can to make yourself memorable and different. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself in the enviable position of never having to market yourself again.

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!

3 Things You Wish People Would Say While Networking

Businessman with Food Stuck in his TeethAs a small business growth coach, I find myself at networking meetings 2-3 times a week. These are some of the things I wish for in my head for someone to sometimes say…

1. Excuse me, you have something black in your teeth

This one killed me as I got into my car one night after a networking event with 60 men and women and spotted myself in the mirror. I do regular washroom visits to check now but come on—couldn’t one person have taken pity and told me?

2. I’m not really into what you do
Sometimes when there’s no match, there’s no match. The person you meet doesn’t need your services. I wish they would just be straight and try to help with something else you need instead, like if you’re looking for a VA or to buy some IT consulting or a husband.

3. My biz is in big trouble and I don’t have a clue what to do
At times I’ve felt that people are in deep marketing pain and they need me desperately as a branding coach but are not willing to ask what it takes to get my help.  I’ve even had people pump me for brainstorming ideas for marketing their business while I’m struggling with peeling a shrimp with my teeth, but it doesn’t faze them.  I’d much rather you came clean and set up an appointment to talk about hiring me instead.

So if the next time you see me at a networking event and the above thoughts are crossing through your head, I give you full permission to say it to my face.

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!

Why Shorter Is Sweeter (& Always More Efficient)

English: Danny DeVito at the 2010 Comic Con in...

English: Danny DeVito at the 2010 Comic Con in San Diego (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m only 5’3″ so naturally I would subscribe to the notion that shorter is sweeter but even as a small business coach I think this idea is key to good communication. A client sent a sell sheet she’d made for a new program she was offering. It was pages and pages long. I kept scrolling and it went on. She said she’d learned it in a special online selling workshop. I don’t know much about the workshop but I know that as a consumer I didn’t have the time to read all that. As a marketer, I know that consumers of our information are bombarded by millions of other similar messages. The trick to getting the attention is to be short, interesting and relevant. Below are other tips to help you get more eyeballs and ears faster:

Get to the point. Now.  In a voicemail, just state your name, quickly explain your reason for calling and give the person a call-to-action.

Three is a magic number. Narrow everything down to the three most important points. Usually, once the top three points are listed, I realize the other info is extraneous or redundant anyway.

Use bullets. Tell the reader up front what the message is about and outline your points with bullets consisting of concise phrases, not complete sentences. Finally, close with a call-to-action — whatever it is you want the reader to do next.

Keep meetings focused. We’ve all suffered through endless meetings in which someone talks and talks and very little gets communicated. Make sure everyone is clear about the meeting goals and keep the time under 30 minutes to maintain a sense of urgency and focus.

via Why Shorter Is Sweeter (& Always More Efficient).

If you’ve been wondering how to increase your newsletter open rates or how to improve your ROI on your offers, take another look at how you’ve been presenting your stuff. Get real, get short and get going!

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!