When My Angry Reader Confronted Me At A Conference

confrontationI had one of the most interesting confrontations of my life at last week’s Canadian Association of Professional Speaker’s Conference. It was really illuminating and I’d like to share it with my fellow business owners who dare to blog, speak and in general share their honest personal opinion on the state of the business that they are in.

Speaking Gig

As my virgin run at this conference, I was thrilled to have gotten a speaking slot. Imagine, my first time at a Speaker’s conference AND I get to speak to professional speakers. My speech was about a fave topic of mine lately: your money mindset. In the 12 minutes that I was allotted, I talked about my humble beginnings, and my limiting beliefs. I talked about my shame and fears. I exposed myself (as I often do) to share my failures and my fumbles.  This humanized me to a very special member of the audience. I was to find out why very shortly.

An Admirer Approaches Me

A gentleman who had been in my audience later approached me in the lobby, telling me how much he’d enjoyed my talk. He also said he wanted to talk to me further. Now alarm bells weren’t ringing at that time because like any business owner who speaks to sell, I often get people wanting to talk to me about how I can help their own business after hearing me on stage. This gentleman was soft-spoken, respectful and from his earlier musical talent show using an odd-looking instrument, a very interesting person. I was happy to talk to him.

I Have A Confession

Then he revealed that he had a confession. He said that he had signed up for my newsletter and had read my last blog titled ‘5 Ways I Can Tell That You’re NOT Serious About Your BusinessHe said that he hadn’t even gotten past the first point before he was boiling mad at me for saying what I did in the article. He then told me of how he’d seen me come in to the conference room the day before and had chosen to ignore me deliberately because of the ill-feelings he was harboring towards me. However, he still wanted to see me speak in person and came to hear me speak that day. That’s when he realized that what was triggering him was HIS own limiting beliefs.

Dare To Tell

I can’t tell you how much I admire this gentleman. It took guts. I was blown away by his courage and honesty. These two things are not often encountered in today’s world. This at first nerve-wracking but later touching experience was literally the best thing to happen to me at that conference all weekend.

What Triggers Us

My new friend and I parted on this one thought in agreement: what triggers us is always what is stopping us. I now know why I used to cringe when speakers started circulating their sales sheets. I know why my heart used to pound out of my chest when it came time to quote my prices (which were a mere fraction of what they are today!). I understand why it was so hard for me to believe that I could make my dreams come true.

I hope this story teaches you something as valuable as it did to me. Speak your truth, always. When the student is ready, the teacher will show up.

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 Verbal Diarrhea Elevator Pitch

verbaldiarrheaCome on, admit it. You’ve heard it or done it. I know I have…The verbal diarrhea that happens when someone has to introduce themselves to a group of peers or prospects. The explanation that drones on and on about what someone does for a living, leaving the listeners perplexed and exhausted. And those are the people who are actually listening to the intro. Most actually have checked out after 5 seconds and are dreaming of their upcoming beach vacation or the hot checkout clerk who helped them at Wal-Mart.

Let’s examine this strange phenomenon more closely and talk about why this odd circumstance happens with a lot of small business owners:

Nerves

Ok, it’s nerve-wracking to have a whole lot of eyeballs on you, listening and judging you. I get that. However, if you’re in business for yourself, you’re pretty much going to have to get over it and do your thing. At least you can spend the time and effort to do it well so that even if you are wetting yourself in fear, you end up getting clients out of the ordeal.

You Don’t Really Know

If I had a dollar for every time I think this happens…. When a business owner has a verbal-diarrhea-elevator-pitch-moment, it’s usually because they either don’t have a niche (a focused target and specialty) or they have multiple ones that they can’t decide between. Do the strategic research and find out where your business needs to focus on before you try to introduce what it is that you do. Clarity gets remembered. Confused minds don’t buy or refer.

You Get Into The ‘How’

Most people are simple and linear creatures. When they ask you what you do for a living, they’d like to hear something that they already have a category in their head for, like a dentist or a therapist or a consultant etc. When business owners are unclear about how their ideal clients categorize what they do,  they try to compensate by getting into the HOW of what they do. They think that by adding more information, that people will better understand what they do.

For example, is it better for an elevator pitch to say ‘I’m a financial advisor and I help divorcing women to navigate the settlement negotiation’ or ‘I’m a resilience activator who helps divorcing women through the settlement negotiation by setting goals, managing relationships and providing financial planning while supporting them through their journey of divorce.’ In my opinion, the ‘how’ version is too long. The elevator pitch is just the teaser to let your audience know if they’re your ideal client. If they are, don’t worry, they’ll ask you to go into more details about how you help.

You Throw in Your ‘Why’

I badly teed off a seminar leader who was making the room full of business women stand up and tell their ‘why they do what they do’ as part of their elevator pitch. I simply stated that in my experience, and in my experience through my clients, that getting into ‘I am a leadership coach who helps IT companies because when I was at ABC Inc, I got unfairly fired etc.’ would actually be an ineffective way to do that initial intro because it was too long and would lose the audience engagement. The seminar leader staunchly stated that she didn’t agree but you should’ve heard how long some of those ‘why’ stories were. I simply couldn’t see how any audience would stay engaged in this particular sort of verbal diarrhea. An Elevator Pitch in my mind is simply to establish 2 things: what business is this person in and can he/she help me or someone I know. Anything over and above that belongs in a deeper conversation.

So don’t be an elevator pitch chump and capture way more interest and dazzle with your concise and distinct self-intro. Believe me, you’ll feel the results almost immediately when people approach you after your intro to ask more about what you do.

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

How Joan Rivers Can Help Your Biz

joanrivers

The late great comedian Joan Rivers once said “I succeeded by saying what everyone else is thinking.”  As a small business growth coach, I have to ask…what if you could succeed by saying what everyone else is thinking about your industry and your clients?

What You Can Learn From Joan

If you were to dare to step into your own thoughts as publicly as Joan did in marketing your own business, what would you do differently?

This is a passionate topic for me because every day I see successful, smart and wonderful business women hide themselves behind stock imagery, silence and generic thoughts. Their businesses are suffering for it.

Tell Your Stories of Shame

Joan Rivers was even authentic when she was inauthentic (“I wish I had a twin, so I could know what I’d look like without plastic surgery.”)

A former client and now good friend was telling me the story of how she got fired by a crazy boss who reprimanded her for having a stapler on her desk in a ‘clean-desk policy’ office. Imagine how much more relevant her work as a Standards expert would be if she related that story in her blogs or keynotes?

What makes you think you’re the only one who has suffered shame, humiliation and learned from your mistakes? Why not expose your truth so you can connect deeper with and help more people?

Show Yourself

Ok, I don’t mean SHOW yourself inappropriately but people want to see your picture. They want at the minimum to see your profile picture. Then use your About page or your social media posts or your newsletter to show them your life. I frequently show pictures of my family and my clients and the events I go to.

Show your values. Tell your clients and community what your deeply held beliefs are. People I have never met approach me like friends at networking events and tell me they follow my work and life. I find that the highest open rates and click rates on my newsletters are when they contain personal stories. I even had a stranger (who was on my mailing list) give me bedwetting tips for my 4-year-old because he’d read my story about it. Wow!

Be Afraid But Do It Anyway

Joan said “I’ve learned: When you get older, who cares? I don’t mince words, I don’t hold back. What are you gonna do to me? Fire me? It’s been done. Threaten to commit suicide? Done. Take away my show? Done! Not invite to me to the Vanity Fair party? I’ve never been invited! If I ever saw the invitation, I’d use it as toilet paper.”

The true sign of courage they say, is not when you do something brave and you’re not afraid but it’s when you’re peeing your pants and do it anyway. Each time I invest in even more expensive levels of coaching, each time I travel internationally to do a trade show, each time I speak in front of a new crowd of people, I leave my comfort at home. I have embraced being afraid and doing it anyway.

Everyday when I speak to unsuccessful entrepreneurs, they are so keenly aware that what’s stopping their success are their fears. It’s when they let those fears stop them from doing what needs to be done that they get into trouble.

Joan wasn’t afraid of anything. I personally will miss this gutsy lady. Anyone who bravely stands up to criticism and keeps on going earns my undying respect.

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

Are You Credentialed to Death and Starving?

credentialledThis blog’s been inside me for a long time. I myself was on my way to being credentialed up the wazoo and still had no clients. If this is you, then maybe you’ll be able to make the change you need. That’s all I ever hope for when I write these things.

I Don’t Know Enough

The Credentialed-To-Death consultant/coach/engineer, (you name it) is sure about one thing: that they need  more letters behind their names, more accreditation and to obtain more certifications. They do this partly because they like learning but mostly because they delude themselves that they’ll get more or bigger clients this way.

I was that person once. When contemplating leaving a decade-long corporate career, I didn’t know how to make the jump into self-employment so I went out and got a coaching certificate. Then, I went and got another one and another one. Each subsequent one got more expensive and more involved and yes, it taught me more but none of it actually got me any clients.

Investing in the Wrong Thing

To help more people or to make more money, what most people in the Credentialed-To-Death camp don’t know is that it actually doesn’t work that way. Knowing more about your subject matter isn’t the same as knowing more about selling and marketing your subject matter. It astounds me that every time I meet a coach or a consultant who is starving for new clients, they are gearing up to spend another chunk of significant cash on yet another certification course or another program that is not about getting clients.

Unfortunately as I found out, if you can’t get them, you can’t SERVE them. So if you’ve launched your business in the hopes of helping people, you are an unknown entity to them until you sell and market yourself.

Somewhere, (probably in your childhood) someone taught you that it’s sleazy to sell but honorable to learn. Look inside yourself to find the source of your patterns. Awareness of your patterns makes you more powerful.

End Of Rant

So if you’re suffering from the Credentialed-To-Death-but-Starving-for-Clients syndrome, stop the cycle now and start investing in giving some serious care and attention to actually GETTING the clients.

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

What You Can Learn About Marketing From Lady Gaga

jackiehuba

Jackie Huba speaking about Lady Gaga

Yesterday, I fell in love with Lady Gaga. I must admit, I initially thought that she was a little too out there for me. Then, I watched a speaker named Jackie Huba who wrote a book about marketing lessons from Lady G speak about why she was a marketing genius who was named the top influencer of our decade by Time Magazine!

Here are the lessons she learned from Lady Gaga about marketing:

Focus On Your 1%

Forget about the 80-20 rule where you concentrate on 20% of the customers who are responsible for 80% of your sales volume. Get even more specific, down to your RAVING crazy-fanatic-would-die-for-you fans that actually make up only 1% of your customers.

Lady Gaga calls them her Little Monsters. She calls herself Mother Monster. She has created clubs and websites for her 1%. She lavishes her love and attention on these people and they love her back and bring other fans to her franchise. What can you do for your 1% that you’re not doing right now?

Create A Community

When Lady Gaga wanted to create an online community for her Monsters, she didn’t like Facebook, she didn’t like Twitter so she paid a software company to create one for her. Littlemonsters.com allows her to directly and deeply connect with her fans. It makes them feel special and different than any other community. What can you do to create a community around what you do?

Lead With Your Values

Did you know that Lady Gaga is a staunch advocate of anti-bullying and LGBT causes, funding and speaking to support these causes with her Born This Way Foundation? Did you know that at her concert, she created colourful buses where fans who are being bullied can get counseling? People are in love with her values. Her music supports her values. Her marketing supports her values. Are you doing enough to talk about your values in your business?

Be Different

When Coty approached Lady Gaga to do a perfume deal, she refused to be like Britney Spears, Justin Bieber or Christina Aguilera. She made Coty go back to their scientists and create a black liquid that sprayed on clear and named it the title of her first album called Black. The name was also a message about her views on how dark fame could be.  She then created a multi-million dollar video to launch it that rivaled the best science fiction movie trailer in history. She captured an enormous market share in a very fragmented and competitive market. The CEO of Coty was quoted as saying that she forced the industry to change because she refused to do the same thing as everyone else. What are you doing differently than your peers in your industry?

Lady Gaga certainly taught an old marketer like me a few lessons and reminded me of the importance of values and community. Now, I’ve gotta think of my next meat-dress-move! What will be yours?

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

3 Simple Steps To Pick Your Ideal Client (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 be addressing a big headache of small businesses -How Do I Pick My Ideal Client?

First of all, I want to congratulate YOU ON KNOWING that your business needs an ideal client. Somehow, you’ve figured out that  you will run out of time, energy and money fast if you try to go after EVERYONE and market to every type of client.

Let me put you out of your misery and tell you the quickest way to pick your ideal client group to work with. There are 3 criteria that you can use when deciding on a target market.

First Simple Step

First you write down a whole bunch of different target groups you could have.  Say Housewives, Dentists, Mining Companies, etc. Then you put them through these three criteria to pick the best one. The first criteria is whether there’s a fit with that target client and your own personality, background and skill set. I mean if you’re a vegan targeting meat companies like a client of mine once did, you may want to rethink that one.

Second Simple Step

Number 2 criteria to pick your ideal client group is whether they can afford to pay you the level of income you want to make.  I mean, what if your soul cries out to help a group of people who are broke? I say, do like I do and get more paying clients so you can give away a portion of your time as charity to those who are less fortunate.

Third Simple Step

The last criteria in choosing your ideal client group is access. Do you have or can you easily get access to large groups of these people. For example, a client who wanted to target millionaires found that she couldn’t afford to join their clubs or networks and didn’t have a single millionaire in her personal network. So, do yourself a favour when you’re planning to grow your business and use these 3 simple criteria to pick the right target client.

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

Answer The Miracle Happiness Question

Have you ever wondered how one question could make you happy? Psychologists at the Canadian Positive Psychology Association conference that I was at last week sure did. They went further than wondering about it. They researched it. That’s right, I attended a 2 day conference with 400 happy people who did and presented research about happiness.

One of the researchers found that when a “miracle” question was asked, it gave perspective to people who felt strife in their lives. It made them actually feel better.

The question?

If you woke up and your world is exactly how you want it to be , what would be the evidence that it’s how you want it to be?

So of course, being a small business coach, I ask that question for your business. What would be the evidence that your business would be exactly how you want it to be?

Top 5 Indicators

Based on all my conversations with hundreds of small businesses that I talk to each year, I’ve taken a good guess at (and included some of my own) indicators that would be evidence that our businesses would be exactly as we dreamed:

1. All My Clients Value And Adore Me and Vice Versa

2. I Never Have To Sell And Market

3. I’m Making Tons Of Money That Grows Each Year

4. I Don’t Work Long Hours

5. I Never Have To Do Anything Uncomfortable

Other Questions To Ask

  • What would you do differently if you woke up to your ideal life?
  • What would be different compared to your life now?
  • Where do you rate yourself right now, on a scale of 0 to 10 (10 being the ideal)?
  • What’s different from being at a 0 vs. where you’re at now?

When you feel yourself getting down about your business, refocus your energies by asking yourself the “Miracle” question and see if you have anything to be happy about!

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