This short, but poignant, blog post is written by one of my Elite Book Yourself Solid® Certified Coaches, Ana Melikian, Ph.D. She addresses one of the biggest objections we hear when suggesting a service business owner choose a very specific target market. Enjoy.
Many of my coaching clients provide services that are helpful for a wide range of people. When I work with them to focus on their target market, they often resist because they believe that narrowing their target audience limits their chances of getting new clients.
I understand their point of view.
One of my coaching programs is based on Positive Psychology. I designed this unique program to support my clients so they can cultivate and keep a positive mindset in spite of their many challenges and adversities.
I know that most people can benefit from a program like mine. Yet, if I don’t define a target market, I will have trouble to get booked solid. Let me explain why…
You Have Climbed the Mountain
Imagine a huge mountain. This mountain represents the many challenges your clients have to overcome. They are stuck and don’t know what to do next. Because you have already climbed the mountain, you know what’s possible. You know the benefits that people will get when they work with you.
Most of your potential clients are overwhelmed, have doubts, and fears. Your challenge is to connect with them at a deeper level. If you create marketing material that tries to match everyone’s needs, it is much more difficult to enroll the clients you want.
As a coach or consultant, you have to choose a place from which you want to begin to attract your clients. A client who starts off from the forested side of the mountain has a very different perspective from someone who starts from an arid desert valley. Put yourself in your clients’ shoes.
Identify and describe in detail their needs and desires from their unique and personal perspective, as you use their own words.
From that personalized connection you will start to attract a similar group of potential clients who identify with your unique style. It will be easier to understand and communicate how you can help them, as you create enough trust and credibility so they want to buy from you.
Learn From Your Own Experiences
Think about your own past experience when you bought a service or program. Remember how you felt when the person that led that program spoke to your feelings, needs, desires and aspirations. That person’s understanding of your exact wants and needs sealed the deal. If you repeat this process with your potential clients, you will build their trust and enroll them with ease.
The Moral Is…
If you don’t have a target market, define one. Yes, it’s as simple as that.
Grab a copy of Book Yourself Solid Illustrated and do the exercises in the book. The Book Yourself Solid system will help you identify your target market and get you booked solid.
The author of this post, Ana Melikian, Ph.D, is an Elite Book Yourself Solid® Certified Coach who specializes in empowering coaches and consultants to get more clients online with ease and joy.Post or read comments: 21 Comments
It’s the start of a new week. With it brings possibilities and opportunities.
You imagine what’s possible and other people open the doors to opportunity.
That’s the way it works.
It’s why I believe so strongly in doing the following two things daily:
- Introducing two people to each other who might find each other relevant.
- Sharing relevant information with at least one person.
Those are just two of the many the networking strategies you’ll discover in Book Yourself Solid Illustrated.
BUT… there’s a problem.
You know it’s great for expanding your influence but you don’t do it regularly.
That’s why I worked with Contactually, an easy to use keep in touch software, to include the Book Yourself Solid networking strategies. It doesn’t replace your CRM or your newsletter programs—it enhances them.
Maybe, this way, you’ll keep in touch with the people that can help you achieve your dreams. If you’re new to business, you might not yet realize the importance of your network.
For example, Book Yourself Solid Illustrated was released worldwide and within a few days became a #1 bestseller.
Sure, I’ve built a massive brand identity around Book Yourself Solid, but how?
Through my relationships, that’s how.
Something like a book is initially successful because influential people are willing to talk about it. Once the buzz gets going then the quality of the product makes or breaks its shelf life.
But without partners who are willing to help you promote it at the onset, you don’t get noticed. You don’t get a chance to show off the quality of your product or service.
One of my partners at Contactually has put together two Youtube videos that show you how to use the system to make your introductions and share articles.
HOWEVER, when you sign up for a 30-DAY FREE trial of the software, you MUST use this link:
…or else you won’t get the Book Yourself Solid features.
So … a couple of days ago we talked about getting a clear understanding about why people buy what you’re selling.
I laid out my simple four-part formula for you, using a load of illustrations (created by Jocelyn Wallace) from my new book: Book Yourself Solid Illustrated (if you click that link, be sure to check out the insane launch bonuses!)
Today we’re going to build on that work, and forge your own unique and unforgettable personal brand identity. All the images in this post come from my new book, as well.
Having a strong personal brand identity is crucial. It’s how you distinguish yourself from everybody else.
There might be lots of other financial advisors out there, or small business consultants, or copywriters, or web designers … but there’s only one YOU. So let’s play that up!
After all … if you water yourself down too much there’ll be nothing left to get excited about …
The Book Yourself Solid 3-Step Formula For Building A Strong Personal Brand
Firstly, you need a “who and do what statement.”
Now, most service professionals will lead with their job title. But you don’t want to do that.
Instead of saying, for example, “I’m a business coach,” you want to build a two-part phrase around your TARGET MARKET and the SINGLE BIGGEST RESULT you offer them (see yesterday’s post if you need help with this).
So your who and do what statement, if you were a business coach, would be something like: “I help small business owners get more clients”
Secondly, you need a strong REASON for doing what you do. This is your (wait for it) “why you do it statement.”
Nobody in the world will have EXACTLY the same reason as you for why they do what they do, so this is your opportunity to let your best people know why you get up in the morning.
If your prospects resonate with your motivation – or they recognize something of themselves in you – then you’ll win trust quicker and differentiate yourself sooner.
Lastly – and this is one that you can have a lot of fun with – is your tagline.
Your tagline will be how you are truly known in the world. Every time you hear somebody refer to you and your tagline, you’ll cry tears of joy. It should be based on your why you do it statement, but stand alone in its own right. Mostly: it should be memorable.
It might take a little time to come up with your tagline, but if you brainstorm enough and allow yourself to have a lot of fun, the right one for you will come along.
My tagline is “The Guy To Call When You’re Tired Of Thinking Small.®” It represents everything I want to be known for … and you’ll notice that it doesn’t have much at all to do with my who and do what statement.
Your PERSONAL brand identity is so much more than just who you serve and what you help them do. It’s what makes you uniquely you. It’s an expression of what you stand for.
This is from an appearance on The Good Life Project TV™ with Jonathan Fields. It might just be my favorite interview of all time.Post or read comments: No Comments
You can’t get booked solid until YOU understand why other people would want to buy what you’re selling.
After all, if you don’t get it, then why should your prospective clients?
I’m serious about that — if you can’t succinctly summarize why your services are worth investing in, then you’ve got a WHOLE lot of groundwork to do.
Luckily for you, I’m here to help
I’m going to break down some important business-building concepts for you over the next few days. The illustrations included in these posts are from my newly released, Book Yourself Solid ILLUSTRATED. (If you click on the link be sure to check out all the bonuses that come with the book.)
PLUS … I aim to do it in as few words as possible. First…
Identify Your TARGET MARKET
Your TARGET MARKET is the group of people that you serve. It’s distinct from your NICHE (although the two are frequently confused).
Your niche = WHAT you do (your speciality)
Your target market = WHO you do it for
Keep your target market tight. It’s better to be a big fish in a small pond … at least at first … you can eat more minnows that way
Uncover Urgent Needs and Compelling Desires
Then … when you’ve chosen a core group of people you’re going to serve, work out what they need and want.
In Book Yourself Solid ILLUSTRATED, I call these the urgent needs and compelling desires of your target market.
You don’t always have to find an urgent need. If you’re in the hospitality industry, for example, you might find that your clients don’t NEED a hot-air balloon flight across the Arizona desert … but they might have a strong DESIRE to take one.
Determine the Single Biggest Result
When you’ve identified their needs and desires, you’ll be able to offer them a SINGLE BIG RESULT from working with you that ties in with those needs and desires.
We have a tendency to overcomplicate this step, which makes it difficult to communicate what we do effectively.
No matter what services you offer, be sure that you can boil down the result to ONE single thing that your clients get from working with you …
… because we layer on the added benefits as the next step.
Reveal the Deep Rooted Benefits
Specifically, we should be able to identify at least FOUR different types of benefits of working with you and getting your single biggest result.
Those benefits are FINANCIAL, EMOTIONAL, PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL.
(When you read the book, you’ll understand why an arrow represents these benefits.)
My Certified Book Yourself Solid® Coaches work with small business owners (target market) who need more free time, more clients, less stress and more effective marketing strategies (needs and desires).
When you work with a Certified Book Yourself Solid Coach, they’ll help you get MORE CLIENTS (single biggest result) which will lead to:
- more revenue (financial benefit)
- less stress (emotional benefit)
- better sleep (physical benefit)
- do your life’s work (spiritual benefit).
In Book Yourself Solid Illustrated there are TONS of worksheets that help you get granular on these for your own business.
If you grab a copy today, you’ll also get my new Book Yourself Solid mobile app for free ($50 value).
Be on the lookout for more lessons just like these. In the meantime, keep thinking big about who you are and what you offer the world.
So if you’ve been following me lately, you’ll know I’ve got a new book coming out right about now and I’ve been talking a lot about organizing your ideas for better visual consumption.
As a result, a lot of people have been asking me about how I went about doing exactly that.
To answer that, I can only say that I was really, really lucky to get to work with Jocelyn Wallace — one of the best visual strategists in the game. Together we turned Book Yourself Solid into Book Yourself Solid ILLUSTRATED.
But there are loads of other tools you can use to create your own visual resources so you get your message across faster and with more impact.
Here are some of my favorite visual learning tools.
Six Visual Learning Tools That Will Get You Marketing Faster And Smarter
Prezi is a powerful alternative to Powerpoint. Instead of linear, slide-by-slide presentations, you can create presentation “maps” that allow you to zoom in and out around a huge canvas and display your presentation in a more interesting, engaging way.
I use Prezi during my Keynote speechs and workshops but I also use it to create videos. This one includes some of the killer visuals from Book Yourself Solid Illustrated. You should know, however, that you can’t make a video using Prezi alone. I record my prezi along with a voice-over using ScreenFlow for mac. You can also use Camtasia.
2. Sparkol Videoscribe
When I met Jocelyn Walker, my co-author on Book Yourself Solid Illustrated, she was “live-tooning” an event I attended. I was impressed. This method of tying in visual learning with the spoken word was made popular recently by the RSA Animate series. It’s sometimes called “fast drawing” or “whiteboard animation.”
Videoscribe is a smart piece of software that allows you to recreate your own “RSA-style” videos. Check out their sample below.
Bonus: here’s a great post from Pat Flynn over at Smart Passive Income: DIY Videoscribing And Other Awesome Techniques To Enhance Your Videos
3. Piktochart Infographic Creator
Infographics are all the rage for good, scientific reasons. Not a day goes by when your Facebook feed isn’t full of beautifully designed images that include charts and quantitative information.
Piktochart is a drag-and-drop WYSIWGY (what you see is what you get) infographic creator. It comes pre-loaded with high-quality graphics and 80 themes.
This image – fittingly about infographics themselves – was created with Piktochart.
Visual.ly also creates infographics, and visual representations of your data. It can connect to your social media accounts, or Google Analytics account, and give you a full visual overview of what’s actually going in behind the raw numbers.
Check out this infographic – a visual representation of LinkedIn data for Matthew Kimberley, the Head of the Book Yourself Solid School of Coach Training.
Memrise is one of the coolest resources I’ve seen in a long time.
“The Memrise community uses images & science to make learning easy and fun.” – which means we share EXACTLY the same philosophy. They have interactive classrooms where you can learn anything from math and science to Spanish and German.
My friend Tim Ferriss just ran a $10k memory competition over there – it’s finished now but you can still take the course – and I know of at least one person who’s taking part in the Memrise Guardian Chinese Challenge.
As the name suggests, Readitfor.me is a site that summaries some of the most popular and highly-regarded business and personal development books in an easy-to-digest audiovisual format.
The video on their homepage is well-worth checking out.
(By the way, that’s an affiliate link, which means if you go ahead and use their service I might get a referral fee.)
What to do next:
If you’re a visual learner like me, grab a copy of Book Yourself Solid Illustrated. There are some really cool bonuses available with every single purchase (all details here). If you grab ten copies today you can bring a friend to a free live event I’m hosting in Philly on April 20th (more details.)
Then, share in the comments what your favorite visual learning tools are. I’d love to hear from you!Post or read comments: 13 Comments
I’ve written a bunch of books including Book Yourself Solid. It’s gone on to become one of the best-selling marketing and sales books of the decade.
I also wrote the The Contrarian Effect, Beyond Booked Solid and the NY Times Bestseller, The Think Big Manifesto.
Even though these books have been on the bestseller lists and have won awards, no matter how much good advice I put into a book, I can’t guarantee that people will finish the book—even when they love it.
It’s the question I’ve obsessed on or years.
And then it hit me like a ton of bricks.
Not everyone loves to read, at least not business books.
And why should they? I mean … these are business books not 50 Shades of Gray. Although, inspiring, I’m not writing The Great American Novel.
Moreover, most people are visual learners.
This was really one of those, “Duh, of course!” moments: make the books visual. Get rid of most of the text and draw the concepts so they’re easy to understand and act upon.
One teensy, weensy, itty-bitty issue: I’m no good at drawing. So, I hooked up with Jocelyn Wallace, a visual strategist and an artist of immense talent.
One year later… Book Yourself Solid ILLUSTRATED was born. It’s available anywhere books are sold. It even comes with a killer web app.
It’s a completely visual guide to getting more clients than you can handle (even if you hate marketing and selling).
Of course, there is still some supporting text but studies show that we retain WAY more if we can attach what we read to a visual hook.
Go to www.BookYourselfSolidIllustrated.com to see sample pages, learn how to get the app along with other rockin’ resources.
You’ll be glad you did.Post or read comments: No Comments
Dr. Seuss wrote prolifically. 46 kids books in total. I’ve got a couple, you’ve got a handful, your kids have them in their bookshelves too, right?
They’re UNFORGETTABLE, aren’t they? They’ve stuck with you for life.
Now, alongside your Dr. Seuss collection − The Cat In The Hat, Horton Hears A Who!, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! − you have a handful of business books. Probably some really good ones by my favorite authors like Jim Collins, Seth Godin, Tom Peters and Dan Pink.
Hey, you might even have a copy of Book Yourself Solid and/or one of my other books.
These business books are jam-packed with useful ideas, concepts and strategies for growing your business.
But − and I say this with the utmost love and respect to my colleagues − they’re not as memorable as Dr. Seuss.
I only need mention The Cat In The Hat and you form a strong visual image in your head − an image of a tall, skinny feline with a red bow tie and a striped stovepipe hat.
But the image is just the beginning. If you read and loved this book as a kid (or as an adult) you’ll conjure up an entire narrative to go with it.
You’ll recall – instantly – the story of the two kids left alone at home while their mom is off running errands. You’ll recall the slightly mischievous (maybe even sinister?) arrival of the cat and his Things. You’ll remember the balancing act and the disapproving domestic fish.
This is for a number of reasons.
FIRSTLY: Seuss wrote in rhyme and rhyme aids recall. He was a masterful at putting words together. My tagline: “The Guy To Call When You’re Tired Of Thinking Small®” doesn’t rhyme by accident. What about yours?
You know how you can remember songs so much better than passages from novels? That’s one of the reasons. The other reason is the music − the anchoring of one set of data to another − more on that in a moment.
SECONDLY: Seuss cut ideas to the core and used the fewest possible words to get his message across. (Did you know Green Eggs And Ham contains only fifty words?) His stories could have been complex, they could have been novel-length and they could have introduced a myriad of characters and scenarios. But they didn’t.
That’s another reason you remember them so well…
They’re simple − but meaningful.
THIRDLY: images. Images, images. He has luxurious, fun and colorful images on every page of his books. You know without even concentrating what the Cat looks like.
But more than that – the images plant the story firmly in your brain, so it becomes a part of your subconscious.
This is the data-anchoring that memory masters use when they’re trying to remember the order of shuffled decks of cards, or pi to the nearest 400 digits. They associate each card, or number, with an unusual image or location. There isn’t a memory champion in the world who doesn’t use this technique.
If you’re a marketer of any stripe or definition, you’ll know the importance of visually appealing material. The marketing you do raises awareness about the services you offer. We want our marketing to be sticky.
Take note from Dr. Seuss – the stickiest of storytellers – and get visual.
Craft beautiful, simple narratives and tie them into your message. Pare your words down to their essence. Use fewer of them.
As a teacher of marketing, I want my lessons to be as sticky as Seuss and as compelling. I may not be quite that clever but I continue to try harder than ever.
That’s why re-designed Book Yourself Solid from a regular book to a picture book for grown ups.
Book Yourself Solid Illustrated is designed specifically to help you remember the concepts from the system that has already proven itself many times over.
To help you remember that full self-expression is the key to your success, I introduce you to blue Elvis. He’s one cool character.
To make sure you don’t water yourself down I show you an image you won’t soon forget (and may even give you a little chuckle).
There are two main takeaways from this post:
- I know the new ILLUSTRATED edition of Book Yourself Solid will knock your socks off while getting you booked solid and I want you to buy it.
- I want you to think about how you can use visuals to improve your marketing, sales and, most importantly, the consumption of your work.
Because I, for one, truly believe that a business is a business, no matter how smallPost or read comments: 20 Comments
Get ready. I’m about to ask you to do something for me.
But before we begin, whatever you do, don’t think about elephants.
Alright? Just a small thing I’m asking. Don’t think about elephants.
You can think about anything else, but not elephants.
You still with me?
And how you doing on that not thinking about elephants?
Not too good, I’ll bet?
That’s OK. Don’t beat yourself up: it’s your brain doing that – not you.
(UPDATE: I’ve just learned that this is a book about politics that uses the title, Don’t Think About Elephants by George Lakoff.)
Back to the post…
In fact, our brains are pretty good at keeping strong visuals in our head.
So much so, that when we attach strong visuals to other concepts: thoughts, learning, concepts, systems, ideas … we retain them MUCH better.
This is a big deal when it comes to goal setting and business building.
Visual images can help you to get clear and stay focused on achieving your biggest goals, in business and in life.
Visual anchoring works because you are much more likely to take action when you can see exactly where you’re going and how to get there. It’s a concept called “Positive Image – Positive Action.”
So I got to thinking about how I could use this concept alongside Book Yourself Solid, to make it more effective, more memorable…stickier”
When I met Jocelyn Wallace, I knew how I was going to do it.
Jocelyn is a visual strategist: she creates images that reinforce ideas. When I saw what she was capable of (it’s uh-maze-ing), I knew exactly what I needed to do.
I asked Jocelyn if she would help me create a visual edition of Book Yourself Solid®—a picture book, of sorts.
And she did. And it rocks.
Book Yourself Solid ILLUSTRATED gives you visual images for every step of the Book Yourself Solid system.
We cut about two-thirds of the text of my best seller, Book Yourself Solid, so she could translate the system into positive images so you can take rapid positive action and get booked solid faster.
Most of the critical steps in the Book Yourself Solid system are about getting a clear picture of who you are, who you serve, and where you’re going to find the clients that are right for you.
But it’s not just about you, it’s also about helping your ideal clients get a clear picture that you’re the right person to help them act on their goals.
Get the picture? It’s all about creating positive images to drive positive action. So in Book Yourself Solid Illustrated, we provide positive visual images for each part of the process.
For example, take the over-view of the Book Yourself Solid system:
Here’s an example of how we summarize the 6 Core Self-promotion strategies in just one visual image:
We even give you easy visual ways to organize and implement the exercises into action steps:
Book Yourself Solid Illustrated is a complete visual makeover of Book Yourself Solid. I created it to give you a storehouse of positive visual images so you can access the complete system faster, and act on it to get more clients than you can handle, even if you hate marketing and selling.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. It’s an honor to be of service. I never take your time or attention for granted. I feel I have to continue to earn it and I hope I have with Book Yourself Solid Illustrated.
Now you can go back to thinking about those elephants…
Available anywhere books are sold.
Learn more at www.BookYourselfSolidIllustrated.com
There is also a BOOK YOURSELF SOLID MOBILE APP that goes with the book.
You can also attend a LIVE EVENT with Michael Port for FREE.
Learn more at www.BookYourselfSolidIllustrated.comPost or read comments: 17 Comments
The measure of a person is not how well they start, but how well they finish. Anyone can start. Following through and finishing is another story altogether.
Looking back on my life, there isn’t too much I regret. But, there is one thing…I regret not following through on my acting career.
I was right on the cusp of break-through success and I quit. I threw up my hands and quit. I was so close and I quit.
In 1997, as a 27 year-old “working” actor, I was on shows like Sex & The City, Law&Order, Third Watch, All My Children, and more. I did TV commercials for companies like Budweiser and tons of VoiceOvers for companies like AT&T.
At first, I put everything into my acting career. I attended one of the best graduate school in the country. I had a great agent. I was on the cusp of doing big things.
But I quit.
I couldn’t take the rejection. I didn’t like waiting around or leaving my future in the hands of others: casting directors, agents, producers, etc.
If I’m going to be honest about it, I felt alone and scared. So, I gave up and quit.
I remember the day I told my agent. I heard a thunk (quite literally) when his jaw hit his desk. I was right at the cusp of going from working actor to known actor but I wouldn’t go all the way.
I wouldn’t follow through. I wouldn’t take the time necessary to build something real. I gave up.
I tell you this story — and, it’s not one I often tell — because I don’t want you to look back on your life and have a shred of regret. I don’t want you to quit — whatever it is you’re doing — unless you have a more important dream — then quit the worthless thing and pursue the worthwhile thing.
Bottom line: it takes far more fortitude to finish something than it does to start it, especially as an entrepreneur. And that’s why I’m successful today. I will no longer give up. I’ve learned my lesson.
possible likely you are feeling pressure in your business are wondering if you should go on. You must. You cannot quit. You can not give up.
Sure, you might say, it’s easier for me because I’ve already passed the early hurdles of entrepreneurship. But I too face my own personal and professional challenges while finding new opportunities to build the business, extend my brand and be of service to you.
I want to help you do the same. Maybe you’ll let me mentor you in The Alliance. I’ll get you finishing what you start. That’s for sure.
Maybe you won’t let me mentor you. But, man, I’ll tell you… if I had a mentor who’d already accomplished what I wanted to accomplish when I was an actor, I probably wouldn’t be writing this to you today. That’s why I’m so committed to helping you finish what you start. I don’t want you to give up. I don’t want you to fail.
And, please, don’t get me wrong, I love the work I do today and I’m not going back to acting. But failing, and having regrets that you didn’t follow through on a dream, is something you want to avoid at all costs.Post or read comments: 63 Comments
Jamie McKean, one of my Certified Book Yourself Solid Coaches, has made a mind map spelling out every strategic and tactical detail of the Book Yourself Solid system from start to finish.
This is the mind map to end all mind maps. It’s so big that turning it into a PDF or a JPEG compromises the quality of it and, frankly, just looks crappy.
So that you can have the full enchilada, I’ve put the source file here for you to download. However, in order to view it, you’ll need a mind map program called, Xmind, which you can download for free here.
Enjoy. Please share. It’s how we help our friends think bigger about who they are and what they offer the world.
UPDATE: If the file is zipped when you download it, try renaming it with the “.xmind” extension. (Hat tip to Peter for that one.)Post or read comments: 45 Comments
[INCLUDES 2 FREE TEMPLATES] To Help You Automate Your Business (Michael Port’s Online Sales Cycle Process Plus Webinar Set Up, Promo, and Delivery Process)
If you have your own business and you’re working for a lunatic, read this post.
NOTE: At the end of this post, I’ve included a template mind map of my actual sales process so that you can use it as a model. Of course, I’ve adjusted it slightly to protect some of my proprietary processes but the core of it is there and it will rock your world. I’ve also included a mind map and comprehensive worksheets for setting up, promoting, and delivering a webinar.
OK, let’s get down to business.
Did you read the title of this post and think, Finally, this is the info I’ve been waiting for, the part where I learn how my business can run itself. I hate to disappoint you, but that’s simply not possible. You can leverage more and work less, but there is no such thing as a business that runs itself.
Sure, it’s an expression people use; and yes, it is possible to have highly automated systems taking care of many aspects of your business. Even though you can automate many aspects of your business, you will always need people. People need to be involved in creating the systems—and it starts with you—and it works out well if you stay sane.
Lunacy in business is usually the first sign of a system-less operation. Systems are what enable you to work on your business while you’re working in your business and on yourself. Systems are how you reduce waste in your business so that it can grow.
Read on and get your free templates…9 Comments
I’m sure you’ve heard someone say, or maybe you’ve said it yourself, “Life got in the way,” to explain why a project didn’t get finished or a business has stalled.
This statement as always struck me as cognitively dissonant.
How is life something that only happens once in a while and, somehow, plays the role of antagonist in the story of your life?
Life can’t get in the way; it is the way.
Work, family, and play are all important and always present, one doesn’t stop for the other.
That doesn’t mean that the best-laid plans don’t change when something else in your life takes priority. You might change the completion date for a project because a family member becomes ill. Or you might not. Every situation is different.
Doing big things requires that you are able to do more than one thing at a time.
It also means that you don’t use “life” as an excuse for not attending to another “part” of your life.
There is a difference between changing plans, while still finishing what you started, and making excuses for why you didn’t finish something.
Remember, life can’t get in the way; it is the way.Post or read comments: 32 Comments
Often it feels like running your own business is an exercise in managing chaos. And when the chaos becomes unmanageable, you get completely overwhelmed.
In order to produce results (without burnout) you need to introduce constraints that will support forward movement and positive outcomes. This is a BIG part of what my mentoring program is all about.
The more freedom you give yourself without structure, the more confused and the less productive you will be. Constraint provides a sense of urgency and thus enables you to move quickly. It creates the structure that propels forward momentum.
A system or a process is a form of constraint. A process can be a positive constraint if it’s working to serve you and the objectives of your business. Or it can be a negative constraint if it’s not serving your goals–if it’s not a productive process and instead leads to waste.
Good systems eliminate waste whereas poorly organized systems or no organized systems produce waste.
A couple of definitions:
PROCESS: a series of actions or operations; especially a continuous operation.
SYSTEM: a regularly interacting or interdependent group of processes that form a unified whole.
There are 7 Major Business Systems:
4. Operations (admin)
5. Client Services
6. Human Resources
7. Production and Delivery
Recognize that you already have systems in your business – whether or not you intentionally created them. And there’s the rub. They may be made up of incorrect and wasteful processes. To ward off this danger, my students develop the habit of observing, documenting and analyzing what they do, how they do it, and when they do it.
Observe, document, analyze, delegate
This is our ODAD process and my students make it a habit turning it into a way of being so it becomes automatic in everything they do.
There are various ways to go about improving processes and developing overall systems. Some people use elaborate diagrams. Not me – I like lists and simple mind maps. In order to figure out exactly what you do, how you do it and what’s working and what needs to be improved, observe your current processes over a one week period.
This week, measure:
- Productivity relative to achievement of your goal.
- Speed and efficiency.
- What’s working and what needs to change.
- Waste vs. production.
- Document what you’re currently doing in your business.
- Take that documentation and clarify a desired outcome for each process.
- Improve on each process by reducing waste and improving workflow.
How? Keep a small pad of paper and a pen on your desk or with you every moment for a week. Record everything (and I mean everything) you do during the day and how long it took. Looked at my calendar. Looked for someone’s phone number (how? — piece of paper, address book, online yellow pages). Made a call. Wrote a letter. Reviewed financials. Looked at pet tricks on YouTube.com. Cleaned bike wheels. Discussed operating issues with assistant. And so on. Not so complicated, is it?
What should you do yourself and what should you delegate?
There’s one theory out there that says: “If you don’t like to do it, then don’t do it, and get someone else to do it.” But this is not necessarily always realistic for the entrepreneur. There are some things you’ll just have to do. Please don’t ignore aspects of your business simply because you don’t like doing them, that’s counterproductive.
At the same time, just because you’re talented at something doesn’t mean you should be doing it. At the end of the day, you need to focus on what generates revenue. If that’s the most important use of your time, what can you delegate and to whom?
Who can help reduce your administrative workload so you can focus on either booking new clients and/or developing new business ideas? You are ready for additional help sooner than you think.
Make sure you’re delegating rather than abdicating. When you delegate a task or process, you still observe and oversee the process. When you abdicate a task or process you never look at it again–that’s usually when breakdown occurs or your bookkeeper empties your bank account and takes off for Belize.Post or read comments: 15 Comments
All students in The Book Yourself Solid School of Coach Training and The Alliance Mentoring Program get full use of all the templates and processes in my “Business in a Box.” Below you can download free samples from just one of those process templates. This plan includes:
- How to set up a webinar.
- How to promote a webinar.
- How to deliver a webinar.
- How to follow up with potential clients after a webinar.
- And, 11 email templates that get people to register, attend, and take action.
Post or read comments: 44 Comments
Each one of us decides how we want to behave in business. What ends justify the means, so to speak.
- Do we bend the truth to make the story sound better?
- Do we exaggerate the results to seem more impressive?
- Do we make promises that we know can’t be achieved?
I find these easy questions to answer; others might not.
No, the things that I am conflicted about are the types of sales tactics that are used to get customers to take action. You know what I’m talking about: time sensitive offers like, “Buy now or you’ll never have the opportunity again,” or “Only the first 10 people can have this special bonus,” etc.
They work. They always have and they likely always will.
Often good people waffle about whether to buy something or join something but when it’s about to be taken away from them, they’ll take action. So, in a way, at least in the coaching/consulting field, you could argue that these tactics serve the client because it gets them to do the things they need to do.
I do put enrollment deadlines on some of my programs. For example, admissions are only open a few times a year for the Book Yourself Solid School of Coaching. This way, I can run the school the way a university would. But, there is always opportunity to join when a new term starts. I’ve also done time related discount offers on other products over the years.
On the other hand, I’ve never felt completely comfortable with these tactics in general—even when it’s a true deadline or there really are only X number of spots, etc. Maybe it’s because I hate pressuring people or making people feel obligated (not when I’m your coach though—I’ll push you relentlessly once you give me permission to do so—that’s different). Historically, I’ve found that when I had to push someone or “convince” them to join one of my programs, they often turned out to be a less than ideal client.
I guess I just want people to see the value in something and take advantage of it because they know it will be great for them. Maybe that’s naive and it’s likely I’ve missed making lots of sales as a result. I know I leave lots of money on the table because I don’t do aggressive up-selling but I just can’t get myself to push my agenda onto others. Maybe I’m a pussycat and should act more like a tiger. I don’t know.
I do know, however, that I’m conflicted about this as I don’t see it in a black and white frame. To be clear, I’m not saying these kinds of sales tactics are wrong. I’m just saying that I’m conflicted.
I’m really keen on your take. What do you think about this issue? How do you behave when marketing and selling?
Your thoughts below please… BUT… if you don’t write a comment in the next 10 seconds, this offer will be rescinded and your chance to share your opinion will be gone for ever. But, if you do post, you’ll also be given a never-before-released bonus opportunity to comment on previous posts. You must act now!
Post or read comments: 142 Comments
I attempt to teach you the best marketing strategies and tactics. But, sometimes it’s just as important to know what NOT to do. Maybe this will be the start of a regular thing…or maybe not. But in the meantime…drum-roll please….
The worst marketing tactic of all time is…
“It’s my birthday so I’m giving you a special discount on bla bla bla.”
I’m sure one could argue that this is a perfectly benign sales tactic. To me, however, it just seems self-absorbed. And, we (marketers) don’t need any help being seen as self-absorbed.
Your birthday is about YOU. Attempting to make it about other people by running a sales promotion also just seems like a lazy marketing tactic.
So, is the marketer who does this not only an attention-seeking narcissist but a lazy one at that? You can make that call.
On the other hand, if you TRULY want to celebrate your birthday with your customers, then throw some sort of free party and give away kick-ass, FREE goodie bags filled with products.
Of course, national holidays (which your birthday isn’t — at least not yet) are great for special sales because convention supports it and people look to those days to get discounts. For example:
- Black Friday
- Cyber Monday
- New Year’s Day
Look, if you really need your birthday to be a national holiday, then you might want to try running for President or lead a civil rights movement that changes the face of the earth.
With that in mind… Do you really think I should celebrate your birthday by buying your stuff, even at 50% off? Uh-uh, girlfriend!
Peace out (and think big).
Oh, if it’s your birthday today…happy birthday you beautiful big thinker you!
Agree? Disagree? Couldn’t care less? Share your opinion below.Post or read comments: 78 Comments