Archives for April 2013

Being nice is keeping you broke

How often do you have someone who sends you an email with, “I have a couple of quick questions.”

As you read their questions you quickly realize it will require a fair amount of time to respond to all of them.

Wanting to be polite, the temptation is for you to respond. It’s not that you shouldn’t respond, but you need to know where to draw the line.

One or two questions is fine, but beyond that, you are giving away your services.

If you’re serious about building your business and having people value your time, you have to be able to say no to many of the inquiries that come your way.

This morning a client of mine asked me what she should do with an email someone sent with over ten questions they wanted her to respond to. I suggested she let this person know what her consulting fees are and offer to set up an appointment.

The more of an expert you are viewed as the more likely you will receive these types of emails.

Years ago I received an email from a gentleman with one simple question. I was happy to respond to his question as it took less than a minute to do so.

Then came another question. I responded to that. By the third question I wrote, “We are now moving into consulting. I would be happy to set up an appointment for you.”

He wrote a scathing message that went something like this, “I can’t believe you won’t take time to respond to my questions. You said you help people, but you’re not much help to me. You’re full of crap and you say one thing and do another.”

I had to laugh at this. For him to assume that I would continue to answer his stream of questions with no compensation is not at all realistic.

He obviously had no intention of ever paying me for my services. Based on his angry response I took him off my list. I didn’t need his anger, energy or unwillingness to respect my time.

Have you ever received these type of emails or phone calls? How have you responded? Did you give free consulting so as not to appear unfriendly?

Fact is, you will upset some people when you tell them no. Fact also is, if you want to grow your business you must set boundaries. Sure, it’s okay to answer one or two questions, but then you also have to be willing to say no.

If this happens to you, here’s a very simple response you can send:

Thank you for your inquiry. You have outstanding questions. These are the types of questions I work on with my private clients. I would be happy to set up a consulting call with you.

My fee is $____ for this. Here are my available times for a session.

Here’s what will likely happen. The person will never respond to you. They will respond with a message saying they were not trying to get free consulting, but then you will not hear back. They will set an appointment.

A couple weeks ago I got a message from someone wanting to know about marketing his book. The way his message was worded indicated he wanted free consulting.

I told him that I charged for this kind of service. He responded by saying he wasn’t asking for free consulting.

We set a time to talk and one of the first things he said was, “I don’t have much money and would like you to work with me for a percentage of what I will sell.”

Folks, in most cases, this IS free consulting. For someone to have not made any money up to this point and want you to give your time, efforts and energy to their project with no financial investment on their part is not realistic.

When you get these types of requests you have to set boundaries. You have to be willing to say no. You have to state your fees.

The reason many emerging entrepreneurs fear doing this is they don’t want to appear not being nice.

Let me ask you this, “Would you rather be nice or broke?”

I’m not saying to be mean to people, but as with the man who got upset when I said we were moving into consulting, he certainly didn’t think I was nice. Personally, I don’t care.

What I care about is helping my clients get results. When they do, I go from them liking me to them loving what I was able to help them accomplish.

What has your experience with this kind of situation been? How have you responded? Comments welcome.

 

 

 

 

71 year old grandmother proves it’s never too late to write a book

janeWhen I first met Jane Falke little did I realize she dreamed of sharing her message of vibrant health in a big way.

What I saw in Jane from the start is a woman who is passionate about her life’s work. What made me realize that Jane is the real deal of what she teaches is when she said she was 71.

“No way!” I thought. “This woman can’t be more than late fifties, early sixties tops.”

I wanted to know her secret for looking so great and having the kind of energy she has. She said, “You can read it in my book.”

I love spunky women. Especially elderly women who are the picture of health.

It's been my honor to work with Jane since late 2012. She never ceases to amaze me with her drive and passion.

Because I know my tribe has a very high interest in learning what other authors do to write, publish and market their books, I’ve asked Jane to share some of the details of how her book came to be.

Below is Jane’s account of some of the steps from idea to book sales.

I was told by an astrologist that I would write a book when I was in my sixties. I was shocked. I wasn't a writer. I barely passed my English exams. I had problems expressing myself verbally. How could I be a writer? Then, when I studied for my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in holistic nutrition, I had to write. I had projects to complete and they had to be done correctly. That was when I learned I had a love for expressing myself in written words.

When I was working with clients, I realized I was saying the same thing over again. I thought I would write a few handouts or maybe a guidebook for my clients so I wouldn’t have to repeat myself so often. I never thought about writing a book, but what I wanted to say grew into more information, more research, and ended with my book, Eat Healthy. Be Healthy at Any Age. (And yes, I was in my sixties!)

I started writing about health subjects that I thought people needed to know about. I added information to the material as I remembered it without regard to how the material flowed. I had a general idea what I wanted in the table of contents, but that changed often. I continued to write throughout the week.

I did get writer’s block. For me it was due to boredom or lack of motivation. But friends kept asking me, “How’s your book coming?” After a while, I thought, “I better get with it and finish it.”

Once my book was complete, I felt relieved. But I realized this is when the real work began.

The next process was publishing. I signed with a wonderful woman who guided me through the process. Soon my book was published on Amazon and Kindle and became available in bookstores.

The greatest benefit for me in writing Eat Healthy. Be Healthy at Any Age is seeing how it is changing people’s lives. Not a day goes by that I don’t have someone contact me and share how the programs and recipes have helped them achieve better health.

Marketing my book was the next step in the next process in getting known and selling books.

I’ve been amazed at how fun book signings are. Once I set my mind to getting my message out to market, I had lots of opportunities show up.

I have done many book signings, and the percentage of sales is high, as much as 50 to 70 percent. I don’t view myself as a salesperson, but I am prepared. I give a talk about my motivation to learn about nutrition, then I explain the programs and how I made the book easy for people to follow. I always allow time for people to ask me questions. This is my formula for selling books: being an example of my work and being prepared.

Really, it’s about having a conversation with people, regardless if there is one person I share my message with or hundreds. It’s just about sharing my insights.

I also market my book to my email list through my newsletters and email blasts. I add quality content about health and post on my social media pages regularly.

Something else that has worked really well to get the message out is preparing mini PowerPoint presentations on health-related topics, and post on SlideShare.com.

I do radio interviews and write guest blogs and articles. Marketing ideas are endless when you have the right guidance. Kathleen Gage is my marketing mentor.

Everyone has a book inside them. Don’t wait to start. Begin by writing about your experiences and subjects you think will help others learn and grow. You don’t have to be a great writer. There are editors, publishers, and marketing people who will help you get your message out to the world. Enjoy the process. The benefits outweigh anything that might be in your way.

jane bookTo get your own copy of Eat Healthy. Be Healthy at Any Age go to Amazon.com and order a copy today.

Visit Jane's site at www.janefalke.com

 

I’ve had it with people trying to get something for nothing

NOTE: This post was first written in 2013. Amazingly, much of what I wrote still fits in 4th quarter 2016.

Want to know how some online experts really feel about the world of Internet marketing? It may shock you to learn that sometimes we just get plain fed up with the garbage that goes on.

On both sides of the fence there are unrealistic promises and expectations.

lynnSeems like my friend and colleague, Lynn Terry, had one too many people make false promises when she said, “I don't like the Internet Marketing space anymore.” Click  here to read her post.

She’s not alone. I’ve felt this way on more than one occasion, as has anyone who’s worth their salt in the reputable Internet Marketing space.

Making a great living online is truly a blessing, but it does come with a price. Those of us who understand that this is the real deal of business are willing to pay the price.

Unfortunately, there are a bunch of people out there who will mislead the uninformed budding entrepreneur that they don’t have to do a darned thing to succeed.

Some of the misleading headlines read:

In as little as 10 minutes a day you can make a fortune!

Make hundreds of thousands of dollars at the press of a button!

Make millions while lounging on the beach!

The fact is, if you want to have a successful business you have to work at it. If the headlines (and promises) seem too good to be true, well… they are. Simple as that.

There’s no shortcut to success. You have to work for it. And you have to invest in it with time, money and effort.

Any of us who make a great living online have done all three.

As much as there are those who will lead you to believe you can make millions without doing a darned thing but buy their “turnkey” product, on the flip side are those who try to get everything for nothing or do as little as possible and somehow be wildly successful.

Recently, there’s been an increase in the inquiries from men and women who want to know, “Can you guarantee me if I buy your program I will make money and can I do it by putting a few minutes a day of effort into the process.”

With the most recent inquiry I received along these lines I responded by saying, “How can I guarantee you anything when I know nothing about your industry, your work ethic or the quality of what you put out to market.”

My gut instinct is that this person would cut corners on the quality of what they do because they are already trying to cut corners on the amount of time they are willing to put into their business.

Just this morning I received an email from a colleague with a similar message from someone on her list. “I want to make $100,000 a year and work under an hour a day. Can you guarantee me I will do this if I buy your product.”

How in the world can we guarantee your results based on you trying to do as little as possible and make a windfall of money? This is where I say, “Give me a break.”

This is real business with real entrepreneurs. This is not some pie in the sky BS of sitting on the beach doing nothing but getting a tan.

For those who are always seeking the discounts, the freebies and the “I've never made any money but I'll give you a percentage of what I make if you'll mentor me for free mindset” think about it from an entrepreneurs perspective. You must be willing to invest in the right resources in order to run a profitable business.

Before you start asking for the world and are not willing to give anything in return, would you want people to do that to you?

If you're not making any money, let's get really honest… are you investing in yourself and your business? Or are you trying to get everything for free? If you try to get something for nothing every opportunity you can is it any wonder you cannot generate money?

Energetically, you are attracting what you are putting out.

Okay, now it's time to get off my soapbox.

Now before anyone writes and says, “Why are you so angry Kathleen?” I’m not angry at all. I just feel it’s time to call it as I see it.

Here’s what I know to be true. You can make an incredible living online in a variety of industries. There’s a whole world of opportunity out there. But… this is real business. Treat it as such. Don’t assume for a minute you don’t have to work for your success.

When you have a plan, a great mastermind group, the right information you can learn and apply and a willingness to take risks, you are well on your way to building a great business.

What are your thoughts on those who pretend you can make millions with no effort and those who try to get something for nothing? Comments encouraged and welcomed.

You're invited to How to Pitch the Media about Your Book on October 12, 2016 at 5 p.m. Pacific. Click here to register.