Archives for February 2014

You Better Learn to Handle the Pressure Long Before You Become Famous

dreamI work with speakers and authors who, more times than not, have the dream of “making it big.”

Making it big means different things to different people, but for most it means having a national, or international, audience, being a featured guest on major radio, television or podcast shows, being invited to be on telesummits with other well-known experts and making lots of money in the process.

Before someone begins their journey to fame and fortune they often dream of what it will be like to “make it.”

Often, the dream and reality tend to be very different. The dream is often void of stress, pressures and demands. The dream is like a walk in the park on a beautiful spring day; perfect. The dream fails to include the fact that there are still things we must do that are mundane.

Years ago I read this; “What does one do before they are enlightened? Chop wood and carry water. What does one do after they are enlightened? Chop wood and carry water.”

It’s the same with handling pressure pre-fame and post-fame. You handle the pressure in the most appropriate way possible.

Until you can handle the pressure that come with growing into who you believe yourself to be, no matter how big you get you will still have pressure. And…the pressure is a hell of a lot bigger at the top than at the bottom.

There’s a level of stress that goes with growing into who we believe ourselves to be. If we don’t manage ourselves every step of the way, the stress does not lessen as we get bigger. It amplifies.

Managing our stress is all about laying a foundation that supports our growth. Before you can handle the stress that comes with being an internationally recognized expert you absolutely must handle the stress that comes every step of the way.

A huge part of managing the stress is enjoying the process. If you are not enjoying the process as you are growing your business, visibility and market reach, what makes you think you will enjoy the process when there are more demands on your time, energy and finances?

Don’t think for a minute that things somehow miraculously change when you get to a certain level of fame. If you don’t handle your emotions now, you certainly won’t handle them later.

Start right here, right now to create the life you want based on your moment by moment decisions. This includes the decision to take full responsibility for the choices you make. It means not letting your choices stress you out so much you treat people in ways you will regret or have to constantly apologize for.

It means accepting that before you can play in the big leagues you better be doing all you can to be exceptional right here, right now.

What do you do to handle the pressures that come with building your business? Comments welcome and encouraged.

 

Are you really who you say you are?

For years I “pounded the pavement” looking for opportunity. I tried just about everything; except one thing; being myself.

What I discovered was this; as long as I tried to be someone other than who I am, my success was always an arms distance away.

Are you trying to be someone you're not? Or are you putting your unique self out to the world?

Here's a great example of someone (actually a whole family) who is being themselves.

One of my favorite shows is Pit Bulls & Parolees hosted by Tia Torres. I'll be the first to admit this show is not for everyone.

First, you have to love the idea of watching incredible Pit Bull rescues for an hour every Saturday night.

Second, if you think people (or animals) can't change, then you would never believe the miracles Tia is creating by giving a bunch of throwaway dogs and guys a second chance at a better quality of life.

On the most recent episode, Tia's oldest daughter, Tania, got married to the love of her life. Without a doubt, the wedding ceremony was very different and not for everyone. But for Tania and her soon to be husband, Perry, it was perfect.

As my partner and I were watching this I said, “Gotta love how they are really who they are. No pretenses. Just rock solid, true to themselves, down to earth people.”

That's actually one of the appeals to watching the show week after week. I love how authentic it is.

It's not uncommon for me to send in a donation during the show because I so believe in what they are doing. There are plenty of other reality shows, but many of them seem like a bunch of hype, let me show you how strange I am, bunch of stupid antics. You definitely won't find this with Tia and the crew.

Actually, I kind of think our little guy loves the show too.

We decided to adopt Chance a year and a half ago based on what we learned from the show.

Without a doubt there are those who would never watch the show, donate or support what Tia and her crew do. So be it. There are millions of others who are raving fans and anxiously await every episode.

Do you have raving fans? Do you have those who would never want to get your information even if you paid them?

Hopefully the answer to both these questions is YES! If not, better look in the mirror to see who you really are and ask yourself this, “Am I being who I really am or a mere shadow of myself based on trying to please people who could care less about who I am?”

Check out Tia and the crew on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TiaMariaTorresOfPitBullsParolees

 

Integrity is a highly overused word for many entrepreneurs

In a recent conversation with a colleague of mine the topic of business integrity came up. Actually, I've had this type of conversation many times during the nearly 20 years I've been in business.

It seems in some circles the word integrity means something completely different than in other circles.

Let's start with the Webster's Dictionary definition.

: the quality of being honest and fair
: the state of being complete or whole

Full Definition of INTEGRITY
1:  firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values :  incorruptibility
2:  an unimpaired condition :  soundness
3:  the quality or state of being complete or undivided :  completeness

It's amazing the number of entrepreneurs who use the word integrity to define the way they run their business, but a closer look reveals a contradiction in their use of the word and their actions.

Many of these entrepreneurs call themselves heartcentered, soul based, or integrity based business owners.

Yet their actions are so far removed from the very way they define themselves.

Here are a few examples of how people may be missing the mark when it comes to their expression of integrity.

1. Information Product Purchases.buy

There are those who buy information products, digest the information and then ask for a refund while applying (and benefiting from) the very information they are requesting a refund on.

For some this is not a one time occurrence, but rather a standard, business as usual, practice.

Really?!?! Is this someone who is walking in integrity? I think not. It's one thing to buy a program, go through the information and if you really feel it is misrepresented asking for a refund.

On the other hand, if you bought a program, used it and know, beyond a shadow of a doubt the information was as represented, what the heck are you asking for a refund for? Would you want people to do that to you? Likely not, so why do it to others.

You wouldn't believe some of the lame excuses my colleagues and I have heard. Well, maybe you would. Maybe you've heard these or something whackier.

“I went on vacation and spent more than expected so I need a refund.”

“I want to buy expert X's program and before I can do that I need my money back from your program.”

Come on folks. Grow up. Put on the big girl and boy panties. This is real business.

surf2. Coach surfing.

You hire a coach to help you and rather than listening to their advice (which they have a proven track record on) you decide to hire a couple more coaches and bounce around on who you will listen to this week.

Sure, there are occasions you need more than one coach due to areas of expertise, but to have three or four coaches for the exact same thing is counterproductive.

There's a good chance each coach has their own style of coaching and will make conflicting recommendations.

By taking advice from three or four people on the same thing you are going to be spreading your efforts way too thin and frustrating the heck out of the experts you hired.

Why not stick with one coach, give it 100% and get out of your comfort zone by sticking with one plan.

3. Not treating someone's staff with respectrespect

This one will lose you points faster than just about anything. My team works hard to give the best service possible. If someone mistreats, is rude, or acts like they can talk down to my team and I won't mind them doing so, well… this is as close to the edge as you can get.

Years ago I ran a multimillion dollar career training company. Occasionally we would be hiring for either a sales or training position. When a potential new hire would come in for an interview one of the “tests” I had was to make them wait a few minutes in the lobby.

The fact is, I wanted to see how they treated the receptionist. Little did the new hire know this was all part of the interview process. If they were polite and treated Erika, the receptionist, as a professional they gained points.

If, on the other hand, they didn't treat her respectfully or complained about the wait, they lost lots of points. So many in fact, they were not considered for the job.

So how do you treat members of a support team? Don't think for a minute they don't share great treatment as well as harsh treatment with the person who pays them because they do.

Conclusion
If you claim to have an integrity based business are you acting the part?

You're not doing anyone a favor by buying products and services and then either asking for a refund based on your bad money management or thinking having a bunch of coaches is going to solve your problems.

You're also not doing anyone a favor by taking your bad mood out on others. You'll get a heck of a lot further by showing respect and appreciation than by being a jerk.

The fact is, you're not the only one dealing with problems. Every business owner does. What determines your level of professionalism is how you handle your problems and how you interact with others in the process. 

Running a business takes discipline. Often it's the discipline of saying no, even though you think that next fun thing will make all the difference in the world. discipline

The discipline resides in being able to say no when needed AND saying yes to the agreements you have made. Yes in time, yes in money and yes in energy.

The discipline also resides in treating everyone you come in contact with respectfully. After all, isn't there enough disrespect going around? The buck and ball stops with you.

What are your thoughts on walking the talk/walk of integrity based businesses? Comments welcome.

4 Signs You Are Holding Yourself Back

In the time I’ve been in business and coaching others there are four phrases I’ve heard over and over that, quite seriously, are holding people back.

1.  I don’t know what to do. Okay, so you don’t know what to do. What are you going to do about it? The difference between those who succeed and those who want to succeed is this; the ones who will succeed are going to figure out what to do. They quit repeating the mantra, “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do” as if their life depended on it.

You see, once they admit they don’t know they live in the solution. They hire mentors, they take training and they buckle down. Simple as that.

2.  I’m not a techie so I can’t use social media effectively. Oh my gosh. Get over it. None of us were born techies, nor do we need to be techies to know how to use social media. Using social media is easier than a lot of people realize. What they tend to forget  is this; anything you get good at you have to do over and over.

The reason many people don't feel they are good at social media is due to this; they get lost in the maze of social media and waste a ton of time with   useless, time wasting activities. They spend precious time reading jokes, watching mindless   videos of the next big dog or cat trick, and checking their like numbers to see how much they are loved by people they don’t know and who could care less about who they are.

3.  I don’t have time. Well, find the time. Organize your day in a way that you let go of the time wasters. Chances are many of your time wasters relate to BSOS – bright shiny object syndrome. You are working on something, get bored and proceed to check your email or your Facebook messages. Stop! Staying on track takes discipline. Moment by moment you have to decide where you will put your attention.

True, there are more things vying for our attention than ever before, so it’s really up to you how you use your time. Quit using “don’t have time” as an excuse and begin using “I will consciously choose how I invest my time” as a reason to get things done.

4.  I just need this one more certification. Wow! Is this one ever grabbing people by the scuff of the neck. It’s amazing how many people get certification after certification without getting off the dime to apply what they know.

Sure, it’s great (and in many cases necessary) to get certified in some practices, but if you are constantly going after just “one more” certification and not implementing what you know, then you are cleverly (or not so cleverly) using the time learning as a convenient way to avoid putting the pedal to the metal and achieving what you say you want.

Nowadays, there are certification programs popping up for the most bizarre things. Some are real and others are a complete waste of time, energy and money.

Learning is great but application of what you know is an absolute must if you are going to build your business and client base.

Conclusion The fact is, succeeding takes time, effort, focus and commitment. If you have not gone much beyond where you were a year ago and you are still spinning your wheels in the world of entrepreneurship one of two things need to happen. One, you need to get really honest with yourself and quit messing around and be willing to put yourself out there in a big way.

This may require finding a mentor who's “been there, done that” and can give you a swift kick in the back side, pull your covers and get you on track like never before.

Two, maybe you’re not cut out for being an entrepreneur. Maybe you need to get really honest and get a job.

Isn't it time to get honest about what you are doing? Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur or are you simply in love with the idea of being an entrepreneur?

Comments welcome.

 

 

#1 Rule of Affiliate Marketing and Sales

Recently someone asked me what I think the #1 rule of affiliate marketing is. Actually, there's more than one top rule, but here's top of the list.

#1 RULE: Pay your affiliates what you owe them when you owe them. Nothing can sour an affiliate relationship faster than you owing someone money or not paying them when you agreed to.

Another rule: Pay them what they really earned.

The best thing to do to avoid any confusion is to assure ahead of time the affiliate knows when you pay, how you pay and if you hold back any money in case of refunds.

In the years I've been involved in online marketing I've made lots and lots of money as an affiliate.  I've been an affiliate for some amazing people. Most (99%) do pay on time and they do pay what was earned.

But then there are always the exceptions to the rule.

One person has owed me a couple hundred dollars for several months. I've given plenty of time for the person to pay me.

I even asked (twice) when I would get paid. Both times I was assured it would be that day. Well, both those days came and went and no money was sent to me.

(Your affiliates should never have to hunt you down for the money they've earned.)

What this means is I will never promote for this person ever again. Ever!

Another time I knew a customer had purchased through my affiliate link but I never got paid on that sale. How did I know they bought through my link? Because the person who purchased said they had bought through my link.

I've been known to let people know I have an affiliate link. Often, I give a bonus or two when someone buys through my link. This adds value to the buyer and it lets me know exactly who buys.

It may sound like I'm being petty or bitter.

Nope! I'm not bitter, but I figure if this is how someone treats their affiliates how will they treat the business we send them?

If you're going to play in the game of affiliate marketing and sales you need to have a squeaky clean reputation.

Here's some common sense rules:

1. Be clear on what the commission rate is
2. Pay on time
3. Pay what the affiliate earned
4. Appreciate your affiliate
5. Take really good care of the customers they sent you
6. Say thank you to the affiliate

The best experience I had was when one expert I promoted for sent me a check for over $11,000 for one campaign I did for her. Not only did she send me a personal note with the check, she sent me a gift.

She has been known to send bottles of wine to her affiliates. Well, she knows I don't drink (at all) and sent me a wonderful box of pears.

Wow! Did that ever make me feel special.

Will I promote for her again? Beyond a shadow of a doubt.

To the person who still owes me a few hundred dollars… I hope you are reading this and realize you've messed up… big time.

This article was initially posted in my ezine. I was shocked at how many people wrote to tell me something similar happened to them. And! they told me who did it.

Wake up folks. The Internet and social media has made the world very small and people do share the good, the bad and the ugly.

Find out more about affiliate marketing and sales in Power Up for Profits! The Smart Woman's Guide to Online Marketing Click here to order.

Here’s what article marketing can do for you

Recently one of my premier clients was invited to write a monthly article for a highly visible online magazine specific to her market.

The magazine is extremely well known, has a huge readership and is definitely a feather in my client's cap.

These type of opportunities are huge and can open up a lot more opportunity. I consistently hear from men and women about how they would love this kind of opportunity but don't do anything to create the opportunity.

Of course, there are those who will say my client is so lucky, but the fact is she created her luck by putting herself out in a big way to become visible to the powers that be with the magazine.

Great opportunities don't just fall from the sky. We create them based on the actions we take and the foundation we make.

Gaining lots of visibility makes building your business a heck of a lot easier. And truth be told, visibility definitely equates to more revenue generating opportunities.

Granted, not everyone needs name recognition within their market. Yet, 99 percent of the clients I work with find that name recognition is essential to their success. If you are an author, coach, speaker, trainer, consultant, artist, or entrepreneur, you likely need name recognition.

One of the most effective ways to gain visibility is by writing and distributing articles – article marketing. I began article marketing in the late nineties when few people were doing it. I had very little visibility and market position compared to what I have today. Without a doubt, one thing that skyrocketed my visibility was article marketing.

If you haven’t yet begun writing articles to establish your expert status, build your subscriber list, and increase your credibility and market reach, now is a great time to begin. Article marketing:

  • Positions you as an expert
  • Increases traffic to your blog, website, and landing pages
  • Increases sales potential
  • Builds name recognition
  • Gains trust and entry into your customer’s mind
  • Builds a highly responsive subscriber list for any industry

Not Everyone Agrees
Years ago I received a very heated email from a subscriber who said article marketing for visibility, credibility, and increased revenues absolutely does not work. She claimed she tried this strategy with no success at all, and she was very upset. She supported her position by adding that many of her friends and colleagues had similar results. Here’s what she wrote: “I personally don’t know anyone who has gotten increased business from this tactic and none of my clients have either. Who is getting more business from this and what are they doing differently?”

Amazingly, the very strategy she said didn’t work was what had encouraged her to opt in to my subscriber list – she read one of my articles and responded to the free ebook offer mentioned at the end of the article. Hmmmm.

Success Strategies
It takes more than just throwing some words together and calling it an article for article marketing to work. Consider the following questions:

  • How well written is the article?
  • Is it geared to a specific market?
  • Does the title grab people’s attention?
  • Is there a resource box at the end of the article?
  • Does the resource box include a compelling offer that encourages the reader to visit your website, blog, or landing page?
  • Is your website set up to optimize those visits with a visible opt-in opportunity that is of high value?
  • Do you have a follow-up plan to market to those who opt in to your subscriber list?
  • Are you creating high value for those who receive messages from you?

When one or more of these elements is not in place, writing and distributing articles can be completely ineffective.

Be Realistic
Don’t expect to immediately increase revenue by posting one article. There’s a process involved in turning casual readers into paying customers, and this process should be part of your overall marketing strategy. It’s like baking a cake; if you don’t have all the right ingredients and use them in the correct order, you can have a total flop on your hands. But when article marketing is coordinated with the rest of your marketing plan, you can be extremely successful and enjoy a very tasty outcome.

Portions of this post is an excerpt from Power Up for Profits! The Smart Woman's Guide to Online Marketing
Click here to learn more about Power Up for Profits!

Video for Marketing and Credibility

Has the thought of being in the movies ever appealed to you? Dreamed of having your own television show? Want to be seen by hundreds, thousands, and even millions of viewers? If you said yes, then video is for you.

Video is one of the hottest marketing tools around. Not only is it great for promotions, but when done right, viewers really feel that they’ve gotten to know you, and that translates to great marketing.

There are two basic approaches to video: direct to camera and screen capture. Direct to camera is filming yourself, colleagues, and/or experts conducting a training session, demonstration, or presentation; doing an interview, book trailer, or testimonial; or delivering a speech. You can film your expert interview or any other kind of interview rather than recording it as an audio. Screen capture is turning something on your computer such as PowerPoint slides or online locations into a video.

The number one online video location is YouTube. There are plenty of others, but YouTube gets so much traffic that posting your video there is a “must-do.” It’s a video-sharing website where users can upload and share videos.

No matter what you’re interested in, there are likely video clips about it online. There are millions of video views per day on YouTube. Shouldn’t your video be part of those views? You can use video to gain visibility, promote products, and build your subscriber list. Since YouTube is by far the most popular video site, I focus on YouTube in this chapter. To load videos, do a search on YouTube on “mechanics.”  Search further on “subscribing to YouTube,” “loading a video,” and “setting up a YouTube channel.”

The Purpose of Video

The two main uses of YouTube in terms of marketing and your business are to gain visibility and to do research on virtually any topic. It’s a great way to connect with your market if you’re comfortable in front of a camera. You are viewed as a real person, and people feel more connected to your message than they do using other media.

The more you practice in front of the camera, the easier it is. When you use screen shots, you will record a voice-over rather than being on camera. If you are uncomfortable with being on camera or recording your voice, simply have someone else do it. But give it a try before you decide that you truly can’t do it – getting your own personality out there is really the point. Focus on the benefit to your market and business, and it should make the task much easier.

What Is Your Message?

Four areas to focus on when doing video are:

  • Who are you?
  • Who is the video for?
  • What problem are you solving?
  • What is the solution you offer?

When you can clearly answer these questions, your videos will be more beneficial to your viewers.

Your Own Channel

One of the best things about YouTube is that you can create your own channel which acts as your home page at YouTube. This allows for enhancing your brand and subscriber list, and it’s easy to do by following the directions. Your channel includes your account name, account type, your uploaded videos, and any user information you enter. You’ll have a YouTube subscriber list so those on your list can stay on top of the videos you release.

The more people on your subscriber list, the more people who will get your message. And when you have something to promote, you can reach more potential buyers. As with other areas of your online visibility, proactively promote your channel through your Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other social media networks you use. Add your channel address to your sig file or resource box with a bit about what your channel addresses.

SEO with Videos

Videos are one of the best ways to get SEO. Use your keywords in your video title, video description, tags, and the words you speak. Google picks these up and your SEO improves.

Include a clickable URL in the first line of the description tag (the first line is most important). To make your URL a clickable link, be sure to include the “http://www”part of the address. Viewers can then go directly to your website, blog, or landing page.

When you’re promoting an event, book, or product, posting videos on YouTube will result in a higher search-engine ranking, so be sure to include YouTube in your social media marketing mix.

Consistency Is Key

Once you add videos to your marketing strategy, keep up a consistent flow of videos on YouTube, especially when you have subscribers. They subscribed for a reason: to see what you are up to, learn from you, and follow your message.

Types of Videos

  • Demonstrations
  • Mini-presentations
  • Book trailers
  • How-to’s

How-to’s are the best for SEO. Let’s say you are a dog trainer. What better use of a video clip than to give a “how-to” demonstration of a training tip? If you’re a chef and want to teach viewers how to use a certain type of cooking utensil, what better way than with a video? If you teach a specific art technique, video is definitely the way to go. You can film a short portion of a training session to tease your viewer, then direct them to where they can get the full training information. There are unlimited uses for video.

Ways to Promote Your Video
Once your video is posted, you can tweet the URL, post it to your Facebook wall, and put the actual video in your blog by using the embedded code.

Another way to gain visibility for yourself and your channel is to comment on other people’s videos in a related field, industry, or topic. The more you can pinpoint your comments, the better. Many people search out more than one video about their interest, so the more comments you leave, the better. (And the more videos you post that this market would be interested in, the better). Make your comments substantial rather than simply saying “Nice video.”

Search out high-traffic videos. You can tell how popular a video is by looking at the number of views. Depending on the topic, viewer interest and a video’s relevance determines how many views it gets.

About a year ago I met a gentleman who was averaging well over 100,000 views for each of his videos. They had to do with the sport of boxing. That’s a number most people would be very happy with. Unfortunately he had done nothing to drive viewers from his videos to an opt-in opportunity. I advised him to insert a live link at the beginning of the description of each video and add an invitation to request a free report to get them on his subscriber list. From there I recommended he provide high-value information to subscribers to gain trust from this market. Then he could introduce paid products and services. By implementing this one strategy, this gentleman was able to build an opt-in list that he could now offer paid products to.

To make a strategy like this work you must be consistent. To gain viewers with no backend plan is somewhat of a waste. Think in terms of continued value to your market, leading to earnings.

The viral aspect is the great thing about videos. When people like videos, they tweet about them, mention them on their Facebook walls, post links on their blogs, and add them to articles, just to name a few ways videos gain traction. Add to these a way to drive traffic to your subscriber list, and it’s a pretty sweet deal.

This post is an excerpt from Power Up for Profits! The Smart Woman's Guide to Online Marketing. http://www.powerupforprofitsbook.com to get your own copy.