Blogging and Guest Blogging; Two Excellent Ways to Market Your Book(s)

You Need Readers

Authors need readers… at least if they’re going to make money with their writing.

It takes consistent effort for your writings to become visible to potential readers. This is not a one time, “get er’ done” situation. It’s day in and day out. When you do something every day, you will see results for a long time to come.

Bottom line; as an author, you need to market your books and yourself. Either you do the work yourself or you hire a support person, a marketing expert, or a team of people. Regardless of who does the actual work, you must market.

Most authors don’t put anywhere near the effort they need to into their marketing. Optimally, schedule a minimum of 30 – 60 minutes a day dedicated solely to marketing. The reason I say, “schedule your marketing” is this; if you don’t have it on your daily activity list, it likely won’t get done.

I’ve got news for you… checking your emails is not marketing. Nor is reading posts on Facebook or watching cute videos.

No! Marketing is a proactive process designed to gain visibility for you and your books.

Granted, social media can be a huge part of your marketing efforts, but you must be strategic and extremely focused in your efforts.

One excellent marketing strategy is blogging… both on your blog and as a guest blogger. With your own blog, over time, you will likely build a loyal readership…if you have valuable, entertaining, engaging and useful content posted.

With guest blogging, not only are you showcasing your writing, you are doing so in front of fresh eyes.

There are several ways to find guest blogging opportunities. Three of my favorite are:

  1. Google Search
  2. Blog directories
  3. Blogs you subscribe to

Google Search

A Google search is as easy as inputting a “keyword + guest blogging” in the search area. You can also use “keyword + submitting a guest blog post”.

This should bring up ample locations for you to submit your work to. Check the guidelines to make sure of any restrictions and limitations that you may not be aware of.

Blog directories

There are countless directories you can find plenty of opportunity on. https://www.blogcatalog.com/ is a great choice as is https://www.bloggingfusion.com/.

A quick Google search with the words Blog Directories in the search area will bring up plenty of locations to keep you busy for quite some time.

Blogs You Subscribe To

Are there blogs you really enjoy reading? Is there great content on the blog? If you said yes, then contact the blog owner to inquire about writing for their blog.

Be sure not to spend all your time researching opportunities. Rather, get in, find various locations and then write high content blog posts in which you can showcase your writing.

Bio Box

An author bio box is an area at the bottom of your post that describes who you are. It can include a short bit of information about you (keep it short and highlight something interesting), an image of you or your book and links back to your website, blog or Amazon page.

Conclusion

The most important tip I can offer is to stop thinking about this and do it. Far too many authors spend an inordinate amount of time analyzing what they should do rather than rolling up their sleeves and putting their ideas into action.

Learn some of the most effective ways to market your books. Get my FREE report – Hit #1 on Amazon. Click here.

Action results in book sales. And isn’t that one reason you write… to sell books?

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Why wouldn’t you write “The Book?”

The Big Dream

According to some experts, 85 – 90% of the adult US population dreams of writing a book. Sadly, only a small percentage actually do.

The dream to write often starts, and ends, in our formative years.

I was in third-grade when the bug to become a writer hit. Mrs. Brown’s instructions were very loose. “Write about anything you want,” was about the extent of the guidelines.

I decided to write a fiction short story. I loved the process of letting the story of a haunted house unfold from my imagination, ending up on several pages of lined paper.

With great anticipation, the classroom of eight year old kids waited for Mrs. Brown to hand each of us our graded paper.

I beamed with joy when I saw the A++ at the top of the page. I knew right then and there what I wanted to do with my life.

That is, until I ended up in Miss Sasso’s class the following year. When I dared to share my dream of being a writer, my fourth-grade teacher wasted no time telling me why that was an impossibility.

Not only did she berate me, telling me I simply didn’t have the ability to be a writer, she proceeded to express her opinion as to why girls should be realistic about their future.

“You need to learn to type so you can get a job as a secretary,” she bellowed.

Miss Sasso seemed to enjoy watching tears well up in my eyes. The more uncomfortable I became, the more her voice raised, assuring every student within ear shot could hear her.

If humiliating me and wiping out my dream of ever being a writer was her goal, she accomplished this.

Buried, But Not Dead

Yet, the dream never really died. Granted, it took decades before I dared to let the dream bubble to the surface, but once it did, there was no turning back.

It was during a spiritual journey when I was thirty, I would make daily entries into my journal about my travels.

Having hitchhiked from the Bay Area to the West Bank of Israel, I was convinced my daily entries would turn into the next New York Times bestseller. Not only would the book be a favorite of millions of readers, my story would turn into a blockbuster movie.

Neither of those things happened. Why? Because again, I gave up on my dream. Upon my return to the San Francisco bay area, life got in the way. I got caught up with finding work and getting on with life.

Scheduling Writing Time is a Must Do

All of this changed when it became evident that writing needed to be woven into my schedule. It wasn’t simply going to happen. I had to make it happen.

In addition to writing books, I became very accomplished at creating information products. Blogging was another expression of my writing.  I had also submitted hundreds of articles to online directories.

With several books to my name, and many still to be written, I must wonder how many of the 85 – 90% of those who have the dream to write a book had their dream squashed as children.

I also wonder how long they will let the opinion of an adult, who may not realize what they did, stop them from fulfilling a part of their destiny.

The Big Ah Ha!

I was in my mid to late fifties when I realized that not only am I a writer, but I make a good living from writing. It was one of those big “ah ha” light-bulb moments when I realized there are unlimited possibilities for anyone who wants to be a professional writer.

Since that time, I’ve worked with hundreds of men and women who dream of making money from writing books. I not only teach them how to use their books to generate revenues, I consult with them on all a book can do for them.

Whether it be from selling the book through online avenues, at book signings, during a speaking engagement or using the book as a lead generator that leads into making offers of information products, there are countless ways to monetize one’s writing.

Unlike in the past, when a writer had to wait for the blessing from a publisher, today there is not much standing in the way of someone getting a book published.

With the right vision (and guidance) an author can use their book to springboard countless revenue generating opportunities.

It’s one thing to say you’re a writer, it’s something completely different to know you make a living from your writing.

In years past, wearing the label of self-published author was something said under one’s breath. Today, being self-published is widely accepted and approved of.

Add to that the ability to do very strategic book launches, and the possibility for being a profitable author is higher than ever.

Yet, most would-be writers never see their dream become manifest. Why? Because they romance the idea that somehow the book will write itself. Or they wait to be inspired to write. If I had to wait to be inspired, I likely would never have written anywhere near what I have.

For some, they fear no one will buy their book. While others, still hear their very own “Miss Sasso” telling them they will never be a writer.

Truth be told, writing is a discipline as is marketing and selling your books. In addition to discipline, it takes ongoing effort to do what needs to be done to make people aware of your work.

74 Year Old First Time Author Rocks It

Currently, I’m working with an author who recently had her first book published. At 74 years of age, Joan has more passion about sharing her book with audiences both online and off than anyone I’ve ever met. She is willing to put in the time, effort and money to drive to book signings, be interviewed and raise awareness because she believes in what her book is about.

With the energy of someone half her age, Joan’s passion is contagious. And that’s one of the greatest keys to what will likely be a very successful author story; her passion.

While others are still thinking of writing a book, Joan got serious about it. It’s the same with my client Shannon. She is working on a book that will be used to open up consulting opportunities within the corporate environment.

For a long time, Shannon thought about getting the book done, but now she’s completely committed to it.

Not long ago, Shannon and I mapped out a plan based on what opportunities she knows the book will create.

The big thing for both these women is they accepted that if they really want their books to be part of a revenue model, they also have to be thinking about how they will market the book.

Authors Must Know How to Market

Many authors give very little, if any, thought to how they will raise awareness of their book(s). Like the writing of the book, the marketing is something an author needs to take responsibility for.

Not that either has to be the one to do the marketing. There are plenty of people who can work with them to get the word out about their book.

With all that’s available with virtual teams, it’s likely their marketing team will reside in an area other than where the author lives.

The point is, if you want to make money as an author, you can. Will you be a world famous author? Not necessarily, nor do you have to be. You can work within a niche and do incredibly well for yourself.

The main thing is to get started. Carve out the time to write. And if you’re waiting to be inspired, perhaps this will inspire you; there are people who would love to read your work and will gladly buy your books… if they could.

The only way they are going to be able to is for you to sit down and get that book done and then raise awareness about the book. Simply put, raising awareness is marketing.

Hit #1 Webinar (FREE)

Not sure how to market your book? Want to learn to do so from the comfort of your home? Join me for Get Your Book to #1 webinar. I offer the webinar at various times. Click here to register for a time that works best for your schedule.

Register for one of several times. Click here.

 

 

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Why Your Book Will Likely NEVER Get Written… and how to prevent this

Why Most Experts Never Write a Book (even though they say they want to)

On any given day, I talk to several experts and entrepreneurs who say they really want to write a book. Most have been thinking about doing so for years. Yet, for whatever reason, the book never gets done.

If you’re an entrepreneur, a book under your belt has many advantages.

Here are just a few:

  • Instant credibility
  • Increased market reach
  • A great resource to build a subscriber list
  • Ongoing revenue generating opportunities
  • A great foot in the door for speaking and training opportunities
  • Creates interview opportunities on podcast and radio shows

In today’s business climate, it’s essential to have as much of an edge as you can. A book offers you this edge.

In a recent discussion in a private Facebook group, the question was raised, “Have you thought of writing a book, but it’s not getting done? If so, what’s stopping you?”

I was amazed at how many people have started not just one, but several books, never completing any of them. Imagine if someone would commit to finishing one book before working on another.

What I’ve Heard Over the Years

The most common reasons (excuses) I hear from those who say they want to write a book, but procrastinate, are plentiful.

  • No time
  • It will take too long
  • Don’t know where to start
  • Writing a book is overwhelming
  • I might be judged
  • What if no one reads it

There are more, but these are some of the most common.

Let’s break each one down.

No time

The only way to find the time is make the time. It’s really that simple. Even if it’s 20 minutes a day, start with a small block of time.

Schedule it in to your calendar and no matter what, during that 20 minute period you write.

It will take too long

Compared to what? Does it take a while to write a book? Absolutely! But then, you might want to check how you’re using your time to determine if you have time leaks. Things like watching a lot of television, spending untold amounts of time on social media mindlessly reading tweets, Facebook posts or looking at the latest video about pigs walking cats. (Yes, there are videos like that)

Truth be told, it’s a matter of prioritizing your time to get the outcome you say you want.

Don’t Know Where to Start

Start right where you are. What you’ll find is if you make a commitment to write every day, the momentum will build and before you know it, you have a lot of writing done.

Something to consider is where the book can lead. What I mean by this is, a book can open speaking opportunities, consulting gigs, and interviews.

Think in terms of what opportunities can open as a result of writing a book. This can be a huge motivator for you.

Writing a Book is Overwhelming

Anything can be overwhelming if you try to do too much at once. If you think you must do the whole thing at once, that’s when it gets overwhelming.

It’s like training for a marathon. The process leading up to the big day is just that, a process.

When I participate in a marathon, I don’t just show up the day of the race. I prepare for months. I build up to the big day with various training protocols. That way, when the big day arrives, I am likely to shine.

It’s the same with writing a book. Pace yourself. Write for different lengths of time. Change up your writing process. Hire a coach if need be.

I Might Be Judged

Yes! You might be. So what? The more vocal you are about your perspective and point of view through your writing, the more you set yourself up to be judged.

That’s just part of life. And if you let what others think stop you, you will never realize your full potential.

What If No One Reads It?

Sadly, this is what happens to most authors. No one reads their book… for one very simple reason; they don’t market it.

According to many experts, most books sell under $100 in the lifetime of the book. That’s awful. Yet, it doesn’t have to be that way.

When you plan out a promotions campaign to include social media, interviews, media releases and a systematized and strategic book launch, you will be amazed at how many books you will sell.

And the books are your foot in the door for lots of other opportunities.

Get Writing

The fact is, writing a book is an incredible experience. It’s a game changer in so many ways. Imagine how you will feel when you receive emails, cards and postings on your social media walls from people who have been impacted by your words.

Words that can literally change someone’s life.

The only way to have that experience is to make writing your book a priority. Unless you do, the book will forever remain a “Someday I’ll Write that Book.”

Start today to realize your dream.

Access my FREE report – Hit #1 On Amazon at www.oneonamazon.com

 

 

 

Before You Write Your First (or Next) Book… Read This

Why Am I Not Selling Books?

Years ago, I had dinner with a therapist from New York. No, I wasn’t seeing him as my therapist. We happened to have a couple of things in common.

  1. We belonged to the same mastermind group.
  2. We both loved writing, especially books.

The therapist was incredibly proud of his first (and only) book. The book focused on behaviors that don’t serve us. He showed me a copy, immediately asking what I thought.

I was relieved that I could honestly say, “Looks great!”

“How are sales?” was the obvious question I would ask. As someone who has been marketing books for years, I’m always intrigued how a first-time author does with marketing and sales.

Embarrassed, he told me he didn’t know how to market and never took the time to learn. As a result, he hadn’t sold more than a  handful of books.

Sadly, this happens to a great majority of authors… crickets when it comes to sales. Fact is, most authors sell under $100 worth of books a year.

Beware of Assumptions

He went on to tell me how he had invested a great deal in getting the book published, but never realized he needed to market the book. He, like many naive authors, was under the mistaken belief that if his book was published it would sell.

He had invested tens of thousands of dollars to get the book published with little to show for his investment.

“I really thought the publisher would market it for me.  At least that’s what they told me when they sold me the publishing package. It turns out their idea of marketing was sending out a press release and sending one email to a select group on their subscriber list,” he said with great disappointment in his voice.

This is an all too common scenario.

What Does Marketing Really Mean? (ask)

Another common mistake is that an author contracts a mid-tier publisher believing  the publisher will do all the marketing. A “mid-tier” publisher is one that will take care of everything to get the book published, but you pay all the expenses. You don’t get an advance. You don’t get royalties. This is not a traditional publisher in the way that most people would think of a traditional publisher.

The eager author is led to believe their book was “selected” because of the quality of their writing. Granted, there are some very reputable mid-tier publishing companies that turn down a high percentage of books submitted to them. On the flip side, there are those who could care less about the quality of the book and will gladly take the money of any eager author who wants to pay them.

The author is so excited to get their book published, they likely never ask what “we do some marketing for you” means.

The Ugly (and Expensive) Truth

Almost every author learns the truth about marketing their book the hard way; by not selling books. The fact is, you as an author have to take full responsibility for marketing your books regardless of how it gets published.

As a side note, whatever agreements are made with a publisher, get it in writing. When they say, “We do some marketing for you,” what specifically does that mean?

Three Common Ways To Do This

Back to taking full responsibility for the successful marketing of your book.

Option one… you do all the marketing yourself. For many authors this is NOT the best choice due to not knowing how to market and the amount of time it takes to learn. If you have more time than money, this could be a great choice.

A second option is for you to hire a book marketing company that does everything from A to Z to gain traction for you and your book. This can be very, very expensive. Few authors have unlimited funds to pay someone to do their all their marketing.

A third option is a combination of both you doing some of the work and hiring a company to guide you through it.

I love the third option for my clients. It allows the author to learn a lot about marketing while not being left to figure it out for themselves.

Currently, I’m working with a few authors whose books have either been published or soon will be. In every case, I’m helping them map out what needs to be done, teaching them a lot of how to do it, helping them to build a support team to keep them on track and making sure lines of communication are kept open every step of the way.

Although I have a very diverse marketing background, I learned a great deal about book marketing with The Law of Achievement. It was then that I realized how important it was to go beyond simply writing and publishing books. It was also then that I discovered the fact that most authors know zilch about marketing.

For many, it is some mysterious activity only those initiated into the “secret club” of marketers knows how to do.

You CAN Learn to Market

The fact is, virtually any author can learn how to market their book(s). And… they can do so without spending a fortune on their education or the marketing.

The main thing to keep in mind is this; you need to start your marketing before your book is published. The sooner you can lay a solid marketing foundation, the better.

One aspect of marketing is building a list of potential book buyers. This takes time, effort and strategy. You also have to gain visibility before, during and after your book is published. Again, this takes time, effort and strategy.

Here are four things you can do that will start the process of building a list and gaining visibility.

1.  Gain visibility in forums where your potential readers congregate. Get involved, share in discussions, network and build trust. If you are authentic about your involvement many people are likely to support your efforts of getting your book into the hands of many readers. If you are simply in a forum to sell, this becomes apparent very quickly and rather than people supporting your efforts they tend to get irritated.

2.  Blog on a regular basis. Gain a readership for your blog by providing high quality content. Again, as with forums, when you are authentic you tend to gain the trust of the readers.

3.  Host teleseminars on topics that are in line with the genre of your book. You can offer complimentary teleseminars that participants must register for. This allows you to build an opt-in subscriber list of potential buyers.

4.  Host a paid teleseminar where the price of admission is a book. You would need to set up a landing page where buyers would send in their receipt number as proof of purchase.

Get Your Book to #1

The dream of many authors is to hit #1 on the biggest online book seller. Yet, the reality is, it won’t happen for the majority of authors. Unless, they understand how.

One of my goals in working with authors is to arm them with as much information as possibly. Information that gets them a solid result, fast.

Want to learn the most important aspects of getting to #1? Access my FREE report – Hit #1 on Amazon at www.oneonamazon.com

Hit #1 on Amazon shows you exactly how to rise to the top of the charts in record time

  • Understand the three phases of a book launch and why knowing this has a huge impact on your Amazon position. Most authors focus solely on writing their book without considering what to do before, during and after it is published. In Hit #1 on Amazon you’ll learn exactly where to focus your attention to get the greatest results for your efforts. 
  • Learn the three most important things you MUST DO with an Amazon book listing to get the greatest results when someone searches out your expertise or genre. Most authors never focus on this and that’s why most authors never hit #1 on Amazon. 
  • Find out how to get a boatload of interviews to promote you, your book and your products and services (this one insight will be a game-changer for 99% of authors). 
  • Discover 20 ways to promote your book with one blog post. That’s right… ONE blog post you can promote 20 different ways to gain massive visibility for your book. Visibility that equates into book sales and higher rankings on Amazon. 

Get immediate download at www.oneonamazon.com 

Once you read the report, you’ll know more than most authors will every learn.

Want to learn more marketing insights? Join the Power Up for Profits Facebook group by clicking the image below.

 

17 Popular Done-for-You Coaching Forms for FREE!

Signed and Sealed

You’ve done it. You’ve just signed a new client. Now what?

Now you need to make sure everything is incredibly clear to the client. The best way to do this is with various forms you create templates for.

Maybe you’ve been a coach, consultant, speaker or trainer for quite some time, but you know things are slipping through the cracks. You keep promising yourself that “someday” you’ll get all the necessary paperwork in order.

A huge challenge for many entrepreneurs, such as coaches and consultants, is they want to roll their sleeves up and start doing the fun stuff; working with their clients.

But truth be told, if you don’t take care of the “paperwork” you set yourself up for misunderstandings, frustration, and possibly legal action.

I’m not an attorney, nor do I plan to be. But I am an entrepreneur who knows how important the right paperwork is and also, how time consuming it can be to create needed forms from scratch.

Needed Forms

Do you have all the forms you need to run your business and serve your clients at the highest level? If not, read on.

Here are five incredibly important documents you would be wise to have templates for.

  • Welcome letter
  • Intake form
  • Payment schedule
  • Confidentiality agreement
  • Monthly review

Welcome letter

This one’s obvious. As soon as you enroll a client it’s highly recommended to send a welcome letter. Depending on the size of the contract, you may want to send a welcome gift. A gift would still need a welcome letter.

Intake form

A well thought out intake form helps you to more fully understand the needs of the client. What I love about intake forms is the client often gets some great clarity on their goals when they complete the form.

Payment schedule

No matter how much you love what you do, you want to make sure you get paid… on time. A clearly stated payment schedule helps to clarity exactly what the expectations are.

Confidentiality agreement

A confidentiality agreement (also called a nondisclosure agreement or NDA) clarifies how information such as trade secrets, databases, client information, etc. will be treated.

Monthly review

Having a form for a monthly client review enhances the relationship with your clients. It lets them see what they’ve accomplished, where they need to put more effort and how far they’ve come.

Very Time Consuming Unless…

Although the forms are great to have, they do take time (and often lots of it) to create.

What if you could have important document templates at your fingertip? You can and their FREE.

My good buddy and super smart colleague, Nicole Dean, along with her business associate, Melissa Ingold, have put together the most important document templates you need in order to run a successful business.

And YES! You can Get Access to 17 of their Most Popular Done-for-You Coaching Forms for FREE!

Here’s what you get (FREE) 

  • Welcome Letter
  • Payment Arrangements Form
  • Client Invoice
  • Client Call Notes
  • Business Goals Worksheet
  • Code of Ethics
  • How to Hold Me Accountable
  • My Coaching History Form
  • Referral Request
  • Intake Form
  • Ongoing Pre-Call Form
  • Coaching Agreement
  • Monthly Review Form
  • How Coaching Works
  • Confidentiality Agreement
  • How to Prepare for Coaching Session
  • Coaching Success Guidelines

It will take you less than 30 seconds to access these forms. If you tried to create them yourself, it would take hours, even days. By accessing these forms you free up your time to do what you love; coach, consult, speak and train.

What could be better than that?

Click Here to Access

What Every Author MUST Know About Securing Book Reviews

Book Reviews Sell

It’s a fact: book reviews sell.

Yet, most authors never bother to add this into their marketing mix. Like much of their book promotions strategies, they leave getting reviews to chance.

Many authors know if they are serious about positioning their books in the marketplace they need to have them posted on Amazon. That’s a given.

What’s not a given is how to optimize your opportunities on Amazon. To get the most out of your efforts, reviews play a big part in your overall success.

3 Ways

The top three ways to get reviews are:

  1. Friends and family
  2. Colleagues and thought leaders
  3. Those who have reviewed books similar to yours

Friends and family

This group is likely the easiest to ask, but unfortunately may not be the quickest to respond. If they do, their reviews may not be as detailed as you would hope for. If they are not familiar with how reviews work, friends and family may post a very short review that doesn’t tell the potential reader much at all.

“Sue’s book is great. Get it!” can do more harm than good. After all, when someone reads a review, they want to know something about the book than simply “Get it!”

Colleagues and thought leaders

In most cases, this is a better choice than friends and family. The challenge with colleagues and thought leaders is limited time. The best thing to do is reach out to them to see if they would have time to review your book.

If they say yes, ask they how they would prefer the book be sent to them; electronically or hardcopy. Obviously, if it’s a Kindle book the answer is clear.

However, if it’s a physical book, they may want you to send a copy to them. Don’t skimp on this. If you can get a few great reviews from powerhouse thought leaders, this could make a huge difference in the number of sales you will get.

Reviewers

One of the quickest ways to find people who want to review books is to go to Amazon and check out reviews on books in your genre. There are some people who love reviewing books and welcome the opportunity to receive review copies.

Create a spread sheet with the names of people who have reviewed books. You may likely see a few names come up again and again. These are the people you want to contact with your request.

Prepare for the Ask

Before you inquire with a potential reviewer, it’s best to have all your ducks in a row.

Prepare everything ahead of time in order that you can respond to those who are interested as quickly as possible.

  • PDF of the book
  • Hard copies ready to mail out
  • Proper mailing packaging
  • Media releases about the book
  • Cover letter
  • Author one sheet

What You Do and Don’t Have Control Over

You have control over requesting reviews, but you don’t always have control over how many, if any, reviews you receive. However, there are a few simple ways to boost your reviews.

  • Give people plenty of time to review your book
  • Stay on top of the process
  • Set goals as to how many people you will reach out to

As with anything, the more effort you put into the process of getting reviews, the greater the outcome.

Although this does take time to do it right, it’s worth it. Imagine getting dozens of reviews for your book. Think of the credibility this will give you and your book.

To make this a smooth process commit to attempting to obtain at least two book reviews a week. This is enough to make a difference but not so many that it will be overwhelming.

It’s likely once you begin you will find it to be easier than you thought. And the easier it is the more action you will take.

Begin today to get your first, or next, review.

Reviews are just one way to increase book sales. To avoid being among the majority of authors who sell less than $100 a year in books, plan your process for marketing.

Not sure where to begin?

Join me for The Insider Secrets to Get Your Book to #1 Webinar. FREE Click here to register.

 

After Reading This You’ll Never View List Building the Same

stand-outStanding Out Is Difficult, But Not Impossible

I began my journey into online marketing in the late nineties. At that time, it was a lot easier to get through the noise than it is today. Now there are so many distractions, one can get lost in the never-ending shuffle of BSOS – Bright Shiny Object Syndrome.

Granted, back in the day there were aspects of online marketing that were difficult, but overall, it was a lot easier to get noticed than it is today. This was back when we got pretty excited to hear, “You’ve got mail.”

Fast forward to today and our inboxes are flooded with more mail than is humanly possible to read. It’s incredibly easy to start reading one email and before you know it, you’ve ended up down some deep, dark online rabbit hole. Several hours later it’s as if you “come to” with no idea where the time went.

Frustration and Complaints are on the Rise

There are more complaints from users due to the mere volume of emails we all get. People yell, “Spammer!” even if the user opted in for the very messages they claim are spam.

People mindlessly opt in for so many offers that by day’s end they may not realize how many times they gave up their information in trade for something they wanted at that moment. Yet, within minutes they opt in for something else, then something else, then something else, then… you get the picture.

Whenever I get a complaint from someone who opted into my list, I have to wonder how many other complaints they make simply because they forgot they opted into someone’s list.

Facts are Facts

The fact remains, at the heart of any online business is a responsive subscriber list. Without this, you are on an incredibly tough uphill climb to success.

Yet, getting people to opt in with valid information is harder than in the past. When someone opts in they may be using an email address that is…

  • Fake (all they want is the “thing”)
  • A Gmail address they rarely look at
  • An address where the inbox is so full that emails simply sit there with no action being taken

There’s always the option of double opt in, but we will save that for another discussion.

Dealing With the Noise

noise1In years, past, there wasn’t as much “noise” online as there is today. It didn’t take much to get someone to say yes to a free offer. When they opted in they looked forward to whatever else you would send.

With very little competition for someone’s contact information, conversion rates for someone opting in were a lot higher in the mid- to late-nineties than they are today. In addition, open rates for any subsequent emails were opened at a higher rate than today.

Back in the day, one of the best ways to build a subscriber list was with teleseminars. This was long before webinars were popular. At the time, people got excited about dialing into a bridge line to learn from an expert.

It didn’t take much to get 10X registrations compared to today. Not only were opt ins high, so were show rates.

I recall times when over 90% of those who registered would be on the live call. Fast forward to today; you’re lucky if 20 – 30% of the people show up, let alone watch a replay.

So What’s the Solution?

Bottom-line is this; what worked like a charm early on is no longer effective. Today, it takes more than simply having an opt-in offer on your website to build a quality, responsive list.

Actually, there are plenty of people who choose not to have a website. They may have a blog and a strong social media presence. They use their social media channels to drive traffic to an opt in page such as LeadPages. leadpages

Due to all the social networks to choose from, it’s easy to spread your efforts way too thin resulting in completely ineffective methods for marketing.

Although this may sound like a lot of gloom and doom, it’s highly valuable information for anyone who wants to use online means to build your business and make money in the process.

Why People Take Action

To convert visitors to subscribers and subscribers to buyers you need to understand what gets someone to take action.

The primary reason someone opts in for whatever the offer is, is to get an immediate solution to a problem or fulfill a dream, or both. For example, hit#1-amazon.jpgmuch of my market are experts who want to not only write books, but get their books to #1 on Amazon,

One solution I offer is a great FREE resource that immediately answers AND solves a pressing problem. In addition, the content is very high value. These are all elements for building trust and loyalty.

Another reason someone will opt-in for an offer is based on who is making the offer. In other words, what makes the expert unique? What about their personality is different than every other person offering a solution?

Let Your Personality Shine

marathononeMore than ever, personality marketing is a huge factor in overall marketing. For many older entrepreneurs, we were taught early in our careers not to stand out, not to rock the boat and never ever do anything bizarre or what could be considered weird. In other words, blend in.

Today, it’s your ability to stand out, rock the boat and be unconventional that encourages people to want to do business with you. It’s all about personality marketing.

Keep in mind, you don’t need to do business with the entire world to be successful. With a core group of loyal clients and customers you can make a great living and make a huge difference to those people who choose to do business with you.

What Makes Me Unique Isn’t What Makes YOU Unique

A huge part of what makes me stand apart from others, is my passion for running. Not that I’m a fast runner, but I just happen to love the sport. I share a lot about this with my community. As a result, this is part of my branding.

I’m also an animal enthusiast. I have several rescue animals and share stories about them with my community. Again, this is an aspect that makes me unique and connected to my particular market.

Both of these are a huge part of my messaging and the very things that prompted me to create my blog Passion for Thriving as well as a Facebook Group by the same name.

Finding You Should Be Easy

Your job is to make sure you are easily found when someone searches for a solution to their  problem.

inst_001This is where a strong social media presence comes in. Strong does not necessarily mean huge. It means focused, targeted and deep within the channels your market hangs out in. For example, I find Facebook and Instagram are two areas I get a lot of traction. LinkedIn, not so much.

It’s not that LinkedIn is not a good choice for some experts, but for my market, I am better off using Facebook and Instagram. I also use Twitter to reach my market.

The more you know where your market is, the greater your results for your efforts. You also need to know what their most pressing problem is that you offer a solution for.

When you have a viable and simple answer to an immediate problem someone has, they will part with their contact information AND their money for the solution.

One of the most important things you can do is to position yourself as the go-to expert. When you are viewed as the go-to expert, you stand apart from the crowd.

Be Clear on “Why You?”

When you clearly define your expertise…

  • You are sought out by clients, customers, the media, bloggers and joint-venture partners.
  • It is easier to communicate “why you” to your market.
  • Consumers pay more for an expert’s knowledge.
  • It easier to promote your skills and knowledge when you know “why you?”
  • There are ample opportunities awaiting you.

A simple process to defining your expertise is to answer the following questions:

  1. What makes you unique?
  2. What do you do that others don’t?
  3. What experience do you have that people would be willing to pay you for?
  4. What results have you achieved that others have not?
  5. Have you authored products and/or books?
  6. What specialized training or certification do you have that sets you apart from your competition?
  7. What beliefs and values do you stand by that set you apart from others?
  8. What solutions are you qualified to provide?

By taking time to dig deep into these questions, it’s likely you will have a much easier time positioning your message. The more you position your message, the easier it is for people to eagerly say yes not only to getting on your subscriber list, but also to look forward to continuing to receive your information.

The more they anticipate your information the more trust you build. The more trust you build the easier it is for them to feel good about exchanging their money for your expertise.

Make it a part of your daily process to do whatever you can to position your expertise and your message. By doing so, you are in a greater position to have the influence and results you desire.

Experts Often Host In-Person Events

Many experts, myself included, go beyond offering solutions solely by way of the Internet. We find live, in-person events to offer a great learning opportunity for our community.

Not only do people have the opportunity to network with like-minded participants, they have the opportunity to deep-dive into a learning experience.

On December 15th, I am hosting Passion for Thriving in Beaverton, Oregon. This is a one day experience for those professionals ready to take your business to the next level and beyond in 2017. admit-image

At the time of this writing, there are only a few spots left. Go to www.powerupthinktank.com for more information.

 

 

7 Steps to Entrepreneurial Success

drownFor Every Problem There IS a Solution

Have you ever met someone who claims they want an solution to a problem, but when given the answer, they pooh-pooh it?

Then they say, “This stuff doesn’t work.” It’s not that the solution doesn’t work, it might be they (deep inside) don’t want it to work.

Some people are so attached to their story they’ll do whatever they can to be right.

Why is it some people will ask for solutions to their problems, even pay for the strategies to solve problems,  but then continue to do things their way?

It’s like watching someone drown because they won’t learn how to swim and are constantly diving into the water.

Vetting Clients Comes with Time and Experience

I’ve made it a policy to vet potential clients by digging into their history. Mind you, I’m talking about high-end clients. I’m not referring to people who buy a $20 product. I’m referring to those who have one-on-one time with me, hire me to consult or keynote at their conference.

One of the quickest ways to determine if you will be able to help a client is to listen to their back story. A few simple questions will let you know if you will be just one more “they didn’t work coaches” or if you actually can help.

It’s not that you’re not good, even great, at what you do. It’s that some people continually fail to implement ideas that actually will work because they fear failure, success or both. Sadly, by not taking different actions, they are creating the very thing they fear most; failure.

Listen to The Whole Story

victimRecently, I received an email from a woman who was very upset with a vendor she hired.

“I wasted my money. Why does this always happen to me? One more time, I threw money away. When I complained, she wasn’t willing to do anything to fix the problem.”

The email was long and drawn out, but the general tone was the same; the woman felt she had been burned… one more time.

I actually know the vendor and I know her work to be very high quality. I also know she offers stellar customer care.

Several of my personal clients use her services, as do I, and none of us have had this experience. And yet, virtually every vendor this woman worked with resulted in the same outcome; the woman feeling slighted.

Complainers Run In Packs

I’ve heard similar stories from people who have hired coaches. Although the coaches run very successful businesses, have helped lots of people get great results, there are those individuals who never get results from any of the coaches they have hired.

Often, these folks seek out others who have a similar mindset in order to console each other in the “ain’t it sad” scenario.

A closer look will reveal it has little, if anything, to do with the coach and everything to do with the fact the person isn’t willing to implement the ideas presented.

I’m not saying there aren’t some bad, really bad, coaches. What I am saying is everyone has an M.O.

Success Was Hers… But It Frightened Her

Years ago I worked with a woman who wanted to build a strong local presence, increase the number of private clients she worked with and of course, increase her revenues and profit margins.

We worked on a great solution; it was to get out in her local market and offer complimentary presentations.

Initially, she was gung-ho, implementing virtually every idea we discussed.

She hosted her first ever event in which 45 people attended. Everyone gave her rave reviews.

She made a very nice offer to those in attendance and sold several thousand dollars worth of services.

Her results were wildly successful.She was on Cloud 9.

“I love this. I want to keep doing this,” she exclaimed.

Yet, within a very short period of time she reverted back to old behaviors. She quit doing the very things that resulted in her successful outcome.dance

When I asked her what was going on, she gave me a song and dance about this not being what she is meant to do. And off she went to chase more squirrels.

Last I heard, she was once again struggling in her business and deciding if she needed to close shop.

To me, this is insane.

How do I know? Because for years this was my story.

My Story Was Like A Broken Record

Although I knew I needed to do things differently and would seek out how to make changes, I continued to do things my way.

My way ended me up fat, broke and frustrated. I was so attached to my story of why I couldn’t succeed that no matter how clear the answer was I would hold fast to “my way.”

I came to realize (and accept) if things were to change in my life I HAD to be willing to do things differently.

I had to be willing to take full responsibility for my actions. I especially had to be willing to get uncomfortable in order to let go of what was familiar and keeping me broke.

Taking responsibility, changing the way I did things and not telling the same old story has allowed me to create a successful life and business. I’m coming up on my 23rd year in business.

Find Those Who are Doing It

Over the last decade, I’ve hired several business coaches. Each has a proven track record, has something unique to offer and each pushes me out of my comfort zone.

The fact is, if you want to go beyond your current level of success it is essential to get outside, often wayyyyyy outside, your comfort zone.

I would be incredibly foolish if I were to pay experts for their insights and then not apply what they recommend. After all, I hired them for a reason; they knew things I didn’t.

By applying what they advise, I get to experience even greater success than I can achieve on my own.

For example, with one coach, one recommendation I implemented resulted in over $30,000 worth of added revenue in less than a month.

If I would not have tried her method I probably wouldn’t have generated the extra $30,000.

The knowledge I obtained from my business coaches is beyond outstanding. Yet, it’s worth nothing to me if I don’t apply it.

The Insanity of Investing (ooops – throwing money away)

Frequently I see people who will invest in great information from people with a proven track record, yet they put a half-hearted effort into implementation or worse yet, do nothing with the knowledge (or argue why they are different, their market is different and hold to the belief the information won’t work for them) and then they say the expert’s information doesn’t work.

It never ceases to amaze me how much people invest in programs, seminars, workshops and mentors only to continue doing things their way. The very way that got them where they’re at and likely has them stuck in a rut of some sort. After all, if they weren’t in a rut why would they invest in the knowledge and guidance in the first place?

Mindset is Everything

A place people get incredibly stuck is with their money mindset.  I see this every single day.

Countless men and women continually talk about how tough times are. They claim they just can’t seem to make money. When they see others making money the first thing out of their mouth is, “You are so lucky. It’s easy for you.”

screechThese type of comments grate on my nerves as much as fingernails on a chalkboard.

It’s not luck or things being easy that allow some people to continually generate revenue. Not at all. It’s that we have different strategies.

Building and running a successful business takes discipline. It’s not something that “just happens.” It’s something you plan and work at.

 

Stop the Blame, Stop the Insanity

Rather than blaming the economy or saying people are just not spending money, why not pay attention to your own habits, thoughts and conversations.

Organize your day in a way that you have specific outcomes you MUST achieve.

Avoid conversations that include, “I’m not making any money,” and “I have no idea how I’m going to make any money.”

This is absolutely essential to changing the money mindset. More people engage in the “Money is tight” conversation rather than, “There is more than enough to fill my needs.”

The willingness to NOT engage in negative conversations is absolutely essential to unblocking money channels.

Read books, listen to CDs, and absorb anything and everything on positive money beliefs that you possibly can.

7 Step Process

Want to see a change in your business for the better? Try these 7 Steps To Success

  1. For a period of 30 days start your day by expressing gratitude.
  2. Begin your time in your office with something that will monetize your business. Stay out of email first thing in the morning other than to access any emails that are directly connected with monetizing your business.
  3. Minimize your time in social networks unless the time is directly related to your business growth.
  4. Be willing to end conversations talking about “how slow things are, my market is different, my business is different, you don’t understand, blah, blah, blah.”
  5. Engage in conversations about business growth, what the market wants, needs and is willing to pay for, trends and possibility.
  6. Map out your next 30 days. Put a plan in place to create something that will monetize and grow your business. Work the plan.
  7. Rather than assuming the success others experience is based on how lucky they are, dig deeper and take a look at what they are doing to create their success. Look at their systems and be willing to model what they are doing. It’s likely when you do you too will experience a new level of success.

Here’s the deal; you can choose to continue on the path of the insane people who have the solutions at their fingertips, but still do things their way or you can follow the path of those who are wildly successful.

The choice is yours.

Take Your Business to the Next Level

Ready to take your business to the next level? Join me on March 20th in Portland, Oregon for Passion for Thriving Event. Only 40 spots available and most have been claimed.

admit-image

For only $47 you will spend a full day with other conscious women who are all committed to their businesses and their success.

The event takes place in Beaverton, Oregon. There’s just one thing… seating is limited to 35 people and only a few spots remain.

Event Registration Click Here

 

 

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Are You 100% Committed As An Entrepreneur?

diveSuccess Is Determined By Your Commitment

In the 22 plus years I’ve been in business I’ve seen a lot of people come and go with their own businesses. The majority won’t survive, let alone thrive.

Yet, some have weathered every storm because they were willing to do what it takes to stay in business. These are the ones others often call “lucky.”

Newsflash! Luck has very little to do with their success.

Running a business is like jumping off the high dive. If you want to succeed, you have to be fully committed.

Most people have no idea what it takes to keep a business going. Countless individuals will start a business only to discovery it takes a more, a lot more, than simply beginning.

Actually, starting a business is the easy part. Keeping it going is yet a completely different conversation. Becoming profitable is still yet another conversation.

With Risk Comes Reward

This post was originally written back in 2014. I was promoting a live event. At that time, I offered a refundable deposit. The idea was to get people to make a commitment by putting down a refundable deposit. When they showed up to the event, they got their deposit back. Simple enough.

Little did those in attendance realize what a risk putting on these type of events could be. What with the space rental, marketing, any support material given to attendees, audio visual, decorations and staff costs, and the investment quickly added up. It could be quite hefty … in the tens of thousands of dollars.

These events were always profitable because I created opportunities for those in attendance to enroll in one of several programs I offer. Yet, there was no guarantee as to what the profit margin would be. The events were always a risk, but when you’re in business, risk is the name of the game.

100% Committed with Restrictions

During the time I was promoting my annual event taking place in October, 2014, I received a message from a woman who wanted to attend the event.  “I’m 100% committed to growing my business, but can’t afford to get the $197 refundable deposit ticket.”

She wanted me to forego the deposit to accommodate her.  She lives only a few miles from where the location was.

She became upset when I said no. I explained that the deposit would be refunded and still she insisted she be the exception to everyone else putting down a deposit.

I wondered if she had any idea what my investment to offer the event was. Obviously she had no idea. And yet, even if she did, she likely wouldn’t have cared.

Who’s Right, Who’s Wrong?

I don’t share this to say I’m right and she’s wrong, but to make a very important point. Running a business takes risk and financial investments. If you’re not willing to invest in growing a business, you are more likely a hobbyist than a business owner.

When someone says they are 100% committed to running a business, obviously this means different things to different people. This woman was 100% committed with lots of restrictions.

The irony of the situation is that the woman told me the event is exactly what she needed, but she was not willing to be inconvenienced to obtain the very information that could be an absolute game changer for her.

Yet, I would venture to say that even with the right information, nothing would change for someone like her. Why? Because if she wasn’t willing to put a little skin in the game to get a seat into the event, she certainly wouldn’t invest in other necessities to run a business.

Are You Willing to Risk?

I’m not going to beat around the bush here to coddle someone into thinking that running a business doesn’t take some risk. I would be doing a great disservice by pretending otherwise.

I’m not sure where people get misled into believing that growing a business does not require time, money and effort. It does. And if you’re not willing to put “skin in the game” you’re NOT 100% committed.

You can argue this point until the cows come home, but it’s likely if you are holding on to this type of belief you are also holding on to your business floundering.

Maybe You’re Not Cut Out for Business

Some people absolutely should not go into business for themselves. They are not cut out for all that comes with the process.

What they want is the upside of running a business. The freedom they believe they will experience by having hoards of people want to do business with them, but they are not willing to experience what it’s like to methodically build their business.

Ask any successful entrepreneur what it takes to build a business and you will find a common thread. You have to treat a business like a business. And that means you have to invest time, money and energy.

Otherwise, as my one of my business coaches would often say, “You have a hobby not a business.”

The Model Has Changed

Since that time, I’ve done away with the refundable deposit event model. However, I still offer events. They range in price from $47 on up to several thousand. This allows me to attract serious entrepreneurs. Those individuals who know it takes a commitment to grow their business.

powerliveaudience

To check out my upcoming event designed for “Women of a Certain Age Committed to Success” taking place on December 15, 2016 go to www.powerupthinktank.com. For only $47 you will spend a full day with other conscious women who are all committed to their businesses and their success.

The event takes place in Beaverton, Oregon. There’s just one thing… seating is limited to 35 people and only a few spots remain.

Event Registration Click Here

 

 

 

 

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How to Know If You’re Running a Conscious Business

conscious-businessConscious Businesses are On the Rise

Over the last few years, there’s been a dramatic rise in “conscious businesses.” For someone who runs a conscious business, they know how important it is to be congruent with what they are doing and how they present themselves to the world.

For others, new to this style of running a business, it may seem like some pie-in-the-sky, airy-fairy philosophy.

Truth be told, now more than ever, those who are willing to step out of the shadows and take a stand for businesses run on principles of honesty, kindness, integrity, health and contribution, are incredibly important.

However, it’s more than simply giving lip service to running a business based on these principles.

“A conscious business is very simply one that has a clear purpose beyond simply making a profit, and keeps its values front of mind when making business decisions.” Jo-Ann A Hamilton

What We Need is Always Available

Something I enjoy doing is studying different cultures and various religions. I also enjoy listening to television evangelists. I learned many years ago that I don’t have to be of a specific religious leaning to benefit from the teachings.

One of my favorite programs is Enjoying Everyday Life with Joyce Meyer. It airs at 5:30 a.m. in my area (Pleasant Hill, Oregon).

Recently, Joyce Meyer was preaching about something that has a direct correlation to running a conscious business; our physical health. Everything we do either moves us closer to living fully conscious or… moves us further way.

Although we may try to justify a separation from how we take care of our mind, body and soul and how we run a business, there actually is no separation.

Joyce talked about how often people will give up on living a consciously healthy life due to not seeing obvious results quick enough. Often, they give up on because there hasn’t been a dramatic result fast enough.

Running a Conscious Business is Like Dieting

Here’s the thing… often someone will change their eating, they begin to get results and then they hit a plateau.

The plateau is often when the scale doesn’t move. This is also the time many people give up and go back to their old habits because the evidence is not obvious. At least what they consider evidence.

Never mind that they lost 20 pounds. Never mind that their cloths are fitting better. Never mind that they feel better than they have in year. In a moment, they can judge their entire journey on one moment and one indicator – a number on a scale.

Although this was all about one’s spiritual journey, I can compare this with what I see in business with those who claim to run a conscious business, but their behaviors tell a completely different story.

Running a conscious business takes more, much more, than simply saying this is what you want to do. It’s about analysis of everything you do, think and convey.

Consciousness Is At the Core of Organizational GREATNESS

“Consciousness is the main source of organizational greatness.” explains Fred Kofman. “This means finding your passion and expressing your essential values through your work. A conscious business seeks to promote the intelligent pursuit of happiness in all its stakeholders. It produces sustainable, exceptional performance through the solidarity of its community and the dignity of each member.”

Another key aspect of running conscious business is to know not everyone will be on board with your views or way of conducting business. And that’s okay.

Just because others don’t agree with your way of viewing the world and business, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give 100% to what you’re doing.

After all, would you give up on your spiritual journey simply because others may not view spirituality the same? Or would you trust that by taking the right steps, having the correct beliefs and feeding your spirit on a daily basis you are progressing? It’s the same with running a conscious business.

Is Making Money Conscious and Spiritual?

Absolutely! The fact is, money is necessary on so many levels. It’s what you need to pay employees, vendors and contractors. It is needed to invest back into your business. It’s nice to have to be able to make financial contributions to causes you believe in.

Running a business and being profitable in that business is very spiritual. Profitability allows you the opportunity to do more of what you are meant to do that may have nothing at all to do with business, but it has to do with being useful in the world.

A huge part of being a conscious entrepreneur is to fulfill agreements. Those are often financial agreements. With money… we fulfill them. Without money… not so much.

Plan Your Conscious Business

The bottom line is this; you have to plan out what you want your conscious business to look like. It’s a heck of a lot easier to come up with a plan when you surround yourself with like minded people.

If you’re a woman of a certain age who is tired of the status quo and you’re ready to make your life one others will look to and say, “Dang, that’s one amazing woman,” join me for a one day, in-person experience on December, 15th in Beaverton, Oregon where we will shatter any beliefs you have about settling for the status quo.

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You’ll have the opportunity so spend a day with other women who are letting go of the status quo. This is going to be an outstanding experience for all concerned.

I love ending the year with an outstanding experience. And that’s exactly why I decided to host Passion for Thriving. Check it out. http://www.powerupthinktank.com

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