Indications You May Be the Bottleneck in Your Marketing

Regardless of the size of your business, your niche and what you offer, if potential customers and clients don’t know you exist, they can’t buy your products or services.

How visible you and your company are has a lot to do with how effective your marketing is. Marketing your business is a must.

Many solo entrepreneurs think they should be the person doing their marketing. In some cases, this may be true. But more times than not, trying to do your own marketing can be a huge bottleneck in your company. The very bottleneck that prevents you from growing.

With micro and small businesses, marketing may be delegated to a staff person who neither has the skill, experience or desire to effectively market. However, with the right training, they may come up to speed.

An alternative to doing the marketing yourself, or delegating the job to an unqualified staff member, might be to hire an expert to walk you or the staff person through the process. This is what is referred to as Done with You programs.

Yet another alternative is to hire someone to do Done for You programs. As the name implies, the consultant or company does your marketing for you. A costlier way to get your marketing done, but for many entrepreneurs and companies, this is the best choice.

Regardless of what choice you make, you need to consider ROI – return on investment.

You might be wondering which is most effective. It depends.

Information Products

If you’re on a limited budget, and you’re willing to do the work yourself, information products will likely be the most likely solution.

You name it, there’s an information product for it.

The greatest challenge with information products is finding the time to study the information. If you don’t prioritize the learning, you won’t get a good ROI.

A solution to not having the time is to delegate the learning and implementation to a virtual assistant. Obviously costlier than doing the study and work yourself, but still cost effective compared to other choices.

Marketing Coach

If you have more to financially invest, hiring a coach or mentor may be the next indicated step. A mentor who works on your marketing strategies can get you further along in a few hours than you will likely do on your own. For example, a one-on-one strategy planning day can result in great ideas.

With clients I mentor in this way, we meet, either in person or via a platform like Zoom. The meeting lasts several hours.

Many coaches end with the meeting. Myself, I love putting the best ideas that surfaced into blueprint.

This is a written document that outlines step-by-step actions the client needs to take to achieve their outcome in the most time effective way possible.

Virtually every client I’ve developed a blueprint for has used it for months, even years, to grow their businesses.

Done for You

Another option for those who have limited time or human resources, is a Done for You program. This is where you contract with a company to take care of all the details in achieving an outcome based on your specific goals.

When a client hires my company to do their marketing, I always start with a full assessment to determine the outcomes they seek. I also need to know if they are realistic in their expectations.

To assure the best results, I look at an integrated approach to how I help my clients.

In-house Contractor

Another, very specialized option, is in-house contractor also known as fractional marketing director (FMD) or Fraction Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).

For many small organizations, it’s not financially feasible to hire a full-time marketing director or CMO.

Contracting a highly specialized and skilled FMD may be just the solution a company seeks. An experienced FMD can quickly identify areas most in need of attention. Many companies may find their marketing needs vary based on the time of year.

A FMD may be just the solution for companies who may not need to hire a full time CMO, but need marketing expertise and strategies.

According to Rachel Dukeman, “Fractional Marketing means you get the skills and experience of a full-time CMO AND access to their network of marketing professionals to tackle all kinds of projects, from content strategy and execution to impartial executive marketing development.”

For those of us who enjoy working on larger projects, this is a win/win. The company receives outstanding solutions and the consultant works in a capacity where we can help our clients receive a great outcome.

Trainers

An option for many small, midsize and large companies is to contract a trainer, or trainers, to facilitate specialized training. The training could be done one time, or over a period depending on a number of factors including how complex the problem and the budget.

Choose What Works Best for You

No matter what your budget, there is a solution. However, avoid the mistake of thinking the least expensive (or most expensive) solution is the best one.

The best solution is the one that gives you an excellent ROI, helps you achieve your outcomes in an efficient way, and helps your company gain the visibility, traffic and results you desire.

Authors: LinkedIn May Very Well Be Your Missing Link to Success

It’s one thing to sell books. It’s something completely different to know your book can open lots of back-end opportunities like speaking engagements, coaching and consulting opportunities and interviews.

With my book, Power Up for Profits, not only did I make thousands of dollars on the front end from direct sales, I made hundreds of thousands on the back end because of the doors the book opened up.

Books Alone Rarely Make Enough Money

Books, in and of themselves, rarely make enough for an author to claim financial success. The back-end opportunities are where the real money is.

Yet, most authors don’t know how to find these opportunities.

Some of the revenue streams are speaking engagements, consulting gigs and coaching clients.

Depending on who your sweet spot readership is, one avenue that might reap huge benefits, and create great financial rewards, is LinkedIn.

What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a social networking website geared towards professionals such as corporations, management, executives and nonprofits.

If any of these are in your wheelhouse of clients, you would be wise to learn how to optimize all that LinkedIn offers.

LinkedIn offers instant access to a network of people in specific fields and industries. With great search functions, you can search for new opportunities in a very targeted way.

One of the best features of LinkedIn is the ability to generate sales leads. However, there are specific ways to optimize your efforts.

Here's What LinkedIn is About

According to the information listed on their site, “LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network with hundreds of millions of members, and growing rapidly. Our mission is to connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful. We can help you:

  1. Establish your professional profile and control one of the top search results for your name.
  2. Build and maintain your professional network.
  3. Find and reconnect with colleagues and classmates.
  4. Learn about other companies, and get industry insights.
  5. Find other professionals in the same industry using groups.
  6. Share your thoughts and insights through LinkedIn’s long-form publishing platform.
  7. Tap into the knowledge of your network.
  8. Discover new career opportunities by searching for jobs.

As an author, consultant, coach or speaker, there is ample opportunity when you tap into the incredible community on LinkedIn.

Each Contact Worth $58.20

In a recent conversation with my friend and colleague, Janis Pettit, it turns out every contact we have on LinkedIn is worth an average of $58.20 each. Can you imagine?

Compare that to the typical email subscriber, who is worth an average of $1 to 5 each for most people. The difference is in the quality of connections you make on LinkedIn if your clients are other businesses.

Janis started gathering case studies on the amazing results she was getting generating leads for her clients using LinkedIn, and she wants to show you how you can do the same.

According to Janis, authors are sitting on a gold mine with LinkedIn. If you, as an author, speak to corporate audiences, imagine the wealth of opportunity LinkedIn offers… when you know how to tap into it.

Not sure?

On Thursday August 17th Janis is doing a full out training with her partner Jeff Smith,
one of the top LinkedIn Experts.

How to Get 3 or More Lucrative Clients a Month using LinkedIn

Go here to discover everything they’re covering during this webinar  http://www.powerupforprofits.com/janis

For any expert, consultant, coach or business owner, this is going to blow you away. This is a TRAINING EVENT. You will leave with a LinkedIn lead generation system you can use right away.

They’ll even show you a case study of someone that generated $70,000 in a few weeks! While that may not be typical, would even a portion of that help you out?

Check out the training. There’s no charge to join in. http://www.powerupforprofits.com/janis

 

 

 

You Can’t Please Everyone… So Why Are You Trying So Hard To Do So?

Whether you’re an author, speaker, consultant or entrepreneur, if you’re at all visible online, you open yourself up to criticism, unsolicited feedback and sometimes, weirdos. I wish I could say the negative and weirdo stuff will never happen to you, but it does.

I don’t know if was mercury in retrograde, the way the wind was blowing or due to sending out more updates than usual, but a few days ago I received several messages from people on my subscriber list.

Before I share what their  messages were about, let me set the stage for why I sent so many emails in a short period of time.

Challenges Work

Recently, I joined The Ultimate Blog Challenge – a 30-day writing challenge – hosted by Paul Taubman and Danni Ackerman. I joined to be a part of a community of people who all want to write and distribute lots of great content online via their blogs.

Check it out at https://www.facebook.com/groups/UltimateBlogChallenge/

What I like most about the challenge is the community involvement and the support from Paul and Danni.

Within days of starting the challenge, I noticed an increase in blog traffic, I generated revenues as a direct result of the posts and increased my readership because of blogging daily.

To get the most traction for my efforts, I've made sure to post the permalink to the posts on various social media channels and, as mentioned, I sent update emails to my subscribers.

Feedback Abounds

I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the number of positive private messages I’ve received from several of my email subscribers about my increased posting. Yet, I’ve also received messages from a few readers not so pleased with my update messages.

Feedback has been everything from, “Oh my gosh! I'm loving getting the daily updates. The content is so useful.” to “You are sending too many updates. Please only send me messages once a week.” to “I can't believe you would actually have a pop up box on your blog. You're better than that. It's like you're begging for business. Tone it down sista!”

I read and respond to the good and bad.  I do consider if what the person is saying is valid enough to make any changes in the way I do things. More times than not, a change is not in order.

What I found interesting is this; within an hour of getting the message about pop up boxes, I read posts on a few blogs I am a huge fan of. All are blogs that have a huge following, are written by industry experts and have great content. All also have pop up boxes.

Some are in the internet marketing space. Some, health and fitness. Others, the book marketing space.

Ironically, I was not at all bothered by the pop up boxes, nor did I feel like the blog owner was begging for business. Nor would I ever think to ask them to tone it down.

I smiled as I saw the boxes appear. I'm sure they get similar conflicting messages from their subscribers.

Avoid Changing Who You are Based on Someone Else's Opinions

I also found the comment, “Tone it down sista!” interesting. From childhood, many of us have had people tell us to get in line, behave, don’t rock the boat, tone it down. There comes a day we realize “not toning it down” is what make us who we are.

Many of the most successful people in the world, in a variety of fields, are the ones who refused to tone it down. And likely, they were told to do so many, many times.

But I digress… the fact is, pop up boxes work. Sure, not everyone likes them, but no matter what you do, you won’t please everyone. It’s impossible to think you can. Yet, some people do try to please everyone. They make changes to their business model, online marketing or content development based on feedback from one or two people.

My goal is to ALWAYS create massive value for my community. In this, I know I cannot please everyone.

If you are going to be visible online, as a speaker or as an author, you better have broad shoulders, not take things personally and avoid basing your choices on one or two comments.

Sure, if you get lots of negative messages in a short period of time, it’s well worth considering a change.  But for the most part, you need to avoid a knee jerk reaction to negative comments. By the same token, don’t assume one good comment means you are on track.

All of this is a process. It’s about testing, adjusting, analyzing and making changes that are in the best interest of your community.

Amazon Opens Us Up to a Lot of Feedback

One place feedback is open for public scrutiny is on Amazon. Book reviews are visible for all to see.

Recently, I published an eBook – Blog Book Tours. The book received a few reviews. Two were very positive and one was a 1 Star by someone who didn’t even read the book. They rated the book at a one due to a typo in the description and the Look Inside Feature.

I immediately fixed the typo in the description, but have yet to fix the one inside. I had to look at the amount of time I wanted to put into the fix of a 99-cent eBook. Not that I like having a mistake in the book, but it's about ROI. The world is not going to fall apart due to one typo in the Look Inside Feature of the book.

What I learned years ago is to take criticism as it is given. Is it constructive or is it simply someone blowing smoke?

Here’s what to do when you get feedback…

Don’t Take It Personally

Everyone has received feedback. How someone feels about your book, info product, presentation, consulting style may have nothing to do with you being inferior or the person not liking you. It’s a chance to look at your part in something and if it makes sense, make a change just like I did with the typo in my Amazon Kindle Book description. The person gave me valid feedback and I took appropriate action.

Consider the Source

Is the feedback coming from a reliable source? Are they someone whose opinion you respect? Do they know the full story?

Look at it From the Other Person’s Perspective

I like to ask myself the question, “I wonder what their positive intention is in giving me this feedback?” Often, someone is trying to help when they give feedback. Yet, their feedback may be based on outdated information. For example, when I chose to let go of wearing business suits, I had a few older relatives who said, “It’s not professional to not wear business suits.” These were people in their 80’s who, in their day, you had to wear a suit to be considered professional. The intention was sincere, the timing outdated.

Respond Without Being Defensive or Snarky

Whenever we get feedback that is way off in left field, wrong or just plain strange, the temptation is to become defensive or respond in a very snarky way. Resist the temptation. As mentioned previously, consider the source. Are they someone who is critical of most people? In the case of a reviewer on Amazon, are most of their reviews low? If so, it may just be their personality. If not, be willing to consider the feedback as valid.

Consider the Long-Term

Comments made online are often permanent. Before doing anything, consider that what you put online lasts virtually forever. Rather than immediately responding to criticism, think in terms of how you will feel if you see your response a week, month or year down the road. Not only how you will respond, but how will others think of you based on what they find you posted at any point in time.

The bottom-line is this, feedback helps us improve, when it’s worth listening to. As you gain more visibility, you do open yourself up to increased feedback. Some good and some not so good.

Keep an open mind, consider the source, and determine if a change is in order.

However, don’t let one person’s opinion of you stop you from being who you are. Play full out, be who you are and do what you are here to do…make a difference.

Facebook Group

Did you enjoy this post? If yes (or no) please leave your comments. To get more involved in my community, be sure to join the Power Up for Profits Facebook Group. Click here.

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Internet Marketing Sometimes Brings out Angry, Crazy, Over-the-Top People

Yesterday I sent an email message to my subscribers about a bonus webinar I'm offering in 12 days.

There was a mistake in the message. A few people brought the error to my attention.

I appreciate the people who did this. Especially with how nice everyone was with their approach.

There's Always an Exception

Except for one guy. He was over the top livid with the mistake AND went on to tell me what a slime bag I am.

He made it clear he didn't like my approach to letting people know they can opt out from my list. It's the wording at the end of the message he took issue with.

What he was incredibly angry about and basically told me to do “strange things to myself” because of it was the word WARNING! (It's in all my broadcast messages, this one included).

He went on to tell me that I don't care about my customers and shared with me several more of his judgements about my business ethic.

This isn't the first time I've received what could be considered a downright abusive and over the top message from someone who opted in for my information. In reality, it comes with the territory.

Don't Let One Person Ruin Things for You … Most People Are Fabulous

Thank goodness these type of messages (and people) are few and far between. The majority of messages I receive are from great folks in my community.

This is the reality of marketing online. Every so often you get a bad apple. You can't let that stop you from doing what you know you should be doing.

But sadly, many people quit when they get a message like I got from this guy. Or they spend so much time wondering how they could have not upset one person, they forget about all the other people who appreciate what they do and what they offer their community.

Renewed Commitment

The upside of this experience is my renewed commitment to sharing with my community that running a business online is not always a walk in the park. Sometimes it's downright weird.

I'm also committed to letting my community know how fulfilling an online business can be.

With this in mind, I would love for you to accept my invitation to join me on June 22nd.

To find out more about the online business lifestyle, join me for the webinar I was telling folks about when I got the message from Mr. OverTheTop. 🙂

Webinar Will Be Recorded

Even if you can't make the live webinar at 10 a.m. Pacific on June 22nd, I will record it. Anyone who registers gets the replay.

If you want to join in, all you need do is go here http://powerupforprofitsbook.com/ and get the Kindle version of my book, Power Up for Profits!

The book is chock full of great information on how to get the most out of your time online. Check it out.

I'm going to share with you how to manage your state when “stuff” happens. How not to let the one bad apple distract you from the 100 great people in your community. How to make sure you don't give up because of one insult. And so much more.

I would love for you to join in.

p.s. The Kindle version is only $2.99 for a few more days. That's 70% off the regular price. After that, it goes up to $9.99. Don't miss out.

http://powerupforprofitsbook.com/

If you already registered, you made a GREAT choice. This is going to be fun.

p.p.s. Ironically, the guy didn't opt out. Making sure to not engage with his energy from this point forward, I did him the favor of taking him off my list. This way, he can find someone else to get upset with. LOL

Content Marketing Equates to Visibility and Increased List Size

Most experts who conduct business online and offline know increasing their subscriber list size can equate to increased revenues. Increasing your list with qualified leads takes more than simply adding numbers.

It takes a targeted effort including knowing who you want to reach, where they are at, and getting in front of them in a way that establishes your credibility.

It also takes consistent, and ongoing, effort. One of the best ways to position your expertise is through content marketing.

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” Full article click here. 

The idea is to get your content seen by as many people as possible who have an interest in your information.

There are lots of ways to do this with some of my favorite being…

  • Blogging
  • Guest blogging
  • Presentations
  • Interviews (Podcast and Radio)
  • Article marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Quotes
  • Joint Venture Partnerships involving shared content

Blogging

Obviously, having your own blog is a great idea. To be effective you need to post relevant content on a regular basis. If you’re short on ideas of what to blog about, ask your audience. People love giving their input. And what better than to write about what they want to read?

Guest blogging

Many blog owners are constantly on the lookout for great content by experts. What better way to reach a completely new set of eyes than to guest blog? There are ample opportunities and this one strategy alone could generate a lot of traffic to your own site if you add links in your post. Include a giveaway in that link (with the blog owner’s permission) and your list is likely to increase in size.

Presentations

Yes, presentations qualify as content marketing. After all, when you’re in front of an audience, you are sharing your information. That is, unless you’re under contract with a company that requires you share only the company’s information. But if you keynote, host workshops and seminars, you are in a great position to share your content.

Interviews

There is no shortage of interview opportunities. A quick google search for internet radio shows or podcast shows will result in ample locations to share your message. Your message is your content.

Article marketing

Short, 400-600 word articles can generate a lot of traffic when posted in the right locations. There are thousands of directories constantly in need of well written articles. There are industry and market specific directories, trade journals, and even company newsletters, where you can distribute your articles.

Social media marketing

With places like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and other high traffic social networks, you can distribute articles and blog posts directly to these locations. A simple way to do this is take the first paragraph or two from a post or article with the permalink leading back to the full article.

Quotes in Images

People love pithy quotes. Sure, you can post quotes from famous people OR imbed your own quote in an image followed by your name and web address.

Expert giveaways via Join Venture Partnerships

Expert giveaways are a great way to increase value to your market as well as the market of the other experts involved in the giveaway. How it works is that each expert contributes something of high value and then promotes the giveaway during a specific time period.

Currently, I’m involved in a very high quality Expert Giveaway. The brainchild of my friend and colleague, Cathy Demers, the launch of the giveaway has over $7,000 of value. Cathy handpicked the experts she wanted to be involved in this campaign.

The best part of an expert giveaway is what is called borrowed credibility. What this simply means is you can increase your credibility, as can the other experts, by who you are being associated with.

CLICK HERE to access the great gifts from Cathy's expert partners (valued at over $7,000)

Regardless of which route you decide, content marketing is a must do for any expert and entrepreneur wanting to grow their business and revenues.

You know you’ve hit the mark when people tell you, “I see your information everywhere.”

When you hear this, you’ve done your job effectively.

Try this… for one month, implement content marketing every day. Imagine how much will happen if you consistently do at least one thing everyday for 30 days.

 

One of the Best Ways to Create an Incredible Cash Infusion for Your Business

“Business is slow!”

“The economy is terrible.”

“The political structure is creating a fear of spending.”

Which one of these “stories” have you told yourself?

Have you noticed that some people are doing great while others continue to tell themselves how bad business is? It’s based on the stories. Stories either move us forward or stop us dead in our tracks.

For those who convince themselves business is slow, they likely won’t do everything they can to generate revenue. Those who find opportunity, regardless of outward appearances, in just about any situation, are likely taking massive action to generate cash.

Fastest Path to Cash

One of the fastest paths to cash is by picking up the phone as part of your follow up strategy.

Follow up by phone seems to be a very lost art. Recently, I was going through a shelf in my office that is the “collector” shelf. You know the one. You get something in the mail and plan on getting to it … some day.

Recently, I came across a package someone sent me quite a while ago. When I received it, I had a lot going on and never felt an urgency to open it.

The package contained samples of oils, creams, and other such items that likely cost a fair amount to send to me.

The woman who sent it never followed up. Not once.

Well, maybe she followed up with an email, but if she did, I never saw it.

What a waste of money. In her mind, she probably thought she was being productive by mailing me the package. She would have been a heck of a lot more productive if she would have followed up by picking up the phone to make sure I got their package. Chances are, I would have tried the samples quite some time ago. Who knows, I may have turned into a customer.

Emails are NOT The Best Choice

Yesterday, I got an email from someone asking what to do if someone hasn't responded to his emails for over two months.

I asked, “Did you pick up the phone and call them? You never know… they may not have gotten your emails.”

He had not thought of picking up the phone. He assumed the person was blowing him off.

You cannot rely solely on email as a tool for communication. There are far too many things that can happen such as your email being flagged as spam.

No Magic Bullet

Why is it that people are so hesitant to pick up the phone? It's as if the phone weights a ton and they will hurt themselves.

The phone is your friend. The phone makes you money. The phone is a great tool to use in your day to day business practices.

You may be shocked at how much business you’re losing because you are relying on what could be a very unreliable source of communication.

Recently, I hosted an event in Portland, Oregon. 40 entrepreneurs attended Passion for Thriving.

I took one day after the event to regroup, organize my call list and begin the calling. Over the next couple of days, I called at least 90% of those who attended.

Not only did I enroll private clients as a result, I sold an information product to a couple of attendees and showed, by example, that picking up the phone is a very good thing.

If you feel business is slow, get out of your own way and pick up the phone.

Set a goal of a minimum number of calls you will make each day. The bottom line is this; your business success is not based on some secret or magic formula. It’s based on consistently doing what works.

Phone calls work. Simple as that.

Ladies! Join me for the next Passion for Thriving One Day Experience on June 19th. Limited seating available and we are already filling up.

Running a Business IS Like Running a Marathon

There is so much evidence that the more visible we are, the more opportunity we create. Yet, many people continue to hide out, thinking somehow they will be discovered

Without a doubt, when you are open about who you are, what you do, hobbies you have, this is when opportunity appears to come out of the woodwork.

Opportunity abounds

A great example is my recent speaking engagement at BlogPaws2016. BlogPaws is an organization designed to help animal blog pawsbloggers increase their effectiveness in all they do. The annual conference is off the charts amazing, attracting bloggers from around the globe.

Although I am not an animal blogger professionally, on a personal level I am passionate about animal rescue. It was as a result of a fund raiser I did for one of my rescue dogs that I gained visibility within the pet space. In the last year, I have spoken at two of the most influential conferences including BlogPaws and WIPIN (women in the pet industry) with more engagements on the books.

I also have private clients who are in the animal industry space. The only reason this transpired is due to my openness around my love of pets.

Multiple areas of interest will serve you

Another area I am gaining some visibility is with people interested in running. Although not a fast runner, I do participate in easter1races of varying distances. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined people would ask for my insights on races.

Having been 40 – 50 pounds’ overweight at one point, now in my 60’s and in great shape with incredible 193.8energy, I was recently asked for my input on running a marathon. Again, I definitely am not an elite athlete, but I have accomplished something only a small percentage of the population has done… I finished a marathon.

Interestingly, what I have found to be key is that I talk about my passions. I post pictures of my animals and my races. I write about it without any expectation of whether or not I “will get something in return.” But the return has been interesting in that both areas have opened up opportunities in business. Why? Because today, more than ever, who we are outside of work is of interest to who we are in business.

The recent post I responded to about running a marathon was one I would not have found had a friend of mine not tagged me in.

The post started with an inquiring from someone wanting to participate in their first ever marathon. They were seeking advice on what to expect. There will be plenty of people who give input, most of whom have never participated in a marathon.

Comments ranged from what books to read, to one person posting, “Why in the world would you want to do a marathon?”

What I know to be true is this; training for a marathon is like running a business. You won’t accomplish what you want in a month. It takes time, commitment, mentorship and overcoming obstacles.

There is a process

To give you insight into my process of what it took, and continues to take, here is how I responded to the request on what to expect from participating in a marathon. You will likely notice the similarities to running a business, writing a book, getting out and creating speaking opportunities or just about anything that pushes your limits.

Having been a very crappy runner at one point and now completing my second full marathon for my 62 birthday last month (my first was at age 61) and now doing lots of 5ks, 10ks, 5 milers, 10 miles and a few occasional halves, yes, I do have some insights. Personally, my goal is to do 100 races by the time I am 70 and in the last year have done at least 10 (not marathons… races which include everything from 5ks up.)

I am not a fast runner. Started out as a walker at the standard 20-minute mile. I was thrilled when I hit 16 minutes per mile. My average now for my training days can be between 11 – 12 minutes per mile.

My goal is to always finish without injury. I pay attention to those who have “been there, done that.” Anyone who has not done a marathon seriously does not understand what it means to hit the wall at certain points during the marathon. Hitting the wall is very real and it has to do with a number of factors including:

-How well you've trained?
-What you eat and if you are carbing up enough during a race?
-Are you hydrated?
-What is your overall health?

Here are my recommendations

1. Pace yourself and give yourself time to train right. Do NOT assume you can do a full marathon in a matter of a month. It takes a considerable amount of time and effort to do it right.

2. Join a local meet up group of “hobby” runners. There's a huge difference between lifer runners and those who simply enjoy the sport.

3. Consider your eating habits. What you eat, how you eat, and how much you eat is huge in your overall performance?

4. Weight training is a very important aspect of good marathon performance. Incorporate resistance training into your overall training.

5. Do some shorter races along the way. Shorter races prepare you for the big day. To not have smaller goals along the way is setting yourself up for injury, frustration, hitting the wall more than need be and a lack of understanding of pacing yourself.

I have likely read 20 plus books on running and marathoning. The two top books I recommend:

-Couch to 5k
-Marathoning for Mortals (Highly, highly, highly recommend) by Jenny Hadfield http://amzn.to/292ywSU

lindora-jennyJenny Hadfield has a Facebook group for those of us at all levels of running and power-walking. It's a very supportive group and one of the best I have found for camaraderie.

I'm definitely a fan of Jenny. She writes for runner's magazine and is very approachable. There is no elitism with her at all. She supports everyone's goals.

I love the sport and never in my wildest dreams thought I would call myself a runner. Now I can't imagine not running. On the 4th of July I am doing the Butte to Butte in Eugene, Oregon. I'm doing the 10k.

For the person who asked why you would do a marathon? Truth be told, very few people will ever push themselves to that point. It is an extreme thing to do and when you really make the commitment, you get to find out what you are made of.

Completing a marathon is not an easy accomplishment. Something that helps is to surround yourself with those who will support you and raise you up when things get tough. And trust me, they will get rough. There are times you will say, “What the heck was I thinking?”

  • There will be times you want to quit. Don't.
  • There will be times you want to cut short your training. Don't.
  • There will be times you want to give up on your goals. Don't.
  • There will be times you want to hide away and pretend you never said you would do a marathon. Don't.

There is nothing to compare with the feeling of training for months and then crossing the finish line.

As far as how long it will take you, that's hard to say. There are a lot of factors involved including how fast you currently run, how well you train, etc.

Best of luck and know that when you cross the finish line, that can never be taken away from you.

Look for similarities and go for the gold

As you can see, there ARE similarities to training for a marathon and running a business. The most important thing is to have a vision, pace yourself, surround yourself with those who know what you are going through and will keep you focused on your goals, and stay the course. It will be worth it.

Looking for ways to go for the gold in your business? Join my private Facebook group to become more involved in your own success. https://www.facebook.com/groups/PowerUpForProfits/

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Is your attention span less than a goldfish?

My emails aren’t getting opened… much less read!

This is an all too common issue for anyone trying to promote and sell via email marketing. People just aren’t responding to email marketing the way they once did.

There are many reasons for the lackluster results…

  • People are on overload with the amount of information vying for their attention.
  • There are many more distractions than in the past.
  • People’s brains have literally been rewired due to technology.
  • Email deliverability is much less reliable than in the past.

Here are a few questions to consider specific to email deliverability…

  • Is the email address correct?
  • Has your recipient’s email address changed?
  • Is the recipient's mailbox full or has their account been disabled?
  • Does the recipient have a SPAM blocker that prevents virtually any message sent in bulk to be blocked?
  • Is your messaging engaging?

In addition to the common reasons related to email distribution there is also the issue of attention span.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, The Associated Press, the average attention span for adults online is 9.5 seconds. That’s literally less than goldfish.

If you're feeling like people are not paying attention to what you are sending out, writing, saying or shooting on video, they probably aren't.

The shocking truth is that people’s brains have literally been rewired due to technology.

On any given day we tweet, we post on our Facebook wall, we watch dozens of videos, we read dozens, even hundreds, of emails and we spend hours researching on the Internet.

All of this is impacting how our brains function. Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brain, writes that our attention is seized by the Internet only to be scrambled by it.

According to an article in the Huffington Post; MRI research has shown that the brains of Internet users who have trouble controlling their craving to be constantly plugged-in exhibit changes similar to those seen in people addicted to drugs and alcohol.

When most people try to unplug for even a day, they tend to experience withdrawal symptoms similar to alcoholics and drug addicts.

This is frightening information and yet, information we can benefit from knowing. Here’s why…

If you continue to send information out as you did in the past, you are likely noticing a huge drop in open rates. Today, more than ever, you have to immediately grab people’s attention.

As you prepare your emails think through your subject line. Is it one that will spark the curiosity of the recipient? Is it engaging? Does it indicate the full message will solve a specific problem?

Once people open the message does it immediately grab the reader’s attention?

Not only have online attention spans dropped to mere seconds, the attention span during live, in-person presentations have dramatically dropped in the last couple of decades to less than ten minutes. This requires that speakers and presenters have pattern interrupts every few minutes if they want to keep their audience members fully engaged.

This would include audience participation, mini breaks, incorporating visuals into your presentation and demonstrations that require attendees use different parts of their brain. Moving from critical thinking to creative thinking can keep people’s attention.

Acknowledging the dramatic drop on how long someone pays attention to whatever we are doing is essential to addressing the issue. To pretend this issue doesn’t exists will put your messaging in the category of Dinosaurs…extinct.

Create endless opportunities to be featured on blogs, podcasts, ezines….

You've likely heard, “Success breeds success.” In order to get more of something, you have to do more of something.

Many experts know they must gain visibility so their market will find them, but seem to struggle with how to do this. The best way to be visible is to be visible.

This might seem a play on words, but truth be told, many people are waiting to get discovered rather than being proactive about getting their name out to market.

You absolutely must drive your opportunities to gain visibility. Here are five simple ways.

1. Blogging. Regardless of whether you're a seasoned pro or in the beginning stages of gaining visibility, one of the most important things to do is post on your own blog. This allows you to position your perspective and point of view.

You'll need to promote the content in as many locations as possible including to your email subscribers, social networks and anywhere your market “hangs out.”

Put together a posting schedule which will keep you on track with consistent posting. You can't expect to do one blog post and miraculously have opportunity drop from the heavens. Getting your name out to market requires consistent effort.

2. Social media. What social networks does your market frequent? Pick 3 -5 networks you can focus on and then go deep into each of these. The challenge resides in all the choices available.

Rather than spreading yourself too thin, focus only on the 3 -5 you have determined will get you the greatest result. As with your blog, be consistent.

3. Interviews. There are plenty of podcast and web radio show hosts looking for experts to interview. If you have an area of expertise, find shows you can be a featured expert on . iTunes and Blog Talk Radio are both great choices to get your message out to market.

Search for shows that would be a great match for your expertise. Listen to a few episodes to get a feel for the format. Based on your research, contact the host to see if you can be a guest on the show. dvorah podcast

Recently, I had the opportunity to be a featured expert on D'vorah Lansky's podcast show, Podcasting Success Secrets for Authors and Entrepreneurs. Not only did I have a great time, D'vorah is very proactive in marketing her show. A win/win/win. Win for the audience who will learn awesome info. Win for D'vorah in that her audience will appreciate the content. Win for me in that I gain visibility to my “sweet spot” market.

4. Teleseminars/webinars. Host your own telesminar or webinar. This offers the opportunity to position your expertise with your market. It will require you promote the teleseminar/webinar. Put a promotions plan together and then work the plan…consistently.

5. Guest blogging. The easiest way to create opportunities to be a guest blogger is to have a solid online foot print of your writing. What this means is the more you are visible in a number of locations the more opportunity you will experience.

With guest blogging, as with interviews, do your research to find those blogs that are a good match for your expertise and market. Study the blog and then contact the blog owner to inquire about guest blogging opportunities.

No matter where you want to be seen, do your research and be fully prepared to jump on opportunity.

The more organized you are the better. As soon as an opportunity presents itself, respond in a timely fashion. Be easy to work with and provide outstanding content and you will have ample opportunity to increase your market reach.

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The first impression of your business can make or break you

Regardless of the type of business you operate, repeat business is likely essential to your success. Yet, many entrepreneurs focus more on new business rather than creating a stellar experience that makes it easy for someone to want to continue to do business with you.

Case in point, restaurants. Have you ever been to a restaurant for the first time and rather than made to feel like the staff and management is happy you’re there, you feel like you’re in the way?

Recently, I had just such an experience.

I live in a very small rural community. It’s so small there’s not even a signal light in town.

There are very few choices in the immediate area to have a sit down meal. One is the Sunrise Café. Another is a pizza parlor.

I love going to the Sunrise. When I walk in I ALWAYS feel welcome. Regardless of who I’m with we are made to feel special. A warm hello, sometimes a hug and always a, “Great to see you. Sit wherever you want.”sunrise

In the nearly nine years I’ve lived in Pleasant Hill I can’t count the number of times I’ve been to the Sunrise, nor can I count the number of people I’ve taken there.

I’m also an above average tipper… that is, when I’ve enjoyed the experience and feel like the server has treated me as a valued patron. I don’t say this to impress, but to impress upon you how important a patrons experience is in order for them to WANT to do business with you.

texacoI have a similar experience when I frequent my favorite of two gas stations in town; Texaco. When I pull in for gas there’s always a warm welcome from Linda and everyone one else on staff. I’m never made to feel rushed or that my business isn’t appreciated. vet

It’s the same at Pleasant Hill Animal Hospital. Not only do I feel like our business is appreciated, our critters always get treats and special loving from the entire staff. Shelby, Heather and all the staff and vets welcome us with open arms.

Let's not forget the local dog groomer, Molly and her crew at Embarkadero Compassionate Grooming. We've been taking our dogs there for years and plan to do so for years to come.dog groomer

Then there’s the local grocery story, Dari Market. I love stopping in on a regular basis. Again, I ALWAYS get a warm welcome and am made to feel like my business is appreciated. Delaney had her first AfterD1grooming in years by Molly.

The local feed store is another establishment I enjoy spending my time and money at. Randy and his entire staff are “down home” friendly, knowledgeable and very helpful.

Even at the local post office, I feel like a valued customer. Whether it be for a book of stamps, mailing a package or picking out the perfect greeting card, no one is ever to busy to welcome me.

If I didn’t feel appreciated in any one of these establishments, I could easily take my business elsewhere. Not only me, but the many other customers who frequent these places of business.

Not long ago a new Italian restaurant opened up in town. As it happened, myself, my spouse and my mother-in-law were the first patrons in the establishment.

Excited to experience what was billed as a fine dining restaurant, we walked into a less than warm welcome. The staff was so busy getting ready for “customers” they failed to make our visit memorable – in a good way.

Not only did it take several minutes to be seated, when we were the waitress disappeared into the back area for what seemed like an eternity.

The three of us were in a great mood and commented several times how excited we were to be the first customers. Rather than join in on our excitement, we were made to feel like we were in the way.

We placed our order. One item was an appetizer.

We waited and waited and waited for our appetizer to arrive. I was surprised when the appetizer was delivered with the meal. It would have been nice to enjoy the appetizer before the main course.

During the time we ate our meal, we were not asked how things were, nor were our waters refreshed.

Almost finished with our meal, the owner stopped by our table. Rather than spend time with us, it was a quick hello and then back in the kitchen.

Not that she should have spent a great deal of time with her first ever customers, but doing something special would have made us feel exceptional and we likely would have wanted to return.

What could that something special have been? Taking a picture to commemorate the experience would have gone a long way in creating the desire to come back. A complimentary dessert to celebrate their first group of patrons. An envelope with a coupon for complimentary drink with our next meal. A bit of enthusiasm to match our enthusiasm.

When I asked if they were going to do grand opening my question was met with a big sigh, “We haven’t had time to think about that,” was the response the owner gave.

Rather than creating an environment that encouraged us to return, I got a sense the owner and staff were feeling overwhelmed.

Had some thought been put into creating a positive, memorable experience, I know I would have been back many times since then.

Not only have I not returned, I’ve not recommended the restaurant to anyone. Imagine how much business has been lost as a result. Untold amounts not only from me, but from the people I have not recommended the restaurant to.

Here’s the deal; a customer’s first experience with a business lays the foundation for whether or not they will return and how frequently they will return.

It’s amazing how often a business owner will try to get foot traffic for the first time, but fails to realize it actually costs less to get that person to return than continually trying to get more people through their doors. Word of mouth advertising is far more effective (and less expensive) than virtually anything else.

Will I ever return to the restaurant? I may give them a second chance, but it’s not top of my priority list.

If you own a business that relies on foot traffic, what’s the experience you’re creating for those who choose to walk through your doors? Is it one that encourages them to return or one in which they will likely never return?

The choice is often made based on a warm welcome and an expression of appreciation that they chose your business over every other choice they have.

What makes you want to return to an establishment? What determines if you'll not return? Comments welcomed.