7 Updates For Your Virtual Assistant To Handle

I was in the middle of delegating these 7 tasks to my wonderful virtual assistant (Pam) so I thought I’d jot them down for you to delegate as well:

1. Change your blog footer copyright to 2012.

2. Change your newsletter copyright to 2012.

3. Update any terms of use, disclaimers, etc. that may contain a 2011 date.

4. Check Google’s webmaster tools to see if your sites have any dead links a.k.a. 404 errors (your sites have to be set up in webmaster tools first)

5. Check stats to see what social media site is bringing you the most traffic and spend a little more energy over there.

6. Get organized! Work with your VA to schedule your calendar for the year (product launches, program launches, product and program marketing, vacations, kids days off of school, etc.)

7. Freshen Up! Add those buttons, banners and other items to your home page you’ve been wanting to forever but haven’t. Relinquish control and allow your VA to do the heavy lifting:)


Are You Struggling With Implementing What You Learn?

I have a question for you this week…are you struggling with implementing what you learn when it comes to marketing your business?

implementation frustrationConsider all the articles you’ve read, videos you’ve watched, audios you’ve listened to, information products you’ve invested in, teleseminars or telecourses you’ve signed up for. How many pieces of content in your niche do you think you’ve consumed? 100? 1000? More?

Now think about the time you’ve invested reading, listening or watching all of these bits of information. Do you think  you’ve spent a week, a month, a year or even longer of your time consuming all of this information?

Finally, consider the cost of consuming this content. How much money do you think you’ve currently invested in ebooks, information products, telesminars, workshops, etc. $100? $1000? $5000? What about intrinsic value. What about the time away from actually doing things in your business, with your family, for yourself at the expense of reading one more book or listening to another two hour teleseminar.

Now don’t misunderstand me here. Consuming content that can directly educate you about what’s going on in your niche or how to grow and expand your business is very important. Crucial even. But the key element that many entrepreneurs, especially solo professionals, tend to make when consuming information is actually implementing the strategies after they’re finished.

Hey, we’ve all done it. I did it a lot in my early years online. Mainly because I was totally overwhelmed with all of the information that I was consuming on building my business and improving my marketing. It was a lot! And there were many strategies. Lots of experts. And much of it was conflicting. I was truly swimming in a pool of quicksand and I can safely say that I know there are a lot more entrepreneurs who are currently in the spot that I was in back then. Is it you?

Here are some of my tips to get out of the sinkhole and back on land where it’s safe!

Pick One Marketing Strategy That Resonates With You And Do Only That (for now:)

The first thing I find when I work with clients is that they are trying to implement every marketing strategy that they’ve learned all at once. Needless to say that scattered implementation process does not produce results. Instead you need to focus on one strategy at a time and when you’ve mastered that, move on to the next. For me that first strategy was article marketing. For you it may be another content marketing strategy, such as video articles or guest posting.

Blow Up That To Do List!

Most people who are struggling with implementation are overwhelmed by the sheer number of things that they have on their to-do lists. I’m laughing as I write this because this was me FOR SURE. I have an old list that had like 123 things on it. The problem with this is that you only complete #1 and maybe #2 but you look at your big ole’ list and feel like you haven’t accomplished anything. So you don’t do anything the next day because you are all bummed out. Ick!

Take that list and blow it up! Pick out the top 10 things off of the list that are easiest for you to do and will make the most impact on your business. Now tomorrow you will tackle the first item on that list. You may have to chunk that item down into mini steps to get it done. Check off each step as it is completed. So your list may look like Item #1 and then a,b,c, under that item. When checked off it feels as if you’ve gotten a lot accomplished that day (and you have!) and you’re in a better place mentally to handle the next thing on the list.

Get Yourself Some REAL Accountability

This is probably the most effective strategy I used to kick my butt into gear. It’s simple. Check around with the leaders in your niche, and I guarantee you that they all have a mentor and/or a coach. The reasons to hire someone to help guide you are endless, but one of the major reasons that it’s always better to have a coach in your life is the accountability factor.

The reason why is that the person you bought that information product from really wants you to implement their strategies and see results but they’re not going to email you or call you to make sure that you did. Once the transaction is made — that’s it. But when you invest in a coach, you’re investing in someone’s expertise and their ability to keep you on task.

My business completely changed once I did this. Many of you know that I often talk about my mentors. They were very important to me and still are. I currently have 3 coaches and have seen the results in my income literally triple because of them; and I’m proud to say that I too hold all of my wonderful clients extremely accountable for moving forward in their businesses:) Do you hear me guys?

Are You Losing Faith In Your Business Too Soon?

Hey Solopreneur…Are You Losing Faith In Your Business Too Soon?

As a solo entrepreneur, it’s very easy to to become frustrated and have your resolve tested by the mixture of daily business tasks, income generation, promotion and finally net income that you need to make. After all is said and done–is your business income producing or is it a glorified hobby?

For example, if you spend weeks creating a telecourse, promote it for a few more weeks, and only 5 paying clients enroll (and that has happened to me!), your energy may be zapped and you feel deflated. Or how about the client who asked you 10 million questions about your coaching program, signs up, and then decides they can’t afford it. (Ugh!)

Entrepreneurs, especially coaches and consultants, can start to feel really discouraged when things like this happen and then we start to question if the course was a good idea or if we didn’t do enough to “close” the client. Then we begin to think that maybe we just don’t know what we’re doing at all, and wouldn’t it be safer to return to get a job or perhaps try another niche. (Yikes!)

Here’s the deal though. The issue is NOT the telecourse you created nor is it that you did something wrong when initially working with your almost-new client; the bigger issue here is that you are losing faith in your business way too soon.

I know exactly how you feel…And these are the three strategies I have used and show others how to use to avoid jumping ship way too soon.

Solopreneur Mindset Strategy #1 – Maintain Realistic Expectations

Once you are on several marketers lists, it’s easy to start to buy into the “hype”. Everyone claims that they have the secrets and the solutions for taking you from zero to six figures instantly. Yet deep down you know that these claims are far from the truth. You want to believe that someone can fast forward your business so that you can make big money quickly, but it’s a false hope, and it’s zapping your energy.

The reality is that you will build your business slowly and steadily like any other six-figure and seven-figure entrepreneur. One step at a time. That is the reality of a successful business. Anyone who tells you differently is setting you back mentally. Be realistic. You can absolutely achieve the type of success that you deserve and live an abundant life, BUT that doesn’t mean that it will happen overnight.

Solopreneur Mindset Strategy #2 – Mistakes = Valuable Experience

First, I want to say that every successful business owner has made mistakes. Has made blunders. Has had embarrassing setbacks. That is part of the learning experience. Don’t look at every mediocre result as a failure, but rather a chance for learning and understanding.

This is a great opportunity for you to ask your list what types of information they are interested in learning and would pay for — which will help when creating your next product or program. And this is an ideal time to ask your mentor to look over your products, services, and marketing materials to help fine tune things for the next launch.

Solopreneur Mindset Strategy #3 – Go Harder!

Don’t take this the wrong way, but I have found in my own business that mediocre results were often preceded by a mediocre effort. This effort could very well be unintentional on your part, because you didn’t know exactly everything you needed to do to produce the type of results you were looking for. That’s ok…

That just means that there is room for growth, for a shift, and for an opportunity to dig deeper or what I like to say “go harder”. Go deep inside yourself and find the energy, the strength, and the motivation to keep going and go even harder at what you do. When you do, there is no choice but for you to see movement in your business.

This is probably one of the most important mindset strategies that saw me through some tough times. When I consider all the times that I wanted to give up, change my niche, go back a traditional private practice, I cringe. I almost made a HUGE mistake. Instead I grew more strength from each mediocre result or mistake and just dug in and went even harder. Finally, I found myself on the other side of mediocrity and on the side of profitable business owner.

While the path of a solopreneur is not always an easy road or a “safe” path to success — the journey and your ability to stay the course is what will ultimately help you thrive and flourish as a solopreneur, as a mentor, and as a human being.

Do you have any other strategies that have saw you through tough times? Share them in the comment section below.

Identify Your Ideal Client

Identify Your Ideal Client

Are you struggling with how to find and target people who desire and most importantly will pay you for your services? Then I can pretty much guarantee that you haven’t clearly identified your ideal client, because once you do, it will be clear where to find them and what they want. Enjoy this brief but succinct article from branding expert and Diamond client Kelly Green on how to quickly and easily identify your ideal client.
Your Ideal Client
In a previous post “Have You Chosen Your Niche“, I identified some critical strategies for clarifying your niche. Now, once you’ve clarified your niche you must identify your ideal client within that niche. Why is this important? Because you still need to develop compelling marketing messages that will hit your target. Think of it like throwing darts at a dart board. In order to hit the bulls-eye, the target must be clearly identified.

Hopefully you went through the exercises I suggested in order to clarify your niche. By doing so you would have come up with a visual of the market you serve. That includes the demographics of that market. But as you can see below, demographics will only tell you part of the story for your ideal client.

In or to connect the dots and get a more complete profile, considering the following. (This will let you know precisely what needs must be addressed in all of your marketing campaigns):

  • Demographic bases (age, family size, life cycle, occupation)

  • Geographic bases (states, regions, countries)

  • Behavior bases (product knowledge, usage, attitudes, responses)

  • Psycho-graphic bases (lifestyle, values, personality)

Here are some questions to ask yourself when considering your ideal clients’ psycho-graphics:

  1. What does my ideal client actually look like? What is his/her lifestyle?

  2. What career/ profession are they in? Where are they in their career/ profession?  Do they even have a career/ profession?

  3. How do they spend their free time? What is motivating them to seek the solutions you are providing?

  4. What are my target market’s Hot Buttons? What do they really care about (in their words) in regards to my services? (Be very specific)

  5. What is the core solution I provide for that ONE ideal client?!

Now that you have your completed ideal client profile, get out their and market your services! Good luck! Happy Branding!!

Kelly Green, is YOUR Personal Branding Coach! Empowering small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs such as yourself, to attract more clients by building a masterful brand.  Learn from a 15-year marketing veteran of the entertainment industry the Insider Branding Secrets to propel your Personal Brand to superstar status! Get more visibility, more clients and more money!

Are You Afraid To Outsource?

Are You Afraid To Outsource Some Of The Tasks In Your Business?

Recently I wrote an article about outsourcing that struck a nerve with a lot of entrepreneurs. I figured it would because I was once at that point where I was doing too much in my business but didn’t know if I could really afford to outsource certain things (once I learned how to release control of those tasks:). In the article, I discussed some of the advice that my mentors and coaches have given me that put me in the right mindset to even consider outsourcing. A reader had a question about that advice and so I’ve posted her question and my reply here today.

“I interviewed Brian Tracy earlier this year and one of the issues that we spoke of regarding solopreneurs was outsourcing.  He said that you should not spend money on outsourcing before your budget can handle it and said that you certainly should not borrow money to outsource.  This seems contradicts what you say your 7-figure income mentors are telling you about outsourcing before you can afford it.  Is there more to your mentors’ stories that you can share about how they justified “spending money that they did not have” to start outsourcing?”
Monique Wells

This brings up a lot of really good points, especially for coaches and consultants, on our relationship with money and how we spend it on our businesses. So let me make one thing clear, I know that we have heard many inspiring entrepreneurial stories of how they had nothing, funded their businesses with their credit cards, and now they are millionaires — but this is not the reality for most entrepreneurs. The reality is is that if you fund a lot of your business expenses via credit card you will simply fall into debt. Don’t do that!

No, the entrepreneur I am speaking to in this and the previous article are those of us who are generating money in our businesses but are doing EVERYTHING in that business and as a result are losing large chunks of our day doing tasks that could be outsourced to someone else.

Remember This: You should always be working on a revenue generating task in your business – not clerical or technical things.

Checking emails, listening to voice mail, sorting mail, transcription, among a zillion other things take up a lot of time. Just try that timer clock feature on your iPhone or use a simple kitchen cooking timer to see what I mean. You’d be surprised at how much time you are spending on the “busy work” of your business. Yet it may also surprise you that many of you are using the “cost” of hiring someone to outsource to as an excuse to avoid releasing control of all these things.

That is the core issue with many small business owners. You are afraid to outsource. You have spent so much of yourself creating your business, that you don’t trust anyone to handle anything, because you just “know” that they will not do it as well as you can. And it’s that control factor which leads back to the point my original article…

In order to break through my REAL issue which was a fear of losing control, they had to help me move past what I thought the issue was which was money — and this is what I’ve learned:

1. The cost of TIME that you are spending on busy work in your business is probably considerably more than the cost of outsourcing. Consider what you charge a client privately. If you charge $300 and hour and you spent two hours checking email and updating your WordPress plugins today, you just lost $600! Or even more if you could have spent those two hours creating a product or program in your business worth more than $600.

2. You do not have to hire a full-time assistant. Outsourcing can be as small as hiring a virtual assistant to complete tasks for you one hour a week. Thinks small, digestible chunks of work to outsource at first. This is very affordable.

3. Outsourcing will force you to step up in bigger ways in your business. You need to get somewhat organized to tell the VA what you need them to do for you. You need to be able to lead and direct your VA towards growth. You have to pay your VA on time and occasionally offer incentives and sources of motivation for bigger assignments and bigger results.

The more time you can spend on income generating activities, and the more time your VA is able to spend on other tasks in your business, the more money you will make. The more clients you will book. The more streams of income you can create. That has been proven over and over by many, many business owners.

So what may make you feel a little uncomfortable now, especially in these tough economic times, can result in a tremendous payoff later in terms of how much more efficient you will be in your business. Uncomfortable is ok, but finally breaking through those fears – is better.

Related Reading: What Is Outsourcing & Can You Afford It?

Credibility Counts – How To Boost Credibility In Your Niche

Credibility Counts – How To Boost Credibility In Your Niche

Think about your last significant purchase. What was your criteria for making that purchase? Price? Quality? Reliability? When a customer or client decides to make a purchase, factors such as these are all driven by the level of TRUST they have for the business.

If you are a credible business owner or solo-professional – people are more likely to buy from you versus your competitors. So have you considered your credibility factor later? These are some of the things that you can do to bump up your credibility factor and start to present yourself as the expert you are…

1. Get Published
It is very easy to become “published” these days with the variety of self-publishing options out there — but the way that you can maximize your credibility factor as a published author is to make sure that you always write high quality content and to get as much exposure for your writing as you can.

2. Get Support
Outsourcing a lot of tasks in your business is a very smart decision because you can spend more of your time doing income generating activities, but there is also the other added credibility booster benefit of giving you a more professional appearance. The reality is that if you have an assistant or a team you are more credible than someone who is doing all the work themselves.

3. Use Professional Resources
Consider the experience of the processes in your business. What types of resources do you use? What is the experience of signing up for your newsletter? Is there a smooth flow from opting in and confirmation? Do subscribers get your email delivered regularly? A top notch autoresponder and/or newsletter service (like Aweber)  will ensure that the majority if not all of your emails end up in your subscribers email boxes and not the spam folder.

What about purchasing products and services from you? Are you using a professional shopping cart and/or payment processing system or is your checkout process a little amateurish?

4. Increase Visibility
To increase credibility in your market, sometimes people just need to know that you exist. Start bumping up your visibility by getting as much exposure as you can. Free ways you can get started doing this is by local public speaking, guest spots on teleseminars, guest blogging, and local press (your local newspaper would love to do a story on your business!)

5. Recommendations
Amazon is a great example of how user recommendations, referrals, testimonials, etc. can totally drive a businesses sales. I base most of my buying decisions online based on recommendations, user reviews, and testimonials. Sometimes it is word of mouth and other times it’s right there for me to see on the site — but it is absolutely a factor in my buying decisions. So make sure that you are very proactive about collecting words of encouragement, testimonials, and praise from your clients and customers. It can literally be the difference between a sale vs. someone clicking away.

While I am sure you will be able to use one of these suggestions to ramp up your credibility factor, I always recommend for business owners to take a look at what credibility factors matter to you when you buy something or invest in someone — then model that in your own business. What drives you probably drives a lot of other people as well.

Feel free to add you credibility suggestions to the discussion here. We can all learn from each other…

How To Write Articles That Attract Clients (Even If You Stink As A Writer!)

How To Write Articles That Attract Clients (Even If You Stink As A Writer!)

attract clients with articlesImagine attracting all the clients that you need by simply writing articles! Sweet huh? Writing articles has assisted me in growing my business in tremendous ways and one of those ways is by helping me to attract clients, especially ones that I enjoy working with and this is why…

When I write an article, I make sure that I accomplish two things. One is that I am either answering a pressing question or explaining a concept for my ideal client and the other is that I am writing in or  using my own unique voice and perspective to do so.

Including both of these elements in the articles I write have been crucial to my success as an entrepreneur.

So how do you do this if writing is not something you think that you do well?
It’s pretty simple actually. Here are my tips for writing articles that your ideal potential clients will devour while using your own authentic, brilliant voice to do so.

1. Get Over Yourself
First you have to get over that term paper you tried to write a million  years ago. Just because you didn’t do so great on papers or maybe you don’t like writing letters – has nothing to do with writing articles for your business. Let all of that baggage go and put it behind you. Who you are today is an entrepreneur looking to help and/or empower others – and that begins by getting your message out there in a big way.

2. Answer A Question
Most of your clients have questions that they don’t have the answers to which is why they are turning to you. How do I get over a broken heart? How to I close the sale? How do I find my next speaking engagement? These are the types of questions that BEG for an article to be written to answer them. The key is to make sure that you are answering a “pressing” question or concern of your potential clients.

The great thing about answering a question in an article is that you don’t have to wonder what you’re going to write about – you already know the answers AND it doesn’t have to be perfect. People just want quick help, they don’t necessarily need you do deliver it as if it’s a dissertation. Don’t worry about how “smart” you sound. That’s not important. What’s important is that you actually know what you’re talking about and give a good, solid answer in your article.

Quickie Template

  • Introductory paragraph about the question you are answering.
  • Write out the question. (The best questions are ones from asked you by present clients.)
  • Write 2-3 paragraphs answering the question.
  • End the article with an outro paragraph summarizing the Q&A.

3. Write In An Authentic Voice
A lot of my friends and family have told me that I have very strong opinions and tend to think emotional things through in an analytical way. I’m not the funniest gal, but that’s okay, that’s me. That’s how I talk on the phone with girlfriends. That’s how I talk to my children. And that is how I write my articles.

This is also called my “writer’s voice” and you have one too. The key is for you to always use it, because when you do you will naturally attract clients to you that already like your style. Another great thing is that your writer’s voice is totally unique to you and it will establish your individuality in the marketplace.

When you let go of the misconception that you can’t write, and then begin to write articles that include these two essential elements, you will begin a continuous flow of your ideal clients to your site and your offers. What a great way to make a living:)

Building Your Coaching Practice: Six Figures & Beyond!

Building Your Coaching Practice

While I have worked with entrepreneurs of many kinds, I have to admit that I love to work with coaches. One of the reasons why I love to work with coaches on building their coaching practices is because I know how it is to struggle from saying I’m a coach to really making a fantastic living as a coach first hand.

It can be very frustrating if you don’t know what you’re doing, and many great coaches fall into the trap of thinking it’s because they aren’t good enough coaches. Yet that’s wrong. While you need to be a good coach to meet the needs of clients coming to you, it’s not the lifeblood of whether you succeed as a coach. What determines your success is how well you can attract new clients to your practice (attraction marketing) and keeping them with you with offering them various opportunities for coaching.

In other words, the real key to building your coaching practice is to consistently attract new clients and turn those clients into loyal supporters of you and your practice. You can only do this when you build a relationship with new prospects – one day at a time – and you do this with great content.

There are a lot of slick marketing strategies out there for attracting clients and customers to businesses. Many people are out there making a lot of money trying to sell you a “magic fix” – but building a coaching practice of your dreams is not a fast fix. This is the point that I’d love for coaches to understand and realize before they throw away thousands of dollars.

*Here’s The Big Key
Building a profitable coaching practice is a slow and steady race of attracting new clients and converting them into loyal fans by providing them high quality content and high impact information that effortlessly makes them want to work with you.

What I Do That Works
I build relationships with my clients by providing a variety of high quality and high impact free content and premium content. Free content can include things such as articles, ezines, teleseminars, webinars, free short reports, and ebooks. Premium content can include items such as ecourses, teleseminar series, webinar courses, ebooks, tutorials, guides, workbooks, premium newsletters, and much more.

Through a mixture of consistent marketing strategies and compelling content, you can build a coaching practice that is recession proof and wonderfully fulfilling – one day at a time!