Monthly Archives: June 2009

What Do You Do When PR Goes Horribly Wrong?

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Have you ever had done something you thought was a really good idea at the time and then it completely backfires on you?

Well, it happened to my good friend Nancy Marmolejo, Viva Visibility.

If you don’t know Nancy yet, you really need to. She is a social media rock star. However, sometimes even rock stars have days where the guitar is out of tune and the speakers catch fire and explode on stage.

Here’s the story in a nutshell. As you all know, social networking is pretty darn new and Twitter is the brand spanking new kid on that shiny new block. Because it’s so new, things like vocabulary and etiquette are still being hashed out.

It’s better coming from Nancy herself why she got so fixated on this, but she was busy telling people you “tweet” not “twitter” (including yours truly). She also decided to write a letter to Inc Magazine about this.

The result? Inc Magazine called her on it and, well, won.

Now I’m telling you about this for 2 reasons.

1. I’m quite excited I can now use “twitter” as a verb (I just hated saying “tweet” — I felt like I should put a chicken coop in my yard.)

2. Nancy handled the whole situation brilliantly. In fact, I would go as far to say this was actually a really good thing in the end.

So what did Nancy do? Well, to start she owned up to it. She didn’t try to hide her mistake or pretend it never happened (which is simply not possible to do in this day and age anyway.) She ‘fessed up.

Lesson #1 — if you make a mistake, and it’s a public mistake, just suck it up and admit it. It’s when you start lying and hiding that things get so out of control. Look at Bill and Monica. People lied, tried to hide things, and that just made everything worse.

By owning up to it, Nancy completely diffused any negative publicity around it. In fact, if you read the comments, most people didn’t think this was a big deal at all. (Which it isn’t — until you start hiding and lying about it. Then suddenly everyone wonders why you’re lying and hiding and it can blow up into a bigger deal.)

The second thing she did was write a very charming and witty blog post about it. Now, you might not be able to write a charming and witty blog post, but it might be worth it to find someone who can for you. She was entertaining about it, which again helped diffuse the situation and caused all her followers to rally around her.

Now, humor isn’t good for all situations. Remember the Tylenol and Cyanide scare? If the Tylenol CEO had come out with humor that would have been completely inappropriate. However, what he did do was immediately take responsibility, come up with a solution, and didn’t come across as defensive or trying to shift the blame.

Lesson #2 — if you’re going to take a stand, do it graciously. Don’t be defensive, don’t try and shift blame, and for heaven’s sake don’t be a baby about it. Do it with class and people will respect and admire you for it.

The result? Nancy’s post got TONS of comments, pretty much all of them supporting Nancy. She’s back on stage, bigger than ever, with her guitar all tuned up and brand spanking new speakers.

How Publicity Can Help You Hear Ka-Ching! In Your Biz

Running a business isn’t easy. There’s so much to do, so much to keep track of, so much to learn. Worse, who can you trust? With all the information and so-called “experts” floating around out there, how do you know if you’re listening to someone who actually knows what they’re talking about or not?

Well, that’s why I created the Ka-Ching Community Calls. Each month I’ll be hosting a teleclass where I’ll be sharing powerful, real-world information on running a successful business. (As you know, not only am I running a business but I also continue to work with clients so I see first hand what’s working and not working in the real world.) You’ll either hear from me or I’ll be interviewing an expert (a real expert, someone you can trust).

And the best part? These calls are FREE. Yep. The Ka-Ching Community Calls are free for you. Just sign up here.

This month I’m so excited to welcome Shannon Cherry, APR MA, The Power Publicist
“The Endless Publicity Formula Attracting more clients, making more money for free” on Thursday, June 25,12 pm Pacific/3 pm Eastern

Are you getting all the clients and customers you want?

Are you tired of spending tons of marketing that doesn’t pay the bills, let alone give you the credibility you need to make more money?

Tired of seeing you competition get more recognition and attract more business than you do?

Then you need the power of publicity.

When people see you in the media, you become familiar – even famous! And it gives you credibility. When you are written about in the newspaper, or interviewed on TV or radio, you are news; and that’s better than any advertising you can buy.

In this exclusive call for, you’ll leave:
* Thinking like a reporter to create newsworthy stories — even if don’t think you have anything to say
* Understanding the tricks to getting the media’s attention — and keeping it
* Armed with the tool to get publicity for yourself
* Discovering the secret to promoting your products and services, without feeling like a sleezy salesman
* And much more

Here’s that link again to sign up: http://www.kachingcalls.com

3 Quick and Easy Ways to Add Multiple Streams of Income to Your Business

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It’s never a good thing when you rely on one stream of income. That stream dries up and you’re, ahem, up that creek without a paddle.

That’s why having multiple streams of income is so valuable. One stream dries up, you’ve got a few other ones to depend on.

(On another note, have you noticed how often money is referred to in water terms? Cash FLOW, multiple STREAMS of income or just income STREAMS. Just something to think about.)

But talking about multiple income streams and actually implementing them in your business are two entirely different things. That’s why today I’m going to share 3 quick and easy ways you can start adding more streams right now.

1. Information products. Creating a product based on your expertise is a fabulous way to start diversifying your income. This is especially good if you’re a service provider — now you’re providing other ways for your customers to work with you rather than them paying you to work with them one on one.

But creating information products doesn’t mean you have to sit down and write a book. You can do a teleclass or a series of teleclasses. Or maybe you do a video. Just make it easy for you to create. (The idea here is NOT to spend months or, worse, years crafting your product — the faster you get it done the faster you’ll make money on it.)

Still feeling stuck? Try this. What’s the biggest problem your customers come to you to solve for them? Can you do a teleclass or write a special report walking them through how to solve it themselves? Granted working with you would probably get the faster, better results, but remember not everyone has the money nor even the inclination (there are a lot of do-it-yourselfers out there, and you don’t want to exclude them from your customer base.)

2. Licensing or certification programs. Do you have a special process you take your clients through? Why not package it up and sell it to other consultants like you? Lots of people are looking for proven methods and systems they can add to their business income streams. So in essence you’re helping other people add income streams to their business while you’re also adding income streams to your business.

Now this one may not be all that quick to do, but I wanted to include it so you weren’t just thinking “info products” as your only option. Open yourself up to other options to making more money.

3. Offer advertising or sell other people’s products. With this one, you’re capitalizing on an asset you’ve built — your list. You have people who follow you, right? They’re on your list, they’re following you on social networking sites, they listen to your podcasts and/or teleclasses. Well, with this one you make money either by promoting someone else’s products and getting a commission, or you charge for advertising.

For advertising, think bigger then just selling spaces in your newsletter or web site or blog. What about offering sponsorships? Sponsorships aren’t just for corporate — they can also be your colleagues who want to reach your target market.

Of all the options, this one is definitely the fastest to pull together and takes the least amount of time for you to manage. However, if you don’t think it through, it does have the potential of diluting the impact you have with your list. If you’re interested in this option, do your homework. Find one or two people who have successfully offered this and ask them about it.

Above all, think creatively. There are lots of ways of reaching your target market, try a few and see what works for you and them.

Are You Throwing in the Towel Too Soon? More Musings from the Marathon

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When people realize I walk marathons, one of the questions I frequently get asked is “how did you do it? How did you finish the marathon once you hit the point of ‘nothing helps?'”

Well, I can tell you it’s not easy. Lots of demons come out to play and you have to push past them.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Why would knowing how to finish a marathon have to do with your business? Because you might be having the same problems in your business — demons coming out to play and you throwing in the towel too soon and not seeing the success you deserve.

Let me explain. It’s been documented that lots of business owners quit too soon. They either quit the business altogether or they lower their goals (i.e. “I don’t need to make 7-figures, I’ll be happy in the low 6-figures”) or they drop a product or service that’s not selling.

However, many times the turning point in their business is just up ahead. They’re right there, the finish line is a half mile away, but they stop. They stop and they use all sorts of excuses as to why it was a smart decision to stop.

This happens to me all the time after I get past mile 20 in the marathon. It gets even worse once I hit the point of “nothing helps” — the pain is awful, I’m exhausted (a deep, deep exhaustion, so deep it makes it difficult to fall asleep for several hours after you’re done) and I’m extremely grumpy.

All the demons come out. “I’ve done this before. Why do I have to make myself miserable now?” (The first year it was “I can try this again next year when I’m in better shape and know what to expect.”) “Boy that pain in my knee feels bad — maybe I’m permanently hurting myself. I should stop.” “Look at all those other people in the medical aid tent, they’ve stopped I can stop too.” “Why the heck (or something stronger) am I doing this to myself again?”

And on and on.

So along with walking on despite the physical pain, you’re also battling mental demons. And this becomes an even bigger issue the longer you walk because at the end it’s all mental. There’s nothing physically left — the only reason why you’re staying on your feet is because you’re forcing yourself too.

Does any of this sound familiar in your business? “Why should I bother marketing and/or selling? People aren’t buying anyway. And the economy is bad. And my industry is struggling.” “I haven’t sent out a newsletter in months, I’m just too busy.” “I know I have a stack of business cards on my desk I should follow up with, but I’m just so busy. And besides, do they really want to hear from me anyway? It’s probably too late.” “This product launch was a disaster. Only 2 people bought. I guess no one is interested in this after all.” (Never mind you only sent out a couple of emails and called that a launch not to mention never sending out a newsletter.) “I’m almost done with my first product. I just have a couple more things to add/change.” (And you’ve been saying THAT for 3 years.)

And the most insidious of them all “I’ve been doing everything so-and-so said for months and it’s still not working. Maybe I’m not cut out to run a business. I should just quit and find a job before I run up any more debt.”

All of these are just variations of the same theme. You’re throwing in the towel before you’ve reached the finish line. And chances are, if you DO quit, success is most likely right around the corner.

Now this isn’t to say there is never a time to quit. Sometimes you really do injure yourself and you can’t finish the marathon. And sometimes a product or a service you’ve launched really isn’t a good fit for your target market and should be dropped. And sometimes things have so radically changed in your market you need to change something or you’re going out of business.

But, a lot of times the reason why things aren’t working is because you aren’t marketing enough (or marketing smartly). Maybe that product really isn’t a good fit. But if you only send out 2 emails to your email list that only hears from you once in a blue moon and call that your launch, you don’t know enough to say it’s not a good fit. You haven’t given it a fair shot.

What can you do to push through? Even when you feel like you’re doing everything you’re supposed to and nothing is working? Just do what I do after mile 23. Put your head down and keep walking. Don’t listen to the chatter in your head, just keep walking. Focus on the cheerleaders on the sidelines telling you you’re almost there and keep walking. The finish line really is just around the corner, and eventually you’ll get to it, but only if you keep walking. The moment you stop, you’re done.

Ready to make money with social networking?

Social networking.

It’s the talk of the town. Everyone is buzzing about it. Everyone is doing it (or trying to do it).

But is anyone making at money at it?

The short answer is YES — but only if they’re doing it strategically.

And that’s what I’m going to be teaching you in my next Copywriting and Marketing Success Circle call, “How to Turn Social Media Visitors Into Paying Customers.”

(In a hurry? Here’s the link.

No matter where you’re at in the social networking spectrum — youÕve heard of twitter and that’s about it; you have a facebook account but you don’t know what to do with it other than look for old high school buddies; or you’re actively working the social networking platforms — you’ll discover proven steps on how to convert your social networking activities into actual cash.

You’ll learn:

  • How to turn friends and followers into PAYING customers. Yes, it IS possible, but you need to
    know what to do
  • What NOT to do so you don’t turn your friends and followers against you (this is almost as important as knowing what TO do — it’s very easy to destroy your online reputation and once that
    happens, it’s very difficult to get your reputation back)
  • TESTED campaigns that resulted in CASH in your pocket (you can easily implement these in your own
    business)
  • And more

You’ll get my step-by-step system on how you can make money doing social networking, as well as
templates and samples (yes samples of how to write for results in the social networking world) to make it easy to “plug and play” in your own business.

It all happens on Tuesday at 4 pm Pacific, so you’ll want to reserve your space now. Here’s that link again to sign up.

To your success!

P.S. When you sign up, as a special bonus you’ll also get a copy of my Sales Letter Secrets: Rev Up
Your Business With Copy That Sells! Here’s that link again.

Business Success — How Marathons Can Help Your Business

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Musings from the Marathon (and How it Can Help Your Business)


I just returned from San Diego where I walked my third marathon. It took me 6.5 hours. (I’m not a runner, I’m a walker, and that’s averaging between a 14- and 15-minute mile.) Now if you know anything about marathons, you’ll know that I’m never going to make the Boston marathon with that time.

In fact, I was beaten by an 86-year-old woman from South Carolina (we were neck and neck for awhile — she pulled away when I stopped for a bathroom break, beat me by 5 minutes) by a man dressed in a banana suit, by naked man (he whipped off his shorts when he crossed the finish line, although it’s probably not fair to compare him to me as he definitely had less wind resistance than I had) and a bunch of guys dressed as Elvis.

My point is if I was doing marathons to win, I would probably be in the depths of despair this week. Lucky for me, I do marathons for other reasons that have nothing to do with speed and everything to do with perseverance.

In fact, I think every business owner and entrepreneur should complete a marathon at least once in their life. No, not because I want partners to share in the torture and agony, but for the same reasons why I do. Let me explain.

I’ve come to the conclusion that nature has intended for the human body to only travel about 20 miles at any one time. I’ve decided this based on both science and my own experiences.

Now, I’m not a scientist but here’s my understanding of what’s going on when you walk a marathon. Your body only has around 2000 calories of ready energy it can use at any one time. How long does it take you to run out of 2000 calories? Oh, about 20 miles. After 20 miles, your body starts attacking your muscle to use as fuel (your body can’t burn fat on its own, it can only access the fat through burning something easier, such as carbohydrates or muscle).

At the same time, the hormones your body produces when you run (the ones that are responsible for the “runner’s high”) are used up. When that happens, the natural pain killer that’s part of the runner’s high also disappears, so now you feel every bit of the pain your muscles are going through.

Michele
In other words, somewhere between mile 20 and 24, your body runs out of ready energy and starts attacking your muscles and also runs out of the hormones that give you extra energy, stamina and pain relief. There’s a term for this you might have heard. It’s called “hitting the wall.” And if you’re going to hit the wall, you’re going to hit it somewhere between mile 20 and 24.

As someone who has smashed head first into said wall, I can tell you it’s not pretty. You can get a second wind at mile 12, 16, even 18. There’s no second wind at mile 24.

During every marathon I’ve done, there comes a time where nothing helps. Nothing. Everything hurts. Everything. You’re exhausted. Every muscle in your body is screaming for you to stop. You’re keeping your legs moving on sheer grit and determination alone. There’s nothing else left.

The only thing that even comes close to helping during this time is the people cheering on the sideline. The ones near the end yelling “You can do it, you’re almost there.” (Note to spectators, this is the time to lie. Tell the runners or walkers or limpers they’re almost there or the next mile marker is around the corner, even if the next mile marker is actually around the corner, up a hill and a half-mile away. You need anything you can grab on to at this time.)

So for all you spectators, yes your cheering really DOES help. Don’t let our grumpy expressions fool you. We’re hanging on to what you’re saying for dear life.

(On another note, the neighbors who live between mile 15 and 16 who every year buy a gazillion oranges, spend hours cutting them up and then MORE hours standing on the street handing them to us as we go by, I only have one thing to say to you — I’m leaving you in my will.)

Okay, so my hypothesis is the human body is only supposed to walk or run for 20 to 24 miles. And a marathon is 26.2 miles (and yes, that .2 is VERY important — that .2 of a mile is harder than the first 20). So what that means is you are literally pushing yourself past your body’s limits for at least 2.2 miles.

In fact, that’s why I think marathons ARE 26.2 miles. Because they push past your physical boundaries.

I suspect this was the discussion back when marathons first came up. The Marathon God was sitting around with the other Greek Gods in Mt Olympus and the conversation went something like this. “Maybe a marathon should be 20.4 miles.” “No, no, that’s still within their body’s limits.” “Okay, so how about 28.8?” “No, that’s too far. Too many people will drop out or die and that defeats the purpose.” “So what about 26.2 miles?” “Perfect, just far enough to push past their boundaries and not so far that they give up or die.”

So walking marathons is about pushing past boundaries. If you can push past your body’s physical limits with your mind, then you should have no problems pushing past other boundaries with your mind, such as income boundaries or business growth boundaries.

After all, you know it’s possible to build a multi-million-dollar (or billion-dollar) business from scratch. You’ve seen other people do it. And after you walk a marathon, you’ll know you can push past boundaries because you’ve just done it. So therefore, now you know you have the capability to push past whatever boundaries you’ve set for yourself. You’ll have physical, tangible proof of it. (And they even give you a medal when you finish.)

And that, my friends, is why I think every business owner and entrepreneur should walk or run a marathon at least once in their life.