Monthly Archives: September 2010

3 Biz/Marketing Lessons to Learn From Attending an NFL Game

Over the years I’ve attended my share of live sporting events, but I must say there’s a lot to like about live NFL games. In fact, I’d like to share 3 of those lessons below that you too can use to build your business.

1. Know what business you’re REALLY in. Think the NFL is just about football? Think again. The NFL is in the entertainment business and yes the NFL is well aware of that.

At least for the Arizona Cardinals (it might be different at other stadiums) but along with the cheerleaders and a big red bird running around, they also have lots of scheduled little skits throughout the game. Considering how many commercial breaks you sit through when you watch a game on TV, it’s remarkable how little downtime there is during a live game.

So, what business are YOU really in? And chances are, you’re NOT in the business you think you’re in. For instance, you may think you’re a coach and you’re in the coaching business, but truly, do your clients really want a coach? No. They want the results they’re getting from your coaching. (Think about it, people are busy enough, do you think they really want to carve out the time each week or month to talk to you? They’re doing it because they see the value and are getting the results. They’re certainly not doing it because they have an extra hour laying around they don’t know what to do with.)

Focus on what business you’re really in, and you’ll have a much easier time attracting clients.

2. You can’t bore anyone into buying your products or services. Now, I agree the NFL has it a little easier since they’re in the entertainment business. But what about you?

I’m not saying you need to dress up in a red bird costume and run around acting silly. But you do need to be at the very least interesting to your ideal clients so they want to stick around and listen to what you have to say. If you bore them, they won’t be sticking around.

What can you do to more interesting (or, better yet, entertaining) in your marketing?

3. Pay attention to the little things. Again, this just might be Phoenix, but I must say this city has it together when it comes to moving large numbers of people around. (I also experienced this during my marathon participations.) I’m amazed at how fast you get in and out of the games and the parking lots. (They even set up a row of additional bathrooms next to the parking lot in case you didn’t want to wait in line inside the stadium.)

While that may seem like a small thing — after all, you’re not going to a game because it’s easy to park — it really does add to the whole experience. How nice it is to know you can attend a game without being stuck in traffic for hours having to go to the bathroom.

So what “little” things can you offer your clients? What intangibles can you give them that seem small but make a big difference? Maybe you have some great forms or templates you can gift them. Or maybe you attract a wonderful community and you allow your clients to network with each other.

Think about some things you can offer your clients that don’t cost you much in time or money but can really make a difference in how they feel about working with you.

Build your biz like you mean it — 2 great calls to be on

We’re in the last stretch of 2010. Want to end this year with a bang or a whimper?

If you want to be breaking out the champagne in December because your business is on a roll and not just because it’s part of the holiday cheer, then I have 2 teleclasses TOMORROW you should check out:

Call #1 — First up, I’m honored to be one of the speakers for Amethyst Wyldfyre’s Six Figure Speakers Summit September 15th – 23rd. You can learn from the best of the best and immediately put their secrets and their not-so secret strategies and techniques into ACTION for your business.

I’m speaking tomorrow — here’s the link to check it out: http://tinyurl.com/2e7pktd (yes it is an affiliate link)

Let me tell you a little bit about this Summit. It’s for you if you’re:

* burning with desire to serve

* already established in your business

* looking for a proven clear way or map that will help you to navigate the sometimes confusing or overwhelming landscape of classes, workshops, trainings, masterminds and mentorships that are being offered out there

* looking to HONE your skills in a particular area

* ready to uplevel the kinds of conversations you have with colleagues, clients, business partners, or service professionals who are supporting you and your business

* willing to INVEST, time, energy, money and attention into your growth and the growth of your business

Happily, this event has been designed to reach YOU – the entrepreneur who’s pockets may not be quite as “deep” as perhaps a corporation’s are! It’s an investment that is easy for you and actually it’s so reasonable that it’s hard to turn down.

Reserve your spot now! http://tinyurl.com/2e7pktd

Call #2 — This is a FREE call I’m hosting with Power Publicist Shannon Cherry “3 Simple Secrets to Attracting All the Clients and Business You Desire No Matter WHAT” on Tuesday, September 21 at 1 pm Pacific/4 pm Eastern.

(In a hurry? Here’s the link so you can reserve your space: http://www.contenttoprofit.com/freecall )

Between the two of us, we’ve worked with hundreds of business owners (not to mention building our own successful businesses). We’ve seen it all – and now we’re ready to share what we learned with you!

In this free call, you’ll learn:

* Our simple, paint-by-numbers system for building successful business both online AND offline

* NO slime-y or inauthentic strategies – you’ll love how good you feel using our teachings to grow your business

* How you can quickly and effortlessly boost your visibility and credibility both online AND offline (and start reaping the benefits with more leads, clients and sales)

* Get your pipeline filled with clients excited to work with you (it’s easier than you think)

* And much more

Here’s that link again to reserve your spot in this complimentary teleclass.

http://www.contenttoprofit.com/freecall

5 Tips for Writing Articles that Sell

I want to share my secret for attracting tons of traffic, leads and customers to my site.

Ready? It’s writing and submitting articles online.

I can hear all the protesting already. But it’s easy for you, you’re a writer, that’s what you do, etc.

Now there is some truth to that — I am writer so writing articles does come easy for me. However, I also make my living as a writer. That means I do an awful lot of writing each and every day. Trust me — I know all about procrastination when it comes time to writing articles for myself.

But since writing articles is such a powerful method of self-promotion, I’ve taken the time to figure out a few shortcuts. This makes the process less painful so I do get them written on a regular basis. I’m sharing five to help get you started.

1. Short is better. This tip is one of those “do as I say, not as I do” tips. Christopher Knight of EzineArticles.com fame, says 300-500 word articles are perfectly acceptable and may even be more desirable than their wordier counterparts. Unfortunately for me, this is where being a writer really does get in the way. Once I start writing, I tend to keep writing, thus my articles and newsletters continue to remain on the long side. Ah well.

But for you folks, keep them short and sweet and don’t worry about what I do.

2. Keep an article topic list. Buy yourself a little notebook. I suggest a cute colorful notebook, something that makes you smile or feel good to look at. Take a black sharpie and write on the cover “Article Ideas Notebook.” (This way, you’re inviting your muse to fill up the notebook with ideas). Now, every time you think of a good idea for your newsletter, take a second and jot it down in the notebook. Then when it comes time to write your newsletter or article, page through the book and look at what ideas you have. This is a great way to keep panic at bay, especially the panic that says “I have no idea what I’m going to write about this month.”

3. Think about your topics before you sit down to write. Do you really think professional writers sit down before a blank computer screen, put their hands on the keyboard, start typing and voila! an article magically appears.

No such luck. All the writers I’ve ever met spend some time thinking about what they’re going to write before they actually sit down to write.

A few days before or maybe even the night before, start thinking about your topic and what you’re going to write about it. Then, when it comes time to actually start typing, you’ll already have some notion of where you’re going with the article.

4. Develop a style. Or at the very least, write the way you speak. People want to “hear” the author behind the article. Don’t be afraid to let your personality show.

(Don’t worry if this is tough for you at first. It is for everyone. The more you do it, the easier it will be, and eventually it will make the actual writing process go much smoother. The exercise at the end will help you tap into your style and personality as you write.)

5. Make your information rock. I want you all to repeat after me — I will not be afraid of “giving away the farm.” I run into people all the time who don’t want to write an article that gives away any “secrets” because they think they’ll lose work because of it. (By the way, I have yet to hear a potential customer say “Gee, I was going to hire so-and-so, but this article he wrote was so great I don’t need to anymore.”)

Listen, your potential customers are either “do-it-yourselfers” or “hire-outers.” The information you provide in an article is not going to change them either way. They either won’t hire you because they’d rather figure out how to do it alone or they will hire you because they don’t want to bother doing it themselves. This is a core value folks, it has nothing to do with your articles.

And if you DON’T write a good, meaty article, your customers who would normally hire you may very well decide you really don’t know what you’re talking about and take their business elsewhere.

Develop your writing style

First off, I want to say this is a toughie. Even professional writers struggle with this. However, the results are well worth it, so I encourage you to take the time to do it.

Also, keep in mind that developing your style is not an overnight project. In fact, you really never stop doing it. The more you write, the better you’ll get.

But here are two exercises you can do to start you on your journey: Read your work out loud and journal (no computer journaling, use a pen and paper). Both of these techniques will help you connect with your muse and help you start to recognize, and bring out, your style.

When you read out loud, make sure you listen to yourself to see if it “sounds” like you speaking. If it doesn’t, then you know you need to make some edits.

For journaling, just get used to writing whatever comes into your head in whatever manner it wants to emerge (even if you think it’s terrible). The idea is to get used to writing in your “natural” voice — eventually you can start to refine it, but in the beginning you need to get used to using words and phrases that fit your personality.

Are You Making These Press Release Mistakes?

You’ve done it. Gotten that press release written. Now you’re ready to send it out to your carefully chosen list of media contacts.

But before you hit that “send” button, take a moment and run your press release through this checklist. Remember, you only have a few seconds to catch the attention of busy journalists and editors — don’t blow it over an easily corrected mistake.

Some of these may seem painfully obvious. Alas, even the obvious gets overlooked from time to time (even from professionals – I know, I’ve made my share of mistakes) so it’s always a wise idea to take a few moments to double check that your release is up to snuff before sending it out into the world.

1. Is your release newsworthy? In other words, does it answer the question “Will this interest my readers?” Remember, media people are interested in one thing – keeping their readers happy. Make sure your idea is something that will do just that.

2. Is the headline compelling? Will it encourage media people to actually read the story? If the headline doesn’t interest them, chances are they aren’t going to take the time to read the rest of the release. And you’ve just missed your opportunity.

3. Is the first sentence (the lead) compelling? Like the headline, if the first sentence doesn’t grab their attention and persuade them to keep reading, chances are your release will be headed to that famous circular file. (Otherwise known as the trash can.)

4. Is it written in third person? In other words, use “he/she/they.” No “you” or “we.”

5. Is it less than a page? Media people don’t have time to read long press releases. Unless you have a darn good reason, keep it less than a page. For that matter, even if you do have a darn good reason, still keep it less than a page.

6. Are there grammatical or spelling errors in your release? Trust me, these are professionals. They’ll catch your errors. And those errors won’t leave a very good impression. At the very least use your word processing’s spell checker, but hiring a proofreader is an even better solution. Or you could simply have someone you trust read it. But definitely do something.

7. Do you have your contact information on the release? Media people are on deadline. They don’t have time to search for your contact info if they need clarification or a quote from you. Make it easy for them – put your contact info in a prominent place.

8. Do you have any sales copy in there? Reminder: Press releases don’t go to the advertising department – they’re for editorial. And editorial doesn’t look very kindly on sales pitches. Nix the promotional copy and just focus on content – if they use your story, they’ll put your contact info in there.

While there are no guarantees with publicity, making sure your release follows this checklist will go a long way to garnering you publicity.