Monthly Archives: December 2010

Goal Setting — 3 Tips to Positioning Yourself for Business Success in the New Year

It’s December and you know what that means. Not only is it holiday mania but this is also the perfect time to get yourself ready for the New Year.

If you’re an entrepreneur who is ready to enjoy more business success next year, I would highly encourage you to take a little time to work ON your business (rather than IN your business) before the start of the New Year. Below are 3 tips to help you get focused and ready to shine!

1. Make sure you celebrate your past success. This one isn’t easy for me to do either (much easier to make a list of all the things I want to get done next year). But if you don’t celebrate what you DID accomplish last year, what would be the motivation for achieving next year’s goals?

You need to give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it! (And be honest, when was the last time you gave yourself any sort of credit?)

Here’s what I would suggest doing — get a piece of paper and write down 50 things you accomplished last year.

Yes I said 50. And no I won’t take “but I didn’t accomplish 50 things” as an answer. You see, by setting an intention to come up with 50 means you’re not going to stop at 3 and miss a bunch that you really need to congratulate yourself for.

Next, celebrate! Buy yourself a nice cup of coffee, sit in a bathtub or call up a friend or associate and tell them what you accomplished. Let yourself feel good about what you accomplished — you did good!

2. Write down your goals for next year. This is important — especially the writing down part. If you don’t write them down, the chances of you actually accomplishing them are pretty unlikely. In fact, it’s pretty close to zero. According to a famous study of Harvard graduates, less than 5 percent of those who didn’t write down their goals actually accomplished them.

And don’t rush this either. I’m not going to give you a number to hit, but take some time and actually think about what you want to accomplish next year. And make them specific — don’t just say “make more money.” Put a number in there — how much money do you want to make. Even better, write down how you plan to make more money — launch a new product? Get X number of people into your coaching program?

3. Now break down your goals into steps. This is probably the biggest thing you can do to make sure you actually achieve your goals.

The more specific you make your goals and the more you break them down into doable action steps, the easier it’s going to be to follow through with them.

So for instance, with the “make more money” goal. Break it down into how you’re going to make more money — like launch a product or get your coaching program going. Get your calendar out and put those milestones in your calendar so you know what you’re shooting for.

Now the idea here isn’t to make this a big, difficult task. Have fun with it. You’re planning your year and you can turn it into anything you want it to be! This is exciting! Take time to enjoy the process. This is your life and your business — you should be able to transform it into exactly what you want it to be.

Results! Twitter – How to Write Tweets That Get Peeps to Take Action

Probably the biggest question I get asked is if social networking is worth it or a big waste of time. Well, if you’re doing social networking to make money, and you aren’t making money, then it most certainly is a waste of time.

So, how do you make money with social networking? A lot depends on the words you use and how you interact with your friends and followers. Today I’m going to focus specifically on Twitter.

Remember, for Twitter you only have 140 characters including spaces for every tweet. That means every character counts so use them wisely.

Here are 3 more tips to make those tweets as compelling and persuasive as possible.

1. Get your personality in there. The beauty of social networking is it’s driven by relationships. You build relationships by letting people see who you really are. That means showcasing your personality.

The more people can get a sense of your personality, the more they’ll decide if they like you or not. And the more they know, like and trust you, the more likely they’ll become your customers.

In addition, people don’t like to be sold to. If your tweets sound canned or not authentically from YOU, they’ll be turned off. And turned off people are not likely to buy from you.

2. Give and you shall receive. The more you give, and do things for other people, the more it will come back to you. You spend your time helping other people, the more they’ll help promote your products and services, the more likely they’ll go check out what you offer and if it’s a match, the more likely they’ll buy.

If all you do is push your own stuff on Twitter, you’re not going to get very far. You need to spend most of your time doing things for other people. Then, when you do promote yourself, people will take notice and be more likely to act.

3. Be entertaining. There’s an old quote in the copywriting world that you can’t bore anyone into buying something. (I think it was David Ogilvy who first said it.) Same goes for Twitter. You can’t bore people into building and maintaining a relationship with you. You can’t bore people into promoting your products or events. And you can’t bore people into buying your products.

Now this doesn’t mean you have to a stand-up comic. Sure this is easier if writing short, pithy statements comes naturally to you. But don’t forget Tip #1 — stay true to your personality. We’re all interesting in our own way, even if you’re not a stand-up comic.

The key here is to be entertaining in your own unique and personal way. What, you don’t think you’re entertaining? You have friends, right? You go out to dinner with them, right? What do you talk about? You’re entertaining them or they wouldn’t want to go dinner with you.

So entertain your twitter followers the same way. And the ones who respond to that will respond to you. And as they get to know you, they’ll move to like and trust. And that leads to them becoming your customers.

How to Ramp Up Your Holiday Sales

It’s an odd time of year. For some industries and businesses, this is their busiest season, when they make most of their money. For others, especially service businesses or B-2-B, it’s their slowest time of year.

But it doesn’t have to be.

If you’re someone who really would like to get more work in November and December to pay for those extra holiday expenses, here are 3 tips to get you started:

1. Don’t stop marketing. Does this sound familiar? You know your business is slow over the holidays, so you think “why bother” and don’t do anything. After all, no one is interested in buying services now, you might as well wait until January when people have their head back in their business.

So, you cut back or stop your marketing. And what happens? Well, business slows down. (Amazing, isn’t it?)

Then, if you’re one of those business owners whose marketing suffers when you’re busy, and you have a busy September and October, well that’s a double whammy. You’ve basically guaranteed a slow down in December and January.

I know, it seems like you’re competing with a lot of holiday advertising, and it’s true you are. But, because a lot of businesses stop marketing, it’s actually a pretty good time to get in front of your prospects because there’s less of that type of marketing going on.

2. Know what your prospects are thinking about and join in the conversation already going on in their head. So what they are thinking about? The holidays, right? That’s true, but they’re also thinking about what they liked or didn’t like about this year, what they want to be different about next year, etc. Even for people who don’t sit down and do formal planning, there’s still a feeling of closure (for the old) and preparation (for the new). If you can position whatever it is you’re selling to fit that, you have a good chance they’ll want to start the “new year off right” by hiring you.

Now, you might be saying, but everyone says something like that, won’t I sound like everyone else? Well, yes and no. Yes that’s a common message because it resonates so strongly with us as humans. But you don’t have to phrase it like everyone else. By stating it differently or coming at it from a different angle, that’s what’s going to set up apart from everyone else.

Which leads me to the last point…

3. Inject some urgency into your marketing. It is true that because people are spending a lot of money on holiday stuff, they might want to hold off on spending any money on their business until January (and they might not want to even focus on their business until January). Well, the new year is also a natural time to raise your rates. So, what better time of year then to encourage them to hire you NOW so they lock in the old rates?

The trick is to get them eager to hire you because they want their business to look different in the new year, and they better hire you NOW because they want to lock in this year’s rates.

And, you can take this one step further — if you don’t want to actually start the work until January (because you want some time off for partying as well) then have them pay a deposit in December or extend it somehow, where they get extra time for the same price. Now you have money now, you have work lined up in January and your prospects are happy because they’re getting a deal. It’s a win-win-win.