Monthly Archives: May 2011

5 Ways to Add Your Personality to Your Writing

One of the fastest ways to transform your web site and promotional materials into a client magnet is to add your personality.

(And yes, even if you’re trying to build a business bigger then you personally, you still want to add your personality. People want to do business with people, not faceless, nameless corporations.)

Now, there are a few ways to do this, including branding and graphics, but what I’m going to focus on in this article is how to do it through words. Remember, the stronger your personality shows in your writing, the more loyal your customers and clients will be, and the more mo^ney you’ll ultimately make.

So, here are 5 ways to add your personality to your writing:

1. Read more. The more you read, the more you’ll learn how to express yourself in writing. Not only will you learn by example (especially if you read things by writers with very strong personalities) but you’ll start to absorb ways to express yourself using words that you’ll be able to transfer to your own writing.

2. Write more. Sorry, there’s no getting around it. The more you do something, the better you’ll get at it, (and yes that includes writing). Start a blog, write articles for your web site, write letters to your friends, it doesn’t matter what it is but just start writing.

3. Keep a journal. I know this sounds like more writing (and technically it is) but it’s a different kind of writing. It’s more like exercising (okay, maybe that’s not a great analogy either). Basically, journaling works because it gives your muse a way to “come out and play.” And the more you can access your muse, the easier it will be to bring your personality out while you’re writing.

When I say journal, what I mean is get out a pen and paper and start writing. Yes, I want you writing by hand. No computers. Something magical happens when you write by hand versus type. And just write about anything that comes up. (Nothing comes up? Write “I have nothing to say” until you find you DO have something to say.) Do this regularly and you’ll be amazed at how much easier it gets to bring your personality into your writing.

4. Read out loud. This is a trick actors do. They read things out loud and listen to their breathing, their phrasing, etc. This is a great way to find your actual “voice” which you then can transfer to writing.

You don’t have to read things you’ve written either. Read novels and nonfiction and articles and anything that strikes your fancy. And really listen to how you say it. Everyone reads things differently because you put your own personality into it, and that can translate into your writing.

5. Write in other people’s voice. This is a trick artists do. When they learn to paint, they paint in the style of other great artists. By studying how other people paint, you’ll pick up some of their techniques. You incorporate what works in your style and abandon what doesn’t. And by studying other people’s styles, you’ll start to be able to break down your own style, and thus you’ll understand how to strengthen it.

You can use this for your writing. Here’s how you do it: First, choose a writer whose style you resonate with. Next, copy a passage they wrote word for word. You might want to do it a few times. Then write something original, but do it in their style. Keep practicing until writing in their style becomes second nature.

But, this should strictly be an exercise. Don’t try and copy other people’s writing styles and pass them off as your own. Not only will it come across as inauthentic and more likely turn off your target market, but depending on what you do, you could end up in legal trouble.

Even if you only incorporate a few of these tips, you should start to see a shift in your own writing. Before you know it, your personality will be shining through, and with it, you’ll start to see more clients, more sales and more profits.

Ready to be the next Internet Marketing Success Story?

I want you to do something for me.

Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Now imagine — what would it be like if you could transform your frustration and procrastination about Internet Marketing into Inspiration?

Imagine — tapping back into that passion and excitement you felt when you first started your business.

How it felt when you thought about getting your gifts and brilliances out into the world in a BIG way — when you thought about being able to provide handsomely for you and your family — when you realized you could set up your business on YOUR terms — work the way you want, when you want, the times you want.

All of that is possible. It’s STILL possible. EVEN if you’re feeling frustrated and wondering if you should just throw in the towel right now. (After all, you’re doing what FEW people are doing in the world — you are creating a business and a legacy out of nothing! You should be proud of yourself for being an entrepreneur! And you shouldn’t be letting these Big Fat Internet Lies derail you.)

That’s why I want to join me on a FREE call I’m hosing with the co-founders of the Inner Mean Girl Reform School Amy Ahlers and Christine Arylo on Friday, May 13 at Noon Pacific/3 pm Eastern called “3 Secret Truths: How to Transform Your Frustration & Procrastination into Inspiration … and Have an “Internet Success Story” of Your Own!”

Here’s the link to reserve your spot:

If you’re frustrated, overwhelmed, not sure what you should be doing or where you should start, procrastinating, or just wanting to take your results (and your business) up another level, this is THE call to be on. We’re going to shine a great big TRUTH light on everything Internet Marketing related so you can be the next Internet Marketing Success Story!

Here’s what you’re going to learn on this ground-breaking call:

* How to STOP the “Why isn’t the Internet working for me?” lie and START taking ownership of your success (Once you hear this, you’ll know EXACTLY what you need to do to start seeing success in your Internet Marketing.)

* Forget about throwing more money to the wind…it’s time you remembered WHY you started your business in the first place and use that inspiration to fuel the RIGHT strategy for your business RIGHT NOW.

* How to stop spinning your wheels and doing the WRONG strategy at the WRONG time. Instead you’ll learn how to match your message with your audience with the Internet Marketing strategy that’s right for you TODAY — so you can create and execute a plan that works.

* Identify the big fat lies that sabotage your best laid plans and will steal your success every time

* How to stop trying to do everything and exhausting yourself.  (No one is successful trying to do it all themselves!) You’ll learn what help you need to become the next Internet Marketing Success Story!

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

Are You Using Marketing to Sabotage Your Business Success? 3 Danger Signs

Here’s the sneaky thing about mental blocks — they usually make their presence known through sabotage (your business, your relationships, your life, etc.) rather than let you know through more civilized means.

Wouldn’t it be so much nicer if they simply tapped you on the shoulder and said “hey — this is an issue for you, maybe you should take care of it?”

Alas, they prefer to communicate with you by wreaking havoc in your business and your life.

And, when it comes to your business, one of their favorite ways of messing with you is through marketing.

So, how do you know if this is something you’re doing? Below are the 3 Danger Signs:

1. You know what you should be doing to market your business (for instance, getting an ezine out on a regular basis). But somehow it NEVER gets done. Or it gets done very sporadically — like once every 6 months. You say things like “I really need to get this done” and you never do.

Now this could mean one of two things — it could mean this is the wrong marketing strategy for you, your business, your ideal clients, etc. Or it could be a form a self-sabotage, where you find you just “never” have the time to get those things done that will grow your business.

How do you know the difference? Look for a pattern. Do you find yourself often starting a marketing tactic only to abandon it? Or is it just THIS particular one?

Obviously if it’s a pattern, then you’re definitely dealing with a mindset block. If it’s an isolated occurrence then there could be something else going on.

2. You’re always looking for the silver bullet. You constantly are trying, and abandoning, new marketing strategies. Maybe you are constantly buying the newest “blueprint” or “formula.” Or maybe you’re one of those who ask every marketing person in a ten-foot radius what you should be doing, and then you change your entire marketing strategy based on that person’s advice. (Of course, the moment it looks like it’s not working or you meet a bright shinny new marketing person, you switch strategies again.)

Look I know how tough it is out there. And it’s especially scary when even though you’re doing everything you can to market your business and you follow every single step, you still don’t see results (or at least not the results you’re looking for).

But the problem is if you keep switching marketing strategies you’re never going to gain any momentum. And momentum is a BIG part of getting results.

(Note — another way this Deadly Sign manifests itself is if you’re constantly switching your branding or what you stand for. If you find you need to keep reinventing yourself you definitely have a block somewhere.)

3. You give up on your marketing. This looks like not finishing a marketing campaign, not sending out enough emails to do a launch correctly, racing through a launch, or just throwing in the towel.

Look, part of growing a business means you have ups and downs. Some marketing campaigns are more successful than you anticipate and some are less. Some are utter failures. Some are out-of-the-park home runs.

That’s the way it is.

If you let a failure or two derail you, you’re never going to make it in business. And, if you allow your failures or perceived failures keep you from finishing a marketing campaign, that’s a problem. (Especially since you could be pleasantly surprised by sending out “one more email.”)

So what should you do if you find yourself plagued by any of these self-sabotage marketing mistakes?

Realize what the problem is. A block. And get help with it.

Now, this isn’t to say you don’t need help with your marketing. You may very well need to hire someone to help you put together and implement a strategy. But, unless you’re willing to be committed to that strategy, see it through and not be changing direction the moment something happens, it won’t help you grow your business.

(Note — and if you can find a program, like the one I’m currently doing with the co-founders of the Inner Mean Girl Reform School that deals with both marketing strategies AND getting over blocks, that might be the perfect program for you. Here’s the link to check out our free content video and sign up for our call: )

Why do we believe the Big Fat Lies about Internet Marketing?

As you may know, I am on a MISSION to shine a great big TRUTH spotlight on all the Big Fat Lies you’re most likely telling yourself about Internet Marketing right now.

However, I can only do so much.

I can tell you what the truth is. And you may even believe it. (In your head that is.)

But then, come the darkest part of the night, you’ll wake up in a sweat. And you’ll be thinking: “What if Michele is wrong? What if the reason why I’m having so much trouble succeeding on the Internet really IS all about me?”

During the day it’s easy to be rational. We understand in our heads that some marketing strategies will succeed, some will fail, and the best way to grow a successful business is to analyze why the failures failed and use that information to create more successes.

But in the dead of night, all of those good, objective intentions can fly away, leaving us alone with our doubts, fears, frustrations and anxiety.

So what IS it about these Big Fat Internet Marketing Lies that can wreak such havoc in our mental and emotional health?

This is what I believe — marketing pushes entrepreneurs’ hot buttons more than anything else out there.

Think about it. What other activity do you do for your business that is knotted up with all these MAJOR fears and blocks you’re dragging around right now? Marketing DIRECTLY relates to:

  • Fear of success
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of visibility (including being seen, becoming famous, etc.)
  • Any blocks you have around making money
  • Any issues you have around the value you offer to your clients or the world
  • And more

The problem is, if you want to make enough money in your business to actually live on (much less get rich with your business) you’re going to have to make marketing a priority. But if you have any of these blocks or fears rattling around in your head, more likely than not you’re going to self-sabotage your marketing strategies.

(Or find yourself waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat with these Big Fat Internet Marketing Lies swirling around in your head.)

Worse, these blocks can also suddenly appear when you start reaching for another level in your business. (It’s like that darn onion — peel away one layer and another  one appears.)

So what do you do? Well, first off, knowing there’s a connection between marketing and blocks/fears is a good first step. Now, if you see any sort of sabotage (or find yourself waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat) this is what’s happening.

And the second thing to do is get help. This is why I’ve partnered with the co-founders of the Inner Mean Girl Reform School Christine Arylo and Amy Ahlers to get the word out about these Big Fat Internet Marketing Lies. They specialize in helping women transform their negative self-sabotaging beliefs into self-empowering ones.

Because even though I can tell you the truth, I can’t make you believe it. Only you can do that.

Here’s the link so you can watch me, Amy and Christine debunk the 3 Biggest Fattest Lies about Internet Marketing in our special 3-part video series —

6 Signs That It’s Time to Narrow Your Coaching Niche

Below is a guest blog post from one of my good friends and mastermind partners Rhonda Hess. Enjoy!

Here’s one of the first things I hear from most of the coaches I work with:

“I know I need to narrow my niche, but I just don’t know how.”

This is actually a great sign. It means coaches understand that if you’re not getting the results you want with the niche you have, you probably need a narrower one.

A smaller niche will bring you more clients? That’s right. Not intuitive perhaps, but right.

But here’s the catch. Coaches may know they need to narrow, but most often they don’t want to give up what they’re doing, even when it feels fruitless. It’s scary to narrow your coaching niche, even when it’s not working for you.

Yet there comes a time when sticking with the status quo is worse than facing your fears. That’s when a reality check can help.

So, how can you be sure you need to narrow?

Signs of a Coaching Niche that Won’t Go the Distance

Here are some tell-tale signs of a fruitless niche:

1. You don’t know where to find the people you’re serving. You have no idea where your next 20 clients will come from.

2. You can’t connect with your prospects because you can’t get past their “gatekeepers”.

3. To get people to hire you, you almost always lower your fees.

4. Clients are staying for short stints – 1 to 3 months – and don’t come back.

5. You aren’t confident about what your prospects really want and will invest in.

6. You don’t know what actions to take that could get you clients.

I call this trying to build a business without aim. If you are not clear and specific about who you serve, what they want, and where to find them, your efforts are scattered. You’re not building on what you did before. You can’t gather momentum, so it feels like you’re always starting over.

The Upside of Narrow

You can reverse all six of those tell-tale danger signs with one scary, powerful decision. Choose a narrow, viable niche market, and dedicate your coaching business to championing that market. Then:

1. It’s easy to find the people you serve, because they naturally gather in groups. You can easily find out what your market reads, the associations they belong to, where to find them on social networking sites.

2. They love to connect with you, because they are seekers, and you have made yourself their champion.

3. Your clients willingly pay fees that compensate you well. They are motivated to invest in their personal and professional development, and you know how to offer that to them in language they will relate to.

4. Your clients help you promote your programs and refer pre-qualified clients often, because they share resources with the peers they are already connected with.

5. You are focused on a specific, self-identified group of people, so it’s easy to find out exactly what they care about enough to invest in.

6. You are always clear on the high payoff actions – the actions that will bring you clients – because you are always guided by what your market highly values.

Here’s the truth that is so often overlooked. There are plenty of clients in even the narrowest of niche markets to support a thriving coaching business. Those clients will still bring to coaching the same spectrum of issues that you would find with anyone else. And in general, the narrower the niche, the less competition there is for those clients.

How to Choose a Viable Coaching Niche

You know coaching sometimes calls for tough questions. So here’s one for you:

Do you feel that you’re on the right track with your coaching business?

If your answer is no (or a less-than-resounding yes), ask yourself this follow-up question:

Are you targeting a niche market that’s likely to “go the distance” and bring you a consistent flow of ideal clients who pay you well, stay with you a long time, and refer others?

For most coaches, the second question holds the answer to the first one. Get this one choice right, and you’ll lay the foundation for a satisfying coaching business for years to come.

If you’re ready to target a highly profitable niche that’s ideal for you, the best way is to join my Champion Your Ideal Coaching Market tele-workshop. We’ll meet for eight weeks, and work through five exercises that will help you:

Identify viable markets that would be a good fit for you.

Get clear internally so you can fully commit to one ideal coaching market.

Learn exactly what your market cares about enough to invest in.

Describe what you do in a way that is powerfully evocative for your market.

Custom design your coaching programs to appeal to your market.

Here’s the link to reserve your spot:

You can do this work on your own if you prefer. But I guarantee you’ll handle it quicker, more thoroughly and with more confidence working with other great coaches in a workshop setting. Join us. It’s time!

Rhonda Hess is an internationally recognized business mentor and the Founder of Prosperous Coach®. Rhonda has a gift for helping coaches choose and champion a highly profitable niche so they can coach more, market less and blow the lid off their income. Grab Rhonda’s free ecourse now: 5 Secrets No One Ever Told You About Your Coaching Niche and join the conversations on her award winning blog.