Monthly Archives: January 2012

Ask PW — I want to launch a product but I don’t know where to start

This is a great question. And here’s where I want you to start — by assessing your current situation.

Even before you put together a plan, you need to do this. Because if you don’t have a good handle on your current situation, you’re not going to be able to put together a plan that emphasizes your strengths and minimizes your weaknesses.

So here are some things you should look at:

  • How big is your email list? (Also known as your email database)
  • How responsive is your email list? (In other words, how many people buy/sign up for a teleclass/etc. when you send out an email asking them to?)
  • How many affiliates/JV partners/associates/etc. do you know who would be happy to help promote you?
  • How many friends/followers do you have on social networking sites?
  • What products/programs do you currently have and could launch or relaunch?
  • Do you have any products/programs in the works?

Now, the important thing to keep in mind when you’re answering these questions is there is NO wrong answer. I don’t want anyone to feel bad no matter where you’re at. We all had to start somewhere. And here’s the best part — no matter where you’re at right now, there IS a launch plan that can help you jump start your business!

If you want more information on how to create and execute a successful product launch, join me for my free training with Wealthy Thought Leader Andrea J. Lee called “‘My “Thing” Launched But Nobody Bought!’ 3 Spoonfuls of Fiber For Your Constipated Sales Cycle” on February 2 at 3pm Pacific/6pm Eastern

Here’s the link to reserve your spot: http://www.MichelePW.com/fiber

 

3 Steps to Launching Your Next Product or Program the Conscious Entrepreneur Way

You just finished creating your first product or program. Congratulations!

Now comes the next step — selling it. And the best way to do that is to have a product or program launch.

Sounds so easy, doesn’t it? Send out some emails, get a sales letter up, maybe do a free preview call. Nothing to it.

Well…

Unfortunately this is an area where I see conscious/heart-centered entrepreneurs sabotage themselves all the time. Remember, conscious entrepreneurs often struggle with the idea of making a lot of money. (You can read more about this in my special report “Why EVERYTHING You’ve Been Taught About Marketing on the Internet Will NOT Work for You and What You Can Do To Turn it Around.”) Well, a product launch can certainly bring in a great deal of money in a short amount of time, which makes it ripe for sabotaging.

Here’s where I typically see conscious entrepreneurs get in their own way when launching a product or program. They race through it as fast as they possibly can.

And it’s understandable. After all, it’s agonizing waiting to launch your product. You want to be making money NOW, not waiting for weeks or months before you actually see any income. Plus you want to get it into the hands of your ideal clients, they NEED what you’re selling. So who has time to sit around waiting to promote? Just get a sales letter up and start selling it, right?

Okay here’s the thing. There’s a reason why product launches work and there’s a reason why you reach more people (and make more money) if you control yourself and do it right.

What’s that reason? Urgency.

You see, probably the biggest reason why your ideal clients decide not to buy is lack of urgency. They may like the product, they may know they need it, they may like YOU. And I bet they even INTEND to buy — just not right now. Right now they have a million other things going on and a bunch of other things they’re spending money on but in a few months or a year they will have the time or money to “finally” invest.

Well, we all know how that works out.

The more time and energy you spend building up buzz for your product, the more you’ll start creating that urgency. And the more you’ve built that urgency into your ideal clients’ minds, the more likely they’ll buy (and USE) your product, thus getting the results they want.

It’s a win-win. You win because you get your product into the world while being paid handsomely for it, and your ideal clients win because they get the help they need to solve their problem.

So how much time should you allow for a product launch? Well it depends on the launch. There are a variety of launch systems out there, and depending on what you want to accomplish (and who your ideal clients are) dictates your launch. But here are some guidelines to get you started:

If you’re doing a straight teleclass launch (i.e. a preview call that sells the product or program) I would allow a minimum of a 2 weeks before the preview call. (Note, if you want to get affiliates involved you’ll need to allow a lot more time to plan. The more time you give your affiliates to put in their promotional calendars, the more likely you’ll get them to actually promote.)

If you’re doing more of a “release a special report and/or video” which teases the product by providing information, then you’ll need 4-6 weeks. Those take a little longer to get the viral aspect going. Because a preview call has a “date” when the call is, there’s built-in urgency, but a special report or video doesn’t necessarily have that.

If you want to use surveys or a contest, you might be able to do it in a couple of weeks but it would help if you had a little longer (2 weeks to do the survey then 2 weeks to do something with the results of the survey).

Remember these are minimum times AND these are how much time to actually PROMOTE. No, you don’t have 2 weeks to write a squeeze page, once the squeeze page if up, you need at least 2 weeks to promote. If you wanted to add a couple of weeks to do some other promotions, that’s never a bad idea. (Remember, the more you promote the more urgency you build and the more your ideal clients will want to buy.)

3 Tips To Internet Marketing Even If It’s Not Your Cup of Tea

Ah, the lure of the Internet. On the surface, it’s a dream come true. You can start a business out of your home selling your products and services everywhere and anywhere in the world without big marketing budgets or lots of advertising.

Then you put your first website up and the dream comes crashing down with a big thud. It’s not nearly as easy as it first looks.

So you do your research. You start learning everything you can about Internet Marketing.

But it’s still not as simple as what the “gurus” say. Maybe you’re still stuck at your current revenue goals and you know you could be making more. Maybe you feel uncomfortable or “icky” around your marketing. Maybe you agonize over every negative email and feedback you get. And maybe you feel like there MUST be a better way.

Well, never fear — help is here! Read on for 3 tips to help you get more success with your Internet Marketing strategies.

1. Pull up those big girl panties and get some business training. Look, I get it. You started your business for all sorts of reasons that have really nothing to do with owning your own business. You wanted freedom, to provide for your family, to not have a boss, to get your message out into the world, to make a difference. None of those reasons started with the words “I love business.”

So, it only stands to reason you have little to none training or experience in business. And if that’s the case, why do you think this is somehow going to come naturally to you?

Learning to run a business is like learning to do any skill. And if you learn to run an effective, profitable business, then you’re more likely to put Internet Marketing in its proper place, which is…

2. Internet Marketing is a tool in your marketing toolbox, it is NOT a business model. There’s a certain amount of confusion around this whole Internet Marketing thing, that this somehow is a business model rather than a collection of strategies. Now, while it certainly CAN turn into a business model, that’s not a desirable situation. Typically, when that happens, your business has turned into a “launch after launch” model, which is highly stressful on a number of levels (not to mention it’s not terribly sustainable for the long term).

If you view your Internet Marketing as simply another tool in your toolbox, then your mindset changes. It’s just another tool — nothing more, nothing less. Certainly nothing to agonize about. And now you can focus on using that tool correctly.

Which leads me to my third point…

3. If there’s a part of Internet Marketing you really struggle with, take a good hard look at it. One of two things will most likely happen — either you’ll see the reason you struggle is because you have a block around something else, and if you want to fix it you work on the block. Or you realize this piece is just not going to happen — either you really hate doing it or maybe you feel like it’s not in alignment with you or your business. Now, if it’s the latter, you’re going to either have to find another way to get the same results or you’re going to have to accept the consequences of not doing it.

But how do you know which it is? If it’s a block or something else? And if it’s something else, how do you make that choice to do something different? And how do you know what the consequences even are before it’s too late?

Well, I have the answer — and because it’s not a short and sweet answer, I created an entire special report around it: “Why EVERYTHING You’ve Been Taught About Marketing on the Internet Will NOT Work for You and What You Can Do To Turn it Around.”

You can download a copy for free — here’s the link: http://www.MichelePW.com/sand

This is a problem I’ve seen over and over again — conscious entrepreneurs making a choice around Internet Marketing based on faulty or incomplete information and not realizing the consequences until it’s too late. It’s something no one else is talking about and I finally got tired of seeing this so I decided to create a special report around it.

Here’s that link again: http://www.MichelePW.com/sand

 

Ask PW — “What’s the best way to ask for testimonials?”

“My question is the following: I just launched my business and want to ask for testimonials from women, but I know they need some guidance because it is not common here to ask for testimonials.  [She’s from Uruguay.] Should I ask them questions or have them complete sentences? If so, what kind of questions or sentences do you recommend?”

Luz Mara Sande

Since your clients aren’t used to being asked for testimonials, you may want to try a few strategies. Asking questions is a great place to start. A few questions to try would be:

“What were you struggling with before you hired me/joined my program/used my product?” (Or you could ask “what were your challenges before…” or “what was your life like before…”)

“Why did you decide to hire me/join my program/use my product?”

“How did your life change after hiring me/joining my program/using my product?” (Or you could ask “what results did you experience after…”)

What you want to do is paint a picture before they used your products or services and what their results were after using it.

Remember, what people buy are results and the transformation. So make sure your testimonials focus on that.

Now it’s your turn — what are your strategies for getting testimonials? Please share below in the comment section. Or if you have a question about marketing, business or writing copy, feel free to put in the comment section and I’ll answer those in a future Ask PW column.

 

3 Steps to IMPLEMENTING Your 2012 Marketing Plan

You just put the finishing touches on your kick-butt marketing plan that’s going to skyrocket your business. Hooray!

Only problem is that kick-butt marketing plan isn’t going to do a thing for your business unless you actually put it into action. And that, alas, is where most marketing plans end up — a really good idea that never got implemented.

So, how do you stop that from happening? Here are 3 steps to help you move from thinking to doing.

1. Figure out what you need to be doing versus what you can get someone else to do. Look, there’s no reason why YOU have to do all the implementation. Get some help!

If you already have a team, fantastic! Now you just have to start delegating. If you don’t have a team or you don’t have the right person on your team to do a specific job (for instance, a technical person to fix your shopping cart) then you need to put finding that person to your to-do list. In the short term yes it does add to your workload, but in the long term it will save you a lot of time.

2. Block off time in your calendar to work on your plan. The only way these things are going to get done is if you actually take the time to work on them. So start by actually setting aside the time.

You may be someone who works better in shorter, more frequent bursts of time (15 or 20 minutes every day) versus a longer time less frequently (2 hours or half a day once a week). Only you know what appeals to yourself more and I would suggest scheduling your time accordingly. (Look, it’s tough enough to get things done, you might as well make it easier for yourself by working with your natural tendencies than against them.)

3. Set yourself up for success. Just because you set the time aside doesn’t mean you’ll actually get anything done on your plan during that time. So you need to keep yourself focused and motivated and don’t allow yourself to get sidetracked.

Now there’s no question that’s much easier said than done. So how do you do that? Here are a few tips to try:

* Remind yourself WHY you’re doing this. Is it so you’ll be able to take care of your family better? Is it because you want to sell a million copies of your book? Is it because you’re so tired of the way things are you’re ready for a change? Whatever it is, remind yourself of the bigger WHY before you sit down to work. That will keep your motivation up.

* Make it a special time just for you. Maybe light a candle, put on some favorite music or pour yourself a fave cup of tea. Or maybe you head out to a local Starbucks to hang out. Whatever it is, make it special — something you look forward to.

* Create a “squirrel” file. If you ever watched the movie “Up” there’s a talking dog in it that keeps getting distracted by squirrels. So he’ll be talking and in the middle he’ll shout “squirrel” and completely lose his train of thought.

As entrepreneurs, we are surrounded by squirrels. And there’s no better time for the squirrels to come and play then during this time we’ve set aside to implement our marketing plan. “Oh, I’ll get to my plan as soon as I get this email out…as soon as I return this phone call…as soon as I clean up my desk.”

You get the idea.

So the way to keep the squirrels away is to create a “squirrel” file (or call it something fun like squirrel nest). Any of those squirrels come running out, capture it and stick it in the file to work on “later.” If you want, you can even designate a time to work on all those squirrels.

But the most important thing to do is DECIDE you really ARE going to implement your plan. Once you do that, the rest will fall into place.

Dear Ms. Social Networking/Biz Manners — why do they unfollow me?

Welcome to another edition of Ms. Social Networking/Biz Manners. Ms. SN/B Manners has made it her mission to rid the world of business etiquette faux pas — both online and offline. While Ms. SN/B mourns the day when readers would mail her handwritten questions, she will accept digital correspondence at Ask@MichelePW.com.

Dear Ms. Social Networking/Biz Manners,

I think I am a good Twitter buddy. Honestly. I send out thoughtful and humorous tweets. So why is it that people unfollow me? I get so frustrated when I see my Twitter followers drop. Why don’t they like me? What did I do wrong?

Signed,

Keep Following Me

Dear Follow,

Alas, Twitter was not designed with proper etiquette in mind. Proper etiquette would require you to send a note expressing your regrets that you can no longer follow said person, but clearly that is not how Twitter works.

Since we do not live in a perfect world and there is nothing we can do to correct Twitter’s obvious etiquette faux pas, Ms. SN/BM wonders why you worry about the people who decide to stop following you. There are any number of reasons why someone stops following you — perhaps they are too uncouth to appreciate how brilliant you are or they are too dense to understand your jokes. Regardless they probably wouldn’t make very good customers for you anyway, so they are certainly not worth worrying about. Ms. SN/BM encourages you to focus on all the people who have the good taste to continue to follow you. They are the ones who would make the best clients. Take care of them and all the rest will fall into place.

Ask PW — “Would you look at link building too within your content to increase traffic and buzz for your blog?”

This question came from Facebook and it’s a great one to start 2012 off since I know many of you are looking for ways to get more traffic to your site and blog.

First, what is it? It’s when you’re reading a blog post and a word/phrase/sentence is hyper-linked to another blog article (in the same blog) or to outside source (article, video, etc.)

If you provide links to your own blog articles, you increase your readership of your blog (i.e. your readers will click on the links for more info, thus spending more time on your blog and you have the opportunity to develop a deeper relationship with them). Obviously this is a good thing because the more raving fans you have of your blog, the more popular your blog becomes.

Now, if you have a popular blog and you link to other things outside of your blog, you increase the likelihood other blogs will link back to you. And depending on what you’re linking to, you may increase your credibility as a blogger. But there’s no question you are sending people off your blog, so if you do this, I would have the link open up in another window so your readers can easily find their way back to your blog.

Now it’s your turn — have you used this strategy on your blog or is there something else you’ve done to increase blog traffic? Please share below in the comment section. Or if you have a question about marketing, business or writing copy, feel free to put in the comment section and I’ll answer those in a future Ask PW column.

3 Steps to Crafting Your 2012 Marketing Plan

There’s no question you can start and grow a business without a marketing plan. However, I can tell you from personal experience, if you’re feeling stuck and can’t get to the next level, it’s probably because you never took the time to put a marketing plan together.

Having a marketing plan really is the key to growing and sustaining a successful, profitable business. Otherwise all you’re doing is winging it, and winging it only takes you so far.

So if you’re ready to craft your 2012 marketing plan but you’re not sure where to start, read on — I’m going to walk you through 3 steps to get you there.

1. Start with the end goal. If you don’t know where you’re going, then you really don’t need a plan. (And it’s impossible to plan without knowing where you want to end up anyway.)

It’s probably easiest to start with the money. How much do you want to make in 2012? Write that down. You probably also want to divide it up into monthly or quarterly goals so you know how much you need to make each month or quarter to reach that goal.

Now figure out how you’re going to make that monthly or quarterly figure. How many of your products/programs/books/service packages do you need to sell to hit that number? Write all that down too.

2. Put the big blocks in place. In order to meet your quotas are you going to need to do some launches? Put those in first. Or is there something else you need to do to get clients or customers? (Attend networking events, host teleclass, etc.) Make sure those are all accounted for before you do anything else.

Once you’ve put in the big blocks, take a moment and eyeball your calendar. Is it packed with launch after launch? Or do you have hardly anything in there? Check that it’s balanced — you want to have enough launches or big marketing events in there to generate some visibility and momentum for your business but you don’t want so many you feel exhausted and overwhelmed just looking at your calendar.

3. Fill in the details. Marketing is a dance — a dance between promoting and giving. Creating and building relationships then harvesting those relationships. You need to make sure you have all both things covered. (And if you’re wondering what I mean by marketing activities that create and build relationships, I’m talking about doing things like an ezine or answering people’s question on Facebook — content-rich activities that don’t obviously lead to a promotion.)

You may also want to take the time to actually fill in the actual launch steps. When are you doing the preview call? When do you want the emails to go out? When are you going to have all the copy written?

The more specific plan, the easier it’s going to be to execute. Not only will you know exactly what you’re supposed be doing at all times but your team will be able to help you a lot easier.

If you’d like help crafting your 2012 marketing plan, that is a service we do offer — you can read more about it at http://www.MichelePW.com/services or contact Stacie for more info — Stacie@MichelePW.com