Monthly Archives: February 2013

3 Little-Known Biz Benefits to Writing & Publishing a Book

There’s a lot of excellent reasons to take the time to write and a publish book. Having authored a book gives you instant credibility as an expert, which immediately sets you apart from everyone else in your field, helps fill your pipeline with perfect clients and gives you a reason to raise your rates. Plus books make great giveaways and client gifts, which is another fabulous way to use them.

But there are also a few other reasons to author a book you may not have thought of. Here are 3 to keep in mind as you decide if it’s time to get that book written in between everything else on that to-do list:

Book readers tend to be better clients. Even though you’re probably not going to get rich selling a $15 book, the people who take the time to read your book will be more likely to buy your other products and programs AND spend more money overall with you (either by buying multiple programs or just investing in the higher-priced programs). So if you have a good backend set up (and what I mean by that is if you have other products or programs to sell them) writing a book is the perfect way to position yourself and your ideal client to get them into your sales funnel.

Kindle rocks! Okay this may not be so little-known anymore, but the reality is with all the options out there with Kindle and ebooks in general, you have more ways to get your books into your ideal clients hands than ever before and if you position a lead generating opt in correctly inside your book (and what I mean by that is offering more free resources if they go to a page on your website and enter their name and email address to get the download) you’re going to have a way to capture leads from folks who are truly interested in taking what you teach to a deeper level (which of course will lead to more sales).

Something else to consider — as an author you’ll have a presence on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, which in some cases is better than a presence on Google. Think about it — if someone is searching for resources on Google, they’re probably looking for something free. If they’re searching for resources on Amazon then they’re looking for something to buy — which means those are the buyers, not the looky loos.

What about your ideal clients who aren’t book readers? Well you can also turn your book into an audio book, which means you’ll reach another segment of your ideal clients. Now if they really aren’t book readers (or book listeners) at all, just the sheer fact you’ve written a book will still add to your credibility and expert status with them.

And a bonus tip — for many entrepreneurs, one of the big reasons why you went into business for yourself in the first place was because you wanted to make a difference in the world. What better way to spread your message and get your gifts out there is by writing and publishing a book? Think about your book as a little messenger — spreading your message and transformation everywhere it goes. Now isn’t THAT a great reason to finally sit down and finish that book?

The 3 Top Things Every Successful Entrepreneur Needs to Focus On

Have you ever seen those commercials where the business owner talks about wearing every hat including the janitor’s?

While those commercials are definitely true, what I don’t like about them is they also imply it’s okay to KEEP wearing all sorts of hats in your business, like the janitors.

You see, it’s one thing when you first start out to do everything in your business. At that point you have more time, less clients and not a lot of money flowing in. And chances are you’re so excited you WANT to be working on your business all the time.

The problem comes in when you never leave that place. If you’re one of those entrepreneurs or business owners who feels like you “must have a hand in everything or it falls apart/isn’t done right/doesn’t get done at all/etc” then this is definitely for you. Because, you see, you will NEVER build a sustainable, profitable business unless you stop doing and start leading.

And the first step is to stop wading around in the details and instead take a step back and start looking at the big picture of your business. (I mean, if YOU don’t have the big picture view of your business, who does?)

So with that in mind, here are the 3 top things you need to keep a big picture eye on in your business if you want it to grow to a successful, sustainable, profitable business:

1. Vision. Are you on track to reaching your overall goals? Are you staying in integrity with your overall brand and message? Are you creating confusion in the marketplace with your offerings or are they in line with what your ideal clients want from you?

It’s very important to have an overall plan for your business and to be working that plan. Without a plan it’s very easy to be flailing around and not be building any traction or momentum. (Or even worse, be slowly sinking because you’re created confusion in the marketplace.)

2. Finances. Do you know where you sit financially? What is your cash flow each month? Your expenses? Also do you know when you need to be marketing? For instance, you have a 6-month coaching program — do you have plan so you can launch your program every 6 months? Even if it’s a rolling program (meaning people can join anytime) you still need set times in your schedule where you know you’ll be actively marketing to attract new clients into your programs.

3. Marketing. Do you have a marketing and promotional calendar in place? Does it include regular marketing tasks (like writing your ezine) along with program and product launches? Are you following it? This is something else you need to keep an eye on — how your marketing is going. And if it’s not going, then this needs to be a priority for you to get it going.

Now this doesn’t mean YOU have to do all this work yourself — what is does means is you need to be aware of the big picture of what exactly is happening in your business and then figure out the best way to get all the tasks completed in the most efficient way possible.

Ask PW — How much “stuff” should you share?

“Here’s a question asked by a colleague —

‘How much of your ‘stuff’ do you share with your clients/students?’ She had been holding back a bit because she wanted to be seen as an expert. My advice was to share more of who she was as people relate to us more if we share parts of our journey and how we got to where we are today. So what do you think — how much do you share and how do you decide?”

Therese Skelly HappyInBusiness.com, asked on Facebook

Hi Therese,

I love this question because I don’t think this is talked about nearly enough. I totally agree with your answer — sharing personal stories is a great way for your prospects to feel like they know you, and people want to work with people they know, like and trust — but I do have 2 exceptions:

1. If you’re in the middle of a major breakdown or major life change, don’t share.

2. If what you’re sharing really does diminish you as an expert or in some other way really makes you look bad, don’t share.

But let me give you a bit more to chew on.

I know I’ve seen some people disagree with me on the first, which is fine. To each his own. But the problem is when you are in the middle of something big you lose your objectivity — and not just for the problem itself and your role in it but how you SOUND when you talk about it. You may think you’re doing this great service sharing all these details “no one” talks about when in reality you sound negative/complainey/whiney/depressed/obsessed/etc.

It’s much better to share your story once that chapter has concluded and you can also share the resolution and maybe even the teachings you received as a result of this breakdown.

For the second one, there’s a fine line between sharing your personal story and getting a little TOO personal. If you share something that very well could lead to people re-thinking working with you — for instance, sharing too many stories about unhappy clients wanting their money back. Even if you THINK you have a bigger point in there, you also could give someone considering hiring you pause.

So what are your thoughts about sharing personal stories? 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.

 

What my Zumba Instructor Can Teach You About Your Biz

I admit it. I’m addicted to Zumba.

But it didn’t happen right away. For a year I flitted in and out of classes, not really clicking with it but since I kept hearing from my friends how much they loved it I kept trying it.

And then I ended up in a class with a woman named Tiger. And I was hooked.

Tiger was born to teach Zumba. Her passion and love for it are infectious plus she’s an excellent teacher (in fact she’s been honored at a statewide level she’s such a fabulous teacher.) Her classes are packed, and her teaching methods and style has influenced all the Zumba instructors at the YMCA.

But, it wasn’t always this way. In fact, she almost got fired after her very first class.

In that class, she started with 18 students. By the time the class was half over she had 9. But the time class ended it was down to 6. And the next day her boss asked Tiger to come to her office.

Her boss told her she had been flooded with complaints about Tiger.

  • Too much hips
  • Too Latino
  • Too sexy
  • Too loud

(I’m unclear what they actually thought Zumba was all about since that’s pretty much the definition of Zumba but whatever.)

Her boss told Tiger she couldn’t teach anymore unless she toned it down. So she went home and said to her husband “They won’t let me teach because they think I’m too sexy.”

Her husband answered “Oh they’re a bunch of old white women, they don’t get it.”

“I have to tone it down if I want to teach,” Tiger said.

“You don’t change a thing,” her husband said. “You teach it the way you want to. And if they don’t like it, we’ll find a place that does.”

So Tiger went back to her boss and begged to be given another chance. “Will you change?” her boss asked.

“Yes, yes, yes,” Tiger said, fingers crossed behind her back.

And of course she didn’t change a thing. Her next class she taught it exactly the way she had taught the first one. But this time she had younger students who loved it and told her boss. So her boss finally gave her a class of her own to teach. It was the smallest class the Y ever had — about 6 students. In 3 months it was up to 40.

And the rest, as they say, was history.

So there are a lot of things to take away from this story, but the one I want to talk about today is the idea of ideal clients.

As successful Tiger is as a Zumba instructor, in front of the wrong crowd (i.e. the opposite of her ideal clients) she was a complete failure. Once she found her ideal clients everything fell into place.

And that’s why knowing your ideal clients is so crucial to the success of your business, and why trying to market to everyone leads to spinning your wheels. Because not everyone is going to become your customer (it honestly doesn’t matter how good you are or how much they need what you’re selling, they just aren’t). And all you do is dilute your message when you try to talk to everyone instead of just to your ideal clients.

And even if you end up getting your non-ideal clients in your business, those are the ones who will be harder to please, who will be more likely to complain you’re just “too sexy.” And at the end of the day, ask yourself: Are those the people you really want to be serving in your business?

Because chances are you’ll probably be a lot happier if you have a business filled with clients who love how sexy you are.