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Author: Michele PW

[Video] Flip It! A Simple Marketing Exercise that Could Transform Your Business

[Video] Flip It! A Simple Marketing Exercise that Could Transform Your Business

If you’re ready to transform your business, this simple marketing exercise may help.

But before I tell you what this marketing exercise is, let me share the inspiration behind it. Recently I wrote a blog post called “Not Happy with Your Marketing Results? Maybe You Haven’t Picked the RIGHT Marketing Tactic for You” where I make the case that you should only start a new marketing tactic if you commit to two things:

  1. You will consistently and frequently use it — and by consistently and frequently, I mean a minimum of once a week. (So, for instance, if you decide to start a blog, you commit to posting a minimum of one blog post a week.)
  2. You stick with this strategy for at least one year.

Now, the point of this marketing exercise isn’t to lock you into something you absolutely can’t stand. Clearly there are circumstances where stopping a marketing tactic or strategy is warranted. For instance, if you’re spending a ton of money on Facebook ads and getting zero return and are quickly going broke, yeah, you may want to reconsider.

But, what if you took option of quitting off the table? What if you decided no matter what, you were committing to this particular marketing tactic for one year? What if it was acceptable to tweak the strategy to improve your results, but you couldn’t quit for at least a year?

How does that feel?

Does it make you more cautious? For instance, maybe rather than jumping into this week’s hot new can’t-miss marketing strategy, you pause and consider if it’s something you actually can commit to frequently doing for at least a year?

Does it make you want to research the marketing tactic more? To see if it is a good fit for you and your specific business?

Does it make you not want to do any marketing at all? Because it’s way too scary to commit for a year?

Are you busy listing excuses in your head how this “wouldn’t work for you?” After all, you’re a creative soul! You can’t possibly commit to doing something for a year. You might get bored and uninspired and then your marketing would suck. No, you need to keep your options open. Besides, you’re busy. What if it takes more time and energy than you have? What if your kids get sick or something happens in your personal life? Or what if you realize you need a team and you can’t afford one?

Or, maybe, maybe, what’s coming up is something deeper and darker. Maybe you’ve failed before and you don’t want to set yourself up for failure again. Or maybe you don’t want to make that commitment to yourself because you have a history of breaking commitments and promises to yourself in the past and you don’t want to do it again.

Ouch.

Okay, so let me circle back to the point of this exercise, which actually isn’t to convince you to commit to regularly and frequently using a marketing tactic for a year. Yes, I do happen to believe that’s the best way to get results with your marketing, but that’s not the point.

The point is to see what comes up for you. Because, whatever you’re telling yourself right now and however you’re resisting is likely the reason you’re not as successful as you could be.

And, if you decide you’re ready to break this nasty little mindset block so you can step into your greatness, I invite you to actually commit to a marketing tactic for a year. And then do it. And see what comes up for you and what tries to stop you.

What I’m suggesting isn’t easy. But, if you choose to do it, it could end up being your biggest breakthrough yet.

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book and my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.

Is YouTube on the Way Out?

Is YouTube on the Way Out?

I recently came across two contradictory articles about the effectiveness of YouTube.

First, the bad. In December, 2017, Business Insider had an article about how many (but not all) of the biggest stars on YouTube are seeing both their followers and their video views dwindle.

Now, the good. In January, 2018, a popular blog called IncomeMediary had an article about 8 SEO trends and listed YouTube as being the place where it’s at. (According to that site, YouTube is the second most searched platform on the Web.)

So, what’s the truth?

My suspicion is, like anything, the truth is what personally works for you. For some people, YouTube will always work great even if the overall trend shows it’s less and less effective. For others, YouTube will never work no matter how hot of a platform it is.

But, as that’s not the most helpful advice, I did a little research on my own on the YouTube experts I follow.

While I can’t be sure about the diminished followers part, I will say that overall watches in 2017 were down compared to previous years.

I will also say that some of the claims around video I found in the IncomeMediary post directly contradicted the stats I’ve seen on video watching over the years. Now, that doesn’t mean IncomeMediary is lying or being otherwise untruthful. It may very well be that the site is pulling data from other industries that I’m not as familiar with.

Which, brings me back to my earlier point, which is different marketing strategies are going to work or not work for different people regardless of what the overall trend is. Not to mention different marketing strategies and tactics are going to work better or differently depending on the industry and the specific ideal client group you’re trying to attract.

So, where does that leave us with YouTube? And if Business Insider is correct, why is the overall watches and followers dropping?

Well, the Business Insider article didn’t really have an answer for why this was happening, so I thought I’d take a stab at it.

Is the problem the videos themselves? In other words, are fewer people watching videos these days?

I’ve seen no evidence that this is the case. People still appear to be watching as many videos online as they ever did. In the U.S. alone, 85% of the Internet audience watches videos online, which is likely why there are so many platforms for watching them. For example, on Facebook, you can both upload existing videos and create Facebook Lives, Twitter has Periscope, Instagram allows for videos, and let’s not forget Snapchat, which is all about videos.

And, if you’re an entrepreneur or business owner, using videos as part of your overall marketing strategy makes sense. One statistic I’ve seen claims that business that use video grow their revenue 49% faster than non-video users.

However, it’s important to note that not EVERYONE likes to watch videos (at least in regard to educational purposes—it’s a lot higher than that when we’re talking watching a movie or an episode of Game of Thrones). Only about 25% of your customers prefer watching videos over audio or reading.

BUT, people who DO watch videos are far more likely to become buyers, which is why it makes sense to integrate videos into your overall marketing strategy.

So, taking all of that into consideration, my suspicion as to what’s affecting YouTube is the number of options we now have for viewing videos online. Years ago, there was only YouTube. So, if you wanted to watch a video, you went to YouTube.

And, while you can certainly comment and like videos on YouTube, it’s not precisely a social networking platform. YouTube is about watching videos. Period. Commenting and liking is secondary.

Whereas if you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat, you’re there for the networking and the connection. So, if you can also get your video “fix” there, why wouldn’t you?

People are busy. Going to YouTube to watch a video is an additional step and an additional distraction in a busy day.

People are also lazy. Going to YouTube to watch a video is an additional step they may not feel like taking.

So, as an entrepreneur, what makes sense for you?

Let’s start with videos. Should you or should you not use them in your marketing?

I believe you absolutely SHOULD and here’s why:

1. Yes, only about 25% PREFER learning via video, that doesn’t meant only 25% will WATCH.

It’s been my experience that far more folks than that will at least take a quick peek at your videos. Even if it’s only one to two videos total.  (IncomeMediary says 55% of online users watch videos every day, and that is a stat I can believe, although let’s keep in mind that stat likely includes people wasting time watching cat videos.)

Video is also great for creating connection. People will get a much faster sense of who you are and if they want to learn from you via video than any other medium. So, a lot of people will watch from time to time, even if it’s not their preferred method, and if they like your energy and how you present yourself on video, they’re more likely to stick around (and maybe even eventually buy something).

2. If you want people to consume your marketing materials, it helps if you provide them options so they can choose HOW they prefer to consume it.

Just like in your paid training, people have their favorite way to learn whether it’s via reading, listening, watching videos, or interacting with the training in some way. That’s why giving people choices of watching videos, listening to audio, or reading a transcript is a great way to serve all learning styles.

And, if you want to market more effectively, it’s nice to do the same for your marketing materials. Give your audience options on how they choose to learn from you, even if it’s completely free on your blog, and they’ll reward you with their loyalty.

3. If you’re interested in expanding your marketing reach and visibility, creating videos gives you more options.

If you’re willing to do videos, you can have a presence on Snapchat and on YouTube. You can also expand the presence you have on platforms like Facebook if you start using videos. Those may be smart marketing moves.

Now, let’s look at YouTube. Should you build up your presence there or not?

Only if you’re planning on shooting stand-alone videos. If you are, then sure, why not load them up on YouTube as well. But, if your video strategy right now is to focus on something like Facebook Lives, I wouldn’t bother.

It’s early yet and things could turn around for YouTube, but right now, it’s sure looking like becoming a YouTube star isn’t what it used to be.

Speaking of YouTube stars, this is yet another great reminder about how all of these social network platforms are great to have a presence on, because they’re likely where your ideal clients, customers, and buyers are, BUT building your entire brand and platform on someone else’s site is (ahem) foolish. Your focus when you use these sites should always be to connect and encourage people to follow you to your blog or website, or some other platform you 100% control. (Personally, blogs are my fave.)

If your entire audience is on YouTube and you have no subscriber list and no blog and no following outside of YouTube, then the only way you can “talk” to your audience is by posting a video. But, what happens if the video is a dud? Or what if something technical happens and your audience doesn’t get the notification you posted a new video? Or what if your audience stops hanging around YouTube (as what appears to be happening now)? Or what if YouTube decides to ban you or shut down your account for some reason?

That’s why building your own brand on your own platform that you control is soooo important. Use YouTube as the tool it is, not as a substitute for building your own business.

If you liked this post, you may also like my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book.

[Video] Flip It! How Can You Make Something Go Viral?

[Video] Flip It! How Can You Make Something Go Viral?

Having one of your blog posts or videos or podcasts go viral is something most people, including entrepreneurs, authors and artists, dream about.

What’s not to love? It means you matter.

Right?

So, before I get into some tips on how you can make something go viral, let’s talk about the ramifications if you succeed in having something go viral.

For most people, they imagine it’s going to feel like a huge validation. They did something a lot of people loved and shared. That has to feel good, right?

And, if you’re an entrepreneur, well you just got the golden ticket. It’s like Brene Brown and her Ted Talk, she parlayed that talk on vulnerability into a massive platform.

But, what if the wrong thing goes viral? In other words, what if you’re inspired to write an article, that ends up going viral, and takes your business into a direction you didn’t want it to go?

A blogger I follow just wrote about that. A post she wrote went viral, and after she saw the results of that post, she decided she didn’t like what she saw and needed to tear down what she built so she could create what her heart and soul truly desired.

And that’s the thing about things that go viral. No one really knows why it happens, so trying to build your business around it is problematic at best.

You may never create anything that truly goes viral. Does that mean you failed as an entrepreneur or artist or author?

Or, maybe something you create DOES go viral … and you hate it. In a way, that happened to Louisa May Alcott. Her most famous and popular book, Little Women, was also the work of art she liked the least. And yet, that’s what ended up most defining her.

Or maybe what ends up going viral is something that is more of a distraction, taking you off in another direction that isn’t helpful.

In other words, having something go viral may not end up meaning what you think it might.

That said, while no one really knows why something catches fire and something else doesn’t, there’s three things you can do to improve the odds of it happening.

Step 1: Create things. Blog posts, videos, speeches, podcasts. The more content you have out there, the more likely something will go viral.

Step 2: Create high quality things. Don’t just put out a lot of crap. Take the time to make sure what you’re creating is solid and high quality. Crappy things are less likely to go viral.

Step 3: Give yourself as many opportunities as possible to have something go viral. As the saying goes, Good fortune favors the bold. Be visible. Take chances. Try new things. Don’t be afraid to fail (or, at the very least, don’t allow your fear of failure to stop you). The more opportunities you give yourself to have something go viral, the more likely it will happen.

And, above all, relax. Have fun. Chances are, if you’re trying to hard to make something go viral, it won’t. It usually happens when you least expect it, when your back is turned and you’re focusing on something else.

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book — you can check it out here.

[Your Sales Process] Are You Assuming the Yes or Assuming the No?

[Your Sales Process] Are You Assuming the Yes or Assuming the No?

Let me start by asking you a question. As part of your sales process, when you’re in a sales or enrollment conversation, do you assume you’re going to hear a “yes” or a “no”?

Now, I’m not asking how attached you are to hearing a “yes.” Say, for instance, you’re feeling stressed about money. You might feel like you absolutely need a prospect to say “yes,” or you won’t be able to pay your bills. That’s more of a desperate, pursuing energy, and it’s usually connected to being attached to the yes.

My question today is during the sales process, are you assuming your prospects will say “yes?”

And more importantly … are you prepared for them to say “yes”?

I was recently at an event hosted by my friend and client Melinda Cohan, and one of the things she taught was to always assume the yes.

Melinda does. She also uses The Coaches Console, a software platform she created, to prepare the contract so that when she gets the yes, she can pull it up right then and there and walk the prospect through it.

One of the reasons why this is so powerful is because if you’re not actually prepared to welcome new clients into your business, you may unconsciously repel them.

Think about it: If you don’t have a contract ready, or a decent way to accept payment … if your welcome packet is a mess (or nonexistent), not to mention the rest of the back end of your business is pretty much a train wreck, onboarding a new client turns into an absolute headache.

And, if you’re not a full-body, 100% yes to accepting new clients, how comfortable do you think your prospects are going to feel during your sales process?

Melinda is a little different from many of the other entrepreneurs and coaches out there (including yours truly). Many entrepreneurs and coaches jump first and ask questions later. In their eagerness to build their business and start making money, they rush out to start signing up clients, without once considering what will happen when they actually land one.

When Melinda was building her business, she spent the first few months creating systems and getting her back end together, so when she was ready to launch, she was totally prepared. As a result, it didn’t take her long at all to completely fill her business with coaching clients.

And, because there was nothing else out there to help coaches build their back end, she created The Coaches Console.

So, back to assuming the yes:

When I first heard Melinda teach it on stage, it had a profound affect on me.

You see, I’m an Enneagram 6 (you may have heard me talk about this before). If you’re not familiar with the Enneagram, it’s a really powerful way to see your patterns around your wounds. If you want to break negative cycles you find yourself trapped in, the Enneagram can really help.

So, I’m a 6, which means I’m a massive worrier. (Fear is my thing, which I suppose makes total sense that I’m now teaching how to shift from a fear-based foundation and to a love-based.)

Now, I actually don’t really worry anymore (which doesn’t mean I don’t feel fear or worry or anxiety; it just means when those emotions come up for me, I’m able to quickly break the pattern and get out of it). But, some of my old thought processes still exist, and one of those is the idea of the “other shoe dropping.”

To me, assuming the yes means I’m not waiting for the other shoe to drop.

This is a problem (at least for me).

One of the things I realized about my worry habit was that I had created a false “story” about my worry—that it was actually a magical talisman designed to keep bad things from happening to me.

You see, if I worried about the bad things, they wouldn’t happen. (Because, truthfully, the vast majority of things you worry about don’t happen. For me, at least, my worry attracted more things to worry about, but it didn’t necessarily attract the specific bad things I was thinking about.)

So, if I started assuming the yes, all those other shoes would start dropping … raining shoes, even!

Okay, all kidding aside, I want to ask you again what I consider a profound question:

If you’re assuming the no, are you afraid you might jinx it if you assume the yes?

Or are you maybe afraid you’ll raise your own hopes only to be dashed if the prospect says “no”?

Or maybe there’s some other reason.

But, what would happen if you assumed the yes?

How would your life change if you walked into an enrollment conversation confident and prepared for that to happen?

Think about it.

I have two book recommendations for you if you liked this post: My “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book and my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book.

[Video] Flip It! Could Changing One Habit Change Your Life?

[Video] Flip It! Could Changing One Habit Change Your Life?

There’s a surprising story in the beginning of the book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business.

Lisa’s life was a train wreck. She couldn’t hold down a job, drank too much, ate too much, smoked, and was in substantial debt.

Then, one day, her husband told her he was leaving her for another woman. Initially, she spent four months crying, binge drinking, and binge eating, before finally deciding to take a trip to Egypt to clear her head. (Her credit cards weren’t completely maxed yet, so why not?)

When she got to Cairo, she had a bit of a meltdown as she thought about how much her life sucked and how absolutely nothing was working for her. So, in a fit of desperation, she decided she needed a goal. Something to work toward.

And that goal would be to trek across the desert.

It was a crazy goal. She was completely out of shape and had no money besides. But, she was determined.

She would give herself a year to get ready.

One of the things she decided she needed to give up to get ready was smoking.

And THAT decision changed her life.

Four years later, she had lost sixty pounds, was running marathons, had a good paying job she had kept for over 3 years, paid down her debt and was about to buy a house.

And yes, she had returned to Egypt to cross the desert.

So, what happened? How did Lisa change her life so drastically in only a few years?

It’s been proven that most people who make dramatic changes in their lives in very short times have focused on changing a single habit first. And when they changed that habit, they were then able to more easily change other habits.

But, what’s interesting is not all habits are created equal.

Some habits, and smoking is one of them, are what scientists call “keystone habits.” If you’re able to change that one, you can more easily change others.

It’s a pretty cool idea, isn’t it? If you could focus on changing just one habit, it could lead to you changing a lot of unhealthy habits.

But, if you don’t smoke, then where do you look?

Alas, that wasn’t really answered in the book, so I’m going to give you my answer.

Experiment on yourself.

Pick one habit to change at a time and see what happens after you change it. It doesn’t even have to make much sense. For instance, apparently people who make their beds in the morning are far more likely to live within a financial budget.

What do those two things have in common? No idea.

And that’s not the only non sequitur when it comes how one habit influences another.

In other words, it may not make sense with our logical brain, but it can still transform your life.

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my Love-Based Goals” book.

Not Happy with Your Marketing Results? Maybe You Haven’t Picked the RIGHT Marketing Tactic for You

Not Happy with Your Marketing Results? Maybe You Haven’t Picked the RIGHT Marketing Tactic for You

Recently, I was at an event half-listening to a speaker give his speak-to-sell talk about his favorite marketing tactic, when I heard him say something that jolted me out of my daze (I’m paraphrasing, here):

“I’m going to show you why speaking is the only marketing tactic you need to build your business.”

Why did this jump out at me? Well, not because it isn’t true (or at least, not necessarily untrue), but because it’s incomplete.

Now, before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I have no issue with him doing a talk designed around selling his program. I’m a big believer that entrepreneurs should be well-paid for facing their fears and putting themselves out there to build a business and make a difference.

Also, he’s not wrong.

Speaking absolutely IS a great way to market your business.

But, is it the best way? Depends on how you define “best.”

Is it the only way? Absolutely not.

Are there negatives associated with speaking? Oh my goodness, yes. (In fact, I’ll list a few here, in regard to speaking on local stages, as the speaker recommended: stage fright, getting dressed up/doing your make up and hair, travel time, ending up in front of a crowd of folks who aren’t your ideal clients (which means you waste all that time and energy), speaking in front of your ideal clients and bombing your talk, which is also a waste of time and energy, etc.)

And, that’s the issue I really have with what the speaker said at the event.

If you listen to the marketing “gurus,” they all have their one “perfect,” “can’t-miss” tactic for growing your business. And, as I said earlier, they’re all trying to make money, so they’re not necessarily going to share the drawbacks (or if they do, they’re going to downplay them), and they’re going to hype the positives.

For some entrepreneurs, the tactic they’re selling will absolutely be right for them.

But, for others, not so much.

It can be very confusing to try and take in marketing advice and sort out which is the best marketing strategy for you.

So, I want to help! Here are two questions to ask yourself every time you’re considering implementing a new marketing tactic:

  1. Does it light you up?
  2. Does it light you up enough to outweigh the drawbacks?

Now, let’s dig into both of these questions more deeply.

Does it light you up?

I’m a big believer that there is a marketing tactic for everyone. There are SO many ways to market yourself that you can most definitely find SOMETHING you’re both good at and enjoy.

It’s not about forcing yourself to market in a way you hate.

Now, are there times it makes sense to adopt a marketing tactic you’re not crazy about because it’s perfect for your ideal clients? Of course. In this case, consider hiring some help to make it more palatable for you (for example, maybe you hire a writer to write blog posts for you, if you hate writing).

But it’s also entirely possible to build your marketing around a marketing tactic you love, and that will work for you.

The key here is being consistent—if you’re consistent with your marketing, virtually any tactic can work for you over the long haul.

(My “Love-Based Online Marketing” book includes an assessment designed to help you figure out which marketing tactic is right for you.)

Now, let’s look at the second question.

Does it light you up enough to outweigh the drawbacks?

My friend Lisa Sasevich often shares this story on her stage about how she decided to have a second child:

After her son was born (who was a very easy baby), she and her husband were contemplating having a second.

And, she couldn’t decide.

She kept making lists about the pros and cons of having a second baby, and the list of cons far outweighed the list of pros. Did she really want to get back into diapers and sleepless nights? What about the expense of a second child? And so on.

But, she kept feeling a little soul around her, wanting to be born, and she couldn’t stop thinking about it.

So, finally a friend of hers said, “Choose your regrets.” She advised that either way, whether Lisa had a second baby or not, she would have regrets. So why not choose them?

When Lisa looked at it that way, the choice was easy, and she ended up having her second child, a daughter.

While I wouldn’t go as far as to say any marketing tactic has “regrets” attached to it, it certainly has “drawbacks” or “cons.”

So, in this case, choose your drawbacks.

Every single marketing tactic out there has drawbacks.

Every. Single. One.

Which drawbacks can you live with? Which ones can you work around?

And, is there enough about the marketing tactic you enjoy that outweighs the drawbacks?

OR, are the results of the marketing tactic awesome enough that you’re willing to push through everything you don’t like?

Bottom line …

That doesn’t mean you can’t try some out and see if you like them or not. That also doesn’t mean you can’t simply stop doing a marketing tactic you absolutely can’t stand, or that isn’t getting you the results you’re looking for.

But, here’s the thing about marketing tactics—they only work if you use them.

Consistently.

If you only use a marketing tactic for a month or two, get bored or frustrated for lack of results and move on, you’re never going to get the traction or the momentum you need to bust through and start seeing big results.

So, whatever marketing tactic you choose, you need to commit to it.

Then, you need to use it consistently (which of course looks different depending on what it is, but likely, it’s putting something out there in relation to the tactic at least once a week).

For at least a year.

Yes, you read that right. A year.

If you commit to that, after one year, you’ll have solid data to help you decide if it’s something you want to keep using, or if it’s time to try something else.

I know for many entrepreneurs, we move fast and make decisions fast, and we love nothing more than to jump right in when an idea strikes us (or, as one of my friends would say “We wake up with our hair on fire”).

On the flip side, we also abandon ideas we once thought were the “next best thing” just as quickly.

If we want our marketing to be successful, we can’t do that. We need to stick with it. Again, for at least one year.

So, choose wisely.

And, if you want more help selecting a love-based online marketing plan that’s right for you, make sure you check out my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book.

[Video] Flip It! Are You Building a Business Or Are You Just Making Money?

[Video] Flip It! Are You Building a Business Or Are You Just Making Money?

A few years back, there was what I call a “launch business phenomenon” (for lack of a better term) in the Internet Marketing/Information Product Industry. In a nutshell, these were “businesses” that relied on the product launch for  their main source of income.

These entrepreneurs would do 1-2 product launches a year, make 7-figures, and spend the rest of the year delivering the program and planning for the next launch while hanging out at the beach taking selfies to post on Facebook.

Needless to say, it was a great gig. Yes, there were a few intense weeks during the launch itself, but for the rest of the year, you only had to work a few hours a week.

However, like most things that are too good to be true, this idyllic way of earning a living didn’t last. Unfortunately, it also left a lot of unnecessary pain and anguish in its path.

You see, the launch business fed into this whole Internet business myth of working only a few hours a week and cashing in massive checks. Sure, that was true for some people. But, not for most.

But, here’s the thing. A launch business isn’t a business. In fact, I would go so far to say any business that is based around one or two income streams isn’t a real business.

Yes, it’s a way to make money. But, it’s not a business.

So, what IS a business? And do you have one?

To answer that let me ask you a couple of questions.

• Do you have to be personally involved to make money?

This one is probably the biggest. If your only source of income is to be personally involved, maybe even selling your time, you don’t have a business.

What you likely have is a job.

A true business generates income for you regardless of whether you’re personally involved or not. You would be able to go on vacation or take the afternoon off because your kid is sick and not have to worry about income fluctuations. You may even be able to cut how much time you spend working in your business without seeing a drop in your income.

• Do you have multiple sources of not only income but also prospects?

Most stable businesses have multiple ways of finding new customers. They are usually advertising on multiple platforms, not just Facebook. They’re using a variety of marketing campaigns and strategies, not just one complicated funnel or one or two product launches.

They also tend to have multiple offers and are making money selling multiple products and services.

Now, that doesn’t mean you have to start spending thousands of dollars on advertising or creating dozens and dozens of products, but it does mean not putting all your eggs in one marketing strategy basket OR one product basket.

There is a bit of a fine line here between spreading yourself too thin because you have too many products and services and leaving yourself too vulnerable, because the vast majority of your income relies on one or two main strategies or products. I would encourage you to slowly add marketing strategies and product offers to your mix, to make sure you ARE getting a return on your time and money investment, and then you can also slowly add to your team to support what you’re doing.

Of course, all that said, maybe you’re not interested in building a business. Maybe you really are just looking for an income stream. For instance, maybe you’re a massage therapist or a freelance graphic designer and you love what you do and only really want to sell your time. If that’s the case, then go for it.

But, just don’t confuse what you’re doing with building a business.

What you’ve done is create a way to bring income into your life, which is fabulous while it lasts. And, never forget streams have a way of drying up pretty quickly.

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book — you can check it out here.

[Goal Setting Checklist] A Simple System to Make Your Dreams Come True

[Goal Setting Checklist] A Simple System to Make Your Dreams Come True

For a good chunk of my life, I struggled with goal setting.

Growing up in Wisconsin, I was taught that hard work was not only valued, but the key to success. So, when I started my business as an adult, I WANTED to be so busy I was working nights and weekends.

After all, if I was working long hours, that meant that I was “successful.” Right?

(It took years and multiple burnouts to finally force me to shift that thinking.)

But sacrificing my mental and physical health was just the tip of the damage that mindset caused me. My workaholic tendency combined with my “Type A” personality also kept me constantly feeling like I wasn’t doing “enough,” no matter how many goals I checked off my list.

And, of course in the meantime, I did have big dreams and goals I wasn’t making any progress toward at all (specifically, my fiction writing goals), so I also believed I clearly had a problem with goal setting. (Actually, my secret shame was my belief that what was really hindering me was procrastination and lack of focus.)

So, I did what any workaholic, Type A personality would do when feeling stuck:

I became obsessed with goal setting.

I researched and tried many goal setting and time management systems. Nothing really worked.

I also tried relying on sheer willpower—pushing myself to get more done (which was also not successful).

So what was it that finally shifted goal setting for me?

Digging more deeply into my love-based philosophy, and realizing my goal setting was built on a foundation of fear.

What does that mean, exactly? And if your goal setting method is also built on a foundation of fear, how can you switch it to a foundation of love, instead?

That’s exactly what I’m going to walk you through in this Goal Setting Checklist.

Sound good? Let’s get started.

Goal Setting Step 1: Get Clear. What Are Love-Based Goals Anyway?

To me, love-based goals are whispers from your soul.

Your soul wants you to step into the highest version of yourself. But, your soul also know that’s not easy. It requires you to face your demons and love your shadows.

So, as you do that work, your soul whispers your love-based goals to you. And as you become that highest version of yourself, your “reward” is that those goals can finally come true.

In other words, your love-based goals can only come true if you start to shift into the highest, best version of yourself.

Your soul wants to keep you on track toward achieving your love-based goals, so you can live your best, happiest life.

Now, on the flip side, in many cases, one of the main reasons why your love-based goals haven’t come true is because they don’t match your current identity. For instance, let’s say you’ve always wanted to write a novel, but the years have gone by and you’ve never even written a paragraph. Why is that? Because your current identity sees yourself as a wanna-be author, NOT an actual author.

That’s why taking the time to change your identity so it matches your love-based goals is key to having your love-based goals come true.

So, how do you change your identity? Keep reading — the next 3 goal setting steps are a good place to start.

Goal Setting Step 2: Identify Your Love-Based Goals

How do you know if you have love-based goals, or “regular” goals?

One big indication of a love-based goal is if you have a big dream you’ve been talking about your entire life, yet somehow, you’ve never gotten any traction toward realizing it.

Now, it’s possible that big dream is not a love-based goal, but what I call a “should” goal. A “should” goal is a goal you feel like you “should” be working on, but it doesn’t actually reflect your deepest desires.

How can you tell the difference? I recommend doing some journaling around your perfect day. (No, I’m not talking about a vacation day here, but a perfect work day.) What are you actually DOING during your perfect work day? How is your day structured? Where are you living? Who is around you?

While you’re doing this exercise, take note of how you’re feeling. Are you getting excited? Are you tapping into your passion? Or does it feel like you’re still doing something you “have to,” or maybe even dread?

This exercise is a great way to differentiate between love-based and “should” goals.

Goal Setting Step 3: Be Prepared for What Can Stop You.

If you’ve designed your life around “should” goals, it’s probably not difficult to understand why you haven’t gotten any traction on them. But, what about your love-based goals? Why haven’t they come true?

Typically, there’s something going on either internally or externally.

If it’s an external problem, it’s usually around not having found the right goal setting system for you.

In my “Love-Based Goals” book, I dig into a variety of goal-setting methods, to give you options so you can find one that feels right for you. It’s also pretty easy to do your own research, with a little help from your favorite search engine.

If it’s an internal problem (which I suspect is the real culprit, more often than not), well, that’s a little trickier.

Generally speaking, if something is going on internally, it’s directly related to blocks in your mindset or subconscious. Maybe you find yourself procrastinating every time you sit down to work on your goals. Or maybe you lack focus. Or maybe you can never find the time.

Or maybe you find yourself constantly feeling worry or resentment or anger or sadness or jealously or guilt every time you sit down to work on your goals.

And, because you feel so crappy, it can’t possibly be a good goal, right? It must be a sign you shouldn’t be working toward that dream.

Alas, our fear-based emotions stop us more often than not. We feel crappy, which not only makes it difficult to do the work, but since we want to stop feeling that way, we’re compelled to take actions that help us numb or stuff down our uncomfortable feelings. (For instance, maybe we want to take a drink or make poor eating choices or numb out on television or start a fight—these are all actions we take to distract ourselves from feeling our fear-based emotions.)

If you relate, my recommendation is that the next time you’re working on your big dream and you find yourself feeling bad, let yourself feel the emotion AND don’t let it stop you from continuing to take action. (I talk about how I did this myself when I had my big 2017 marketing success story here.)

Goal Setting Step 4: Set Yourself up for Success.

While feeling your fear-based emotions and still taking action is never going to be easy, there are things you can do to increase your odds of being successful.

• Start and maintain a morning practice (so rather than check email, start your day with self-care practices such as meditation or journaling).

• Use rituals, such as a New Year’s Day ritual to help you create a supportive container around making your goals come true.

• Create new, empowering habits that support your love-based goals and the person you’re becoming. (And, on the flip side, let go of old, toxic habits that are keeping you trapped in the “old” you.)

• Give yourself a break! None of this is easy. Give yourself the time and space you need to let your emotions move through you. Drink plenty of water, exercise, rest. And, above all, don’t beat yourself up if it’s not happening “fast enough.” Chances are, it’s happening plenty fast enough and surrounding to the process and allowing it to unfold the way it wants to is the best gift you can give yourself.

If you’d like to dig more into making your love-based goals come true, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Goals” book. Grab your copy here.

 

[Video] Flip It! How Do You Pick Yourself Up After You Fail?

[Video] Flip It! How Do You Pick Yourself Up After You Fail?

Let me start by busting a myth: If you’re successful at anything, you’ve also experienced a fail or two.

And, likely, a lot more than one or two.

I’m not sure it’s possible to BE successful without also experiencing failure. Because, if you’re not out there and trying new things and testing out new ideas and concepts while knowing you may fail, it’s difficult to BE a success.

Projects you thought would be a big hit … aren’t. Or they take longer than you planned to catch on. Or maybe they WERE a huge success, and then one day they stopped selling.

Launches crash and burn. Marketing strategies that once worked stop.

I could go on and on. And, these are just entrepreneurial examples. There’s also countless examples if you want to be an author or artist or scientist or inventor, or even climb the corporate ladder.

Thomas Edison experienced over 10,000 failures (which he didn’t call “failures”) before he figured out how to make a light bulb work.

So, I suspect you already know this. It’s not a secret.

But, I also bet you forgot.

Because, unless the fall from grace is really public, you don’t see it. A lot of failures happen behind closed doors. A product doesn’t sell as well as hoped — is that truly something most people are going to see? Probably not. It didn’t sell well so how would anyone outside the business know?

I start here because I’m beginning to believe one of the key attributes all successful people share is their ability to bounce back after they fail.

Because failure is going to happen if you want to become a success. And, the more successful you want to become, the more failure you’ll likely experience.

Now, my take on picking yourself back up after you’ve fallen is maybe a little different than what you heard. You see, I think the first thing you need to do is feel all those crappy feelings.

Yes, feel the anger, the disappointment, the resentment, the jealously, the envy, the shame, the embarrassment, the grief. Stomp your feet. Hit a pillow. Cry.

Do whatever you need to do to move that energy from your body.

Because that’s the only way you’ll be able to stop feeling those feelings.

Feelings just want to be felt. And, if you don’t feel them, they’ll keep following you around, harassing you, until you do.

So, how on earth will you be able to pick yourself up if you’re still stewing? How are you possibly going to focus on taking action to get yourself back on track when you’re still battling rage or grief or wanting to shrink into yourself and hide under your bed?

The answer — you can’t!

That’s why so many people CAN’T pick themselves back up. They may tell themselves they need to beat this, and they have to get back on their horse and all the other rah-rah inspirational motivational messages.

But, it’s just talk. If they feel like crap, it’s going to be tough to take action. Not only because you don’t feel like doing anything when your emotions are out of control, but trying to keep yourself from feeling your emotions is a lot of work, so you’re likely going to be more exhausted than normal.

So, before you do anything, before you get that plan together to beat this thing, let yourself just feel as crappy as you want to. Go ahead, let it all out. Have a big ole pity party for yourself.

And, when all of those emotions have been felt and have moved through you, you may be amazed at how easier everything looks.

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.

[Case Study] My Precise Strategy on How to Start a Blog

[Case Study] My Precise Strategy on How to Start a Blog

After all the mistakes I made with my first blog (aka my “starter” blog), I decided I needed a better plan for how to start a blog successfully.

In fact, I would say knowing how to start a blog on the right foot is crucial. Even when you do everything correctly, it can still take months to start seeing results.

And, if you don’t start out right, it will take even longer.

(Of course, the flip side is once you start seeing results, you’ll continue to, even if you aren’t always on top of posting.)

Even knowing it will take time to see results, it cam still be difficult to keep moving forward when you have little to nothing to show for it (trust me, I know, I just went through it). It’s even worse when you’re also listening to a nagging little voice in the back of your head questioning whether you’re doing it right.

Because, hands down, worst of all, is finding out months down the road (after expending all that wasted time and creative energy) that you did, indeed, do things wrong and that’s the reason why you’re not seeing results.

That’s why I’m going to walk you through my precise strategy on how to start a blog today—so you can duplicate it and experience the same type of success I am with my new blog, LoveBasedBiz.com. I started this blog in December 2016, and it took about a year to start seeing results. But now, I’m finally getting the traction and momentum I was looking for.

That said, I think I could have seen results months sooner if I hadn’t gone through a “crisis of faith” about six months in. I started doubting myself and was seriously considering throwing in the towel.

I didn’t let myself stop, but I did cut back on how much I was posting each week.

Looking back, I see that was a mistake—one I don’t want you to make.

Here’s the thing: it’s still totally possible to grow a blog from scratch. It’s also totally possible to still use SEO (search engine optimization) and attract organic visitors to your blog.

AND if you set your blog up right, it’s also possible to make money from it. (In my case, I’m selling books and products with my blog.)

All you need is the right strategy.

(Now, that said, I do want to add that you can always find someone who isn’t following one or all of these steps, and is still rocking it with his/her blog. Unicorns exist. However, I do believe the vast majority of folks who decide to disregard what I say below are likely going to be frustrated with their blogging efforts.)

How to Start a Blog Step 1: Get clear on your message.

Gone are the days when you could create a business around rehashing what other experts and gurus teach, or even worse, relying on “new” to cut through the marketing clutter and give you momentum.

Now, you really need to get clear on your unique voice and message to succeed as an entrepreneur.

Yes, you have one (trust me). If you’re feeling called to change the world with your unique gift (even if you’re not entirely sure what that gift is), you have something to share.

You just have to find it.

Chances are it’s some sort of combination of what you find super easy to do and your personal story and life experiences (including your core wounds and/or your shadows). It’s definitely worth the time and energy to dig in and get clear on what you’re meant to bring forward into the world.

For myself, I knew I needed to get the love-based message out in a big way.

How to Start a Blog Step 2: Get clear on what your blog is about.

Yes, yes, I’m also disappointed that people aren’t rushing to my blog to read my personal musings on whatever pops into my head, no matter if it’s related to my overall brand and message or not.

But, unless you’re super famous and/or have a big following, that’s life.

Your visitors are coming to you because they expect a certain experience on your blog. Maybe it’s content. Maybe it’s entertainment. Maybe it’s both.

If you don’t provide that experience consistently, they’ll likely stop coming.

Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment. It also doesn’t mean your blog can’t evolve over time. What it DOES mean is that getting clear on what your blog is about, and then aligning your content with it is the key to success.

For myself, this was easy. I knew I was being called to get the love-based message out into the world in a bigger way, so that’s what my blog needed to be about.

How to Start a Blog Step 3: Choose a blog template that’s both mobile friendly and looks up to date. (And, get comfortable with the idea you’re probably going to have to update it in a few years.)

With more and more people accessing the web using phones and tablets, if you don’t have a mobile-responsive blog, you’re just asking to be ignored by a lot of potential visitors.

How to Start a Blog Step 4: Write posts around popular keywords.

If you want to build up your organic traffic (“organic traffic” refers to the posts that will show up organically when your ideal clients are searching the web using those keywords), this is non-negotiable. (I’ll dig into this strategy in more detail in a future post, but in short, find popular keywords that don’t have a lot of competition, and write your posts around them.)

How to Start a Blog Step 5: Write high-quality, longer posts.

I can’t stress this enough. Just throwing up a fast, poorly-written, poorly-thought-out article is NOT going to help you over the long haul. Take time to create solid content, even if it means you can’t post as often as you like.

Also, I suggest writing at least one long post a week (and by long, I mean between 1,000 and 2,000 words). Studies show that longer posts get shared more on social media, and get more SEO love.

How to Start a Blog Step 6: Use graphics and pictures.

I haven’t done a lot with infographics (yet) but Michelle Schaefer, one of the blogging mentors I’ve followed, swears by them. For myself, I’ve definitely found that having unique pictures (I take a lot of my own pictures) encourages people to click and read.

How to Start a Blog Step 7: Consider integrating podcasts and/or videos.

Not all of your ideal prospects like to read. Not all want to listen to podcasts or watch videos.

That’s why offering multiple modalities for consuming your content can make your blog more accessible and desirable to a bigger audience.

In addition, you’ll also open up more platforms to advertise your blog on. If you have a podcast, you can then advertise your blog on all the different podcast platforms. If you have videos, you can build your YouTube channel and presence.

Which leads me to the next step …

How to Start a Blog Step 8: Have a social media strategy in place.

Alas, blogs don’t promote themselves (at least not anymore). Along with setting aside time to write your blog (or have it written for you), you’re also going to have to set aside time to promote your blog (or have a marketing assistant promote it for you).

Luckily, promoting your blog is an excellent way to also promote your business—especially if it’s set up correctly so it reflects your brand and message. When people visit your blog to read your juicy content, they also get a taste of what it would be like to work with you on a deeper level. Hands down, this is one of the best ways to market your products, programs, and services.

People don’t want to be hit over the head (especially on social media) with your sales messages. But providing a link to a meaty blog article or podcast or video is something they may even end up thanking you for.

So, what’s the best way to promote your blog? Social media of course. Facebook, Linked In, Instagram, and Twitter can all be easily incorporated into your marketing strategy. In addition, you may want to take a serious look at Pinterest. I’ve been playing around with it more, and a lot of my research points to Pinterest as being one of the best platforms to promote your blog.

How to Start a Blog Step 9: Be clear on the action you want your visitors to take, and then make sure you ASK them to take that action.

Building your email subscriber list should always be one of your biggest calls to action on your blog. But, I also think you should consider soft selling your products, programs, and services. Now, that doesn’t mean you should expect someone to read a blog post and buy a year-long, high-end coaching program. But, you can certainly seed the results of that coaching program on your blog, which can get your ideal prospects to start to consider working with you.

If you’re an author, blogs are an excellent way to sell books (both fiction and nonfiction), so definitely incorporate them.

So, there you have it—how you can set up your blog for more success. And, if you’d like to dig into even more Internet Marketing (including setting up your online marketing plan), you may want to check out my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book available at most online retailers.