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My Big 2017 Marketing Campaign Success Story

My Big 2017 Marketing Campaign Success Story

In the fall of 2016, I came to a realization. The main marketing campaign I had been focusing on for much of my entrepreneurial life wasn’t working the way I had intended.

This wasn’t a big surprise. For years, I had been watching the trends in the information Marketing/Internet Marketing industries and I could see we were headed for a reckoning.

And I had a feeling the reckoning would be sooner rather than later.

“Business as usual” (at least the way it had been defined in this wacky online world I had chosen to do business in) wasn’t going to be as effective as it once was.

It was time to change to a different marketing campaign.

And, that’s what I spent 2017 building from scratch—a new marketing campaign for my business that was based on a solid, long-term marketing strategy that, once I got it in place, would continue to bring ideal clients, customers, and buyers into my business organically … and I wouldn’t even have to spend advertising dollars to make it work. (Although advertising certainly would make speed up the process, it wasn’t a requirement.)

It took a year to finally start seeing results.

I’m going to say right now it wasn’t easy.

In fact, there were times it was downright frustrating. Mostly because I had to battle my secret fears and demons. There’s nothing like having all your inner doubts surface six months into a long-term marketing strategy, even though you KNOW it may take months and months to see results, and you’ve told yourself you’re good with it.

This isn’t going to work.

You’re wasting your time.

Every single successful business owner you know would tell you you’re being foolish. Maybe they are right.

Maybe it’s time to chuck in the towel and do something else.

And on and on.

Nevertheless, I kept going.

Even though my fear-based emotions kept trying to stop me.

Fear, worry, doubt, shame, anger, even grief.

I felt the emotions, let them move through me, and kept going.

So, yes, I will share precisely what I did, but before I do that, I want to set the stage a bit. Because what I did may not be the right strategy for you and your specific business, goals, and dreams.

And, what I DON’T want to happen is for you to read what I did, and then dismiss it. “Oh, that’s all?” Because if you do, I feel like you’d be missing the larger point, which is:

Now, more than EVER, you need to have a long-term marketing strategy in place if you want to have any hope in building a solid, successful, profitable business over the long haul.

HOWEVER, that does NOT mean it’s your ONLY marketing strategy. Long-term marketing strategies are NOT designed to bring in money right now. They’re designed to attract a steady stream of warm ideal clients, customers, and buyers to your business, which of course puts your business on a lot more solid footing than if you don’t have a warm audience of ideal prospects who love to hear from you. But they’re not designed to bring in cash NOW.

So, if you’re looking for an immediate cash infusion, you may need to modify my marketing campaign so it’s less aggressive. This way, you’ll have time to focus on short-term marketing strategies to keep income flowing in, at the same time.

Okay, let’s talk marketing campaign.

How I Decided on My New Marketing Campaign

1. One of my big missions is to get the love-based philosophy out into the world in a massive way. Therefore, for me, it was important that the marketing campaign I chose not only be scalable, but also built for the masses.

For you, that may not be the case. Maybe you just want to have a profitable coaching business and are happy if you have a dozen or so highly-invested coaching clients at any one time. Following my marketing campaign may be overkill for you.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my BIG vision for my business?
  • How big do I really want to take it?
  • Do I really want a seven-fugure business or a multi-seven-figure business (which requires hiring a big team)? Or is something smaller more my style?
  • Is the marketing campaign I’ve chosen a match for my vision?

(Note: My “How to Start a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back” is full of questions like these to help you get very clear on what you want to invest your time, money, energy and life force building. It’s free and you can grab your copy at the below link.)

2. Next, I got very clear on my message and who I am here to serve. For me, this was a no-brainer, because my mission is to get the love-based philosophy out into the world. I knew whatever I chose had to focus around that message.

For you, the questions you need to be asking for yourself:

  • Am I clear on my message?
  • Do I HAVE a clear message that I can easily communicate in my marketing?

3. Lastly, I set a clear goal based on the different ways money would flow to me using the marketing campaign—everything from books and low-end products to sponsorships to one-on-one services. I was very clear on how I would fund the campaign not only while I was building it, but also what it would look like once it was built.

For you, ask yourself:

  • Am I clear on my different offers?
  • What type of business model do I want to build? (I.e. Are you just interested in one-on-one services, or do you want to sell more products and group programs, or a combination, or what exactly?)
  • Will this marketing campaign fit into my business model?

Okay, are you wondering what my marketing campaign was, precisely?

Drum roll please …

I started a new blog from scratch.

(Yes, I can hear everyone saying, “Well, geez, is that all?”)

I started this blog, the LoveBasedBiz.com around December2016/January 2017.

Why?

Well, my first blog, which is on my MichelePW.com site, was actually a very old blog with some very old (and valuable) back links. I’m still getting organic traffic to that blog even now without any new posts for over a year.

But, I had made tons and tons of mistakes with it as well.

I felt like those mistakes were hindering my organic SEO reach—I had reached a ceiling because of them. (Another way to look at this of course is that, despite my mistakes, I still ended up with more organic traffic than that blog likely deserves.)

Plus, there was just so much old energy in that blog that I didn’t think a fresh approach would overcome.

I wanted to start fresh. Yes, even though I heard the same things many of you do … “It’s too difficult to start a new blog and get any organic traffic from it …. Blogs are dead … They’re too much work/take too long/not worth the return on investment.”

(Not to mention blogs are unsexy and not nearly as hot as complicated Facebook ad funnels. Right?)

The difference is, I didn’t really believe any of that.

I KNOW content marketing still works. And, it’s likely ALWAYS going to work (especially if you focus on crafting high-quality content and not just crap you throw up really fast).

I also know, since I can see it first-hand with my old blog, that once you’ve got a blog established, visitors continue to visit … EVEN if you stop posting.

Now, there’s no question a blog does require work and commitment. And, I knew it was a long-term strategy, so I knew it would likely take me a year (or longer) to get a fresh new one set up.

AND the past six months were still brutal. I doubted myself and this course of action, wondering if I was wasting precious time that I should have been focusing on something else.

But I kept going.

Other Things I Did to Set My New Blog up for Success:

  1. I was very strategic about my posting.
  2. I set up a schedule where I was posting three times a week—a podcast episode, a written blog post, and a video blog post. (Although, I must confess, there were a few months near the end of 2017 when I dropped down to only two posts a week, because it was difficult to keep up with the three posts a week when I wasn’t yet seeing results).
  3. I was consistent and followed my schedule.

My Results

After only about one year, I’m finally getting some decent SEO/organic traffic momentum, plus my overall visitors are almost equal to my old blog’s heyday (when I was posting regularly) AND I have A LOT more page views (probably triple). While those are great wins, what’s even better is the FINANCIAL win—I wanted to more sell more of my love-based books, and that’s precisely what’s been happening.

If you’d like to learn more about what I did, check out this post where I walk you through the precise blog strategy I used to set up this blog for success, Clearly it’s a great resource for anyone who is interested in having their own successful blog, but I also included a few takeaways for everyone, no matter what you pick as your main long-term marketing strategy.

Main Takeaways

  1. Stay the course. Don’t give up in the middle, even if you have a lot of doubts and fears come up. If you know what you’re doing is going to take some time to take off, then give it the time it needs. (And, quite honestly, most successful strategies in business OR in life need time to fully mature.)
  2. Be wary of what you see in advertising and marketing messages. There’s one right now I see on Facebook that talks about how building an audience is a waste of time. (This one irks me so much I’m going to do a full post on it in the future.) Remember, marketing gurus need to make money, too, and as blogs DO take both time and work to get going, it’s an easy tactic to cut down in favor of whatever they’re trying to sell you. So, don’t believe the hype. Do you own research on what you think is the best marketing strategy for you, and give it the time and love it needs to succeed.
  3. 3. No matter what marketing campaign you pick, being strategic—setting up a regular schedule and staying the course—WILL help you succeed.

And, if you want to learn more about how you can fall in love with your Internet marketing strategies, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book available at most online retailers.

The Future of Copywriting: 5 Copywriting Trends to Watch For

The Future of Copywriting: 5 Copywriting Trends to Watch For

I’m back with my crystal ball (aka angel snow globe) with a few predictions on copywriting trends to watch for in the wacky world of copywriting over the coming year.

But, before I dig into those copywriting trends, let’s define what copywriting is.

Copywriting is writing promotional materials for businesses, nothing to do with protecting intellectual property or putting a copyright on something (notice the difference in spelling).

My specialty is a subset called “direct response copywriting,” which entails crafting copy that your ideal prospects directly respond to. For example, when you write an email asking your community to click on a link, you’re writing direct response copy. Those long sales letters you’re scrolling down forever, all-the-while asking yourself, “How much does this actually cost?” and wondering if anyone actually ever reads those things anyway … yep. That’s direct response.

(And by the way, the short answer is yes—people read them.)

The Internet is littered with direct response copy, mainly because it’s a fabulous way to leverage yourself and your marketing efforts, especially when you’re using the Internet to market yourself. Direct response copy does the selling for you, so you can market and sell yourself one to many.

But, as much good as it does, people still hate it. That’s partially because traditional direct response copy uses a lot of fear-based triggers (which doesn’t feel very good). It’s also because a lot of people just hate writing, and would rather not do it at all. (It’s okay if this is you, we’re all friends here.)

Needless to say, there’s a lot of misinformation around the future of copy, so I thought I’d take a moment to sort out the facts from the fiction—and what better way to do that than by talking about five copywriting trends I see happening now?

Without further ado, let’s dig into those copywriting trends.

Trend 1. Copywriting isn’t going away (and yes, that includes writing email copy). Yep, I hear those proclamations too: “Email is dead. Facebook is the place to be. No, maybe it’s videos. Or podcasts. Or …”

So, first off, nothing beats building your own sandbox versus playing in other people’s sandboxes. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be using Facebook and Youtube—you absolutely should have a presence on any platform your ideal prospects are on.

You just shouldn’t build your entire business on them.

An excellent way to market and build your business is to spend time in the places your ideal clients are hanging out, with the intent to inspire them to join you in your sandbox.

Ideally you’d love for them to join your email list, so you have permission to reach out when the timing is right for you. But, even if they regularly visit your blog or have subscribed to your podcast, that’s a step in the right direction, too.

And, for any of that to happen, it’s important to have harnessed the power of copy in your marketing. No, that doesn’t mean YOU need to do all the writing yourself—hiring it out is perfectly acceptable. But, you need to come to terms with the fact that as long as you own a business, you’re going to be generating copy (and likely a lot of it).

And that leads us to the second of the five copywriting trends.

Trend 2. Connecting with your ideal clients is key to future success. There was a time in the not-so-distant past when you could generate an awful lot of money simply by harnessing the power of “new” in your marketing.

That time has come and gone (and frankly, I don’t think it’s a bad thing, as I would argue very few entrepreneurs who had mastered the power of “new” actually had a solid, sustainable business.)

So, if you can’t use “new” to attract customers, clients and buyers, what can you do?

Easy. Focus on connecting and building relationships with your prospects. (And, if you are looking to attract more ideal clients to your business, connecting and building relationships is hands down the best strategy to use).

Copy is one of the best ways to connect and build relationships, especially when you use it in an email. (Emails are one-to-one medium: people are getting emails in their inbox, so by it’s very nature, it’s a personal connection. It’s just a matter of you remembering that, when you craft emails to your subscribers.)

But, this is just the first step to building more rapport with your ideal prospects.

Trend 3. Focus on giving your prospects exactly what they want. And I guarantee what they want is plenty of content, and maybe even to be entertained.

What they DON’T want? To be sold to constantly.

That’s why so many entrepreneurs have email lists that are, for all practical purposes, dead. They’ve sold to them so much that their prospects have stopped interacting with them.

(Note: Constantly sending your subscribers to other people’s “free” launch content, such as free books or videos or webinars, constitutes selling. Yes, yes, I know the content is usually pretty solid. But, it’s still designed to sell a program, likely a high-ticket item, and anyone who says “yes” to that free content WILL get inundated with emails for a few weeks. Your subscribers know this, and are tuning it out. I’m not saying not to promote other people’s launches or to stop doing your own; I absolutely still believe product launches are an important tool in your marketing toolbox. However, what I AM saying is to count those emails toward your “total sales emails” quota. You only have so many sales emails you can send to your list before they stop paying attention, so choose wisely.)

Your subscribers don’t mind some sales emails, but it’s important to balance those sales emails with what they’re really looking for, which is most likely content and entertainment.

But, there’s an even bigger prediction on the horizon (a.k.a. the fourth of five copywriting trends)…

Trend 4. Segmenting is the future. While this is a more advanced tactic, having a way to segment your subscribers and allow THEM to decide what sort of content and communication they want from you is going to become more and more important.

I’ve seen stats showing far better results when emails are tailored to your subscribers based on their answers to a few questions you ask them.

So, how do you do this? Some email programs, such as Infusion Soft (although there are cheaper email software programs that are coming out now that are offering these options) allow you to “tag” your subscribers depending on if they click a link, or how they answer a question. You can then send an email to just the people who were tagged.

For instance, maybe you send out an email asking, “If you’re brand new to business, click here,” you can then “tag” everyone who clicks on that link. Now you have a segmented list of new entrepreneurs, and you can send them content and offers that are tailored specifically to them.

See how powerful that can be?

It’s always been the case that the more you can speak directly to your ideal prospects concerns and what’s keeping them up at night, the more they’ll buy from you. Until the Internet, it was far more complicated to give them tailored offers.

Of course, this is a bit of a catch-22. Now that it is easier, it’s likely your ideal prospects will be expecting it more. Which means if you’re NOT segmenting, you could be losing potential clients, customers and buyers.

But, there’s still one last of the 5 copywriting trends that will also be important when it comes to writing copy.

Trend 5. Use passion, vulnerability, and stories in your copy. Remember, people want to do business with people. And, you connecting and building relationships with your ideal prospects is going to be even more important now, as it truly is one of the top trends in marketing and business.

One key way to connect with them using copy is to do things like tap into your passion, and show your personality. Reveal your vulnerabilities and share stories in your copy.

As humans, we’re wired to respond to stories. So, the more we can use stories in our marketing, the more our ideal prospects will pay attention to us. And, if they’re paying attention, they’re far more likely to become buyers, customers, and clients.

I know it can feel strange to use stories and share your vulnerabilities (business IS supposed to be professional after all, and if you came from corporate, it can feel even more alien), but sharing something you’re vulnerable about can go a long way in making you far more relatable.

And, now, for a last, bonus prediction (because 6 copywriting trends didn’t sound nearly as sexy as five).

Bonus Trend 6. Fear-based copy that focuses on shaming and scarcity is on its way out, and love-based copy is the new black. So, as the founder of the love-based copy philosophy and the love-based business movement, I get that this might seem more than a little self-serving.

It’s also not completely true.

Yet.

While fear-based copy and marketing DOES still work, it’s definitely not working as well as it used to. I do believe it’s on its way out, and selling and marketing yourself with love is on its way in, but we’re not quite there yet.

As a species, we still psychologically respond to fear-based triggers. The more we do the inner work and shift to building our businesses and living our lives on a foundation of love, the less fear-based triggers will work.

And, if you want to dig into love-based copy at an even deeper level, you may want to check out my books: Love-Based Copywriting Method: The Philosophy Behind Writing Copy that Attracts, Inspires and Invites and Love-Based Copywriting System: A Step-by-Step Process to Master Writing Copy that Attracts, Inspires and Invites.

 

The Future of Internet Marketing—5 Trends to Watch

The Future of Internet Marketing—5 Trends to Watch

Internet marketing has taken a beating these past couple of years. Strategies that used to work aren’t working so well anymore.

In my opinion, I think what we’re seeing is the end of the using “new” as the primary marketing strategy.

BUT just because we aren’t relying solely on “new” doesn’t mean Internet marketing is dead. Not by a long shot.

What it DOES mean, however, is that we need to get smarter about our Internet marketing strategies.

Gone are the days where we could just throw something up and expect to get results. The internet is way too crowded for that to work anymore. So, we need to be more strategic about how we spend our marketing time and budget. (And, quite honestly, I don’t think that’s a bad thing.)

With that, let’s jump into the five big Internet marketing trends to watch:

Trend 1. Content is still king. Everything I see still shows that consistently creating solid, high-quality content is one of the best ways to market yourself and your business.

The key here is the content needs to be high quality AND consistent.

Yes, years ago you could post a few times a year to a blog and get some traction. That’s no longer the case.

Taking the time to create solid content your ideal prospects are excited to consume AND doing it consistently is how you build momentum in your business.

Now, that said, when I say “creating content,” I’m not just talking about writing blog posts. Podcasts are still hot (and, in fact, are growing—you may seriously want to consider a podcast if you aren’t doing one) and videos are also still hot (although there’s been some shifts and softening in YouTube, a subject for another day, but using videos in your marketing is still a winning strategy).

If you’re a designer, infographics are also still hot, as are photos and other graphics.

People are still interested, and are still seeking, content. But, they’re definitely more particular about the content they’re consuming, so it’s smart to take a little extra time to make sure what you’re putting out there is as strong as you can make it.

(And, if you can be entertaining while providing content, that’s even better. Along with looking for content, people are also looking to be entertained. Combing the two is always a win-win.)

Trend 2. Content alone isn’t enough—you have to market it. As anyone who has a blog already knows, just because you have one, doesn’t mean people will come.

You still need to have a consistent strategy to market that content.

Posting on social networking platforms is a must. You may also want to consider paying for exposure via Facebook ads or other forms of pay-per-click (more on this later). Setting up your blog for SEO or organic traffic is also not a bad idea (although keep in mind this is most definitely a long-term strategy. SEO used to be a lot easier than it is today, which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, only that you should be aware it’s a long game).

You can also look into using other platforms such as Medium to help increase your reach. (But, I would caution you to still have your own blog and website and web presence rather than build everything on an outside platform you don’t control. Playing in other people’s sandboxes is well and good until they take their toys and go home, leaving you stuck and vulnerable.)

Trend 3. Relationships are still queen. People want to do business with people. They want to connect with people.

In other words, they want to connect with YOU.

So, why not give them what they want?

Be accessible. Give your ideal clients a way to connect with you on Facebook or other social networking platforms. Respond to their comments. Answer their questions.

And, show your personality in your marketing. Share your stories, your passion, your vulnerabilities. Let your ideal clients see you as a person … a person they like and want to hang out with.

They’re far more likely to buy your products and services if they feel connected to you.

Trend 4. Pay to play is here to stay. Having a small advertising budget, whether it’s Facebook ads or some other type of online ads, is a smart idea.

Yes, I know on one hand, it sucks. Years ago, you didn’t need an advertising budget to break through the online clutter. On the other hand, the fact that it is more difficult to market yourself without an advertising budget means only more serious and professional business owners and entrepreneurs are rising to the top. The scammers and people who are less ethical about their marketing are less likely to invest in advertising, which means they won’t be grabbing all the oxygen, which leaves more space for the more ethical and love-based marketer.

Trend 5. Simple trumps complex. I don’t believe that successfully marketing yourself needs to be all that complex. In fact, focusing on only one main marketing strategy, such as a podcast or videos, can go a long way.

There was a time in the not-so-distant past when it seemed complex was the way to go. Complex funnels, complex product launches. The more complicated the better.

But, quite honestly, I feel like all the complexity was doing was hiding what prospects really wanted—good, solid content. A connection with the business owner. And, as a bonus, maybe even some entertainment.

If you simplify and just focus on those key foundational pieces, you may be shocked at how far it can take your business.

In addition to keeping it simple, I do believe the more you love your marketing, the more successful you’ll be at it. You can never go wrong the more you surround yourself with regular activities you love to do.

And, if you want to learn more about how you can fall in love with your Internet marketing strategies, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book available at most online retailers.

Supercharge Your Gratitude Practice and Grow Your Business Fast

Supercharge Your Gratitude Practice and Grow Your Business Fast

How many times have we heard it? The secret to success is to have a gratitude practice — write down three or five or 10 things every day you’re grateful for.

Now, I’m not saying that’s not a good thing to do. Any sort of practice that helps you focus on all the wonderful things you have versus what you don’t have is a good thing.

But, the problem with that gratitude practice is that it doesn’t go nearly far enough. You see, the secret of a gratitude practice, what makes it a truly powerful, life-changing practice, is to tap into the FEELING of gratitude.

If you can truly feel grateful, that energy is what will attract more of what you want to you.

But, it goes even deeper than that. Gratitude is actually such a powerful emotion that, if you regularly practice feeling it, it can transform your life. Here are three other ways you can use gratitude to grow your business:

  1. Market and sell yourself using love-based principles.

When I talk about the love-based copy and marketing philosophy, I teach that to actually market yourself with love, your mindset (or “come from”) needs to be based in love.

While this is important, it’s also easier said than done, especially if you’re really struggling financially in your business.

That’s why I teach that a quick way to shift your energy is to focus on gratitude. And, what I mean by that, is to focus on feeling grateful.

 

  1. Turn around feelings of entitlement, grumpiness, or general dissatisfaction with your business.

It happens to all of us. We decide we’re done with our business. We’re running off to live in a hut on a beach.

Now, in some cases, there is a good reason for those feelings—maybe they’re an indication of the fact that we’ve actually built the wrong business for us. But, in many cases, we’re just experiencing a moment of entitlement.

No, entitlement-related feelings aren’t only for the Millennials. If you’ve ever had a moment where you found yourself saying things like:

• “This should be easier.”

• “I don’t understand why I’m not successful yet.”

• “I’ve done everything I’ve supposed to and I’m not successful yet.”

• “This isn’t fair!”

I hate to break it to you, but you’re having an entitlement moment.

And, it’s okay. We’re human. Feelings of entitlement are a part of being human. Millennials certainly didn’t invent them.

But, if you’re trapped in that feeling, it’s not going to help you grow your business. One of the best ways to shift that feeling and get yourself out of it is to focus on feeling gratitude, instead. Flip your perspective, and find something you can feel deeply grateful for to concentrate on.

  1. Supercharge what you want to manifest. (Ah, this is a fun one.)

I first learned about this in the book “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” by Dr. Joe Dispenza, but here’s a (very) simplified version of what he teaches.

If you want to manifest a certain outcome for yourself, like hitting a specific income goal, you can supercharge that manifestation by using gratitude.

Here’s how this works:

Focus on feeling grateful. Really feel the emotion. Let it fill your body.

Now, while you’re in this state of gratitude, start visioning what you want to manifest.

See it come true. Really see it happening in your mind.

And, as it comes true, focus on feeling even more grateful it is coming true.

And that’s it! Manifestation, supercharged.

Do this regularly, and watch how your life changes.

If you’d like to dig into this topic even more, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book, it’s available at most online retailers here.

What to Do When You Want to “Burn Down” (aka Quit) Your Business (Part 2)

What to Do When You Want to “Burn Down” (aka Quit) Your Business (Part 2)

If you’re an entrepreneur for long enough, you’ll likely feel like you want to quit every now and then. Or even consider burning down your business a time or two.

That’s normal. Pretty much every successful entrepreneur I know has fantasized about leaving his or her business, and running off to live in a grass hut on a beach somewhere.

But, that doesn’t mean you should actually do it.

In fact, I would argue that most of the time when you get that “I QUIT” feeling, there’s really something else going on.

And, if you can get to the heart of what “I quit” is REALLY telling you, you can turn around more than your business.

You can turn around your life.

So, let’s dive into a few possible reasons behind that “burn it down” feeling. (Note—this isn’t meant to be a complete list. You may have something going on I don’t list here, and that’s perfect. This is just meant to help you shift your perspective a bit.)

• Are you exhausted and/or overwhelmed? I know when I get overwhelmed, I just want to run away. But, the more effective response is to take a look at why you’re feeling exhausted and/or overwhelmed, and fix that.

Maybe you need to get more help? And, yes, that may mean hiring a team member or two in your business, but it may also mean hiring a housekeeper or a personal assistant or a nanny. Or it could mean having a heart-to-heart with your spouse, partner, and/or older children, and enlisting their help around the house.

Or maybe you just need to let some things go. Maybe you cut back on volunteer or community service hours, or maybe you let go of the idea that you absolutely must have a super-clean house. Or maybe there’s a business project or a task on your to-do list that hasn’t gotten done for a while now, and just needs to be deleted.

Basically, if this is you, I would encourage you to take a good, long look at your business and your life and see what you can do to restructure or delegate or delete the tasks that are overwhelming you.

• Are you bored? A lot of creative entrepreneurs confuse boredom with the desire to burn things down. They’re bored, so therefore “It’s not working anymore,” and they need to go do something else.

But, before you start burning things down, see if there’s a way you can restructure your business so you’re not stuck doing the things that are boring you, and that will give you the space and energy to pursue new challenges that excite you.

• Are you feeling entitled? No, this doesn’t only apply to Millennials. If you find yourself thinking things like “This really should be easier,” or “I should be further along by now,” or “Why do I have to do this?” or “Why is so-and-so more famous and successful than me?” you may be suffering from a case of entitlement.

If this is you, you may want to consider volunteering or spending time with people who have bigger challenges than you have. That’s typically a good way to reset your mind, and realize how blessed you actually are.

• Do you have the wrong business model? If you are a one-on-one business coach and you’re built for group programs, you’re likely going to eventually resent your business.

If you find yourself in this place, a smarter move may be to restructure your business model into one that better suits you. A great place to start is with my free book: How to Start a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back.

Another variation of this concept has to do with what Gay Hendricks calls your “Zone of Excellence” versus your “Zone of Genius.” Around which have you built your business? If you’re in your Zone of Excellence, yes, you’re doing work you like and are good at. But you also may know deep down that there’s something not quite right. And, after a while, that may start to suck the life out of you.

• Did you think the money would make everything else worth it? I’ve known a number of successful entrepreneurs who have built businesses they didn’t love (or even much like), but who are making really good money.

They did it because they assumed the money would make everything else worth it.

So, imagine their dismay when they realize that isn’t the case.

If you’re building something simply for the money, there’s a chance you may wake up one morning and flat out decide you’re done, because the money isn’t worth it. If this is you, you may want to start evaluating now, to see how you can tweak what you’re doing so it’s more in line with your purpose and/or passion.

• Are you in a wormhole? My friend, Juicy Marketing Expert Lisa Cherney, used to talk about being in the wormhole, which basically represents the “breakdown” before the “breakthrough.” It’s really common for entrepreneurs to get derailed, or fall down into a pit, while on their entrepreneurial journey. But sometimes, your darkest times occur right before your biggest breakthroughs.

If you find yourself here, self-development tools such as meditation or journaling or coaching may help. You can also check out my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book for more tools and exercises that can help you manage your mindset, and guide your breakthrough.

• Have you been neglecting your self-care? If so, then it’s no wonder you’re feeling worn down and ready to quit. Even if you feel like you can’t take the time, you may have no choice but to take a few days (or even longer) off, and make some time for yourself.

• Do you have a pattern of walking away? If this is a common pattern of yours—to walk away or quit—this may be a golden opportunity to stay in the game … to NOT let yourself quit. In fact, it could be the beginning of the breakthrough you’ve been looking for.

Now, this is not to say you should never quit. There are absolutely times when quitting is the smartest option. But, before you do quit, it may be smart to make sure that truly is the best option for you.

If you want to dig into this topic more deeply, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.

 

Feel Like “Burning Down” Your Business? Read This. (Part 1)

Feel Like “Burning Down” Your Business? Read This. (Part 1)

Recently, a famous entrepreneur in the transformation industry apparently advised a room full of beginning and “wanna-be” entrepreneurs that one of the secrets to business success is to “burn it all down.”

I wasn’t personally in the room, but even if it didn’t happen precisely the way it was described to me, there are a few good teaching points I think are worth talking about.

1. There is a time and place to share your most vulnerable story—and that time is NOT when the walls are crashing down on you.

Look, being an entrepreneur is really, really tough. It’s going to trigger you. It’s going to push your buttons. You’re going to fail. You’re going to fall down.

Some of those falls are going to be harder and more painful than others.

And, sometimes, the pit you find yourself in is so deep and so dark, the only possible way out you can see is to burn everything down.

I get it. Every single successful entrepreneur I know has contemplated burning it all down at some point, and a good many of them actually have (or did a pretty significant pivot).

As you can imagine, being in this place can wreak havoc on your emotions, which is why if you talk about it when you’re in the middle of it, you run the risk of sounding massively-entitled, ego-driven, and self-serving.

(And, let’s be honest—you likely sound massively-entitled, ego-driven, and self-serving because in that moment, you ARE. And it’s okay. It’s normal. You’re in a tremendously difficult time. Be gentle with yourself.)

The time to share is AFTER. After you’ve done the work, felt the feelings, and actually have some sort of positive resolution to share.

If you don’t have a positive resolution yet, that likely means it’s not time to share.

2. There’s more than one way to “burn it down.”

Some entrepreneurs are able to use their current business as fuel for a new one. Some simply burn it down and walk away. Some even take others down with them.

In the heat of the moment, you may decide you don’t care what happens to anyone else–you just want out. I get it. But, again, before you destroy what you worked so hard to build, I’d encourage you to take a moment and consider how it will affect others, such as:

• Your team. They’re depending on you financially. Are you still paying them like you promised? Are you able to bring them with you, if you begin traveling a new path? And, if not, are you giving them enough of a heads up, so they can find other arrangements?

• Your clients. They’re depending on you, too. Are you leaving them in a lurch, or are you honoring your commitment to them?

• Your past clients, customers, and buyers (and really anyone who believed in your message, teaching, and training). Are you now telling them everything you taught was a sham? Or are you still standing behind the essence of your message (as it may just be changing form)?

• Your commitments. Are you honoring your commitments and doing what you can to gracefully transition, or are you simply walking away, promises be damned? (Note—this includes promises you’ve made to yourself, as well as to others.)

It may be you’re at a point where you simply don’t care anymore. But if you do, I highly encourage you to take a moment to pause and breathe and think about what you’re doing.

Like I said earlier, there are lots of ways to burn down your business, and how you do it says a lot about your character.

3. If you find yourself trapped in a pit, there is likely a deeper reason.

You typically don’t get stuck in pits unless something else is going on.

For instance, you may have heard the saying “breakdown to breakthrough”—in many cases, the deeper and darker the pit, the bigger the breakthrough. Or maybe the pit is supposed to be showing you something else … something that’s not even related to your business.

In fact, a lot of times, even if you feel like burning down your business, that actually isn’t the right solution.

In Part 2, I dug into some other deeper issues that may be lurking underneath your desire to burn it all down.

And, if you’d like to dig into more mindset issues that may be holding you back from the business success you’re dreaming about, check out my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book. You can grab your copy here.

[Checklist] How to Grow Your Online Social Influence

[Checklist] How to Grow Your Online Social Influence

One of the best ways to supercharge your business growth and your income (while getting your message out there in a bigger way) is to grow you online social influence.

After all, when you have a strong online social influence, you’ve built credibility and visibility around your expertise, which means your ideal clients are likely seeking you out, excited to work with you. You probably also enjoy the results you get from the power of word of mouth marketing to sell your products, services, book, programs and more.

But be warned—building your online influence isn’t easy (and there are some hard truths you should know about it before you even get started, which I share here). The good news is there IS a path you can follow if you’re ready to step up and start growing your social influence.

That’s why I’ve created this checklist—to show you that path, and to provide you with links to additional articles and resources, so you can begin developing your social influence.

The Checklist:

_____ Are you clear—crystal clear—on your business?

It is crucial to be clear on:

* Your message, and

* Who you serve.

If you don’t have absolute clarity on both your message and your ideal client, it’s going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to actually grow your social influence.

(Note—in my “How to Start a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back” book, you’ll find a whole host of questions to help you get clear on the precise business you want to build. You can grab your copy for free here.)

_____ Have you developed your own unique voice?

People will resonate with you (and want to follow you) when:

* They fall in love with your message, and

* How you communicate your message.

The way you communicate your message is just as important as your message itself.

For example—many self-help experts have a message around love being the most powerful force in the world. But, the ones who rise to the top have a distinct way of communicating that message so it rises to the top.

Most health experts have a similar message around healthy habits. So how do they differentiate themselves from their competition? By communicating that message in their own unique voice.

So, how do you develop your unique voice?

Two quick tips are to read more and write more. (The more you read and the more you write, the more you’ll start to develop your unique voice.) But most importantly, don’t be afraid to share your personality. Let people see the real you—your quirks, your loves, your rants, your vulnerabilities. That’s what people want to see—the real you.

_____ Are you in integrity with your message?

There’s nothing less persuasive or compelling than being a hypocrite.

Really, who wants to follow a hypocrite? (Think of Dante’s Inferno—he devoted a whole circle of hell just to hypocrites.)

So, whatever your message is, it’s critical to make sure both you and your business are aligned with that message.

Now that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be aligned 100% of the time. For instance, if you’re a health coach, you can occasionally pig out on chocolate cake. But, then be honest about it. Let people know you’re human, and you occasionally cheat and it’s okay if they occasionally cheat. (In fact, sharing your flaws and being honest about them will likely make you even more relatable to prospects.)

But, if you’re a health coach and you have some nasty health habits you’re not owning up to, people are going to sense that you’re out of integrity. They might not know why, exactly, but they’ll feel something is off. And they won’t be all that interested in following you.

_____ Are you making a difference in people’s lives?

Most people want to follow someone they can look up to, right?

One great way to be that type of person is to make a difference in people’s lives.

A lot of people have a dream or a goal to leave the world a better place than they found it, and if you’re working toward that vision, people will be naturally attracted to you, so they can learn from you.

In addition, if you help people, those people are going to be more inclined to follow you.

I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that a key trait for most successful people is their generosity and commitment to being of service to others. So, if you want to be successful and grow your social influence, upping your generosity may be exactly what you need to do.

_____ Are you putting your best work out there?

For years, the prevailing wisdom we heard as entrepreneurs was to focus on your marketing, rather than the quality of your work, because “he who has the best marketing wins.”

That actually hasn’t proven to be completely true. Yes, there’s no question you still need marketing, and having a solid marketing plan you consistently follow will go a long way to help you attract a steady stream of clients, customers, and buyers.

But, marketing on its own isn’t going to cut it. You also need to make sure you’re putting your best work out there.
Marketing can help you get a first-time buyer, yes. But, if that buyer has a bad experience, almost no amount of marketing will convince him or her to come back a second time.

In addition, if everyone has good marketing, then the only thing that separates one business from another is the quality of what they’re offering.

_____Have you chosen the right communication vehicle for you?

Having a large social influence typically means having a lot of followers.

So, if you want to have a lot of followers, you need something for them to follow. (Makes sense, right?)

Whether it’s a blog or a podcast or a youtube channel or a Facebook group or something else (or even a combination of vehicles) you’re likely going to have to build something for people to be a part of.

If you’re not sure which is the best communication vehicle for you, you may want to take my “Love Your Marketing Assessment” in my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book, to help you figure that out.

_____Have you worked through your mindset and/or subconscious blocks?

When you decide to step up and become more visible so you can start making a bigger difference, you may discover you have some mindset or subconscious blocks that are keeping you from making the progress you want to.

First off, this is completely normal. Chances are you already WOULD have a big social influence if you didn’t have any blocks getting in your way.

My book “Love-Based Money and Mindset” is all about working through your mindset blocks so you can grow your business, but this article will help you get started.

Lastly, you may want to dig into one or several of these topics in more detail. My Love-Based Business series is a great place to get started. Check out all the books here.

3 Myths About Word of Mouth Marketing That May Be Hurting Your Business

3 Myths About Word of Mouth Marketing That May Be Hurting Your Business

Word of mouth marketing. It’s like the Holy Grail of marketing.

Every entrepreneur talks about it. Dreams about it.

And why wouldn’t we? We just sit back and relax while clients and customers just naturally flow to us, without our having to lift a finger.

It’s possible, right?

I mean, we hear stories from other business owners and entrepreneurs who dismissively say “Oh, my only marketing is word-of-mouth.” And we’re left either feeling bad, because we haven’t cracked the code yet to do the same, OR we secretly think that person is lying to us. (Or at the very least, not sharing the full story.)

It’s like the unicorn of marketing.

It’s clear why it’s so desirable, but why the heck is it so elusive?

In my opinion, it’s because it’s misunderstood.

Before I get ahead of myself, let’s first cover what word of mouth marketing really is.

Basically, it’s when your customers, clients, and buyers tell their friends and families about your books, products, or services. It works extremely well, because we’re more likely to believe people we personally know when they tell us that they loved working with a business or person far more than we’re willing to believe claims from the business itself, or from people we don’t know.

It practically feels magical when it works, because prospects seek us out, predisposed to buy our books, products, and services. In a lot of ways, it mirrors what happens when a piece of content we created goes “viral,” getting in front of many new prospects, without any extra effort from us.

However, I would argue that word of mouth marketing is also very different than a piece of content going viral. It’s also something that’s far more in your control than you may imagine.

Below are three myths that may be preventing you from actually harnessing the power of word of mouth marketing, so it can start to work for you.

Myth #1–You can’t control it. (It just happens.)

Word of mouth marketing is dependent on your clients and customers telling other people about you. But, you can’t control what they say or don’t say.

It’s like having a video or a Facebook post go suddenly viral, bringing you a ton of new prospects. How do you make something go viral? There’s no rhyme or reason to it, right? It just happens!

Well, while it’s true you can’t control what people say or don’t say, it’s actually NOT true that you have no control over word of mouth marketing. There are most definitely things you can put in place in your business to make it more likely that you’ll not only start to see it start working but also enjoy the benefits.

In fact, I would go so far as to say there is a system you can put into place to actually harness the power of word of mouth marketing. (More on this in Part 2).

Myth #2–You don’t have to do any work. (It just happens.)

Consider that viral video again. Once it’s out there, it takes on a life of its own, and all you need to do is strap up and enjoy the ride.

In the case of word of mouth marketing, that’s actually not true. You see, the reason why your ideal customers, clients, and buyers are singing your praises to the sky, telling their friends and family about you is because they had a good experience with your offerings … which means those new prospects will arrive with certain expectations.

So, not only did it take some work to give your clients, customers, and buyers a good experience in the first place, you’ll also need to continue creating that good experience to satisfy your new prospects.

It’s not as easy as “set and forget.” It’s carefully cultivating the experiences your customers, clients, and buyers will have with your business.

Myth #3–Only ”lucky” entrepreneurs and business owners are able to enjoy word of mouth marketing. (After all, it just happens, right?)

At this point, you’re likely sensing a theme here, in these myths.

Word of mouth marketing is something that just happens. You have no control–you’re either lucky or not-so-lucky.

Believe it or not, word of mouth marketing is actually far more in your control than you might have realized. It’s less about luck and more about having a system—one that has you taking regular action steps that will eventually result in you having a steady stream of ideal prospects coming into your business who can’t wait to work with you.

Best yet, it’s even possible to create a plan to increase your word of mouth marketing. (I share the details in this post.)

And if you’d like more tips on online marketing, you may want to check out my Love-Based Online Marketing book–you can grab your copy here.

5 Tips to Avoid Burnout by Infusing Your Business with Feminine Energy

5 Tips to Avoid Burnout by Infusing Your Business with Feminine Energy

When you’re an entrepreneur, it’s so easy to get sucked into working all of the time and ignoring your feminine side until you hit burnout (or worse).

But, there are gifts feminine energy can bring to your business that can make you a more successful entrepreneur.

For instance, while traditional business models are rooted in goals and action and competition, feminine business models focus on creativity and empathy and receiving. (And yes, that includes receiving money!)

In order to avoid burnout and to enjoy the fruits of your hard work, you actually do need both masculine and feminine energy in your business.

Chances are, you’ve already got the masculine energy. In most cases, entrepreneurs start with goals and plans.

But, when you infuse your business with feminine energy, your ideas align with your purpose and you attract more of your ideal clients, you avoid burnout, you get clear on what your goals really are, and you receive all the rewards you deserve.

So. How do you begin bringing feminine energy into your business?

Here are five tips to get you started:

Tip 1. Stop and breathe.

Masculine energy is about moving forward toward your goals, preferably as quickly as possible. I’ve heard the phrase, “Money loves speed,” countless times—but I believe that it’s not healthy or smart to spend all your time in that fast energy. You’ll burn out. So every once in a while, take some time to just breathe. Check in with yourself and evaluate whether you’re going in the direction you want to.

Tip 2. Don’t push or force. Stay present and continually ask, “What’s needed now?”

If you feel like you Must. Make. Something. Happen. Now … through sheer force of will, then you’re not in the feminine. In fact, too much pushing and forcing is one of the leading causes of burnout. Instead of pushing, or doing the things you believe you “should” do, take a moment to revisit Tip One: Stop and breathe.

Which leads me to the next tip!

Tip 3. Listen to your inner wisdom, intuition, or guidance.

Many successful entrepreneurs know that trusting your gut is an important strength.

The truth is, though, that in many cases, we don’t hear it or trust it. That’s why it’s critical to take time to breathe, stop pushing, and really listen.

Over time, as you practice this skill, you’ll learn how to hear, trust, and act on what your inner voice is saying.

Tip 4. Strengthen your trust muscles.

This one can be tough! Trust that everything is going to work out, and that you will be supported even if you don’t get the results you wanted or expected. If you don’t trust that you’ll be taken care of and supported, then you’re prone to pushing or forcing things to happen. If you struggle with this one, here’s a …

Bonus Tip. Get a love line in place.

Find someone who can support and hold space for you when you start worrying that you won’t be taken care of (for example, that you won’t enroll the number of people you want to enroll in a program, or sell as many books as you’d like to). Your love line should be able to offer perspective, to help you reevaluate the situation from a place of trust.

Another way to look at this is to be committed to your results without being attached to how those results actually appear. For instance, maybe you don’t enroll as many people in your program that you wanted, but you end up with a couple of VIP clients that end up actually being more profitable than if you had simply filled your program. A love line can help remind you that things don’t always unfold the way we think they ought to unfold — but if we relax and trust, they may turn out better than we expected.

Tip 5. Learn to receive.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a conscious, heart-centered, spiritual entrepreneur. Which means you probably love giving. You feel comfortable giving.

But as we all know, sometimes it’s important to step outside your comfort zone.

In this case, it’s critical to receive. If we can’t receive, how can we receive in our business? Think about all the ways in which you must receive if your business is to be successful (and by “successful,” I mean, if it is to help you make that impact you’re so passionate about): you must receive new clients, new opportunities.

Of course, I’m also talking about receiving money and sales, too.

If this one sounds like a struggle, I completely understand. It was a struggle for me, too. It took me some time, and I started with baby steps—learning to accept simple compliments was the first one—and now I’m starting to see the results in my life and my business in terms of my ability to receive.

Since I began the journey of infusing my own business with feminine energy, I’ve experienced a huge decrease in overwhelm and stress—and I’ve also begun seeing better business results. I hope that if you begin infusing your business with feminine energy, you experience the same.

Meanwhile, if this topic resonated with you, you may be interested in my book, Love-Based Money and Mindset: Make the Money You Desire Without Selling Your Soul. It’s available at most online retailers, and you can get your own copy here.

4 Reasons Why It’s Critical to Infuse Masculine Business Models with Feminine Energy

4 Reasons Why It’s Critical to Infuse Masculine Business Models with Feminine Energy

As an entrepreneur/change agent, chances are you’ve set goals. Even if you’re a spiritual entrepreneur who believes in using feminine energy in other areas of your life, it’s likely in your business, you crave a more masculine approach and structure.

You’ve probably created some sort of plan for reaching your goals, and you believe you must take action (often, even hard-charging action) to achieve them.

If you’ve taken any business courses or read articles about growing your business, then you’ve seen it:

The masculine business model.

You see, traditionally, business models are rooted in masculine energy: they’re all about moving forward toward a goal, preferably as quickly as possible. Masculine energy contains, among others, the qualities of analytic thinking, competition, logic, and action.

It’s no wonder, then, that conventional business strategy emphasizes winning at all costs, and often focuses on numbers and measurable results: The Bottom Line.

Revenue plans, launch calendars, profit margins, action, action, action … you get the idea.

And all of those are important, of course, since you’re running a business and obviously, you have bills to pay.

The problem with this business model is that it can lead to burnout and overwhelm. If you’re constantly in overdrive, pushing for bigger results, faster, then it’s likely you’re stressed out much of the time. And even if your numbers look great, you don’t feel great. It’s difficult to enjoy the fruits of your labor if you’re exhausted.

So what’s an entrepreneur to do?

Bring in the feminine.

Feminine energy is creative energy. It’s where you receive from. And it’s essential to enjoying your business.

It contains, among others, the qualities of intuition, compassion, emotion, creativity, empathy.

Masculine energy is where external structures come from, and feminine energy is where all the internal structures are built.

And in business, you need both: you need that structure and those plans. And you also need the space to create and receive.

You may be thinking, “This makes sense, Michele, but WHY?”

So here are four reasons why it’s important to infuse your masculine business model with feminine energy:

Reason 1. A balanced business model helps you grow your business. When your masculine business model serves as a structure for your feminine energy to create and receive, your ideas align with your spirit and purpose, and therefore, attract more of your ideal clients.

Reason 2. You avoid burnout. As I mentioned above, masculine energy is all about action! And action is important. But consistent action without breaks can lead to burnout. When you bring in feminine energy, you give yourself the time and space to create, to practice self-care strategies, and to nourish your soul—so you can receive the fruits of all that action.

Reason 3. You get clear on what your goals really are, and therefore, make more efficient use of your resources. Entrepreneurs with a tendency to get stuck in the masculine business model may go “full-steam ahead” without taking the time to feel into what their goals are, and whether those goals are ones they truly want to accomplish. Feminine energy is about intuition, and when you give yourself time and space to really hear your intuition, you can get clear on which goals are really important to you—before you rush headlong into achieving them.

Reason 4. You can receive all that you work so hard for. Look, for many of us—especially conscious, spiritual, or heart-centered entrepreneurs—receiving is hard. We’re much more comfortable in the space of giving. Here’s the thing: if you’re always in that space of giving and pushing, giving and pushing, you’re not taking the time or making the space to receive. Which means you’re not able to enjoy the abundance you’re working so hard to generate.

So now you know why it’s important to infuse your masculine business model with feminine energy, you probably want to know how to do so — this post gives you 5 tips to help get you started.

Meanwhile, if this topic resonated with you, you may be interested in my book, Love-Based Money and Mindset: Make the Money You Desire Without Selling Your Soul. It’s available at most online retailers, and you can get your own copy here, now.