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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.

[Video] Flip It! Are New Year Rituals a Waste of Time?

[Video] Flip It! Are New Year Rituals a Waste of Time?

The first time I heard about New Year rituals (actually it was more of a year-end ritual because it took place over Winter Solstice) I was intrigued.

But I also felt like it would be a waste of time.

Could rituals, any ritual, but especially New Year rituals, help me make my goals come true?

Well, as I had been spinning my wheels for years and never getting any traction or momentum around my goals, I thought I’d give it a shot.

And, I’ve been hooked ever since.

Part of the reason why I’m hooked is because what I did before was so … unsatisfying. Maybe you can relate?

I would spend that quiet time between Christmas and New Years feeling like a loser for everything I didn’t accomplish the year before. I would then take a break from beating myself up to create a long laundry list of new goals for the upcoming year. I would then move to feeling overwhelmed over everything I wanted to accomplish over the next twelve months.

Clearly, this wasn’t an ideal way to begin the new year. And, needless to say, all my good intentions would have disappeared by the end of January and my days yet again would be determined by everyone else’s priorities.

This all started to shift when I began using New Year Rituals.

My friend and spiritual mentor Christine Arylo taught me this ritual, which would take place during Winter Solstice.  It’s a natural time to pause, reflect and close the circle on the previous year as it’s when nature shifts and instead of our days growing darker, they grow lighter.

In a nutshell, we would take a moment to celebrate all that went right, process everything that went wrong and choose the lessons you want to take into the New Year.

So, why do you want to do all of that?

For precisely that reason — because we so often DON’T.

How many times do we rush right past a big win because we’ve got so many other things on our to-do lists? How many time do we bury our failures, maybe even refusing to call it a failure but give it some other name to try and keep ourselves from feeling bad about it?

If we don’t take the time to celebrate our successes, it’s like they didn’t even happen. Just like if we don’t take the time to feel the emotions of the failures, we’re dooming ourselves to keep repeating those failures until we feel the feelings and learn the lessons.

If you’ve ever wondered why one year seems to be exactly like the next, despite all your best intentions otherwise, this could be one of the reasons. You never took the time to pause, reflect and properly close the energy of the past year.

(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 — you can check it out here.

Product Launch Secrets: Are Product Launches Dead?

Product Launch Secrets: Are Product Launches Dead?

Yes, the product launch is dead.

No, it isn’t.

It depends.

(Way to be decisive Michele!)

Before I dig in, I want to start by defining “product launch.”

Product launches aren’t new. Businesses have been crafting campaigns to launch a new product or program or service for as long as they’ve been creating new offerings. Turning the unveiling of a new product into an event is a pretty standard business and marketing strategy.

However, with the arrival of the Internet, and thanks to a man by the name of Jeff Walker, the product launch now has a completely different meaning.

Walker has crafted a specific formula called PLF, or Product Launch Formula, that has made thousands of entrepreneurs thousands (if not millions) of dollars.

The formula typically consists of dripping content out (three 20-30 minute videos is pretty common) which leads to opening the cart (or offering the product for sale) for a short period of time. Typically, during the time the cart is open, more content is dripped via webinars or livestreams or coach-a-thons.

Now, just because you decide to launch a product doesn’t mean you have to have all those bells and whistles. There are plenty of simplified launches that consist of a webinar or a livestream that leads to an offer.

Or maybe there’s an “in between” that would work for you. Really, the variations of how you structure a product launch are endless.

However, when we’re talking about launches that generate multiple six or seven figures, you typically need to create more launch content than a single webinar, which is why the Product Launch Formula has been so successful.

Until recently, that is.

Over the past couple of years, the big, elaborate project launch has lost a bit of its luster. Many entrepreneurs who had relied on them for years as a major part of their business income began experiencing dwindling returns.

So IS this the end of the product launch? Or is something else afoot?

Let’s dig in and find out.

Scenario 1: Yes, product launches are dead.

Once upon a time, it wasn’t uncommon for entrepreneurs to build their entire businesses around the product launch.

They would have one (maybe two) launches a year, and earn enough income during that frenzied period of time to sustain them the rest of the year.

For those entrepreneurs, life was fabulous. Sure, they had to work hard during the launch, but launch windows are deliberately short (a few weeks at most) and the rest of the year they could spend posting selfies of themselves hanging out at the beach on Facebook.

Alas, that golden time of product launches appears to have come to a crashing halt.

Now, before you start posting comments or writing me emails letting me know about all the entrepreneurs who are still doing this successfully, let me just say that yes, I’m sure that’s true.

BUT, I will contend they are more the EXCEPTION, not the rule.

The overall trend is that one or two product launches can’t sustain a business for a year anymore.

This is partly because product launches became a victim of their own success. They were so successful, everyone started doing them, and the more people did them, the less effective they became (see this post for more about this cycle).

However, the reality is that this was never a good business model anyway. Relying on ONE thing for your yearly income is actually a really crappy way to run a business. It doesn’t matter what the one thing is, it’s never a great idea to put all your eggs in one basket.

So, in this case, I would say yes, product launches are dead, IF you’re relying on them as the entire financial model for your business.

Scenario 2: No, product launches aren’t dead.

It’s been my position for years that the product launch is an excellent tool to have in your marketing toolbox (note: it’s a tool, not the entire box) IF viewed in its proper context.

For many entrepreneurs, the product launch is about:

  1. Making money (sometimes a lot of it … sometimes not so much).
  2. Building your email list (which you’ll need for all the promoting you’re going to have to reciprocate for all the folks who are jumping into your launch).

There’s no question product launches are great in both of these respects. But, there are more benefits of product launches:

  1. They can grow your exposure and visibility. Product launches give you an excuse to email your prospect list more than normal, to advertise on social media sites (or just do more organic posting), and to have other people promote you. All of the above will help you get more exposure and visibility. Even if your ideal prospects don’t opt in to your list (which is, of course, the most desirable action), the sheer fact they’re getting an introduction to who you are and what your business is about is huge, and can reap big rewards down the road.
  2. They can grow your credibility. When other people recommend or promote your work, they’re sharing their credibility with you. This is an excellent way to build your reputation and your influence.
  3. They can jumpstart your marketing momentum. It happens to all of us; we get stuck in a rut, especially when it comes to marketing and sales. Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is launch something. The sheer act of launching generates energy and momentum that can carry over into other areas of our business, even if the launch itself isn’t as financially successful as we would like it to be.
  4. They can push you out of your comfort zone and cause you to face your fears. I’m a big believer that everything you want is on the other side of your greatest fear. But, for that to happen, you need to actually, you know, FACE your fears. So, you’re likely going to have to take some action to make your fears surface. And launches are an excellent way to trigger those fears, so you can move through them. (Plus, it doesn’t matter if your launch is a big failure OR a big success–both of those outcomes will likely trigger more blocks and fears.)

My belief is that, if you view a launch as a more holistic tool that will (hopefully) also generate some additional revenue for you, you’re far more likely to be happy with the results. If you’re just focused on how much money you’re making, you’re far more likely to not only spend the entire launch completely stressed out, but to also be disappointed by the results (and who wants to put herself through that?).

Scenario #3: It depends.

At the end of the day, it’s really up to how you view the product launch if you consider it dead or alive and kicking.

In my view, product launches can be an excellent tool in your toolbox, so if that’s how you’re using it, a product launch can be exactly what the doctor ordered.

If you don’t want to create three videos and a webinar and a livestream and line up a bunch of affiliate partners, you don’t have to. You can choose the precise love-based marketing tactics and approach that makes your heart sing.

And it still can be successful.

But, if you’re relying on a product launch to financially fund your business for six months or a year, it may not be the wisest choice.

I’m a strong believer in creating a business you love AND that loves you back, and making peace with the product launch is key to that. I’ve seen too many entrepreneurs freak out, melt down, abandon their normal self care practices, even abandon their integrity and compass, all because they’ve turned the product launch into something bigger than it was ever intended to be.

For instance, I’ve seen entrepreneurs who are typically rock solid around carving out time for meditation or exercises stop all of that during a launch. And, if their businesses are all about mindset practices, along with being out of balance when they need it most, they’re also out of integrity with what their business stands for. Or, normally love-based entrepreneurs switch to fear-based marketing tactics in the middle of the launch because they’re panicking over the numbers.

When the smoke clears and the launch is over, along with dealing with whatever the results of the launch were, they now also have to deal with the remorse of losing their way during the process.

Needless to say, that’s definitely not the way to build a love-based business.

The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s completely possible to enjoy all the benefits of the product launch without it descending into a launch hell, and it starts with you being clear on how it fits into your business.

If this resonates with you, you may like to take the teachings deeper with my book, “Love-Based Online Marketing: Campaigns to Grow a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back.” It’s available here.

7 Hot Predictions for Business Success in 2018

7 Hot Predictions for Business Success in 2018

Along with creating new goals and resolutions, it’s also that time of year to dust off the crystal ball (aka an angel snow globe in my case) and make some predictions for the New Year, especially around the hot topic of business success.

And, I’m not going to sugar coat it; 2017 was a little rough, and it could get rougher.

BUT, as always, there is opportunity as well, just as long as you’re open to what it looks like (in other words, it may not be dressed the way it was before OR the way you’d prefer it to be—but more on that in a bit).

Without further ado, let’s see what 2018 has in store for us.

1. It’s no longer “business as usual.”

One thing that became VERY clear in 2017 is how fast marketing strategies can simply cease to work, especially in the coaching/transformation industry. What used to work, isn’t (or, at least, it’s not working the way it used to).

Needless to say, this took some folks by surprise (while creating a lot of panic).

So, what happened?

I think it’s the part of the end of a cycle of two basic human drives (or two things we’re hardwired to be attracted to):

* The attraction of “new”

* And the attraction of “easy”

I’ll explain.

You may not know this, but there was a time (really!) where all you had to do was post a little opt-in box on your website with the words “Free Newsletter!” and people would sign up. (I actually once had someone email me wanting to get my free newsletter because my opt-in form wasn’t working properly.)

Now this was way back … when hearing the words “You got mail!” was exciting. (I got mail! Yay!)

Today, it’s a serious challenge to persuade people to even give you their email address much less buy something from you. And “You got mail!”? People are now excited when they manage to whittle down their inbox to below 100 emails.

Back then, email was new. Free newsletters were new. Therefore, it was a lot easier to see results.

And, in some cases, we’re talking pretty dramatic results.

In the early days of the Internet, it wasn’t uncommon for early adopters to get some insane results without doing a lot of work. And it wasn’t necessarily because what they offered was so incredible, or even that their marketing was so great.

It was because what they did was new.

And the power of new broke through the clutter.

So then, the attraction of “easy” kicked in. Early adopters made more money teaching their “easy” system to the next wave of entrepreneurs, who eagerly lapped it up. (After all, there are very few things we humans love better than something being “easy.”)

Of course, the fresh, shiny sheen of “new” eventually wears off, turning it “old” and “familiar.” “Old” and “familiar” is not nearly as sexy as “new.” They don’t attract nearly the attention, which means it doesn’t work nearly as well. Even worse, “new” becomes “old” even faster when more people use it.

Which means the early adopters need to find a different “new.” And the cycle starts all over again.

Until, eventually, we reach the predictable end.

Internet Marketing itself is no longer all that “new” or “easy.”

(And, all those tricks that came with it? Yeah, those are “old, familiar, and busted,” too.)

You see, the problem with “new” and “easy,” at least as it relates to Internet Marketing, is that it circumvents two key components of growing a successful business—work and patience.

And a lot of people get addicted to “new” and “easy” and forgot about the “time” and “work” part.

So, when “new” and “easy” stop getting results, there is panic.

Then what do we do?

Is the world as we know it over? Do we all need to get j-o-b-s?

Well, before you start trying to remember what a resume even looks like, let’s see what the next prediction is.

2. BUT it IS sort of “business as usual.”

Wait. I’m confused too. Wasn’t the first prediction that it’s no longer business as usual?

Yes, IF you’re building your business on a foundation of “new” and “easy.” While “new” and “easy” will always provide a shot in the arm, it’s not sustainable.

If you want a solid, dependable, profitable, successful business, then maybe it’s time to go back to solid, dependable, profitable, successful business practices.

What are those?

It’s simple—solve a problem that’s keeping your ideal clients up at night, and offer it to them at a fair price (fair to both of you—you need to make a living, and your ideal clients need to feel like they didn’t overpay for what was delivered).

How do you do that? Focus on three main principles:

* Attracting new prospects

* Turning those prospects into clients

* Taking great care of those clients

That’s really it.

Business really isn’t complicated. I know it can seem like it is (especially when you’re stuck in the cycle of “new” because you’re constantly having the chase the next “new” thing), but it truly doesn’t have to be. (And that includes enjoying sustained business success.)

So, how do you do all of that?

Well, let’s jump into prediction three.

3. Relationships are the new currency.

(Relationships were actually the old currency, too, but let’s not split hairs.)

People want to do business with people. People have ALWAYS wanted to do business with people. People WILL always want to do business with people.

So, how did we end up with so many empty, “personality” brand businesses that have little connection to their clients?

Simple. We forgot (blame the frenzy of “new” and “easy” coupled with how easy the internet makes it for us to hide behind our computer).

So how do you do that?

First, let your ideal prospects and clients and customers FEEL you. Hear your voice. Get to know your personality quirks. Maybe even show your vulnerability.

And, don’t ever forget about prediction four.

4. Quality never goes out of style.

There were many things we forgot when we were trapped in the “new” and “easy” cycle, including making sure we actually created a great product or service.

One of the principles of “new” was “speed.” Think about it—the people who benefit the most from “new” are the early adopters. The faster you can get something “new” out there, the better your results.

Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with speed. In fact, there are times when moving swiftly makes good business sense.

But, “speed” can quickly turn into “sloppy.” And, in the quest to make things happen faster, “sloppy” somehow became more acceptable. “Just launch it and fix it later” became the new motto (or, even worse, “launch it first and create it later”).

Again, there’s wisdom in “launching first and creating later.” For one thing, you won’t spend weeks or months creating something no one wants to buy. You’ll know you have a market.

But, the problem is when people buy, they’re expecting the product. So, you have no choice but to create it fast. And, that leads to “sloppy.”

What’s the alternative?

Ask your prospects and clients what they want (and if you have a good relationship with them, they’ll tell you). Test something small—maybe a small product or a free piece of content—and see what the results are. Keep an eye on what seems to be working (and not working) in your marketplace, so you can stay ahead of the trends.

And that leads us to prediction five.

5. Be nimble.

I can hear you now: “Wait. Didn’t you just say “speed” was the first step on a slippery road to ‘sloppy’?”

“Speed,” yes. But, just because you’re nimble doesn’t necessarily mean you’re moving fast with EVERY part of your business.

For me, being nimble means you’re in a position to see what’s out there and respond quickly to it.

For instance, remember MySpace? No? I’m not surprised. I barely remember it either.

Years ago, before Facebook became the ten-foot-tall gorilla, there was MySpace.

For awhile, MySpace was the hot social networking platform to be on. One of my friends even successfully sold a little product on how to make money on MySpace.

And then Facebook took off.

Enough said.

So, the point of this is you DO need to keep an eye open to what’s working and what’s not working. Just because Facebook is where your clients are today doesn’t mean that’s where they’ll be tomorrow.

(BUT, if you’ve created a connection with your ideal prospects, they’ll likely also follow you to the new platform.)

And, if you want to stay nimble, check out number six.

6. Keep an eye on your statistics.

I know, I know. Numbers aren’t sexy.

BUT, they’re one of the best ways to keep a finger on the pulse with not only what’s going on in your industry, but in your business. And they’re the best way to keep you on the path to sustained business success.

Here’s the thing: There’s no question that right now a lot of entrepreneurs are floundering because the strategies they used to used to both grow their business and enjoy business success aren’t working the way they used to.

BUT, let’s not forget there are also entrepreneurs out there who had their best year ever in 2017.

Just because something isn’t working in the rest of your industry doesn’t mean it will affect you. (Keep in mind, the reverse is true too—just because something is working for EVERYONE doesn’t mean you’ll have success with it.)

That’s why keeping an eye on your specific numbers and looking for trends is important.

What numbers should you watch? Anything you want to grow. Some ideas include:

* Email subscribers

* Opens/clicks on your email list

* How many of your prospects buy

* How many visitors to your website

* Specific numbers for any marketing strategy you’re doing (i.e. blog visitors, podcast downloads, YouTube watches, etc.)

And, to brig it all home, prediction seven.

7. It’s never too soon to panic (aka someone, somewhere will panic this year).

Just as people are attracted to “new” and “easy,” they’re also attracted to “panic.”

It’s important to remember, panicking is a choice. Yes, I know, when the bottom falls out, it’s easy to slip into panic.

And, it’s important to feel those feelings—so if that’s what you’re feeling, then feel it and let it move through you.

Just don’t let it control your actions or decisions.

Nothing good happens when you run your business from a state of panic. And, you especially need to make decisions from your inner wisdom and/or God (or your higher power) if the bottom HAS dropped out. (In other words, when it’s most important that you don’t panic, you’re most likely to feel panic.) (Yes, I agree, it sucks.)

So, feel it, and THEN take action.

ESPECIALLY since there’s actually a lot of opportunity and a lot hope to be found out there.

In fact, let me end on a high note:

I made the claim that Internet Marketing itself is no longer “new” and “easy,” but has moved to “old” and “familiar.”

However, that doesn’t mean Internet Marketing doesn’t work. Quite the opposite. Internet Marketing ABSOLUTELY works—BUT only if you use it correctly.

Relying on novelty of “new” to break through the clutter is a stressful, losing proposition. But, using an old and familiar tool to give people what they really want (i.e. a solid relationship, a high-quality product, etc.) is absolutely a winning strategy.

Even better, it’s also key to building your business on a solid foundation of business success.

If you want more help, you may want to dig into my Love-Based Business series is a great place to get started. Check out all the books here (especially my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book—you can get it here.)

[Video] Flip It! Can Gratitude Help You Manifest Your Dreams?

[Video] Flip It! Can Gratitude Help You Manifest Your Dreams?

If you’ve ever dabbled into Law of Attraction principles or other spiritual practices designed to help you grow your business and manifest your dreams, you’ve likely been encouraged to have a gratitude practice.

And, if you’re like a lot of entrepreneurs, including myself. you may find yourself rolling your eyes at this advice.

It sounds too easy, doesn’t it? Just come up with a list of things you’re grateful and that somehow is going to help you manifest your desires.

Really?

Precisely how is THAT going to make you more successful? Especially if you’re struggling right now and the last thing you feel is grateful.

So, I get it. I was skeptical too.

Then, I read a study in the book “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” by Dr. Joe Dispenza.

A group of participants were asked to hold a beacon with DNA strands in it while focusing on unwinding the strands. If they just used their thoughts to unwind them (like what we all learned in the movie “The Secret”, which was anything you thought about, you attracted into your life) nothing happened.

BUT, the group of participants who felt grateful as they thought about unwinding the strands, they were actually able to unwind them by 25%.

The key is to combine the emotions of gratitude with the power of your thoughts. If you can do this, and do this consistently (like every day) you’ll manifest what you desire.

Gratitude is one of the highest vibrations there is. That means the longer you’re able to stay in gratitude, the longer your energy is operating at that higher level, and as like attracts like, that high vibrational energy is attracting your desires to you.

Now, I’m grossly simplifying Dr. Dispenza’s work here, but if you want a couple of pointers to get started, take a few minutes to watch below:

 

(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 — you can check it out 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.

[Video] Flip It! I Can’t Sell Because I Hate Selling!

[Video] Flip It! I Can’t Sell Because I Hate Selling!

There’s just no getting around it. If you want to be an entrepreneur and own your own business, you gotta sell something.

Because if you’re not selling something — your time, your expertise, a product, a book, an opportunity, SOMETHING — you’re not making any money.

And that kind of defeats the whole purpose of having a business. (Not only that, if you’re not selling something, you actually don’t have a business — you have a hobby.)

But, what if you hate to sell? Then what? How can you sell if you hate selling?

Well, I hate to break it to you but there’s simply no getting around it. If you want to be successful as an entrepreneur or business owner, you’re going to have to pull up your big girl or your big boy panties and learn how to sell.

Yes, you can hire a sales team to help you, but especially when you’re first starting out, you’re going to be your best salesperson. And if you’re selling time with you — coaching or a VIP day or a high-ticket mentorship program — people are going to want to talk to you before they make a final decision. So, learning to sell is kind of important.

Am I telling you to do something you hate? Kind of. But, what I’d really like to invite you to do is to dig into why you hate it.

What is it about selling in your business that you hate? Is it asking someone for money? Is it owning your own value? Do you feel it’s inauthentic to ask for money to do something you love?

Or is it something a little more esoteric, such as do you think all sales people are slimy ands sales-y and you don’t want to be sales-y and slimy either? Or do you think all rich, successful entrepreneurs are greedy and you don’t want to be greedy either?

There may be something coming up for you during a sales conversation you don’t want to feel, so it’s easier to simply hate sales conversations.

But, that’s not necessarily serving you or your business.

Look, you don’t have to love selling to build a thriving, profitable business, but you at least need to not hate it. And, chances are, once you dig more deeply into the reasons why you hate it, you’ll probably realize you actually don’t.

And that’s the first step to making your business a success.

(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.

3 Hard Truths About Building Your Online Influence

3 Hard Truths About Building Your Online Influence

There’s no better way to grow your business online than by growing your influence.

When you’ve built a strong online influence, it likely looks like you have a large online community who follows you. For instance, maybe you have a big email list or lots of Facebook followers or a popular blog or podcast or Youtube channel. (Or a combination of the above.)

And, of course when you have that, it’s so much easier to build a successful, profitable business.

But, having online influence is more than just collecting followers on the various social networks. It also means people are actually reading your words and listening to your message.

And, when that happens, it’s truly magic. Because then you’re in a position to share your gifts and message in a much bigger way.

And when you want to make a big difference in the world, who wouldn’t want to have an influence?

The problem, of course, is how … how do you do it? How do you grow your online influence (especially if you’re just starting out), and do it in a way that’s authentic and doesn’t feel slimy, or like you’re twisting people’s arms? (In other words, how can you do it in a love-based way?)

Well, while it’s not particularly complicated or difficult to develop and grow your online influence, it DOES take some work. And you also need to accept a few hard truths. Let’s take a look at three of them:

1. It’s an inside job. Learning the latest, hot new way to attract followers on whatever platform you’re focusing on isn’t actually going to build your influence.

If you want to inspire people to make positive changes in their life, then you need to be very clear on who YOU are—what your expertise is, what your business is about, who you serve, etc.

This inner work can be tough—I get it. But, the clearer you are, the more people will be able to decide if you’re someone they want to listen to, and become a part of your community.

The less clear you are, the more likely people will ignore you—not because they aren’t interested in what you have to say, but because they’re too busy to try and figure out if you’re someone they want to pay attention to.

2. Be authentic. People are savvy. They can sense if you’re walking your walk, or if you’re just telling people to do one thing while you do something else.

And, there’s nothing that has less influence than a hypocrite.

The more you and your business are in alignment with your message, the more influence you’re going to have.

At the bare minimum, it’s important to reflect what you offer in your business. So, if you’re in the health industry, make sure your health habits mirror what you teach. If you teach marketing, make sure your own marketing is in order.

But, you may want to look deeper. Are you someone who pays your team and other contractors on time? Do you believe in investing in yourself (since you’re asking others to invest in themselves through you)?

It may not seem like this would move the needle much, but it really does. If you believe in Law of Attraction, you know that the more you have your own act together, the more the Universe will deliver to you. But, even if you don’t, if affects how YOU are showing up. If you’re out of integrity, it likely will show up in YOUR energy, which people will sense even if they never say anything or are even completely aware of it. And that will affect how people see you, and their willingness to be in your community.

3. It’s going to take time. Ah, this one is tough. Building online influence isn’t going to happen overnight. It might not even happen in six months. Or a year.

People need time—time to get to know you. To see if they like what you’re about. To see if they resonate with your message. To see if they resonate with YOU.

To make things worse, all of this happens on THEIR time, not yours. You need to land some clients because you need money for next month? Tough. No one is going to be compelled to follow you (much less buy your products and programs) because you need the money.

There is no question this is a long-tailed marketing strategy, which by definition means it’s going to take time … BUT once it happens, it will start to take on a life of its own.

If you want to dig deeper into marketing your business, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book—you can get it here.