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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.

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.)

[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! How Do I Get Clients?

[Video] Flip It! How Do I Get Clients?

I’m going to start by saying this is a pretty big topic. There are a lot of strategies and tactics out there to help you get clients. There’s really no way I could possibly cover all the different strategies and tactics out there.

Which is why I’m only going to cover one big secret.

And the best part about this big secret? It requires no fancy software, no complicated systems, no huge team, no big budgets … or really any budget.

It’s simple and anyone can do it to get clients, no matter if you just started your business yesterday or if you’re a seasoned pro who has owned their business for twenty years.

Want to know what it is?

Here it is: consistency.

Yes, I know it’s not as sexy as running a Facebook tripwire campaign or starting your own television show. But, really, when all the smoke of the cool tactics clears, what’s left is dependable, but boring, consistency.

You’ve likely heard the adage that it takes an average of 7 follow ups before your customers or clients will say yes to your offers. (Some experts have said that’s too low and it actually takes a lot more “touches” to get clients.)

People need time to get to know you, to see your content, to read your marketing materials, and decide if what you’re offering is right for them.

But, even more than that, your potential customers and clients ARE watching you. They’re watching if you keep your word, if you show up when you said you would, if you finish what you started.

They want to make sure if they say yes to you, you’ll deliver what you promised.

And consistency is a big part of that.

It really doesn’t matter what you strategy you pick to get more clients — Facebook ads, blogs, podcasts, something else. But, whatever you pick, use it consistently.

Now, you may be pooh-poohing this right now — oh this is just too easy. Being consistent, bah. I need to know if I should be posting videos on YouTube or doing Facebook Lives.

But, here’s the thing. The internet is changing so fast that what’s hot today won’t be so hot tomorrow. But if you’re consistently showing up — especially when most other people aren’t — that’s going to make a bigger difference then whatever marketing strategy you pick.

Still think this is just too easy and basic? Well, I have a few more points that may flip your perspective — 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 Online Marketing” book — you can check it out here.

 

3 Keys to Harnessing the Power of Word of Mouth Advertising (And 1 Bonus Tip to Help Skyrocket Your Results!)

3 Keys to Harnessing the Power of Word of Mouth Advertising (And 1 Bonus Tip to Help Skyrocket Your Results!)

Raise your hand if you think word of mouth advertising (aka word of mouth marketing) is what you should be striving for as an entrepreneur/business owner.

It certainly feels like the most perfect form of marketing, doesn’t it? Your ideal clients, customers, and buyers just flow to you, without your having to make any effort at all, because your current happy clients are busy sending you referrals.

Alas, it’s not as simple as all of that (check out my 3 Myths about Word of Mouth Marketing That May Be Hurting Your Biz). BUT, it IS more under your control than you might imagine.

Below are three keys to harnessing the power of word of mouth advertising (and a bonus tip!)

1. Get crystal clear on your ideal client. Okay, so this one doesn’t seem terribly helpful at first glance. How is getting clear on your ideal client going to help other ideal clients start flocking to you?

Well, here’s a little secret about ideal clients—these are the clients who LOVE you and LOVE working with you (just like you LOVE working with them). Because they love you so much, they’re happy to sing your praises to the world. These are the clients who will happily share you with all their friends and associates.

These ideal, perfect clients are at the heart of your word of mouth advertising plan.

Now, contrast that with clients who aren’t ideal. These are the clients you struggle to work with, who you dread getting on the phone with. They also typically take 80% of your time (versus the ideal clients who take 20%).

Trust me when I say the feeling is mutual. They know you’re not ideal for them, either. They’re not feeling the love.

So, they are most definitely not going to tell the world about you. (And, if they did tell someone, it likely would not be a glowing review, but something far more tepid.)

(If you want to learn more about finding/getting super clear on your ideal client, here’s a post you can check out. You can also grab a copy of my Love-Based Copywriting Method book for even more on ideal clients.)

Bonus Tip: If you REALLY want to supercharge your word of mouth advertising plan, look for ideal clients who are also influencers.

Influencers are folks who already have a big following, and who will be happy to tell that following all about you. If that happens, you can get a big business boost that may last months or even years.

2. Become a master at your expertise. Again, this may sound like less-than-helpful advice, but think about it.

For people to rave about their experience with you, they need to actually have an experience worth raving about. Right?

So, the more you’ve mastered your expertise, the more likely it is you’ll be able to provide that amazing experience.

Your reputation matters. Nurture it. Focus on it. If people hear good things about you, they’ll be far more likely to invest in you.

3. Ask for referrals. Despite what you might believe, word of mouth advertising is not passive. It’s very much something you can control.

Actively pursue it. The best way to do that? You create a plan-of-action around asking for referrals.

Maybe you have a policy in place where you immediately reply back to a glowing client email, thanking him or her and asking his permission to use the email as a testimonial. This is a great time to also ask for referrals. Maybe you send an email to your client list asking if they know anyone who would be a good fit for your services, and if so, to please provide those people with your contact info. Or maybe you take it one step further and create a contest around it—give a prize, like an Amazon gift card or free coaching, to whoever sends you the most referrals.

It’s also a great idea to reward all referrals. Give a gift card, or a referral check. And let people know you value and appreciate them for helping you reach more people.

Lastly, keep in mind that as powerful as word of mouth advertising is, it’s just one piece of an overall marketing plan. If  you’d like help putting together a specific online marketing plan that’s unique to you and your business, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book.

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.

What the Food Network Can Teach You About Marketing Your Business

What the Food Network Can Teach You About Marketing Your Business

First, a confession. Yes, I’m into food porn.

No, I can’t cook (I’m not very good at it, nor do I enjoy it at all), but for some reason, I really enjoy watching other people cook. I especially love the cooking competition shows (probably my love of sports kicking in here).

One of the shows I watch from time to time is Chopped. If you haven’t seen it, four chefs compete to cook the best dish using four mystery ingredients. There are three rounds, and a chef is “chopped” after each round.

During the show, we get to meet and listen to the judges, and for the most part, I haven’t liked any of them. To me, their personalities have ranged from flat and uninteresting to downright grumpy.

Now, that didn’t stop me from watching the show. But I certainly wasn’t going to go out of my way to watch those judges anywhere else.

But that all changed when I saw several of those judges compete against each other on a different cooking show. Instead of being flat and grumpy, they were having fun and cracking jokes.

In other words, I saw their personality.

Now, when I see them on Chopped, I no longer see the dour judges I used to. My view of them now is more well-rounded, and I actually enjoying them.

I suspect you can all see where I’m going with all of this.

The more you share your personality in your marketing, the more people will feel they know you. And once they get to know you, they’re in position to like you—and we’d all rather do business with people we know, like, and trust.

In a nutshell:

So, what are the best ways to share your personality in your marketing?

In no particular order, here’s 5 ways to get started:

* Share stories from your life. From what’s going on with your kids and your pets to your latest vacations.

* Share your hopes and dreams. What do you really want in life? What are you currently working toward? What are you passionate about? There’s a good chance your ideal clients want to join you on your journey, but they can only join you if they know where you’re going.

* Share your rants. Is there something that really makes you angry? Or do you have a contradictory view on what’s considered standard in your industry? Share it. However, I would caution you to try and avoid sounding preachy or judgmental. It’s one thing to get all fired up about an issue, it’s quite another to turn it into a condescending sermon.

* Share your vulnerabilities. Talk about when you made a mistake or fell flat on your face. (But, important note—if you’re in the middle of a massive “black night of the soul,” it may be prudent to wait until you’re through it before you share it.)

* Develop your unique voice in your writing—the more people can feel you in your copy, the more compelling they’ll find your copy. (My second love-based business book “Love-Based Copywriting System” contains resources to help you cultivate your personality and your voice in your writing.)

If you’re uncomfortable sharing your personality in your marketing, my advice is to go slowly. Share something small, and see what happens. The more you do it, the easier it gets.

Want more copy tips? You may like my Love-Based Copywriting books (Volume 1 and Volume 2).

3 Keys to Creating More Freedom in Your Business

3 Keys to Creating More Freedom in Your Business

Raise your hand if you started your business because you wanted freedom.

Maybe it’s time freedom, or money freedom, or freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want—to live your life the way you choose.

Now, raise your hand if what you ended up with is the exact opposite of freedom.

Maybe you feel like your business has taken over your life. You never have time for anything BUT working in your business.

If any of this sounds familiar, I want you to know you’re not alone. Desiring some level of freedom is one of the most common reasons people start businesses. And, getting sucked into your business to the point of feeling like all you do is work, work, work, is also very common.

So, what to do? How do you fix it?

Well, before we get into the solution, let’s dig into the problem a bit more.

For a lot of entrepreneurs, especially creative, spiritual entrepreneurs, the last thing you want is to schedule your time. Maybe you even come from corporate, where your life was controlled by calendars and appointments and meetings, and argh!

You’re your own boss! If you don’t want to write that blog post Wednesday morning than, by God, you don’t have to!

Besides, you should be inspired to write your blog posts, right? So, doesn’t it make sense to keep your calendar open to write that blog post when inspiration strikes? And, in fact, doesn’t it make sense to do that for everything in your business? Simply leave your calendar open and do only what you feel like doing and what you’re inspired to do?

The problem is—well, there are a few problems with that strategy.

First, if you’re waiting for inspiration to write that blog post, you’re likely going to be waiting a long time.

Which means, you won’t be marketing your business on a regular basis. And if you don’t market your business on a regular basis, your cash flow and income will suffer. Which means you’re suddenly going to be in the “oh sh*t” cycle of marketing, as you rush around frantically to generate prospects and clients and buyers.

But, it gets even worse. If your schedule is all “loosey goosey,” driven by what you “feel” like doing in the moment or what you’re “inspired” to do, you run the risk of leaving everything to the last minute. And, that means late nights, lots of stress, etc.

So, what’s the alternative? Scheduling every last second of your day? Just the thought of that sends shivers up your spine, right? What a depressing and discouraging way to run a business.

To start, no, you don’t have to follow some strict discouraging and depressing time- management system. In fact, today I’m going to share three keys to setting up your day, so you’re able to get things done with grace and ease, as well as honoring your creativity.

Key #1. Structure gives you freedom. The way around scheduling every minute and “loosey goosey inspiration strikes” is to structure your day.

This can look a lot of different ways, but one of the most successful I’ve seen is to batch your time.

So, maybe Monday is your administration day—the day you meet with your team, review, organize your office, maybe even plan out the rest of your week.

Tuesday and Thursday are call days, so you batch all your client calls on those days.

Wednesday is creative day, so maybe that’s the day you leave open for writing blog posts, creating programs, and all that creative type work.

And maybe Friday is catch up day—a day where you can catch up on anything you need to. So, maybe you catch up with your writing or your calls.

See how this works? You have a structure and you have tasks that need to get done, but you have the time and the spaciousness to play in the moment.

Now, for this to work, you need the next two keys:

Key #2. Setting boundaries. Now, it’s true: emergencies can and will happen, and there are days where you’ll just need to drop everything and deal with something.

But, most of the time, the things that are distracting you aren’t true emergencies.

This is when setting good boundaries will help you stay on track.

Keep calls on calls day, and don’t let them start migrating to your creative days. Do your creative work on creative days, and don’t let yourself get distracted or sucked into some sort of drama.

(Worried about inspiration not showing up on Wednesday? If you actually set aside a day to be creative, and YOU show up on those days to be creative, it’s remarkable how your muse will also show up to support you.)

While, yes, you’ve given yourself a structure and space to “play” in the moment, you still need to actually get the work done. So, allow the structure to actually support you.

It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? So why aren’t we all doing it?

Because we need the third key …

Key #3. Doing the inner work. If you find yourself struggling to focus and not procrastinate on the things you know you need to be doing, it’s likely you have one or more blocks getting in the way.

Mindset blocks happen when your subconscious is not on board with the direction you want to go. So, if for instance, you have some blocks around growing your business or making more money, every time you sit down to work on marketing, you find yourself screwing around on Facebook or watching videos like that cute one of the elephant playing with the birds (love that one).

And suddenly, the day is gone and you haven’t done any marketing for your business.

That’s why it’s essential to stay on top of your inner game, and keep working through those blocks, because they WILL pop up.

My suggestion to stay on track is to have a morning practice (such as meditation or journaling or praying or visualization or some sort of physical activity … or a combination of those things). Over time, you’ll rewire your brain so the block is no longer an issue.

If it’s a big block, you may want to consider some deeper work—I cover a lot of deeper mindset exercises in my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book, or you can work with a coach.

If you’d like more on how productivity and getting more done, make sure you keep an eye out for my brand new “Love-Based Goals” book, coming December 2017. Plus, you may want check out my “How to Start a Business You Love AND that Loves You Back.”

How to Craft a Compelling Message That Gets You Results

How to Craft a Compelling Message That Gets You Results

When it comes to marketing, do you ever feel invisible? As if no one is paying the slightest attention to your message?

You’re spending all of this time writing marketing copy, emails, social media posts, blog posts, and website posts and they’re falling on deaf ears?

No matter how hard you work, how much blood, sweat, and tears go into your writing, your ideal prospects just aren’t buying.

If this sounds familiar, you’re in luck. Today, I’m sharing my advice for crafting a compelling message that converts your ideal prospects into ideal clients.

Your ideal clients see you and hear you and know you. And to know you is to love you, right?

Right.

So let’s get started.

A compelling message comprises two important elements: your ideal clients and your offer.

You’ll find your compelling message where those two elements intersect.

Ideal Clients

I’m a big believer in the power of identifying an ideal client as opposed to a target market or niche.

Whereas target markets and niches are based on external factors/demographics, ideal clients are based on internal factors like desires and fears.

Here’s my favorite illustration of this distinction:

A target market might be stay-at-home moms. A niche within that target market could be stay-at-home moms looking for a work-from-home opportunity.

And within that niche lies an ideal client.

For example, one stay-at-home mom may be looking for a work-from-home opportunity because she needs to contribute financially to her household. Her family needs two incomes to pay the bills.

Another stay-at-home mom may be looking for a work-from-home opportunity because she wants something of her own; she wants to use her professional skills, and she wants to develop an identity separate from that of a mother or wife.

Take a moment to think about the difference between the mindsets of those two women. Two completely different ideas are keeping them up at night.

In the first example, the mom is worried about paying the bills. And in the second, she wants to develop a new aspect of her identity.

So when it comes to messaging, your message to each of these women would be completely different.

People respond to specifics. So it’s important that your message address the specific worries or fears of your ideal client. The more specific you are in describing their unique situation, the more they’ll feel like you’re speaking directly to them; that you understand them. And the more they feel like you understand them, the more they’ll believe your offer will help them.

Now, if you aren’t sure what’s keeping your ideal client up at night, ask! Send out a survey or hang out where they hang out—Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.—and be a great listener.

Your Offer

Once you understand specifically what’s keeping your ideal client up at night, you can craft your offer so it’s clear you will solve his or her specific problem.

The best way to illustrate this is with an example.

One of my longtime clients, The Coaches Console, provides coaches with an all-inclusive software that streamlines and automates all the back-end elements of a coaching business: marketing, lead generation, client conversion, client enrollment and agreement, client support, scheduling, client notes … everything!

So what keeps their ideal clients up at night? They want to make a difference in the world. They’re passionate about coaching. But they find the business side of coaching overwhelming.

So The Coaches Console’s offer is their software—which solves their ideal client’s problem by taking all the guesswork and overwhelm out of the business side of coaching so that their ideal clients can focus on what they love best: coaching.

The Intersection: Your Compelling Message

So now you know what keeps your ideal client up at night. And you know what your offer is, and how you position it as a solution to what keeps your ideal client up at night.

It’s time to create your compelling message.

Let’s look at the three ideal client examples I’ve addressed in this post:

Stay-at-home moms who need to make money. These women are up at night because they need an income. So if you’re offering them a business opportunity, your compelling message would be: “I provide stay-at-home moms an opportunity to make a reliable income while still having time to take care of their families.”

Stay-at-home moms who want an identity separate from wife and/or mom. These women are up at night because they want to do something of their own. So if you’re offering them a business opportunity, your compelling message would be: “I provide stay-at-home moms an opportunity to have fun as entrepreneurs while still being there for their family members.”

Coaches who love coaching but are overwhelmed by the business details. These coaches are up at night because they want to focus on coaching and want to run a profitable business—but don’t necessarily have the business acumen to do so. So if you’re offering them a software to take care of all those business details, your compelling message would be: “We give coaches the tools they need to streamline and automate their businesses so they can focus on coaching.”

Your message, which happens at the intersection of Your Ideal Client and Your Offer, will be compelling once you make it clear that you will solve your ideal client’s specific problem.

If you are ready to start writing your compelling message, spend some time getting to know your ideal client and what keeps her up at night. Spend some time crafting your offer as the unique solution to that problem. And that, my friends, is where your compelling message is born.

If this topic resonated with you, you may be interested in Love-Based Copywriting System: A Step-by-Step Process To Master Writing Copy That Attracts, Inspires and Invites. It’s available at most online retailers. Learn more, here.