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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.

 

[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).

[Video] Flip It! Why Haven’t I Gotten Better Results Yet?

[Video] Flip It! Why Haven’t I Gotten Better Results Yet?

If you’re trying to grow your business and you’re not feeling like you’re getting the results you want, I would say one of 3 things is going on:

  1. You’re taking a lot of action, but it’s not the RIGHT action, and that’s why you aren’t seeing results. Maybe the marketing strategy you’re following isn’t the right strategy for your specific situation, or maybe you need better copy for your emails.

This is probably the easiest one to fix — and it’s also the one everyone assumes is the problem. Hence all the marketing out there that is promising you that you really could be getting results, if you only knew this one tiny little-known secret.

And sometimes, this is precisely what’s going on. But, if you’ve tried tweaking your marketing strategy or putting up a new Facebook ad and it’s still not working, then let’s move to number 2.

  1. You’re taking a lot of action and it’s the right action, but it’s just going to take some time. The harsh truth is — success takes time. Dan Kennedy, who is a famous copywriter and business strategist, once said he’s met a lot of millionaires that their bank account just hasn’t caught up to them yet.

So, how do you know if it’s this one? If you’re seeing small, incremental signs of success. Typically if you’re on the right path.

Look, despite a lot of the sexy Facebook ads you’re seeing in your news feed, success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. And work. Consistent work. So, if you’re consistently showing up and seeing those tiny results, keep going.

But, there’s a third thing that might be going on.

  1. You’re actually not really taking all the consistent action you think you’re taking.

There’s a story about Tony Robbins where at one of his events, a man stood up and said “I’ve done everything possible to grow my business and nothing is working.” And Tony said “okay, tell me 10 things you did.” And the man pauses and says “I guess I only did 1 or 2 things” and sits back down.

The point is — what we think we’re doing and what we’re actually doing may not be the same thing.

One of the most difficult things is to get out of our own head and our story so we can clearly see our actions. It is really easy to get sucked into all the crap in our head and be able to judge what we are or aren’t doing.

How do you know if you’re here? Watch below and find out:

(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.

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.

 

 

[Video] Flip It! Where is the Magic Website Traffic Bullet?

[Video] Flip It! Where is the Magic Website Traffic Bullet?

How many of you are secretly looking for the website traffic button?

I mean, all you have to do is take a quick view of your Facebook feed to see tons of ads from gurus promising to teach you where that that magic website traffic bullet is.

It’s Facebook ads!

No, it’s Instagram!

Pinterest is the missing secret.

Maybe you should post videos or do a podcast.

No, go back to good old fashioned SEO.

Ahhhh! Overwhelm alert!

So, chances are you’re either running around like a nut trying to do EVERY website traffic strategy under the sun or you do nothing because you have no idea where to turn or which one would be the best one.

You probably already know what I’m going to say, which is there is no secret magic website traffic bullet. Not even if you buy it.

So, what’s the answer? Just give up? Resign yourself to not getting enough traffic to your site or blog?

Not at all. In fact, I’m going to share two very powerful strategies for creating your own magic traffic bullet.

  • Whatever strategy or strategies you pick to attract visitors to your website or blog, decide right now you’re in it for the long term. In other words, this isn’t a “do it for a month and expect you’re going to get thousands of visitors and be set for life. That’s just not the case. It can take weeks or even months before you build enough momentum to start getting some traction, and once you’re got it started, you’re going to have to maintain it. So, having a plan in place to make sure you are consistently using that strategy is key.
  • Whatever strategy you do, always put out your very best work. This also includes if you post regular blog posts or videos or a podcast. If you’re writing blogs, then don’t just race through it and slap something up. Take the time to do the best job you can on everything you create. While this isn’t necessarily the fastest way to attract visitors to your site, I guarantee this is the key to standing out. If you put out really good content, your people WILL find you.

I share more in the video — check it out:

 

(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.

[Video] Flip It! Are You Using the Wrong Marketing Strategy?

[Video] Flip It! Are You Using the Wrong Marketing Strategy?

If you’re not seeing the success you want to be seeing in your business, it’s very possible it’s because you’re using the wrong marketing strategy .

Let me explain: There are two types of marketing strategies — long-term and short-term.

Long-term strategies are designed to build your business over the long term. The benefit of using them is you can be reaping the benefits of what you built for a long time — months or even years — even if you stop using it. Examples of long-term strategies including blogging, SEO, podcasts, other types of content marketing and even list-building.

Another way of looking at a long-term marketing strategy is any strategy that focuses on building a community. You aren’t making an immediate sale, instead you’re focusing on building a solid, loyal community that will buy from you over and over again.

Hence the weakness of long-term strategies — there’s no focus on cash flow.

That’s why you need short-term strategies. Those are designed to make a sale right now. Product launches are short-term. So is any sort of sale.

All healthy businesses need both long-term and short-term strategies. The problem happens when you are either focusing exclusively on one marketing strategy or you’re focusing on the wrong strategy for your goals and where you’re at in your business right now.

For instance, if you’re focusing solely on long-term strategies when you really need cash now, you can be creating a lot of financial stress. However, over-focusing on short-term strategies can trade short-term profits for long-term disaster.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Watch and decide for yourself:

 

(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.