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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.

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.

 

The 3 Biggest Myths Standing in Your Way of Being a Spiritual Entrepreneur with a Successful, Profitable Business, DEBUNKED

The 3 Biggest Myths Standing in Your Way of Being a Spiritual Entrepreneur with a Successful, Profitable Business, DEBUNKED

As a spiritual entrepreneur, does the idea of having a successful, profitable business make you feel vaguely uncomfortable?

(It’s okay—you don’t have to raise your hand or anything.)

I suspect a part of you absolutely wants a business that pays you well and helps you get your message or gifts out into the world.

But, does a part of you struggle with the idea of having a successful business? Do you think to yourself “I’m spiritual; I shouldn’t be concerned with practical things like money and business.”

If this is you, I want to begin by saying this: you’re not alone. A lot of spiritual entrepreneurs struggle with their businesses.

And, it’s my personal belief that a lot of that struggle and angst can be avoided.

Why?

Because many issues can be traced back to 3 fundamental myths about what it means to be a spiritual entrepreneur.

Just like artists and writers and other creative professionals, I feel spiritual entrepreneurs are plagued by their own history of failure and self doubt and getting in their own way.

What if having a successful, profitable business was as easy as a simple mindset shift? Would you be willing to give it a try and see what happens?

My personal belief is it really CAN be that easy—and to help, I’m busting what I consider the 3 biggest myths standing in your way of being a spiritual entrepreneur with a successful, profitable business.

Let’s get started.

Myth #1. As a spiritual entrepreneur, you’re not good at business.

This is obvious, right? You’re concerned with spiritual matters, not pragmatic things like running a business.

Besides, maybe you think business stuff is boring. Or difficult. Or you’re not good at. Or it’s “beneath” you in some way.

You just want to make the world a better place while enjoying time and money freedom—you don’t want to be mired down in spreadsheets and reports and that other icky stuff.

I, too, thought I wasn’t good at business. I thought it was boring, and I really didn’t want to have anything to do with it.

But, a funny thing happened: the more I pulled up my big girl panties and dug into learning business concepts, the more I realized I actually enjoyed running a business.

Business doesn’t have to be boring or difficult.

Isn’t that precisely the reason why we start a business in the first place?

What if you WERE good at business? What if it was fun and enjoyable to run a business? What would that look like for you?

Myth #2. As a spiritual entrepreneur, you’re not supposed to make money—you’re spiritual!

Money is such a low consideration, isn’t it? Only greedy, selfish people care about money. If you care about money, you can’t possibly be spiritual.

Or can you?

This is a huge one. In our culture, we’ve somehow separated making money and being spiritual, when there really is no reason to separate the two.

I believe money is a form of energy. It’s a way for people to give back to you and a way for you to receive payment for your offerings. It doesn’t have to be bad or evil or selfish or greedy.

Honestly, our relationship with money is just so tangled, there’s no way I can do it justice in this post (which is why I wrote an entire book on this—“Love-Based Money and Mindset,” as have devoted an entire podcast to transforming our relationship with money and our money stories) but I’d like to invite you to sit with this statement, and really feel into it:

There’s no virtue in being broke.

If you can’t help yourself, there’s no way you can help anyone else.

And, I know plenty of very spiritual entrepreneurs who are also financially successful. It doesn’t have to be either/or.

What if you could be both—financially and spiritually successful? What would that look like? How would your life and business shift?

Myth #3. As a spiritual entrepreneur, you’re supposed to suffer.

After all, our spiritual and religious leaders have suffered. Look at Jesus or Gandhi—they suffered. That means we should suffer, too. Right?

Well … first off, are we so sure they suffered? Sure they may have had a challenging life, but lots of us do. That doesn’t mean they suffered.

It’s my belief that a lot of suffering is a choice, and that choice takes place in our head. We suffer when we allow our fear-based emotions to run amok in our heads, and torture us unmercifully.

After all, there are very wealthy people who spend their days numbing out with booze and prescription pills, while women in Africa spend a big chunk of their lives carrying the water they need to survive on their heads—content and peaceful.

What gives?

Money alone isn’t a guarantee of happiness, just as a lack of money isn’t a guarantee of suffering. A lot of it boils down to your mindset, and what sort of relationship you have with your fear-based emotions.

And just like being broke isn’t virtuous and noble, neither is suffering. Suffering doesn’t make you more spiritual. It doesn’t even make you a better person. (I think we all know mean-spirited, nasty people who are definitely suffering, and making sure everyone around them suffers, too.)

Having a successful, profitable business and being proud of that business doesn’t make you a bad person. It doesn’t make you less spiritual.

It may allow you to help more people.

What if you didn’t have to suffer to be spiritual? What would open up for you? How would you approach your business if you knew that suffering was simply a choice, and you weren’t going to make that choice anymore?

If you’d like to dig into this more, my free book “How to Start a Business You Love AND that Loves You Back” is a great place start. The link to download is below.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are five tips to get you started:

Tip 1. Stop and breathe.

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

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

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

Which leads me to the next tip!

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

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

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

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

Tip 4. Strengthen your trust muscles.

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

Bonus Tip. Get a love line in place.

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

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

Tip 5. Learn to receive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The masculine business model.

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

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

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

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

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

So what’s an entrepreneur to do?

Bring in the feminine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Stuck? 3 Tips to Bust Though and Have a Business Breakthrough

Stuck? 3 Tips to Bust Though and Have a Business Breakthrough

As an entrepreneur, or more specifically, a spiritual entrepreneur or change agent, you may have experienced hitting the dreaded business plateau, (and then wondering what on earth you need to do to have a business breakthrough).

The business plateau occurs when you’re making progress in your business — you’ve achieved some level of success, and you’re focused on continuing your upward momentum.

And then, it hits you.

Or, rather, you hit it: a roadblock … also known as a plateau.

You’ve undoubtedly heard of this before. Plateaus occur in many areas of life: weight loss, exercise (like weight lifting or speed in running, swimming, or biking), or in productivity levels.

So it’s only natural that they occur in business, too.

There’s one thing all plateaus have in common: they’re frustrating!

As you probably realize by now, I’m a big believer in the impact your mindset has on your ability to create results.

So what I’m about to say will come as no surprise: breaking through a business plateau will happen ONLY when your mindset has laid a strong foundation for doing so.

With that being said, here are three tips for making a mindset shift that leads to a business breakthrough:

Tip 1. Determine whether you’re actually ready to experience a business breakthrough … to get off the plateau, and take things to the next level.

If you’ve hit an external roadblock or plateau, for example, you can’t seem to push beyond a certain number of clients or income level, then chances are, you’ve hit an inner block, too.

An inner block is like a psychological wall that stops you from taking the action that will move you past a certain point.

It may be fear-related: fear of success, fear of failure, fear of not having enough, fear of getting out there and being seen, etc. Or it may be a belief or set of beliefs related to your feelings about success: for instance, successful people are jerks, rich people are arrogant.

Even if you’ve been successful up to this point, as you stretch your limits and set new goals for yourself, new blocks will come up.

So how do you know if you’re experiencing a block?

If you haven’t done any self-development work, you probably do have a block or two. We all do—many of us have experiences as children or even young adults that instill these fears or belief systems deep within us.

Here’s a quick and easy exercise for exploring your own plateau-causing fears and belief systems:

Grab a pen and a piece of paper, and draw a line down the middle, forming two columns. In the first column, write down all the reasons you want to break through the plateau. In the second, write down all the reasons you don’t want to break through or all the ways those blocks are serving you. (Yes, some stuff will come to the surface for that second column if you take this exercise seriously!)

The items you write down in the second column will give you an idea as to which fears or belief systems you need to work through to move past this plateau.

Take some time to think about the emotions associated with the items in the second column.

Next, start moving the energy out of these emotions.

I’m going to share one powerful exercise for doing so here, and you can read about several more in my book, Love-Based Money and Mindset: Make the Money You Desire Without Selling Your Soul.

Breathing is one of the most powerful exercises for releasing fear-based emotions. Yes, I used to roll my eyes at the “stop and breathe” advice, but now it’s become my go-to tool for getting past fear in many different situations.

The trick: you must feel your feelings.

When uncomfortable thoughts come up, just stop.

Rather than going with your first reaction and changing the subject, mentally, or calling a friend to talk about these feelings, stop everything.

Close your eyes and breathe into the feelings associated with the thoughts.

Maybe you feel emotions in your gut, like I do. Or maybe you feel them in your chest. Focus on that area and breathe into it. This takes practice! But I promise it will help you move past the blocks that are stopping you from reaching that next level.

Tip 2. Determine what you need to do to grow.

You’ve undoubtedly heard this analogy before, and that’s because it’s a good one. If you were planning to leave your house and drive to another city in another state—somewhere you’d never been—you’d need to get directions, right?

These days, most of us just type our destination’s address into our smartphone and hit “Get Directions.”

Then an app, like Google Maps, for example, gives us turn-by-turn directions.

Now let’s apply this analogy to your business.

If you’ve hit a plateau, then your desired destination if you want to have a business breakthrough is the Next Level, right? Well, do you know what you need to do to get to the Next Level? Which turns you need to make?

In our analogy, the “directions” would be the specific business strategies you’d use. “Turn left” may equate to, “Launch a new product.”

So how does this tie into mindset?

It’s all about preparation and planning. If you are attempting to reach a goal without a plan, then you’re not in the right mental space to get there. It’s like setting out for a destination to which you’ve never been without getting directions first.

Here’s an exercise you can use to figure out what you need to do to have a business breakthrough:

First, determine what the “Next Level” means to you.

Does it mean earning a certain amount of income? Does it mean landing a certain number of clients, or working a certain number of days each week or month?

Once you’re clear on that, consider the strategies that will get you there.

For example, if your goal is to get more clients, you may need a new lead generation system. If your goal is to earn more money and have more free time, creating a home study program may be a good avenue for reaching that goal.

Then, create a written plan with daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly steps for reaching your goal.

Tip 3. Stick with it. Push yourself just a bit further, past that tipping point.

If you feel like you’re on the brink of something big, then you just might be!

You may not be experiencing a mental block … you may be just one final push from having that business breakthrough and reaching the Next Level.

If you know you’re doing what you need to do, and you haven’t yet broken through your plateau, then don’t give up!

This advice may be a bit frustrating, because as a goal-driven entrepreneur, you likely feel like if you could just take action, just push this through, you could get there.

And this is where mindset comes in: when you’re taking all the right actions, and you have all the right pieces in place, then sometimes you just have to open yourself to receive.

So, are you ready to break through a plateau?

Follow the advice above, and you’ll be on the right track.

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

Niche vs. Ideal Client – Which Is Better to Grow Your Business?

Niche vs. Ideal Client – Which Is Better to Grow Your Business?

Niche and Ideal Client are buzzwords among business owners, right? And in many cases, they’re used interchangeably.

But as I explained in a recent post, “3 Reasons Your Ideal Client—Not Your Target Market or Niche—Is a Cornerstone of Building Your Love-Based Business,” there’s a huge difference between niche and ideal client.

The distinction is an important one, and that’s why I wanted to revisit the topic today.

First of all, let’s recap. What IS the difference between niche and ideal client?

A niche is a subsection of a target market. A target market is a broad demographic of people. To really dial in on what this means in terms of marketing, let’s look at the definition of demographic: “a particular sector of a population.”

Typically when we talk about demographics, we’re talking about external factors like age, career type, income, or location.

So if your target market was 35-year-old women looking for a business opportunity, then you’d dial in even deeper to find your niche; for example, your niche may be 35-year-old stay-at-home mothers looking for a business opportunity.

An ideal client takes the concept of a niche even deeper. The concept is based on internal factors, like values, desires, and hopes.

When we talk about an ideal client, we’re talking about a specific person, what motivates and inspires her, and what she truly wants at her core.

Since we’re going deeper, let’s drill down with 35-year-old mother example.

Here’s what we have so far:

Target market: women looking for a business opportunity.

Niche: stay-at-home moms looking for a business opportunity.

Right away, I can think of two distinct ideal client groups in this niche.

Ideal Client Group One: A woman who wants this business opportunity not because of money (she has a partner or another source of income that funds her family and her life), but because she feels like she’s losing herself in the roles of wife and mother. She feels guilty for thinking, “Is this all there is?” especially when her neighbor, a mom with a full-time job, tells her how lucky she is that she’s able to stay home with the kids. This ideal client needs flexibility and the option to work as many or as few hours as she wants. She is very clear that being a wife and a mother come first, and she wants the time to be able to cheer at soccer games and pick up dry cleaning without stressing about her business.

Ideal Client Group Two: A woman who has found herself in a position where she needs to be the breadwinner for the family. Money absolutely IS an issue, while flexibility and number of hours required aren’t.

Take a moment to think about the pain each ideal client is going through.

Ideal Client Group One: This mom feels like she’s lost herself. She wants to get in touch with herself again, to establish her own identity separate from that of being a wife and mother. She can afford not to work (although perhaps she may want to bring in some money for “extras,” like vacations or to beef up her children’s college tuition fund), and her priority will always be her wife and mom duties.

Ideal Client Group Two: This mom feels a tremendous amount of responsibility. She wants to make money, and would love a steady source of income she can count on to put food on the table. She’s willing to work as much as possible to take care of her family.

Now, if you were the owner of a company who could offer a business opportunity to each of these ideal clients, think about how differently you’d want to market to each one, presenting your business opportunity as the solution to her pain.

Ideal Client Group One: You would position your business opportunity as a way to do her own “thing,” to enjoy the rewards of being a business owner while still having the time and flexibility to be an attentive wife and mother.

Ideal Client Group Two: You would position your business opportunity as a way to make consistent money, starting right away, so she can put food on the table and pay the bills.

So now you understand why knowing the difference between ideal client and niche is so important!

But which one is better to grow your business?

I’m a big believer that the answer is ideal clients.

I don’t feel like niche markets or target markets go deep enough.

Let’s go back to our example. If you market to your niche—stay-at-home moms looking for a business opportunity—you may do okay. Your marketing may resonate with some of the stay-at-home moms out there, whatever their situations are.

But if you market to your ideal client—either the mom who wants to rediscover herself or the one who wants to support her family—then think about how much more strongly your message will resonate.

Every single piece of marketing you put out there will be that much more effective, right?

Now you may be thinking, but my company is great for both ideal clients in my niche! Why can’t I just target both?

To that, I say while yes, I’m sure you absolutely could fully support both, by trying to appeal to both with your messaging, all you’re doing is diluting your message for both groups.

Combining messages by mixing them together makes you look like a Jack of all trades—and a master of none. And, in the vast majority of cases, if they can afford it, people will prefer to work with a specialist over a generalist.

When you pick one ideal client group to focus on (also known as “picking a horse and riding it”) you’ll improve your results and your business will gain momentum—and you’ll be making a positive impact on precisely the people you’re meant to help!

If this topic resonated with you, you may want to pick up your own copy of “Love-Based Copywriting System: A Step-by-Step Process to Master Writing Copy that Attracts, Inspires and Invites (Volume 2 in the Love-Based Business Series).” You can get it here.

3 Reasons Your Ideal Client—Not Your Target Market or Niche—Is a Cornerstone of Building Your Love-Based Business

3 Reasons Your Ideal Client—Not Your Target Market or Niche—Is a Cornerstone of Building Your Love-Based Business

Building a love-based business is a unique endeavor. It’s not like building just any business. When you’re consciously building a business into one you love, and that loves you back, there’s one really important thing to consider: in order to have a business you love, it’s essential to have clients you love (rather than just marketing to a general target market).

Those clients you love, the ones who love working with you and who sing your praises while you solve a problem they’ve struggled with, are your ideal clients.

On this blog, I’ve talked about writing love-based marketing copy,  plus you can learn more about the philosophy of doing when you pick up your own copy of my “Love-Based Copywriting Method: The Philosophy Behind Writing Copy That Attracts, Inspires and Invites .”

One of the key principles of writing love-based copy—and to building a successful, profitable, love-based business—is to define and understand your ideal clients.

Now, you may be thinking, if you know who comprises your target market, or what your niche is — you’ve done this already.

But an ideal client is different than either a niche or target market.

Where a target market is a broad demographic, and a niche is a subsection of that demographic, an ideal client is a specific person … and you know exactly what keeps her up at night. You know what motivates her, what inspires her, and what she truly wants at her core.

As the owner of a love-based business, you have a genuine desire to provide a solution for the people who buy your product or service, right?

If you can’t communicate effectively with the people who you’d best serve, then they won’t buy … and you won’t have the opportunity to help them. Not only are you missing out on a sale, but they’re missing out on a potential transformation (likely one they very much desire).

So, that being said, here are three reasons it’s so important to define and understand your ideal client:

  1. You See a Better Return on Investment When It Comes to Your Marketing Efforts.

Different people are motivated by different things, right? Even two members of the same target market or niche may be motivated by different things. For example, if you sell shoes and your niche market is girls ages 10-12, half of them may be motivated by shoes that look awesome and stylish, and the other half may be motivated by shoes that help them run fast. It seems pretty obvious that you’d market to each of these ideal clients differently … efforts to market to both of them at the same time will likely fall flat.

If you’re trying to sell to everyone, you’re probably getting pretty generic. The more generic you get, the less people will recognize their specific problem in your marketing materials. So when you dial in on your ideal clients’ pain points and the transformation you can help them experience, you position yourself as an expert or specialist, and your ideal clients recognize YOU as THE solution they’ve been looking for.

Therefore, you’ll generate better results in terms of client attraction, conversion, and longevity.

  1. It’s MUCH Easier to Market to One Ideal Client Group Than to a Target Market or Niche Market.

The more people you try to market to, the more messages you need to squeeze into your marketing materials, which means if you’re not careful, it can get very confusing. Plus, you’ll likely end up spending even more time writing and creating your marketing messages than you really want to.

You’ll also have more than one place to market. In the above example, girls who want to run fast are probably hanging out in different groups than girls who want the trendiest shoes. So, to reach both groups, you’re going to have spend time and energy in both groups, which again increases the complexity and number of hours you’re spending on your marketing.

Now, in contrast, consider what it’s like to focus on ONE ideal client group. It’s so much easier to craft messages that speak directly to their soul. You’ll also be able to laser focus on the exact places they’re hanging out.

See why it’s easier AND a better return on your investment to market to one ideal client group?

  1. Attracting Ideal Clients Makes Your Business More Profitable.

Even if you have a small group of ideal clients, you’ll actually attract more of them if your messaging is specific to their unique pain points, desires, and hopes. The more specific your messaging is, the more likely your ideal clients will recognize that you’re talking to them, that you understand them, and that you can solve their problems. Therefore, the more likely they’ll be to buy from YOU.

When you do land several ideal clients (rather than a wide range of client types), you’ll be working with folks who love you, and who YOU love. They become raving fans and tell their friends about you.

Meanwhile, your business resources—marketing, time, energy, and effort—are directed toward helping the clients who love you, rather than putting out fires related to less-than-ideal clients.

The less “ideal” a client is, the more of a challenge it becomes to work with him or her. Less-than-ideal clients are the ones who demand the most attention from you and/or your team, as you try (endlessly) to make them happy. They may also be more likely to ask for refunds, or worse, openly badmouth your business.

And, that doesn’t even cover your personal energy level — less-than-ideal clients are likely the ones you dread talking to, who make you shudder when the phone rings and you know it’s them, and who cause your total exhaustion.

I suspect you didn’t start a business because you want to be drained … and working with less-than-ideal clients will do precisely that.

Now, when your business is filled with ideal clients, you’re much more likely to be “filled up” when you work with them. You’ll love getting on the phone with them, and they’ll energize you. Everything will just flow.

And, don’t worry if you feel like your ideal client group is too small — in most cases, there are more than enough ideal clients to fill your business, and you can always “add” ideal client groups later if you really feel like it’s too narrow.

To sum it up, identifying and getting to know your ideal clients is a huge must! And because it’s so important, here’s a quick exercise to get you started.

Exercise

Take a moment to paint a mental picture of your ideal client. Spend some time with her. Really get to know her. This way, when you begin to write your marketing materials, you’ll have someone to whom to write them.

And get really detailed. Give her a name and a favorite coffee drink. What car does she drive? When she wakes up at three a.m., what’s on her mind? What is she worried about?

If this concept resonates with you, I’d love for you to pick up your own copy of my “Love-Based Copywriting Method: The Philosophy Behind Writing Copy That Attracts, Inspires and Invites.”