12 December 2009

Business Housekeeping Countdown

Got some extra time on your calendar in the second half of this month due to holiday slow down? Great!

This is the perfect time for a little business housekeeping. You know, taking care of all those little things you haven't made time for because you've been too busy marketing your practice and serving your clients, like:
  • updating your website, making sure all your links and buttons work
  • formalizing new service packages and policies
  • cancelling online accounts that aren't producing
  • cleaning out your data base of prospects who never buy, attend or hire
  • deleting all those guru ezines you've intended to read and never have
I don't know about you, but that could keep me busy for 2-3 weeks.

Not much fun, though. So, what about balancing the housekeeping with some other business development tasks that you may not have taken time for either, such as:
  • creating a vision board for achievements you want to accomplish within 5 years
  • hosting a spontaneous, informal celebration lunch with colleagues to toast the 2009 successes
  • shopping for a new item that contributes to business efficiency or reach
  • seeking out a group to join in January that will be part business learning, part social, part accountability keeping
  • finding teleclasses to take to improve marketing skills
While it's tempting to blow off work entirely over the holiday slow down, a little housekeeping and a little forward thinking can be better for giving your practice an energized start for the New Year.

So what will you tackle today, next week, and before Dec 31?

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09 December 2009

3 Things You Want Your Blog to Do

Do you think of your blog as a staff member of the marketing department of your business? It really is.

Here are three things you want that employee to do for you on a daily basis.

1. Provide useful information and tips to prospective ideal clients

If your blogs are random rambling musings, you are missing the marketing potential of doing a blog. And you're wasting your time in blogging as a marketing tactic. Instead, imagine a specific individual has asked you a question, and let your blog post provide a direct, immediately applicable solution to that question.

2. Develop rapport and likability between you and your niche market

A blog works best when it is a little online slice of your personality. Write like you speak. Be irreverent, if that's you. Exaggerate the absurd, if you do so in person. This is how your breathe your life-force energy into a flat, "impersonal" piece of writing. Being who you are AND speaking to your audience about their problems and easily applied solutions to their problems increases the sense of trustworthiness that blog readers need to become clients.

3. Establish you as a generous, helpful, knowledgeable, solution expert for your target market's problem

Blogs function best when they are endless sources of quick bits of education and help. Few people have time or patience to take courses or read books anymore, but we all need simple answers to our complex problems. As clinicians we know that real healing and lasting change is more complex than this. But the blog is not the clinician -- it's not supposed to provide enduring transformation, just enough help at the hungriest moment to make you the go-to solution expert for your target market niche.

Coaching question ---

To start thinking of your blog as a valued employee in your business's marketing department, what specific job description will it have? What measurable goals will you hold it accountable to achieving for you?
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05 December 2009

Just for Coaches!! A Special Quick Start Guide

Today I have something a little different for my coach colleagues -- a hot-off-the-desktop-press Web-Based Marketing Resource Pack with tons of tips and links to make your early days getting your practice going a whole lot easier.

Included in the Resource Pack are:
  • marketing must-haves and must-do's
  • building a website: where to start
  • online locator directories to join -- specific for coaches
  • useful cheap online marketing tools
  • other services you'll need -- conference call services & small business helps
  • the 12 marketing mistakes new coaches make
  • FAQs my clients frequently ask
  • extroverted marketing activities for the first year in practice
  • 5 crucial rules of thumb
  • tagline examples and a fill in the blank format
  • example and fill in the blank format for your compelling elevator speech
For a limited time this Resource Pack for coaches is available at no charge. Scroll down to the form where you can email for the Resource Pack.

Your Name
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01 December 2009

4 More Tip Sheets from The No Hype Mentor

Lots of my clients start out as do-it-yourselfers, but quickly get overwhelmed with how much there is to learn about having an effective web-presence.

To help get to the gold fast, I've developed a number of quick guides and tip sheets. I have four more for you today.

Suggestions for 1st 5 Web Pages
Clear, quick advice on what content your first website needs to have to attract more clients to your practice.

17 Sticky Ideas
Especially for coaches, counselors and naturopathic doctors, these suggestions will help make your website more client attracting, and help to increase conversion rates from visitors to people calling for appointments.

Niche Viability Checklist
Sometimes you have a great idea for a very narrow or specialized niche that you know needs your help. This checklist will help you determine if enough of these folks will want your services in great enough numbers for you to make a living.

Crafting Your Ideal Client Niche
Those of you who are generalist in recovery may like some help in figuring out exactly who your ideal client is. Helps develop the demographic and psychographic details that you need for an effective marketing message.

Request any or all of these 4 No Hype Mentor Tip Sheets ~~ Note: Submitting this form will not trigger an instant download. I'll be sending you the materials you request personally. Sorry for the wait if your daytime is my sleep time.

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Poor Mr Sleaze -- Everybody Hates You

Sleaze is one of those things that's in the eye of the beholder. Often what it looks like is a set of tactics aimed at convincing us we need something that we can well do without, and persuading us to hurry up and get it when we can't really afford it.

In marketing a private healing arts practice, high pressure sales tactics that work in some retail advertising are generally considered sleazy, such as:
  • creating false urgency that stimulates the greed factor -- i.e.: the buy now or lose tactic
  • purporting a false limited availability -- i.e., the this fee good for the first 5 people today only tactic
  • emotional manipulation of Maslow needs -- i.e.: the become more sexy, have money raining on you tactic
  • over promised results --i.e., cousin to the above, the you too can become an Olympic star tactic
  • celebrity association -- i.e., the trained by Tony Robbins, interviewed by Oprah, worked with Andrew Weil tactic
  • bait and switch -- i.e., the freebies that amount to more sales pitch / less info of value tactic
Most clinicians and coaches are opposed to using sleaze to attract clients -- as well you should be. But, on the other hand, there is a psychology to marketing a service practice. Understanding that psychology and using it to your advantage is smart for business, without being sleazy.

Let's start with some reasonable assumptions about our ideal clients (regardless of who those are for you). They have a pain or a problem that is adversely impacting their daily life, they don't like that impact, their attempts to resolve it have failed, it's getting worse or spreading into other areas of life and relationships, and they want are ready to do anything to stop it.

(If your picture of your ideal client doesn't address their pain or problem in this way, it's time to go back to square one.)

These clients don't need to be convinced they have a problem. They are all too aware of it. They don't have to be persuaded to pay for the help that will end the problem. They are already willing and ready to do so.

So, what do these clients need to hear from our marketing? They need:
  • to feel that you see and understand their pain -- show that by talking about it
  • to feel warmth and caring from you -- don't say you're warm and caring, demonstrate that by your language
  • to feel a connection with you -- talking to them about them creates this
  • to start to trust you -- talking about what in your own life gives you empathy with them shows this
  • to believe there is hope for change -- provide reassurance that you will do your best to help
Is Mr Sleaze involved in any of that? I don't think so.

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