Tuesday, 26 February 2008

"I can't afford it" doesn't just annoy me!

The blogs I follow can be quite diverse. Yesterday I unsubscribed to some that were becoming more promotional and less interesting. This morning, I came across this posting "But I'm a [insert what you are] I can't afford it" and simply had to reply to it as it echoes my sentiments pretty well, in fact better than I said it! If you want to read my original post, go to "Excuses, Excuses"

Monday, 25 February 2008

Ouch, that hurt!

Last week I did some long overdue housekeeping on my Ezine subscriber list. I deleted all the 'unsubscribe' request records and the hard bounces. I knew that doing this would reduce the total number on my list, but it still hurt to hit the delete button.

On the plus side, it does mean that those people still on the list are definitely in my target market and are interested in receiving newsletters and other notices from me.

It's taken me many years to realise that people unsubscribing doesn't necessarily mean they don't like ME! During my 'housekeeping' I also removed the email addresses of people who I know have moved on to take up new positions. There were also some who work in larger corporations - they're definitely not in my target market!

What would have made it easier for me would have been to send a little note wishing them well in the future - after all, I have met nearly all of them personally, but it doesn't seem very business-like somehow. After all, they have just told me they don't want to hear from me by email anymore!

Every now and then I have a purge of all my newsletter subscriptions, just to not end up with an overflowing Inbox. I know that other people must go through the same exercise (in fact it's something I tell my workshop students to do!).

I'm currently doing a lot of experimenting with Email marketing and will be sharing the results.

Now, I just need to replace those unsubscribers .......

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

"Do the Locomotion"

Do you remember a song of that name by Little Eva from many years ago? It still gets played occasionally and whenever I hear it I get a picture in my mind of lots of people moving in a long line like a train, although I'm sure the original dance looked a bit different.

I've noticed that in business, once you start moving forward by taking lots of action, you can build up a momentum that becomes quite easy to sustain.

The new business model that I'm working on (mentioned a couple of postings ago) is building up a series of interlinked steps and strategies that need to be done. Doing each step for the first time is quite slow because it's a bit scary and tentative. After that, as it becomes more familiar and comfortable, I wonder why I didn't try it before!

Getting a 'locomotive' moving from a standing start takes a lot of fuel and effort, so does getting started working 'on the business'. Knowing what has to be done can, in itself, be totally overwhelming. My coaching clients often get a panicked look when we go through and identify what needs to be done.

I'm holding a FREE Teleseminar this Thursday evening on How to Stop Overwhelm and I'm quite surprised at the number of people who have signed up - it's obviously an issue that is affecting many small business owners. I know, I've been there myself.

Taking the first steps, getting your business locomotive rolling, does require energy and focus. The rewards come as you build up a head of steam moving forward and, of course, see the results of your efforts.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Whatever happened to commitment?

I was saddened to get an email this morning from a new coaching client. After only two sessions, she is questioning how she can justify continuing to work with me because her situation hasn't really improved since we started.

On my morning walk I pondered why she should feel this way – because she is already making progress, albeit slowly because she had asked for meetings 3 weeks apart. Perhaps that’s my first mistake?

I've found before that being too flexible and accommodating can backfire on you. When I'm interviewing potential coaching clients, I always ask them to commit to working together for a minimum of 3 months. There's a very strong rationale behind this. Coaching clients expect quick results and I make sure they get them. However, I'm not a miracle worker!

They need to continue to be determined and to continue to take action if, what
they say they want, is actually what they do want. Another scenario that can cause commitment to waver is that, once clients get started making changes via working with me, they realise that 'hey, this is hard work!'. Yep, it is, but isn't anything worth having?

It's obvious that the way that I'm qualifying potential coaching clients isn't working properly. Maybe this is a sign that I need to raise my prices? It may be the only way to gain more commitment to taking those tough actions and making the uncomfortable changes that unlock the door to success.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Shifting the Business Model

The last few days have been really amazing! I now have a new coach who is really going to help me do for my business what I do for other people's. She really understands the business model that I want to use and has already got me working to it.

Another exciting thing that has happened is that, on Friday, I took delivery of a home study Training Program I've been longing to do. It's from a truly inspirational marketing mentor I've been learning from for over 2 years. It is the most expensive program I've invested in so far, and I just know that what I learn and implement from it will take my business to the next level.

While I was debating whether I could justify spending so much on training, my inner critic was telling me that there were other things the business needed and I shouldn't do it. But my own personal 'inner coach' reminded me that I'd been wanting to do this program for the last 2 years and that, if 2008 is to be the growth year I want, then it was high time I stopped procrastinating and got on with it.

So I went ahead and took the plunge. After all, if I coach my clients about the need to invest in themselves, how can I do any different?

One of the lessons I've been reminded of is that it's important to make decisions quickly and act on them. So I did the right thing! I'm looking forward to learning more - and to taking more action.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

The grass is always greener...

This week I've been through the whole gamut of emotions! From pride (at writing some great content for my newsletter and making a good start on a new workshop) to despair (at finding a competitor offering what I was about to offer). From satisfaction (at submitting some good articles) to out and out jealousy at some of the great looking websites and blogs I've seen lately.

The trouble is that I'm being distracted by the syndrome called 'the grass is always greener'! I'm forgetting just how much I have achieved, and discounting my offerings (which are actually rather good). The result is that I'm so busy stewing over how to improve that I'm forgetting a very basic fact of life.

The grass will always seem greener in the next field. It's just that when you get there, the next field looks as though it may have grass that looks even greener....

Fortunately, tomorrow I'm meeting with someone who I hope is going to become my next coach (yes, coaches need coaches too!). I've been searching for a new coach for a while now, someone who is going to help me move my business on to the next level. While I'm pretty good at staying focused - this week has shown me that I can also be easily distracted and slowed down by wanting to reach that greener grass!

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Blogging for Business and for Profit

I've just been reading some of the blogs I subscribe to and realise that I need to 'up my game'.

If you want to see how it should be done, visit Yaro Starak at Entrepreneurs Journey. Yaro posts nearly every day and his articles are always informative and easy to read. He's also proof that you can make money from blogging!

Yaro has also just launched a new website at BecomeBlogger.com. If you've ever wondered how to set up a Wordpress blog or website, there are 10 videos to take you through step by step - even if you've never registered a domain name before.

You don't even need to sign up for anything, although I do recommend the Blog Profits Blueprint if you're serious about making money with your blog. It's free too.

Even if you're on a tight budget, this method has so little cost attached to it that there's no longer any excuse for not having a presence on the web.

Back to this blog, I think I've been worrying about each post having to be 'really interesting', that I haven't made use of the articles I already have. It seems to be more important to provide good content. So, get ready to read more articles here!

Friday, 1 February 2008

What's been happening?

This week has been dominated by writing projects - from sales copy to web pages, newsletter, a brand new workshop, and a new free teleseminar. And I've had some client meetings as well. But mainly I've had my head down and my fingers flying over the keyboard!

It's surprising how much I've got through. I'm trying out a new system and it really is making me more productive at creating new products and doing the marketing for them. Of course it also helps that I had a sudden flurry of ideas to help the creative bit.

The business networking machine has cranked itself up again, and today I've even been invited to a Speed Networking launch meeting in Eastbourne. Not too sure how I got on that list!

I've just signed up to author a chapter of Drew McLellan and Gavin Heaton's new book (as if I didn't have enough to write!). It looks like fun, with 100 authors and all the proceeds going to the charity, Variety. You can still buy last year's Age of Conversation or get involved with this year's project, or even just take part in the survey to vote on the topic. I haven't got a clue what to expect, watch this space!