Posted on Leave a comment

Episode 101: Two Hot Marketing Success Tips

In this episode I’ll be sharing two powerful aha moments that my clients have had this week, so that you can get really comfortable with marketing AND do it with confidence, and sell your stuff like a boss.

This past week I have had two really interesting conversations with a couple of my clients about what marketing is and what marketing isn’t and how to get into the right mindset to really embrace marketing and do it well. 

These conversations were eye openers for my clients and it helped them to totally get a different perspective on  marketing, so I wanted to share them with you here today. 

The tips are to help you 1. feel totally comfortable about marketing and how to do it, and 2. To sell your services with a sense of conviction.

Tip #1 – a comfortable marketing perspective

One of my clients is SUPER good at connecting and networking with people, yet she has always shied away from the idea of ‘marketing’

I explained to her that, essentially, marketing is exactly like the process of making friends.

You need to invest in friendships and earn the right to be a friend before you can ask them to help you move house, or babysit your three kids for a weekend, right?

So in the same sense, marketing is a process of getting to know your kind of people who have a common problem and interest. And it’s about networking with colleagues in the same way, having general conversations on points of interest and staying in touch.

You’re staying connected with those friends (potential clients) and talking about things that matter to you both. 

You can do this on an email list, or in a FB group, or via a WhatsApp feed, or a meetup group, or whatever way you want.

The point is, whichever way you choose to build and maintain a community of ‘friends’ (prospective clients), you need to show up consistently and talk to them about what matters.

By being a good friend – supporting them, offering help and value, helping them stay motivated or inspired – they will want to reciprocate.

So every now and again, when you DO make an offer, free or paid, they’ll either want to buy it, or recommend it to others, because they think you’re amazing.

Once I’d explained marketing this way to my client, she had a massive shift and it suddenly opened up so much understanding and possibility for how her marketing could look, going forward.

Tip #2 – celebrating success to sell more, more easily

I have helped several clients with sales conversations recently and there seems to be a common theme – the feeling of I’m not good enough.

Sound familiar?

Most of us are taught that we shouldn’t be boastful, or that we should be humble, or that we shouldn’t talk ourselves up.

I totally agree! Humility is an important and attractive trait.

BUT you can be humble AND promote yourself at the same time in an authentic way, so that you can sell more easily.

The main obstacle most people face is that they’re stuck in the ‘I haven’t done anything amazing’ headspace.

The way to get around that is to celebrate your success – then the authentic sales copy will come tumbling out.

Here’s an example.

I was speaking with someone trying to reach people in a new niche, and she was feeling pretty disheartened by what she described as a ‘lack of ideal clients’ in her latest program.

With some coaching conversation around her successes, it was revealed that she had more clients than she thought. In fact, 50% of her current clients were her ideal clients.

Further, those 50% of clients were all very well networked and could introduce her to potential opportunities in the corporate space.

Celebrating success created a fresh perspective on things.

Coupled with Tip #1 above, suddenly a whole new world opened up for this client of mine, in terms of marketing and she left our session feeling energized, excited and very proactive about connecting with people (instead of marketing) and expanding her niche.

By celebrating her own wins, she was able to see what she had achieved and how to go out and talk about the wins of her clients so she could attract more of the same.

I had two other experiences like this in the past week and it made me realise that I had to share this with you!

In all cases, it all comes down to that good old coaching question – what are you making this mean?

The facts of the situation never change – it’s your interpretation of them – or what you make them  mean – that affects whether you feel like a loser or a winner.

The great thing is that you can control your thoughts.

And to succeed in anything, in business or life, you need to believe in yourself and your methods. 

In Summary

Marketing and making friends follow roughly the same sort of process. You have to have some general conversation to build trust and rapport over a period of time – at least a few months – before you can expect anything in return. You need to give first in order to receive, as Stephen Covey would say.

Marketing is a process of getting to know your kind of people who have a common problem and interest.

In addition, when you celebrate your successes, you see valuable wins which can help you to either feel more confident in talking about what you do, or even better, to help you speak about the results your clients achieved, so you can attract more of the same.

It all comes down to your thinking patterns – they rule your results.

If you want to master your thinking and beliefs about your business, visit melaniejwhite.com/habitology and join my monthly membership where you’ll gain the skills, structure, support and confidence you need to take action and get traction in your business.

Ready to get more comfortable with marketing?

There are habits can help you sell more easily! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

Posted on Leave a comment

Episode 89: Stretch Goals

Do you want to develop courage, confidence, persistence, agility, strategic thinking and self-belief? Then you might just need to set a stretch goal.

Imagine if you could achieve a huge goal, something bigger than ever you thought you were capable of?

How much self-belief would you have if you could do that?

What else would be possible?

And how sweet would it be to overcome your fears and overwhelm, so you could bask in the glow of achievement?

It would be amazing.

Many more doors would open for you, and the world would have many more possibilities because you’d taken a leap of faith, and grown as a person along the way.

Would it be an easy process to get there?

Probably not.

It would be a baptism of fire – a situation where you must immediately cope with difficulties and obstacles.

But you would be a stronger, better person for it, more confident, accomplished and ready to tackle the next thing.

Welcome to stretch goals – the topic of today’s episode – guaranteed to supercharge your business and your life.

What is a Stretch Goal?

According to Harvard Business Review, a stretch goal is a blend of extreme difficulty and extreme novelty.

Extreme difficulty means going beyond your current capability and performance.

For you, this could mean going all out to lose 15kg, or holding a big marketing event to attract 100 people to your business, or just saving an extra $300 this month.

Extreme novelty means working differently, creatively, following new paths or approaches never tried before.

For you, this could mean trying a totally new exercise approach, or making a complete change in your business model.

Why Set A Stretch Goal?

You’re probably thinking that the whole stretch goal idea sounds a bit hard, a bit crazy and a bit scary. It sounds like a risk.

And it is ALL those things.

BUT the results you get from a stretch goal are worth it:

  • courage
  • determination
  • agility
  • the ability to manage risks, and
  • self-belief.

So in summary, a stretch goal is a hard goal that pushes you outside your comfort zone so you can truly discover what you’re capable of.

Top performers know that failure is part of the process so more than anything, stretch goals are an exercise in developing self-belief, acceptance and persistence by achieving bigger things than you thought were possible.

A Crazy Example (Do Not Try This At Home)

In 1997, my then-boyfriend, an avid motorbike rider, suggested that we do a trip across Australia from Perth Western Australia to Cairns Queensland through the middle of the country on dirt and sealed highways. 

It seemed like a great idea – but I had never ridden a motorbike before in my life.

This was going to be a monumental stretch goal that would shape my beliefs, attitudes and the course of my life going forward.

At the time, I had to take stock and think seriously about whether I could actually do this. Whether I had the resources within me to be able to take on such a big crazy goal.

I had to consider the time it would take me to learn to ride a bike. What would it cost me to buy a motorbike, lessons and to get my license and riding gear.

Then of course there was the whole rest of the trip to plan, like where the fuel stops were, how to modify the motorbikes to carry enough fuel between the fuel stops, how physically strong I’d need to be to ride the 10,000km and endure the harsh conditions of the desert. 

We had to think about safety check ins, sleeping arrangements, dried food and water given the limited carrying capacity of our motorbikes. 

I figured that between us we had what it took to do this trip and to plan it really well, so I said yes, let’s do it. And we developed and rolled out our travel plan over a 12 month period.

This was going to be a monumental stretch goal that would shape my beliefs, attitudes and the course of my life going forward.

In the weeks leading up to the trip people told me I was crazy. They laughed at me. They said things like, ‘you’ll never do that’ and ‘you’ll kill yourself’ and ‘who do you think you are?’

I didn’t dare tell my parents I was going because they would have been horrified. 

After all, I was 26 years old and was about to ride my own small off road motorbike – a Yamaha XT-250 – across the desert with no off road experience and only three months of lessons, license and riding time.

But I forged on. I created a 6-week gym training program for myself to build up some strength for the long haul ahead and I added 2kg of muscle to my skinny little frame. I felt strong, and physically and mentally ready.

A week before we left, I came down with a really terrible flu and was bedridden with a chesty, green-phlegmy cough in the week prior to our departure. I was SO sick. I had barely any energy and I lost all of the gains that I’d made in the gym. 

But we delayed our departure by a week, had a farewell party, and decided to go ahead anyway. 

The first 2 days it rained solidly and we made it on the sealed roads via Merredin and Kalgoorlie to Laverton where we holed up for a day and waited for the rain to pass.  

But when the rain showed no signs of letting up, we decided to hit the dirt highway so we could get ahead of the front. 

That meant riding a bike with 3 months of experience under my belt, heading into slippery mud holes, slimy sliding muddy roads, rocky hills, deep sand river beds  and of course coping with any cows, camels, kangaroos, wild horses and other wildlife sprinting across the road. 

There was not a soul in sight for most of the ride, and being the middle of winter in Australia it was freezing cold at night and crisp and sunny during the day – great for riding but not so good when you have the flu and a fever and a constantly runny nose. 

We wore balaclavas during the day under our helmets to keep warm and my balaclava was stuck to my top lip because of my runny nose. 

As you can imagine, I felt miserable and like giving up. I spent the first few days crying, sending daggers at the back of my boyfriend’s head, realising that there was no way out and I had to keep going. 

It felt bloody awful and terrifying. I was riding at about 40 km per hour while my boyfriend rode on ahead then impatiently waiting for me to catch up. 

On about day 6 of the trip something interesting happened. We were riding through the desert near Peagull Caves in WA, and up ahead on the dirt road I could see this little shape.

As we drew closer, I realised it was an Italian guy riding a little Vespa with a small suitcase and a hat box (of all things!). He was smoking a cigar, grinning broadly, and pottering along at 30 km per hour. I passed this guy and waved, then suddenly I felt like the queen of the world because finally there was somebody going slower than me on a smaller bike and he was enjoying himself.

You would not believe how good I felt in that moment. It was a huge lesson – that I could actually enjoy this journey and make the most of it. I didn’t have to be the fastest or best rider, I could simply ride, and be happy for being here and doing this huge feat.

Then I started to gain more confidence in my riding and although I was still to be sick with the flu for another six weeks, I really made progress. I felt like I was accomplishing something.

Then after a couple of nights’ stopover at Ayers Rock and Alice Springs, we hit the dirt again, and one of the most rugged tracks in the Northern Territory desert called the Cattle Water Pass. 

My boyfriend convinced me it was a 60 km shortcut but it ended up being one of the most hectic, eroded, difficult, windy tracks I could have ever imagined (he did apologise for taking me down it later on). The upshot is I ended up nearly falling off my bike and collapsing in exhaustion covered in sweat and feeling defeated. 

I was in the middle of Australia and the only thing I could do was to keep riding.

We ended that day at the Urandangi Roadhouse and all I could see ahead was a dusty road with rocks and big bulldust holes that could easily cause an accident. Bulldust holes look like the normal road, but they are actually gaping holes that can be up to a couple of metres wide and maybe half a metre deep, filled with very fine dried silt.

So on the surface, they look like road, but when you ride a motorbike through them at 70km/hour, your front wheel plunges in and you go flying over the front. Which is NOT what you want to do in the remote central desert.

I was terrified of the road ahead, so I asked every person I saw at the pub – both of them – what the conditions were like. 

The first guy said “it’s a great road, you could drive a regular 2WD car on it, you’ll be fine”. Phew, what a relief!

But then the next guy said “it’s the worst road I’ve ever been on it’s full of bulldust holes and you’re at high risk of a serious crash – it’s not safe to drive on”. 

It was at that point that I realised that nobody could predict what the road ahead would be like. Nobody could guarantee me that I would be safe. I had to just get on that road and ride it; to make my own decisions about how to ride, and how I was going to talk to myself about that journey (mostly, I prayed). 

But, isn’t that a metaphor for life? 

The trip got easier from then on. We made it to Cairns, stayed a few weeks and by the time it came to do the journey home I was a confident and competent rider and I was riding at 80 km per hour off-road and was able to handle all different sorts of terrain with confidence.

What Stretch Goals Create

I mentioned that that trip was a defining moment for me.

At the time, I felt like I was the queen of the world. I had a huge sense of accomplishment and achievement. I had so much more self-belief. 

I knew that if I persisted I could get through anything, even when it seemed there was no way out.

That trip helped me to develop character strengths and skills that I would not have had otherwise.

And in the years after that, I have used those strengths, skills and that self-belief to start businesses, to change careers, to move interstate, backing myself the whole way.

Why was I able to do these things? 

Because I knew that I could make them work. I had proof. And without that baptism of fire, I might never have achieved everything I have so far in my life.

That, my friends, is what stretch goals can create. 

For me, that was a stretch goal worth pursuing.

Summary

Yes, the whole stretch goal idea is a bit hard, crazy and scary. 

It involves getting out of your comfort zone to tackle something huge – something that seems impossible – knowing that you could fail along the way.

Some people will tell you it’s easy, others will tell you it’s hard. In the end you’ve just got to back yourself. 

Is it worth it?

You will have to decide for yourself.

But if you want to grow as a person, and to develop more courage, determination, persistence, agility, strategic thinking and self-belief, I highly recommend setting yourself a stretch goal.

It will totally change your life.

If you want to study stretch goals with me, jump on into my monthly membership at https://www.melaniejwhite.com/habitology.

Ready to set a stretch goal?

It’s a great way to grow as a person, and to develop more courage, persistence, and self-belief! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

Posted on Leave a comment

Episode 87: Creating A Vision For Your Coaching Business

Any time, but especially now, it’s a good time to review and revise your business vision. 

This episode explains two vision traps to avoid, and two steps to creating a compelling, inspiring, get-me-out-of-bed vision.

You might be asking – why write a business vision, and further, why would you revise it? 

Well, because your vision is a clear and vivid image or statement describing where you want to take your business and what it will achieve in the world.

It’s the thing that gets you excited. It’s a get-me-out-of-bed statement that inspires you to persist, no matter what, to overcome any obstacles that come up.

It is the outcome you seek to create, therefore your vision creates a framework for setting specific, actionable goals.

And of course, your vision may change over time, so you need to review and perhaps revise it from time to time – especially when your life and/or circumstances change.

A vision is SO important to your business because strong emotions are what drive us to persevere and what cause our customers to buy.

We need to create business vision statements that are aspirational, motivating and speak to a purpose that is bigger than ourselves.

A vision is SO important to your business because strong emotions are what drive us to persevere and what cause our customers to buy.

To get it right you need to reflect on your why – your values-based motivators; your deeper purpose, and what lights you up emotionally and touches your heart.

As you can guess, it takes some work to uncover these things. 

And that is probably why I see a lot of business owners struggling with creating a business vision – because they aren’t sure how to peel off the layers to find and explore their values and purpose.

So today I’m going to walk you through a process of defining a business vision so that you can firm that up and then, as a result, start to set and achieve meaningful, realistic goals.

I want to help you to create a vision for your coaching business that is realistic, meaningful and purposeful, so you can work every day on purpose.

Vision Traps

Before we talk about creating a business vision, I want to point out two main vision traps that people fall into. This will help you to understand why you might be getting stuck with your business vision.

The first main trap is the ‘looks good on paper’ trap.

If you’re like most people, you think that you operate and make decisions from a position of logic.  

In this case, rather than digging into what’s important to you and why, you are simply using your logic to examine some superficial facts about yourself and using those as your basis for creating a vision. 

Vision traps can happen to anyone who lives in a world of shoulds, or who isn’t that connected with their emotional side or values. Maybe you’re not sure if what you’re thinking is ‘right or not’.

Here’s an example.

Let’s say that you have had experience as a personal trainer, so it seems logical that you would set a business vision that builds around your skills in those areas.

For example, you might say to yourself, ‘I’m a personal trainer, so my business vision is that I want to help women in their 30’s to be fit and healthy and to have strong bodies that look good in a bikini.’

And let me just say – this is totally fine if that’s truly meaningful to you.

BUT maybe in your heart, you want to work with women who want to be consistent with going to the gym because they are struggling to manage stress, and they aren’t eating well or exercising as a result – and that’s meaningful to you because you’ve been in that situation yourself and it felt awful and out of control..

What I’m saying is this – If you looked a little deeper into what is truly meaningful for you, you might uncover that deeper sense of purpose, the stronger values behind the work, the bigger reasons for you to take action no matter what.

Think about how very different those two business visions might be – one around helping people to exercise, and another around helping people to manage their time, responsibilities and their minds.

The key message here is this: your past doesn’t necessarily dictate your future.

You get to choose a business vision that is meaningful and purposeful to you, in simple terms – it’s heartfelt

Sure, it may draw on any of your life experiences, skills and qualifications, but not necessarily the most obvious.

The second type of trap is the ‘this is working for other people’ trap.

It is similar to the ‘looks good on paper’ trap that I just described.

The main difference is that in this case, you’re not sure what you want to focus on, so you look at what others are doing and try to do the same thing – because it’s working for them, so it must be the right thing to do.

Notice once again how your logic is jumping in and taking over from the heart. Perhaps you are afraid of failing, or you’re unclear, or you aren’t backing yourself.

The same thing applies as for trap #1 – you need to get in touch with your feelings.

I am NOT trying to be your therapist here – just to explain what you need to do instead of using logic to define a vision.

And, I do want to say that yes, it can be useful to look at what others are doing to help you get perspective and ideas, and to help you to define what you like and don’t like.

But a business vision is a very personal thing and you probably won’t find that same level of emotional connection to someone else’s vision. 

Now that you’re aware of the traps, do either of them resonate with you?

Or are you really in tune with your heart and higher purpose, and working to that?

If you’re stuck and need help, let’s go to the next part – my process for helping you create a business vision that compels you to take action and persist.

Step 1 – Getting Clarity on Your Vision 

To clarify on the values behind your business vision, or the main areas you wish to focus on, I invite you to zoom out of what you think you know about yourself and start asking yourself some thought-provoking, coaching style questions, with a very open mind.

Here are a few of my favourite questions that can help you connect to what’s most meaningful and authentic to you.

  1. What did you love to do as a child when you were playing?
  2. What is your struggle to success story with your own health and wellness?
  3. What are your strengths and how have they helped you to change habits or maintain habits more easily?
  4. Who sees you as a role model, and why?
  5. What is your passion area of health and wellness?
  6. What really irritates you about a specific area of health and wellness?
  7. What do you feel is lacking in a specific area of health and wellness?
  8. What do people need more of? Why is that?

Using the previous example of a personal trainer creating a business vision, going through these questions might uncover things like:

  • You always struggled with body image
  • Your role model was Oprah – and you could relate to her yo yo weight struggles
  • You are passionate about helping women accept themselves and feel strong, without needing to turn to food
  • You are irritated about the unrealistic body imaging out there in the media
  • You feel that self-compassion is missing from the gym environment
  • You feel that the current advertising around gyms is disempowering and could speak more to strength, confidence and personal power
  • You want to help women to feel more confident about exercising in gyms so that they can be their fittest self

So as you can see, when you ask yourself for your opinion on things, your values are revealed in that conversation and you can uncover some more emotive statements that could be used to create a powerful, inspiring vision.

This exercise is a great starting point for creating a new business vision, or to clarify or test the relevance of your existing business vision.

Step 2 – Going Deep

To make sure you have gone deep enough into your values and motivators, you can use the Five Whys exercise.

This is really simple – it’s about digging deep to explore what’s behind the things you want to do or achieve.

It’s great to do this as an exercise for either a new business vision or an existing one – it is a reality-check that the vision truly represents what you feel, believe and stand for.

Basically, you look at the vision you created and ask yourself why five times in a row.

Those are all why type questions that might reveal values.

Here is an example to illustrate how it works.

Let’s say your business vision is to inspire women to feel confident about exercising in public so they can be strong, fit and confident role models in life.

Now you can use the five whys to see whether that really does matter to you, and what the values or motivators are behind that.

You’d first ask yourself – why is that important to me, personally?

Maybe you want to smash society’s body image issues and right the wrongs of the media.

Then ask yourself another why question, like – So what? What difference will that make?

Maybe you feel that if we all had better body image, we’d be more confident in our daily lives.

Then ask yourself something like – why does that matter?

Perhaps you know from personal experience that when you feel good about yourself, you can achieve more and be more and that feels amazing. You feel happier and healthier. Stronger.

Why is that important?

Maybe you feel that women are role models for their kids and peers, they have the power in the family unit, and they have a unique opportunity to end the cycle of body shaming.

You might then ask yourself – What could that create in the world?

And perhaps the answer is equality. Peace. Confidence. More women in more powerful roles, making the world a safer, happier, healthier place.

These are all just made up examples, but I use them to illustrate how you can go deeper into what’s important to you personally, so you can polish up your vision and make it more meaningful.

Road Testing Your Vision

Exploring the values behind your vision is designed to uncover the deeper stuff that is personal to you, so you will probably know when you get it right. 

But in case you are unsure, there are a few ways to road test your vision to make sure it is true, values-aligned, meaningful, exciting and compelling.

1. Read it aloud, with gusto.

Do you feel a swelling in your chest, or goose bumps, or feel a little teary, or hear the word ‘yes!’ in your head? 

Then it’s probably on the mark.

2. Ask a client’s opinion.

How does your client respond to the vision when you read it out? Are they visibly and audibly excited or inspired, does it resonate?

If so, then it’s probably on the mark.

3. Read it on a day when you feel tired and flat.

We all have bad days. And if you read your business vision on a ‘tired, flat’ day – does it perk you up, get you interested and fired up again?

If so, then it’s probably on the mark.

A word on perfection here – it may take you time to get it right. Maybe 3 months, or a year.

It may change over time, as your stage of business, life or priorities change.

And that’s ok. 

Review it once every year as part of your business planning process. And as long as your business vision inspires and excites you, it’s doing its first and most important job.

Then, you are ready to set some goals to achieve it.

Summary

Your business vision should be an inspiring, vivid statement that describes what you want to achieve in your business, and why that’s important to you.

A lot of people try to create a vision based on their logical thought processes, or leave their vision on the shelf for years without revising it.

Your business vision should be an inspiring, vivid statement that describes what you want to achieve in your business, and why that’s important to you

Today I talked about how important it is to bring heartfelt emotion into your vision, so that you are truly and emotionally connected to it.

That will bring energy and emotion into your marketing and help you to set relevant goals for achieving it.

Using a process of big picture questions to uncover what you want, and the five whys process to clarify the values behind it, is a great way to create a compelling vision statement for your business.

If you need help with this, visit melaniejwhite.com/contact and drop me a line, we can make a time for a free coaching call to see if this is something I can help you with.

Ready to create an awesome business vision?

You will love the feeling of having the right energy and emotion in your business! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

Posted on Leave a comment

Episode 63: 5 Steps To Increase Your Buyability

I want to talk today about the concept of buyability and increasing your buyability.

Yes, I think buyability is a made up word! 

The concept is about what makes you and your services easy to purchase – so people become willing or even desperate to buy from you.

I want to explore this concept FULLY in this episode so you can do what’s necessary to sort out your services and the marketing of them, to make them compelling, mouth watering and irresistable.

I’ve spent literally thousands of dollars on sales and marketing training.

But it’s the thousands of sales conversations that have taught me the most. 

A person’s tone of voice and body language give more clues about whether someone will buy or not, than any training course can.

To become more buyable, you need to combine the theory of sales and marketing with emotional intelligence and a bit of BQ.

Trust Comes First

The foundation of buying a service is trust. 

If somebody doesn’t like or trust you, it’s highly unlikely that they will buy from you.

That’s why people say marketing is ‘the long game’. 

It takes time and consistently showing up to build trust and rapport and relationship, to lay the foundation for a future sale.

If you try leading with sales because you’re desperate to earn money, you’ll break trust.

Now, here are the 5 steps to increase your buyability. 

Step #1 – Be clear about who you are, who you are not, and what you stand for.

People buy your why. They buy from you because you are similar to them in values, experience, personality or demographic.  

So you must first figure out who you are and who you naturally attract, so you can enhance and focus your marketing to those people. 

Example: My mission is to help mothers to regain their career confidence and get back into the workforce so that they can create independent wealth and feel valued.

Action step: write out your vision. Then, dig deep and find out what drives you. What your bigger mission is in the world. The impact you want to have. 

This will help you discover the values and motivators about your much bigger mission.

Step #2 – Discover the ONE thing that keeps them awake at night, worrying.

People buy when they are emotional or irrational about a problem they can’t solve.  

When you find out what that problem is, you can show people how your service can help them solve it.

Example: I know what it’s like to look in the mirror and loathe what you see. That’s why I created this program – to help you start accepting and even loving yourself as you are.

Action step: have conversations with at least 10 people who are your ideal clients to discover what their biggest challenge is, and the words they use to describe it.  

People buy for emotive reasons, when they have a big problem they can’t solve or a big vision they need help to achieve, from people that they know, like and trust. 

Step #3 – Describe your services as benefits or results they will get, using their own ‘feeling’ words.

People buy results – and more importantly, they buy when the offer you make is clearly and specifically describing the result they think they want or need.  

Don’t assume you know what people want or that you know better. This is actually condescending at words, and ignorant at best. 

Example: In 8 weeks, you will reclaim your get up and go and feel motivated, energized and committed to your fitness. 

Action step: have conversations with at least 10 people who are your ideal clients to discover what their biggest challenge is, and the words they use to describe it.  

Step #4 – Describe who your service is for, and not for.

People buy when they are ready, willing and able to do the work they need to do to get the result they want. 

You don’t want uncommitted people or tyre-kickers. By listing the specific traits of your buyer, you are helping people identify themselves as someone you can help. The time wasters won’t bother to enquire.

Example: This program is for women who struggle with anxiety and it’s affecting their relationships, and they are finally ready to get some help to fix things.

This program is NOT for you if you are unwilling to get out of your comfort zone, or if you have been diagnosed with a mental health condition.

Action step: based on the conversations you’ve had, get really clear on who you naturally attract, are best suited to working with and who is ready to buy. You can use that to create some text to describe who you are and aren’t looking for. 

Step #5 – You will find your ideal client where YOU are.

Back to Step 1 – people buy from those who are similar. Your ideal client is 70 – 80% like you. 

So use marketing strategies and tactics that leverage your skills and strengths.

Example: you hate going on social media and prefer meeting people face to face. Your ideal client will probably also hate social media. 

So stop trying to force yourself to go there, build a website instead, and get out to networking meetings.

Action step: If you have completed steps 1 – 4, you should have a description of what you sell, to who, how they benefit, and who it’s for and not for. Armed with that information, you are ready to start marketing. 

Choose 3 marketing strategies that best suit your personality, learning style and communication skills. Then, for each, define the tactics you will use to reach out to clients. Then make a plan to start doing them through the year.

It is this last step that will generate you a consistent set of leads and sales. You will probably need to treat your first 3 – 9 months as a big experiment and give each tactic a red hot go for at least 6 months to see what works and what doesn’t.

It takes time and consistently showing up to build trust and rapport and relationship, to lay the foundation for a future sale.

Summary

People buy for emotive reasons, when they have a big problem they can’t solve or a big vision they need help to achieve, from people that they know, like and trust. 

Usually we buy from people who are like us. 

If you follow the five steps in this episode, you will increase your buyability, because you will more likely connect with and engage with potential clients in places where you both like to meet others.

Ready to work on your marketing strategy?

Send me an email to request more information on a tailored service I offer. If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

Posted on Leave a comment

Episode 46: How to Make Time in Your Business

Let’s talk about how to make time each week in your business so that you can get more done and feel good about it.

Much like the money equation, time can be saved, but only to a certain point.

There are efficiencies that can be gained, but I want to propose that making more time is about something different.

This episode is as much a self reflection as an informational episode because I have battled with the idea of being productive and feeling like I’m achieving things and procrastinating as much as the next person.

And I finally think I have it solved.

The Time Creation Equation

A lot of entrepreneurs I’ve spoken to think they don’t have enough time in their business or that they’re not productive enough. 

That feeling you have is really just a function of two things:

  1. Firstly, your own expectations about what you can achieve, and 
  2. How much time you spend on focused, productive work.

That’s really all it is.

By being totally realistic in your expectations for what you can create and by finding out how to work in a focused and productive way you can create the time you need in your business to get done what you need to get done. 

So let’s talk about how to do that.

Your Expectations

Starting with your expectations, it’s important that you are very real and honest with yourself about how much time you actually have. 

Let’s say that you are working in your business part time and you have 15 hours available during the week.

The temptation is to think you can cram a whole bunch of things into those 15 hours.

Or maybe you expect yourself to be able to complete new or complex tasks in that time.

But there is another layer on top of that, that you need to consider.

For all of those hours that you have available you are going to have some downtime.

You aren’t always going to be feeling energized and clear-headed and decisive. 

Sometimes you’re going to be feeling distracted. 

Sometimes you’re going to be feeling flustered or confused. 

And often, you are going to be switching from one task to another. 

All of those things cost a percentage of the total working time you have available.

When you get very clear and specific about what is realistically possible to achieve each day or each week or each month, then you can cut yourself some slack. 

You’ll be totally clear on where you can spend time and you have enough room to allow the downtime or transition time that will invariably be required.

Here’s a six-step process to help you get started.

Step 1 – work out the total number of hours you have available at work each week. Only count blocks of time that are at least 45 minutes long; preferably whole days.

Step 2 – multiply the total number of hours by 80% – this is your new, realistic total hours that allow for time lost in transitions or distractions.

Step 3 – identify one major project that you will complete this week, and break it down into single, specific tasks.

Step 4 – schedule the tasks into time slots in your calendar. Put more creative tasks into spaces you will likely have more energy, and detailed or analytical tasks into spaces where you might likely be more focused. 

Step 5 – If there are any tasks that you have never done before, make some decisions in advance about how long you will try before you ask for help, or, when and who you will ask for help. For example, if you’ve never used Instagram before, you might decide to spend 2 hours trying to learn how to use it and depending on how that goes, you might schedule more learning time, get on with using it, or decide to outsource it.

Step 6 – record how you spend every 30 minute block of your working time in a work diary. This is SO important because you can only learn what works or doesn’t if you can see what you are doing right now.

Being productive requires discipline and honesty – it means saying no to yourself when things feel hard, or saying yes to yourself when you really do need a break or to revise your plan.

Being Focused and Productive

If you get the first bit right, and have clear, specific, scheduled tasks, then you should feel more focused and productive by default.

You’ll feel more focused because you know exactly what you’re doing and when. That removes any need to make decisions when you’re in the thick of work mode and your brain will love you for that. No more decision fatigue. 

You’ll also feel more focused because you have allowed for downtime, rather than cramming your calendar full of back-to-back things. Once again, your brain will love you because you’ve allowed time for it to switch from one mode to the next.

Aside from that there is one other skill you’ll need to use to be focused and productive. 

That is the skill of resisting urges

You will find that when things get difficult or confusing or if you’re feeling a little tired you will get the urge to procrastinate, do busy work that doesn’t really achieve anything or take multiple breaks in an attempt to get your motivation back. 

Sorry, but none of this will work. 

Being productive requires discipline and honesty – it means saying no to yourself when things feel hard, or saying yes to yourself when you really do need a break or to revise your plan.

Here’s what you can do instead. If you’re feeling tired it may be just the day or it might mean that you’re still expecting too much of yourself. 

Reflect on what’s really going on for you – whether you need a break right now or to re-work your scheduling in future.

If you give into the urge to procrastinate, it usually means that you don’t know what to do or are confused about something or that something is difficult, so you lack confidence in yourself or what you’re doing. 

All this means is that you need to get help or to accept and commit to some training which might set you back a little from your goal – which is totally ok.

If you start doing busy work it usually means that you’re avoiding something. Just like when you’re procrastinating, you might feel like you don’t know what you’re doing or perhaps the end might seem too big or too far away – or you’re frustrated at your lack of results – so you might just need to get some sense of achievement.

What I recommend you do in this case is to have some really clearly defined outcomes for each block of time that is a stepping stone to the bigger result that you seek to get. 

Let’s say that you’re frustrated by a lack of results generally in your business. 

What you can focus on instead is a result that you could create within an hour (the Pomodoro technique). 

Let’s say that might be developing an ad campaign, or writing the first two pages of an ebook. 

It’s not the final result, but it is a specific result that you can achieve, and, it will take you toward the bigger goal. Your brain will feel a sense of achievement around that. 

Or let’s say that you’re in that ‘I don’t know what to do’ mode or you’re lacking self confidence, and so you’re procrastinating or being busy.

What you could do instead is to make an appointment with someone who can help you – to write the email or make the call that will set the wheels in motion. 

Then you can move on to another task in your list. If you do this, then you have the benefit of finishing and other tasks ahead of time and feeling good about that achievement.

All of these strategies are designed to help you keep taking action so you can maintain momentum and feel good about what you’re doing even if things do get challenging or  frustrating or confusing.

 

Ready to make time in your business?

Do you need support to build realistic expectations and find your business truth? If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

Posted on Leave a comment

Episode 44: Referral and Partnership Agreements

Having done some coaching work around agreements lately, and having been involved in many in my own business career, I thought I’d dedicate an episode to how to develop a professional partnership and ultimately, an agreement.

There are five stages in initiating, developing and formalising an agreement like this and I want to walk you through them.

Initiating Agreements

1. Values Fit

Initial meeting – explore their methods, practice, their business goals, their ethos and what they stand for. Discover the common ground. 

2. Instinct

With any new relationship, it’s important to tap into your instincts right away and notice how you ‘feel’ about the other person. If it feels right, then you should listen to that instinct.

Neuroscience proves that this is not woo woo stuff. Your primitive brain (also known as the basal ganglia) allows you to quickly pick up important information needed for survival. Any sense of distrust, risk or fear is picked up quickly here. 

Then, your slower prefrontal cortex monitors what your primitive brain has learned and it to gather a more judicious “big picture” of what is going on by taking into account more history and exerting executive control over your behavior.

So if it’s all green lights at this stage, you could move on to developing an agreement with that person or business.

If you have hesitation, explore it, and ask more questions before you decide.

Developing Agreements

3. Collaborating

The next step is to start developing agreements.

In order to build trust and rapport, you need to be collaborative and transparent.

This doesn’t mean you are giving away all your methodologies and customer lists and trade secrets.

What this means is that you start a series of back and forth conversations about the terms of how you will work together.

Along the way, use your intuition and keep testing that you are aligned. Iron out any creases along the way and explore all avenues of the relationship.

Ask lots of ‘what if’ questions.

Some questions to consider could include:

The goal of the relationship:

  • Is it about simply referring clients and cross-promoting?
  • Are you working as affiliates?
  • Are you packaging up your individual services?
  • Are you joint-venturing on a program or event?

What is included? 

How aligned are the individual services?

Who owns what? 

What happens when you start selling?

Who owns the leads?

4. Be Forthright

At this stage of the relationship, keep your eyes wide open and identify any niggles along the way, and explore them while they are still just niggles.

Keep your instincts fired up.

Use your character strengths of fairness, judgement, collaboration and also prudence. 

Prudence is important because it’s tempting to get all excited about the opportunity and rush in, but you need to let your pre-frontal cortex do its work and consider this carefully.

Formalising Agreements

When you feel that everything is kosher and you are ready to formalise your agreement, I’d advise that you put it in writing.

5. Create A Clear Agreement

While I’m not a lawyer, I’ve written a LOT of proposals and agreements and understand there are a few key things you need to include.

Please consider this general guidance only and seek advise from a contracts lawyer to ensure what you have developed is suitable for your unique situation.

Four essential things that all agreements need to include:

 

1. Naming the parties involved, using their formal business names.

You start there, by saying this is an agreement between X and Y, where X is the name of business 1 and Y is the name of business.

2. Definition of terms

In this section, you are listing the standard words or terminology that you use throughout the agreement. 

For example if you are collaborating on a workshop, you would define the word ‘workshop’ as a term in inverted commas. 

Then you would ONLY use that word throughout the agreement when talking about the workshop. Don’t use any other variations of the word.

The same goes for other things that you are talking about regularly, such as ‘the premises’, or ‘the list’ or anything else that is to be discussed as the main part of the agreement, such as a specific product, service, service provider, venue or staff. 

Keep this simple, perhaps only 3 – 7 terms.

3. Specifics of agreement

This is where you list everything you agreed on verbally at the collaboration stage.

Common things to cover include:

  • Intellectual property (who owns what)
  • Privacy
  • Confidentiality around methods
  • Fees payable
  • The period of the agreement (e.g. 6m to 1 year, single event?) as defined by a specific date range
  • How you represent each other in the public eye
  • Termination

 

Arbitration offers a flexible and efficient means of resolving disputes; note that the decision is binding. 

Be sure to make succinct, simple statements that clearly state the agreed intention.

It’s good to also mention a commitment to seek help via arbitration in the event of dispute.

Arbitration is a process in which you present arguments and evidence to a dispute resolution practitioner (the arbitrator) who helps you to resolve the issue. It’s a private process. Arbitration offers a flexible and efficient means of resolving disputes; note that the decision is binding.

 

4. Name, signatures and dates

Lastly you want to put a section for both parties names, signatures and the date the agreement was signed.

Right now you might be thinking that a written agreement is overkill, or too formal, or confronting.

And it may feel like that.

But here’s the thing: when you put your agreement in writing, you both show intent to do the right thing and professionalism.

You both show your commitment to the project and to uphold your end of the bargain.

And finally, there is every likelihood, you could totally make it work or fix any issues that come up and have a successful venture.

If things went wrong you could probably walk away unscathed.

But the thing is, there is a small chance that things could go pear-shaped and someone could sue you or try to, and if that happens, your written agreement becomes part of the evidence in a court of law showing how well each party upheld their side of the agreement.

 

Ready to build strong partnerships?

Be clear about what your agreement is and feel the difference. If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here: