Business Issues Archives

So, You Want To Help EVERYBODY?

You have a heart for people.

It is your deepest desire to help as many people as you can with your products and services. You don’t want to discriminate or keep anyone from benefiting from the life-changing work that you do. men in a circle

I absolutely understand what you are thinking. After all, I majored in education—a service profession. So, I get it.

But, the thing is, you have decided to manifest your gifts and talents in service as a business.

Businesses must generate revenue to stay in business.

Businesses must generate substantial revenue to not only serve others but create the lifestyle that you, the owner, desire.

That being said, it is extremely important that you hone in on exactly who you have been called to serve.

Why?

Because when you think about it, the center of your business is your clients. In fact, the satisfaction that you will receive from being in business for yourself will in fact come from serving your “ideal clients.”

If you are honest with yourself, you know exactly who your ideal clients are.

You are just afraid to limit yourself to them for fear that you will reach fewer people and make less money.

Well, let me put your mind at ease.

Honing in on your ideal clients is not going to decrease your income, but it is going to increase it.

Yes, you read that right. :)

Identifying the clients who meet your criteria for that “ooo-la-la-la” will save you major marketing dollars, give you a specific audience to create products and services for, and allow you to brand yourself as a specialist for a target group in your industry.

So, do this exercise as soon as possible.

Make a list of characteristics of your ideal clients. Here are some things that might be on your list:

  1. Self-starters who invest in educating themselves.

  2. Appreciate the importance of working with a highly-qualified professional.

  3. Can afford to pay for your products and services at a rate that does not force you to struggle to make ends meet.

  4. Share some commonalities with you.

  5. Are willing to refer you to people because they received results from following through with your coaching, consulting, and/or training.

 

At the end of the day, you must have a vision of that group of people in the marketplace who really needs or wants what you offer bad enough to pay for it if you really want to be in business.

And, the fact of the matter is that is not everybody.

 

Be Inspired

Have you heard these powerful discussions on Books That Transform? Click any title to listen now.

 

For Whom Are You The Champion?

This blog post is going to be short and sweet. :)

It is for the person who is just starting out in business or whose business is brand spanking new.

You may hear a lot of talk about your niche and your target audience and after awhile, all of the marketing jargon may become mumbo jumbo in your mind.

So, let me make those concepts very elementary for you.

As you embark in business for yourself, ask yourself, “For Whom Am I The Champion?” 

In this case, when I speak of a champion, I am speaking of “one who fights; a warrior.”  In other words, for whom are you going to battle?

You only go to battle for someone that you love or for a cause that you believe in, right? So who are those people that you are so passionate about?  Who are those lives that you so deeply want to touch?

And furthermore, what do you do so well that makes their lives easier, better, fuller, richer (not just monetarily), brighter? Or what kind of product do you provide that enhances some area of their lives?

Those are the people that fuel your business. 

Those are the people that intrigue you.

Those are the people that make you want to get up early in the morning to study them, know them inside out.

Those are the people that inspire you to get better and better at what you do by investing in your own education, training, mindset, equipment, facilities, etc.

Those are the people that bring you an unspeakable kind of joy that is simply priceless.

(By the way, they are your target audience.) :)

Get Clear

Before you take another step forward, it is absolutely, positively critical that you determine who those people are.

Close your eyes and envision them. (In fact, it may help to envision just one out of the entire bunch.)

List their characteristics as it relates to gender, socioeconomic status, education, region/location, religion, age, spending habits–and any other traits that are critical to them being able to receive your “message” or appreciate your product.

Draw them or cut their faces out of magazines and create a mini-poster.

Keep the poster before you in your office so that you always have them on your mind.

Once you are clear, vow to fight for them. Yes!!!

Vow to create the best services or products that you can for them. 

Vow to provide them with the solution to their pressing problem or critical need.

Vow to speak their language so that you can draw them to you and literally change their lives.

You are someone’s champion…and champions are those who beat out  the competition. Trophy on white with path

 

 

In 2010, women comprised 47% of the U.S. Labor Force.

Today, it is said that figure has tipped over the 50% mark.

Even with so many women at work, it appears that we have yet to obtain the positions of authority in our work or business Rezvani - PUSHBACK - Cover (2) (1)environments. According to Selena Rezvani, women’s leadership author of Pushback: How Smart Women Ask For and Stand Up For What They Want:

Despite some of our gains, women continue to make up a meager portion of senior leaders in government, business, and even those fields that are female dominated. Our low presence in top decision-making roles diminishes our contributions, gives us little say in corporate and societal directions, and reduces us to mere observers.

 

Hmmm…..Ladies.

I say, it is time for change. It is time for us to do what COO of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg advises--Go Get It!

The only way for us to go get it is to ask for it. In other words, we must first change our mindset about what we deserve and then hone our negotiating and self-advocacy skills.

To get a better understanding of the negotiating process, I called upon women’s leadership author, speaker, and consultant, Selena Rezvani.

selena rezvaniWho is Selena Rezvani?

Selena Rezvani’s goal is to propel more women into the top echelons of businesses — an objective she achieves through her writing, consulting, and speaking engagements. She is the co-owner of Women’s Roadmap, a consulting firm that elevates women into leadership through assessment, the design of gender-inclusive policies, and coaching. Outside of her consulting and coaching work, Selena promotes her message through training programs, teaching some of the brightest minds in business at eBay, Harvard, Accenture, Princeton, Duke, Johnson & Johnson, The Clinton Foundation, and many others. 

She has been quoted, interviewed, and profiled by The Today Show, CareerBuilder, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, ABC, and NBC. She is a regular commentator on NPR’s syndicated 51 Percent: The Women’s Perspective, blogs for Forbes.com and writes an award-winning column on women and leadership for The Washington Post. She is the author of the acclaimed career guidebooks PUSHBACK: How Smart Women Ask–and Stand Up–for What They Want (Jossey-Bass, 2012) and The Next Generation of Women Leaders: What You Need to Lead but Won’t Learn in Business School (Praeger, 2009).

Selena received her bachelor of science and master of social work degrees from New York University, and has an MBA from Johns Hopkins University, where she graduated first in her class. She lives near Philadelphia. For more information, visit: www.NextGenWomen.com or www.WomensRoadmap.com.

 

Listen to Our Discussion Now to Learn the Four-Step Model of Negotiation & The  Importance of Self-Advocacy by Women in the 21st Century Workforce

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Questions I Asked Selena

  1. Selena, one strategy that authors are given to help with crafting their message is to visualize that one person they are writing to. Describe for us the ideal reader you were thinking of when you wrote Pushback.

  2. Selena, to some, the term Pushback may sound a little combative and therefore have a negative connotation. Give us your definition of pushback and share a few examples of some “pushback scenarios.”

  3. I love the fact that you did your own research for this book by interviewing what you call “a new set of 20 women leaders in the top echelons of their fields.” As you analyzed your data, what was the most shocking thing that you learned from this experience?

  4. Selena, it is apparent that women struggle with pushing back, even today when there are more of us who are educated, more of us in the work force, and more of us as even head of our households. What would you say are the top 3 reasons that women shy away from pushing back?

  5. Selena, for older or more seasoned women who say, I am sorry, I am just not going to risk negotiating or advocating for myself given today’s climate, what would you say are the consequences of such a decision?

  6. Selena, you say that “One of the best investments you’ll make in your career is spending time learning a reliable and effective system for negotiation. As you build your skills and learn the art of negotiating, you’ll begin to see it not just a one-time or occasional (and somehow mysterious) transaction but an everyday necessity.” So, in the book, you give us a four-step model of negotiation. Please take your time and breakdown those four steps for us.

  7. You provide an assessment in the book that can help women pinpoint the areas of strength and identify their weaker areas. Give us an example of how a woman would use this information to become better at asking for and standing up for what she wants.

  8. Selena, as I was reading your book, I immediately thought about Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook and how she states that women hold themselves back by lowering our expectations of what we can achieve. And, then, as I read on, lo and behold, you actually talk about the speech she gave in which she urged women to “go get it” rather than waiting for permission. Why is it so important for young women who are just entering the workplace to possess the pushback kind of mindset?

  9. Selena, you have registered for my English 101 class, and your first assignment is to write a persuasive essay. This is your writing prompt: This is a great time to elect a qualified woman for the presidency of the United States because…..

 

Please share your thoughts about the interview below and if you haven’t already, don’t forget to subscribe to Books That Tranform! :)

 

Solo Small Business Entrepreneurs, you are in for a treat!

Jeanna Pool, author of Amazon’s #1 Bestseller, Marketing for Solos was on Books That Transform, today. What a blessing she was! She shared so many tips with us on how to become effective marketers and thereby attract more clients to our businesses. The time just went by entirely too fast.

In case you are not familiar with Jeanna, here is her bio:

Jeanna Pool is the author of the Amazon #1 Bestselling Book, Marketing for Solos® which has been praised by 11 of the world’s top marketing experts including: Jay Conrad Levinson, C.J. Hayden, John Jantsch, Dan Kennedy, Bob Bly, Ali Brown, Yanik Silver and others.

Jeanna has been called “One of the world’s foremost experts on marketing a one-person small business successfully.”Jeanna is a rare breed, in that she’s an expert in both marketing that actually works and design that actually sells—two disciplines and competencies that very, very few can bring together successfully.

Today, Jeanna owns and operates Marketing for Solos® which is her own, highly successful, award-winning, marketing and design firm in Denver Colorado.

She works exclusively with solo small business owners all across the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and around the world. All of Jeanna’s clients have one thing in common—they are really good at what they do, but sometimes really struggle to market their services successfully as a solo.

Jeanna is in the trenches day in and day out, putting into action marketing strategies that she preaches about and teaches others to use. With Jeanna there’s never any fluff or theory to what she teaches about marketing. Instead, she focuses only on marketing that actually works in the real world.

Her love and passion is helping other solo small business owners be as outrageously successful as they possibly can be. For more information about how Jeanna can help your solo small business attract more clients on a consistent basis, call 303-380-9100 or visit www.MarketingForSolos.com

 The Interview 

As usual, I had a ball and write pages of notes during the interview. The questions I asked Jeanna and the player (so that you can listen right now) are included below. Enjoy!!!

 

1.      Jeanna, since you have been in business, you have helped thousands of solo small business owners take their businesses to the next level of growth, profitability, and success. Tell us about a time when you were able to identify serious problems in a client’s branding and marketing efforts and then provide solutions that tremendously increased sales.

 

2.      Jeanna, the tagline for this show is changing mindsets, transforming lives. Coincidentally, chapter 3 is called Change Your Thinking. Please breakdown for us the four areas in which our thinking about marketing needs to change.

 

 

3.      One of the hardest things for solopreneurs is choosing a niche. Why is it so important to focus on a specific target audience? And, how do you know that you are targeting qualified clients?

 

4.      Solopreneurs serve others through their products and services. Trying to price the information products, coaching, consulting, speaking, & even performing can be challenging. Jeanna, what method or general rule should solopreneurs use to set pricing?

 

5.      Jeanna, some solopreneurs choose the DIY (Do It Yourself) avenue when it comes to creating their website and marketing materials or they choose the cheapest designer they can find. In chapter 9, you say, “Unless you’re an expert in design with a degree and years of experience, stick to working at the business you know, and leave the design work to the designers.” You go on to say, “If your materials project a professional, consistent image, then that transaction pays you in good will, trust and future business. If the image is amateurish or inconsistent, then you lose trust, confidence, and money. “

Jeanna, what are three tips you can give us on hiring the right graphic designer?

6.      Jeanna, one of the problems for the solopreneur is actually making marketing manageable and doable with our busy schedules. How can we go from this day forward prioritizing everything we must get done?

 

7.      Jeanna, since the show is entitled How to Successfully Market Today’s Solo Small Business, I’d like to use real solopreneurs who could benefit from your expertise. They are Alaina Odessa of Alaina Odessa Expressions, who is the author of the book Slow Running Honey and Jerry Head of Jerry Head Photography who has been providing superior photography services for the Triangle area (Raleigh, Durham, & Chapel Hill, NC) and beyond for over 20 years.

Client #1

Our first solopreneur is Alaina Odessa of Alaina Odessa Expressions and if you are at a computer and want to follow along with us go to www.alainaodessa.com. Jeanna is going to give Alaina advice on how to make her website what she calls a comprehensive workhorse website.

Good Afternoon, Alaina. Thank you so much for joining us and allowing Jeanna to advise you on the air. Jeanna, take it away.

Client #2

Wow, Jeanna, I am excited for Alaina. You really did a fantastic job of remodeling her site, if you will. Now, let’s help out my friend Jerry Head of Jerry Head Photography. Jerry’s website is www.jerryheadphotos.com. But, this time, we are going to focus on choosing the right marketing tools and activities that will successfully relaunch his business. So, Jeanna, what do you advise for Jerry?

Jenna, you have a special offer for the BTT listeners, today? I am so thrilled about it because you are the first author to do this. Please share it with them now.

Listen to The Show Now

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Jeanna’s Amazing Special Offer (FREE Training on Niche Marketing)

For people who listened to the  show, if they buy my book from Amazon by December 31st and email me their Amazon receipt (proving the purchase), I will send them a special 1 hour audio program called Niche Marketing for Solos. The program normally sells for $97 but I will email the digital recording of the program to EVERYONE who purchases the book (paperback or Kindle) on Amazon by December 31st. The email address to send the receipt is: info@marketingforsolos.com and put “Amazon” in the subject line.

I hope you take her up on her offer. The book itself is an invaluable resource. You will love it!!!

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