Do You Have an Offline Marketing Plan?
With millions upon millions of people using the internet every single day, it’s very easy as a service professional to get caught up in how to market your business online. But offline marketing is equally important for your business success and shouldn’t be ignored. The two factions really should work hand in hand for ultimate success.
Build Those Relationships
Marketing your business in real life isn’t much different than doing it online except you’re not hiding behind a computer screen. This idea can be extremely intimidating, especially for introverts, but the more you practice your real life interactions, the easier it becomes.
You will find the the uncomfortable eventually becomes the new comfortable.
One tip to remember: Marketing does not equal sales. Marketing is about building relationships or planting seeds about your business so when the time is right, a prospect will remember your name and contact you. You do not need to be in a constant state of selling; answer questions about your business but also ask questions to learn more about your contact’s businesses. You won’t truly know if you can help each other without listening to what they do.
Local Networking Events
Begin searching for local networking groups or events. Many groups, such as BNI, allow visitors to attend meetings free of charge so ask about that option. After one or two visits, you’ll know if the group will be beneficial to you; if so, join up. If not, search for your local Chamber of Commerce, small business meetups, or other professional networking groups. Use the same criteria for joining local groups as you would for joining Facebook or LinkedIn groups: who is in the group; how you can contribute in a meaningful way; and how will the group benefit you?
Find Local Sponsorship Opportunities
Many local organizations or charities look for sponsors to keep their programs running. Check out your Little League or other youth sporting clubs to sponsor a team or purchase an ad in their outfield. Look for youth theater groups – or even drama clubs in different schools – and pay for an ad in their playbills. Ask if your local places of worship have a weekly bulletin that accepts advertisements. Be smart with your choices; ultimately you still want to target your ideal clients but paying it forward in your community will also bring about some name recognition.
Participate in Community Days
Does your town or those surrounding you have Community Days? Ask about setting up a booth to showcase your business. Print some pamphlets and business cards to hand out. Better yet, create an inexpensive swag bag with your printed material inside, along with a treat for those who stop by your booth. Remember to visit the other vendors and introduce yourself, much like you would at a networking event. Sometimes vendors will become your clients, all because they met you at a local event.
In the end, interacting with your local community and business owners is much like interacting with online followers. Be helpful, be attentive, and be visible to naturally attract clients.
Refine Your Marketing Message in this Webinar
Knowing your ideal audience is important but knowing what they struggle with will help you refine your marketing message even further. Now you can narrow your market even more by telling them how you can help, once you identify those pain points.
Not sure how to start? We all have a story to tell BUT you need to finesse your storytelling abilities in order to share your story while also connecting with your ideal clients. Even though YOU are the main character in the story, the real focus should be on your audience.
😊If this seems foreign to you, check out my newest course, Entrepreneurs Storytelling Bootcamp. This 4-module home study course is designed to help you craft your story so your ideal clients can relate to your struggles while also marveling at your success. Each module comes with exercises and action plans so you always know your next steps.😊
If there’s one thing that holds promising entrepreneurs back from launching their business, it’s this: a lack of confidence in their products. Sure, you think that new course or workshop is a great idea, but how do you know it will sell?
Imagine spending weeks or even months of time—plus the cost of document design, video editing and all the other pieces that go along with it—only to discover it’s not what your audience wants or needs. How frustrating would that be?
You don’t have to leave it to chance, though. There are plenty of ways to test your idea before spending the time and energy on a full launch.
This is the simplest way to get a feel for what your market needs and wants. Simply ask them. Create a survey with Survey Monkey (or even a Google form) and send it out to your mailing list. For best results, keep it short, but do ask:
These three pieces will tell you everything you need to know to create a program that’s practically guaranteed to sell.
Listen to Their Complaints
If you have a community (or are part of one) of ideal clients, pay attention to what they’re asking about the most. These are the things they need help with. For example, if you’re a business coach and your Facebook group is filled with questions about running Facebook ads, then clearly there is a need for some training in that area.
Study Your Competition
Hopefully you have a list of competitors and you’re reading their blogs and emails, and lurking in their Facebook groups. This is a great way to gain insight into what they’re doing—not to copy them, but to discover what’s hot right now.
Consider buying their paid products as well. Again, you should never copy them, but you can either:
Creating products in a vacuum is a great way to waste a lot of time and money on programs that won’t sell. Instead, pay attention to what your market is asking for, find out what they’re willing to pay, and delve into your competition’s offers. The information you gain from these three activities alone will give you incredible insight into your market and what they want and need, and make it easy to create your own hot-selling program.
We look forward to your comments, how do you decide what products to create?
They’ve long been a popular choice for online marketers. But if you’re wondering why everyone is suddenly hosting (or participating in) virtual summits, here’s what you need to know.
They Make Money
Even a free summit has the power to add to your bottom line through “back end” sales. The ability to market to new subscribers again and again means you’ll continue to make money from your summit long after it’s finished.
Audiences Love Them
With the option to tune in and learn from a wide variety of speakers, it’s no wonder people are quick to register for virtual summits. Even better, if your guests generously offer free gifts to attendees, they’ll find even more value in your summit.
They Grow Your List
Yes, your virtual event will likely be free, but like any good giveaway, an email address is required for participation. Because you’re hosting a multi-person event, though, you’ll be in front of many more eyes than normal, which has the power to add hundreds or even thousands of new names to your mailing list.
They Make You an Expert
Even if you’re relatively new to your niche, simply by surrounding yourself with experts you’ll gain instant expert status. You can leverage your new status to gain interviews, speaking engagements and more.
They Create Long-Lasting Connections
While you might not have a lot of connections now, the guests you invite to participate in your summit will likely become long-term partners and friends. You’ll be able to reach out again and again with new product launches, JV opportunities, and other business building fun.
They Offer an Opportunity to Give Back
Got a charity or cause that’s close to your heart? Consider donating the proceeds from your event. It’s a great way to help others while growing your own business.
These are just a few of the many benefits of hosting a virtual summit. They really are the best way to grow your business for free, and while they can be a lot of work to plan and execute, they’re definitely worth the trouble.
Have any benefits you've experienced from virtual summits? Leave us a comment below
If you have ever been asked to participate in a fire sale or giveaway event, your first thought was very likely “What’s in it for me?”
That is perfectly normal—after all, we are all in business to make money—and it is exactly what your guests will wonder when you offer them a spot in your event, too.
How you answer that is critical to your success.
Beyond the benefits, though, you also need to make it easy for your guests to participate. Swipe files, social media graphics, reminders and a promotional calendar are all tools you should include in your welcome packet. These will take the burden off your guests, and take away the friction element that might cause her to say “no.”
Here’s another important point: Be sure you invite only the highest caliber of guests, and consider instituting a minimum list size to participate. Business owners who have successfully built a list of at least 2,000 people clearly understand marketing, and will support everyone’s efforts. When reaching out to potential guests, include the names of others who have already confirmed. It will help make their decision easier.
Even when you have all of these pieces in place, don’t be surprised to hear some no’s. Don’t take them personally. Sometimes schedules don’t work out; maybe they don’t have a freebie that’s a good fit. Or maybe they just don’t do giveaways. Start with a large list of potentials, and even if you do get a few who refuse, you will still have plenty of guests to host a popular and profitable giveaway event.
Don't forget to leave a comment with your thoughts or insights
Think the money is in the list? Think again.
The real money is in the follow-up. Without a great back end to support your list-building efforts, you’ll wind up with a huge list of names that do little but cost you money. And nowhere is that more true than with a big giveaway event.
Think about it. You’ll spend time and money—and lots of it—just organizing your event. Between the design work, recruiting guests, writing copy, and setting up the infrastructure, you’re going to spend dozens of hours.
The way to make up for that is with a solid back end that brings in sales each and every day.
Two Pages to Monetize
Want to know the most underutilized page on your site? It’s the confirmation page. You know, that page where new opt-ins land while they wait for your confirmation email to arrive? If yours says something like “Thanks, now go check your email” (or worse, it’s AWeber’s or Lead Page’s default page) then you’re missing a golden opportunity.
This is potentially the first exposure your new subscriber has to you, so it pays to make it a good one. This is the place where you should be offering a low-cost product that is a natural fit with your freebie. So in this case, your free offer is the giveaway event. Think about your products. Which one will help participants make the most of the event? That’s the one to offer on the confirmation or thank you page. And if you can offer a coupon, even better!
The download page is another often overlooked opportunity. Give your readers a relevant offer that ties in nicely with their download (or in this case, the gifts they’re receiving) and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the number of takers you get.
Email Still Works
Don’t forget the follow-up emails. Hopefully you’ve created a series of emails to go out after a subscriber joins your list. These are the perfect place to make offers of relevant products and services, either yours or those of your event guests. You don’t have to resort to hard sell tactics in every email though—and you probably shouldn’t.
Instead, send your subscribers valuable information they can use, so they learn to look forward to your emails. Save the selling for your P.S. or for the occasional (once per week or less) solo email.
Done right, these two techniques can ensure you not only earn back your investment in creating your giveaway event, but earn a tidy profit as well. Not only that, but these strategies work for every opt-in offer on your site, so be sure to take a look at your other funnels and patch up any leaks you might have.
Looking forward to reading your comments below with your techniques for monetizing on your list, Coach Deb
Want to know what keeps a lot of service providers from charging what they’re worth?
It’s that all-too-common belief that “I am not a sales person.” Combine that with a healthy dose of “It’s rude to discuss money,” and you can see why it’s just easier to keep your rates low.
It’s time to think of your services from a different angle. Not only will you see things in a clearer light but selling suddenly won’t feel so much like selling and will feel more like talking.
Here’s how traditional pricing discussions go:
You talk to a potential client, and you explain what you can offer, how your service works, what he or she can expect (how many calls/emails, phases of work, length of contract), etc. And then you say, “My rate is $XXX.00.”
Your client either says yes, no or (the kiss of death) maybe.
Let’s turn that around, and rather than focus on what he or she will get from YOU, look at what she will achieve when she hires you.
For a business coach, this is easy. Talk money. How much more profit will your client make when she hires you? If your coaching fee is $1,000 per month, but you can show her how to increase her sales by $3,000 per month, then your price is inconsequential. She’ll earn it back three times over, not only while you’re actively coaching her, but for the rest of her business life.
Who wouldn’t jump on that with both feet?
What you’re doing here is not talking about the cost of your coaching, but rather the cost of not hiring you. Because if she doesn’t work with you, she’s losing $3,000 per month.
What about other kinds of services though? The same applies, you just must find a way to show your clients the cost of their inaction.
If you’re a life coach, inaction (to your potential client) might mean years of feeling unhappy and unfulfilled. Imagine what it might be worth to your client to lift that depressing burden forever?
The same goes for health and fitness trainers. Can you add 10 years to the life of an unhealthy, overweight man? That’s priceless.
What about dating coaches? For someone who’s been unlucky in love, in and out of one troubled relationship after another, the promise of a man (or woman) who will love and cherish them is worth nearly any price.
You just have to paint the picture.
What will life/business/love look like without your services, and what can it look like with you? Once they see the value in what you have to offer, pricing becomes nearly irrelevant.
How do you paint the picture of the results of your services? Comment below
You’ve filled your funnel and you’re starting to see a steady stream of clients on your calendar. Congrats! That’s a great start to building a rock-solid business you love.
But the work doesn’t end with that first sale. In fact, it’s just beginning.
Your next job is to continue to make offers (and sales) to your loyal customers. Remember, it’s much easier to sell to a current customer than to earn a new one, so don’t ignore those who have already expressed trust in you.
For each of your products or services, there must be a “next logical step” for those who buy. If the point of entry into your customer’s list was an eBook, then perhaps the next step is a video guide. If she’s already purchased your video guide, a multi-week workshop might be next on the agenda. And if that multi-week workshop was a hit, private consultation is going to be her next need.
By thoughtfully including “next step” recommendations in your follow-up emails and even in your products themselves, you can easily move your clients further into your funnel with timely up-sells.
Automate Your Follow-Ups
Of course, it can be tricky to manage all your products and services, so savvy entrepreneurs are careful to create an autoresponder series to follow every product purchase. You’ll want to include emails that encourage your buyer to consume the products she’s already purchased, plus tips to help her progress even further.
As she buys your next offer, make sure you make use of the automation tools available in your email software to remove her from the “sales” list and add her to the “buyers” list for that next product. When you manage this well, your clients will progress easily from one offer to the next.
Segment Your Lists
One thing to be cautious of is trying to force buyers to make too big of a leap. The woman who bought your $47 eBook is not likely to sign on for a $1997 program—at least not yet.
By segmenting your mailing lists you can avoid making overly aggressive offers, and instead send your buyers exactly what they need, when they need it.
Up-selling your buyers is the key to higher income with less work. Don’t be afraid to make offers, and remember, a happy buyer is primed to make another purchase. She’s counting on you to show her what’s next, so don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re bothering or annoying her by making offers. Do it thoughtfully, and she’ll actually thank you for it.
Do you Up-sell like a PRO? Tell us your favorite go to tip in the comments below.
In any business, you’ll spend a certain amount of time on clients who will never pay you.
Website designers quote jobs that never come to fruition.
Car dealers spend hours chatting up customers who will never buy.
Book agents read countless manuscripts they will never be able to sell.
And coaches spend time giving out free advice to clients who cannot or will not hire them.
Truthfully, it can be frustrating, and it’s definitely a drain on your time and energy. But there are some things you can do to eliminate those who will never become clients without having to spend time with them first.
Post Your Prices
One of the most hotly debated topics among service providers is whether or not you should post your prices on your website. There are pros and cons on both sides of the fence, but the biggest advantage to posting your prices is that it immediately eliminates those who cannot afford you.
Of course, you don’t have to list prices for everything to achieve the same effect. If you offer private consulting packages or self-directed training packages, having a price tag of $1000 on your “entry level” course makes it pretty clear that your private consulting is going to be at the high end.
If you prefer to quote packages individually, a line that states, “Packages start at $XXX” is a simple way to state your prices while still giving you some flexibility.
Before you get on the phone with anyone, require that they do a little groundwork first. A client intake form should tell you everything you need to know about a potential client long before you pick up the phone. But what it tells you the most is how much work they’re willing to do. Freebie seekers aren’t likely to do the work required to answer even a simple questionnaire, so those who do fill out your form are better prospects.
Not only that, but you can include in your form a question about pricing, such as “What’s your budget for (whatever service you offer)?” Use a pre-defined list of answers that start with “$1,000 and up” rather than letting your potential client fill in her own amount, and those with smaller budgets won’t bother to complete it.
Change Your Language
Words have power, and if the words you use on your website and other marketing material are speaking to newbies or those just getting started in business, you’ll never attract the audience you’re seeking. Instead of using words like “step by step plan,” say, “advanced techniques.” Rather than talking about “easy systems,” mention high-end, complex software by name. Simple changes can help you to automatically attract the right audience.
You’ll still spend some time and energy on those who ultimately won’t hire you, but by making these simple edits to your website, marketing materials, and other business systems, you’ll begin to see more high-end clients and fewer of those you no longer wish to work with.
Post prices or don't post prices on your consulting service, what do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below
Does the topic of money make your mouth dry and your hands sweat? Do you dread that point in a conversation when someone says, “So what do you charge?”
You are not alone. Most of us have difficulty talking about money—especially when it comes to quoting prices for our own work. But if you are going to be successful in business, you must get over it.
The first rule for declaring your prices with confidence is simply to practice. Talk to yourself in the shower. Tell your dog what your rates are. Stand in front of your mirror and say, “I charge $XXX.00 per hour.”
The more you say your rates out loud (not in your head) the more natural it will be for you.
Even if you are on the phone or writing an email, smile when you say your rates. Your tone of voice changes when you smile (as does the “tone” of your typing), and that tone can convey confidence and authority, not to mention professionalism.
Avoid Being Wishy-washy
Listen to yourself as you speak to potential clients. Do you say things like, “Well, normally I charge…” or “Actually, my rates are…” or “Do you think that $XX.00 will work for you?”
These (and others like them) are all wishy-washy ways of talking that do not instill confidence in your client, and worse, they make you sound like you do not believe in yourself.
Rather than squeaking out a timid, “Um, I charge, like $1,000 per month,” straighten your back, smile, and say, “My rate for consulting is $1,000 per month. Where should I send your invoice?” And then…
When we are nervous or feeling intimidated, we tend to talk. We want to fill the silence with something, anything, just to avoid having to sit there uncomfortably and wonder what the other person is thinking.
But guess what? He or she is just as uncomfortable with the silence, and psychologically, the one who speaks first is at a disadvantage. So, when you are talking price, avoid the urge to fill the silence (especially because you are most likely to try to justify your pricing) and let your potential client take time to respond.
Will speaking with confidence always land you a new client? No. But being able to share your pricing in a clear voice will help potential clients know that you are confident in your skills, and consequently, that you are the right service provider for them.
Do you have a technique for building your confidence when talking about money with your clients? Let us know in the comments below
Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of setting up your sales funnel? You’re not alone. Many online business owners fail to properly plan out their funnel, and it shows.
They have an opt-in incentive that doesn’t appeal to their audience.
Their follow-up emails don’t flow naturally from the opt-in.
Messages are unbalanced—either too many sales pitches or not enough. Even worse, the offers don’t match the market.
Making these mistakes is common, so if you recognize yourself here, don’t feel bad. The good news? There’s an easy fix.
Step 1: Survey Your Market
All too often we think we know what our readers and potential buyers want, but in reality, we’re simply guessing. We make the mistake of believing that we are our market, but that usually is not the case.
The only way to know for sure what your market truly wants and needs is to ask them. Set up a simple survey (even a Google form will work) and ask your blog readers, social media followers, and email list to give their opinion.
Do this right, and you’ll know exactly what you should be offering your audience, plus, you’ll know that language to use on your opt-in page.
Step 2: Create Your Opt-in
Now that you know what your market needs, it’s time to create your opt-in incentive. Keep in mind that readers today seem to prefer simple, easy-to-digest offers rather than 200-page eBooks or 7-part video series. This makes your job a bit easier, too.
Some popular choices for opt-in incentives include:
Step 3: Map Out Your Autoresponder
Every good opt-in incentive should be followed up with a series of emails that build on the material. If you’ve offered a resource guide, for example, then your follow-up emails might include usage tips for each of the resources, or case studies that show how others have benefited from using the tools.
Step 4: Make an Offer
Arguably the most important part of your funnel, your offer must be the logical next step for readers to take. They’ve worked through your opt-in incentive, read and acted on your emails, and they’re hungry for more. Time to make your offer.
Just like the other pieces of your funnel, your offer needs to be the answer to your readers’ most burning questions. If you consider your opt-in and follow-up series to be the “lite” version, then your offer is the premium package. Bigger, beefier, and the perfect next step.
Before you post your first opt-in code, take some time to map out your funnel according to these steps, and you’ll not only fill your funnel faster, but you’ll close more sales along the way.
What's your most successful op-in tool?
If you would like to use any of our blogs on your blog sight, please do contact us. We would be happy to share with you.
What do top coaches, industry experts, and media superstars all have in common? They've all written a book. You can too. It's easy!