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Monthly Archives: August 2014

How To Create Authentic Engagement With Your Peeps

iStock_000040905914Small“Email is dead!”

“The sky is falling!”

Or so alarmist marketers would have you believe, what with inbox changes (Gmail and Yahoo’s handling of promotions) and the increased time your clients are undoubtedly spending on Facebook and Pinterest.

Well, the great news is that email marketing isn’t dead!

What has changed are the rules of email marketing.

The team at Ogilvy & Mather (ad agency founded by David Ogilvy, widely known as “the Father of Advertising”) released an article that exemplifies this shift perfectly. They explain that the conventional 4 P’s of marketing (product, place, price, promotion) have now changed to the 4 E’s – experience, everyplace, exchange and evangelism.

I would add a 5th E:  engagement.

No longer is it ok to sit back and talk AT people like you’re giving a “sermon on the mount.”  What the new paradigm demands is a real two-way conversation between you and your community.  In a world where people desire to be seen and heard, engagement provides value in a way that “old school” blasts of information simply can’t.

So how do you create authentic engagement that creates a community of people who want to open your emails?  Read on…

1. Ask them what they’re thinking.

The best way to start a conversation is to be genuinely curious about what others are thinking.  How do you find out what your peeps are thinking?  Ask.

Here are 3 questions you should always be asking your clients:

  • What’s your biggest challenge, fear or frustration?
  • What have you tried, and how did it work?
  • What’s the specific result or outcome that you wish to create?  (Emphasis on “specific.”)

You can ask with one of the many survey tools out there (SurveyMonkey.com is my favorite.)  Posting questions on Facebook is a great way to engage your audience.  Or you can do it the “old-fashioned way” – and ask them to hit “REPLY” to answer your email.

The info you’ll get from this simple exercise will blow your mind and you’ll be amazed at how whatyou’re thinking is NOT the same as what they’re thinking.

Of course, your opportunities for asking go well beyond “what’s your biggest challenge.”  Ask them what they’re up to, ask them to weigh in on a hot topic in the cultural conversation, ask them for their advice and opinions.

Questions create engagement because people love to be heard and because people love to be SEEN.  Above all, they love to know you care and are paying attention.

2. Publish regularly.

Like any relationship, your relationship with your circle or community requires care and nurturing.  Which means you can’t disappear for weeks at a time and expect them to open your emails, let alone buy your latest offering.

Whether you’re publishing a blog, newsletter or podcast, create a schedule and stick to it.  (For a blog, 3x per week.  Newsletters, at least twice per month – weekly is better.)  Remember that you’re writing for your audience and pick topics that are of interest to them.

3. Get off the internet.

One of the best investments you can make in your business is a real human being who will pick up the phone and help you build relationships with your clients.  Hire a Client Care specialist who desires to be of service, understands and is passionate about your mission and above all – loves people!  Your community will appreciate it AND the feedback you’ll receive back will be priceless.

Getting off the internet also means going where your people are – in real life.  Start with events in your local community, then plan on traveling to conferences a couple of times per year to engage with your wider audience.  (Events are the best place to meet potential JV partners, too.)

4. Focus on quality, not on quantity.

Awhile ago, Kevin Kelly published an article called “1000 True Fans.” True fans are those who love you and everything you do and will invest in anything and everything you offer.  To be successful at anything, all you really need is 1000 true fans.

Years ago, a mentor blew my mind when he offered several examples of entrepreneurs who had made $1million from just 1000 qualified potential clients.

Why just 1000 true fans?  Because the people in your community are real people with real needs who will happily invest with you when you’re meeting those needs – not once, but over and over again.  So instead of giving into “list shame,” focus on pouring quality, service and connection in everything you do.

Recently, one of my clients had a listbuilding project that didn’t work out the way she expected.  She wanted thousands.  She got 500.  “What do I do now?” she asked.

My answer: serve the heck out of those 500 people.

What can you do TODAY to turn 1 of the people on your list into a true fan?

Marketing Has Been, And Always Will Be, About Creating Relationships…

Your business exists to serve others.  When you take the steps above to engage your audience, you stay connected to their desires, needs and wants allowing you to energetically meet them in a deep and profound way.

And when you get this right – anything you desire for your business becomes possible.

Are You Living Client To Client? Here’s How To Break Free

Conscious women entrepreneurs love their clients, and love working one-on-one. There’s really nothing like that moment when a new client says YES to themselves through working with you.

nj115-95135181-6f6d-4008-aef1-64576d7ac09d-v2But let’s face it – having to constantly drum up business and find new clients is exhausting. And it can be really scary when clients aren’t signing on consistently – and you find yourself wondering where the next client is going to come from.

In order to make a real impact with your business and create true freedom in your life, you must make the shift from “one client at a time” to “steady stream” both in practice and in your mindset. And while the transition might seem daunting, what will make the difference is putting a few things in place.

Here are my 4 top client-generating strategies, all which are totally doable even when you are just starting out.

1) A proven system to generate Breakthrough Sessions.

This includes having a clear “front door problem” (aka the specific challenge you help people with), and knowing where the people you’re meant to serve are hanging out.

You also need to know how to uncover and deeply connect with your ideal clients’ core desires & frustrations, so that when you do get into conversation with them (personally or otherwise) you know exactly what to say and what to offer so they sign up.  This way there’s no more guessing “where is the next client going to come from?”

2) A website that does the work for you.

One of the most overlooked “team members” for many conscious entrepreneurs is their website.

While you don’t need a website to get those first clients, once you’ve worked with a few of your pees, your website can start to do much of the work for you.   A well planned website with a high-value free offer allows you to attract and engage with your prospective clients, and can actually lead people right into Breakthrough Sessions with you, automatically, even while you sleep!

3) Regular, consistent follow-up with free content that demonstrates your expertise.

If you want to get clients and fill your programs, consistent follow-up – such as an email newsletter, or a blog with email notifications of your posts – is a must.

Why is regular follow-up SO important?

Your clients are asking themselves things like “can this person be counted on?” and “are they a legit business?” Staying in touch will go a long way to easing these subconscious questions.

Plus, there’s that all-important relationship that you want to nurture.  Not everyone says yes right away, but those who you stay in front of will say YES when they’re ready.

4) Juicy partnerships and alliance that lead people right to your door.

Building relationships with referral partners is an invaluable resource in your business.   And approaching even those “bigger players” is something you can do at any stage of the game.   It can be as simple as offering a free Breakthrough Session to a partner’s list, or offering a guest blog post on their site.

When approaching potential partners, always come from the place of giving first. How can you add value and support them? In time, they’ll notice the value and quality you add and they’ll be happy to reciprocate.

 

3 Tell-Tale Signs That It’s Time To Raise Your Fees

When it comes to fees and charging, most spiritual women feel a lot of conflict. We’re spiritual, we’re women… it’s a double-whammy of cultural conditioning that says “give it all away.” 
  
Thing is, this leads to women chronically undercharging and waiting far too long to charge what their work is really worth. It may feel giving and generous, but as the saying goes, you can’t give when your cup is empty. Ultimately, undercharging leaves you depleted and defeats your purpose of making a big impact in the world. 
  
nj115-9443163e-a084-4edb-83ca-4e229348f534-v2Here are 3 “dead giveaways” (and one bonus!) that both you and your clients will be better served by giving yourself a raise: 
  
Tell-Tale Sign #1: You’re exhausted instead of juiced. 
  
Back when I was a direct response copywriter, I would spend hours and hours and hours and hours (did I mention hours?) on projects that paid very little. Sure, the money was nice when it was coming in, but 40+ hours on the project later … let’s just say it was hard to stay motivated.  And I love writing. 
  
Doing what you love should inspire, well, love. And gratitude. If you’re not feeling the love, that’s a big clue that you’re falling far short of receiving money in alignment with the energy you’re giving – and you simply can’t sustain that for the long haul. 
  
Tell-Tale Sign #2: You feel resentful towards your clients.

Ironically, women who undercharge often find themselves attracting needy and demanding clients. But even the best of clients can become a drain when you’re not charging enough. (Or not charging enough and over delivering!) If you’re feeling resentful and feeling guilty… it’s time for a shift. 
  
Tell-Tale Sign #3: You’re working constantly and still just getting by. 
  
You can always create more money, but you can never create more time. So when you’re signing on clients and charging too little, what happens? You get burned out… quickly
  
One of my past Platinum clients was in a situation where she had two choices: continue to serve the last few clients in the “old way” of working (dollars for hours), or release them with love if they weren’t ready to step into her new high-end packages. The decision was really weighing on her because they were awesome clients who she deeply cared about. (There was a lot of history there, too – all of them had been with her for years.) 
  
With a little coaching, she had a huge breakthrough: saying yes to those old clients would have meant saying no to herself – her own needs, self-care, time with her family, and her dreams of a much bigger business. (And the opportunity to give those clients something bigger to step into, as well.) 
  
And here’s one more tell-tale sign you’re charging too little… 
  
When clients consistently quibble about your already-low fees, chances are it’s time to raise them. Counter-intuitive, I know, but experience has shown this again and again. (Indeed, back in my copywriting days, increasing the price of a floundering offer would often increase conversion.
  
“But Elizabeth,” you may be saying, “My fees are already way too low and people are complaining. How can I raise them when I can’t even get them to say yes now?” (I hear this all the time!) 
  
The way to authentically increasing your fees is this… 
  
To increase your fees and feel great about it, you must stay connected to the value of the transformation your clients get. What really gets to happen for them as a result of your work? How can their lives change when they step up and you step up… together? 
  
Often this means letting go of the clients who aren’t a fit for the value you provide, and turning your attention to those who are. Remember, energy follows energy. When you own your value first, you’ll naturally attract clients who value you… and themselves as well.

The 7 Essentials Of A Divine Feminine Lifestyle Business 

“The world will be saved by the Western woman.”

You may remember this now-famous statement spoken by the Dalai Lama at the 2009 Vancouver Peace Summit.

Much time has passed since then and around the globe we’ve seen the truth of those words in action.  The question is, as conscious women entrepreneurs, how do we answer this call without giving up our relationships, our self-care and our lives to do it?

nj115-4deec20d-4d85-4a4f-99e5-56745929eca6-v2Early on, I made a conscious decision to follow a Feminine path: to think outside of the box and create a business that supports and encompasses ALL of who I am.  I coined the term “Divine Feminine Lifestyle Business” to describe a business that…

  • Creates a generous income (think 6-figures or more)
  • Creates a big contribution (women business owners giving back)
  • Truly supports you and your feminine spirit
  • Truly supports the life you wish to live

When I’m asked what it really takes to create a business that hits the “sweet spot” of all four elements above, certain key pieces immediately come to mind. Here’s a quick checklist of 7 essentials:

1. Solve a pressing problem for a specific person. Yes, I’m talking about your niche. It’s important to have a compelling niche because people invest in problems they want solved. If you’ve been hearing, “Sounds great, but…” from your potential clients, chances are you’re not solving a problem that’s pressing enough for your peeps.

Bonus tip: Don’t get hung up on this idea of having to choose the perfect, forever niche just to get started. The only way to discover your niche is to make a decision and get into action!  In The Essentials Training, we teach our clients to focus simply on choosing a pressing problem and make that your focus for the next 30-60 days… we call it a “next step niche.”

2. High-end offers. Offering 1-on-1 work at low fees (or giving away too much of your time) is a recipe for burnout, frustration and resentment. It’s also a guaranteed way to keep yourself stuck at a low income level.  Instead, as soon as you can, create a high-end offer that preserves your time and creates financial leverage, fast.

Not sure what kind of program to offer?  Consider a 90-Day High-End Intensive.  90 days is long enough to create significant results, and yet short enough so that you’re not holding the energetic container fortoo long.

3. Systems. Certain tasks need to happen in your business consistently in order for you to generate income, such as marketing, follow-up and client care. You need systems to make sure that they don’t fall through the cracks. The beauty of systems? They can be handed off to someone else, freeing you up for your brilliant work.

4. High-service team.  Nobody creates a 6-figure business alone! And really, why would you want to? Creating community is a natural strength for women (what I like to call your Divine Feminine Gifts); you may not realize that you create community by way of your team, too.

Most entrepreneurs wait to build their team.  Instead, the time to bring on your first team member is… now!  The key is to have your team pay for itself every month by having clear systems and giving them income-generating tasks, right from the start.

5. Your email list. You don’t need a big list to create multi-six-figures – I’m living proof!  And once you’ve got the basics of your offers and “getting out there,” it’s time to grow your circle and tap into the leverage a list of ideal, qualified potential clients.

While you don’t want to put your email list before creating income, you do want to give it serious attention if you wish to create a business that generates a lot of income without you having to work all the time.  Plus, communicating with your list is an opportunity to build relationship – another one of our Divine Feminine gifts.

6. Strategic alliances. A single partnership with the right strategic alliance can fill your business with clients, add thousands to your email list, and much more. No matter where you are in your business, start creating these relationships now. And if you know some movers and shakers already, now is the time to ask, “How can I create a win-win-win partnership?”

7. The mindset of a Feminine Leader. The distinction between the woman who consistently creates high-income months and the woman who just gets by is… who she is BE-ing.  So consciously approach your business as the Feminine Leader you truly are.  Not someday, but right now.  (Yes, that part of you exists right now!)

When you are BE-ing in your higher self, or Feminine Leader self, you’re aligned with your Creative Spirit. You’re tapped into the Divine.  Yes, challenges arise and yes, sometimes you’re putting out a lot of energy.  But it’s different than overwork and overwhelm.  You are on purpose, and your actions are intentional.

In the Essentials Training, all of our clients start the process by consciously claiming their leadership and crafting beliefs of a Feminine Leader – then quickly shift into them by taking action from that place.

If you’re like the majority of women in the Goddess Business School® community, you’ve got BIG dreams, an even bigger purpose and a commitment to a life you love.

Making it happen gets down to implementing the Essentials – exactly what you need, when you need it, and nothing you don’t.  Focus on these 7 essentials and soon you’ll experience more of the ease and spaciousness you long for in your business – while creating generous income and impact along the way.