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Michele was able to guide me when I was at a crossroads in my business. Her advise was invaluable in helping me launch my first product with a bang, bringing in 3 times my projected outcome. She was easy to speak to and really gave me the confidence to move forward in my business.
- Kristen Tammaro, Holistic Practice Marketing Mentor
You’re probably reading this because you are looking for that one quick fix that’s going to take your marketing from static to sensational.
Sensational marketing. Now that would be something.
I’m here to burst your bubble unfortunately. There isn’t one quick fix.
However, I wouldn’t bring you here if I didn’t have something of value to share, would I?
I spent a big chunk of my marketing career doing. Doing. Doing. Doing!
Initially I was doing it all thinking that was the answer. Eventually I came to realize that sometimes less is more … such was the case when it came to marketing.
As I was marketing my business and those of my clients, I began to realize that sometimes those strategies where producing substandard results.
Sometimes switching strategies worked. Sometimes it didn’t.
For the longest time I couldn’t quite figure out the best marketing strategy “formula”. I streamlined. I immersed. Why were some strategies simply not working or not working as well as I would like?
I got my first aha! moment when I watched a recent keynote speech by author, speaker, and entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuk.
In his speech, he talked about marketing in the world that we live in. He stated that getting romantic about your marketing is the easiest way to go out of business.
Just because one method of marketing has worked for you for years, does not mean it will still work for you today.
You have to apply marketing initiatives that your target audience likes and consumes, not necessarily what feels comfortable to you.
You may be thinking, well shouldn’t I use strategies and tactics that I resonate with and understand?
Yes and no.
If you can incorporate those marketing tactics and tools that you enjoy and understand, that would be the ideal situation of course. You’ll most likely stick with it if that is the case.
However if 80% of your target audience uses Vine or Instagram, and you’re not on that platform, you’ll be at a huge disadvantage. Ultimately this may cost you your business.
Here’s a simple solution. If you really can’t wrap your head around using a specific tool or platform, hire someone who can.
If it’s a viable platform or tool, the investment for acquiring leads and clients will outweigh the cost of outsourcing this initiative.
My second breakthrough was even more powerful and profound. It is something I’ve heard before and understood intellectually, but it never truly registered at my core.
It was simply this:
I woke the other day with a powerful thought. After having a massive breakdown the night before, it was a welcomed experience.
Over the course of several weeks I’ve been wandering around as something was not right… my life was not right.
It doesn’t occur often but when it does , it’s numbing. Definite head trip for sure.
The night of my “breakdown” I got to a place where I resigned. I finally for the first time, I think, accepted all that was in my life.
I had surrendered and accepted what my life had become – the good, the bad, and the ugly. There’s something soothing about accepting what’s so.
Yes it was coming from a place of resignation, but it felt good nonetheless. I had spent all of my life trying desperately not to accept what’s so – always wanting to be somewhere else. Wanting more money, a better business, a nicer house, to travel more. (All this wanting has been exhausting.)
Striving. Reaching. Full steam ahead.
Nothing wrong with wanting more. It’s natural … it’s nature. But does wanting more for your life mean having to constantly climb this exhaustive never-ending hill? With all this constant pushing, struggling, and going against the grain, you come to wonder if you’ve been wrong all along.
Is it all really worth it? There has to be a better way for sure!
A couple of weeks ago I was invited to do a keynote at the Public Speakers Association. Yay!
One of the strategies I committed to doing more of this year was public speaking. Sure I’ve done it before – but not nearly as much as I wanted to.
But I must confess. It’s never easy. As pumped up as I was about doing it, there was a part of me that was scared shitless.
Some things never change …
Let me share with you the real deal. What really goes on every time I step onto that stage.
The Inner Workings of the Public Speaker
As she stood in front of the room and began to introduce me, all I could hear were snippets of words coming from her mouth. Words such as ‘… needs no introduction,” “awesome marketer” and “Michele Welch’ was about all I could hear.
Seemed like a great intro. Wish I had paid attention …
My heart was thumping so loud , I swore they could hear it. I slowly took a few deep breaths. Maybe they wouldn’t notice the drastic rising and falling of my chest… or the sweat starting to form on my forehead… or my now flushed cheeks.
“Just remember the opening Michele,” I told myself. “You got this.” “You’re awesome.” “You know your shit.”
I’ve learned the art of pumping myself up. It usually worked. I’ve always managed to get through it.
The first few minutes is always the hardest. Inside my head an on going battle between remembering what I needed to say and my inner voice begging, “Oh please don’t forget your spiel!”
This is not how I practiced it.
What was that all too important point I wanted to make in the beginning??
But then something cool began to happen. As I continued to look at all those in front of me; feeling their desire for me to do well, there was a shift.
Today I want to write about something that I don’t think gets addressed often enough – how bad habits may be impairing your business (and life).
Often times when we’re struggling in our business it’s usually because of some untold truth or because we’ve taken on some “bad” habits. Quite often we are not even aware of these unproductive habits.
It can be as simple as not keeping on top of our numbers (Been there, done that!) or being inconsistent with our social media marketing (*cough*).
You know it’s very interesting. A lot people complain about social media … ‘they are not seeing the results they expected.’ I often get the all-too-often asked question, “How do I measure the ROI of social media?”
When asked, “How long have you’ve been consistent with the process of social media marketing?,” not surprisingly 80% of the time they respond with “A few weeks.”
Or they tell me that they post a few times a week but there’s really no rhyme or reason with their process and they are not consistent with it.
Just like with anything in life, it’s the long-term actions that create results … But you have to be consistent! You have to post regularly if you want to start seeing results. You also need to be strategic.
And if you’re not seeing results, then maybe it’s time to rethink your strategy or tactics. Each business is unique. Therefore what may work for one business, may not work for another.
The only way to get consistent with a process is by creating a habit out of it. Just like brushing your teeth, it becomes automatic. You do it without putting much thought into it. In the beginning it’s going to take some effort for sure, but as you do it long enough it becomes almost effortless.
This past week I’ve kept stalling about joining the Public Speakers Association. I had many “excuses” of course.
- How would I be able to keep up the monthly payments if income stopped coming in?
- What if I pay for the service and never use it? Been there, done that!
- What if I can’t take the time off to go to the meetings?
- What if I had nothing to say? (YES! This did enter my mind!)
But as I began to evaluate all the excuses (Valid for sure!) I had for not joining, I noticed something very profound – and at the same time alarming. They were all questions based on FEAR. None of it was true. It was all a projection of what I think might happen in the future.
In the moment, all there is is possibility. Therefore I was living into a future that did not exist and did not create the space for me to grow – as a person and as an entrepreneur.
The potential impact of being run by my fears were way worse than the fears themselves. The impact of not taking action were:
- I would be left behind
- I would remain stagnant
- I would never feel completely fulfilled and happy because I had made choices based on limiting beliefs and limited thinking
- My financial situation will be based on some else’ view of how they valued me and not how I valued myself
- That I would continue to struggle
- That I may have to rely on others when I grew old to take care of me because I never really “grew up”
A month ago I began reading a book called ‘How to Completely Change Your Life in 30 Seconds’ based on the works of Earl Nightingale. Great book by the way! I highly suggest it.
At a certain point in the book, Earl Nightingale suggested you write down a few important, yet specific goals. Nothing new right? I have a stack of cards spread throughout my home with goal cards. I’ve taught on the concept of SMART goals for goodness’ sake. This was going to be an easy exercise.
Or so I thought …
So I dusted off my journal (Which I haven’t written in over a month!), opened up to a clean page and thought hard about the top three goals I wanted to achieve. I knew getting a hold of my finances and achieving financial freedom was on the top of the list of goals I’d like to achieve, so I wrote down two goals – one centered around being debt-free and the other centered around my desired yearly net income by the year 2020.
However, health also has been an increasing priority in my life and therefore I decided to create a goal around that area as well. But here’s the deal. In the past, I’ve created health goals and if I achieved them they were short lived. Ultimately I’d end up back where I started … Very frustrating!
How would this health goal be different from every other one I created? I knew I needed to do some radical, out-of-the-box, thinking this time around. Out of nowhere – as if by divine intervention – Ironman popped into my head … NO, not the movie! The Ironman races – one of the most physically and mentally grueling triathlons you can participate in.
Yup! That one!!
I had no idea of what the Ironman entailed in terms of physical, monetary, and time commitment. But needless to say, I wrote down in my notebook,
Participate in the Ironman 2016
Fair enough. I had two years to train for this “Ironman thingy.” I immediately (and impulsively) got onto Facebook and shouted out loud for the whole world to hear, that I was going to do Ironman 2016 … “Who’s with me?”
The response was not completely what I expected, LOL. I had a couple, “YES. I’m in.” But mostly got, “I’m not that crazy?!” An hour later, my dear friend proceeded to text me:
2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2mile run inspired?!
After the initial shock and horror, I proceeded to crack up uncontrollably. Talk about making a decision without knowing all the facts. But nonetheless, I made a decision and had every intention on sticking with it.
Well, let me just say that it’s been nearly a month since that day and to my own surprise, I’m still forging ahead with this crazy idea. It’s been a challenge since day one, mentally and physically, but I haven’t given up on my new-found dream of becoming a Iron(wo)man.
But in the past month, as I struggle to push my body just a little harder than the day before and fight with my internal conversations of “Just give up and go back to bed. Nobody would blame you for it,” I remind myself of what this would mean for me and the promise that I’ve made to myself.
I’m also reminded of how many times I had thrown in the towel and how those choices have impacted my life. But mostly in a very short time, I’ve learned three very powerful lessons that I’m taking into my training, my business and my life in general.
And so here they are:
What is marketing? Marketing, much like sales, for a long time has been given a bad rap. Mostly I think because people either don’t understand it or they fear it. As a result they don’t market their business or don’t do enough of it.
Let’s define marketing:
According to Merriam Webster dictionary, marketing is “the activities that are involved in making people aware of a company’s products, making sure that the products are available to be bought, etc.”
Simply put, marketing is the process by which you show people how your product, service, or cause can make a difference in their lives! Like sales, it is not something you do to someone, but rather, something you do for them.
I’ve used this example before. Let’s say you went to the doctor for a checkup. Afterwards she gave you a diagnosis that required you to take certain medications. Wouldn’t the natural next step be for her to write a prescription and/or give you direction on what you needed to do next? How would you feel if none were given?
In essence that is what you are doing when you have a product or service that can help someone be happier, healthier, and/or wealthier and you don’t give them the solution by marketing your product or service. If they don’t know what it is you offer, they’ll never get the opportunity to make a decision to choose yes or no to that offer.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, marketing books available that can teach you the basic principles to marketing. At the end of the day, here’s how it works:
Person has a BIG problem/need/desire –> You have the solution
Your job is to hone in on your prospective customers’ problems, frustrations, desires, etc., and how your product or service will either alleviate or accentuate each.
- How can your coaching alleviate their frustrations with not getting enough clients?
- How can your interior design services make someone happier?
- How does your body wrap help someone lose weight and as a result make them feel more confident and happier?
Here a but a few ways to market your business:
- Virtual trainings (teleseminars, telesummits, webinars)
- Direct marketing
- Social media marketing
- Video marketing
- Creating marketing materials (business cards, brochures, etc.)
- Email marketing
- Workshops / Lunch & Learns / Events
- Joining associations/BNI’s
- Press releases
- TV/radio/bill boards
- Media coverage (news, editorials, local publications)
As you can see, there many methods you can use to market your business. Should you do them all? I wouldn’t suggest it! Your job is to try different marketing initiatives, test them along the way, and see which ones work best for your business. Unfortunately not all marketing is created equal. If it were, we’d all be doing the same thing!
Where to Begin with Marketing
Where I’ve had most success when it comes to marketing was not by doing it all, but rather by selecting a few strategies and doing them over and over and over. And when you’re sick of it, do it some more!
You may also find that you may get results using many different methods. This does not mean you should use them all! I wouldn’t recommend spreading yourself thin this way. This is definitely a recipe for disaster – and overwhelm. Take it from someone who’s been there.
I’ve always (and still do) followed the Rule of 3. That is, I do everything in three’s – 3 strategies, 3 tactics, 3 daily priorities, etc. Therefore, I would suggest you take your pick of strategies listed above and start with those. Don’t worry, you’re not married to them. You can change them later on if you like.
However, the key here is to immerse yourself in those three strategies over a period of time and evaluate their effectiveness. Keep doing those strategies that are producing great results and switch out the ones that are producing little to no results.
Here’s an example I’ve shared before on Facebook:
Sure marketing is a process. There’s no quick fix … And if someone tells you differently, I’d suggest you take your checkbook and run the other way – fast!
They key to marketing is:
Pick your process, stick with it for some time and evaluate your results along the way. Be sure to include both offline and online marketing strategies. I’m yet to come across a business/industry that can’t benefit from both types of marketing.
And listen if you’re really getting stuck with marketing, check out my Marketing Deconstruction Session; or at the very least attend a marketing seminar of sorts to gain some more clarity around how to do it effectively. Google ‘Marketing Seminars + [your city]‘ and see what comes up or visit Eventbrite and see what’s listed in your local area.
Study marketing! I heard T. Harv Eker say once that once your business is set up, you should be spending 80% of your time on marketing, sales, and promotion – and only 20% of your time on other stuff such as operations. If you’re hearing this for the first time, I know it can be overwhelming. There might even be a part of you that doesn’t agree.
For me it’s simple. T. Harv Eker is a multi-millionaire many times over and has run many successful businesses. My rule of thumb is this: If I’m going to take advice from anyone, I’m going to take it from someone who is generating a lot more income than me and producing great results in his or her business … And here’s what’s cool. The more I take on advice and strategies from those more successful than me, the more I continue to grow as an individual and professional.
Just saying …
A couple of years ago I decided to make a transition in my business. I decided to add “coaching” to my list of business services. It seemed like the right move. In essence I was already coaching my clients. Many came to me for web or social media services, and ultimately I found myself coaching them through various business and life challenges.
I’ve always loved to troubleshoot and be the catalyst to other’s having a complete shift in how they were thinking and approaching things in their business. I dare say I had talent for seeing things others couldn’t – and was able to hone in on the root cause of what was keeping them stuck.
Sometimes they were stuck due to technical issues or simply bad habits. But often times it was a mindset issue. Being able to guide someone through the process of looking at things from a different perspective that they hadn’t thought of before, and hearing in their voice the shift from feeling helpless and defeated to optimistic and relieved – as if a weight has been lifted off their shoulders – is truly a gift to witness.
So you can see why I decided to add coaching to my repertoire of services. It truly was the natural step for me in my business. But taking that natural step and being able to create a sustainable business doing something you love are two very different things.
I don’t have any regrets about my decision – and I’m still coaching (part-time). But in hindsight, I would of done a LOT of things differently before taking the plunge. You just don’t know what you don’t know and often times by the time you know it, you’ve dug such a deep ditch that you wonder how you’ll ever climb your way back out again.
Let me explain …
I guess when I decided to begin promoting my coaching services that much like my consulting service, clients would simply show up and ready pay to work with me! I mean why wouldn’t they?! I had a skill-set for goodness sake! I was one of the most tech-savvy coaches I knew, so you where getting the best of both worlds – a coach that could not only tell you what to do, hold you accountable, but show you HOW to do it.
Seemed like a no-brainer to me …
Not the case!
I was so completely “sold” on the idea of coaching that I promoted my consulting services less and less. As a result, my client base decreased over a course of time … and my income along with it. Eventually I decided to take a position as Marketing Director for a local company – which don’t get me wrong, I LOVE. But it didn’t fit in with my long-term vision.
This is not to say that I’ve given up on my business. NEVER!! I’ve always have and always will be an entrepreneur at heart and my desire to be a financially free and a successful business owner still resides in my heart. It’s just going to take a bit longer than expected.
So what went wrong?? And why am I sharing this with you?
One of the things I wanted to share today is how do you optimize your virtual trainings? I’ve hosted many webinars, teleseminars, and other online training’s over the course of the years. In hindsight, I realized that I had some that had had great turnouts and others not so good.
And I wondered what was the disconnect? Why was I getting good results on some and not others; given the fact that I was using the same strategies to promote those virtual trainings?
When I went back to analyze where the holes were, I realized that in those trainings that I had better results with, I was very specific with what I was going to be teaching; in comparison to the other trainings where I was a bit more general and vague.
This week’s Marketing & Mindset Video Tip – and definitely a HOT TOPIC in it’s own right – is FOCUS!
You may have heard the term before, what you focus on grows. That’s all well and good. But how do you determine what to focus on, when you have problems focusing in the first place?!
I so often hear people say I can’t focus … And it’s no wonder. We are dealing with computers, iPads, iPhones, Androids, texting, Facebook – so much technology and chatter going on around us – it’s really quite insane when you think about it.
However, the reality is, if you don’t practice how to focus (and it is a muscle you can build) you are going to fall short with your goals in your business. You are just not going to complete things.