3 Ways to Increase Your List Numbers from In-Person Events

Do you often attend in-person events, such as workshops, networking breakfasts, and seminars where you network and collect a bunch of business cards from the other attendees, but then you don't know what to do with them?

Of course if someone's expressed an interest in your services, you want to follow up with them, but most people you talk with at these events may not need your services RIGHT NOW, yet they very well may in the future.

So how do you make sure you're at their fingertips when they do need you? Get them on your list! That way you'll have the opportunity to continue to get in front of them in a subtle way. Remember, though, never to put anyone on your list who hasn't given you permission to do so.

Here are three ways to encourage people to get on your list when you meet them in person, without being pushy:

1. Put your Free Taste (your freebie product that draws people into your marketing funnel) information on the back of your business card, or on whatever other materials you hand out.

Business cards are the standard pass-around marketing tool at these kind of events, but if the back of your card is blank, you're losing valuable real estate. There are several things you could add to the back of your card, and one of them is the information for your Free Taste.

Write a snappy sentence describing the benefit that the reader will get if they sign up, along with the website address of where they can subscribe.

2. Email each person whose business card you collected within a week.

Send a brief email to each person you met, reminding them that they can sign up for your freebie offering at your website. Make sure you include a live link to make it super-easy for them to click and sign up.

3. If you're a speaker at the event, or if it's your own event, have a sign-up sheet for the attendees.

At the beginning and end of your talk, make sure you tell your audience that they can receive FREE valuable information from you if they will simply sign-up on the form. Ask them for their first name and email address, and make note on the form what it is they will receive.

You can give each person a separate sign-up form or have one that you pass around for everyone to sign. You can also pass around a basket or bowl for people to drop their cards into to win a prize, AND to be put on your list to receive your Free Taste. (Most email list services require anyone signing up to double opt-in now, so you will be giving them another opportunity to confim that they do in fact want to be on your list after you've added them.)

You've probably heard "the fortune is in the follow-up" and that's exactly what this will do for you. If you collect their names and email addresses at the event, add them to your list with their permission, or send them a reminder email to do it themselves, your Free Taste (and your ezine) will do the follow up for you. It will keep you on your prospects' radar screens so you'll come to mind immediately when they do need your services. And that's exactly what you want!

(c) 2009 Alicia Forest

About the author:  Alicia M Forest, MBA, 6-Figure Business Breakthrough Mentor, teaches self-employed professionals how to attract more clients, create profit-making products and services, make more sales, and ultimately live the life they desire and deserve. For FREE tips on how to create wild abundance in your business, visit http://www.ClientAbundance.com

Your Online Business Sales Cycle

Creating a profitable business online is a process, just like creating any other business. Regardless of what it is that you're offering, your cash flow is based on your sales. Once you know and implement the online business sales cycle (which anyone can follow), you'll be able to create consistent cash flow for your business, too.

Here are the six basic steps in the online business sales cycle:

Step 1. Choose Your Prospects

"Prospects" is basically business-speak for potential clients and/or customers. So, who is the person who is ideally suited for your product, program or service? Who's your ideal client or customer? Who makes up your target market? Is it parents, health professionals, copywriters, dancers, artists, entrepreneurs, boat owners?

It's critical for the success of any business to choose a group of people to work with, even if that group is very broad at first. As you become more and more aware of what kind of client or customer shows up for you, you'll be able to more narrowly target that portion of the market, which will make your marketing a lot easier and bring you cash flow a lot quicker.

Step 2. Invite Them into Your Funnel

Once you know who your prospects are, you'll want to invite them into your Marketing & Product Funnel by giving them a free taste of what it is that you offer in exchange for their email address.

There are many ways to do this – using your email signature, offering free introductory teleseminars, speaking, co-registration programs, Google Adwords, writing and submitting articles, listing with directories, participating in discussion lists, etc.

Step 3. Keep in Touch

Once your prospects are in your funnel, you'll want to keep in touch with them on a consistent basis. Common marketing knowledge tells us that it takes a minimum of 5-12 times for your prospects to see your message before it even registers. That's why so many direct marketers will send you postcard after postcard with the same offer. They know that the only way to get you to take action on their offer is to expose you to the same or similar message over and over until you're ready to hear it.

A very effective way to keep in touch with your prospects then is via an ezine. Because following up with your prospects is vital to making sales from them, publishing an ezine on a consistent basis does this work for you. The bonus is that you can follow up with all of your prospects at once, instead of one by one, which leverages your time – something you should always be striving for.

Step 4. Make Offers

And because we want to leverage our time, if we're putting in the work to write and publish an ezine regularly, then we want to make sure that we are getting a return on that investment. To do so, you want to make at least one offer in your ezine that can result in sales for you.

You want to be sure to provide valuable content, but you also want to make sure that you invite people to take advantage of one or more of your offerings in each issue. If you don't make the ask, you won't make the money. So, if you're uncomfortable asking for the sale, my best suggestion is to get over it fast if you want to stay in business for the long haul.

Step 5. Master the Upsell

It takes most new small business owners awhile to grasp the concept of an upsell, but once they do, it takes their business to a whole new level.

Once you have one offering to make to your prospects, start putting together your next offering. You always want to have a place for them to go to next, always have something else to invite them to or to take advantage of. Find out what else they want from you, then create and offer it to them.

The more products you have to offer, the more sales you'll make because, instead of having to find new people all the time to buy your one product, you can upsell your current clients and customers into your other offerings. And selling to people who have already bought from you is much easier than converting new prospects all the time.

Step 6. Repeat the Process

The online business sales cycle is pretty simple really. Once you've done it once, it's very easy to repeat. As you're creating your own sales cycle, I suggest documenting what you do as you go along to make it that much easier to duplicate the next time around. Each time you repeat the process, your list of prospects will grow and so will your income!

(c) 2009 Alicia Forest

About the author:  Alicia M Forest, MBA, 6-Figure Business Breakthrough Mentor, teaches self-employed professionals how to attract more clients, create profit-making products and services, make more sales, and ultimately live the life they desire and deserve. For FREE tips on how to create wild abundance in your business, visit http://www.ClientAbundance.com

How to Accelerate Your Online Business Success

During the first class in my 21 Easy & Essential Steps to Online Success Take Action Group, there's a palpable sigh of relief when I lead them through a realistic timeline to creating cash flow and success with their online business. So even though I tell them that sometimes it can take up to a year before they'll start seeing some consistent income (if they're real newbies), the pressure lifts and they can embrace the possibility of their business vision becoming real.

There are, of course, ways that you can accelerate this timeline. Here are just 5 of my favorite proven acceleration tips:

Tip 1. Put up your Free Taste and Invite Site asap.

The sooner you get that up, the sooner your list will grow, the sooner your revenue will grow. Get it out now (not perfect – just done!); you can always revise it (and you will).

Tip 2. Make sure your Free Taste really is just a taste of your offering.

It's something you should be able to put together within just a couple of days, if not hours. Make it finite and not something you need to keep working on. A mini-ecourse is a good example. Then introduce your ezine later.

Tip 3. Build your list

Take a piece of paper, write BUILD LIST big and bold, and stick it on your computer, on the wall next to your desk, or somewhere else you will see it and focus on it every day. The quickest way to build to the point of revenue generation in your business is to build your list.

Tip 4. Converge online and offline marketing efforts as much as possible.

If you're holding workshops, get email addresses. If you're sending direct mail, point the recipients to a URL to sign up for your list for your Free Taste.

Tip 5. Concentrate on building a core program.

Intensely create a core program that answers some of the main problems/solutions that your target market is struggling with to create a solid income stream (think Signature System). Then take pieces of that content and package it in various ways to create additional income streams.

Like these tips? I have even more specific strategies on how to set up and run your online business that creates cash flow consistently, which I'll be personally leading you through in my upcoming 21 Steps Take Action Group that starts on Wednesday, October 21, 2009. Spots are very limited, so reserve yours NOW.

(c) 2009 Alicia Forest

About the author:  Alicia M Forest, MBA, 6-Figure Business Breakthrough Mentor, teaches self-employed professionals how to attract more clients, create profit-making products and services, make more sales, and ultimately live the life they desire and deserve. For FREE tips on how to create wild abundance in your business, visit http://www.ClientAbundance.com

3 Keys to a Solid Brand for Your Business

Are you like many online business owners who are confused or stuck when it comes to creating a unique, memorable, and authentic brand? If so, you're not alone. I've been there myself, so I understand the frustration of feeling stuck on this whole branding thing.

But once I discovered that if I looked at it from a completely different perspective, that my brand wasn't just about my business, but about ME, everything shifted.

Creating your brand from the inside out allows you to fully step into your business identity in a truly authentic way. It's also the easiest way to stand out in the sea of others who do what you do.

So, if you're stuck, let me give you three things you must be clear on in order to create a truly compelling and unique business brand.

Strategy 1: What results do your clients experience from your service?

One of the exercises I do with my Platinum clients is have them generate a long list of the results their clients get from working with them.

You can easily do this right now. Just complete this sentence 30 times:

“The results my clients get from working with me are ___________________________.”

If you get stuck, here's my secret: Send this question to your clients so they can tell you the kind of results you're helping them create!

For example, when I asked my own clients this question, here's some of what they shared:

"The results I get from working with Alicia are…

– clear, easy to follow instructions on strategic Internet marketing techniques

– insightful advice from a trusted mentor who understands my business

– generous knowledge and expertise, honest feedback and support, focus and direction

– more clarity on which steps to take to experience more alignment with my business/life purpose

– I now see the bigger picture and base my decisions on the ‘whole’ of my business, rather than just the next thing.

– stretching me in ways and areas that I could/would not do on my own.

– more clients, more money and more fun in working with my business.

– getting me out of my comfort zone so that I discover what is possible when I play a bigger game.

– more clarity and awareness around time sucking activities that I am engaging in so that I can STOP doing them.

Strategy 2: What are you an expert at?
 
Once you have a solid and in-depth grasp of the value you bring to you clients and the results you help create with them, you should easily be able to define what it is you're an expert at.

Complete this sentence: "I'm an expert at________________________."

Strategy 3: What does your brand promise?

Let's take it one step further…

Your brand promise is a statement that is pretty specific. It's true regardless of the program, product or service you may offer. No matter what the program, product or service, it always fulfills your brand promise.

And just to be clear, I'm not talking about your marketing tagline. What I'm talking about goes much deeper than that, to the very core of what it is that you are so passionate about providing to others.

My brand promise is, "I passionately inspire women entrepreneurs to breakthroughs in their business so they create the life they ache for."

So, my Platinum programs, Online Business Breakthrough Brainery, 21 Easy & Essential Steps to Online Success System and Take Action Group, Coaching Cafe, and the rest of my offerings all fulfill this brand promise.

Here's one from one of my Online Business Breakthrough clients, Dale Carter at TransitionAgingParents.com:

"I provide trusted information and personal insight to inspire adult children to passionately pursue, for their aging parents, the quality of life their parents hunger for."

So everything that Dale offers to her specific market fulfills this overarching promise. Dale knows what she is an expert at and that shows up in her brand promise very clearly.

So, what does your brand promise? What is it that your clients can count on you for?

The formula for an effective, compelling, memorable, authentic, fun and fabulous brand is really very simple:

"I get X results for my clients, which makes me an expert at Y, which means they can count on me to provide Z."

Voila!

(c) 2009 Alicia Forest

About the author:  Alicia M Forest, MBA, 6-Figure Business Breakthrough Mentor, teaches self-employed professionals how to attract more clients, create profit-making products and services, make more sales, and ultimately live the life they desire and deserve. For FREE tips on how to create wild abundance in your business, visit http://www.ClientAbundance.com

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