When Doing Less IS More in Your Business

Are you working too hard in your business? If you're an entrepreneur, you probably are, especially if you're in the early stages of your business building.

And you're not alone.

Here's an example from my own client files:

I was recently working with a client who was a real go-getter, very serious about being in business for herself, and marketing only to a more affluent clientele. She wanted to increase her reach into that market online. And she was considering adding article marketing to her mix.

At this stage in her business, she was already doing quite well. She was close to making 6 figures and charging 5 times as much as her counterparts – and getting it easily. But she wasn't satisfied. She really wanted to break the $100k mark before the third anniversary of her business, which was coming up in just a few months.

When she asked me, "What is the quickest, most cost-effective way to regularly market articles?" and then told me she planned to do this work herself, I stopped her.

"You know, just because you can do this task, doesn't mean you should…"

She was quiet for a moment before asking me to elaborate.

"I know your writing is high quality and of high value to your market, and I definitely think you should be getting that content out there, to the appropriate places that will bring you the highest return-on-investment for your efforts. But I don't think you should be doing this yourself. It's not a good use of your time or your energy. What do you think?"

After a bit more discussion, she agreed to hire someone to do this for her.

As you read this, did you think of perhaps one task that you routinely do (or that falls by the wayside because you can never just get to it) that you know is 'below your pay grade' and yet you continue to waste time and energy on it (even if that time and energy is just thinking about how you're NOT getting it done?)?

This concept was (still is, from time to time) difficult for me to grasp when my own coach shone a light on it for me. But since I've tried to be aware of how much effort I really need to put into a task to get the result I want, it's opened up space for things to flow more effortlessly and more quickly than ever.

Here are four ways you can do less and still grow in your business:

1. Email

Do you spend more time than necessary responding to emails? Do you write two paragraphs when a two-sentence response would suffice? Do you respond to emails that actually don't require a response? Do you check email every 5 minutes (come on, fess up!)? What if you didn't do any of these things and still had a handle on your inbox? You can if you put a system in place to manage it.

2. Blog

Are you writing blog posts that are long? Maybe it even feels cumbersome to try to write a post the length of an article. Don't – keep them short and pithy. Make sure your keywords are in the content and it doesn't matter how long your posts are to the search engines – and your readers will probably appreciate shorter posts as well. Better yet, turn your weekly ezine articles into blog posts to save even more time and energy.

3. Website

Are you constantly updating your website? Does it really need to be revamped so often? More to the point, is this something you have to do yourself? No. Most virtual assistants can make website updates for you at a much lower cost to your time and energy than you doing it yourself.

4. Customer/Client Relations

Who responds to questions and comments from your clients and customers? Are you processing refunds, working out payment glitches, resending download links, answering the same questions about your programs over and over, or any other task that could easily be passed off to a capable assistant?

You can quickly and easily train someone to respond to these inquiries in your voice by having them shadow you via blind-copying them on each email you send out. Then reverse the process and voila – another time and energy drain has been removed from your shoulders.

If you've been a client of mine, it's very likely you've heard one of my mantras, "Done is better than perfect." I usually follow that with, "And it's never going to be all done." So choose to cause yourself less stress and DO LESS. Experiment with this and see how much more productive you'll actually be. Think of just one thing that you could do the easy way instead of the hard way, or delegate to an assistant, or better yet, take off your 'must-do' list altogether.

I'd love to know how this resonates with you. Please leave your thoughts below – and thanks!

About the Author: Alicia M Forest, MBA, 6-Figure Business Breakthrough Mentor, teaches entrepreneurs 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/

The Simple Way to Practice What You Preach

As I'm wrapping up a slew of private retreats with clients this month, it's become clear that it's time for me to get focused on practicing what I've been preaching – or more specficially, to put myself through the same intense process and plan that I take my clients through.

This thought popped into my head several times during the retreats, but really came to the forefront of my thinking over the past week or so, as I've been making some very big decisions in my business that's going to majorly shift things going forward.

So, here's what I've noticed that's going on with me in my business that I'm hoping will shed some light for you as well:

Problem: Not taking action on a particular task.

If you're finding yourself low on energy around moving forward on a certain project or idea, it pays to take a look inside for the reason why.

As I learned from Andrea Lee, my private coach for nearly three years, everything is energy. And when I'm stuck – *especially* when I know what to do next – there's something wrong inside that's blocking forward movement. Because, after all, I am all about taking action.

Solution: Ask yourself…

1. What's one thing I coach my own clients on that I can apply to myself?

2. What's one way I show others how to operate their business that I can apply to my own?

3. What's one method I teach that I can implement more fully in my own business.

In other words, how can I practice what I preach more thoroughly?

The answers to these simple questions are the key to getting unstuck and moving forward.

Take it to the next level…

Exercise:

Complete the following sentence 30 times:

"The results my clients get from working with me are_______________.

And don't skimp – come up with 30 answers. If you have trouble getting more specific, ask your current and past clients to help you fill in the blank.

What are the benefits to doing this exercise?

Many, but for the purposes of this conversation, the value is in bringing forth the things that are the most beneficial for you to make sure you're focusing on in moving your business forward – both for yourself and for your clients.

So take your answers and turn them around to apply them to your own business!

I'd love to know how this resonates with you. Please leave your thoughts below – and thanks!

(c) 2010 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

5 Ideas for Writing Sales Pages That Sell

One of the best pieces of advice I've ever gotten about writing sales pages is to think about them in terms of having a conversation with someone.

Whether you have a tiny list or thousands of people on it, you can still give all your sales communications – whether it's a long sales letter, sales copy for an ad, or short sales copy for the products page of your website – the feeling of being personal if you write it as if you were talking to your ideal client or a friend.

Here's what I mean:

1. Tell A Story

One of the most effective ways for you to write sales pages that convert (meaning people take the action you want them to take) is by relating in some way to your reader.

If you've been where they are at now, telling your story can go a long way in engaging your reader, building your credibility, and providing a feeling of comfort to your reader that you know what you're talking about.

2. Ask Questions

To introduce your story, you might ask a series of questions that your reader would answer "yes" to. When your reader says "yes, that's me" you've hooked them right away and enticed them to read further.

For example, on the back of my business card (which is a sales tool in that I use it to entice people to sign up for my ezine), I ask, "Are you sick of struggling to attract enough clients for your business?" and "Are you really good at what you do, but marketing yourself effectively eludes you?"

You could do the same on your sales pages. For example, at the beginning of my sales letter for my How to Write Sales Pages that Sell teleseminar, I ask, "Do you currently have sales pages online, but they aren't converting, meaning you're not making many (or any!) sales from them?" and "Are you planning on launching a product or service in the next 90 days and know you need to write the sales page for it, but have no idea how to go about it?"

3. Touch On The Pain

A very effective way of bringing your reader along in your sales page is to touch on the pain of the problem about which you are offering the solution.

For example, a few years ago, our neighbor's two dogs barked incessantly, often waking my daughter from her nap, and making it difficult for me to focus when I was working. We tried everything, including talking to the neighbors a number of times, calling the dog warden even more often (unfortunately the neighbor is friendly with the dog warden), chasing the outdoor cats away when it's them that they are barking at, and even trying to just tolerate it.

But when it became apparent that the dog warden was not going to be effective and since we live in a very small village where the mayor is also our neighbor and it didn't seem like we were going to be able to have this issue resolved via the proper channels, I started searching for other solutions.

What I found was a humane dog training device, and the reason I was willing to plunk down almost $100 for it was this one sentence on its sales page:

"Have you tried EVERYTHING to silence the nuisance barking of your neighbor's dog?"

Sold!

4. Focus On The Top and the Bottom

The two most-read parts of your sales pages are the headline and the PS. There are certain very effective ways that you can utilize these two components, and one of them is to use them to relate to your reader in some way.

I've seen sales pages without a headline – just the title of the product they are selling, and I've seen many sales pages without a PS at the end.

Not have compelling copy in your headline and a gentle nudge in a PS can really hurt your sales. Make sure you focus on these two areas of your sales page with the utmost of care.

5. Offer A Strong Guarantee

Most of us are skeptical to some degree and often ask the question, "yes, but will it work for me?" Remove that doubt by offering a strong guarantee.

Research proves that the longer the guarantee, the better. And even better is making it clear that your buyer can get a refund without having to give a reason for requesting it. Offer a minimum of a 90 day guarantee and a no-questions-asked refund policy, and you'll make more sales and get less returns, even if it seems counter-intuitive.

A final note: writing sales copy is a skill that anyone can master, given a little practice and guidance. There are loads of good sales pages online that you can model. To get you started, just think of the ones that really spoke to you and from which you made a purchase. Think about what it was that made you enter your credit card number and reflect that in your own sales copy.

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

Top 10 Reasons You Must Have a Signature System

Did you know there is a super-simple way to leverage your gifts, talent and know-how into lucrative, highly leveraged income streams?

It's your Signature System, and it's your step-by-step formula for multiple streams success.

So, what exactly is a Signature System? It's the work you are ALREADY doing with clients, packaged into a highly marketable, step-by-step system they will want to buy.

If you are thinking you can't create a system because every client is different, think again. EVERY service can be transformed into a simple, repeatable system clients will happily say YES to – yes, even yours!

Once I figured this out and finally moved away from solely working one-on-one with clients and started adding other revenue streams, I knew I had found the right system that was going to help me create the kind of income I desired.

Specifically, here are the top 10 reasons why having a Signature System is a MUST to quickly transition out of 1-on-1 work fast…

1. Your clients LOVE systems.

They're so overloaded, they can't even stop to think. Your system tells them "I've done the work so you don't have to."

2. Your clients can practically predict their success.

When they see the results others have achieved, clients feel very reassured… and start to picture the results for themselves.

3. Your Signature System sets you apart.

It's as unique as your signature, after all – nobody else has it!

4. Instant credibility.

Without a system, your services can appear all over the place. A system instantly elevates you to expert status.

5. Quicker, easier sales.

Your clients will "get" what you offer much quicker and are ready to buy much sooner.

6. Your clients will get better results…

…when they follow given steps in a given order, instead of blundering around trying to find their way.

7. Your clients will get results faster…

… because they are not wasting time on needless "stuff."

8. Your clients will come back again and again…

…because they have had such success with you the first time!

9. You will help more people…

…because your Signature System (or key elements of it) can be "bottled and sold" at different investment and commitment points.

And best of all…

10. You will see just how easy it is to create 3, 4 or even more lucrative income streams

…that will deliver a steady and predictable flow of cash into your business. And you know what that means? Peace of mind. Priceless.

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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