Thoughts from the Dock: A Message from the Lake

A few weeks ago, I was playing with Jack in the shallows of our beach at the lake when I caught sight of something flashing underwater. I reached down to find a rusty Magic Hat #9 bottle cap – with this message on the flip side:

“The universe always has other plans.”

Hmmm… 😉

Being open to receiving messages such as these, I knew exactly that this was about for me. I had been finding myself dipping into fear and worry about a few things personally. And I noticed that I was feeling out of sorts because while I was trying to have faith, I was also uncomfortable feeling like I wasn’t in control (can you relate to that at all? ;-)).

I actually laughed when I read the message on the cap, and thought to myself, “ok, ok, I get it…” 🙂

Releasing control, moving through fear and doubt, believing that there’s a bigger plan and that everything is happening in Divine order… I’m a lot further along on that path than I was even a couple of years ago, but I’m still growing…

I guess my message here is that we all come up against our stuff, no matter who we are or where we’re at in our personal and professional life, but to continue to move forward regardless is the simplest key between getting from where you are to where you want to be…

Strapped for Cash? 7 Ways to Have a Sale Today

Want to encourage people on your email list to buy one (or more) of your products or programs sooner than later? Have a sale! The following are 7 ways that you can provide value to your potential clients/customers and still bring in a profit for you at the same time.

1. Half-Off Sale

Offer your product or program for 50% off its usual price. That may seem like a big discount – and it is – which means that many more people are likely to buy it.

Or go one step further and offer all your products or programs at 50% off (except any one-on-one work with you, of course!). I’ve been thinking about buying a few products over the past year from one site, and when they had a 50% off sale recently, I jumped at the chance to buy not just one, but three products for half-price. Give your list the chance to do the same.

2. Close-Out Sale

Do you have a product or a program that you are no longer going to offer, perhaps to make room for some other offerings? Or are you coming out with a new version of one of your offerings? Have a close-out sale by offering a deep discount.

As an added bonus, you could then offer those people who bought your offering at the close-out price that same amount in a discount if they buy the new version.

Here’s a bit of inspiration for you: One of my close-out sales brought me over $10k in less than a week.

3. Re-Gift Sale

Remember the Seinfeld episode about re-gifting? Do something similar for the stock of any of your products that have been returned. “Re-gift” the ones in good condition to a new buyer for a discount.

4. VIP Sale

Offer a coupon or promo code ONLY to your email list, or to your clients, or to those people who have bought from you before, that is good towards the purchase of any one or all of your offerings. You can set this up in your shopping cart system very easily, so there’s no other extra work on your part.

5. Free Shipping Sale

Offer free shipping on any of your physical products for a limited time, or offer free shipping on all orders over a certain amount.

Personally, if I’m looking to purchase something online, I always search for (and almost always find) a ‘free shipping’ code before I buy.

6. Bonus Sale

Add a valuable bonus or two to your offering for a limited time. It can be something you’ve created or something from one of your colleagues that your niche would benefit from.

Leverage this kind of sale by doing a “bonus sale swap” with a colleague, where they would offer a bonus from you and vice versa. Your own sale will bring you cash, and your bonus offering for your colleague’s sale will bring you more subscribers to your list, which will ultimately bring you more cash.

7. Just Because Sale

This is a favorite of mine – having a sale just because – it’s your birthday, you want to show your gratitude to your list, it’s the 1, 5, or 10 year anniversary of when you went into business for yourself, or for any other reason you can think of.

Having a sale WILL increase your sales, but there are some cautions to take when doing so. Only have a sale occasionally, and when you do, have a compelling reason for it. Otherwise, if it seems you’re always having a sale, you’re planting a seed in your potential buyer’s mind that your offerings may not be worth their usual price.

So, which kind of sale are you going to have to put some extra cash in your pocket today?

Simple Product Creation

Once you’ve figured out your niche (or you’ve at least narrowed it down significantly), it’s time to figure out what problems they are struggling with, and what they want by way of solutions. Remember, if you will only ask your market, it wants to help you create the products it wants to buy!

How do you find out what your target market wants? There are several ways to get this information and use it to help you create an offering that will solve your niche’s problems and make a profit for you at the same time.

The best way is to do your research. The most critical research to do is to join the conversations that your market is having:

Here are two ways to do this:

1. Simple: Ask them!

Ask your prospects a simple, open-ended question, like “What’s your biggest challenge with building your business online?” or “What’s the one thing you’d like to learn more about that relates to balancing your work and family life?” Tailor the question to your niche and use the information you receive to help spark ideas for new products and services.

2. Almost as Simple: Do a simple survey…

…that asks 1-10 questions using a survey tool like Zoomerang or Survey Monkey. This allows you to ask more specific questions to elicit more specific responses. Doing a survey like this really helps you to NOT waste your time creating offerings your target market simply doesn’t want.

Once you’ve figure out what your niche’s problems are, you can create or find the solutions to solve those problems. Your solution can be packaged in a variety of ways: an ecourse, a PDF manual, an ebook, an audio download and/or CD, group programs, teleseminars, e-manuals, etc.

Here’s a very simple process to follow to create a product to add to you funnel quickly:

1. Do a free or paid live class on your product

Once you’ve done your research and you’ve chosen a topic your target market is interested in knowing more about, offer a 1-hour teleclass on that topic. Cover three points and offer your solutions. Most important is to make sure you record the teleseminar, as this is what leads to a product for you.

As you’re designing your outline for the class, do so in a way that creates notes for your participant. (If you’re a member of my Coaching Cafe, you know that I give very detailed class notes, so you know what I mean by this).

As the end of your live teleclass, you’ll have the recording and notes to then…

2. Package it virtually.

Now you have the audio recording and notes to offer as a bundled product and…

3. Package it into a tangible product.

You can then take it up a notch and turn it into a physical product and offer it that way as another income stream for you.

And here are some of my other favorite tips for simple product creation:

– If you don’t have a list or access to a list, you can offer a free class on a topic and then charge people for the product down the road, or afterwards.
– Another option is to have someone interview you on your topic to create your product. You can offer the questions along with the interviewee’s questions. This is a good strategy if you don’t think you can get enough people on a call.

– You can record any live classes or workshops you’re holding as well, and re-package those presentations virtually or tangibly.

– Try to record everything so you always have the option to offer it at some level down the road.

– Promote your teleclass to your list, via colleagues who are willing to spread the word (especially if it’s free) and at teleclass listing services.

– Promote on the discussion lists and groups that you’re a part of, promote it there with permission and on the appropriate day.

– Pricing: If this is a new process for you, if you’re offering your topic for the first time and sort of feeling out your market, go with the lower end. If you’re putting together a 90-minute class with lots of comprehensive step-by-step information, charge more.

– When it comes to creating your big-ticket item, they can be created from all these little products along the way. So, if you were creating a product a month or every other month, that gives you 6-12 products at the end of the year that can be packaged together into your big ticket item.

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

Thoughts from the Dock: About being ‘lucky’

Can you believe it’s August already? This summer is flying by, but we’ve been enjoying every single minute of it… as you can see in this shot of us, hamming it up for the camera in the tea room at the spectacular Castle in the Clouds.

tea at the Castle in the Clouds

The Castle’s original name was “Lucknow”, which struck me when the staff posed us for this photo. It seems wherever we go with Chloe, she attracts these opportunities – she’s pulled out of line to get special attention, she’s picked to go on stage, or the line we’re in puts us in the front seat. It happens so often, we couldn’t help but notice it – sure, she’s super cute and friendly (she’ll strike up a conversation with anyone) – but there seems to be something about Chloe that brings her luck now. Now, if we could just bottle that… 😉

Seriously, I’m a believer in creating your own luck (thus why I don’t buy lottery tickets). Actually I don’t usually use the word luck because I think it’s too easy for people to use it as an excuse, and not in a positive way. I’ll share something personal here – I bristle whenever someone says to me how ‘lucky’ I am to have such well-behaved kids. Don’t get me wrong – I know how blessed I am (and those of you who know me or have been reading my ezine for awhile know this too) to have two happy, healthy, whole kids. No one is more grateful for that than I am. And yet, that comment (and similar ones) always comes across to me as if James and I had nothing to do with it, that it’s the luck of the draw that we have well-behaved (most of the time) children. Are you kidding me?

It’s the same thing in your business. I’m not ‘lucky’ to have a multiple 6-figure business. I created it, I earned it. And I did that by doing 4 things consistently:

1. Learning

2. Implementing

3. Leveraging

4. Mentoring (with and to)

I’ll be sharing more on those 4 in future ezine issues and blog posts, so stay tuned…

Ok, not sure where that little rant came from, but as a late friend of ours used to say, “…and that’s the end of that episode.” 😉

I’d love to know your thoughts – please feel free to share them below…