3 Simple Steps to Fantastic Testimonials

What’s the first thing you look for when buying a product, program or service online? Ok, after the price? 😉

That’s right – testimonials! Rave reviews from other people who’ve used it can make a huge difference in whether or not you take out your credit card, right?

When potential clients or customers visit your website, they want to see the same thing. It makes them feel that much more comfortable that they’re making a good choice in handing over their money to you. Make it easier for them to buy (and easier for you to make a sale) by including testimonials for everything you offer.

But not just any nice words will do. You want your testimonials to be results-based to do the selling for you. Here’s what I mean:

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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! I’m sharing 7 super-simple ways that you can provide great value to your audience while bringing in a great profit for you at the same time!

7 Ways to Have a Sale Today

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 new 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’s 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 bring in more immediate cash, but there are some cautions to take when doing so too. 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 regular price.

So, which kind of sale are you going to have to put some extra cash in your pocket today? Share with me in the comments.

Feel free to share this post with your friends and colleagues via the buttons below too – thanks!

 

PS: There are definitely some nuances to making a sale be really successful for you, and that’s something we talk about in the Lively Biz Business Club (my most affordable coaching option). To find out more, be sure to get on the wait list here today, ok?

7 Quick Ways to Content For Your Readers

 

Ever sit down to write a blog post or an email to your list and be at a loss as to what to say? It happens to the best of us, so I thought I’d share some of the ways that I get unstuck when that happens to me.

7 Quick Ways to Content

 

1. Offer Your Client Success Stories
You’ll see me implement this idea fairly often, where I’ll share a common struggle among my private clients and offer some solutions. You can take this a level deeper and offer a ‘case study’ of a specific client who had a specific challenge that you helped solve and turn that into your content to share with your readers.

 

2. Pick 3 of Your Most FAQs
Something I also encourage my clients to do is continually ask their market what it wants help with. As you do this you’ll see a common thread of frequently asked questions from your readers. Highlight three or so of those in your post with your solutions.

 

3. Share Your Cutting Edge Knowledge
When you learn something new that will help your clients, share that information with your readers as well. Not only will this help you be viewed as an expert, your readers will be grateful for not having to do this work themselves.

 

4. Offer Your Top 5
Writing a quick ‘5 Top Tips’ is an easy way to get an article written fast. Pick a topic, then five points about the topic you want to make, and write 2-3 sentence for each point. With a brief intro and closing paragraph, you’re done.

 

5. Interview Well-Known Colleagues
Send an email request to a handful of well-known colleagues in your field whose work complements yours asking to interview them for your readers. Ask them five questions via email and then post the interview. They get free exposure and you get valuable content to share with your readers.

 

6. Do an Ask (Insert Your Name Here) Column
Periodically ask you readers to send you questions that you can answer for them in future issues. When you find yourself stuck for content ideas, pull these out and answer one or two. These are great idea sparkers and even better, you are giving information your readers specifically asked for.

 

7. Run a Reprint
Use this strategy when you’re pressed for time or when you’re going on vacation. There’s nothing wrong with reprinting a favorite piece of content. Your current readers will appreciate the refresher and your content will be new to your newer subscribers.

 

Print this list out and keep it nearby so the next time you sit down to write you’ll have 7 quick ways to come up with valuable content for your readers.

 

I’d love to hear how you come up with content for your readers too! Please comment below – and also feel free to share this with your friends and colleagues via the buttons below too – thanks!

How to Take the Summers Off

One of the questions I get asked the most is how I take the summers off, so I thought I’d answer that a bit for you in this post.

The purpose of my sharing this is about much more than just taking the summer off – or any extended holiday.

It’s to help you, the Lifestyle Entrepreneur, to get really clear on your plan for the next 6-12 months and beyond, what it’s going to be about for you, both from a pragmatic view as well as from a big picture view.

Preparing to Take Time Off

You likely know that I take 12 weeks off (half of June, and all of July and August) as vacation to spend it with my family at the lake where I spent my summers growing up.

When I first decided that I wanted to be off for the entire summer, I had to figure out how to make that work and still run and grow my business.

In the beginning, it was a very slightly working vacation, maybe 10% of the time.

The first time I did this, I did certain things to prepare for it:

1. I decided on what main projects I was going to focus on, two in total.

2. I decided what my VA would focus on, all the admin details that I didn’t want to be troubled with, but that I had a hard time letting go of beforehand.

3. I went through all my paper files and only brought those with me that I had to have to work on those 2 main projects. (As a back-up, I used a remote access program in case I had to get something on my desktop).

4. I cleaned up my laptop so when I was online I could focus.

5. I let my clients and customers know (more than once) that I was on vacation, that I would respond to emails but that it might take a little longer than usual, but that I was also living this model.

Those were basically the things I did to get ready.

What happened?

Much to my surprise, because I think I was so busy-busy all the time that I wasn’t moving forward very quickly with anything and spent a lot of time putting out fires, I was actually MORE productive – and MORE profitable – during those summer weeks than I had been the previous 6 months working from my home office.

Here’s What Made the Difference

So what was different?

1. I chose two main projects to focus on that only I could do (writing my book and my membership program) and either let the rest go (absolutely nothing negative happened as a result) or delegated it.

So I was really focused on my ‘genius’ work, which is what will always bring you more money sooner than focusing on fixing your website or other admin tasks you shouldn’t be doing.

2. I had scheduled work time. This was a biggee for me. At home, I worked when the kids slept (naptime or nighttime) and then all kinds of in-between time when they were playing by themselves or when Daddy was taking care of them.

During those early summers of implementing this model, I only worked a total of about 2 hours a day, during pre-wake-up time and post-bedtime, 3-4 days a week. I’d get up at 5:30am and work for an hour or so before the kids woke up, but that was also my time to sit on the dock, watch the loons and write in my journal – and drink my coffee while it was still hot.

When I worked it was only on those one or two projects, and answering emails that were a priority, like those from private clients. Anything else I did was a bonus. I wasn’t stressed at all, and when I was with kids, I was completely focused on them, not on my business.

Since then, I’ve restructured my business so that I don’t offer anything ‘live’ with me while I’m off for the summer, my coaching and training programs end around Memorial Day weekend, and the only work I do over the summer is write the personal note in my online newsletter each week. Almost everything else is done and queued up before Memorial Day or is delegated to my team to take care of while I’m off.

There’s quite a bit more to it than this, of course, but if you’re seeking to take more time off, whatever time of year it is and for whatever reason, this should get you thinking about the first steps to take so you can do it too.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this – comment below or share in our Facebook group here

How to Unhook from the Future

Chloe has a children’s book (which is now a movie) titled Milton’s Secret: An Adventure of Discovery through Then, When, and the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and Robert S. Friedman, which really simplifies the concept of living in the present moment, and how the practice of that will, for the boy in the story, eliminate fear and worry.

I wanted to explore that as it pertains to your business, with a slightly different slant. I wonder if you, like so many of my clients, and myself as well from time to time, are so hooked into the future that we’re missing the NOW and not fully enjoying the journey?

So how do we unhook from it to allow what we truly want to come to pass without always feeling like we’re striving for it?

Here are 5 ideas:

1. Let go of the goals that take you away from the present.

Let me say first that you can have everything you want – and there’s no judgement here on what those things are.

That being said, do you want a mansion, to be the #1 speaker in your market, to be the one with the biggest email list in your market, to be a New York Times bestselling author, to make a million dollars? There’s nothing wrong with any of those lofty (yet completely attainable) goals.

And, what happens is when we’re so focused on the sexy dream we tend to get ourselves so riled up about getting there that we miss all the amazing stuff happening NOW.

What I’ve noticed is that people get impatient, sad, frustrated, and even angry when they’re so focused on the future goal that the present seems uninteresting at best, despairing at worst. The antidote? See #2.

2. Polish the present

I want to encourage you to stop striving so hard and thrive in your present. What I mean is that if you make what you already have better, and polish what’s already good and working, you uplevel your life without expending that energy on something that doesn’t exist yet.

Yes, it’s about appreciating what’s already good and right in your world and in your business AND it’s about how you can make what’s already there fulfill you even more. It’s true that if you make the most of what you already have, you’ll get more and better of it with a lot less effort on your part.

3. Don’t plan so much

I’m all about having the big picture plan down to the day-to-day details, and yet I know that most of the time, the plan changes.

One of the reasons we – as business owners – plan so much is because it gives us a sense of control and it helps to alleviate the fears and doubts we have about knowing what we’re doing.

So have the plan and be willing to be flexible with it. Let it be a guide but not the only way. If you get wrapped up in THE PLAN you’ll actually hold yourself and your business back from being able to adapt quickly when things change – and they always do.

Assess if you spend more time planning than doing – and if you do, stop right now. And if you tend to fly by the seat of your pants more often than not, you might want a lightly-built framework around you to give you some sense of stability.

4. Get out of the striver’s club

Stop trying to acquire a better future with others who are striving. It’s just too exhausting. I’m not saying to surround yourself with lazy folks, but get out of the overdrive club if you want to relax into a currently compelling present instead of an exhausting still ‘out there somewhere’ future.

5. Get off the ‘if/when’ rollercoaster

I admit this is a pet peeve of mine. Not from people who are decisive, but from people who use it as an excuse to not be happy now. When you make ‘if/when’ statements, you’re living in the future. Dreaming and visioning is one thing; otherwise it’s a holding pattern for you but even worse, you’re not enjoying where you’re at right now!

Now take and implement these five ideas to unhook from the future so you can enjoy the present – I promise you’ll thank me for it. 🙂

I’d love to hear you thoughts on this – please comment below…

Thinking about hosting your own live event?

In 2009, I started thinking about the hosting my own live event.

But even though I had a great coach to help me plan it, her events were far larger and much more involved than anything I wanted to do…

So I held back.

Then I started feeling pressured to move forward with this idea, so I contacted a nice hotel near the airport, submitted my request to host a 3-day event there, and then nearly passed out when the 15-page contract arrived – along with a required MINIMUM commitment of $15k from me.

Gulp. 😟

So I decided to toss the whole idea until I could come up with a way to do it that felt good to me – and that didn’t make my heart palpitate in fear!

I asked myself what kind of event I really wanted to do. Not what ‘everyone’ else was doing, but what felt easy, fun, and much more me…

What I came up with was this…

I didn’t want to hold it at the airport. I didn’t want to hold it at a big hotel. I didn’t want to hold it in the big city. I didn’t want to stress about filling seats or worry about paying for rooms that didn’t fill in our room block. I didn’t want to commit to thousands of dollars of food that I knew would mostly be wasted. I didn’t want to deal with sound systems and the cost and labor involved. Basically I didn’t want to do anything the way I was ‘supposed’ to.

So I started over – and by asking myself what I REALLY wanted (and following that guidance) – I found myself with a 1-page contract with no financial commitment upfront, with no commitment to paying for empty guest rooms, in a boutique hotel in a hip town near the sea.

Was I still nervous about filling seats? Sure.

Did I have lots of questions about all the things I didn’t know? Yup.

Was I afraid of what I didn’t know I didn’t know? Absolutely.

But by doing it my way, and starting from where I was realistically, I’ve successfully hosted 8 small workshops and have generated anywhere from $60k to over $100k NET every time.

I’m sharing this with you so you know I’ve been there…and I have a lot of wisdom to share with you as you plan and navigate hosting your own small live event, starting with my free training coming up next week.

Join us here:

https://aforest.lpages.co/psewebinar/

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