One of the ways my business had been successful over the years has been by repeating what’s worked. And then there comes a time when my market and I are ready for something fresh, something new to re-ignite the fires or to advance together into a new level of growth. This also helps keep your list interested, and it helps you stay cutting edge in your market.
Here are 5 easy ways for getting and staying hot in your market:
1. Be recognized…
Start showing up – in-person and/or virtually – at events that are offered for your target market. Throw your own events. Be seen on discussion lists and popular blogs where your target market hangs out. Join the conversation, offer your valuable insights and comments, ask good questions and give good answers. Joint venture with your colleagues and double your efforts with half the work. Join associations made up of your peers and volunteer to be on a committee or head up a project. There are loads of ways to build your recognition in your market. Pick a couple and start doing them NOW.
2. Be open to offering others’ products…
If you’ve hit a creative low point, there’s always the option of offering someone else’s product to your list. It’s still new and fresh material to them and a new offer for you to make. Make a list of five of your colleagues who each have a product offering that complements what it is that you do and start building a relationship with them now (if you don’t have one already), so when you want to offer their product, they’ve gotten to know you and your business a bit so they may be more willing to say yes to that kind of strategic alliance.
3. Be more ‘serviceable’…
Take a fresh look at your service offerings. Write down what they look like currently on one sheet of paper, including all the features and benefits. One a separate sheet of paper, write down how you’d like your services to look, including all the features and benefits. You might be surprised to find a real difference. Based on what you discover, consider repackaging your current offerings in a way that better suits you and your clients.
4. Be trendy…
Enter the conversation already going on in your client’s mind to spark new ideas. What are they reading, seeing on TV, involved in right now in their world? What current event or newsy item or popular TV show can you tie into your sales copy for your offerings that will keep it fresh and make stand out in an already crowded marketplace?
5. Be occasion-oriented
Tie a promotion into a holiday or special occasion. There’s hardly a week that goes by these days that doesn’t have some sort of celebration attached to it. Or you could make up your own. For example, January (New Year’s) and September (Back-to-School) are great months for launching new products, programs, or services that allow the client to do, be and have better.
If you want to keep your clients and customers, keep them interested. Consider offering something new, either in the way of a new product, program or services tailored to their wants or by tweaking your current offerings to keep them fresh and make them stand out in an already crowded marketplace.
I’d love to know which one of these 5 resonates with you the most. Please leave your comments below.
Chloe has a children’s book 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 (and 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 to 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!
I’d love to know your thoughts on how to unhook from the future so you can enjoy the present – please leave your comments below.
Falling into fear and doubt as you build your business is normal, but there are many things you can do to catch yourself before you fall into what I call the Well of Despair. The Well of Despair is that cold, dark, spinning place filled with fear and doubt like…
“Can I really do this?”
“If this really going to work?”
“I’m putting in so much effort and it feels like I’m not getting anything in return.”
“I’m uncomfortable talking about my business because
I’m not where others think I should be and I feel like a failure.”
First, take heart. We’ve all been there, and back again. And while there are many things you can do to climb out of the Well of Despair or keep from falling into it in the first place, one of the most effective is to simply manage your own expectations about your rate of success. I’m defining success in this case as ‘consistent cash flow’ so here’s a time-tested (over 10 years) timeline to cash flow for your online business.
Knowing this timeline will allow you to manage your expectations, relieving fear and doubt that you’re doing things wrong or that you’re not doing enough. It also allows you to plan ahead so you can move faster through each of the phases OR pace yourself as best fits your lifestyle. The timeline also tells you what to focus on now or what to focus on next.
If you’re implementing the relationship model of building your business, it’s important to be prepared for the time it takes to build your business (this is not a get-rich-quick model, but a potentially highly profitable one with sustainability) and to set realistic expectations of when you’ll start to see a profit from your offerings.
Phase 1: Market and Message
You’ll move through Phase 1 typically within the first 3 months in your building your business. This is when you’re focusing on the problems you solve for your market. This includes discovering and defining the biggest challenges your market struggles with, and researching and/or creating the solutions.
Phase 2: Building Your List
Once you’re clear on who your market is and what solutions you offer to them, you’ll move into Phase 2, which is all about building your list. Currently, we’re striving to attract 500-1500 people to our email list by offering them a free sample of what we do. We start this process right after Phase 1 and focus on building the list as part of our on-going marketing efforts.
Phase 3. Making Offers
This is when you start focusing on how to generate an income with your multiple streams. This is typically done from month 7 onward.
This timeline will give you a sense of how long it can take to get to consistent (or even any) cash flow in your business, as well as stave off any frustration and overwhelm you may feel as you get your online business off the ground or continue to build it. Remember, it takes twice as much fuel for a jet to take off as it does to cruise at altitude. It’s the same in your business. You’re putting in more effort in the beginning but you’ll be cruising later.
Of course this is just a typical timeline. You can always move through it faster or slower, depending on your time and efforts.
I go into this Timeline in a lot more detail with my private clients as well as in our L.E.A.P.™ programs, so if you’d like to learn more, go here.
Where are you in the timeline and what’s your next step? I’d love to know so feel free to leave share your thoughts below…