Archive for July, 2009

I meet so many people on my teleseminars and events, who are overwhelmed and intimidated by web marketing. I know that feeling, because I was too. I remember distinctly the time, when I started exploring putting together a website being SO confused by the contradictory advice being offered up by experts. It actually put me off creating my website for a long time. I was paralysed by the conflicting advice.

Thankfully, I finally dipped my toe in the water and started my weekly newsletter. And do you know what I’ve discovered? The process that helped me build a successful business off-line is exactly the same as the one that is helping me build my business on-line. Good old-fashioned CONTENT.

Traffic to my site has increased by people sharing my newsletter, posting my newsletter on their websites and recommending me in discussion forums, social media and blogs. And the reason people do that is they think that my content is good and worth sharing.

So my message to you is to forget about the adwords, the search engine optimisiation. Do those things work? Yes, they do. But all of those bells and whistles can come much later. If you’re interested in attracting and maintaining a large group of people to your site, then the way to do that is through valuable content that helps your visitors, that solves problems, that moves them forward in their lives.

And the great thing about this is: You can do this from where you are right now. You have knowledge, expertise, opinions, insights, experiences that are worth sharing. There’s a good chance you are totally overlooking just how valuable this is to other people, because they are things that you take for granted.

The bottom line is: are you providing value? If you got up every morning and asked yourself   ‘How can I provide value to the people I want business relationships with, even before they become my clients?’, then your marketing problems would be solved forever.

Marketing, on-line or off-line, is nothing more than identifying groups of people who have problems you can solve, or needs that you can satisfy. You then need to solve that problem at a price that works for both parties - one where they get value and you make a profit. When you start serving a few of them and do it well, it won’t take long for word to spread.

Without these basics in place, no amount of fancy technology will help you. With these basics in place, no lack of technology will stop you. This is the true magnetism of your marketing, the technology just accelerates the process. So forget fretting about technology and start thinking about value. That’s what’s going to really turbo-charge your business.

If I said to you, "Do you truly want your business to succeed?" I'm guessing almost everyone would say, "Of course!" Why is it, then, that so many entrepreneurs slog along day to day with little money, few clients and dim prospects for more? Perhaps the secret lies in what they allow themselves to believe is possible. Let's take a moment to look at whether your imagination is the culprit that's keeping your business stagnant.

To set the stage for success, sit down to pen and paper (or a computer keyboard) and describe in vivid detail where you'd like to be in thirty days. How many clients would you have? Would you have enough money for the bills? What would your relationships be like?

As you write your scenario, don't skimp on the details. Paint a picture of what would satisfy you, personally and professionally. This isn't the time to listen to that niggling voice telling you it isn't possible. This is your dream, and you can write whatever you want.

Now, stop and read your vision out loud. Do you notice feeling differently as you do? Most people, when given the chance to imagine a better future, feel an unfamiliar sense of freedom. Those anxious feelings borne of unpaid bills and relational stress fade away as they picture themselves becoming truly successful.

It's amazing how many areas of their lives seem manageable again, once they've allowed themselves to dream of success.

So, the question is, again, "Do you truly want your business to succeed?" Do you honestly want to be in a different place thirty days from now? Then the only question left is this: "What are you willing to do to get there?"

When I ask this question in seminars, I find that most people already know what they need to do. It's simply that they've become so mired in the muck of running a business, they've forgotten their original vision. They've become discouraged, locked into a mindset that things can never be better than they are right now.

And that's simply not true. I've seen the power having a vision can have in generating success. It's as though, once people stop and picture the way they'd like things to be, those things begin to happen. Once they've let go of the thought of being trapped in their present circumstances, they're free to engage all their skills and talents to find new clients and new success.

So, are you ready to succeed? If you are, you must …

Read and re-read the vision you just wrote and allow your imagination to run free.

Write down the ideas that come to you each time you read your dream of where you'd like to be thirty days from now.

If you already know what it takes to get there, I hope your renewed vision has inspired you to start doing those things consistently. If you aren't sure what steps to take next, it's time to get help with your marketing plan.

Your personal success is waiting! Whatever it takes to achieve that vision of success will be the best investment you ever make in your business.

One day, while at the gym, I made eye contact with someone else who was also working out.   A little while later, as I was working on my resistance exercises, he came towards me shaking his head. €˜No, not like that, let me show you.' he said.
From one look at his physique, it was clear that he had been spending a lot more time in the gym than I have over the past few years, so I was willing to take his advice. After he corrected my technique, I could instantly feel the difference. The way I had been doing it before was totally ineffective, and I was possibly even risking injuring myself.
€˜How long will you be in the gym?' he asked me. €˜Probably about another 30 minutes.' €˜OK I'll come and show you some other exercises a bit later.' He said. Then he left me to it, and got back to his own routine.
At this point I was thinking, wow, I'm so grateful he came over. It takes courage and confidence to walk up to a complete stranger and tell them they're doing something wrong. I was also slightly surprised by my reaction to him. I'm a bit sensitive on the subject of my body, and it occurred to me that I could have easily reacted defensively, but there was something very disarming in his approach. From the outset his genuine and sincere desire to help was so obvious he completely bypassed any defensiveness I might have had towards him.
I also thought, I wonder if he's a personal trainer. It would be great to have someone like that helping me with my workout.
As good as his word, he returned a bit later on. €˜What's your name?' he asked. €˜Bernie' I replied. €˜What's yours?' €˜Famous' he replied. I'm not kidding, and neither was he. His name really is Famous.
Now a name like €˜Famous' isn't one that you forget easily, and I realised I had seen his name on the class timetable. €˜Oh, you teach Tae-Bo here don't you?'
So he showed me another exercise or two, and as he did he asked me a couple of questions. €˜How long have you been coming here?' he asked.

€˜Not long' I replied. He said, €˜The most important thing is to stick with it. Rome wasn't built in a day.'
And then once again, he left me to it.
Now more than the dialogue, what I most want to convey to you is how I was feeling during these exchanges. At this point I was feeling grateful, inspired, motivated, encouraged, and best of all I was really enjoying my workout.
Famous' enthusiasm had rubbed off on me, and I wanted more! €˜When do you teach your Tae-Bo classes?' I asked him as I moved onto the treadmill. He told me the times, and I said, €˜OK, I'll be there on Wednesday.'
During the next 20 minutes on the treadmill, I realised that Famous was naturally doing what all €˜Client Magnets' do.
I doubt that he had marketing on his mind as he came to the gym to do his own workout. It's unlikely that he had a goal to recruit a certain number of people for his class. And yet just by being himself, and sharing his knowledge and expertise with someone who needed it, he did indeed recruit a new member for his class.
Now, some people may say that this is just a trivial story about aerobics classes, and might wonder why I am spending so much time on it.

What's it got to do with business?
Answer: everything.
My point is this. Every day you have hundreds of opportunities to see this type of magnetism at work. Do you notice them? Do you learn from them? You are surrounded by people who are attracting clients this naturally, with this degree of ease and effortlessness. Start to pay attention and see what lessons you can draw from the examples that surround you.
And in the meantime, I've drawn some lessons from this Famous example that we can all learn from. So, in a nutshell, I give you €˜The Famous Way to Becoming A Client Magnet'.

1. Spot a need. He saw me making a mistake and was willing to help me correct it. He isn't standing in the local shopping centre accosting passers by and saying, let me show you some press ups! The fact that I was in the gym indicated both my need and my want.
2. Have confidence and belief in the value you can provide. He didn't agonise over whether to approach me or not. His lack of self-consciousness totally disarmed me. He knew that I would benefit from him correcting my mistakes, which transmitted to me as confidence rather than arrogance.
3. Be the example of what you are offering. I could tell just by looking at him, and also watching him doing his own routine that he knew what he was talking about, and therefore I was willing to accept his advice.
4. Share your expertise in a way that adds value to the people who need it. He showed me a couple of techniques, but more than that he inspired me, encouraged me and uplif ted me. His belief in my potential was very compelling.
5. Give freely, with no expectation of return. His body language and timing communicated that he wan ted nothing from me in return. He was just happy to share his expertise.
6. Have no attachment to results. I doubt that he had marketing on his mind as he came to the gym to do his own workout. It's unlikely that he had a goal to recruit a certain number of people for his class. If I had sensed that was his motive, I would have been less receptive.
7. Make a series of short, low key contacts, adding value each time. When he did approach me, he showed me one thing and moved on. I was glad he €˜gave me my space'. If he had hi-jacked my whole workout, then I would have been resistant.
8. Let people €˜sample' YOU. Through our interactions, I'd also had a chance to sample something that couldn't possibly be conveyed on a brochure or flyer. He was inspiring and motivating and most of all he believes in my potential. That's the real reason I'm going to his class. The fact that he's teaching Tae-Bo is secondary.
9. Let the buyer progress through the buying process in their own time. He didn't ask me to come to his class, I asked him about the class. If I hadn't recognised his name from the class timetable, I almost certainly would have asked him about personal training.
10. Don't force or manipulate the process. I at any stage I had sensed that he had an agenda, my barriers would have come up. What I really sensed from him was his desire for me to succeed.
11. Be available. He was getting on with his own workout, yet I saw him help a number of people. He was available to answer my questions about his classes when I asked.
12. Have a €˜next step' for the buyer to take, for their sake and yours. He has a class that I can attend. It would be a shame if he was just a €˜gym-angel' who helps people and then disappears! That would be disappointing for everyone. Notice how I wanted more!
13. Package your services into a tangible form that is easy to buy. Have a clear offer. It was easy for me to make a decision about coming to his class. I knew the times, the price and what I'd be getting in return for my fee.
14. Commit to your clients. As I was saying good-bye he said, €˜OK I'm going to hold you to that. If I don't see you in my class on Wednesday, I'll be asking you about it next time I see you in the gym.' Did I feel pressured? No. I was delighted!
15. Enjoy yourself! This guy was just having a good time in the gym.
16. And know that you are most irresistible when you are just being yourself. Famous was just doing his thing, and doing what came naturally. He wasn't thinking about marketing and selling at all!

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