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Tag Archives: small business

Thinking of Making a FLIP In Your Business or Career?

Hello Friends!

In the spirit of sharing stories of fabulous entrepreneurs from around the world with you, I wanted to let you know about a free video series (which includes yours truly) that launched Monday, from the founder of the Crave empire, Melody Biringer.

The FLIPPED IT! VIDEO SUMMIT is a collection of real stories of female entrepreneurs from around the world talking about how they FLIPPED their businesses to great success.

Sign up now and you can access both my interview and the inspiring Nathalie Molino’s that ran today!

Two new videos will be added daily at 1pm and 5pm (EDT) Monday through Friday. Access will be available for 24 hours, so you might want to plan to watch them right away so you can enjoy all the juicy takeaways.

Sydni Craig-Hart of Smart Simple Marketing will be interviewing an array of inspiring speakers. Sydni is a no-nonsense (yet very fun) interviewer that dives deep to pull out all the need to know information for flipping any business around.

Monday’s interviews were with Danielle LaPorte and the Betsy Talbot from Married with Luggage.

Here is the full schedule starting today:

    Tuesday, June 18th @ 10:00am (PDT) – Kathy Caprino

    Tuesday, June 18th @ 2:00pm (PDT) – Nathalie Molina Nino

    Wednesday, June 19th @ 10:00am (PDT) – Jenn Sprinkle

    Wednesday, June 19th @ 2:00pm (PDT) – Debra Trappen

    Thursday, June 20th @ 10:00am (PDT) – Marie Teather

    Thursday, June 20th @ 2:00pm (PDT) – Kylie Pengelly

    Friday, June 21st @ 10:00am (PDT) – Sasha Muir Downer

    Friday, June 21st @ 2:00pm (PDT) – Natalie MacNeil

These are FREE LIVE interviews and chock-full of great, helpful info. To see them LIVE, click here:

http://thecravecompany.com/flipped-it-summit/live/

If you’re interested in flipping your career or business, this summit will help you on your way.

Thanks, and see you there!

 

How to Avoid the 7 Worst Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make

Courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In my previous role as VP of Marketing in the corporate arena, and in the past 10 years of advising entrepreneurs and small businesses in their marketing efforts (and in my own business), I’ve seen great marketing strategies and tactics implemented, as well as terrible ones. In tough economic times like these, as in all times, small businesses must be very prudent in their investments and marketing, and understand exactly what to expect in terms of their return on investment.

Below are the top seven marketing blunders I see each and every day that are catastrophic to small business  success:

1)  Your business model is flawed

I’ve worked with scores of coaches, consultants and advisers over the years who’ve made the mistake of jumping into a new business that depends solely on one model that will never work for them – a model that can’t provide sustainable, consistent income or support what these business owners truly want to do in their work.

For example, many types of coaches are dependent on the hourly-payment model (getting clients who pay by the hour for sessions), yet are not able to generate enough clients each month to pay their bills. Look at your model and do the math – if you’re stuck with a model that’s not working, don’t keep your head stuck in the sand. Open your eyes to what your situation is telling you. You need new ways to generate income – different services, formats, approaches, products and programs that offer your expertise in new ways that will provide ongoing, consistent revenue. If you keep doing what isn’t working, you’ll fail miserably.

2) Your focus is misplaced

In my workshops and seminars, I commonly hear entrepreneurs obsessed with concerns about blogging, twitter, Facebook and other social media endeavors, when they don’t have a way to earn money in their business.  Don’t focus your time on social media or building an audience before you’ve figured out what you’re doing in your business — what you want to provide, offer, or sell.  Get clear on your offers first and creating viable products and services. Then you can worry about tweeting and blogging.

3)  Your audience is a mismatch

Another serious marketing problem is that the audience you’ve attracted – through your writing, speaking, or services — is not the audience or community you need or want. I’ve seen examples of new coaches, for instance, who aren’t sustaining themselves through one-on-one coaching, so they decide to offer high-end mastermind group coaching programs ($50,000 for an 6-month mastermind, for example) because they see others do it. They expect to send out a newsletter to their audience, and instantly generate 10 customers at this level. But it doesn’t work this way (despite what scores of “millionaire” success coaches promise if you buy their services.)  For your high-end programs to work, you must have an audience that wants it and can afford it.  You also have to have created a fabulous program that is worth that price tag (in its outcomes and value the customer receives).

As one who believes that everything is “energy,” I’ve seen that you must also be able to resonate energetically with a sense of worthiness and value  in order to earn the level of money you want (check out Gay Hendricks great book The Big Leap to learn about the “upper limit problem” so many people experience).  If you have internal fears and doubts about the value of your programs, you won’t be able to attract great fees.

Finally, you need access to a large enough audience that will resonate with your products, pricing, and your particular service benefits.  This doesn’t happen overnight. You can’t just throw out an expensive product and expect folks to flock to it just because you’ve created it.

4)  You don’t like what you’ve created

Another serious marketing mistake is that you’ve decided to focus on a service offering or a customer base that you simply don’t like, because you thought you had to. I can’t count the number of small businesses I’ve advised around this issue, and how distraught the owner is in the realization that what she’s created is now the wrong fit for what she wants to do in the world.  If you hate what you’ve built and who you’re serving, you have two choices – continue supporting something that is no longer aligned with your values and preferences, or change directions. Which do you think makes the most sense? (Here’s a tip – if you hate your customers or what you’re doing in the world, it will hate you back).

5)   Your pricing is off

Pricing of your programs and products is not about what you want to earn – it’s about what the market will bear, as well as the perceived value of what you’re offering. You may think your product is life-changing or the best thing since sliced bread, but if it’s simply too expensive or ill-fitted for the audience you’re reaching, you won’t get it off the ground.

6)  Your services don’t stand out

In every business or consulting arena, you’re in a global economy, competing against the best of the best in the world.  You have to know specifically what makes your products and services better, different, unique than everything that’s out there, and be adept at communicating that. Why should anyone care about what you have to offer, and how can you prove — and validate — that what you have is truly different or better? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you won’t succeed in this highly competitive terrain.

7)   You lack the readiness and willingness to do what’s required

Marketing your business (or your book, product, service, etc.) is a full-time job. If you’re not willing to do it, you have to hire someone who is or get marketing support in another way.  People won’t just flock to you, with cash in their hands. You have to earn their trust and respect over time, through engagement, service, information, and relationship-building.  And you need ambassadors for your work as well. You can’t do this alone and in a vacuum.

How to avoid these seven marketing mistakes?

Start by answering the following questions.  If you don’t have the answers, go back to the drawing board and figure them out before you take one more step in your business:

1)  What is your platform – how do you get the word out about your products/services?

2)  What is your audience – the size, and their geographic, demographic and psychographic  profiles?

3)  How can you grow your audience substantially? What is your reach and how do you spread the word about your work?

4)  Who is in your loyal community (colleagues, peers and supporters) and how can you build it – who are your committed ambassadors who will share the news about your great business and offerings?

5)  What makes your services and products different, better, unique than anything else on the market?

6)  Are your services, pricing, and offerings a match to the people who know about you and care about what you’re doing?

7)   What is your personal brand – what unique experience do you deliver and what is your business known for — emotionally, aesthetically and functionally?

If you care about making your small business work, don’t spend another minute wasting money, time and energy on directions that won’t be fruitful. Find an adviser or support system that can guide you through the landmines of entrepreneurial life, and help you achieve what you want to, and earn the money you need, while making the difference you long to.

(If you need help growing your business, download my free Business Overview Assessment  and check out my new Prosperity Marketing Mindset coaching program to help you understand what steps to take next.)

Mandating Women at the Leadership Table: Why the Time is Now

I’m thrilled that Forbes.com in partnership with 85 Broads published my piece today on “Mandating Women at the Leadership Table: Why the Time is Now.”

This issue is vitally important to American businesses and to both men and women.  I’d be so grateful for your comments on the Forbes.com piece. PLEASE! Add your voice to the conversation.  Let’s be heard!

Thanks so much for your contributions.

Why “Good” Marketing Advice Can Lead You Astray

A significant number of my awesome coaching and consulting colleagues and friends across the country have shared with me in the past year that they’ve hired outside marketing help with disappointing (or disastrous) results.  Despite finding “experts” who seem to have good reputations and produce solid results for others, my colleagues found that the marketing advice they received simply wasn’t effective or helpful.

Curious as to deeper reasons behind the lack of efficacy of this marketing  help,  I asked my friends some questions about it:

  1. Did the marketing advice you get “feel” right to you when you got it
  2. Did you feel that the marketing expert really “got” you – understood you and respected where you were coming from, was supportive of you
  3. Was the marketing advice aligned with what you really believe, deep in your heart
  4. Did the advice honor your unique views, perspectives and experiences
  5. Did the copy, products and programs you were led to create feel like a natural outgrowth of you?
  6. Did the new website or program or free gift that you created with the marketing expert make you feel proud and happy with the end result?
  7. Did you feel equal in the relationship, or did you feel that they were the expert and you were the beginner?

If the answer to any of these questions was “no,” it turns out that the marketing advice may have been “sound,” but it wasn’t RIGHT for them.

The process of finding the right marketing support provider is exactly the same as going about finding the right doctor, financial consultant, virtual assistant, or other support professional.   It’s not enough that the individual has helped others, or has a “good reputation,” or seems successful.  There are skillions of folks who fit that bill.

What does matter is that they are the right fit for you – that they are empowered supporters of you, and understand what you want, why you want it, and how you want to go about getting it.  It’s about process here, not just about content. 

Further, it’s critical that you like and trust your helper.  If you follow the advice of someone you don’t like or respect, you subconsciously sabotage yourself and limit your success.  You’re telling yourself that despite this person feeling “off” to you, they must know better than you, and that you don’t know enough.  That core self-message undermines the entire outcome of what you’re trying to achieve – bringing about great, new aligned clients and customers whom you wish to serve.

How to Choose the Right Helper for You

Here are several key criteria that must be met in order for a marketing consultant or coach to be a good fit and to give you more than you pay for.  If you want to be pleased with the outcome, and find enlivening marketing support that helps you achieve the outcomes you want in ways that are aligned with who you are, ask yourself:

Does the provider:

  • Take into account your uniqueness and differences from others in your field
  • Feel  in alignment with you, in terms of aesthetics, values, priorities, authenticity, communication, and style
  • Want you to be happy with their services, and will do what is necessary for you to be more than satisfied?
  • Have proven results with others who are like-minded with you?
  • Have marketing materials, website, programs, and products that you feel are high-quality and high-content and that you’d like to emulate?
  • Price their programs in a way that ensures you’ll generate significantly more money within a year from the outcomes of their support than you’ll pay them?

Finally, does it feel “right” and “good” to work with this individual?  Does s/he empower you, or bring you down?

Spending money wisely is a hallmark of successful individuals and business owners.  Please…think carefully before investing in outside support.  Make sure that your service providers are capable of helping you be all you wish to be in the world.  Feel free to say “no” when it’s not working.  Bring up your concerns and ask for change or resolution.  If you don’t get want you need, be prepared to walk away from the relationship when you sense that this partnership is not for you or for your highest good.  Don’t wait to ask for what you know you need and want.

Are you spending money today in a support relationship that isn’t supportive?  Might today be the day to say “no more?”

 

 

Top 10 Things I Love About Running My Own Small Business

I saw a neat HARO (@helpareporter) query today asking for the top things folks love best about running their own small businesses.  It felt SO good to think about this question, and to bring again to my heart and mind my gratitude for what Ellia Communications allows for me in my life.

Here’s my Top Ten list of what I love about running a small business:

1)      Making a Difference: I can make a difference in a way that matters to me – I’m not constrained by others’ agendas

2)      Leadership: I can lead and manage following my own vision, priorities, values and standards of integrity – not someone else’s

3)      Creativity: I can create and deliver products and programs that are authentic, useful and need-based, and get them to market very quickly (no red tape)

4)      Authenticity: There are zero politics in my world now – I work only with people, partners and organizations that are aligned with my mission and purpose

5)      Control: I can say “NO” and “YES! “as I want and need to – I’m in control of my schedule, my endeavors, my professional life

6)      Management: I can hire and collaborate with exactly the folks I want to be in association with– there are no other parties to cater to in my decisions

7)      Freedom of Speech: I can speak freely (hallelujah!), use my own voice and share honest views and perspectives without worrying about repercussions

8)      Balance: I achieve much greater work-life balance because I set my own priorities, which include time with my family

9)      Clarity – I know who I am professionally and where I’m going, with much greater clarity and focus than I achieved when working for others or larger businesses

10)   Passion, Power, Purpose – My own small business allows me to embrace everything that matters to me, and furthers me on my path of helping others reclaim their passion, power, and purpose.

Yes, I’ve made some big mistakes and there have been deep challenges.  But I love Ellia Communications and am grateful for everything it makes possible for me.

What do you LOVE about running your small business?  Let’s hear it!

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