IS Imitation the Sincerest Form of Flattery? from Tammy Hawk-Bridges

I thought this recent article from my friend, Tammy Hawk-Bridges, founder of Social Heavy really hit the nail on the head! With Tammy’s permission, I’ve re-posted her article below. Thanks, Tammy!

Business is really tough these days. Darn tough. There are some folks out there working 3 times as hard for the same amount of business.

These are the times that separate the men from the boys. The really smart folks are going to tighten their game, get a little smarter, and start to innovate. They are not waiting around for the storm to end, they are building a stronger shelter so they can weather it.

You have another group out there, they want a place in the shelter YOU built. These folks attach themselves to successful people, watch their every move, copy their ideas, and sell them at a lower price. You know someone like this I am certain. We all know at least one.

Their knock-off version is however, usually mediocre at best. There is a visual difference between a product that is created with passion and knowledge…. and a product that is created out of sheer greed and desperation.

That is why now more than ever it is crucial to create a brand. Create that wonderful dynamic that makes you who you are. I am not just talking about logos and cool websites – anyone can have that stuff. I am talking about YOU….what is it about you that they can’t copy? What makes people feel compelled to do business with you?

I am sad to tell you that there are many that are satisfied to purchase that mediocre product, so the knock-offs will gain some leverage, be prepared for that. However, there is plenty of business out there for the passionate….for the real thing.

Know who your market is – and who it isn’t, and with your authentic self, serve them well with the gifts you possess and you will rejoice in success I assure you.

I have a challenge for you, define “personal brand”. It isn’t easy. Here is what it means to me, it is my ability to differentiate myself from the crowd with an extreme sense of dedication, integrity, drive and creative passion. It is my continual pursuit of excellence and the appreciation of the clients I serve.

I would love to hear yours. ~ Tammy Hawk-Bridges, Social Heavy

Focus … The Absolute Key to More Products and More Sales

Focus is the key to productivity, and being productive for coaches, speakers, trainers and experts (virtually anyone who shares how-to information) is the way to make more money. More programs and information products translates into more income. It’s just that simple.

But focusing isn’t simple. Not one bit.

In fact, ask others in our industry what they struggle with most and their response is often, “Staying focused.” (If they don’t mention focus, it’s probably because they’re too scattered to notice that they’re not focused!)

Focus eludes experts because those who pursue work that involves helping others (such as coaches, speakers, trainers and info-preneurs) are very creative people, and creative people are always finding something else to create!

So what can you do about this pesky, challenging thing we call focus? How can you stay focused long enough to complete your projects and programs, and even longer to market your information products to the world?

There are 3 strategies that I’ve come to use that help me in big ways to stay focused. Look, nothing is magic, ok? But using specific, repeatable strategies is definitely the key.

So here they are … and, yes, they all happen to begin with the letter f:

Strategy #1: Fast

Being indecisive dilutes your focus. Have you ever had a great idea pop into your head and then you waited too long to act on it? It sort of fizzles away, right? Moving fast (speed of implementation) is very important to maintaining focus. Your momentum forward with a new project, combined with your excitement in seeing the project take shape, increases your focus. (An object in motion tends to stay in motion – remember that one?)

Strategy #2: Filter

This strategy is so important that I can’t stress it enough. It’s all about filtering out of the chronic distractions that plague our daily lives.Turn off the television and the radio, stay clear of the news media, designate only certain times of the day for checking your email and limit the time you spend checking and posting on Facebook, Twitter and/or LinkedIn. (Set a timer if you have to.) These are the biggest culprits that steal your focus. Limit or eliminate them and the difference will be astounding.

Strategy #3: Friends

The right kinds of friends can help propel your success, the wrong kinds of friends can kill your focus. In my book, Unlimited Layers, I mention a strategy that I call core-linking. Although I explain core-linking at length in the book, it is based on having the same “core” values and then “linking” with others through the sharing of ideas and positive, supportive energy. Here’s a quote from the book: “Relationships are the key to entrepreneurial power and strength. Specifically, mutually beneficial entrepreneurial relationships.” Surround yourself with the right people and you’ll sharpen your focus.

One last point about these 3 strategies. Note that they are all based in taking specific action. In other words, sitting around and wishing to be more focused is, well, fairly useless.Setting up repeatable focus strategies that become your routine is the real key to establishing and maintaining your focus.

Of course all that translates into more completed projects, which in turn translates into more products, more clients, more sales …. you get the idea.

As always, here’s to your unlimited possibilities! ~ Pamela

To know more about Pamela Haack’s products and programs, and to receive a complimentary copy of the Dream Lifestyle Blueprint for Coaches, Speakers, Trainers and Experts (plus a free video training series) visit: PamelaHaack.com

“What Should I Charge?” is Not the Right Question

It’s a question I used to ask often – “What should I charge?” Actually, most of the time I wasn’t asking a question at all. Instead I was stating (in a whiny sort of voice), “But I don’t know what to charge.”

That’s because I didn’t fully grasp the concept of ROI.

Return on investment – ROI – is not just a phrase/acronym that coaches, speakers, trainers and experts should know about and use. It’s an important concept to grasp – and embrace. Because coaches, speakers, trainers and experts help others move from point A to point B in some area of their businesses and/or their lives, considering the return on their customers’ investment is essential.

That which someone receives in exchange for spending their money on your product or program constitutes the return on their investment – ROI. The greater the return on their investment, the more valuable your product or program is to them.

So how do you know if your product will be valuable to a customer in terms of ROI?

There are 3 things that I consider when creating a product, program or presentation – particularly one that is high-end.

  1. Is it comprehensive?
  2. Can it be mastered?
  3. Is it transformational?

Here’s a real life example based on a high-end product – a women’s retreat – that I offer: The Italy Retreat for Women Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs. When creating the retreat itinerary and curriculum, I knew it was comprehensive – the depth and breadth of the experiences are vast. I also knew first-hand that one cannot remain unchanged after such an amazing week in Tuscany, so, it was definitely transformational – life-changing. However, when I considered mastery, I realized there was something missing.

Mastery refers to the “how-to” that you teach – the strategies and techniques that your customers can learn, implement and master. In the case of the retreat, I decided to include an entire online mastery course – The Dream Lifestyle Blueprint – so that participants can put into practice specific strategies that can help them extend their online “reach” and automate their income.

Now the Italy Retreat for Women has all three elements – in big doses: It is comprehensive, it includes strategies that can be mastered and it is transformational. Because the return on investment – ROI – for retreat participants is high in all 3 areas, the price of the retreat reflects as much.

So, “What should I charge?” is not the right question to be asking, because it’s incomplete. “What should I charge, based on ROI?” is a better question, and one that all coaches, speakers, trainers and experts should be continually asking as they create products, programs and presentations.

To know more about Pamela Haack’s products and programs, and to receive a complimentary copy of the Dream Lifestyle Blueprint visit: PamelaHaack.com