So You Want More People at Your Event? Are You Sure?

CLICK TO READ THE NEWEST POST: Exchanging Your Integrity for an Exercise in Mindset? Really?

Is more really better? Now there’s a question for us expert entrepreneurs to contemplate.

There’s so much emphasis today on growing your list, selling more products, getting more people come to your live events. Of course we’ve all heard about “missing the forest because of the trees”, but I often wonder if a lot of entrepreneurs are missing the tree because of the forest – or missing the sunflower because of the field.

Here in central Italy in the summertime you’ll find fields bursting with sunflowers. It’s a spectacular site to see thousands of golden-yellow faces all turning towards the sun at once. Breath-taking really. But even more incredible is what’s happening up close, if you take the time to notice.

Did you know …

  • A sunflower (girasole in Italian) looks like one huge flower, but the center is actually made up of hundreds of tiny flowers that will mature into seeds.
  • Those wonderful yellow “petals” we see are actually leaves that protect the center of the head while the sunflower is growing. Isn’t that cool?
  • As the sunflower matures, it points east each morning to face the sunrise. Throughout the day motor cells in the sunflower’s stem move the head to face the sun (for maximum exposure) and by evening the sunflower is pointing west – it’s moved 180 degrees!
  • Overnight the sunflower resets to face east, waiting for the sun to rise, and when the head is completely mature, the stem become fixed so the sunflower faces only east.

Wow, wow, wow … talk about incredible!

So now let’s turn those sunflowers (pun intended) to us entrepreneurs.

When you see your clients up close, you’re able to notice an amazing individual with unique characteristics, attributes and desires. Each has something special to share, to contribute and to express. Yet, too often today the specialness of the individual is overlooked for the power and excitement of the collective – for the impact of the golden field.

Don’t get me wrong. Filling your event with hundreds or thousands of participants is a rush, and the energy of the many can be a amazing thing to experience – not just as a presenter, but as a participant. But the larger the group, the most difficult it is to get a sense of the individual. I know first hand, because I’ve spoken to, and trained, large audiences of many, and small groups of few.

That great thing about working with small groups or individual clients, is that when they become inspired by you to fully realize their own unique gifts and talents – as they turn their faces to the sun – you get to watch it happen up close. Amazing.

So the “sunflower lesson” for us entrepreneurial experts is to create products and programs for both the many and the few. And to celebrate both with equal enthusiasm.

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Speaking of celebrating things, the Italy Retreat for Women Entrepreneurs 2013 is now open for early-bird enrollment! You’ll save $1,000 and you can choose installment payments if you’d like! Act now … this offer is limited time only! http://theitalyretreat.com

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How to Grow Your List With Live Online Events (3 Ways!)

By far, the most successful list-building strategy that I’ve used personally, is hosting live, online events (usually free). Through live online events you’re able to share your expertise with attendees so that they know more about you and your work, and you’re also able to build a rapport with your audience and let them know how you can help them in some area of their lives. It’s powerful stuff!

Of course, there are a multitude of ways that you can share content through live events. I prefer teaching “how to” information by sharing tips, strategies or techniques that participants can put into use right away. (Hint: The more “how to” you share, the better!)

You must also choose a modality – an online hosting platform – for conducting your live online event, and that’s what this post and the video (above) are all about.

So let’s get to it. Here are 3 live online event “modalities” that are excellent platforms for building your list:

  1. Teleseminars: Teleseminars are my go-to way to host online events, because they’re super easy to conduct and participants may attend by phone (or via their computers) and listen-in while “being mobile”. In order words, they’re not tethered to their computer in order to hear your content. They might be taking a walk listening through their ear buds or using speakerphone while making dinner – they can listen in from virtually anywhere, and that’s super convenient. Plus, since teleseminars are audio, you can host in your pajamas or sweat pants and no one will ever know!
  2. Webinars: The difference between webinars and teleseminars is that webinars include visuals – usually slides – and some content is just better delivered with visuals. You simply create a PowerPoint presentation (or Keynote on Mac) and then upload your slides to a webinar hosting site. During the webinar, you talk through your content and flip through your slides. Some webinar platforms also allow participants to submit questions or event comment and question in a live-time chat.
  3. Live Stream: Live steaming video is getting more and more popular all the time, because the technology for hosting seminars with this online platform is easier to use then ever before – and getting easier by the minute. A live, streaming video means that your participants can see you in real time (as apposed to a recorded video) and you’re able to interact with them through an online chat. This is the closest thing to an in-person event, and by using this modality you can interact with an audience in real-time all around the world. Exciting, isn’t it?

Where to begin? If you’ve never hosted a live, online event before, I would highly recommend you begin with teleseminars. They’re super easy to conduct – all you have to do is talk into your phone – and they’re a highly effective way to grow your list! Then it’s on to webinars and live streams … and who knows what the future has in store!

Grab your copy of my brand new FREE report: Aim to Inspire – 15 Ways to Take Your Brand and Offers From Good to Extraordinary! Click here or on the image below.

How Teacups and Hula Hoops can Skyrocket Your Marketing

Would you like a very simple exercise that will help you create an upward momentum spiral in your marketing? You can use this same strategy with teacups and hula hoops too.

You see, gathering momentum in your marketing is what keeps you moving forward, creating greater and greater results. But most people don’t stick with a marketing strategy long enough to create momentum (because it’s so hard!), and most of those who gather momentum, don’t structure an “upward momentum spiral”.

The mistake that most entrepreneurs make is that as their newsletter gets more sign ups, or their videos get more views, or they go to more networking events – they create an outward momentum spiral, rather than an upward momentum spiral.

An upward momentum spiral is what lifts your marketing to new heights and helps you attract more ideal clients. Most importantly, though, the “lift” you create in your marketing is what allows others to view you not as a marketer, but as an inspiration. Wow. That’s a whole other level!

So here’s a simple exercise that can help you INSTANTLY create your own upward movement spiral:

  1. List the elements of your marketing plan – those strategies that you use to let the world know about you and your work.
  2. (here comes the magic) List how you can improve upon each element. How could you improve the look or the message of your newsletter? How could you improve the quality of your videos? How could you improve your 30 second elevator pitch so that prospects better understand how you can help them?

The more you work on improving the individual pieces of your overall marketing plan, the more you gather momentum in your upward momentum spiral, which draws more attention, attracts more of your ideal clients, and ultimately underlines you as a leader – and an inspiration – in your niche.

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2 Big Mistakes to Avoid Making with Your Videos, Newsletters or Blog

Actually, the title of this video tip should really be ” 2 big mistakes to avoid making in your videos, blog, newsletter or any other modality you use to communicate with your target market”! The truth is that the vast majority of people make these 2 mistakes all the time!

Mistake Number 1: No Schedule

Ever sign up for a free newsletter – get one or two installments – then stop receiving it for several weeks? When the newsletter finally appears again, you suddenly receive several installments in one week – all promoting the sender’s new product, program or service. Ugh! That’s a terrible practice!

Too many people create a video, write a blog post or send a newsletter only when they can “fit it in”, when they feel like it or when they’re promoting something, and that means sporadic communication with their audience. That’s a huge mistake! Setting up a schedule for your communication “vehicle”  – i.e. video, blog, newsletter, podcast, etc. – is essential to building trust and rapport with your audience.

Mistake Number 2: No Structure

Too many people make the mistake of not considering the structure of the content that they share with their audience. Without a clear “framework” your content can be confusing.

Are you sharing tips, stories, interviews or step-by-step strategies? What newsletter layout makes the best sense for your content? What length video clips work best for you? What day of the week are you sending out your communications?

Creating a consistent structure for your communications provides familiarity for your audience – and that means (once again) that you’re building trust and rapport. Besides trust and rapport, there’s another important reason for setting a schedule and developing a structure for your communications – it makes things easier for you!

When you have a communication schedule and a consistent structure, you’re not wasting your brain power pondering the “when” and the “how”. The more your audience – your potential customers – can relate to you and rely on you, the more likely they will become your clients – and your raving fans!

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Online Video Marketing in 3 Easy Steps

One of the best ways for you to expand your presence online is by using video. Period.

Plus, video is not going away! In fact, statistics show that video is continuing to grow – extremely fast – as an online search tool. That reason alone should have you grabbing your video camera and getting started. The truth is that if you don’t, you’ll soon be left behind by those who are using video in their online marketing.

Here’s the thing … If you think that it’s too technical or too complicated, that’s just not true today. Creating, editing and uploading video has NEVER been easier than right now!

Here are the 3 EASY video marketing steps that I teach my students in my course called the 3 Step Video Marketing Blueprint.

  1. The Stuff: You need a video camera and a computer. That’s it. And I’m pretty sure you have both already. If you have a relatively new smart phone, such as an iPhone, Blackberry or Android, your phone has the capability to shoot high quality video! From there it’s just a matter of loading the video to onto your computer (search online to find out how), then uploading your video to Youtube. Done.
  2. Your Video Style: Practice making videos. Then practice some more. As you do, you’ll begin to develop your own video “style”. Maybe it’s direct to camera, maybe you like adding lots of graphics or maybe you prefer to be at your computer, turning slideshows into videos. Just practice, practice, practice!
  3. Your Video Strategy: Most people mess up on this step. They put a couple of videos up on a Youtube channel and then sit back and wait for people to watch them. (They’re often crushed when no one does!) You MUST employ strategy when using video marketing. What’s the purpose of your video? What do you want viewers to do as a result of watching? What action to you want them to take? The more you employ strategy, the greater your results will be.

So there you have it … those are the 3 steps I use in my own video marketing CONSISTENTLY! Get comfy with your equipment and software, develop your video style and get out there with a consistent, effective video strategy!

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A Burrito, A Parking Lot and DLO

A constant challenge for expert entrepreneurs is turning ideas into income. Oh sure, we have plenty of ideas. That’s not the problem. The problem is focusing on one idea at a time, and actually transforming that idea into a money-maker.

If you already receive my weekly ezine, you know that I’m crazy about analogies, metaphors and visuals – those handy tools that provide mental anchors that help us process new information and remember it better later. Not only that, mental anchors can provide a framework for our goals. Another way to put it is that when you’ve set an intention to make something happen, mental anchors can help keep you on track.

So how can a burrito, a parking lot and DLO help you turn ideas into income this year? By providing a simple framework so you can sort through the million distractions in your mind (that might not be much of an exaggeration, right?), zero in on one product, program or service that you can monetize, and clarify what you’ll need to do to make that one thing happen.

This simple exercise is something I do on a regular basis to turn ideas into tangible, money-making products.

  1. Fold a piece of paper like a burrito (if you’re not sure what that means, watch the video.)
  2. Write these headings at the top of each of the 3 columns on the paper: Parking Lot, One Thing, DLO
  3. In the Parking Lot Column list all the project, product and program ideas that are spinning around in your mind.
  4. Write ONE of those ideas in the One Thing column. (There’s actually an exercise to help select which idea you should focus on now, but that’s another blog post.)
  5. In the 3rd column, list all the things you must do, learn or outsource (DLO) in order to turn that thing – that idea for a product, program or service – into a reality.

That’s it! If you’re like me and you need to see a visual example, be sure to watch the video. Sometimes the simplest of strategies are the most effective to keep you moving ahead and focused on your big successes coming up in 2012!

Oh … and be sure to comment or post a question below!

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Your Marketing and My Mom’s Quilt

(Be sure to leave your comment or question below!)

My mom and dad were recently visiting (love that!) and my mom has been working on a beautiful scrap quilt for us made with a diamond pattern. (Yes, she does the quilting by hand!) As Mom and I were crawling around the floor arranging diamonds (fun!) I learned several “quilt lessons” that apply to your marketing!

I know it sounds a bit crazy, but it’s true. There are 3 very important lessons – straight from my mom’s quilting project – that you can use in your marketing plan right now.

You see, too many people are making these 3 mistakes:

  • MISTAKE #1: NO consistent “pattern” to their marketing campaigns. Most people are haphazard in the marketing approach, They write a blog post today, send out an ezine next month and spuratically post in social media sites – no consistency, of course, equals no strong results.
  • QUILT LESSON: Create “quilt pattern” consistency in your marketing. That means perpetually using certain vehicles for sharing free content with your audience – blog posts, videos, podcasts, teleseminars, webinars, articles, Facebook posts, LinkedIn discussions, etc. etc., etc. (Watch the video for more info)
  • MISTAKE #2: No “zinger” in their marketing plan. People frequently promote their products, programs and events, but they don’t take the time to campaign them.
  • QUILT LESSON: Campaigns are a series of value-based communications that you send out to your audience. They should be used periodically (like a quilt “zinger”) to garner attention and to “teach” your followers about your products.
  • MISTAKE #3: Outsourcing their expertise. Many people have gotten carried away with outsourcing to the point that they’re actually paying others to create their “expert” content!
  • QUILT LESSON: Cut your own quilt shapes and they will all be consistent, and your finished quilt will “line up” right. The same holds true when you share free content to campaign yourself as an expert! It’s super important – in fact, crucial – that you’re the one creating that content. (Watch the video for more insight on this point.)