Are You Collaborating in Excess?

To collaborate or not collaborate. That is the question. At least it is in this article.

Today, we expert entrepreneurs, are constantly encouraged to form collaborations, such as joint venture business partnerships with other experts in order to grow our list, expand our reach, form more relationships, etc.

I’m all for it! But not at the expense of flying solo.

There is no substitute for stepping out alone to create products, programs and/or events that are specifically branded to you. When you create a signature event, for example, people begin to associate that event with you. Put simply, you stand out as a leader and people remember your name.

The truth is that many entrepreneurs avoid creating their own signature programs and events because flying solo involves risk, and it’s the fear of risk that holds people back. I know first hand that stepping out into the spotlight means taking full responsibility for both the success or failure of a venture. But it’s the only way to be seen and respected as a leading expert in your niche market.

So the take-away from this article – and video – is a question that only you can answer. Are you collaborating in excess? If the answer is yes, begin to think about a product, program or event that you might brand as exclusively yours. Perhaps you’ll hold a workshop or a seminar – or even a retreat in Italy!

Collaborations are wonderful. But nothing can replace the benefit to your business, the sense of accomplishment and unlimited rewards of stepping out into the spotlight alone.

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Interesting in joining some amazing women entrepreneurs in Italy next June? Find out how at TheItalyRetreat.com.

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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

How to Raise Your Prices by Adding More “Flavor”

Of course you should raise your prices … if you’re adding more “flavor” to your products, programs or services, that is.

The other day I ate the most wonderful watermelon – wow! It was a surprise to my taste buds! I realized that it had been years since I’d eaten a watermelon with such flavor. So many fruits and vegetables today are mass produced in a way that they’ve lost their flavor, but this watermelon had come straight from field to table. Yum!

I don’t know about you, but I would be willing to pay more for a watermelon that has such flavor – that is such a high quality. And the same applies to your offers.

So many expert entrepreneurs today are focused on mass production. How many units can I sell? How many copies of my book can I get people to buy? How many people can I cram into my event? Of course, high numbers can be a very good thing, but never, EVER at the expense of quality. Particularly if you’re interested in raising your prices.

When you add “flavor” to your products, programs, services and events – in other words, when you focus on making things even better – that’s when your product becomes more valuable to your clients. For me, adding more flavor means putting my attention on the details: How can I make that download more visually appealing? How might I make my audio recordings clearer? What experiences might I add to the Italy Retreat for Women Entrepreneurs to make the event even more transformational?

When you do that – when you pay more attention to “bettering the details” – that’s when it’s time to consider raising your prices.

So here’s your “watermelon challenge”. Take a close look at your offers and decide where you might add more “flavor” to raise the quality of that product, program, service or event. Because the more you crank up the quality level, the more valuable that product or program becomes to your clients.

The result? You’ll be able to charge higher fees – and your clients will be pleasantly surprised – just as I was with the taste of that wonderful watermelon.

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Pamela Haack’s Italy Retreat for Women Entrepreneurs 2013 is now open for early-bird enrollment. Save $1,000 by enrolling NOW before this limited-time offer goes away!


How to Fill Your Events with the Right Audience

When you fill your events – both online and offline – with the right audience, it feels like magic! However, when you have people attending your events that aren’t a “match”, that don’t resonate with you and your content, it can seem like everything just feels off.

Of course, you want to attract people to your workshop, seminar or retreat who want what they’ll be getting (in terms of content). In order words, you want to be sure that you won’t be delivering valuable content to the wrong people! I doesn’t matter how good your content is, if the content and your audience don’t match!

So here’s a 3-part strategy that can help ensure that the right people attend your events:

  1. A Clear Title: Be sure that your title – or subtitle – clarifies who should attend your event. “How to Make Money in Your Business”, for example, would be way to vague. “How Yoga Instructors Can Make More Money” is a specific title. In my case, I host The Italy Retreat for Women Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs. The title states exactly who the event is designed for.
  2. Dig-deeper Description: The description that follows your title should dig deeper in terms of clarifying who should attend. For example, I follow the title, The Italy Retreat for Women Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs, with a description that states that the event is for women entrepreneurs who wish to lead and inspire their audiences in a bigger way. Clearly this retreat is not an event for start-ups, right?
  3. Benefit Bullets: Listing how your participants will benefit by attending your event, should be placed on your sales pages somewhere after your description. (I like to keep this lists towards the top of the page.) Bullets are easy to scan and should specifically state what attendees will learn – what they’ll take away – by attending your event.
  4. Optional Part 4: Yep, a fourth piece to the 3-part strategy. It’s an optional one, but I think it’s really important, and that’s video. By adding video to your event marketing plan, you’re including a medium that allows people to get to know you better so that they can decide whether or not they resonate with you and your message. It’s important that people can decide for themselves – they can select you and your content, or deselect you and your content. Either way, it’s best for you and them because you end up with just the right people – the right audience/content match – for your event.

This simple, but very effective, 3-part or 4-part strategy for marketing your events is a framework that can be used for both online and offline events. Whether you’re conducting a teleseminar or a multiple-day retreat, the same tried and true strategy applies.

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3 Steps to High Energy Videos and Greater Results

People often ask me about how they might get more energetic in their videos. It’s easy, really. In fact, there’s a 3-step process that I use routinely – and you can too – to infuse videos, audios, articles and more with unstoppable energy!

You see, pumping up your communications with positive, high-levels of energy is really important – especially in today’s world. There’s a lot of content floating around online that is pulling at your clients – trying to distract them from you and your message. The more energy you exude, the more you’ll hold their attention. Plus, it just makes you (and them) feel better!

So is there a formula for infusing your videos – and other communication modalities – with high energy? Of course, there is. I use it all the time, and it involves 3 easy steps.

Step One:

  1. Clear Your Mind. This means taking action, such as getting up from your computer and moving! Do must something healthy and physical to create space in your mind for positive energy. You might do some yoga or walk around the block, but make sure you physically move. Something else I ALWAYS do before filming a video is drink water – lots of it – and/or have a cup of green tea. Staying hydrated keeps your brain healthy which helps you think “energetically”.
  2. Rehearse. Before you film a video it helps to know what you’re going to say, right? I don’t like using scripts, but I do want to hear what I’m going to say ahead of time. Hear it from me, that is. That’s why I walk around the house (probably with my cup of green tea) talking through my video message. This also helps me get excited about my message, which ramps up my energy level.
  3. Breathe. Just before you film, try breathing deeply several times. This is so important! Breathing helps you get “centered” and to feel more present when you’re shooting. I ALWAYS breathe deeply just before I start talking on camera. Of course, breathing is a great practice throughout you day, but just before filming, to rev up your energy level, it’s a must!

Although I’ve been using the example of video in this article, these 3 steps really apply to any modality you might use to communicate with your audience. Remember, the more authentically energetic and sincere you are in your videos, audios, newsletters and more, the greater your results!

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Change Your Brain, Change Your Marketing

Have you read some of the current research about our brains, and our ability to shape our own success? It’s mind-blowing! (pun intended)

Essentially, all of us entrepreneurs have the ability to change (and strengthen) our brains in big ways, and actually feel more happy and fulfilled about all aspects of our business – including our marketing – on a consistent basis. Unfortunately, marketing is the one area that most entrepreneurs associate with pain. If that’s you, then you must tap into today’s brain research that proves that this absolutely does not have to be your reality.

I mean, what if you were able to change your brain and change your marketing? Not just the marketing itself, but the way you feel about marketing? Well, here are 3 research-backed ways that you can do exactly that:

  1. Sprinkle your marketing plan with novelty. Novelty stimulates the brain, and makes us feel more “revved up”. What new thing could you add to your ezine? What new strategy could you share with your audience? New and novel are in! Boring and routine are out. Treat yourself and your clients (and potential clients) to novelty!
  2. Challenge makes us feel more vibrant. Don’t just challenge your audience with new ideas, concepts and strategies, challenge yourself, as well. Learning, experimenting and investigating are all avenues for challenge that you can bring into your marketing. So go forth and tackle those new skills (the ones you know you should be mastering) with gusto!
  3. Use your marketing to build connections. You’ve heard that one before – many times – but its importance related to brain health, happiness and fulfillment is astounding! The more quality relationships you form with your family, friends and audience, and the more you share and connect with them, the happier you’ll feel.

Combine those three power tools – novelty, challenge  and connections – on a consistent basis in your marketing communications and strategy, and you’ll soon be feeling the joy (yes, the JOY) of marketing in ways you can’t even image! Don’t take my word for it, check out what the brain experts have to say. Here are two of my favorite “readable” books on this topic:

  • Change Your Brain, Change Your Life by Daniel G. Amen
  • Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post – be sure to share your comments below, and feel free to share this post (and video) with your friends!

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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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