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.

………………………………………………………………………….

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

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.

……………………………………………….

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 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.

Would you like these valuable video tips delivered to your inbox each each week? Click the yellow button to sign up – they’re FREE!

About the Italy Retreat!

I’ve been receiving many questions about the Italy Retreat for Women Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs, so I shot this quick video for you to answer the most frequently asked questions. For more details – including how to enroll – go to: TheItalyRetreat.com

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!

Would you like to receive these weekly video tips in your inbox? Sign up here … it’s free!

Guess Where the Gold Lies [for Coaches, Speakers, Trainers and Experts]

Somewhere in between the free content that you share (blogs, articles, video, etc.) and the paid services that you offer (one-on-one coaching, speeches, seminars, etc.) lies a golden opportunity. And, sadly, it’s an opportunity that most experts will never take advantage of.

In fact, on an inverted pricing pyramid (representing expert products and programs that you might offer) the golden opportunity lies in what I refer to as the “middle zone”. Why? Because audio and video products lie in the middle zone – two of the most lucrative ways for you to package and sell your expertise.

Taking your expert knowledge and perspective and packaging it in the form of a teleseminar, audio CD set, DVD or online video program is just plain smart today. The product-building tools are easier to use than ever before, and the ability to market your audio/video products online (in a big way!) is greater than ever before.

So have your created audio and video programs? If not, what’s holding you back? Most people say that they don’t have the time or the technical ability – or both. I say that if you don’t take the time to learn (besides, the technical part is really a breeze today) that you’re going to be left behind quickly by those who are embracing audio and video as a modality for their expert message.

Take action:

Choose one topic from your expert content – perhaps one of your current programs – then re-work that content into a different mode of packaging. This is what I call duplicating your work, and it’s the easiest way to begin tapping into the gold of the middle zone. Start with an outline, chunk down your content, then simply begin. Record the audio or film the video. It’s really that simple.

Need more tips and insights on how to begin? Join me Thursday, Dec. 1st at 8:00pm EST for a F.R.E.E webinar!  I be revealing some of my best strategies and secrets about creating (and selling!) audio and video programs. Plus, you’ll INSTANTLY get access to my 2-part video series when you register. See you on Thursday!

“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