Sharing Knowledge: Speaking on Stage Is Both Exhilarating and Intimidating

“The human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public.” ~ George Jessel

How can something be both exhilarating and intimidating? It’s like the fine line between love and hate; you feel the thrill of exhilaration and the fear of intimidation at the same time. 

I spoke at two events in the same week recently, and while I don’t like to pat myself on the back, I do know my material, but it’s almost like my brain shuts off as soon as I walk onto the stage. What’s up with that? My journey to speak professionally started three years ago and I’ve actually wanted to speak professionally most of my life. My goal is to bring humor into my presentations; when appropriate. I’m a pretty funny gal.

So why does my brain play tricks on me? Most of it has to do with mindset. Will people like what I have to say? Why do they care what I have to say? Have they heard this stuff before? Mindset is probably the most important bridge to cross because we let our minds play games with us. However, the trick is for us not to listen because we are all great at what we do; we just have to believe in ourselves and do it!

I want to share a couple of things I learned from speaking at these events. I thought they might help you or someone you know let go of the intimidation so you can enjoy the excitement if you’re speaking at a workshop or thinking about starting to speak, or you have a presentation at school. 

  1. Never wear black when you speak on stage. I wore a black skirt and jacket at one of the events and guess what? The curtain on the stage was black. All the audience saw was my face and my blue blouse. I should have remembered the information from my speaking classes, but it didn’t even cross my mind because I was so focused on my material and making sure I had everything else put together.
  2. You know your stuff. If you’ve practiced a million (okay a hundred) times, stop the chatter in your brain; shut it off. You wouldn’t be at the event if you weren’t an expert at what you are talking about so take a deep breath, enjoy the day, listen to the other presenters, see what you can learn from them – what they do great when they’re presenting, what’s not so great, and relax.
  3. If at all possible, don’t use notes as a crutch. I did and I probably would have executed my presentation better without them. My coach says, “People don’t know what you’re going to say so if you forget something it doesn’t matter. You can always go back and add it later.” I’ve vowed to myself I’m not going to use notes the next time. It’s like I mentioned above; it seems as if my mouth disconnects from my brain and foreign words start pouring forth!
  4. Tell stories during your presentation. This helps the audience relate to you and the information you’re sharing. If speakers just blurt out technical stuff, personally I go into La La Land. I can read a book and find out the same information. The more someone relates to you, the know, like, and trust factor is easier to develop which is huge for building your community!
  5. During my presentation, I mention not using “industry-specific jargon” in marketing materials or speeches because your audience might not understand what you’re saying. So what do I do? In my presentation, I used the words “pain points” when I was talking about determining who your ideal audience is and if you don’t know your audience you can’t market to them until you understand their pain points. It never occurred to me the people I was talking to wouldn’t know what “pain points” were. When it came time for Q&A the first question out of one of the audience members was, “When you say “pain point” what does that mean?” Wow, I talked about not using jargon and I used jargon. 

Learning to speak professionally is a process and the process doesn’t start until we do. Also, we don’t become professional speakers overnight (unfortunately). We keep learning and recognizing what we’re doing right, what improvements we can make to do better because we’re students until we leave this earth. I continue to learn and grow, but I’ve started, I’m putting myself out there, and I’m being vulnerable. The funny thing is I’m also exhilarated and intimidated at the same time, and I’m loving it! 

What’s one thing I shared with you and you thought I could do this? I’d love to hear from you. If you want to speak, go for it; one speech at a time.

Until next time,

Colleen

Positive Mindset Moves Businesses Forward. Are You In?

 

Has your business ever struggled to have consistent income?

Have you ever struggled climbing out of bed in the morning and going to work?

Have you struggled finding the right “audience” to connect with and build relationships?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, I’m going to open your mind to positive actions steps so you stop holding yourself back. . .

Deep down we all know what to do, but more than likely we don’t take the necessary steps to move our businesses forward. We tell ourselves we will do it tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes. When asked, the number one reason people don’t change or take the steps to move forward is because of their mindset; they’re confused, they’re afraid of failure, they’ve been there before, and the list goes on and on. Guess what? It’s part of being an entrepreneur. You can stay in the rut or carry out the steps to move your business forward from five to six, or six to seven figures. The choice is yours.

Lily Tomlin said, “The road to success is always under construction.”

When you are in business the “under construction” signs are always posted…or should be. If the signs aren’t posted, more than likely your business is stagnant with little to no new activity, it’s dull… If you aren’t changing things up or learning new skills what happens when technology changes, or your current clients go elsewhere due to circumstances beyond their control…

It happens! After 18 years in business and building a 1/4 million dollar business going through every emotion, using blood, sweat, and tears to build my business which I loved and had such a passion for, it was changing. The industry was making changes and it was out of my control. I saw the writing on the wall and I started preparing, but I was mentally exhausted. I felt defeated. I was anxious.

My year-out plan was in place; I only had two years left and I was going to spend more time gardening, traveling, doing more of the things I wanted and not being tied down. I did not want to start my business over. I repeat I did not want to start over. Have you heard the quote, “If Plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters. Stay cool?” Well, I was on to Plan B. My business was certainly under construction.

What did all of this teach me? If you choose to do it, whether it’s rebuilding your business, starting out, or whatever your circumstance, business takes a lot of work, personal time, tears, laughter, and plain not giving up, but it’s up to you. After looking back over the past 21 years, I’ve sat down and developed five steps to take my and your business to the next level. These steps are the basis of any business which sounds simple, but many people don’t carry them out and that’s why they don’t succeed. For example, with music, first you learn the basics of the scales and the notes and rhythms or you can’t make music. These five steps are the basis of any business and if they aren’t implemented more than likely people have a difficult time succeeding in business or it’ll take a heck of a lot longer to reach their goals. We all love to skip the “basics” and move on to the other stuff, but it’s the basics that are the foundation.

What do our five steps help you do? We start at the basics so you are ready and can. . .

Position Yourself to:

Craft Your Message
Write Your Book
Live the Life You Deserve

Once your are clear on your message, you know who you want to serve, who your ideal audience is and where to find them. When you have grown your business and have your audience and you are comfortable as the expert in your field you can write your book and share your knowledge with the world – your clients, potential clients, at speaking engagements, and more. But, you have to position yourself to write your book. After you’ve crafted your message, built your list and clients, and decided to write your book (or not) you are on your way to living the life you deserve because you’ll be on your way to moving your business from five to six or six to seven figures.

Are you ready to schedule a complimentary strategy session to see how we can help you start your journey? We’d love to have a chat with you. Sign up today!

Until next time,

Colleen

P.S. My coach asked me where I would feel most comfortable coaching people. I said I’d love doing a retreat with six people for four days at a condo or house at the beach. That’s my goal within the next year. What’s your goal to move your business forward?

Our new site is scheduled to launch

October 17, 2017

YourLiteraryProse.com

Three Easy Steps to Set Yourself Up for Success

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Early last week Colleen and I went to Canada for a retreat with our business coach and some of her other coaching clients. During that time, I learned a lot of great things and I want to chronicle for you my three biggest takeaways from our adventure in learning and building relationships:

  1. Listen to everybody.
  2. Be resourceful.
  3. Apply what you know.

Listen to Everybody

You never know what you’ll learn

One of my biggest mistakes has been avoiding certain business leaders just because of their name. To be honest, I was not the most receptive of some of the most well-known business minds when I first started working at Your Literary Prose. I’ve felt many were gimmicks, snake-oil salesman, insincere, just about anything else that could be said of phonies. These thought leaders seemed to just prey on the weak, make them feel insecure, and force them to buy into a program that most people would never use.

I’ve changed my mind. Over the two days we watched a couple of clips from Tony Robbins. Yes, he was one of those fakes to me, but after actually sitting down and watching what he has to say, I can say I’ve learned a few things about business. Tony is not the only person you can learn from though. Be open to others when they speak, learn from them, watch TED talks, listen to radio shows, watch the Sunday morning televangelists. They can all teach you something – if you’re willing to listen.

My first big takeaway:

Open your mind when others are speaking; you’d be surprised at what you learn.

Be Resourceful

It’s not what you have, it’s how you use it

This is the biggest takeaway from watching Tony Robbins; the biggest reason companies have setbacks is not the resources that they have, it’s how the resources are used. Here’s what Tony has to say on the matter (be aware – he does use a few choice words throughout). If you want to accomplish something you need to be resourceful, “if you want to take the island, burn the boats.”

What was great about this trip was the group used their resourcefulness later that evening. We all went to an escape room. If you’ve never been, I highly suggest going with some friends, business colleagues, or family. It’s a team-building adventure. What happens is you are locked in a room full of clues and you have to unlock the door and escape. You have all the resources at your disposal – the key is being resourceful, finding the clues that actually matter and the clues that are red herrings.

My second takeaway:

We all have the tools we need to succeed, what matters is how you use your tools.

Apply what you learn

It doesn’t count if you don’t apply what you learn

How many of you have ever been to a retreat, a seminar, a class and come across something you want to implement in your business or life? I’m sure that’s all of you. But how many of you have ever actually taken the time and energy to implement what you’ve learned? I can imagine that’s only a few of us. I am that person.

Stop wasting time and money not implementing what you’ve learned. If you take a simple economic approach to this, if you spend $500 to attend a one day seminar and you don’t apply anything, you will have a zero dollar return on your investment and on top of that you lose that whole day and time you could be billing your clients. That’s easily a $1,000 day, and most probably a whole lot more.

How do you implement these things? Take notes. I’m sure you already do this. Read your notes at the end of the day and find no more than three things that you can implement. It might only be one simple change, like how we learned a better way to organize our client work on the calendar. Or it might be a huge change that you have to implement in stages; that’s even better!

My last takeaway:

Make a concerted effort to use what you’ve learned.

Conclusion

Keep your mind open and ready to learn

To better yourself and your business you must have the right mindset.

What mindset are you in?

Stay Well,

-Peter

What is it that keeps entrepreneurs moving forward?

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We’ve all been there. We’ve all heard the sayings:

  • “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
  • “No one has the power to shatter your dreams unless you give it to them.” ~ Maeve Greyson
  • “When you feel like quitting think about why you started.” Unknown

And the list goes on and on…

A few weeks ago I had a pretty discouraging outcome from something I have worked and put my heart and soul into for the last seven months: a one-minute message for my speaker’s reel. Many of you probably think what’s the big deal? It’s one minute. Yes, it was one minute of information I am an expert on; so what made/makes my heart race and my thoughts turn to confusion when I look into a camera or talk in front of a group of people?

Friends who know me would never guess speaking in public or in front of a camera would make me freeze like an ice cube because I can pretty much talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime… However, the head chatter, “I’m not good enough” or “Why would they want to listen to what I have to say” or “How can I make this interesting because they’ve probably heard it before” surfaces, and it takes practice to keep the chatter at bay. Lots and lots of practice and a change in mindset because we are enough, we do have things to say people want to hear, and we are interesting!

Entrepreneurs are a special breed; I’ve been one for 20+ years, and even when I was growing up I sold enough Camp Fire Girl candy every year from second through eighth grade for summer camp scholarships (yes, my mom was our cheerleader and we went door to door every weekend but hey, who doesn’t love a little kid trying to sell candy – that helps right?). I also remember going around collecting canned goods for Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Carnivals… The entrepreneurial spirit is in our blood and deep down I think it’s because, whether we want to believe it or not, we’re BRAVE. During my walk the other night I was listening to my music and the song “BRAVE” came on and it clicked in my head… Entrepreneurs are BRAVE; why else would we do what we do? Okay, maybe the term “entrepreneurs are a bit crazy” comes to mind too, but to put ourselves out there speaking, coaching, hitting the pavement, doing the best we can for clients, learning to balance and not be taken advantage of but providing great customer care and more. We’re BRAVE:

Brilliantly Responsible, Authentic, (and) Vibrant Everyday.

  • Brilliant(ly): As entrepreneurs, being brilliant at what we do is crucial because if we aren’t there are plenty of other people out there with the same skills we have. How are we going to stand out and do it better? Keep learning. Keep reading…
  • Responsible: Are you responsible? Do you meet deadlines? Do your classes, products, programs fulfill the promise you gave clients? How do you handle responsibility?
  • Authentic: Be yourself. If you like a lighthearted, casual atmosphere for work and can make sure you meet deadlines, etc., that’s okay; it’s okay to laugh and have fun. If you’re more formal, that’s okay too. People would rather work with the real you than an imposter. Authenticity is where it’s at!
  • Vibrant: Sometimes the words “happy and excited” wouldn’t describe your day or what’s going on in your business, but when you’re out networking or speaking with a client or at an event – be happy, smile. It goes a long way and you never know who might need that smile or laugh you bring to them that day! Plus, people remember a smile and a laugh.
  • Everyday: Bring your best self to the table everyday. We may not always feel like it (trust me, been there, done that), but the entrepreneur in us has to show up daily so find a MasterMind group, network in person and meet people, find a support system outside the office and go for it!

We all have days, great and not so great; it’s life, it’s business. What do you do that shows you’re BRAVE? Love to hear from you.

Until next time,

Colleen

*BRAVE by Sara Bareilles

The Easiest Way to Start Your Book Today

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Welcome back readers.

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I want to write a book?” Or, maybe you’ve heard an increasingly large number of entrepreneurs are writing books and you want to jump on the train. Maybe you want to spread your story and expand your audience beyond your current clientele. We’ve heard these types of comments and questions from many people and we are here to help. Over the past month we have put together a guide for authors, speakers, coaches, and businesses owners to start the book they’ve always wanted to write.

Today I’ll break down what we created and why we sectioned it out the way we did. From the first day of writing to finding your readers’ problems to brainstorming ideas for your cover and everything in between, we have you covered.

What we did?

Making it easier to start your book!

“Ten Simple Steps to Discover the Book Inside You” is our way to help people who want to write a book but do not understand where to start. One of the hardest parts of writing a book is starting. Newton’s first law, as stated probably one too many times outside of the field of physics, still holds true – “An object in motion stays in motion, an object at rest stays at rest.”  The aim of our guide is to help writers to just start, to create a certain time to write in a creative place, and to begin planning the entire process of writing, publishing, and marketing their future book.

Each manuscript goes through three main processes, which you have probably heard from us before: writing, publishing, and marketing. We divided our ten days into three, three-day blocks tackling the three tasks in each period block. But, that only adds up to nine days. The last day, and in our opinion the most important day, is the day in which we encourage our writers to take the time to plan out the rest of their book, and to take the next step forward.

If you want to learn a bit more about how to start writing your book, download “Ten Simple Steps to Discover the Book Inside You” today and begin your path to publication. Or, if you know of someone interested in writing a book, please share this post with them. We appreciate it! 

Until next week,

Peter

Ten Simple Steps to Discover the Book Inside You

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Email Format

Who needs processes?

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A process for you and a process for me.

Have you ever done the same task over and over again? As humans, we are creatures of habit so most of what we do each day is routine; same old, same old. We don’t like to do things differently and it makes sense to do every task the easiest way possible, right?

It makes sense then that what we do in business should be completed in a similar fashion each time and the easiest way possible. This is where processes come into play.

Process? What process?

Merriam-Webster defines process as, “a series of actions that produce something or that lead to a particular result.” For example, you follow a process when you send a newsletter, write a blog, post on social media, call a client, etc. There are many actions business owners take on a daily basis that need to be written into processes. 

Creating processes may not sound like a great use of time, but trust me, it is! Imagine for a second currently you send two newsletter campaigns out each month. Do you put the same content in each newsletter? I bet you don’t, but where does the content come from? Probably your blog or a personal update or curated content from industry leaders.

As entrepreneurs, the goal is to grow your business and as it grows, taking time to do all the things you do now like write your newsletter isn’t the best use of your money or time. So you hire a social media expert or a Virtual Assistant to compile your newsletter. How will they know what to put in your newsletter? Do you expect them to know exactly what you want with zero help? If so, you’re asking for trouble.

Here is where a process comes into play. There are many things to include in a process – what tasks you are going to complete, what tools do you need to complete those tasks, a specific order of events, and a time frame for how long the tasks should take.

Every business has clients, but what do you do when you first start working with a client? Here’s our process for what we do when we talk with a potential client:

  1. Email client a client intake form which includes the following:
    1. Name
    2. Email
    3. Phone number
    4. Business name
    5. Email newsletter subscriber info
  2. Put info into CRM
  3. Add intake form into client folder in Google Drive/computer

Client intake information is a basic process, but processes can (and should) be developed for many tasks, both simple and more complex. I even have a process for when I write blogs!

What processes do you have in place as your business grows and it’s time to bring on a Virtual Assistant, if you have a sudden illness, or accident? Processes can make or break your business. Colleen and I look forward to hearing from you.

Peter Wietmarschen

Feeling lost in business? You’re not alone!

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Where am I?

And where am I heading?

Have you ever thought to yourself, “What the heck am I doing?” Sometimes things like this happen and that’s okay. There are many reasons you might feel this way and there are a few ways you can combat this feeling.

Okay, it’s time for honesty hour (okay, it’s not really going to take an hour but you get it). I have felt like this about once a week. That’s okay though because I have used this feeling to push myself into better understanding what I am currently confused about. That’s not the easiest thing to do sometimes but my biggest rule for life is to find one thing each day and improve on it. That one rule drives me to become knowledgeable in many areas and forces me to learn things from website design to social media best practices to becoming a better writer.

By gradually enhancing my knowledge I am putting myself down a path to becoming an expert on these subjects. They say you need to have 10,000 hours under your belt in one area to become an expert in that subject. That sounds like an awful lot, and it is, but the only way you will reach that level is to learn and experience minute by minute, hour by hour.

Now what the heck are you doing?

A bit of thought can help you out.

Have you actually sat down lately to plan out what you want to do? Some people have no clue what to do because they haven’t taken the proper time to actually figure out what they want to do. Now while I want to become better in one area of life and business each day I have set out a goal  for what I want to be and what I want to be doing in the next year and five years. For example, I want to be a strong social media manager within the next year. I have set out a few tasks I need to accomplish each day to put myself on the right track such as reading industry blogs or writing posts for the company or researching the competitor. Now, this year I won’t reach the 10,000 hours to become a master but I will make a dent in those hours.

Another reason some people think, “What the heck am I doing?” is because they have way too much on their plates. Sometimes you overburden yourself and you can’t focus on what is important and what needs to be done. Whether you are a business owner or a contractor or employee there are times when you need to step back and reevaluate what you are doing. If you have no idea what you are doing it might be time to start to pare back some of your projects and focus on what is most profitable for you.

Over the past weekend, Colleen and I had a great call with our coach. We both have some wonderful and great goals for the company and ourselves personally. What we learned though is we are pushing ourselves too much, spreading ourselves too thin, and not focusing on what and where our bread and butter goes. Sometimes all it takes is a quick reminder and you are back on track.

Now just because you have these great ideas doesn’t mean you can’t pursue them; on the contrary, you should pursue them. However, putting safeguards into place is necessary to help your success continue far into the future. Do you have your systems in place for an employee to take over writing your social media? Do you have the personnel in place to process new clients? Do you have the means to fulfill your current clients needs? Sometimes if you try to stretch yourself too far without the proper support system, you and your business will fall into a rut that leaves you and your employees feeling, “What the heck am I doing?”

The solutions

Putting yourself back on track.

There are many solutions you can use to combat this feeling. I have mentioned a few but I will reiterate them here so as to accentuate their importance. My top three ways to combat the, “What the heck am I doing?” feeling:

  1. Plan out where you want to be and how you want to get there.
  2. Take a step back and see where you are, what you are good at, and where you might be failing.
  3. Put the proper systems and personnel in place to allow yourself to grow.

I am sure you have felt this way before and I’m sure you will feel it again in the future. I know I have. But I hope you can take these thoughts and apply them to your own business to combat these crazy, unnerving, and quite frankly, scary moments.

What are some ways you have brought yourself out of that, “What the heck am I doing?” place?

Photo via <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/”>VisualHunt</a>

Have a wonderful day!

Your About Page: An Important Part of Your Brand

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Hubspot released the following blog on March 14, 2014: “55% of Visitors Spend Fewer Than 15 Seconds on Your Website. Should You Care?” I know I care and you should too. Yes, the article is a couple of years old, but all the research I’ve completed shares the same info… The About page is one of the first three pages visitors look at when they click on your site. If you don’t believe me, check the data in your Google Analytics account and look at your click stats. You About page is the place people go to learn about you, your brand, and your company. In today’s world, it’s not only about business to business; it’s about people to people. Before people do business with you they want to know, like, and trust you.

A well-written About page is a great marketing avenue for your business, if your message is clear and concise. It’s where visitors can make a human connection with you and your company. A great About page includes at least the following information:

  • Your story – how long have you been around, what’s the company’s mission and vision statement?
  • Employees or subcontractors- highlight the people who work with you; have them write a bio and include a professional photograph.
  • Interests – what do you like to do? Walk, run, have you just returned from a great trip? People want to relate to you. With everything being technical and virtual today, finding the human link is necessary.
  • Testimonials/Endorsements – Happy clients are willing to give testimonials for you to use on your page.

Update your About page on a regular basis – what’s new with the company; have you attended a conference lately? If so, tell your readers. They want to hear what’s going on with you, your company, your employees/subcontractors. Again, people to people (P2P); build the relationship – know, like, and, trust.

Last but not least, we all know the importance social media plays in today’s world. In fact, it’s so important you or someone in your organization, or a social media manager, needs to promote your About page across multiple social media channels. However, you can promote the page all you want, but if  your business’ message is confusing, you’re driving potential profits away! Your message is “More Than Just Words!” Having a clear message sets you apart from others. Your written word represents you, your brand, and your company.

Not comfortable writing? Your Literary Prose is your road map to successful written communications. We can help you find the words and steer clients to your service destination!

When’s the last time you took a close look at your About page? Take a few minutes this week and see if it needs some spring cleaning!

Until next time,

Colleen

Bye-bye distractions

Do you ever struggle with productivity? Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused on the task at hand but there are some ways to combat the loss of productivity.

The Fight for Productivity

Staying on top of the tasks at hand.

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of productivity is, “the quality or state of being productive.” Kind of vague, yeah? So what does productive mean? I like Merriam-Webster’s third definition of  the word,

“3. a : yielding results, benefits, or profits

b :  yielding or devoted to the satisfaction of wants or the creation of utilities.”

So now that we know what the word means, how can we stay productive throughout the work week.

A few tools to help

Tools everyone can use to keep their productivity steady.

You might remember a blog I wrote a few months ago entitled “Five Time-Saving Tools For Every Business Owner” where I explained some of the many tools you can use to decrease the time you spend on everyday tasks. While these tools do not make you a more productive person, they do help you save precious time and energy which allows you to spend your time on more productive ventures.

Now a tool that I love to use is Todoist. This free to-do list web app is a great way to organize your tasks. Not only can you list all of your tasks but you can assign them a due date, allow tasks to repeat every day, week, month, etc., assign an importance to the task, and my personal favorite is you can assign the tasks to different projects. When you first log on you see all of the tasks that are either due that day or past due, for any project. But you can still look at each project individually and see all the tasks needed to complete that project, and this is all just the free version I use. There are many other features you can access for the premium version.

What makes you less productive?

Many things cause distractions but do you know what they are?

The world is full of distractions. I’m sure you already knew this, but people react to them differently. For me, I recognize my biggest distraction is Twitter; using it for personal use, not professionally. Also, anything on TV distracts me. I know I can sit down in front of a show I’ve never seen and be totally engrossed within minutes.

What is important is to recognize those distractions and find ways to eliminate them while you are at work. For me, that means silencing my cell phone for the day, except the ringtone. I also don’t turn the TV on during the day until I’m finished with work, even during lunch. I usually just turn on a good podcast and listen while I eat.

Conclusion

What do you find is your biggest challenge to a productive workday? Drop us a note.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Peter

 

Five Crucial Points to Consider When Identifying Your Target Market

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Whatever business you offer – coaching, writing, accounting… defining your target audience is the ultimate goal and it does not mean you are limiting yourself; it means you are choosing where to spend your money and time to reach those groups or a certain group on a deeper level. Keep in mind these important factors when identifying your target market:

Develop relationships with potential customers.

Attend live networking events and learn about the people there, follow-up with them after the events, ask them for coffee, chat, and you’ll find out if they are a fit for you or maybe they’ll know someone who needs your service. It takes time, but if you don’t go out there and meet people you’ll never build any type of relationship to find out… If you have a virtual business, interact with people online via social media – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, etc. Interact conversationally with people, find out what they do, what they like, who they are; it is not always about selling. Build the relationships; in the long run trust wins out.

What problems do you solve and how do you stand out from other services?


What pain point do you solve for clients? Are you a fitness trainer who helps someone live a healthier lifestyle? Are you a bookkeeper who assists people with the day-to-day accounting issues with their business? As a content writer, do you help improve business’ messages so potential clients understand what services they offer, products they sell, etc.?

If you are a fitness trainer, why would someone choose you over another trainer? Do you make it fun instead of dreadful to workout? Do people smile when they walk into the gym and see you, or are you the type of trainer when your client sees you their muscles tense if they can’t keep up and they feel like a loser? What type of trainer are you? Different people need different types of trainers, but which type of person do you want to target? As a bookkeeper, do you want to work with small or large businesses? Do you work with one system only, i.e. QuickBooks or are you open to others?

Whatever service you offer or problem you solve, be clear and dig deep to figure out what it is you excel at and how you want to work with clients when they contact you and make sure it’s a fit on both sides, but when you know what problems you solve and who your ideal client is, your marketing efforts are much easier.

Determine where to find your audience.


You’ve decided who you want to serve and have compiled your client profile, so now where do you find them? What websites do they frequent, what social media platforms are they using, are there certain apps they prefer to play with? Research, research.
 

Speaking of research… Market research is critical.


If you don’t know what your potential clients want or need, no amount of advertising will prompt them to buy from you. There are several types of market research to find out what they’re looking for from you:

  • Demographics: age, gender, income, education, mobility, environment, and technical savvy are types of demographics and their goal in research is to better understand your audience. Demographics can potentially reveal who your customers are or aren’t and this type of research should be conducted .
  • Publications: many publications track industry trends, sales information, and believe it or not, a lot of consumer information is gathered from people browsing the internet!
  • Surveys or polls: conduct informal surveys or polls to people you have identified as your target audience and ask what service you can give that other companies aren’t, how can you make a difference from how they worked with other companies, what you can do better…
  • “Niche” isn’t a four-letter word.


    Obviously, it’s a five-letter word, but you know what I’m saying. When you target market, in a way, deciding to niche, it’s not all bad. “Inc.” magazine wrote an article, In Praise of Niche Marketing, and states that niche marketing can be very attractive and self-limiting; however, today entrepreneurial companies realize the importance of making the person happy and as Amazon has filled the void of many small niches to satisfy individuals and having many small successes leads to much success over time!

    Finding your target market takes time, doesn’t happen once and you’re finished, and is challenging, but the work is worth it in the long run and so is the success of your business. Don’t waste your time working on products or programs to sell if there isn’t a market to purchase them.

    What type of target marketing do you use for your business? Do you enjoy it or find it a challenge? Pete and I look forward to hearing from you.

    Until next time,

    Colleen